3. Faculty Status

3.1 All Faculty

The primary function of the Institute is education through teaching and research.  Acceptance of appointment obligates Faculty members to perform such service in instruction and research and discharge such other duties as may be assigned to them during the term of appointment.

Faculty members are free to express their opinion on any matter that falls within the field of knowledge they are employed to teach and study, subject to high standards of professional ethics, accurate expression, and respect for the rights, feelings, and opinions of others.

No part of this Handbook may be interpreted as abridging Faculty members’ power to exercise their rights as a citizen, free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their position in the community imposes an obligation of care for the interest of the Institute. Public signing of open letters, petitions, political advertisements, etc., should preferably show the person’s name only. Any indication of affiliation with the Institute should clearly state that it is for identification only and does not represent an endorsement by the Institute or by other persons in the Institute. Caution is urged on Institute members whose position in the Institute is such that private vs. official views may be difficult to distinguish by the public. A Faculty member whose civic and political activities may require a large allocation of time should consider requesting a full or partial leave of absence.

 

3.1.1 Appointments

Policy Manual of the Board of Regents (Sections 8.2 and 8.3)

Every appointment or promotion shall be made solely on the basis of merit and the special abilities of the individual.

Relationship by family or marriage shall constitute neither an advantage nor a disadvantage provided the individual meets and fulfills the appropriate Georgia Tech appointment and promotion standards as set forth in these policies.  No individual shall be employed in a Unit under the supervision of a relative who has or may have a direct effect on the individual's progress, performance, or welfare.  For the purpose of this policy, relatives are defined as husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers, sisters, and any in-laws of any of the foregoing. Nothing in this Handbook shall be construed in such manner as to prevent the award of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship to a student who is related to an employee or a member of the Faculty or the Board of Regents.

Consistent with the policy of the Board of Regents on nondiscrimination and in keeping with the Institute's commitment, no person will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, religious belief, age, sexual orientation, or presence of a non-job-related disability in any salary decision.

In the case of shared appointments where faculty members devote part of their time to another college, university, or division thereof, the letters of appointment shall specify the institution and the Unit where Faculty membership and the associated rights shall reside.

 

3.1.2 Faculty Salaries and Evaluations

Entry Level Salary
Because of the complexity of the Institute, individual Units may have unique missions within the overall Institute mission. The following statements, therefore, are intended to provide a framework within which individual units develop specific criteria appropriate for their discipline.

The salary level associated with each Faculty position shall be based upon the requirements of the position and the qualifications of the individual employed to fill the position. The qualifications of the individual shall include academic degrees earned, teaching and other relevant experience, research and publication records, academic achievements and honors, and relevant professional achievements and recognition.

In addition to personal qualifications, consideration will be given to "marketplace" factors such as availability (supply and demand) of qualified individuals, salaries offered by competitors (industry and other academic institutions) for individuals, and the intensity of the Institute’s need for these individuals.

Merit Increases
Merit increases for full-time Faculty shall be based on an evaluation of job assignment and overall productivity. All dimensions of the Faculty role shall be considered, although weights assigned may vary across disciplines and even within a discipline, depending on the job assignment of the individual and on the needs of the Unit. In evaluating a Faculty member's performance, careful consideration will be given to the quality of the individual's contributions in instruction (classroom-related and individual supervision), research or other creative activities, and service (to students, the academic community, the Institute, the discipline, and the external community).

Annual Reviews
Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.5
Annually, each Faculty member shall receive a written performance evaluation from their Unit Head. In addition, the Faculty member will discuss this review with the Unit Head and will sign a statement to the effect that the Faculty member has received the written review. The Faculty member will have the opportunity to respond, in writing, to the evaluation and to receive a written response from the supervisor to the comments of the Faculty member. Both the Faculty member's comments and the response will then become part of the record. The Institute will ensure that the individuals responsible for conducting performance evaluations are appropriately trained to carry out such evaluations. The evaluation procedures may also utilize a written system of peer evaluations, with emphasis placed on the Faculty member's professional development..

3.1.3 Notice of Resignation or Retirement

Faculty Members with Contracts
Persons employed for the fiscal year or for the academic year of two semesters have an obligation to inform, as soon as practical, their immediate supervisor of their intention to resign on completion of an appointment period. Such persons shall give written notice of their intention to resign to the President no later than two (2) weeks after being notified of the terms of the Employment Contract for the next fiscal or academic year.

Faculty Members without Contracts
Any member of the Faculty not included in the preceding paragraph who plans to leave the Institute shall give written notice at least thirty (30) days prior to the termination date.

 

 

3.1.4 Professional Absence and Leave Policies

The various types of leaves are defined in the Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.2.7, as well as in the Board of Regents’ Academic and Student Affairs Handbook, Section 4.9. The following section discusses leave policies that are unique to the Georgia Institute of Technology. However, none of these policies supersede the policies and procedures stated in the Board of Regents Policy Manual and Academic and Student Affairs Handbook.

