1. Pre-Tenure Review Process
The following is a brief summary of selected portions of the University Procedures on Tenure, Grievance and Due Process. This procedure applies only to tenure-track faculty, not to those appointed on an adjunct or ad interim basis.
The Texas A&M System Policies 12.01 and 12.06, along with A&M-Commerce Procedure 12.01.99.R0.01 define academic freedom, tenure, faculty grievance procedures. Tenure under this policy is defined as written assurance that an experienced faculty member will not be dismissed unless adequate cause for dismissal is demonstrated in a fair hearing, following established procedure of due process. The decision for awarding tenure rests with The A&M University System Board of Regents upon recommendation of the president of the university. Each candidate for tenure will receive a written notification from the president for the tenure decision. While the probationary period specified in the procedure is seven years, credit for prior service may be awarded by the president.
During the probationary period, an advisory opinion is rendered by the tenured departmental colleagues concerning retention of the probationary member, subsequent recommendations are made by the department head, dean and provost. The individual is notified annually by the president of his/her status. Notice of non-reappointment is normally given probationary faculty at the following times: (1) not later than March 1 of the first academic year of probationary service. If the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if a one-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least three months in advance of its termination; (2) not later than December 15 of the second year of probationary service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if an initial two-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least six months in advance of its termination; and (3) at least twelve months before the expiration of a probationary appointment after two or more years at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
A&M-Commerce Procedure 12.01.99.R0.01 details the importance of 3rd to 6th year reviews of the pre-tenure process. Departmental, college, and university criteria for achieving tenure need to be carefully followed for those reviews. It is important that the departmental criteria are spelled out in the beginning.
When matters of faculty grievance cannot be resolved by reasoned discussion within normal administrative channels, a faculty member may elect to have the matter reviewed by an elected committee of peers. Such grievances might include dismissal, non-reappointment, violation of academic freedom, discrimination, violation of Constitutional rights, or matters pertaining to employment, such as working conditions. Two standing committees elected by the faculty function as reviewing bodies. Normally the Hearing Committee (fifteen members) will review cases involving termination of a tenured faculty member, dismissal during the contract term of a probationary faculty member, and referrals from the Advisory Committee concerning non-reappointment of probationary faculty.
Procedures related to the annual review or evaluation of all faculty members, including those going through the pre-tenure process, are summarized under A&M-Commerce Procedure 12.01.99.R0.01 section 1.6. Faculty should also consult specific details on the annual evaluation procedure 12.01.99.R0.02.
Criteria of performance required for promotion are not different from those needed for tenure. Faculty members may want to particularly be aware of criteria and procedures and criteria developed and followed at the departmental, college, and university levels. Faculty need to be aware of increased expectations while applying for promotion to full professor as compared to associate professor.