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Smathers Libraries Career Development Handbook


II. E. Promotion for Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Determination of Eligibility for Promotion

Some library faculty are appointed to ranks that are non-tenure accruing (e.g. Assistant-In, Associate-In, or Senior Associate-In Libraries). In order to receive a higher rank, there must be a documented record of distinction in performance of the faculty member’s primary responsibility including demonstration of professional expertise, innovation, mature judgment, and creativity. 

An eligible faculty member may initiate the application for promotion whenever the faculty member believes he/she has met the criteria for promotion by notifying the department chair or equivalent (hereafter, "chair") before the normal tenure and promotion review cycle begins, and the chair shall initiate the promotion nomination process upon that request. Faculty members being considered for promotion may withdraw from consideration without prejudice.

For those faculty members in the bargaining unit, the same promotion procedures are used for faculty holding tenure and non-tenure accruing titles; the President shall make the final decisions on promotion.

For those faculty members not in the bargaining unit, the same promotion procedures (including final decisions on promotion by the President) are used for faculty holding tenure and non-tenure accruing titles, with the exception of promotions from Assistant In to Associate In or from Associate In to Senior Associate In. These promotions can be decided by the college dean and do not need to be forwarded to the President.

Evaluations of non-tenure accruing members will be based on assigned duties and responsibilities with the understanding that some assignments may be all or mostly devoted to one activity.

Promotion Criteria

Movement from Assistant-In to Associate-In or from Associate-In to Senior Associate-In shall be a result of a faculty member’s meritorious performance since the last promotion or since the faculty member’s appointment (if there is no previous promotion) and shall be based upon established written promotion criteria for the rank in question specified by the University and by the College of Libraries.

Promotion within a rank series for faculty members who are not eligible for tenure, where the faculty member’s assignment is normally devoted to one or two assignment categories requires distinction in Criterion 1 the faculty member’s primary responsibility and strong achievement in one of the other two criteria: 2) professional development and scholarship, or 3) service to the Library, the University, the State, and the Profession.
Distinction is recognized when the evidence demonstrates sustained, high-quality contributions to the candidate's area of primary responsibility that enhance library services and functions, foster new knowledge, support the University’s mission, and provide leadership.  Distinction is performance that would be judged by informed experts as outstanding in comparison to other professionals in the same field.
Criteria for promotion shall be relevant to the performance of the work that the faculty member has been assigned to do and to the faculty member’s duties and responsibilities as a member of the University community.  Criteria within the College of Libraries recognize three broad categories of academic service: 1) Professional responsibility, 2) Professional development and scholarship, and 3) Service to the Library, the University, the State, and the Profession.

Criterion One: Professional responsibility: Evidence of distinction may include contributions in functions such as:

  • Providing reference and research services to discipline based users, to the University community, and/or to the global research community.
  • Identifying, selecting, evaluating, acquiring, and preserving paper-based and/or digital resources in support of the University’s research and education endeavors which result in collection excellence.
  • Instructing students in for-credit courses offered through teaching departments in the candidate's subject specialty.
  • Providing bibliographic instruction offered as a component of for-credit courses;
  • Developing instructional materials for in-class or online use that enhance the information skill sets of students and faculty.
  • Supervising and managing units and/or projects within the Libraries which provide services and functions.
  • Performing administrative functions including training, budgeting, planning, goal-setting, and analysis.
  • Creating and supporting metadata systems which permit discovery and access to library resources.
  • Organizing, retrieving, and manipulating data in print, non- print, and electronic forms to assist library users.
  • Designing and implementing computer functionality based on user needs.
  • Developing and/or managing computer-based systems including hardware and/or software that enhance the libraries’ ability to support the library’s and University’s missions.
  • Creating digital collections that support the educational and research efforts of the University community and/or that document the intellectual contributions of the academic community.

Criterion Two: Professional development and scholarship -- Examples of strong achievement are demonstrated when the nominee:

  • Has made contributions to the field by writing articles, chapters, papers, etc.;
  • Has been recognized as an expert based on invitations to present papers, demonstrations, poster sessions and exhibits at professional meetings, symposia, workshops, and conferences;
  • Has participated at the state, regional, or national level as session moderators, panelists and conference organizers/program planners;
  • Has developed documents, printed, audiovisual instructional aids, or electronic media and/or other works of exceptional quality or creativity that are relevant to his/her professional responsibilities;
  • Has completed a university accredited degree program in a subject field appropriate to his /her assignments;
  • Has developed original uses of technologies to solve library problems;
  • Has identified funding and developed successful proposals that have created and/or provide access to information resources;
  • Has helped a professional organization develop a grant for funding bibliographical projects to benefit all research libraries or staff of research institutions; or
  • Has other comparable achievements. 

Criterion Three. Service to the Library, the University, the State, and the Profession: Examples of strong achievement are demonstrated when the nominee:

  • Has provided leadership and significant service to the Library and/or University through participation and contributions to committees, college or academic departmental programs and endeavors, task forces, senates, or research teams, or through the planning of university programs and initiatives;
  • Has contributed to the achievement of the Library’s mission by providing major constructive suggestions and criticisms of a library-wide nature that have resulted in improvements in library operations;
  • Has provided substantive service to the State University Libraries through participation on SUL-wide committees and task forces, or research teams, or through planning SUL-wide university programs;
  • Has made a substantial contribution to the work of a relevant professional organization (e.g. holding major elected or appointed office, planning programs, serving on committees, task forces, or panels); or
  • Has other comparable achievements

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