Absence
Faculty members shall obtain approval in advance from the Chair of their School or from the appropriate administrative officer in non-instructional divisions to be absent from assigned duties.  The requirement of advance notice may be waived in an emergency.  Faculty members shall assist in arranging for their duties to be performed during periods of their absence.

Absences from Campus for Professional Activities
Occasional absences from campus are necessitated by the professional activities of most Faculty.  At the same time it is essential that supervisors be cognizant of absences of Faculty from campus and the reason for those absences, and that there be a clear prior approval and administrative oversight process that ensures that Board of Regents and Institute policies are followed.

Procedures

Absences from campus of more than one (1) business day for professional activities, including consulting, should be documented in advance by filing an online Travel Authorization request, or other acceptable document. The purpose of the absence and an itinerary should be provided. Any deviations from the original itinerary must be clearly indicated and explained when requests for reimbursement from Georgia Tech are submitted.

For absences from campus for professional activities of one (1) business day or less, the Faculty member should notify his/her supervisor or designated representative as to his/her location. A Travel Authorization request is not required unless reimbursement for expenses is expected.

It is the Faculty member’s responsibility to arrange for his/her duties to be performed during absences from campus. Cancellation of undergraduate classes due to absences from campus is strongly discouraged.
 

Approvals

Absences of more than one (1) business day must be approved by the School Chair or his/her designated representative or by the appropriate administrative officer in non-instructional divisions.

Absences of more than ten (10) consecutive business days must be approved by both the School Chair and the Dean of the College, who will notify the Provost, or by the appropriate and similar levels of administrative officers in non-instructional divisions. A proposed absence of greater than half a term in duration must be forwarded to the President by the Dean of the College or by the appropriate administrative officer in non-instructional divisions for consideration for a Leave of Absence as defined by the Board of Regents.

Leave of Absence without Pay
Faculty members may be granted a leave of absence for a clearly specified period of time, without pay, by the President with notification to the Chancellor and the Board of Regents. Leaves without pay shall be granted to all Faculty members who are ordered to active military service of the United States. The status of a tenured Faculty member who is granted a leave of absence for a specific period, upon recommendation of the President and approval of the Board of Regents, shall not be impaired by such

Leave of Absence with Pay
Leaves with pay shall be granted only for the purpose of promoting scholarly work and encouraging professional development.  Leaves with pay shall be made only after consideration of the likelihood of the Faculty member’s being able to accomplish the purpose for which the leave is requested; the effect that granting of the leave will have on the Faculty member’s unit; and the availability of funds.

Faculty members who have been granted a leave of absence with pay must return the full amount of compensation received while onleave if they do not remain with the Institute for at least one (1) calendar year after the termination of the paid leave.

Impact of a Leave of Absence on Tenure Status

The status of a tenured Faculty member who is granted a leave of absence for a specific period, shall not be impaired by such absence from the Institute.

The status of a tenured Faculty member on leave of absence for service with the United States Armed Forces shall not be impaired by such service.  All Faculty members in such service shall be placed on leave of absence.

A Faculty member who has served thirty (30) days or less with the United States Armed Forces must report to work on the first regularly scheduled work day beginning more than eight (8) hours after the member’s completion of service.  A Faculty member who has served thirty-one (31) to one hundred and eighty (180) days must report to work no later than fourteen (14) days after the conclusion of the member’s military service.  A Faculty member who has served one hundred and eighty-one (181) days or more must report to work no later than ninety (90) days after the conclusion of military service.

A Faculty member on leave of absence for military service shall lose tenure if he/she does not notify the President of his/her intention to return as soon as practicable and does not report to work in accordance with the preceding schedule.

Outside Activities
Faculty members may engage in outside professional activities (including professional societies, governmental or industrial committees, review boards, panels, consultation, etc.) with or without compensation provided that the activity:

  • In no way interferes with the Faculty member’s obligations to the Institute.
  • Creates no conflicts of interest.
  • Has been fully disclosed to and approved by the Chair of the Faculty member’s unit or by the appropriate administrative officer in non-instructional units. 
  • Consulting may be performed only after the Faculty member’s obligations to the Institute have been fulfilled.  Faculty members must conform to the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Outside Professional Activity (See Section 5.6 of this Handbook).

3.1.5 Academic Rank for Administrators

An administrator may be awarded academic rank (tenure or non-tenure track) upon review of his/her credentials and recommendation of academic rank, in accordance with the established statutory procedures required for academic appointment.

Administrators who normally may receive consideration for academic rank, either tenure or non-tenure track, are: President, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Executive Vice-President for Research, Vice Provost; Associate or Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Research; Associate or Assistant Vice-President for Research, Dean, Associate or Assistant Dean, Chair, Director or Department Head of an instructional unit, and Associate or Assistant Chair or Director of an instructional unit.

The academic and scholastic credentials of the Administrator or Administrator candidate shall be prepared in the same form required of all Academic Faculty being considered for an academic appointment.  At the time the Administrator or the Administrator candidate is being considered for academic rank, his/her academic and scholastic credentials shall be submitted to the School or department of association. The credentials shall be reviewed first by the established promotion and tenure peer review committee.  The currently required procedures for review of Academic Faculty being considered for an academic appointment shall be followed at all levels of review.

