Policy Manual



Academic Promotion and Tenure Procedural Guidelines (Full-time Faculty)

Policy #:


Authorized by:

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs date 10/01/08

Approved by:

Regional Campus Dean date 10/01/08

The purpose of ACAD109 is to specify the procedures used on the USC Sumter Campus in the review of applications for promotion and/or tenure of full-time members of the faculty. ACAD109 also applies to librarians who have status as members of the faculty.

ACAD109 is to be read in conjunction with other University-wide policies and procedures and the policies and procedures of the Regional Campuses office. It is intended to further specify these procedures. Any conflicts with these other procedures will be resolved in favor of the other procedures. In particular, the following sections of The Regional Campuses Faculty Manual (RCFM) have precedence over ACAD109:

  • Criteria for Tenure and Promotion

  • Tenure and Promotion Procedures for Regional Campuses

  • Appendix V: Flow Chart of Regional Campuses Tenure and Promotion Procedure

  • Appendix VI: Guidelines for Effective Teaching

In addition, attention is called to the following statements of the Association of University Professors included in the Regional Campuses Faculty Manual:

  • Appendix VII: Academic Freedom and Tenure

  • Appendix X: Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments

Applicants for promotion and/or tenure should be sure to read the RCFM carefully as it contains important information about policy and procedure. The makeup of the files themselves is described in ACAD 109B.

Faculty recommendations regarding Promotion and Tenure will be made by a committee composed of all tenured faculty at or above the rank to which application is made. This Committee will be composed of those faculty who do not evaluate specific candidates as a regular part of their job. Thus, Division Chairs will participate as members of the Committee for candidates from other divisions.

The integrity of the review process demands impeccable ethical standards and behavior. Therefore, all involved will conduct themselves in a professional and dignified fashion. All conversations that occur during the review and all information made available during the review will be held in the strictest confidence. No member of the Promotion and Tenure Committee shall engage in conversations about any particular file with any non-committee member. At no time will a member of the committee inform a candidate about the status of any file except as specified in ACAD 109A.


Evaluation of performance is considered to be criteria based, not normative. Faculty members are evaluated against a set of expectations outlined in the RCFM. Faculty members are not in competition with each other and will not be compared to some quantitative average based upon the "typical" USC Sumter faculty member. Rather, the Committee members will utilize professional judgments and a common standard for professional achievement and growth in their application of these qualitative labels.

Box-score forms are intended to assist evaluators to focus their attention upon categories of performance and quality of accomplishment, not to quantify professional behavior. These forms should function as a system of operational definitions for determining qualitative values that, themselves, are not quantifiable. Members of the Committee must justify their evaluations in narratives that are included on the form – only those ballots containing a narrative justification will be counted for the Summary Ballot. However, all ballots will be forwarded with the file.

Performance levels will be assigned to the extent that the faculty member's file supports the following criteria.

A level "1" evaluation is to be reserved for highly effective levels of accomplishment and performance over the period of time considered.

A level "3" evaluation indicates a high level of achievement.

A level "5" evaluation indicates satisfactory or adequate levels of performance. This evaluation is assumed unless there is evidence to the contrary.

A level "6" indicates unsatisfactory levels of performance.

A recording of "N" will be used if there is no documentation for activity in that category. This choice does not necessarily indicate a negative evaluation or that such activity levels are inappropriate for that category. The narrative section may be used to offer needed explanations.


1. Except for tenured full professors, all regular (non-visiting) full-time faculty, including full-time librarians are subject to the following procedures for promotion and/or tenure.

2. On or before September 1 of each year, each regular full-time faculty member shall review the standards in RCFM. Faculty members will submit a signed statement of intent to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs indicating a desire for consideration or non-consideration of promotion and/or tenure (forms for indicating a faculty member’s intent for promotion and/or tenure will be distributed by April 15 of the preceding academic year).

3. If the faculty member requests consideration for promotion and/or tenure, he/she shall obtain the official Promotion and Tenure File forms, complete/update the forms, and submit the same by October 1 to the Division Chair. Because of the time required to assemble the necessary file, applicants are advised to begin working six months ahead on the file. The Tenure and Promotion Committee may from time to time prepare a description of the material to be placed in the file and may from time to time conduct workshops for faculty members to inform them about the process.

4. By October 15 the appropriate Division Chair shall submit to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs the file and a letter which either supports or does not support the faculty member's request for promotion and/or tenure. This letter shall become a part of the faculty member's Promotion and Tenure file.

5. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall write a letter that either supports or does not support the faculty member's request for promotion and/or tenure, and shall make this letter a part of the Promotion and Tenure file of the faculty member.

6. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall provide copies of the file to the USC Sumter Tenure and Promotion Committee by November 7.

7. All members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee will evaluate each candidate’s file on each category using the box-score forms. The evidence to be considered will be the material in the Promotion and Tenure File.

8. The Committee Chair will generate a composite box-score for each category and include narratives from each Committee member. This will be the Committee’s recommendation. Both the composite box-score forms and the narratives will be included in the candidate's files.

9. The vote of the Committee and a copy of the composite box-score form will be forwarded to the candidate by December 7.

10. The committee will forward the file with its recommendation to the Regional Campus Dean by December 7.

11. The Regional Campus Dean will forward the files and his or her recommendation to the Office of the System Vice President for University Campuses and Continuing Education by January 5 for review by the University Campuses Tenure and Promotion Committee. The Dean will notify the faculty member of his or her decision in writing by January 5. A copy of the file will be retained in the Dean's office.

The RCFM describes procedures that occur above the campus level.