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Smathers Libraries Career Development Handbook

II. D. 2. Tenure and Promotion Committee Guidelines

  1. Policy

    The Tenure and Promotion Committee serves as a fact-finding body to review applications for tenure and/or promotion based on the criteria outlined in the Career Development Handbook. The committee is advisory to the Dean of University Libraries who appoints library faculty for a three-year term. Each year three members rotate off of the committee and three new members join it. The Dean annually sends a letter to the Committee outlining their responsibilities and timeline.

  2. Referenced Documents

    1. Florida Administrative Code (on tenure and promotion)

    2. Comparison of Librarians Ranks (chart)

    3. Standards for Promotion to Associate or University Librarian (Career Development Handbook)

  3. Monitoring Development of each Candidate’s Packet

    The chair should initiate contact with the Human Resources Officer and communicate regularly concerning the names of individuals planning to be considered for tenure and promotion and the status of packets (progress toward receipt of all letters, etc.)

  4. Setting Up T&P Committee Meetings

    1. Begin planning meeting times as soon as possible; scheduling nine people for committee meetings can be a complicated task.

    2. In advance of the first meeting with the committee, gather as much schedule information from members as possible so that potential meeting times can be proposed. Consider the following:
      • Regular meetings (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly)
      • Other known meetings already scheduled
      • Anticipated days out of the office

    3. Using the information supplied, create a master schedule for the committee, identifying potential meeting times.

    4. Anticipate how many meetings will be needed for discussion. Estimate one hour per candidate. Set up one or more additional sessions in case extra time is needed. It is recommended that no meeting last more than three hours, and two hours is preferred.

  5. Organizational Meeting

    The chair arranges an organizational meeting before the packets are ready to be discussed. Committee members should review the appropriate sections on tenure and promotion from the Career Development Handbook and the Florida Administrative Code.

    1. The purpose of the meeting:
      • Review the Dean’s letter to the committee.
      • Review the T&P criteria by which candidates are to be judged.
      • Review and clarify the criteria and other questions about the T&P process and the T&P Committee’s role.
      • Agree on the process to be followed in committee preparation and deliberations.
      • Establish the communications mechanism for the committee.
      • Agree on a plan for the easiest possible access to candidate packets and publications by Committee members in advance of meetings to discuss and vote. Insure that packets are not checked out and unavailable to others for significant periods.
      • Determine a schedule for completion of the process no later than the deadline established by the Dean.

    2. Points to Emphasize
      • Confidentiality of all deliberations.
      • The committee serves a unique and valuable role in providing the perspective of accomplished and objective colleagues.
      • Individuals are not tenured as administrators (department chairs, etc.), but as "librarians".
        Note: Although a candidate may have the primary assignment of manager/supervisor, he/she is to be evaluated within the guidelines of the Career Development Program for Librarians and within the context of his/her work as a librarian.
      • Plan to reserve enough time to study thoroughly each packet.
      • Before beginning to read packets, have a clear picture of which activities are to be included in each of the three criteria.
      • Committee members should look for sustained achievements in the three criteria: Professional Responsibility, Professional Development and Scholarship, Service to the Library, the University, the State, and the Profession. Distinction in Professional Responsibility and in one of the other two criteria, with excellence in the third, are required.
      • In the interest of fairness,do not compare the merits of any application for tenure and/or promotion with that of other librarians going through the process in the same year. Each application stands on its own and is measured against shared standards of excellence that the organization constantly strives for in each criterion. Each committee member is selected because s/he is believed to have the breadth of experience within the organization and a sufficient understanding of professional activities characteristic of each rank to make an informed assessment concerning a candidate.
      • Packets are to be read with objectivity and within the context of the guidelines in the Career Development Program for Librarians.
      • First-hand information from committee members which provides useful insight into a candidate’s work but may not be reflected in the packet is encouraged so that there is as balanced a picture as possible of the candidate.
      • The Committee may request additional information from a candidate's supervisor, if necessary. The T&P Committee Chair should contact the Human Resources Officer before pursuing other sources.

  6. Reading Packets in Preparation for Discussion

    1. Vitas for those librarians recently tenured and/or promoted are maintained in the Human Resources Office and are available for committee review.

    2. Review the candidate's packet and identify particular areas of distinction and areas of concern. For example:
      • In the area of publications, think in terms of sub-categories for books, refereed journal articles, etc.
      • In the areas of service, think in terms of significance/relevance of the group, the individual’s specific role in it and contributions to its work, etc.

    3. A referee's letter should be evaluated critically for an understanding of research librarianship, the level of performance generally considered routine at University of Florida and other academic research libraries, the UF tenure and promotion criteria, and the specific performance of the nominee. The referee's knowledge and length of involvement with the candidate should also be noted.

  7. Fact-Finding and Assessment Meetings to Discuss Candidates

    1. The chair should arrange to have packets and publications of candidates for review at the meeting.

    2. Before beginning discussion of individual candidates, the chair should ask if any additional general discussion on the process or criteria needs to occur.

    3. Before beginning the discussion of candidates for the rank of University Librarian,the University Librarians on the T&P Committee should discuss the standards and expectations for attainment of that rank.

    4. Discuss the candidates alphabetically (first all candidates for tenure at that rank, then the candidates for promotion to University Librarian).

    5. Plan on approximately one hour for discussion on each candidate. Allow for as much time as is needed however, to thoroughly discuss all aspects of a candidate’s performance.

    6. Discuss each candidate systematically using Criterion I, Criterion II, and Criterion III. Both strengths and weaknesses of the candidates record shall be reviewed.

    7. The Tenure and Promotion Committee members provide individual assessments for each nominee and the assessments are tallied by the Chair of the T&P Committee

  8. Reporting to the Dean

    When all candidates have been reviewed and an assessment taken, the chair presents the Committee's assessment and fact-finding report to the Dean of University Libraries.

  9. Final Steps

    The Dean may wish to consult with the Committee as a group or individually.

  10. Responsibility

    It is the responsibility of the Human Resources Officer to update and to maintain this process consistent with current practices of the Library Tenure and Promotion Committee, the University of Florida Office of Academic Affairs, and the Dean of University Libraries.

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