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Department Head

As an academic Department Head, you should be familiar with the Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure Policy. This document resides in the university’s Policies, Regulations and Rules (PRR) system. It can be accessed in that system or from the Provost’s Office website under Promotion and Tenure. 

This policy describes the procedures at NC State by which decisions are made concerning appointment, reappointment (term for a 1st term Assistant Professor to 2nd term Assistant Professor), promotion, and conferral of permanent tenure. In addition, be familiar with REG 05.20.34 Professional Faculty Appointments that describes the process for promotion of professorially ranked non-tenure-track faculty and promotion from  Lecturer to Senior Lecturer.

The remainder of this guide will not address initial appointments, but only

  • reappointment to Assistant Professor 2nd Term
  • promotion to Associate Professor with conferral of tenure
  • conferral of tenure to an Associate Professor (hired at this rank without tenure from outside NC State)
  • promotion from Associate Professor to Professor

Refresh yourself on the dossier format requirements, especially before you begin reviewing dossiers and preparing  the sections for which you are responsible, i.e., VII. EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS and VIII. DEPARTMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND RECOMMENDATION. 

Make sure you know the mandatory cases that must be reviewed in your department (see Mandatory Reviews). 

You are responsible for assisting your faculty members going through the RPT process. Make sure they get adequate information and training on the process.  The Provost’s Office website has all the information that should be needed, but faculty should also be encouraged to attend university, college or department information sessions about RPT. You will receive an email notification of the university sessions, which are also announced via the website. Make sure you know your college’s submission deadline so you can schedule your departmental procedures accordingly.

Your guidance for faculty members developing their dossier is particularly important. Make sure they start well ahead of your departmental submission date so they have time to edit several iterations with feedback from you and other mentors.  Help them when appropriate as they work through the instructions to build their dossier.  Help them make it crisp and clear, providing all necessary information concisely. It is your responsibility to make sure the dossier is complete. If it is found by any subsequent reviewers to be incomplete, it will be returned to you for completion and then must go back through all the reviewers that have acted upon it.

You have the primary responsibility for obtaining the scholarly external evaluations, so review this information which is in REG 05.20.05.  You should strive for a list of external evaluators, one-half of which is nominated by the candidate and one-half nominated by you in consultation with the DVF with the goal of receiving five to put in the dossier. If you have selected multiple evaluators from the same institution, explain why in the required annotated list of external reviewers. Once you have obtained initial agreements from external evaluators that they are willing to serve in this role, you are required to use the template to request the external evaluations, but you may add to it if desired. You are also required to use the template of the annotated list of external reviewers. Both these templates are linked from REG 05.20.05.

Refresh your understanding of the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities and the standards and procedures documented in your College RPT Rule and your Department RPT Rule.  

Mentoring your Department Voting Faculty (DVF) members participating in this process is your responsibility as well. Keep in mind that the DVF composition varies by track and rank depending on the case. DVFs for tenured / tenure track faculty promotions include all tenured faculty at or above the rank being sought. DVFs for professional faculty promotions include all tenured or tenure-track faculty at or above the rank being sought as well as full-time (≥ 0.75 FTE) professorially ranked professional faculty in the track under consideration (i.e. teaching, clinical, etc.) and at or above the rank being sought. (See DVF graphic.) Professors in the Phased Retirement Program are NOT eligible to vote since they are on a non-tenured contract and are half-time (less than 0.75 FTE).  As Head, you are not a member of the DVF.

Make sure the DVF written recommendation follows the RPT Dossier Format outline, i.e. record the section header number and name followed by the recommendation. It is not to be in memorandum format addressed to you.  It must be in paragraph form. It does not need to include a repetition of the dossier. The evaluative insight of the DVF is most important.

You must not be the one who writes the DVF assessment. If there is a need to correct a misstatement of fact, you should send the statement back to the DVF for correction.

After you receive the assessment by the DVF, prepare your written recommendation. Take particular note of your role in the Consultation in RPT Review and provide an assessment that will be a valuable contribution to the decision that your Dean and ultimately the Provost will make. It will help to review the information on Written Assessments, Recommendations and Responses in RPT. If an early action for an Assistant Professor is sought, give an explanation why. If the faculty member is being considered for promotion to Professor and has been at the Associate Professor rank for a protracted period of time, include a statement addressing the reason for submission at this time.  Ask yourself, “What would I want to know about this faculty member that would help me make this important decision?”

Share your written assessment and the written assessment and tally of votes by the DVF with each candidate and let them know they have five business days to submit an optional written response to the review by DVF and you. Simultaneously, share your assessment and recommendation with the DVF. Share any candidate response with the DVF.

Submit the dossier (with the external letters, DVF written assessment and vote, Department Head’s recommendation, and candidate response, if received) to the dean.

You will assist the Dean in sharing the written assessment and tally of votes by the College Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee and the Dean’s assessment with the candidate and DVF. If the candidate chooses to respond to the college level you will be asked to share it with the DVF.

If the University Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee provides a written assessment upon the request of the Provost, you will assist the Provost in sharing the assessment with the DVF and the candidate in a timely fashion to permit an optional candidate response within five business days. Any response by the candidate to a University Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee written assessment will be submitted to you. You provide it to the department voting faculty and the dean, who shares it with the College Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee and transmits it to the Provost. The Provost shares it with the University Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee. The Provost adds the assessment and response to the dossier prior to completion of the review.

In addition to the things mentioned above, FAQs are designed to help answer your questions. However, these may not meet all your needs, so make sure you know your college’s administrative support person for RPT. This person should be your first contact for questions for which you cannot find answers on the web site.

The Provost’s Office holds sessions to provide information about the RPT process. You are very welcome to attend one of these sessions. Your college may offer similar sessions.