Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What business practice changes were made to enhance this year’s RPT process?

A1: See reference Changes in Business Practice.

Q2: How are changes and updates made to the RPT process communicated to campus after the Provost’s Memorandum is published online?

A2: The deans, department heads, college RPT liaisons, and deans’ assistants will receive an e-mail message alerting them whenever a change is made after the Provost’s annual memo. The changes are recorded online. See reference Current Year Details.

Q3: Is there a set time frame for a faculty member to remain an associate professor with tenure before being recommended for promotion to full professor with tenure?

A3: There is not a set time frame. However, NC State data indicates the time frame is typically about six years.

Q4: What process should be followed if the Graduate Faculty Status listed in the personnel system is incorrect or needs to be updated?

A4: If the Graduate Faculty Status information on file for a particular individual does not match the information listed in the personnel system, please work with your Customer Service Representative to make the appropriate change in the personnel system immediately.

Q5: Are individuals being reviewed to be informed of the votes and written assessments of the Departmental Voting Faculty, College RPT Committee, head, and dean?

A5: Yes. These items formally become part of the dossier and they must be provided to the individual being reviewed. See reference Consultation and Written Assessments, Recommendations, and Responses in RPT Review.

Q6: When are individuals being reviewed to be informed of the votes and written assessments of the the Departmental Voting Faculty, College RPT Committee, head, and dean?

A6: At the time of completion of the review at that stage of review. For example, when the departmental voting faculty have voted and prepared their written assessment and when the department head has completed the department head’s recommendation, these pieces of information are to be added to the dossier and supplied to the individual being reviewed; it is the responsibility of the head to assemble these materials and to provide them to the candidate. Provision is made for an allowable time (5 days) for the candidate to respond. The response to the departmental review is to be directed to the head, shared by the head with the departmental voting faculty (DVF), and added to the dossier before formal transmittal to the dean. Similarly, the response to the college review is to be directed to the dean, shared by the dean with the college committee and the head (who is to share it with the DVF), and added by the dean to the dossier before its formal transmittal to the Provost. See reference Consultation and Written Assessments, Recommendations, and Responses in RPT Review.

Q1: What constitutes a dossier?

A1: The dossier is prescribed in the instructions issued each year by the Provost. It must be the written basis for the formal review at the department, college, and university stages. See references Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure Policy and REG 05.20.20 RPT Dossier Format Requirements.

Q2: Regarding tenured associate professors being considered for promotion to full professor: should the dossier include only information from the time tenure was conferred at the associate professor level or should it include information dating all the way back to the first appointment here at NC State?

A2: The dossier is a complete representation of the professional credentials and accomplishments throughout the candidate’s academic career. Dossier is to make clear the timing of those accomplishments. The one exception is that items in section II.A. are for the period since initial appointment at NC State, or since the most recent positive RPT action at NC State, whichever is most recent.

Q3: Regarding the Dossier Cover Form: How is the Dossier Cover Form obtained?

A3: The Dossier Cover Form is initiated by the Provost’s Office, taking information from the Personnel System. The Provost’s office sends the forms for each candidate going through the RPT process to the colleges in early September. The department and college complete the remaining sections of the form as applicable. The faculty member involved does not have to do anything except sign the form when asked by their department RPT contact.

Q4: Regarding the Dossier Cover Form: Is the Dossier Cover Form different for candidates who have joint appointments between departments or colleges?

A4: Yes. There is form that includes appropriate areas for recording multiple department and college votes as appropriate. Contact Amy Jinnette in the Provost’s office for this form.

Q5: Regarding all sections with page limits denoted: Is it imperative that page limits be adhered to?

A5: Yes. Fairness and consistency dictate that the page limits be rigorously upheld. Dossiers out of compliance will be returned. See reference REG 05.20.20 RPT Dossier Format Requirements.

Q6: Regarding Section I.C. – Candidate’s Statement: Since this section is optional, should it be marked as N/A if it is not applicable?

A6: Yes. See reference Section II.I of the RPT Dossier Format Requirements.

Q7: Regarding Section II.A.2.a. – Summary of student evaluations of teaching: What is the time frame to consider when submitting “recent summaries” information?

A7: Period since the initial appointment at NC State University or since the most recent positive RPT action, as appropriate.

Q8: Regarding Section II.A.2.b. – Summary of peer evaluations: Are peer evaluations required?

A8: Yes. See reference REG 05.20.10 Evaluation of Teaching.

