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Administrative Offices
Office of Academic Affairs

Promotion and Tenure Criteria

April 2, 1993

Amended 10/22/01
Amended 4/2010 and 2/2011

The purpose of this document is to clarify the standards for scholarship, teaching, and service that will be used to evaluate whether candidates meet the criteria for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor at IUK. Candidates for promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer will be evaluated using the same criteria for teaching and service as those for promotion to Associate Professor. Since a Lecturer's primary responsibility is teaching, teaching should be the area of excellence. Nothing in this document should be interpreted as contradicting the standards of the University as contained in the IU Academic Handbook. (See IU Academic Handbook for the statement on promotion to Professor and references to Librarian ranks and Clinical ranks)


Academic promotion and tenure decisions should assure the campus community of sound teaching and learning opportunities by providing the most competent professionals. The promotion and tenure process should provide a developmental period in which new faculty members receive direct and systematic professional feedback for the purpose of improving their performance.

The Relation between Scholarship and Teaching

Scholarship and teaching are parts of the same general activity -- the advancement of knowledge. Improvements or advancements in one should lead to improvements in the other. Departments should, therefore, encourage faculty to engage in broad, deep programs of scholarly activity in order to enhance the quality of teaching. Departments should also recognize faculty teaching activities which promote scholarship. As models for their own learning, students need to have teachers who are in effect lifelong students.

Departments will appropriately have different expectations about the kinds of scholarship and teaching activities which best serve their distinctive missions. Scholarship and teaching can take many forms. Assessment of scholarship and teaching should, therefore, be sufficiently flexible to account for variations in the ways different faculty combines these activities. Assessment should also acknowledge the value of changes in emphasis and interests over the career of an individual faculty member.

Defining Scholarship

The scholarship is an important and distinguishing feature of a faculty member's responsibility. Broadly conceived, scholarship entails systematic inquiry into a subject, attainment of a level of expertise, and communication of that expertise to others. The scholarship does not necessarily mean "new" in the same sense as a scientific discovery or technological breakthrough. Knowledge can be advanced through the synthesis or integration of existing knowledge or by more effective explanation and dissemination of concepts, interpretations, and information which originated with other scholars. The advancement of knowledge is achieved when it is shared with others.

Evaluation of Scholarship

In evaluating scholarship, many kinds of activities and products should be given credit. Suitable measures of excellence should be developed, and credit should be given for non-traditional as well as traditional forms of scholarship. For some departments and faculty members, the ideal may be the publishing of a book or a refereed article. Authorship of textbooks and the development of course materials for distribution should be thought of as making public the result of one's scholarship. Developing innovative courses or new instructional programs and disseminating information about them in appropriate scholarly forums should also be recognized as scholarly work.

Defining Effective Teaching

Effective teaching includes imaginative, conscientious course design, and ongoing efforts to maintain and develop subject-area expertise. It requires respect for students which includes meeting professional obligations conscientiously (holding regular office hours, returning papers promptly, marking them carefully, etc.) as well as establishing a classroom environment in which students are valued.

Students learn by interpreting, synthesizing, and evaluating what they hear and read. Teachers should, therefore, strive for interactions with students that encourage these activities. They should respond to student's ideas frequently, thoughtfully, and extensively both inside and outside the classroom. Effective teachers encourage student conferences, small group meetings, and informal conversations about students' ideas. Part of teaching is the collaboration with counselors, tutors, colleagues, and administrators in programs to assist student learning both in and out of class.

Evaluation of Teaching

Effective teaching evaluation should include multiple measures, not a single instrument or scale of success. Departments should develop programs of evaluation which involve a variety of measures which assess different strengths and weaknesses. In particular, faculty members should assemble portfolios to represent their work as teachers. In addition to the traditional student evaluations, portfolios should include records of systematic peer visits to classrooms, syllabi, course development plans, representative student work, and a reflective analysis of their teaching development.

Defining and Evaluating Service

Service is based upon a faculty member's professional skills and expertise as they benefit the university, professional organizations, or the community. From year to year, a faculty member's service duties will vary in terms of the extent of involvement and the constituencies which are served. It is expected that the levels of faculty participation in such functions will vary directly with seniority. Junior faculty should have less responsibility in the service area than senior faculty for whom more responsibility is generally expected. Among senior faculty members, there may be variations in responsibilities so that service duties do not become consistently burdensome for any specific individual.

