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Tenure and Promotion

The Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP)

HHP Policy and Procedure Statement: 3.03                                                                Tenure & Promotion Policy

Revised: May 4, 2015                                                                                                                  (25 paragraphs)

Review Cycle: Every 3 years                                                                                                               

Review Date: May 4, 2018

Reviewer: The HHP Personnel Committee


  1. The Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP) policy and procedure statement on Tenure and Promotion of faculty is based on the following sources of relevant criteria:
    • University Academic Affairs (AA) PPS 8.01, Development/Evaluation of Tenure –Track Faculty
    • University AA PPS 8.10, Tenure and Promotion Review
    • COE PPS 8.10, Tenure and Promotion Policy
  1. The Department of HHP criteria and procedures for tenure and promotion must be general enough to include the needs of four diverse divisions (Athletic Training, Health, Exercise and Sports Science, and Recreation). 


  1. HHP faculty who are tenured and promoted are expected to excel in teaching, scholarly/creative activity, and leadership/service in accordance with assigned workload. Faculty are also expected to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct and collegiality in all they do, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook.   
  1. HHP faculty members may have different workloads. Consequently, each candidate seeking tenure and promotion should provide evidence of teaching load, reassigned time for research or administration, start-up package, and other funding that affects workload.
  1. The performance of HHP faculty is evaluated on documentation of teaching, scholarly/creative activities, and leadership/service. The following expectations for faculty performance are presented to guide and inform HHP faculty, including members of the Personnel Committee (PC). 


  1. Faculty must meet expectations for teaching at all instructional levels as an essential criterion for tenure and promotion decisions. Every effort shall be made to recognize and emphasize excellence in teaching. The nature, quality and quantity of teaching performance of each candidate will be considered.
  1. Evaluation of Teaching Performance. Effective teachers bring the challenge of new and/or stimulating ideas to students to help them learn, improve their critical thinking skills, and motivate them to be lifelong learners and scholars. Effective teaching and student mentoring are established through documentation and evaluation of teaching quality. Teaching is evaluated on the basis of scholarly preparation, course development and planning, peer evaluation through classroom visits and student evaluation. Many factors are considered when evaluating teaching and include classroom performance and preparation, syllabi and other course materials, graded assignments, effective testing, staying current in the discipline, student academic and career advising and curriculum improvement.

Evidence of high quality teaching may include but is not limited to:

  • Student evaluations;
  • Peer evaluations by members of the PC, including the candidate’s mentoring committee;
  • Course syllabi;
  • Reflective narrative/teaching philosophy statement;
  • Major assignments and evaluation procedures;
  • Examinations;
  • Samples of student work;
  • Letters from alumni or students;
  • Presentations at teaching conferences;
  • The use of appropriate technology to support instruction and enhance student learning;
  • Participation in course, program, and departmental curriculum planning and development;
  • Teaching grants or awards received;
  • Participation in University-based programs designed to enhance and support instructional efforts; 
  • Evidence of enhancing teaching excellence, e.g.,  presentation of improvement in learning data tied to instructional innovation;
  • Number and nature of courses taught (face-to-face or online) each semester. Reviewers should recognize that some courses may place a heavier demand on faculty time and effort than others;   
  • Number of completed doctoral dissertations, master’s theses, independent studies, and culminating research projects supervised; and
  •    Number of doctoral dissertation and master’s thesis committees on which the candidate served as a member.