Q9: Regarding Section III.B. – List externally and internally sponsored grants and contracts: Are submitted grants to be listed?

A9: Submitted grants may be included if clearly designated as such. The Research Administration Data And Reporting System (RADAR) Report that is required for this section of the dossier includes both funded and unfunded projects that have been processed through the system. See reference Section III.B. of the RPT Dossier Format Requirements.

Q10: Regarding Section VII. – External Evaluations: Are external evaluations required for cases recommending reappointment to a 2nd term as assistant professor?

A10: No. See reference Section VII of the RPT Dossier Format Requirements.

Q11: Regarding Section VII. – External Evaluations: How many external evaluation letters are required?

A11: Evaluators should be selected with the aim of obtaining evaluations from five individuals. See reference Consultation and Written Assessments, Recommendations, and Responses in RPT Review.

Q1: May Emeriti faculty or faculty participating in Phased Retirement vote on RPT cases?

A1: No, only the tenured faculty within the department vote.  Emeriti faculty and faculty participating in Phased Retirement have relinquished their tenure. However, although they may not vote, the DVF may want to consult them relative to candidates and this is allowed as long as candidates grant permission for Emeriti faculty and faculty on Phased Retirement to review their personnel information contained in the dossier. See reference Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure Policy.

Q2: What constitutes initiating a case?

A2: Once a dossier is prepared at the department stage in accordance with the RPT Dossier Format Requirements and formally reviewed by the departmental voting faculty (DVF), the case is initiated.

Q3: Are all cases to be reviewed at each stage: department, college, and university?

A3: Once initiated by formal review by the departmental voting faculty (DVF) and unless and until withdrawn by the individual reviewed, all cases are to be reviewed at the department, college, and university stages.

Q4: What are the requirements of confidentiality?

To ensure that confidentiality is maintained in the review process with no discussions of the case outside the context of the formal review. According to N.C. General Statues, RPT is a personnel action and therefore related information becomes part of a faculty member’s personnel file and may be examined by the faculty member. All participants in the process are expected, as a part of their professional responsibility at the university, to maintain appropriate confidentiality in the proceedings. All discussions by the Departmental Voting Faculty, College RPT Committee, and administrators must remain confidential among them with results communicated through written assessments and votes as prescribed in the procedures. The dossier is to be considered in the control of the candidate until the candidate’s portion is completed; any release to any party of any parts of the dossier before the candidate completes it is to be done only with the candidate’s express permission.

Q5: Regarding Sections VIII.A. and IX.A. – Tally of votes: How are votes recorded on the Dossier Cover Form?

A5: For the Department Voting Faculty Review Record the numbers entered for the four categories, ‘For,’ ‘Against,’ ‘Abstain,’ and ‘Missing’ add up to the total number of those eligible to vote. The Department Head is not eligible to vote with DVF so must not be counted in # eligible.

For the College RPT Committee Review Record the numbers entered for the three categories, ‘For,’ ‘Against,’ and ‘Abstain’ add up to the total number of those eligible to vote.

# For. Enter the number of departmental voting faculty members who vote in favor of the proposed action for the candidate.

# Against. Enter the number of departmental voting faculty members who vote in opposition to the proposed action for the candidate.

# Abstain. Enter the number of departmental voting faculty members who elect to abstain from the decision on the proposed action for the candidate.

# Missing. The number of departmental voting faculty members who did not indicate a vote in favor, a vote against, or an abstention. Please note that “nonparticipation” is an unusual practice that is not encouraged. The department head is expected to provide an explanation for any cases of nonparticipation in Section VIII.B. of the RPT Dossier Format Requirements.

Q6: Regarding Sections VIII.A. and IX.A. – Tally of votes: How are votes handled for faculty who are not able to participate in the departmental/college RPT reviews?

A6: On each RPT case, each member eligible to vote shall vote “Yes,” “No,” or “Abstain.” Members eligible to vote who do not enter one of these three votes will be considered as not participating and their votes will be considered as missing.

Q7: Regarding Sections VIII.A. and IX.A. – Tally of votes: If a faculty member is unable to participate in the discussions pertaining to an RPT recommendation, and therefore does not vote on a candidate’s RPT recommendation, should an explanation be provided for the “missing” vote?

A7: Yes. The department head is expected to provide an explanation for any cases of nonparticipation in Section VIII.B. of the RPT Dossier Format Requirements. See reference REG 05.20.05, Consultation and Written Assessments, Recommendations, and Responses in RPT Review.

