A. Procedures

1. At the beginning of the Fall semester, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) will explain the criteria, deadlines, and pertinent policy for faculty promotion. Faculty who wish to apply for promotion should discuss their interest with their respective Department Chair/Dean, and VPAA, if appropriate. See section C, below, for guidance on eligibility for promotion.

2. By the end of the third week in September, faculty who wish to apply for promotion should declare (via email) their intent to apply to their Department Chair/Dean and the VPAA.

3. At the end of September each year, the VPAA will announce to the faculty the list of faculty eligible for tenure consideration and those seeking promotion.

4. Candidates should prepare a promotion portfolio with content based on the criteria in the Evaluation, Tenure and Promotion Rubric (Form AA-20).

5. The Department Chair /Dean will appoint a Departmental Promotion Committee and name the committee chair. Membership will include three full-time, tenured faculty. The Department Chair/Dean may request the participation of a qualified faculty member outside the Department. Exceptions to this policy must be documented and approved by the VPAA. Department Chairs/Dean may not serve on a promotion committee in their respective departments. If the candidate for promotion is a Department Chair/Dean, the VPAA or designee will assume the role defined for the Department Chair/Dean.

  1. By the first week in November, the Departmental Promotion Committee will meet with the candidate(s) to discuss the promotion process, timeline, and required materials.
  2. The department chair/dean will document all exceptions and meetings on AA-5a, and include this document as the cover page of the completed evaluation materials forwarded to UTP (see #9 below).
  3. The candidate should use the portfolio template to build the portfolio and the portfolio help document (AA-21) to make certain all required items are included.
  4. Materials included for consideration should be dated since the last promotion or VCSU hire date, whichever is most recent.
  5. The Departmental Promotion Committee will review he draft portfolio to determine whether the portfolio meets the requirements identified for he proposed rank. Portfolios that are not complete and do not make a convincing case for promotion should not be forwarded to the department chair/dean. The candidate should consult with his/her committee and can resubmit before the deadline.

6. The Departmental Promotion Committee will review the portfolio and make a recommendation (Form AA-5b). This recommendation will then become part of the portfolio that will be forwarded to the department chair/dean. 

7. The department chair will complete his/her recommendation on Form AA-5c. 

8. The Departmental Promotion Committee and department chair/dean will meet with the candidate to review their recommendations. 

9. Candidate may write a response to the recommendation. This response, along with Forms AA-5a, AA-5b and AA-5c will be forwarded to the University Tenure and Promotion Committee, along with the portfolio URL, no later than February 10. 

10. The University Tenure and Promotion (UTP) committee will review each portfolio and make a recommendation (Form AA-6b). This recommendation and the portfolio should be forwarded to the President no later than February 28. The Committee should make its decision based on the materials presented in the portfolio. It is the responsibility of the reviewers to read carefully and thoroughly and exclude personal bias in making decisions.

  1. Committee members are not eligible to vote on faculty promotion and tenure candidates from their department.
  2. Committee members who are not eligible to vote (12a) may participate in the UTP discussion, always remembering hat they are at-large members of the committee and must represent the faculty as a whole, not their department's candidate.

11. The President of the University will review each portfolio and make a final determination.  If the President's decision differs from the recommendation of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, the President will meet with the chair of the committee prior to announcing his/her decision. Promotions take effect in the academic term following the promotion decision.

12. Faculty will be notified by email or letter of the decision, with copies to the VPAA and Department Chair/Dean. The completed AA-5a-c, and AA-6b forms will be retained in the VPAA office; the candidate will receive a copy of the completed AA5d and AA-6b form.

