Post-Tenure Review Policy
Each faculty member is subject to post-tenure review no less often than every five years following the conferral of permanent tenure. Reviews must examine all aspects of a faculty member’s academic performance and must involve faculty peers. While annual performance reviews may inform the post-tenure review process, they are not a substitute for a comprehensive post-tenure review. Comprehensive evaluations conducted for other purposes, such as a review for promotion, may be substituted for or combined with post-tenure review. A review may be delayed for compelling reasons approved by the Provost.
Effective upon the award of tenure, and coincident with the start of each post-tenure review cycle, faculty should develop, in consultation with their department chairs, five-year goal(s) or plans that are aligned with annual performance evaluations and consistent with the expectations of the department/school. These five-year plans can be modified annually by the faculty member in consultation with their department chair. The unit head shall notify a faculty member at least six months in advance of an upcoming post-tenure review.
Each appointing unit has developed written policies and procedures that describe the expectations the unit has of its faculty, the manner in which the post-tenure review process is conducted, and the procedures by which persons will be designated to conduct reviews.
In the remainder of this document those designated to conduct the initial review will be referred to as the Post-Tenure Review Committee. The review process must involve faculty peers and should be conducted by a minimum of three Post Tenure Review Committee members. The faculty member being reviewed shall not participate in the selection of members of the Post-Tenure Review Committee. The post-tenure review process should be flexible enough to acknowledge different expectations in different disciplines and changing expectations at different stages of faculty careers.
UNC Chapel Hill shall provide ongoing support and training for all post-tenure review evaluators, including peer review committee members, department chairs or academic unit heads, and deans. The UNC System Office will provide digital training modules that focus on the basics of state personnel policy and UNC policies, regulations, and guidelines related to personnel and tenure; the essential elements of a useful and thoughtful review; how to prepare, conduct and manage a meaningful review process; and how to provide constructive criticism in a positive manner. UNC Chapel Hill shall ensure that all post-tenure review evaluators review these modules and receive training in campus-specific policies and procedures. In submitting the requisite annual post-tenure review reports, the Provost will also certify that required training has been conducted. The review should involve an examination of qualitative and quantitative evidence of all relevant aspects of a faculty member’s professional performance over at least the previous five years in relation to the mission of the department, school and institution, If a faculty member’s responsibilities do not include teaching, research and public service, but instead focus primarily on one or two of these areas, the review shall take this allocation of responsibilities into account.
Each faculty member being reviewed should provide, to the Post Tenure Review Committee, a concise summary of accomplishments and plans. Additional evidence for the review may include annual reviews, a current curriculum vitae, copies of publications, evaluations of teaching, and other documentation of contributions and accomplishments.
The post-tenure review assessment shall include, in writing, at least three categories which clearly specify that the faculty member’s performance meets, exceeds or does not meet expectations. The post-tenure review process should identify and recognize performance that exceeds expectations. The process may also identify specific areas in which faculty members can improve and, in such cases, the process should result in specific recommendations and plans for improvement. For faculty members whose overall performance does not meet expectations, the report of the Post-Tenure Review Committee shall include a statement of the faculty member’s primary responsibilities, directional goals established, specific descriptions of shortcomings as they relate to the faculty member’s assigned duties, and a more comprehensive plan for improvement (a development plan) should be prepared.
Development plans should be established jointly by the faculty member being reviewed and the unit head on the basis of the evaluation and recommendations provided by the Post-Tenure Review Committee. Faculty development plans should be individualized and flexible, taking into account the faculty member’s intellectual interests, abilities, and career stage, as well as needs of the unit and institution. The development plan should describe changes, if any, to be made in the faculty member’s teaching, research, and/or service responsibilities, establish clear goals, specify steps designed to achieve those goals, define indicators of goal attainment, establish a clear and reasonable time frame for the completion of goals, identify any resources available for implementation of the plan, and state the consequences of failure to attain the goals. The use of mentoring peers is encouraged, and progress meetings with the academic unit head must occur on at least a semi-annual basis during the specified time frame. Annual reviews should also be used to assess progress toward goals specified in the plan. The unit head should acknowledge in writing a faculty member’s clear improvement and the successful completion of a development plan.
The Post-Tenure Review Committee will consult with the academic unit head and provide to the faculty member and the unit head a written summary of its conclusions with regard to the faculty member’s overall performance and, where appropriate, its recommendations. The faculty member being reviewed must be given an opportunity, by the unit head, to provide a written response to the report of the Post-Tenure Review Committee.
The unit head shall review the committee’s report, including any written response provided by the faculty member. His/her review along with all of the report information from the committee, and the faculty member’s response, shall be provided to the administrative officer to whom the unit head reports. The administrative officer shall also conduct an evaluative review of the information provided.
The unit head shall maintain a record of the Committee’s report, the faculty member’s response as well as the reviews of the unit head and the administrative officer. This material shall be maintained as part of the faculty member’s confidential personnel file within the unit.
When the unit head is being reviewed, the administrative officer at the next higher level assumes the function of the unit head in the review process and the report of the Post-Tenure Review Committee and any response shall be reviewed by the administrative officer to whom that individual reports.
A faculty member whose overall performance has been found to show substantial deficiencies and for whom a development plan has been recommended will have the right to appeal the findings of the Post-Tenure Review Committee and the recommendation for a development plan to the dean or next higher level administrative officer beyond the unit head.
In the case of a faculty member who fails to complete a development plan successfully and whose performance continues to be deficient, the unit head should notify the dean, who will consider whether grounds for dismissal or other disciplinary action exist under the Trustees Policies and Regulations Governing Academic Tenure. Dismissal or severe sanction may be imposed only in accordance with and on the grounds stated in the Trustees Policies and Regulations Governing Academic Tenure.
Faculty members may grieve matters related to post-tenure review to the Faculty Grievance Committee under Section 607 of the Code of the University of North Carolina during their term of employment.
Copies of each unit’s post-tenure review procedures, as revised from time to time, will be filed with the dean or Provost, as appropriate. Unit heads will maintain a list of the faculty members reviewed each year, a record of completed reviews and responses to the reviews, the names of all faculty members for whom a development plan was recommended, and a copy of the development plans. Deans will submit annual reports to the Office of the Provost giving the following information:
- Number of faculty members reviewed during the previous year,
- Number of faculty members for whom a development plan was recommended and established, and
- Number of faculty who are subject to review, but for whom a delay was approved by the Provost along with the compelling reasons for the delay.
Procedure for Requesting a Post Tenure Review Delay
- Requests to delay an upcoming post tenure review should be submitted to the faculty member’s unit head in advance to ensure timely departmental processing of the request.
- Requests must be in writing and specify the compelling reason(s) for the request to delay the review.
- Requests must include a written justification from the unit head, and be approved by the next higher level administrative officer (or his/her designee).
- Approved requests are then submitted to the Executive Vice-Provost and Chief International Officer for review and approval. Once the request is reviewed, a written communication will be sent from the Provost’s Office to the faculty member, the unit head and the next higher level administrative officer indicating whether the request has been approved.
- If the request is approved, the faculty member’s academic unit must then complete an electronic action in the existing system, with the Provost’s letter of approval attached, to finalize the change to the Post Tenure Review date.