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Faculty Handbook

3.1. Introduction

The mission statement that appears in the Kennesaw State University Faculty Handbook fully captures the character and priorities of KSU as a major public university within the University System of Georgia. Attracting a diverse student body with a wide range of educational goals, KSU has strong connections to the communities it serves and is highly valued as a resource for educational, economic, social, and cultural advancement. 
In order to advance the institution, faculty performance at KSU must be aligned with the University’s mission. While all faculty members in the academic colleges and departments work collectively to advance this mission, the roles and responsibilities of individual faculty can vary widely across the University. Each college and its respective departments may focus on particular aspects of the mission in ways that distinguish their contributions from other colleges and departments. However, the missions of all academic units must be aligned and consistent with the overall University mission. Given that department tenure and promotion guidelines are most discipline-specific and are approved by deans and the Provost/VPAA as consistent with college and University standards, department guidelines are understood to be the primary basis for tenure and promotion decisions. Therefore, at all levels of review the rationale for T&P decisions shall be stated in a letter to the candidate with specific and detailed reference to the department  review guidelines in justifying the decisions that have been made. Appropriate references must also be made to the college and university guidelines. Any revisions made to departmental guidelines shall bear the date of approval/adoption. Revisions to departmental guidelines become effective 12 months following their adoption. However, individual faculty may choose to be reviewed under revised guidelines immediately upon their adoption. A copy of the "Approval Form for Department Promotion and Tenure Guidelines” must be attached as a cover sheet to the department guidelines included in portfolios for 3rd Year Review, Promotion and Tenure and Post-Tenure Review.

Performance evaluation of a faculty member is required at KSU. Reviews and evaluations occur regularly in the following ways in accordance with the governing policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and the policies and procedures established by Kennesaw State University and its colleges and departments:

  • Detailed annual review of faculty performance;
  • Third-year review for tenure-track and tenured faculty;
    • Progress for promotion to assistant professor (for instructors), for tenure and the optional promotion (for tenure-track assistant and associate professors), and for tenure (for tenure-track professors);
    • Progress for the optional promotion (for tenured assistant and associate professors);
  • Review for tenure by the sixth year for tenure-track faculty with professorial rank;
  • Review for promotion to assistant professor by the sixth year for instructors;
  • Review for tenure by the ninth year for instructors who have been promoted to assistant professor;
  • Post-tenure reviews for tenured faculty with professorial rank after every five years in the sixth year;
  • Reviews for elective promotion for tenured faculty in the professorial rank (optional);
  • Third-year review of progress for lecturers and senior lecturers;
    • Progress for promotion to senior lecturer for lecturers;
    • Progress for sixth year review for senior lecturers;
  • Review for promotion to senior lecturer for lecturers in the sixth year.
  • Sixth-year  reviews of senior lecturers;
  • Third-year review of progress for non-tenure track faculty with professorial rank, including clinical faculty;
    • Progress for the optional promotion (for non-tenure track assistant and associate professors) and sixth year review (for non-tenure track professors);
  • Review for elective promotion for non-tenure track faculty with professorial rank, including clinical faculty (optional);
  • Sixth year reviews of non-tenure track faculty with professorial rank, including clinical faculty.
  • Review for promotion by the sixth year for instructors;

This faculty performance model requires effective and collaborative strategic planning at all levels. When a college focuses on particular aspects of the University mission, departments within that college must align the work of their faculty to advance the college mission. The relative emphasis of faculty professional activity in the areas of performance and evaluation at KSU must match the particular focus of their academic unit and be consistent with the mission of the University. The faculty performance model in Section 4 encourages flexible faculty roles across the University, recognizes the rich diversity of faculty talent, and advances the University’s mission by maximizing the strengths and talents of individual academic units and their faculty (Brand, 2000).
These University guidelines set forth policies, criteria, and procedures by which individual faculty members’ contributions to the University shall be documented and equitably evaluated. They define terms and levels of review and set the basic structure for all performance review. This section of the KSU Faculty Handbook does not cover the entire breadth of evaluative measures available to colleges and departments. However, in this Section, the words “shall,” “must,” and “will” (and equivalent terms) signify a binding, mandatory requirement that must be followed by colleges and departments, as to substance and procedure, as appropriate. Conversely, the words “may,” “can,” “might, or “should” (and equivalents) signify a permissive suggestion not binding on colleges or departments. Colleges and departments will establish tailored written guidelines, consistent with the Faculty Handbook, that specify evaluative criteria appropriate to their disciplines, describe the focus of their units within the larger mission and the core values of the KSU, and delineate which activities will receive emphasis in annual performance reviews, in tenure and promotion decisions, and in post-tenure performance evaluation of faculty in their units. Each department and college will develop a process for establishing guidelines. The process, the resulting guidelines, and any revisions to the guidelines must also be approved by the full-time permanent faculty in the department or college, as appropriate, the department chair (for the department guidelines), the College Review Committee, the dean, and the Provost/VPAA.