Teaching Criteria

A faculty member's teaching is SATISFACTORY when it can be demonstrated that taking into account the nature of the courses and their role in the mission of the university, the instruction is effective. A faculty member's teaching is EXCELLENT when it can be demonstrated that it is unusually effective or distinguished. The evidence to document excellent teaching ­must be based on a continuing record of effective instruction, and it must also demonstrate how the teaching is unusually effective or distinguished. Evidence of effective instruction must include items from each of the following categories:

Self Review

  • A self-evaluation statement that articulates the connection between an instructor's goals and the means to achieve those goals and that describe the degree of achievement of those goals.
  • Course materials (syllabi, assignments, tests, bibliographies, etc.) which reflect the current knowledge of the discipline and sound pedagogy.
  • Active participation in workshops, seminars, or programs about relevant instructional issues.
  • Responses to feedback from teaching evaluations and from performance reviews.
  • Innovations in teaching and learning concepts, applications, etc.
  • Written materials, workbooks, manuals, and other documents prepared by the instructor that enhance teaching in one's field.
  • Activity in teaching-focused professional organizations.
  • Results of procedures designed to measure student learning.

Student Review

  • Evaluations by students via formal instruments and including accompanying
  • Written testimony from former students.
  • Achievements of past students directly related to the faculty member's influence as a teacher.

Peer Review

  • Recognition by peers for teaching achievements.
  • Local, regional or national teaching awards.
  • Presentations and papers related to teaching in one's field.
  • Written testimony by colleagues, based on personal observations. Non-tenured faculty should plan to be observed at least once each semester by colleagues of their choice.

Significant evidence from these categories is required to document proof of effective instruction. A faculty member who does not provide evidence cannot establish effective instruction. A faculty member can submit evidence of achievement other than specified here, but the faculty member must demonstrate how the evidence shows effectiveness or distinction.


In order to be judged SATISFACTORY for the purposes of tenure and promotion to Associate professor, a faculty member must document a continuing program of discipline relevant scholarly activity which includes peer-reviewed publications or peer-reviewed creative efforts of superior quality or a single work of major significance. To be judged EXCELLENT for promotion and tenure, faculty members must meet the criteria for satisfactory and have several publications in refereed journals and other evidence which has been evaluated by peers in their disciplines for indication of superior quality. (See also the Indiana University Academic Handbook on research and creative activities.)

The effective scholarship may take the form of basic or applied research, creative work, or instructional development. Evidence for an effective scholarship may include the following:

  • Publication in refereed journals.
  • Research monographs, scholarly books, and chapters in scholarly books.
  • Proceedings from scholarly meetings.
  • Papers presented at scholarly meetings.
  • Publicly available research working papers and papers presented at faculty research seminars.
  • Reviewing grant-proposals or manuscripts for a publisher.
  • Publication in professional journals and public/trade journals.
  • Papers presented at faculty workshops.
  • Textbooks.
  • Publication in pedagogical journals.
  • Written case studies with instructional materials.
  • Computer software.
  • Publicly available materials describing the design and implementation of new courses.
  • Creative efforts such as artwork in juried shows, theatre productions reviewed by peers, published poems, or short stories.

Significant evidence from this list is required to document proof of an effective and continuing program of scholarship. A faculty member can submit evidence of achievement other than specified here, but the faculty member must demonstrate how the evidence shows a continuing program of scholarship of quality.


A faculty member's service is SATISFACTORY when it can be demonstrated that the faculty member has participated actively in departmental, divisional, campus, university, community, or professional life. A faculty member may claim that his/her service exceeds the definition of satisfactory and should be considered EXCELLENT if the faculty member provides evidence of leadership or participation with distinction.

Evidence of effective service to the University, the community, or professional organizations may include the following:

  • Advising students.
  • Mentoring colleagues.
  • Serving as teaching observers.
  • Initiating/coordinating campus-based functions of interest and importance to students, faculty, or members of the community.
  • Serving on or acting in leadership capacities in committees and task forces.
  • Holding office in professional organizations.
  • Giving speeches, programs and presentations to professional and community organizations.
  • Conducting continuing education activities, workshops, seminars, or surveys and studies for organizations.

Evidence of leadership or participation with distinction may include the following:

  • An award or recognition from a peer professional group.
  • Initiating or effecting substantial change in curriculum, policy, procedures, or organization of the unit, campus, or university.
  • Extensive, coordinated, fruitful activity in the service categories mentioned above.

A faculty member may submit other evidence of achievement, but the faculty member must demonstrate how the evidence shows active participation, leadership, or distinction.