Q8: Regarding Sections VIII.A. and IX.A. – Written Assessments: Should DVF and CRPTC written assessments provide an explanation for negative votes?

A8: DVF and CRPTC assessments are to provide a summary of the discussion which, in most cases, will explain the votes. However, circumstances do occur where no negative comments are made, but negative votes are cast.
See reference Consultation and Written Assessments, Recommendations, and Responses in RPT Review.

Q9: Regarding Sections VIII.C. and IX.C. – How does adverse weather affect the candidate written response time clock?

A9: When calculating candidate written response time clocks, the time the University is operating under the Adverse Weather and Other Emergency Conditions Regulation does not count.

Q1: What is the process to follow if extenuating circumstances warrant adjusting a faculty member’s tenure clock?

A1: The procedure for adjusting a tenure clock is documented through the Provost’s Office. See reference Extending the Tenure Clock.

Q2: Is the tenure clock or RPT schedule for review affected in any way if an RPT candidate has an FTE below 1.00?

A2: It depends. Please contact Katharine Stewart for additional information.

Q3: Is the tenure clock adjusted when a faculty member has a new child in the family or takes extended Family Medical Leave, and if so, what are the processes to follow to adjust the tenure clock in these situations?

A3: In instances where faculty have a new child in the family, they may request tenure clock extension within one year following the birth, adoption, or placement of a foster child by submitting the Notification of a Birth, Adoption, or Placement of a Foster Child form. Approval is automatically granted. Requests after this one-year window are not automatic but will be considered using the process described in Extending the Tenure Clock. A maximum of two automatic extensions of one year each will be granted, while all other extensions will be considered using the process described in Extending the Tenure Clock.

Approved family medical leave of 60 calendar days or longer will automatically extend the tenure clock. A maximum of two automatic extensions of one year each will be granted, while all other extensions will be considered using the process described in Extending the Tenure Clock.

Q4: If a faculty member obtains a tenure clock extension, does that lock the faculty member into delaying their tenure consideration for a year?

A4: In the case of a tenure clock extension, the faculty member will have the option to be reviewed in either the extended mandatory year or the year prior. Both years will be considered normal review years; i.e., not “early”. If the faculty member wants to be reviewed in the year prior, the faculty member must inform the department head before the start of the departmental RPT process for that year. A faculty member should check with their department head to ascertain when their departmental review process begins.

Q1: How should the RPT review process be conducted during the departmental stage of review if the department head is also a candidate within the process?

A1: The dean is to appoint an ad hoc Head, preferably another Head in the college or a college level administrator who is a Professor, to act on the department head’s case only; the department head can act on all other cases within the department.

Q2: How should the RPT review process be conducted during the departmental stage of review if the department head is not a full professor?

A2: No change in process needed. The Department Head may handle all cases, even those for promotion to Professor.

Q3: For all RPT cases, is the Department Head a member of the DVF?

A3: No.

Q1: Are the reappointments of lecturers handled through the RPT review process?

A1: No.

Q2: What documentation should be submitted for recommendations for promotion of non-tenure-track faculty with professorial rank?

A2: See REG 05.20.34 Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments.

Q3: Are Departmental Voting Faculties and College RPT Committees to vote on Non-Tenure-Track recommendations?

A3: Yes. See REG 05.20.34 Non-Tenure Track Ranks and Appointments.

Q1: When can colleges/departments submit updates to their RPT rules?

A1: Although the Provost requests colleges/departments to verify accuracy of their RPT rules by mid-October of each year, regulations and rules may be updated at any time through the PRR revision process.

Q1: What procedures should be followed if a tenure-track faculty member voluntarily withdraws the case during a mandatory RPT review period?

A1: Voluntary withdrawal during the mandatory review period is tacit acknowledgment of a decision not to reappoint. The faculty member is to submit a letter to the department head outlining the candidate’s decision to voluntarily withdraw and desire to not be considered in the review process. The letter will be reviewed and signed by the department head and dean and then forwarded to the Provost who will review the request for accuracy regarding appointment dates and recommend formal notification of non-reappointment.

Q2: What procedures should be followed if a tenure-track faculty member or a tenured faculty member voluntarily withdraws the case during a nonmandatory RPT review period?

A2: The candidate is to provide to the department head via e-mail or memorandum notice that they have withdrawn their case from further consideration. The department head or department head’s designee will then notify the Amy Jinnette of the withdrawal via e-mail (amy_jinnette@ncsu.edu) or memorandum, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Box 7526. If the case is still in the department, the department head will stop the review and inform all that need to be informed. If the case has gone beyond the department for review, the department head will inform the appropriate administrator (i.e., Provost, Dean).