When an Administrator who currently holds academic rank is to be considered for promotion to a higher academic rank, his/her academic and scholastic credentials shall be prepared in the same form required of all Academic Faculty.  These credentials shall be submitted to the established school or department promotion and tenure peer review faculty committee. The currently required procedures for review of Academic Faculty being considered for academic promotion shall be followed at all levels of review.

When an Administrator who currently holds academic rank, non-tenure track, leaves his/her administrative position and requests a tenure track appointment in an instructional unit, his/her academic and scholastic credentials shall be submitted to the School or department, which shall follow the currently required procedures for tenure track appointment.

3.1.6 Award of Emeritus Title

The Emeritus title is an honorific signifying distinguished service to Georgia Tech. Consistent with Board of Regents’ policy, the President may confer emeritus status upon an employee who has retired with ten (10) or more years of honorable and distinguished service to the University System. The President's decision will be based, in part, upon the recommendation of the unit in which the employee has served. (Board of Regents’ Policy Manual, Section 8.3.13)

The following procedure shall be used to develop recommendations:

  • The employee seeking the emeritus title shall submit a written request to the Unit Head prior to the planned retirement date. An employee may also be nominated for emeritus status by a colleague within the same unit, with the consent of the nominated employee.
  • If the Unit has a designated Faculty Advisory Committee, the Unit Head shall forward the request, along with a detailed curriculum vitae of the employee, to that committee. The Unit's Faculty Advisory Committee shall submit a written recommendation (either positive or negative) to the Unit Head.
  • The Unit Head shall prepare a written recommendation (either positive or negative) and shall forward such recommendation, along with the unit's Faculty Advisory Committee's recommendation (if applicable) and the employee's curriculum vitae, to the President for final action.
  • The Unit recommendation shall be conveyed to the President, and to the candidate no later than three (3) months after the request date.

3.1.7 Use of Office Space by Retired Faculty

It is the policy of the Georgia Institute of Technology to consider the request from retired faculty to be provided office space.  After office space for regular faculty is provided, space, if available, may be provided to retired individuals who perform a service to the institution. Special approval is required from the department chair, academic dean, and the Provost.  Each case will be reviewed annually prior to the beginning of the academic year.

3.1.8 Concerns, Complaints, and the Ombuds Office

Concerns and complaints should normally be addressed first to the appropriate administrator and wherever possible resolved within the administrative process.

In situations where a faculty member desires confidential advice on the handling of a complaint, seeks advice on procedures and policies, or feels uncomfortable in bringing a concern directly to an administrator, then they are encouraged to discuss the situation with the Faculty Ombuds.

The Ombuds Office is a confidential resource for all faculty members on the campus. Its role is that of a neutral that advocates not for a specific individual, but for equity, fair process, and compliance with institutional policy and procedure. It acts as a complaint receiver for persons who believe they have been treated unfairly, coaches to help persons independently resolve difficult situations and as facilitators or mediators in an effort to assist persons in conflict to reach fair resolutions. The Ombuds Office is a confidential, informal, impartial, neutral and non adversarial alternative for the resolution of work-related problems and concerns. A request for assistance from the Ombuds Office does not preclude the faculty member from subsequently utilizing the Georgia Tech grievance process. The Ombuds Office is not an office of notice to the University. The Faculty Ombuds Office strives to follow the standards of the University and College Ombuds Association. The Faculty who staff this Office report to the President.

The Faculty Status and Grievance Committee receives from any Faculty member information, suggestions, grievance, or criticisms concerning any aspect of the Institute. It evaluates these and transmits constructive criticism and recommendations to appropriate individuals or committees or directly to the Faculty. The procedures of this committee are governed by Sections 2.6.3 and 3.1.9 of this Handbook.

On occasion an administrator or faculty member may feel the need for a witness to be present for the discussion of a sensitive matter. These occasions should be very rare, because the presence of witnesses may heighten tension and may indicate a lack of faith in a colleague. However, in those rare cases in which a witness is deemed necessary, there should be prior notification so the other person may also bring a witness, if he or she chooses. Alternatively, the meeting may be taped, with advance knowledge of the other party.

3.1.9 Grievance: Process and Procedures

Right of Appeal
Members of the Faculty who believe their rights have been invaded or ignored shall have a right to request consideration of their case by the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee. They may appeal a resulting recommendation of the Committee to the President. If the President’s decision does not settle the matter to their satisfaction, they may, in accordance with Section VIII of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents, apply to the Board, without prejudice to their position, for a review of the decision. The application for review shall be submitted in writing to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Human and External Resources of the Board of Regents within a period of twenty (20) days following the decision of the President.

 

Process

A Faculty member may request, orally or in writing, the informal assistance of the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (FSGC) in the resolution of grievances. The Chairperson of the FSGC may receive written grievances and/or requests for investigation. Such a request is not a prerequisite to the use of the grievance procedure set forth below, and the Faculty member may choose to file a formal complaint prior to the completion of the informal process. The FSGC, through its Chair or another designated member of the FSGC, may conduct negotiations between the grievant and other relevant persons.

