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Smathers Libraries Career Development Handbook

II.  D. 1. Tenure and Promotion Guidelines for Library Faculty and Supervisors

A. Introduction

The tenure and promotion processes are governed by procedures which are derived from rules and regulations promulgated by the State of Florida, the University of Florida, and the United Faculty of Florida Union. These rules mandate the manner in which the tenure/promotion process is handled by the librarian’s department; the Libraries’ Tenure and Promotion Committee, the Dean of University Libraries, and higher administrative officials.

Tenured library faculty should evaluate carefully the material submitted for each nominee, clarify matters that are not clear in the documentation, and determine whether the nominee meets the standard that the University has set for tenure and/or promotion to the applicable rank. Confidentiality with respect to information regarding each candidate is expected.

The following documents are pertinent to the tenure and promotion process:

  1. Florida Administrative Code (FAC) 6C1-7.003, 7.010, 7.013, and 7.019.

  2. Constitution of the University of Florida, Article V., Section 5.

  3. GUIDELINES AND INFORMATION REGARDING THE TENURE, PERMANENT STATUS AND PROMOTION PROCESS FOR (year). This is updated annually and posted on the Office of the Provost Tenure Information Page at http://www.aa.ufl.edu/tenure/.

In instances where the Career Development Handbook and the above documents are not in agreement regarding the specifics of the packet, the candidate and chair should rely on the university documents as authoritative.  In instances where the Career Development Handbook and the above documents are not in agreement regarding the departmental or Library processes for reviewing the tenure and promotion application, the candidate and chair should rely on the Career Development Handbook.  Any questions or concerns should be directed to Library Human Resources Office. 

For those faculty in the bargaining unit, the same promotion procedures are used for faculty holding tenure and non-tenure accruing titles. For those faculty not in the bargaining unit, the same promotion procedures 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 those faculty members will be based on assigned duties and responsibilities with the understanding that some assignments may be all or mostly devoted to one activity. 

B. Overview of the Process

The process has a number of checks and balances to protect both the individual and the University.
  1. Academic Affairs advises Library Human Resources as to which librarians are subject to mandatory tenure review the following year.

  2. A faculty member in an eligible position must request to be nominated for tenure by the beginning of the last year of the tenure probationary period. The Department Chair or the individual librarian may initiate the promotion process.

  3. Names of evaluators are generated by the candidate and his/her mentor, and the department chair.  Letters of evaluation are solicited.  Biosketches of evaluators are included in packet. Other required data are gathered into the nomination packet.

  4. Eligible faculty members of the nominee’s tenure home department read the packet and discuss the nomination.  No sooner than 24 hours after this departmental discussion, the eligible faculty members vote by secret ballot on the basis of their experience with the nominee and the evidence presented in the packet.

  5. After the departmental vote, the Department Chair adds his or her recommendation to the packet.  A copy of the Chair’s letter is provided to the candidate, and the candidate has 10 days thereafter to request a meeting and/or to submit a written response to be included in the packet.

  6. The packet, along with the Department Chair’s recommendation and the departmental vote, is forwarded to the Tenure and Promotion Committee.

  7. The Tenure and Promotion Committee reviews the packet and provides a written fact-finding report to the Dean of University Libraries.

  8. The Dean of University Libraries may request that the library directors from Smathers Libraries, the Health Science Center Libraries, the Legal Information Center, and FCLA provide advice regarding their nominations.

  9. The Dean of University Libraries writes a letter of review and recommendation and sends it to the Academic Personnel Board. A copy of the Dean’s letter is provided to the candidate, and the candidate has 10 days thereafter to request a meeting and/or to submit a written response to be included in the packet.

  10. The Academic Personnel Board will review the packet and report to the president on the strengths and weaknesses of the records. If there are questions about a nomination packet, the Academic Personnel Board will notify the dean who in turn will notify the appropriate chair or director and the faculty member so they may respond.
  11. The nomination is forwarded to the President of the University who makes final promotion decisions and recommends tenure.

  12. Positive tenure recommendations are forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final action.

  13. Although the President makes final tenure recommendations, the Dean of University Libraries is given an opportunity to discuss negative tenure decisions with the President.

  14. Negative tenure decisions may result in a notice of non-renewal.


C. Detailed Procedures -- Initial Steps

The Guidelines and Information Regarding the Tenure, Permanent Status and Promotion Process document is updated annually and posted on the Office of the Provost Tenure Information Page.  Shown below are highlights of the procedures that must be followed.