Stopping the Tenure Clock

Approved by the Indiana University Kokomo Faculty Senate November 20, 2006

Under unusual circumstances, an untenured probationary faculty member or librarian may request in writing an extension of the time preceding his or her tenure review. This request must be made by the penultimate (next to the last) year toward tenure. Such an extension is ordinarily not to exceed one calendar year. Either a professional or a personal emergency (e.g., a substantial change in one's health or work environment or in one's public service or caregiving responsibilities) may be an appropriate reason for requesting such an extension. Any probationary period extension must be approved in writing by one's department chair (if applicable), one's academic dean, and by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and is to be recorded as an addendum to the faculty member's or librarian's Notice of Terms of Initial Appointment. This policy is separate from policies regarding leaves of absence without pay or with partial pay.

Amendment #1 (approved 4/12/10)

Use of Guidelines and Criteria in the Tenure and Promotion Process
To help the tenure process function smoothly, it is important that all participants understand the roles of criteria in the process. This section outlines these roles.

The Role of University and Campus Criteria
Promotion and tenure are granted by the campus, and ultimately the University. As such, candidates must meet the criteria for the appropriately defined rank at the campus and university level, which are articulated in the Indiana University Academic Handbook and the Indiana University Kokomo Handbook.

The Role of Unit-Level Criteria
Academic areas, due to inherent differences among their disciplines, often have different expectations for what is required within their units for promotion and tenure. The unit-level criteria for promotion and tenure must meet the criteria set at the campus and university level, but the unit is free to clarify and expand the expectations at the unit level.

For any given candidate, the only criteria and guidelines that apply for promotion and tenure are those set by the university, campus, and his or her own unit. The criteria set up by units other than that of the candidate are not applicable to the candidate and shall not be included in discussions of the candidate.

Application of Criteria by Participants
The candidate, in the dossier, shall make the arguments for promotion and/or tenure, arguing for excellence or satisfactory in each area based upon his or her unit’s criteria. The candidate must include the unit’s criteria in the dossier, if such a document exists (all units should have unit level criteria in place by August 2012). The candidate chooses whether scholarship of teaching and learning should be considered as evidence of teaching or as evidence of scholarship, but can only count any given work once.

The departmental committee is to evaluate how well the candidate meets the unit’s specific criteria for promotion and tenure. They are to support this assessment in their letter using the unit’s established criteria.

Unit administrators can best make their recommendation by including an explicit use of unit criteria.

The campus P&T committee is to examine the evidence and arguments of the candidate, departmental committee, and unit administrators, to evaluate whether the candidate meets the unit level criteria and the general campus and university criteria. Members of the committee shall not apply the criteria of units other than that of the candidate.

Amendment #2 (approved 4/12/10)       

Promotion to Professor

General Guidelines

Timeframe for promotion
There is no required time period for promotion to Professor.

General evaluation
Evaluation of criteria is based on the criteria of the candidate’s academic unit. These criteria must meet the campus and university guidelines for promotion to full professor. The evaluation is to be based on cumulative work during the total time in the current rank. The issue is the cumulative sum of work, not the rate of production, as there is no fixed time period for the achievement of full professor. While the candidate is expected to present sufficient evidence for promotion, the candidate does not have to document every moment and activity since promotion to Associate Professor.  

Full professor is a faculty rank, not an administrative rank. Administrators may go up for full professor, provided their record demonstrates excellence in one category and at least satisfactory in two areas. Candidates who have spent time in administration with release from teaching are not to be penalized for time away from the classroom but are still expected to present evidence of at least satisfactory teaching for any courses they have taught since promotion to Associate Professor.

Library faculty promotion to (full) Librarian procedures is delineated in the IU Academic Handbook and the Indiana University Libraries Library Faculty Handbook.

Promotion of clinical faculty to (full) Professor uses the same criteria as other faculty but only in regards to teaching and service.  Scholarship and creative work are not required for promotion.

Minimum standards of acceptable performance
Receiving multiple unsatisfactory ratings in any performance category in annual reviews will be grounds for denial of promotion unless there is strong evidence of sustained improvement in performance in that area.

While a candidate is in a position where an area of performance is not part of the expectations of the position and they are not evaluated on it in an annual review, then the performance in that area shall not be evaluated for that period of time (and thus shall not be judged unsatisfactory). For example, administrators who have no teaching duties should not be judged as unsatisfactory teachers for promotion purposes for the period they have no teaching assignments. A candidate should not be penalized for being an administrator, but he or she still needs to demonstrate reasonable activity in every area.  For example, an administrator should not be penalized for having taught a limited number of classes since promotion to Associate Professor, but the administrator is still expected to have been at least satisfactory as a teacher in any classes taught.