 

A recommended course of action will include:

  • Discussion with Administrator
    Before filing a grievance with the FSGC, a Faculty member shall first review the complaint with the administrator one level above the level of the dispute in an effort to reach a resolution.
  • Initiation and Processing of Complaints
    If a resolution is not reached, the Faculty member grievant may inquire with the chair of the FSGC about the concern, or choose to file a grievance with the FSGC. Each grievant should file written notice of the grievance which should be submitted to the FSGC through its chair within a reasonable time frame after the events or actions of concern. Grievances based entirely on events or actions that occurred more than one year before the filing date will not be considered.
  • Decision by FSGC on Proceeding
    Within approximately six (6) weeks of receipt of the complaint, the FSGC will inform the grievant, in writing, whether it will proceed with the review, and if so, whether the FSGC will pursue informal means of resolving the grievance, undertake an investigation, or schedule a hearing. If the FSGC decides not to review the complaint, it shall give reasons. If it decides to proceed, it shall specify in writing where and when an investigation will proceed or when and where a meeting or hearing will be held. The Chair shall send a copy of this initial response to both the grievant and the respondent. The Chair shall ensure that the person(s) against whom the grievance is filed is (are) properly identified, that specific charges are included, and that the form of requested redress is included. The Chair shall inform the grievant that this written request, together with any supporting documentation, will be given to the person(s) grieved against in an attempt to support the clarification and resolution of the case. In like fashion, any documentation made available to the FSGC by the person(s) grieved against will be given to the grievant.
  • Informal Resolution
    If the FSGC pursues informal resolution, the Chair of the FSGC and/or designated member/s of the FSGC shall pursue negotiation, mediation, or other informal means. If the Chair or other FSGC members are unable to begin doing so within forty-five (45) working days after receipt of the grievance, the FSGC shall so notify the grievant in writing. If the FSGC determines that informal resolution is not likely to achieve resolution of a grievance, and the grievant so desires, the Committee will proceed to the investigation phase explained in the following section.

Procedures for the Conduct of an Investigation
The Chair shall inform each party of the names of the other parties and the nature of the complaint, if this was not already done at an earlier stage. The Chair will also advise the grievant and the respondent of the procedures in the grievance process.

The Chair will select three (3) members of an investigation subcommittee, consisting of members of the FSGC and/or individual Faculty appointed to serve as FSGC investigators by the Faculty Executive Board. The FSGC chair may serve as a member of the subcommittee. These three individuals will serve as a subcommittee for the purposes of investigating the complaint.

In the course of its investigation, the subcommittee shall interview the grievant, the respondent, and any other persons who, in the view of the subcommittee, may have relevant information. At the conclusion of the investigation, the subcommittee shall submit a written report to the FSGC. The FSGC may amend the report or accept it. The preliminary report will then be sent to both the grievant and the respondent.

The parties shall have ten (10) business days after receipt of the preliminary report to address the findings of the report. This may be in the form of a written response by either party or a request for a formal hearing by the grievant.

  • A written response should state any disagreement with the committee’s findings and should not be longer than two (2) pages. The Chair shall arrange an exchange of responses between the grievant and respondent for informational purposes only. The lack of a response by a party shall be interpreted as acceptance by that party of the factual and interpretive information contained in the FSGC’s preliminary report.
  • If the grievant wishes to pursue a formal hearing, a written request for a hearing must be submitted as part of the response to the FSGC’s preliminary report.
  • If no request for a hearing is made at that time, the grievant has waived the right to a formal hearing, and the FSGC’s final report, together with any responses to it, shall be submitted to the President.
  • The FSGC will make a report to the President within approximately ninety (90) days from the time a grievance is received.
  • The President shall make a decision on the case and convey that decision in writing to the parties and to the Chair of the FSGC within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of the FSGC’s recommendations.
  • If a party requests a formal hearing, the FSGC shall follow the procedures below, and no report shall be made to the President until that process is concluded.

Once considered by the FSGC, a grievance may not be reopened unless, in the judgment of the Chair, there is significant new evidence that was not available at the time of the FSGC’s decision. Future grievances will be reviewed without prejudice.

Procedures for Parties Presenting Cases before a Formal Hearing Committee

Authorization
A formal hearing shall be authorized by the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee under the following circumstances:

  • A grievant makes a written request for a formal hearing within ten (10) working days after receipt of the report of the FSGC concerning an investigation; or
  • This Handbook or other Institute policies require a formal hearing by the FSGC. 

Notification
A copy of the charges made by the grievant(s) will be provided to the respondent(s).

Formulation of a Formal Hearing Committee
A formal hearing is conducted by a committee consisting of four faculty members chosen from the Faculty and a Chair who is a member of the FSGC.