  1. Determination of Eligibility for Tenure Nomination
    1. Librarians who are classified as full-time or part-time with the rank of Assistant University Librarian and above who are employed in a tenure earning position are eligible for nomination for tenure.                                                                                                                                          
    2. The eligibility for tenure will normally begin during the sixth year of its equivalent in part-time continuous service in a tenure earning position, including the time approved for tenure credit when initially employed by the University in a tenure accruing position.  A librarian may elect to apply for tenure prior to the normal sixth year with the agreement of the chair or equivalent administrator.  The decision to grant or deny tenure must be made by the end of the sixth year of continuous full-time or equivalent part-time service, including any approved credit transfer of tenure time to the University.
    3. Tenure service is counted prior to, during, and after an approved leave of absence or reduction of FTE.  No service credit is accrued during the leave of absence without pay, except as agreed to in writing by the Office of Academic Affairs and the faculty member at the time of approval of leave.
  2.  
  3. Nomination
  4. In July the Library Human Resources Officer will notify eligible librarians, directors/deans, and department chairs that it is time to initiate the tenure and/or promotion process.  Any librarian desiring to submit a nomination for promotion must be considered.

  5. Tenure and Promotion Information Meeting for Librarians

Nominees and their department chairs will be invited, along with any other interested librarians; to attend tenure and promotion workshops provided by the Human Resources Office and the Office of Academic Affairs.

a. The meetings provide information on all aspects of the Libraries’ and University’s tenure and promotion process: filling out the tenure and promotion forms, selecting referees, requesting letters of evaluation, the role of the Tenure and promotion committee, criteria for tenure and promotion, and timelines for the tenure and promotion process.

b. The Department Chair or equivalent administrator and the nominee should review the appropriate sections of the Florida Administrative Code, University Constitution, Bargaining Agreement, Career Development Handbook and the Office of Academic Affairs Memorandum for compliance with the rules and procedures.

4. Letters of Evaluation

Letters of evaluation from colleagues outside and inside UF are extremely important in presenting a credible picture of a candidate and should therefore be written by a knowledgeable, competent, reputable, and diverse group of persons. Referees should be selected carefully.

a. Number of Outside Letters

For faculty in the bargaining unit, no fewer than five and no more than six letters must be from qualified scholars in pertinent disciplines outside* the university.

For faculty not in the bargaining unit, at least five letters must be from outside* the university. 

*Outside means individuals not employed either currently or in the past ten years by the University of Florida.

These outside letters are placed in the LETTERS OF EVALUATION section of the packet.

b. Number of Letters from Inside UF

For all library faculty, there will also be letters from 3-5 UF evaluators (normally UF librarians or other UF faculty).

These will be included in the FURTHER INFORMATION section of the packet.

Inside evaluators selected may include faculty (either librarians or other faculty) that have left UF in recent years (normally 1-3) who can still provide important and useful evaluation of the candidate's recent performance in Criterion One (Professional Responsibility and Working Relationships). 

c. Other Guidelines

  1. For promotion to Associate University Librarian and for tenure: Eight letters of evaluation (5 from outside and 3 from inside) are required. 1-2  additional inside letters (total of 5 inside) may be needed to adequately reflect achievements in some cases. The same requirements exist for non-tenure track faculty seeking promotion from Assistant In to Associate In.
  2. For promotion to University Librarian: Ten letters (5 outside and 5 inside) are required. The same requirements exist for non-tenure track faculty seeking promotion from Associate In to Senior Associate In.
  3. Letters should normally be written by faculty of higher rank than the nominee. Exceptions may be colleagues with whom the candidate has worked closely in their service to professional organizations. 
  4. More important than quantity of letters is their quality, ensuring that a knowledgeable, rounded and balanced view of the performance and potential of the nominee is provided.
  5. Please note that these are to be letters of evaluation offering evidence of recognized contributions and not simply letters of support.
  6. You are encouraged to solicit outside letters from those who do not have a personal relationship with the candidate.
  7. Outside letters from faculty who are at the top of the candidate’s field and at the very best institutions are particularly valued
  8. Other considerations for selection of evaluators are included in the annual Guidelines and Information Regarding the Tenure, Permanent Status, and Promotion Process linked at http://www.aa.ufl.edu/tenure/.

