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Promotion and Continuing Status

Policy Information

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Last Revised Date: 
April, 2017
Policy Number: 
UHAP 4A.3
Responsible Unit: 
Division of Human Resources
Phone: 
(520) 621-3660

Policy

This section applies to the promotion and continuing status review processes for continuing-eligible and continuing status professionals. Decisions relating to promotion, continuing status, and renewal will be made in accordance with University rules and procedures. Final decisions on promotion, continuing status, and renewal will be made by the University President after considering all evaluations, recommendations, and other evidence submitted. Attainment of continuing status can only occur through specific notification by the President and may not result from inaction or inadvertence. The promotion must be to a position or rank previously established and approved by the Provost, the responsibilities of which have been defined by the department, and the college or division. A promotion recommendation should originate with the immediate administrative head and be reviewed at all appropriate administrative levels through the Office of the Provost.

Peer reviews by the Standing Advisory Committee on Continuing Status (Subsection 4A.3.02A) will be part of the promotion review process for continuing status and continuing-eligible academic professional employees at the college or division level and, if possible, at the departmental level. Continuing status academic professional employees who conduct peer reviews must hold rank superior to the rank of the candidate being considered. Peer review may be sought outside the University.

Promotion normally is effective at the beginning of the fiscal or academic year, as appropriate, following recommendation and approval. The Provost will make a final determination regarding promotion. 
 

4A.3.01 Scheduling Continuing Status and Promotion Reviews

A continuing-eligible academic professional employee may be recommended for promotion, for nonrenewal, or for other changes in status after annual performance reviews in any year up to the sixth year of continuing-eligible service, or a subsequent year if a time clock delay has been granted. If continuing-eligible academic professional employees go up for promotion and continuing status before their mandatory year, they may go up again without prejudice. Exceptions to the timetable for continuing status and retention reviews are described in Section 4A.3.01.a.

No later than the end of the third year of service (unless adjusted for any approved delays), continuing-eligible academic professional employees will undergo a retention review. For retention reviews, departments may seek additional assessments from outside the department and/or University regarding a candidate’s professional accomplishments, stature as viewed by peers, and scholarly potential. After that review, the candidate will be informed by the immediate administrative head that the candidate is being recommended for reappointment in their current rank or for nonrenewal at the expiration of the subsequent year of service in rank. In some cases, another retention review may be scheduled in the following year. Reappointment in rank may be made without college or University review, but all continuing-eligible academic professional employees will be formally evaluated at this stage by the employee’s head and the unit’s Standing Advisory Committee.

Annual reappointments in rank for each year up to and including year five (or later in the case of an approved delay) may be made without review at the college and University levels, but must be based on the annual evaluations made by the department Standing Advisory Committee on continuing status and by the immediate administrative head. The continuing-eligible academic professional employee is to receive written copies of these evaluation reports, which will include reference to any problem areas. 

No later than the end of their sixth year in rank, or a subsequent year if a time clock delay has been granted, continuing-eligible academic professional employees will be reviewed for promotion and continuing status according to the process in Section 4A.3.02. Continuing-eligible academic professional employees will be informed in writing by their immediate administrative head that they are being recommended for (a) continuing status, with or without promotion; or (b) nonrenewal with a terminal year appointment. This does not preclude consideration for promotion at other times, nor does it preclude a decision of nonrenewal in successive years.

An academic professional employee who is facing a mandatory continuing status review cannot waive the right to the review or to a third-year or other renewal review. There must be a review, even in the absence of a promotion and continuing status dossier, unless the continuing-eligible academic professional submits a letter of resignation with the resignation date set no later than the end of what would be the terminal year if promotion and continuing status were denied. Directions on preparing dossiers are provided on the Provost’s webpage.

A. Continuing Status Clock Delays for Continuing-Eligible Academic Professional Employees

Except for accommodations provided by the Disability Resource Center (DRC), the Provost has the sole authority to grant requests to extend the promotion clock for continuing-eligible academic professional employees, based upon good cause shown for either personal or professional reasons, as set forth below. The Provost's decision is not subject to further review.

A continuing-eligible academic professional employee should submit a written request for a promotion clock delay as early as possible after the events or circumstances that form the basis for the request. Continuing-eligible academic professional employees may be asked to provide documentation supporting such a request. Requests for delays will not generally be considered after June 30 in the year prior to the year when a mandatory review is scheduled. The University will not subject a continuing-eligible academic professional employee who has been granted a promotion clock delay under this Section to additional scholarship or service requirements above and beyond those ordinarily required to qualify for retention or promotion.