The Office of Human Resources of Georgia Institute of Technology will generate a list of twenty-four (24) potential members of the Formal Hearing Committee by a random selection from the membership of the Faculty. If the grievance pertains to redress of decisions related to Academic Faculty status such as rank or tenure, then the generated list shall consist of only Academic Faculty of appropriate rank and tenure status. The FSGC shall remove from the list of twenty-four (24) any persons who are: members of the FSGC, Executive Committee Liaison to the FSGC, parties to the grievance, or witnesses. The number shall then be restored to twenty-four (24) by random selection. This process shall be continued until a qualified list is selected. Prior to the formal hearing, the grievant and the respondent will meet with the Chair of the FSGC for the purpose of striking names alternately until four (4) members of the Formal Hearing Committee have been selected. The last two (2) names struck will become alternates. Members of the Formal Hearing Committee must have approval of the Chair of the FSGC to be excused from the assignment. An excused person will be replaced by an alternate. The Formal Hearing Committee shall be chaired by a member of the FSGC.

The FSGC shall not be responsible for dismissal hearings for tenured faculty members, or non-tenured faculty members before the end of their contract term, if any. A separate process, consistent with the Bylaws of the Board of Regents, is set out for such hearings in Section 3.1.10 under Provision for Dismissal Hearing Committee.

Presentation of Cases
The grievant(s) and the respondent(s) are normally expected to present their own cases. However, all parties may have an advisor present at the hearing, and, when justice requires, the Chair of the FSGC or the Chair of the Formal Hearing Committee shall authorize an advisor to present a case. On request, the Chair of the FSGC may appoint an advisor to assist a party or to present the case of a party. Attorneys may be advisors but may not present cases.

Time
The Chair will establish a time limit for the entire proceedings as well as for its parts. Thus, the grievant(s) and the respondent(s) will be given a specified time for their brief opening statements, for presenting their cases, for cross-examination, for redirect examination, for rebuttal (by the grievant), and for closing statements. The agenda, with time limits, will be distributed by the Chair eight working days before the hearing.

The Chair will exercise authority to cut off "filibustering" or obvious repetition, and to enforce time limits.

Who May be Present for Formal Hearings of the FSGC
The hearing may be closed except to the members of the Formal Hearing Committee, the parties, and members of the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee. Advisors to parties, as heretofore described, may be present.

Order of Presentation

1.  The grievant(s) and respondent(s) will make brief opening statements. Each statement shall lay out the general nature of the case, without presenting evidence.
2.  Following the opening statements, the parties will present their cases with the grievant(s) making the first presentation(s). At this time any documents or testimony relevant to the case may be presented.
3.  Each party will have the right of cross-examination directly after the presentation of evidence by each witness. Redirect examination will be permitted. No new evidence may be introduced during the cross- or redirect examination.
4.  An opportunity for rebuttal will be provided to the grievant.
5.  Each party may make a closing statement. This is an opportunity for summary and argument and not for the presentation of new evidence.

Evidence
In general, any item may be presented as evidence so long as it is relevant and material. Each party shall prepare at least seven (7) copies of all material intended for use in the presentation: one (1) copy for each side and five (5) copies for the Formal Hearing Committee. The copies shall be provided with covers, in either notebooks or clasped folders. Lengthy materials, such as papers and publications, should be summarized or referenced if their contents are not specifically germane to the hearing. Material not included in the copies will not be admitted at the hearing.

The copy for the other party must be delivered to the Hearing Chair ten (10) working days before the hearing. The designated recipients of these copies should arrange to obtain them from the Hearing Chair no sooner than nine (9) working days before the hearing. Material which is not available at the time that the seven copies are delivered to the Hearing Chair may still be admissible as evidence, at the discretion of the Chair. In such a case, this new material will be distributed to all parties by the Chair prior to the hearing.

Rebuttal material and background documents need not be included in the distribution copies, but must be available for examination by the other side and the Hearing Committee during the hearing. Such items will be labeled as exhibits and will become part of the record.

Witnesses
Each party may call witnesses. Witnesses will be sequestered upon request of a party or by direction of the Chair. At least ten (10) working days before the scheduled hearing, each party shall provide the Hearing Committee Chair a list of witnesses who will be called and a list of witnesses who may be called. The other party should arrange to obtain these lists from the Hearing Chair no sooner than nine (9) working days before the hearing. The responsibility for notifying each witness resides with the party who has designated that witness.

Tape Recording
The proceedings will be tape recorded or taken down by a court reporter. The tapes or the transcript will be the official record of the proceeding and will be preserved by the Secretary of the FSGC.

Recommendations to the FSGC

The Chair and the other four (4) members of the Formal Hearing Committee will prepare written findings and recommendations to be given to the full FSGC. The Chair of the FSGC shall submit the Formal Hearing Committee's report, together with any recommendations of the FSGC, to the parties, to the President, and to other administrators, as appropriate, normally within thirty (30) days of the hearing. In the transmittal letter, it should be stated that the recommendations are intended to aid the resolution of the case. The President shall make a final decision on the case and convey that decision in writing to the parties and to the Chair of the FSGC, normally within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of the FSGC recommendations

3.1.10 Procedures for Removing Faculty Members

Introduction
Policy Manual of the Board of Regents, Section 8.3.9.