d. Process for Identifying Evaluators

  1. No later than mid-July, seven names of potential outside evaluators and five names of potential UF evaluators (UF librarians and other faculty) are generated by the candidate and his/her mentor and submitted to the chair.  
  2. The chair also generates a list of potential evaluators.
  3. The chair and the candidate discuss their lists of potential evaluators and decide who should be contacted to ask if they are willing to write an evaluation.
  4. The chair contacts the potential evaluators to determine if they are willing/able to write a letter by September 10th if requested.
  5. For outside reviewers, at least five individuals and not more than six, at least half of whom come from the candidate’s list, must agree to serve as reviewers. If an insufficient number of individuals agree to serve, the candidate should submit additional names until at least five individuals agree to serve.
  6. For inside reviewers, 3-5 letters will be included in the packet. These letters should be written by individuals that can especially offer substantive comments regarding the candidate’s performance in Criterion One (Professional Responsibility and Working Relationships).     
  7. Biosketches of evaluators will be included in the packet and should be gathered at this time.
  8. The Department Chair reviews the final list with the candidate.  
  9. The Chair sends the list of selected evaluators and biosketches to the next level supervisor (either the Associate Dean, Senior Associate Dean, or Dean) for review. Reasons for choosing evaluators are included: credentials/qualifications and his/her relation to the candidate (specifically the extent of contact, knowledge of candidate’s performance, etc.)
  10. The Associate Dean, Senior Associate Dean or Dean approves the list.

e. Soliciting Letters of Evaluation

  1. Letters of evaluation must be available to the candidate for review unless s/he executes a written waiver of her/his right to review the solicited letters of evaluation.  Candidates must execute or decline the waiver before letters of evaluation are solicited.  Evaluators must be notified in the solicitation letter how the candidate chose to execute or decline the waiver.  The signed statement is sent to the Library Human Relations Officer.
  2. The Department Chair will use the Libraries’ form letter to solicit letters of evaluation. Copies of the solicitation letters are to be sent to the Human Resources Officer.
  3. The letter shall append the candidate’s vita and the Libraries’ written discipline-specific clarifications of the University criteria and shall ask the evaluator to assess the candidate’s performance in order to determine whether it satisfies the University criteria for tenure as clarified in writing by the Libraries. candidate’s department.
  4. All solicited evaluations that are received must be included in the packet.

f. Letters Included in the Packet

Letters of evaluation should be arranged and identified:

    • Those from colleagues outside of UF are placed in the Letters of Evaluation Section.
    • Those from University of Florida Librarians and University of Florida Faculty are placed in the Further Information Section, along with the biosketches of those evaluators.

D. Preparation and Contents of the Tenure and/or Promotion Packet

1.    Preparation

Nominees for tenure and/or promotion need to review the Libraries' Career Development Handbook and The Guidelines and Information Regarding the Tenure, Permanent Status and Promotion Process document that is updated annually and posted on the Office of the Provost Tenure Information Page, which includes the University’s tenure and/or promotion forms and the applicable sections of the Florida Administrative Code, the Bargaining Agreement, and the Constitution of the University of Florida.
 
The nominee is responsible for working with his/her supervisor to prepare the tenure and promotion packet. The supervisor is responsible for providing guidance to the nominee.

Prior to consideration of the librarian’s nomination by the department, the nominee will review the materials in the packet to ensure that all information the librarian believes to be pertinent to the nominations is present. It is the responsibility of the nominee to see that the tenure and/or promotion materials are complete.

If the librarian has waived his/ her right to review the letters of recommendation, these may not be seen by the nominee. It is the responsibility of the nominee's supervisor to incorporate the letters of recommendation into the packet in accordance with relevant University Tenure and Promotion Guidelines.

The nominee must be notified in writing of any additions, deletions or changes to the supporting materials in the packet. The nominee then has five days within which to attach a brief and concise response if desired.


2.  Contents of the Tenure and/or Promotion Packet

University of Florida Recommendation for Tenure, Permanent Status, and/or Promotion forms are provided by the Office of Academic Affairs. Instructions for completing the Tenure and Promotion packet can be found in the annual Guidelines and Information Regarding the Tenure, Permanent Status and Promotion Process document. It is important to follow these instructions.

OTHER SPECIFIC GUIDANCE FOR LIBRARY FACULTY -- Consult Library HR with any questions.

#4 -- ASSIGNED ACTIVITY… – Use the Teaching, Research, and Service categories shown in the UF instructions. Most librarians will show 0% Teaching, 10% Research, and 90% Service.

#9 -- Teaching, Advising and/or Instructional Accomplishments

The 2009-2010 UF Guidelines specifically included the following language encouraging library faculty to describe accomplishments in their primary assignment (i.e. criterion one "Professional Responsibilities").