Scholarly/Creative Activity

  1. Scholarly/creative activity is one of the primary responsibilities of the university faculty. The kinds of scholarly/creative activities may vary from one academic or professional field to another, but the expectation is that the tenured and tenure track faculty members consistently publish scholarly works and creative achievements of high quality or distinction. The following paragraphs outline expectations for productivity and provide guidelines on the documentation of quality, or professional distinction in the field of scholarly/creative activity. Collaboration is valued as a means of enhancing the quality of scholarly/creative activity; however, tenured and tenure-track faculty are expected to provide evidence of leadership in scholarly/creative activity, i.e., first-author publications. The relative contributions of all authors of collaborative research must be documented, and will be considered in evaluating productivity and the quality of scholarly/creative activity.
  1. The HHP Department recognizes that faculty scholarly/creative activity enhances teaching and vice versa; therefore, an inclusive view of scholarly/creative activity is held that recognizes the importance of discipline-based (theoretical), application-oriented (action), and pedagogical (instructional) research and scholarship, among others. Quantitative and qualitative research are both considered valuable and valid methods of inquiry. Even though faculty members may publish in many venues, peer-reviewed works are the primary evidence of productivity and quality in decisions related to tenure and promotion.  In general, a record of sustained, peer-reviewed high-quality publications is expected for all candidates for tenure and promotion. The Department of HHP defines the peer-review process as a process through which academic writing is subjected to the scrutiny of the larger academic community. Venues for peer-reviewed works should be sought that will result in the greatest recognition by colleagues; therefore, more emphasis will be given to national and international works.
  1. Documentation of Productivity for Scholarly/Creative Activity. For candidates applying for tenure and promotion from assistant to associate professor, or promotion from associate professor to professor, the body of work for a candidate will be evaluated holistically when making tenure and promotion decisions. University policy requires that candidates provide “clearly documented evidence” of a body of “sustained” peer-reviewed scholarly/creative activity. Faculty must meet expectations for scholarly/creative activity as an essential criterion for tenure and promotion decisions. Evidence of productivity should focus on peer-reviewed, archival scholarly/creative achievements, with an emphasis on productivity while at Texas State. Productivity expectations are based on work-load assignment. Candidates for promotion to associate professor are normally expected to have at least 9 high-quality achievements, with a significant number in a leadership role, to be considered for tenure and promotion. Tenured associate professors will typically have 1:1 research releases and heavier service responsibilities than assistant professors. Candidates for promotion to the rank of professor should have established a clear line of research inquiry of continued quantity and quality that brings external recognition in the discipline.
  1. Scholarly and creative achievements or products normally considered as evidence of a “sustained” body of work may include, but is not limited to:
  • Research-based articles published in high-quality peer-reviewed journals;
  • Funded external grants and contracts that support research;
  • Refereed books published;
  • Refereed edited books published;
  • Editorship of books (chapters written by range of authors) published;
  • Refereed book chapters published;
  • Refereed monographs published;
  • Refereed, full-length articles published in proceedings of professional conferences; and
  • Patents awarded related to the field/line of inquiry.
  1. While still important, the following scholarly activities represent work toward archival scholarly/creative achievements, and will, therefore, be assigned less weight toward a positive tenure and promotion decision in the area of scholarly/creative activity:
  • Unfunded external grant proposals;
  • Funded internal grant proposals;
  • Juried and invited presentations at state, regional, national, and international levels;
  • Development of assessment instruments, e.g., credentialing tests;
  • Development of software and/or multimedia products;
  • Development of internet products;
  • Technical reports published;
  • Journal editorships and/or edited volumes;
  • Abstracts of professional presentations published;
  • Book reviews published; and
  • Other scholarly activities as deemed appropriate by the PC.
  1. Documentation of Quality for Scholarly/Creative Activity. The quantity of published scholarly/creative achievements (Productivity) is not sufficient evidence of scholarly/creative activity for tenure and promotion. The quality of each scholarly/creative achievement must be documented and is often more important than quantity. Quality refers to the implications to the field, significance, and importance of the work. When documenting quality of publications, a brief description of how the scholarly/creative achievement is novel, will likely contribute to theory, practice, or the discipline (e.g., awards, citations) in the portfolio essay is desirable. Furthermore, indirect indicators from disciplinary peer-review are also acceptable and include but not limited to journal acceptance rate, disciplinary prestige, and impact factor. Similarly, when documenting the quality of externally funded grants, indirect indicators such as sponsor/agency funding rates, duration, and total grant award amount are acceptable, however a brief description of how the funded research is novel, will likely contribute to theory, practice, or the discipline in the portfolio essay is preferred. In short, all scholarly products as defined in this document are not considered equal.
  1. External Evaluations. External evaluations which focus on scholarly/creative achievements will be obtained from appropriate disciplinary peers. These external evaluations may not be used as the sole basis for rejection of a candidate, but will be used as one part of a holistic evaluation when making judgments about the candidate’s qualifications. 
    1. 01. For candidates seeking tenure and promotion to associate professor, the candidate must receive a minimum of two letters of external review. The candidate will nominate three or more external reviewers to the department Chair before June 1st the year before the tenure and promotion decision. The department Chair, in consultation with the PC, will then select one or two of the nominations, but may select additional external reviewers from the candidate’s field and will work with the candidate to make sure all two external evaluations are received.
    2. 02. For candidates seeking promotion to the rank of professor, the candidate must receive three letters from external reviewers.  The candidate will provide six names of potential external reviewers. The department Chair, in consultation with the PC, will then select one or two of the nominations, but may select additional external reviewers from the candidate’s field and will work with the candidate to make sure all three external evaluations are received.
    3. 03. External evaluations will be solicited from persons of repute in the candidate’s field.
    4. 04. Reviewer must have achieved tenure and promotion at or above the level for which the candidate is applying.
    5. 05. Each reviewer should be at a peer institution, i.e., according to Carnegie Classification, or an institution of higher ranking.
    6. 06. Each external reviewer will be asked for a statement regarding their acquaintance with the candidate.  An external reviewer should not be considered if they served on the candidate's dissertation committee, published an article with the candidate, or other conflict of interest.
    7. 07. Candidates eligible for promotion to rank of professor will notify the Chair of intention to be reviewed for promotion and potential external reviewers before June 2nd the year before their review.
    8. 08. The candidate will provide at least two exemplars of peer-reviewed published works and other materials with their curriculum vitae to the Chair for dissemination to the reviewers.
    9. 09. Each external evaluation received will be included in the candidate’s portfolio.
    10. 10. Each reviewer will be recognized by the Department Chair with a letter indicating appreciation for participating in the external review process.


