2021-2022 Timetable and Administrative Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure at the University of Maine
Article 9 sets forth the procedure to be used for promotion, tenure, and continuing contract recommendations. (Continuing Contract applies only to faculty members in Cooperative Extension.) These recommendations are to be made in accordance with the criteria established in Article 10, Evaluations and consistent with Article 8, Academic Ranks.
Both contractual and administrative deadlines are described below and the actions required as of those dates are summarized. If you have questions about these guidelines or about Article 9, please contact your Human Resources Partner.
Some faculty members, such as department chairs, are not members of the collective bargaining unit. They should also indicate their desire to be considered for promotion and/or tenure, submit their credentials to the department Peer Committee, and observe the same deadlines as unit faculty.
Some faculty may receive an appointment with funding and / or responsibilities in more than one department, division or other appropriate unit. These appointments are called Joint Appointments.
Faculty holding joint appointments are, for the purpose of evaluation, reappointment, tenure and promotion, reviewed by a single peer committee. The composition of the peer committee for the unit member in a joint appointment shall reflect the proportion of responsibilities assigned to the unit member in each department, division, or other appropriate unit. For the purpose of evaluation, reappointment, promotion, and tenure, there shall be a single recommendation from the peer committee. Please note that a cooperating (unsalaried) appointment is not a joint appointment.
Faculty and Peer Committee Deadlines (*Denotes AFUM Contractual Deadline Dates)
1. September 15*: Deadline for faculty member’s written request to chairperson (director or dean in those units without chairpersons) for consideration for tenure or continuing contract prior to the sixth year of service or for consideration for promotion.
Unit members must apply in writing in order to be considered for tenure or continuing contract prior to the sixth year of service or for promotion. Unit members who are in tenure track or continuing contract slots and are in their sixth year of service must be considered unless they indicate in writing their intent to resign at the end of the current appointment or they have been granted an extension to their probationary period.
Chairpersons (deans or directors) may convene the Peer Committee on or before September 15 to identify unit members who should be encouraged to apply for tenure, continuing contract or promotion.
Chairpersons (dean or directors) should, as soon as possible, distribute the formats and instructions concerning the application for tenure, promotion, or continuing contract to sixth year unit members who must be considered and to other unit members who formally request consideration. These unit members should also be informed of the deadline for submission of materials to the Peer Committee.
2. September 25*: Deadline for the chairperson (dean or director) to instruct the Peer Committee as to its responsibilities regarding promotion/tenure/continuing contract recommendations. The chairperson should inform the Committee in writing of the names of unit members in their sixth year of service who must be considered for tenure, of the names of other faculty members who have requested consideration for promotion/ tenure/continuing contract, and of the date (November 10) by which the Committee’s recommendations must be submitted.
The chairperson should also inform the Committee that the unit member must have an opportunity to meet with and address the Committee and should give the Committee access to the personnel file. If a Peer Committee has been properly instructed, failure of the committee to comply with its responsibilities is not grievable. The department chairperson should not chair the Peer Committee nor act as its secretary. The department chairperson should convene the Committee and be present during its deliberations, but may not be a voting member of the committee. All reports of the peer committee must be signed by all members participating in the report. The names of all peer committee members must be listed and a tally of the vote must be recorded.
3. October 4: Deadline for unit member’s submission of application materials for consideration by the Peer Committee.
4. November 10*: Deadline for Peer Committee to forward the application for tenure, continuing contract, or promotion, the Committee’s recommendation and any other supporting documentation that is to accompany the application to the chairperson (dean or director). The chairperson should make sure that the unit member receives a copy of the materials from the Peer Committee and is aware of his or her right to reply or comment within one week of receipt of the Peer Committee materials by the chairperson. Letters of recommendation solicited and received as part of the promotion/tenure review must be included in this material that is copied and provided to the unit member. Supporting documentation submitted by the faculty member need not be copied and sent to the faculty member. The documentation should, however, be forwarded in its entirety to the next level of review.
5. November 17* or within one week of receipt of the Peer Committee materials by the chairperson (dean or director in those units without chairperson): Deadline for receipt by chairperson (dean or director) of the faculty member’s response, if any, to the Peer Committee recommendation.
Administrative Action Steps
The following administrative deadlines are not governed by the collective bargaining agreement. These deadlines have been set to enable the campus to meet the Chancellor’s Office deadline that typically falls in early February. Administrators are encouraged to plan carefully to avoid unnecessary delays.
6. November 29: The chairperson prepares his/her recommendation, distinct from that of the Peer Committee, at the end of the one-week response period or after receipt of written comments, if any. The chairperson’s recommendation is forwarded to the dean, along with the recommendation of the Peer Committee and the faculty member’s written response, if any. A copy of the chairperson’s recommendation should be sent to the faculty member at the time it is submitted to the dean.
The unit member shall not grieve a negative recommendation until formally notified of the decision by the President. Therefore, if a unit member requests the opportunity to meet with an administrator during promotion or tenure consideration, the administrator is not obligated to meet with the unit member.
If a faculty member grieves the promotion, tenure, or continuing contract decision, the grievance will be filed with the first administrative officer (department chairperson, dean, vice president) making a negative recommendation. There is no provision in the contract for a faculty member to file a grievance against a Peer Committee.
Once the faculty member has had an opportunity to respond to the Peer Committee recommendation, materials may be added to the file being reviewed for promotion or tenure consideration only in very limited circumstances; specifically: in extraordinary circumstances (e.g., being awarded a Nobel Prize); to correct factual errors in the material submitted; and to receive outside evaluations solicited during the review process which are received prior to the President’s decision.
If materials are added to the file after the faculty member’s response to the Peer Committee recommendation, the consideration will be remanded to the Peer Committee and, if necessary, new deadlines will be set. This remanding may be waived on the mutual agreement of the faculty member and the University. Please call your Human Resources Partner if you have questions about adding materials to the file.
7. December 7: The dean/director will submit their recommendation to the Provost. The unit member must be sent a copy of this recommendation at the same time it is sent to the Provost.
8. Early-Mid January: The Provost, after consultation with the appropriate Dean and the Provost’s Advisory Committee, will submit his recommendations regarding tenure, continuing contract and promotion to the President. The unit member (candidate) will receive a copy of the recommendation at the time it is submitted.
The unit member shall have an opportunity to submit a written response to these recommendations within 5 (five) working days from receipt of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost’s recommendation. The statement submitted by the unit member shall become part of the official material reviewed by the President.
9. February 1 : The President’s recommendations regarding tenure are due in the Chancellor’s office. The President notifies the candidate of their decision regarding continuing contract and promotion and recommendation to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees regarding tenure when it is transmitted to the System Office but no later than February 28, 2022*.
10. March 27-28: The Board of Trustees will act on tenure nominations. Informal notice of Board action will be made by email. A formal letter of notification will follow from the Board Chair.
11. June: The original Promotion and Tenure submissions will be returned to the department for placement in the individual’s official personnel file.
12. May/June: In consultation with Equal Opportunity and Human Resources the Deans recommend and the Provost approves any promotional salary increases above the minimum specified in the collective bargaining agreement. These increases will be effective July 1, 2022 for fiscal-year faculty and September 1, 2022 for academic-year faculty.
13. The Office of Human Resources will initiate the action to reflect the tenure, promotion, and continuing contract decisions and to implement promotional increases.