In no more than 750 words, describe your teaching, advising, professional responsibilities (Librarians), and/or instructional accomplishments, including, as appropriate, curriculum and course development, service as a graduate or undergraduate coordinator, supervised research through credit courses, and the development of new courses, CD ROM’s, educational software and multimedia materials.

Library faculty should include the following statement initially in this section. This does not count as part of the 750 words.

NOTE: To support the teaching and research missions of the University, Library faculty are assigned in varying degrees to perform public, technical, archival, and administrative functions. These primary activities are referred to in the Libraries’ T&P Criteria as “Professional Responsibilities” rather than “Teaching” to better reflect the unique and specialized activities in which Library faculty engage.


SUMMARY OF ALL LETTERS INCLUDED IN THE PACKET

  • Letters of evaluation solicited from outside and insde UF. Those from colleagues outside UF are placed in the Letters of Evaluation Section, while those from University of Florida Librarians and University of Florida Faculty are placed in the Further Information Section.
  • Include copies of the last five annual letters of evaluation (including any responses) (or as many as have been written if the nominee has not been at the University long enough to have been evaluated five times).
  • If tenure credit was granted upon appointment, include a copy of the letter approving such previous tenure service.
  • The letter from the Department Chair or equivalent administrator is to be added to the packet after the departmental vote has been taken. See below section F. Department Chair’s Addition of Information to the Packet for more information about this letter.
  • The packet cannot be forwarded to the next step until the candidate either submits a response to the Chair’s letter, indicates in writing that s/he will not respond, or 10 days have passed since their receipt of the Chair’s letter, whichever is first. Such response shall be placed in the packet.
  • An evaluative statement from the Dean of University Libraries is required. The statement is added to the packet after the Dean of University Libraries has reviewed the fact-finding information with the Tenure and Promotion Committee. This statement, a copy of which is sent to the nominee, may be used to explain/clarify such issues as unusual votes, exceptional assignments, or early promotions as well as serving as an evaluation of the nomination. 
  • The packet cannot be forwarded to the next step until the candidate either submits a response to the Dean’s letter, indicates in writing that s/he will not respond, or 10 days have passed since their receipt of the Dean'sletter, whichever is first. Such response shall be placed in the packet.

ADDITIONAL CONTENTS

At the end of the packet include a current vita which serves as an extension of information not required by the forms gives a broader description of the nominee’s accomplishments. Also include Annual assignments and goals/objectives. These are not forwarded to the Academic Personnel Board.


E. Departmental Vote

  1. All tenured librarians in the nominee’s department are eligible to vote on a tenure nomination.
  2. Those librarians in the nominee’s department in ranks higher than the nominee’s current rank are eligible to vote on a promotion nomination.
  3. Faculty in the department eligible to vote will independently review all material in the packet, including letters of evaluation. (They do not view the chair’s letter of transmittal, or the chair’s endorsement, or lack thereof—these are added after the vote.)
  4. The Chair will hold a meeting of eligible voting faculty to discuss the nominations. 
  5. The vote, by secret ballot, may not be taken sooner than 24 hours after this meeting. Department members are expected to vote on their experience working with the candidate as well as the contents of the packet. It is recommended that candidates be discussed alphabetically (first all candidates for tenure at that rank, then the candidates for promotion to University Librarian). All discussions and material reviewed must be held confidential by all involved.

F. Department Chair’s Addition of Information to the Packet

  1. After the department vote is taken, but before the packet is forwarded to the Library Human Resources Office, the Chair adds to the packet a letter of transmittal, indicates whether the nominee is endorsed or not, and writes in the results of the departmental vote.
  2. The chair’s letter must explain the vote whenever 20% or more of the votes are recorded as negative, abstaining or absent.
  3. This letter should give an overall assessment (as measured against the criteria described in Chapter Two, Section A) of the nominee’s qualifications for the action sought, provide information, where appropriate, about the professional status of those writing letters of evaluation, comment on the quality of the nominee’s publications and other achievements under the criteria, and provide any other clarification’s which will assist the reviewers in evaluating the materials in the packet. Of special importance is highlighting the significance of the UF evaluation letters contained in the Further Information section since they address 80-90% of a UF librarian’s assignment. The chair should append to the letter the list of referees with a brief narrative description of the reasons why these individuals were selected, including the referee’s credentials/qualifications and his/her relation to the candidate (specifically the extent of contact, knowledge of the candidate’s performance, etc.).
  4. Once this information has been added to the packet, the nominee must receive a copy of the letter, evaluation, and results of the departmental vote. 
  5. If the nominee’s immediate supervisor reports to a Department Chair, the supervisor may write the chair’s letter of transmittal. In this case, the chair indicates in writing on the letter concurrence with the lower level supervisor.
  6. At any point in the process if information is added to, deleted from, or changed in the packet, the nominee must be notified in writing and has five days to respond. A copy of the notification is sent to the department chair.
  7. The original packet and two photocopies are to be submitted to the Human Resources Office for review for omissions or errors. After the packet has been reviewed and corrected, if needed, the packet is forwarded to the Tenure and Promotion Committee.