Q1: How are potential evaluators identified, and how can you determine conflicts of interest?

A1: Evaluators should be accomplished senior scholars in the candidate’s field. They often are working in areas of the candidate’s emphasis, such as a subdiscipline, or in scholarship of teaching and learning, or scholarship engagement and extension.

Candidates for promotion or tenure are expected to provide a list of potential reviewers to their department heads. Department Heads and DVF members will also identify potential reviewers.

A conflict of interest is defined as an existing or prior “close working relationship” with a reviewer, such as a former major professor or frequent co-author. One rule of thumb to consider is whether the evaluator would enjoy some benefit, such as in reputation or visibility, as a result of the candidate’s receiving promotion or tenure.

Faculty candidates may wish to provide their department heads with a list of individuals that they feel might be in conflict as evaluators (and why) along with their list of potential reviewers, to assist the head in determining a final group of evaluators.

Q2: What materials should be provided to evaluators?

A2: Different departments have different traditions about what to send, but it should be an appropriate sample of the candidate’s scholarly or creative work.

Some departments also send a copy of the candidate’s SME to provide context for the candidate’s effort across the realms of faculty responsibility

It is important that materials sent to evaluators are not substantially different from what will go into the dossier.  That way, members of the DVF and the College RPT Committee won’t be confused by external letters that describe materials that they themselves have not seen.

Along with the annotated list of evaluators that goes into Section 7 of the dossier, Department Heads should include a brief description of materials that were sent.

Q3: What if someone seeking tenure doesn’t get enough letters, or, conversely, too many?

A3: All external letters that are received before the deadline for finishing the dossier should be included in Section 7, no matter how many.

However, letters that are received too late to be included in ALL phases of the review should not be included at all.

Our university regulation states that the aim should be to obtain five external letters. But sometimes five don’t arrive in time, despite good efforts. In these cases, the department head must provide a reason for the low number of letters as part of his or her written recommendation.

Q4: What if evaluators make a recommendation about promotion or tenure when they are asked not to do so?

A4: Letters cannot be edited post-hoc in any way, so such recommendations cannot be removed. Departmental voting faculty, department heads, college RPT committees, and deans should ALL avoid quoting these kinds of recommendations from external evaluators in their summaries. Instead, focus on substantive comments made by evaluators about the quality and impact of the candidate’s work.

Learn more about external evaluations with this helpful video from Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Katharine Stewart.

Q1: What should be included in an SME?

A1: First, it should include approximate percentages of effort that you will spend across the various realms of faculty responsibility. Note that these percentages don’t always correspond with funding – you might be doing some mentoring during your research work, or doing scholarly work based on engagement activities, so these percentages are rough estimates by their nature.

Your SME should include brief descriptions or examples of the types of work you will be doing in the different realms. Be careful about misplaced precision – it’s not required that you specify exact course names, journals, etc.., although some departments like to include some guidelines or examples along these lines.

Your SME should also reference how the work described relates to the standards for reappointment, promotion, tenure, or post-tenure review within the department and college.

Finally, each time a change is made to your to your SME, include the date and a one- or two-sentence summary of the change that was made.

Q2: How does an SME relate to the tenure or promotion process?

A2: SMEs provide the context for applying departmental and college standards, for example, how much emphasis should be given to the standards surrounding teaching or scholarship to someone with an 80 percent scholarship effort vs. an 80 percent teaching effort.

Therefore, it’s important that your SME be an accurate picture of how you have balanced your effort across the realms of responsibility, and how that balance has changed over time, to provide context to departmental voting faculty and college RPT committee members, especially people who may be less familiar with your work.

However, fulfilling the responsibilities outlined in the SME is not sufficient for award of tenure or promotion in rank. Those decisions are based not only on what you have done, but the quality and impact of the work, which is documented in your promotion or tenure dossier.

Q3: When should SMEs be reviewed and revised?

A3: Key times to review your SME with your department head and consider any needed revisions include:

  • Your annual review,
  • When you receive a promotion in rank or earn tenure,
  • When you have a significant change in responsibility such as an administrative appointment, a major service role, or a substantial change in teaching load, or
  • When you have an incoming new or interim department head.

Learn more about statements of mutual expectations with this helpful video from Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Katharine Stewart.