The President may at any time remove any faculty member or other employee of Georgia Tech for cause. Cause shall include willful or intentional violation of the policies of the Board of Regents or the Statutes of Georgia Tech. Further causes or grounds for dismissal are set forth below.

A tenured faculty member or a non-tenured faculty member, before the end of his/her contract term, may be dismissed for any of the following reasons provided that the Institution has complied with procedural due process requirements:

  • Conviction or admission of guilt of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude during the period of employment--or prior thereto if the conviction or admission of guilt was willfully concealed;
  • Professional incompetency, neglect of duty, or default of academic integrity in teaching, in research, or in scholarship;
  • Unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, use or possession of marijuana, a controlled substance, or other illegal or dangerous drugs as defined by Georgia laws; teaching or working under the influence of alcohol which interferes with the faculty member's performance of duty or his/her responsibilities to the Institute or to his/her profession;
  • Conviction or admission of guilt in a court proceeding of any criminal drug offense;
  • Physical or mental incompetency as determined by law or by a medical board of three or more licensed physicians and reviewed by a committee of the faculty;
  • False swearing with respect to official documents filed with the Institute;
  • Disruption of any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, public service or other authorized activity;
  • Such other grounds for dismissal as may be specified in this Handbook of the Institute.

Sanctions short of dismissal may be considered.  In the imposition of sanctions, the burden of proof lies with Georgia Tech.

Preliminary Procedures
The dismissal of tenured Faculty members or non-tenured Faculty members during their contract term should be preceded by:

  • Discussion between the Faculty member and appropriate Administrators looking toward a mutual settlement.
  • Informal inquiry by the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee, which may, upon failing to effect an adjustment, advise the President whether dismissal proceedings should be undertaken; its advisory opinion shall not be binding upon the President.
  • A letter to the Faculty member forewarning that the member is about to be terminated for cause and informing the member that a statement of charges will be forwarded to the member upon request. The Faculty member may also request a formal hearing on the charges before a Faculty Hearing Committee. Failure to request charges or a hearing within a reasonable time shall constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing.
  • A statement of charges, if requested by the Faculty member, framed with reasonable particularity by the President or a designated representative.

Provision for Dismissal Hearing Committee
A dismissal as defined above shall be preceded by a statement of charges or causes (grounds for dismissal) if so requested, including a statement that the Faculty member concerned shall have the right to be heard by a Faculty Hearing Committee.

The Hearing Committee shall consist of not less than three (3) or more than five (5) impartial Faculty members appointed by the Faculty Executive Board, from among the members of the entire Faculty (as defined by policies of the Board of Regents) of the Institute.

Members of the Hearing Committee may serve concurrently on other committees of the Faculty. The Hearing Committee will meet as a body when it is called into session by the Chair of the Faculty Executive Board either at the Chair’s discretion or upon request of the President or the Faculty member who is subject to dismissal.

When the Hearing Committee is called into session, it shall elect a Chair from among its membership. Members should remove themselves from the case, either at the request of a party or on their own initiative, if they deem themselves disqualified for bias or interest. Each party shall have a maximum of two (2) challenges without stated cause; provided, however, that all challenges whether with or without cause shall be made in writing and filed with the Chair of the Hearing Committee at least five (5) days in advance of the date set for the hearing. The Chair shall have the authority to decide whether a member of the Committee is disqualified for cause. If the Chair determines that members are so disqualified or if members remove themselves from a case, the replacement shall be made in the same manner as the original Committee was selected. If the Chair is thus removed, the Committee shall elect a new Chair after the Committee replacements have been appointed. A minimum of three (3) members is required for any action to be taken.

Hearing Procedures

In all instances where a hearing is requested, the following hearing procedures shall apply:

  • Service of notice of the hearing with specific reasons or charges against the Faculty member together with the names of the members of the Hearing Committee shall be made in writing at least twenty (20) days prior to the hearing. The Faculty member may waive a hearing or may respond to the charges in writing at least five (5) days in advance of the date set for the hearing. If a Faculty member waives a hearing, but denies the charges or asserts that the charges do not support a finding of adequate cause, the Hearing Committee shall evaluate all available evidence and rest its recommendation upon the evidence in the record.
  • The Hearing Committee, in consultation with the President and the Faculty member, may exercise its judgment as to whether the hearing should be public or private.
  • During the proceedings, the Faculty member and the Administration shall each be permitted to have an academic advisor and/or counsel of their choice. The Hearing Committee shall be permitted to have advisory counsel.
  • At the request of either party or the Chair of the Hearing Committee, a representative of a responsible educational association shall be permitted to attend as an observer.
  • A tape recording or transcript of the proceeding shall be kept and made available to the Faculty member and the Administration in the event an appeal is filed.
  • An oath or affirmation shall be administered to all witnesses by any person authorized by law to administer oaths in the State of Georgia.
  • The Hearing Committee may grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence as to which a valid claim of surprise is made.
  • The Faculty member and the administration shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence.
  • The Faculty member and the Administration will have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Where the witness cannot or will not appear but the Committee determines that the interests of justice require the admission of the witness statement, the Committee will identify the witness, disclose the statement, and, if possible, provide for interrogatory.
  • The Hearing Committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available. All questions relating to admissibility of evidence or other legal matters shall be decided by the Chair or presiding officer.
  • The findings of fact and the decision of the Hearing Committee will be based solely on the hearing record.
  • Except for such simple announcements as may be required covering the time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements and publicity about the case by either the Faculty member or Administrators should be avoided until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the Board of Regents in the event an appeal is filed. The President and the Faculty member will be notified in writing of the decision and recommendation, if any, of the Hearing Committee.