G. Review by the Tenure and Promotion Committee

  1. Composition and Formation of the Committee

    1. The Tenure and Promotion Committee is composed of nine members: four elected by the Library Faculty Assembly and four appointed by the Dean of Libraries with the fifth alternating yearly. All must be tenured faculty members, with the majority University Librarians. The committee will include one member each from Health Science Center Libraries and Legal Information Center with equitable representation of all units of Smathers Libraries. 

    2. Each librarian appointed or elected to the committee will serve a three-year term, unless the librarian is appointed/elected to fill in for a committee member who has left the Libraries or is otherwise unable to serve. New members are elected/appointed in April/May, take office October 1st, and complete their service three years later on September 30th. Appointments will be staggered in such a way that the terms of three librarians will end each year thus necessitating the election or appointment of three new committee members.

    3. By August of each year one University Librarian on the committee will be appointed chair of the committee by the Dean of University Libraries.


       2.  Responsibilities of the Committee

  1. The members of the Tenure and Promotion Committee will review and discuss appropriate tenure and promotion regulations for the Libraries and the University in order to develop a common understanding of the requirements, procedures and their responsibilities prior to consideration of the tenure/promotion nominations.
  2. They will then review the files of candidates.
  3. The evaluation information used in the tenure and/or promotion process as well as the Committee’s discussion of said information are confidential and open only to those individuals involved in the recommendation and/or decision making process, unless otherwise required by law.
  4. Members of the committee may request at any stage in the fact-finding process additional information.
  5. After review and discussion of the nomination, the chair of the Committee informs the Dean of University Libraries and the Human Resources Officer that their review has been completed.
  6. A fact-finding report, identifying the strengths and weakness of each candidate, is prepared for the Dean of University Libraries. The Dean may discuss the findings with members of the committee.

H. Review by the Library Dean, Associate Deans and Directors


  1. The Dean of University Libraries may request that the Associate Dean and Director of the Health Science Center Libraries', the Legal Information Center Director, the FCLA Director and the Smathers Libraries Associate Deans provide information on the nominations.
  2. After consideration of the materials in the packets, and after consultation with the above mentioned groups and/or individuals, the Dean of University Libraries decides whether or not to endorse the nominations. This decision is noted on the tenure and promotion forms.
  3. The Dean of University Libraries may choose among the following. In either instance, the packet is forwarded to the Academic Personnel Board. Copies of the material added to the packet are sent to the nominee.
a. Tenure
  1. recommend the nomination. An evaluative statement is written by the Dean of University Libraries and inserted into the packet.
  2. recommend against tenure. If the nomination is not recommended, the Dean of University Libraries must notify the candidate within five (5) days. The Candidate may ask for a meeting with the Dean within 10 days of notification.
b. Promotion
  1. recommend the nomination An evaluative statement is written by the Dean of University Libraries and inserted into the packet.
  2. recommend against promotion. If the nomination is not recommended, the Dean of University Libraries must notify the candidate within 5 days. The Candidate may ask for a meeting with the Dean within 10 days of notification


I. Review by the University’s Academic Personnel Board or Designee

   

  1. The University’s Academic Personnel Board or designee shall review nominations received in order to advise the President.

  2. The Dean of University Libraries shall have the opportunity to meet with the president to review negative recommendations for tenure before the president makes a decision.

J. Review by the University President

  1. In tenure decisions, the President will submit a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for approved. The Dean of University Libraries will be notified of that recommendation and will keep the librarian informed.

  2. The President has the authority to make the final decision with respect to promotion nominations to the Associate University Librarian and University Librarian ranks. The Dean of University Libraries will be notified of such action.

K. Review of Tenure Nominations by the Board of Trustees

The library faculty member shall be notified in writing by the appropriate administrative official immediately, or as soon thereafter as possible, of the final action taken on the nomination for tenure.

L. Tenure and Promotion File

Copies of tenure and promotion packets will be filed in the Human Resources Office in a separate tenure and promotion file. This material may be viewed only by those required to participate in making recommendations and decisions regarding tenure and/or promotion as needed.


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