1. Personal Reasons

  1. Birth or Adoption. The Provost will approve and grant timely requests for promotion clock delays based upon the birth or adoption of a continuing-eligible academic professional employee's child. Continuing-eligible academic professional employees should submit such requests directly to the Provost.
  2. Continuing-Eligible Academic Professional Employee's Individual Medical Condition. A continuing-eligible academic professional employee who would like to submit a request for a promotion clock delay based on the continuing-eligible academic professional employee’s own serious health condition or disability should contact the Provost’s Office, which will refer the continuing-eligible academic professional employee to the DRC. Continuing-eligible academic professional employees will be asked to provide their requests and any supporting documentation directly to the DRC. The DRC will review requests from continuing-eligible academic professional employees, consult with the Provost’s Office and other administrators as needed, and make a determination about whether a request is reasonable. The DRC will share its determination with the continuing-eligible academic professional employee and the Provost’s Office.
  3. Other Personal Reasons. The Provost will consider timely requests for promotion clock delays based upon other personal reasons that prevent a continuing-eligible academic professional employee from meeting assigned duties. Such personal reasons may include, but are not limited to, the assumption of significant and ongoing care responsibilities as a result of the serious health condition or disability of a continuing-eligible academic professional employee's spouse, domestic partner, parent, or child; or the death of the continuing-eligible academic professional employee's spouse, domestic partner, or child. Continuing-eligible academic professional employees should submit such requests directly to the Provost.

2. Professional Reasons

  1. Adverse Professional Circumstances. The Provost will consider timely requests for promotion clock delays based upon exceptionally adverse professional circumstances or impediments that are beyond a continuing-eligible academic professional employee's control and that prevent a continuing-eligible academic professional employee from meeting assigned duties. Continuing-eligible academic professional employees should submit such requests directly to their immediate administrative head. Both the appropriate dean or division administrator and the immediate administrative head must support the request, which the dean or division administrator will then submit to the Provost for consideration.
  2. Prestigious External Commitments. The Provost will consider timely requests for promotion clock delays based upon a continuing-eligible academic professional employee's prestigious external commitments that bring credit to the institution but that require inordinate time to perform, provided that the University has authorized such commitments. Continuing-eligible academic professional employees should submit such requests directly to their immediate administrative head. Both the appropriate dean or division administrator and the immediate administrative head must support the request, which the dean or division administrator will then submit to the Provost for consideration.

B. The Schedule for Promotion of Academic Professionals with Continuing Status

An academic professional with continuing status at the rank of associate may go up for promotion to full at any time. Promotion is not required as a condition of continued employment. If the immediate administrative head does not recommend the employee for promotion to full before the end of the fifth year of service in the associate rank at the University of Arizona, the employee’s immediate administrative head should notify the employee in writing of the right to be reviewed during the sixth year for promotion to full. If the employee decides not to be reviewed for promotion to full, the administrative head will consult with the employee regarding the employee’s plans for promotion and follow up to support the employee’s ongoing development as part of the annual review process.

4A.3.02 Promotion and Continuing Status Review Process

A. Standing Committees

Provided there are sufficient numbers of continuing status academic professional employees to warrant such a committee, each department, college, or division will have a Standing Advisory Committee on continuing status to advise the immediate administrative head before recommendations on reviews for continuing status, promotion, and nonrenewal are forwarded to higher levels. Each such committee will include at least three continuing status academic professional employees from the department. In promotion or continuing status matters, the Standing Advisory Committees will be so constituted that recommendations will be made only by those holding rank superior to the rank of the academic professional being considered. If a department does not have sufficient continuing status academic professional employees at the appropriate rank to constitute such a committee, then the continuing status academic professional employees and immediate administrative head will consult with the appropriate dean or division director on forming such a committee by drawing some academic professionals with continuing status from other units.

The Provost will appoint a University Standing Advisory Committee on Continuing Status to advise the Provost regarding the granting of continuing status. This committee will have a rotating membership, composed of a minimum of five continuing status academic professional employees, representing diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines.

Standing Advisory Committees generally meet without the administrator whom they advise. Deliberations, evaluations, and recommendations of Standing Advisory Committees are confidential, as are any evaluations or recommendations received by them.

B. Criteria

Continuing status requires excellent performance and the promise of continued excellence in the candidate's assigned duties, which may include teaching, outreach, service, research, creative work, and scholarship. The University values an inclusive view of scholarship in the recognition that knowledge is acquired and advanced through discovery, integration, application, and teaching. Given this perspective, continuing status and promotion reviews, as detailed in the criteria of individual units, departments, and colleges, will recognize a wide range of original research-based contributions in peer-reviewed publications as well as integrative and applied forms of scholarship that involve cross-cutting collaborations with business and community collaborators, including translational research, commercialization activities, and patents. The University expects the highest standards of professional conduct, as detailed in the Statement on Professional Conduct in UHAP 7.01.01. This Statement sets out the expectation that academic professionals will uphold scholarly standards, maintain intellectual honesty, and “respect the dignity of others," including their “right to express differing opinions.” Decisions on continuing status will be based upon written criteria developed within each department or other administrative unit with participation of appropriate continuing status academic professional employees and approved by the dean or division administrator and the Provost. Each unit will review these criteria annually and current copies of such criteria will be maintained in the offices of the immediate administrative head, the dean or division administrator, and the Provost.