Conclusions

  • If the Hearing Committee concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has not been established by the evidence in the record, it will so report to the President. If the President does not approve the report, the President should state the reasons in writing to the Committee for response before rendering a final decision. If the Committee concludes that an academic penalty less than dismissal would be more appropriate than dismissal, it may so recommend with supporting reasons. The President may or may not follow the recommendations of the Committee.
  • After complying with the foregoing procedures, the President shall send an official letter to the Faculty member notifying the member of either retention or removal for cause. Such letter shall be delivered to addressee only, with receipt to show to whom and when delivered and address where delivered. The letter shall clearly state any charges which the President has found sustained and shall notify the Faculty member that an appeal may be made to the Board of Regents for review. The appeal shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Secretary of the Board of Regents within twenty (20) days following the decision of the President. It shall state the decision complained of and the redress desired. The Board of Regents or a committee of the Board shall investigate the matter thoroughly and render its decision thereon within sixty (60) days from the date of the receipt of the appeal or from the date of any hearing which may be held thereon.
  • Upon dismissal by the President, the Faculty member shall be suspended from employment without pay from the date of the final decision of the President. Should the Faculty member be reinstated by action of the Board of Regents, compensation shall be made from the date of suspension.

Temporary or Part-Time Personnel
Temporary or part-time personnel serving without a written contract hold their employment at the pleasure of the President, chief academic officer, or their immediate supervisor, any of whom may discontinue the employment of such employees without cause or advance notice. (Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.9.3.)

3.1.11 Possible Suspension in Cases when a Charge of Violation of State or Federal Laws is Pending

(Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.9.4)

When a Faculty member is charged with the violation of a state or federal law, or is indicted for any such offense, a thorough review of the circumstances shall be carried out by the President.

In the event a Faculty member is temporarily suspended, the Faculty member has the right to make a written request for an appeal of the suspension.  In that event, the Administration shall immediately convene an ad hoc Faculty committee or utilize the services of an appropriate existing Faculty committee for the purpose of hearing the appeal by the Faculty member.  Information supporting the appeal shall be submitted in writing in accordance with procedures to be established by the hearing committee, which shall render its decision within ten (10) days from the conclusion of the hearing.  Thereafter, any further appeal by the Faculty member shall be in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article VIII of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.

3.1.12 Sanctions and Allocation of Support Services to Faculty Members

Support services are provided to enhance the teaching, research, and service programs of the department. Accordingly these services may not be denied to a faculty member as a sanction.

3.2 Non-Tenure Track Faculty

The Institute is authorized to establish professional positions designated as non-tenure track positions. The Institute shall prepare annually, along with its budget, a list of positions so designated for submission to and approval by the Chancellor or his/her designee. Positions designated as non-tenure track positions or as tenure track positions may be converted to the other type only with approval by the President.

Non-tenure track positions may be established for full-time professional personnel employed in administrative positions or to staff research, educational, technical, special, career, and public service programs or programs which are anticipated to have a limited lifespan or which are funded, fully or partially, through non-System sources. Some positions will have membership in the Research Faculty and some in Academic Faculty. There shall be no maximum time limitation for service in positions in this category.

The following provisions shall apply to all non-tenure track professional personnel:

  • Individuals employed in non-tenure track positions shall not be eligible for consideration for the award of tenure.
  • Probationary credit toward tenure shall not be awarded for service in non-tenure track positions.
  • Notice of intention to renew or not to renew contracts of non-tenure track personnel who are members of the Academic Faculty shall follow the schedule required for tenure track personnel. This schedule of notification shall not apply to other professional personnel.
  • Individuals employed in non-tenure track positions may apply on an equal basis with other candidates for tenure track positions which may become available.

The transfer of individuals from tenure-track positions to non-tenure track positions shall be effected on a voluntary basis only. 

3.2.1 Research Faculty: Hiring and Promotion Guidelines

Research Faculty members are not eligible for tenure. While they are subject to many of the general hiring and promotion criteria for tenure-track Faculty, there are significant differences. The following sections detail established positions in the Research Faculty and their promotion criteria. 