13. The candidate has the right to appeal the President’s decision. The first step in this process should be a letter of appeal to the President. Should the matter not be resolved satisfactorily within 20 working days, the candidate may appeal to the Standing Committee on Faculty Rights, using the process described in NDUS 605.4

B. General Criteria for Promotion in Faculty Rank and Examples of Documentation

1. For promotion to all ranks, faculty members must meet the following general standards included in the AA-20 ETP Rubric for the areas listed below:

  • Teaching or other Primary Duties.
  • Scholarship, Professional, and Creative-Work
  • Service

2. Terminal Degree

For faculty in the “academic qualifications” pathway, promotion to the position of Assistant Professor assumes the attainment of a terminal degree. Terminal degrees will be defined as earned doctorates except in discipline areas where an advanced graduate degree, certification, or licensure other than a doctorate is considered terminal.

Faculty in the 'Professionally Qualified' pathway to tenure and promotion, as defined in Policy V605.01, B 1 and 2, may be promoted to Assistant Professor at tenure. Earlier promotion to Assistant Professor or further promotion is dependent on completion of additional qualifications, as described in V605.1, B, section 3.

See Policy V605.01 for full discussion of terminal degrees, tenure, and promotion pathways.

Faculty seeking promotion without the terminal degree/professionally qualified status should consult with their Department Chair/Dean and then the VPAA before beginning the promotion process. Documentation that might warrant special consideration includes the publication of significant work, or the development of a state-wide or national reputation.

C. Expectations for Faculty Rank

In order to be appointed or promoted to a specific rank, a faculty member must meet the minimum requirements described below.


The rank of Lecturer shall be for performance of specifically assigned academic duties only (no advising, committee work, or scholarly activity). These appointments should be part-time and temporary. Minimum qualifications are a sound educational background for the specific task or duty and the attainment of the Bachelor's Degree. Lecturers may not teach 300 or 400 level courses.


The rank of instructor is assigned to new faculty who have completed the master’s degree but not yet attained the terminal degree or certification and who are not professionally qualified.

Assistant Professor

New faculty who are professionally qualified or who have a terminal degree in their teaching field will normally start at the rank of Assistant Professor. The untenured faculty member holding the rank of instructor will be automatically promoted upon completion of the terminal degree, required certification, second master’s degree, or other expectation agreed upon by the Department Chair/Dean and the VPAA and documented in the faculty member’s contract. See V605.01 for further information regarding documentation and process.

Associate Professor

Generally, promotion to Associate Professor assumes at least six years of teaching experience at VCSU at the rank of Assistant Professor, along with evidence of continued professional or scholarly development, excellence in teaching, and significant service contributions to the university or community.

Full Professor

Promotion to Full Professor generally denotes 10-12 years of teaching experience at VCSU above the instructor rank, notable professional or scholarly performance, excellence in teaching, and leadership in chairing significant university committees or initiatives. In addition, one who seeks promotion to the rank of Professor must have demonstrated extraordinary competence according to the Evaluation, Tenure and Promotion Rubric (AA-20).

Forms required:

AA-5a Faculty Evaluation, Tenure, Promotion Cover Page

AA-5b Faculty Departmental Committee Recommendation

AA-5c Departmental Chair Recommendation

AA-6b Tenure/Promotion Review 

Help documents:

AA-20 Evaluation, Tenure and Promotion Rubric

AA-21 Portfolio Help Document


Third week of Sept—email due to VPAA indicating the intent to seek promotion

Sept. 30—VPAA sends email to all faculty, informing them who will be up for tenure and promotion during the academic year.

Nov. 1—Departmental Committee meets to establish timeline, process, and required materials.

Feb. 10—Dean/Department Chair submits Forms 5a, 5b, and 5c to VPAA office.

Feb. 28—UTP Committee makes recommendations to President

Mid to late March—Candidates are informed of the President’s decision via mail or email.

VCSU Faculty Promotion Procedures was formerly V605.1.1 (Approved by Academic Policy and Affairs Council and Faculty Senate in 1984, Reviewed 1996, Revised March 2002)

Sponsor: Faculty Association

Approved: January 2011

Revised: December 2012

Revised: March 2015

Revised: February 2018