Immediate administrative heads and Standing Advisory Committees will meet with continuing-eligible academic professional employees annually to review promotion and continuing status criteria and to answer questions. Continuing-eligible academic professional employees are expected to familiarize themselves with the promotion and continuing status criteria applicable to their units. Continuing-eligible academic professional employees experiencing or anticipating difficulties in meeting continuing status criteria will discuss the matter with their administrative head and their Standing Advisory Committee at the earliest date possible.

Annual performance reviews may be considered in the promotion and continuing status process, but such evaluations are not determinative on promotion and continuing status decisions. Satisfactory ratings in the annual performance reviews do not necessarily indicate successful progress toward promotion and continuing status. The granting of promotion and continuing status requires excellence in performance over a period of years in all the duties and responsibilities assigned to the individual, and includes evaluation by external referees, which is not a part of the annual review process.

C. Levels of Review

Dossiers for the promotion of continuing-eligible academic professional employees will be prepared following the guidelines outlined by the Provost's Office. Directions on preparing dossiers are provided on the Provost's webpage.

[http://provost.arizona.edu/]

Decisions regarding promotion, continuing status, or nonrenewal of continuing-eligible academic professional employees will involve the following levels of review in a multiple-department college or division:

  1. Departmental Standing Advisory Committee on continuing status (where the department contains sufficient personnel to warrant such a committee);
  2. Immediate Administrative Head;
  3. College or Division Standing Advisory Committee on continuing status;
  4. Dean or Division Administrator;
  5. University Standing Advisory Committee on Continuing Status; and
  6. Provost.

In a unit in which insufficient continuing status academic professional employees exist to form a standing committee, only review levels 2 through 6 are required. In a single-department, college, or division, only levels 3 through 6 are required. The dean's or division administrator's designee will act as the immediate administrative head in cases in which a department temporarily has no immediate administrative head.

D. Decisions on Nonrenewal, Promotion, and Continuing Status

The Provost will decide whether an individual will be promoted, granted continuing status, or not renewed. The Provost will consider the recommendations that have been made as well as any violations of policies that demonstrate that the candidate has failed to meet the expectations set out in the Statement on Professional Conduct in UHAP 7.01.01, including the expectations that continuing-eligible and continuing status professionals will uphold “scholarly standards,” “maintain intellectual honesty,” and respect the “dignity of others,” including their “right to express differing opinions.” In the case of nonrenewal of a continuing-eligible academic professional employee after the second year of continuing-eligible employment, a terminal contract will be offered for the next appointment period. Continuing status professionals who are denied promotion will be given a statement of the reasons for that action, should they request such reasons. However, the denial of promotion or continuing status or the decision not to renew need not be construed as due to failure or poor performance on the candidate’s part. Considerations such as the need for a different area of specialization or for new emphases; the lack of a continuing position; the need to shift a position or resources to another department or unit; or the opportunity for an alternative program in teaching, research, or service may dictate that the individual not be promoted, granted continuing status, or renewed.

E. Appeals to the President

In cases where the Provost has decided not to renew or not to grant promotion or continuing status to a continuing-eligible academic professional employee, or not to promote a continuing status academic professional employee, the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee may appeal the denial to the President. Such appeals must be filed in writing with the Office of the President within 30 days after the date of the Provost's decision. The President may extend this timeline for good cause. The President's review will generally be limited to the record compiled under Section 4A.3.02. However, the President may seek, or may ask the Standing Advisory Committee on Continuing Status to seek additional assessment from outside the department and/or the University regarding the candidate's professional accomplishments, stature as viewed by peers, and scholarly potential. If requested, these assessments are to be commented on successively by all levels of review previously involved, and then forwarded for the President's consideration. Outside assessments will be solicited with the promise of confidentiality. In selecting peers to provide such assessments, the spirit of the guidelines and procedures used by the candidate's home department will be followed.

Within 90 days of the President's receipt of the written appeal, the President will issue a written decision to the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee and will provide copies of the decision to the Provost, the appropriate dean or division director, and the immediate administrative head. The President's decision is final. However, the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure may subsequently consider allegations that the decision was the result of due process violations, unlawful discrimination, or other unconstitutional actions and may recommend further review or action. If alleged unlawful discrimination is the basis for appeal, the University’s internal process for addressing employment discrimination complaints must first be utilized. The President may then direct that such additional review or action be taken; otherwise, the matter is not subject to further review. 

Related Information*

Revision History*

Punctuation change per OGC request April 28, 2017

Revisions approved August 23, 2016

All sections revised July 2014

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

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