Amendment #3 (approved 2/17/2011)

Teaching Criteria for Promotion to Professor

Defining Evidence of Teaching
For the rank of Professor, evidence of teaching may include the same types of evidence as those listed for promotion to the rank of Associate, but the faculty member should demonstrate evidence of achievement beyond that expected for the rank of Associate.

Evaluation of Teaching
Satisfactory in teaching for promotion to Professor should include multiple measures of teaching indicating a consistent level of quality.

Excellence in teaching requires evidence of distinguished teaching and should demonstrate an ability to stimulate in students a desire for scholarly or creative activities.

Amendment #4 (approved 2/17/2011)

Scholarship and Creative Works Criteria for Promotion to Professor

Defining Scholarship and Creative Works
Definitions of research and scholarship for promotion to Professor are the same as defined in this document and other official campus and university documents. In particular, it includes the scholarship of teaching and learning, creative works, and other forms of research. 

Evaluation of Scholarship and Creative Works
The cumulative body of the candidate’s work in rank should be examined, regardless of time frame: i. e., an appropriate body of creative and scholarly works suitable for promotion is desired, not a particular rate of publication.

While candidates must meet all campus and university requirements for promotion, the implementation of these requirements are specific to the unit—thus reflecting the nature of each unit—as long as the unit level implementation results in criteria that meet the campus and university guidelines. The general campus criteria are as follows:

Satisfactory in scholarship for promotion to Professor should demonstrate a record of publication and growth since promotion to the rank of Associate Professor and should meet the criteria of the individual academic unit.

Excellence in scholarship for promotion to Professor should include a continued growth in scholarship well beyond those utilized for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. The candidate will by this time have earned recognition from the community of scholars in the candidate’s field. This can be demonstrated through multiple methods, including citations, awards, publication in respected journals, and outside reviews.

Amendment #5 (approved 2/17/2011)

Service Criteria for Promotion to Professor                                                           
Defining Service
Service is based upon a faculty member’s professional skills and expertise as they benefit the university, professional organizations, or the community. For the rank of Professor, service may include the same type of activities as those listed for promotion to the rank of Associate, but the faculty member should show a sustained contribution with an increasing level of leadership.

Evaluation of Service
Satisfactory in service requires a record that demonstrates participation in departmental, school, campus, university, community, or professional life that clearly shows innovation, impact, or initiative.

Excellence in service requires evidence of distinguished contributions in departmental, school, campus, university, community, or professional life that clearly shows innovation, impact, or initiative. This should include evidence of extensive or long-lasting impact.

Amendment #6 (approved 4/23/2018)

Recognition of Work Aligned with the Statement of Commitments

In addition to the above, criteria, when evaluating faculty for promotion and tenure, committees and administrators should recognize teaching, scholarship, creative work, and service that aligns with Indiana University Kokomo’s Statement of Commitments ( ). This may include work that promotes “civic engagement” and provides “community engagement opportunities.” Some possible examples of this kind of work appear below. 

Relevant contributions to teaching that align with institutional commitments might include:

  • developing and implementing service-learning assignments and activities that enable students to apply their knowledge and skills to serve the community (business plans, social media campaigns, physical deliverables such as brochures or letterhead, etc.);
  • developing curricula for teaching diversity and/or global awareness;
  • mentoring students as they apply their learning to serve the community (“Philosophy for Children,” tutoring in K-12 environments, etc.).

Scholarship and Creative Work
Relevant contributions to scholarship and creative work that align with institutional commitments might include:

  • conducting research that helps to address and/or solve community problems (reports, white papers, proposals, etc.);
  • creating exhibits and performances that contribute to the cultural, social, political, and/or economic vitality of the region (art exhibits, lectures, workshops, etc.).

Relevant contributions to service that align with institutional commitments might include:

  • drawing on disciplinary expertise to advise community partners (business plans, policies, processes, surveys, grants);
  • drawing on disciplinary expertise to help community partners promote diversity and/or global awareness.
  • drawing on disciplinary expertise to serve in a leadership capacity in partnership with community partners.

Faculty may choose to engage in many other types of relevant teaching, scholarship, creative work, and service not described here.  Any disciplinary or generally academic work that helps IU Kokomo meet its commitments and achieve its mission is valuable and relevant, and it should carry significant weight in evaluations of faculty for promotion and tenure. Each unit’s annual evaluation documents and promotion and tenure documents will contain language that clarifies how community engagement is recognized and rewarded within the unit.

Last updated: 10/18/2018