  1. In addition to demonstrated excellence in teaching and scholarly/creative activity, candidates for tenure and promotion should have a commitment to the University and their professions through participation in leadership/service activities.  Such participation may take several different forms, including:  leadership/service to the University (leadership/service on committees charged by the Texas State Faculty Senate or by an administrator at the Dean level or higher); leadership/service to the College (service on a committee charged by the Dean of the COE); leadership/service to the department (service on a committee charged by the chair of the department); and leadership/service to the profession or to higher education in general (leadership/service appointments made by officials representing professional organizations, public schools, cities, states, or the nation).
  1. Faculty members are expected to participate in the conduct of their department, college, and university; in appropriate professional organizations in their field; and in professional leadership/service to schools, colleges, universities, and other agencies in the community.  Evidence of meeting or exceeding leadership/service may be established through careful consideration in the areas of productivity and quality. While leadership/service activity is expected of each faculty member, leadership/service shall not substitute for expectations in teaching or in scholarly/creative activity.
  1. Establishing a record of excellence in teaching and scholarly/creative activity demands careful time management by beginning faculty members or those new to the University.  Therefore, leadership/service expectations of untenured faculty members will be lower than those for tenured faculty members. 
  1. Documentation of Effective Leadership/Service.  Lists and descriptions of activities, copies of materials produced, letters from groups served, and any forms of recognition will be examples of supporting data for effective leadership/service. Examples of evidence include:
  • Letters of recognition from the chair of a committee
  • Minutes from meetings indicating active participation
  • Examples of projects undertaken by the committees
  • College, university, or professional awards for service
  1. Productivity.  Evidence of a faculty member’s productivity is manifested by the extent of participation on departmental, college, and university committees; in professional organizations at the local, state, or national levels; in outreach activities related to student settings; and in service to scholarly/creative activity, such as serving as editor, reviewer, consultant, speaker, and panel member.  The level and frequency of participation will be considered. For instance, when seeking tenure and promotion to associate professor, a candidate should have departmental committee service.  Candidates for promotion to the rank of professor are expected to have more extensive service and it is highly encouraged to have multiple documented leadership roles prior to seeking promotion.
  1. Quality.  Leadership/service involves working creatively with others so that professional knowledge has an impact on the schools, colleges, professional organizations, community agencies, and other institutions.  The impact of leadership/service on the group served is of critical importance in evaluating quality of leadership/service. Candidates should provide evidence of achievements made or contributions to their department, college, university, or professional service.


  1. A complete, accurate, and up-to-date Curriculum Vita presented in the approved Texas State Vita (AA PPS 8.10) format shall serve as the primary documentation of teaching, scholarly/creative activities, and leadership/service activities.
  1. The department Chair and the mentoring committee for the candidate serve as advisors for portfolio development.
  1. A portfolio of standard size or in electronic format provided by the university must be created by the candidate. The portfolio contains examples of documentation, as specified in paragraph 25, must accompany the Texas State Vita to display selected works in each of the three areas of teaching, research and scholarly/creative activities, and leadership/service activities. This documentation should be arranged and presented in the order of categories prescribed by the Texas State Vita form.
  1. Documentation supplied in the portfolio should be original documents or clear copies of originals.  When summary documentation is provided, such as evaluation data by students, for example, an explanation describing how the data were analyzed should be included.  Candidates should include samples of their best work and avoid the temptation to document every item in the Texas State Vita.  Large amounts of documentation are difficult to assemble and rarely read.
  1. Sequence of Items in the Portfolio.  Items may be organized to suit the candidate’s preference; however, the items should be placed in the portfolio in the following sequence:
    1. 01. Fully completed and signed tracking forms appropriate to the action, i.e., tenure and promotion.
    2. 02. Texas State Vita and an essay on teaching, scholarly/ creative activity, and leadership/service attached to the front of the Vita (see next item).
    3. 03. A three-to-five-page, single-spaced essay/summary providing an overview of her/his:
  • teaching philosophy and accomplishments
  • scholarly/creative activity agenda and accomplishments
  • leadership/service agenda and  accomplishments

The essay should discuss any unique circumstances, context, and evidence of quality that should be considered by reviewers. The applicant may address these areas sequentially or as part of a holistic essay with interwoven discussions of the areas. 

  1. 04.Original document samples of productivity in teaching, service, scholarly/creative activity, including copies of all previous annual evaluations.

Certification Statement

This HHP PPS has been approved by the reviewers listed below and represents the HHP policy and procedure from the date of the document until superseded.

PC Representative:  ____________________________                                     Date:  __________

Approve:  ___________________________________                                       Date:  __________

                  Chair of the HHP Department

Attachment A:

Letter to External Reviewer (example)