Titles

Research Faculty titles include:

  • Research Scientist
  • Research Engineer
  • Research Technologist
  • Research Associate
  • Extension Professional

A person is normally hired into a Scientist, Engineer, Technologist, Associate, or Extension Professional position, where appropriate, on the basis of the field of their most recent educational degree or their experience.  Standards of evaluation will generally be based on the standards of that field. There are levels of I, II, Senior, and Principal for each of these titles.

Research Associate Titles

The title of Research Associate is held by research personnel who meet all normal requirements, but for whom the title of Engineer, Scientist, or Technologist is not appropriate. The title is intended for professionals for whom a specific need exists, but because of the different nature of their education or experience, should not be classified (at least initially) in the Research Engineer/Scientist/Technologist structures. In determining when it will be suitable to use the Research Associate title structure, reliance will be placed on comparison with the established criteria for Research Engineer/Scientist/Technologist. That is, the qualifications for Research Associate should have an equivalency to Research Engineer/Scientist/Technologist, but will differ in some particular aspect. In general, it will offer more flexibility in considering the candidate's total qualifications and suitability for employment at Georgia Tech. The title is intended to be broad enough in scope to include any professional categories appropriate to the Institute's needs. Examples include medical doctors, health and safety professionals, social scientists, architects, and management experts.

Extension Professional Titles 

The title of Extension Professional is held by research personnel that fulfill the extension and service mission of Georgia Tech to the State of Georgia and beyond.  This mission includes, but is not limited to, technology-based economic development, technology commercialization and deployment, entrepreneurship, start-up company incubation, and business and industry outreach. Extension Professionals also provide educational programs for business and industry in support of these missions and facilitate and foster increased industrial engagement and sponsorship of applied research activities with Georgia Tech. 

Extension Professional appointments are made on the basis of merit and the special qualifications of the individual and follow the same general ranking, hiring, and promotion principles as the other professional research faculty ranks.  Extension Professional ranks include the same levels as for the other titles above.  Promotion criteria, including education and time in rank, shall follow the research titles as outlined in the following section; however, equivalent extension impacts and accomplishments versus research accomplishments will be considered by the promotion review boards.

Promotion to a Higher Rank

Following are normal requirements for consideration for promotion to a higher rank. These experience and performance criteria may also be used for determining the initial rank when hiring professional research personnel. Credit for previous academic or research professional experience should be explicitly stated in writing at the time of employment. In addition to these criteria, to be considered for promotion will normally require a number of years in rank, as follows:

  • Research Scientist II – Three (3) years as Research Scientist I
  • Senior Research Scientist – Four (4) years as Research Scientist II
  • Principal Research Scientist - Five (5) years as Senior Research Scientist

As used in this Handbook, "years of experience," "years in rank," and "years at Georgia Tech" are to be calculated as of July 1st of the year in which the promotion would take effect.  Note: In the above and following sections, the term "Research Scientist" is used to indicate any one of the following: Research Scientist, Research Engineer, Research Technologist, Research Associate, or Extension Professional. 

The following sections describe the credentials, competency, and performance expected of the identified ranks.  Requirements for professional registration and other legal or professional certification are not identified in these guidelines as prerequisites for promotion. Instead, these formal evidences of competency are expected to be provided by persons assigned to duties that require them.

Research Scientist I

This is the initial rank held by research personnel who have at least a bachelor's degree and who will be performing on a professional level.

Research Scientist II

In addition to the years-in-rank requirement, this rank requires one (1) of the following:

  • A Master’s degree and three (3) years of relevant full-time experience after completion of that degree,
  • A Master’s degree and five (5) years of relevant full-time experience after completion of a Bachelor’s degree, or
  • A Doctoral degree.

Qualified candidates who are recommended by the normal administrative process will not be reviewed by a Presidential committee. Professional recognition in one's research field will be expected.

In addition to the candidate’s education and experience, the promotion recommendation shall include substantive evidence of the candidate's progress toward developing the capabilities for performing at the level expected of research professionals in the same field holding senior Research Faculty ranks at Georgia Tech. Such evidence might consist of papers published or contributed to, significant managerial efforts on sponsored projects, products developed and delivered to the sponsor community such as software or hardware and documented impacts of these products, or equivalent teaching responsibilities performed in an instructional unit.


Senior Research Scientist

In addition to the years-in-rank requirement, this rank requires one (1) of the following:

  • A Master’s degree and seven (7) years of relevant full-time experience after completion of that degree,
  • A Master’s degree and nine (9) years of relevant full-time experience after completion of a Bachelor’s degree, or
  • A Doctoral degree and four (4) years' relevant full-time experience. For candidates holding the Doctoral degree, the last two (2) years of employment prior to employment at Georgia Tech will be considered if adequately documented, and the four-year time in grade requirement be reduced to two (2) years for candidates so qualified.

The rank of Senior Research Scientist is reserved for those professionals who have demonstrated a level of scholarly achievement and technical, managerial, and entrepreneurial productivity commensurate with the highest standards of Georgia Tech. Achievements should include recognized contributions to their specific technical disciplines; supervision of other research professionals through review and approval of proposals, technical reports and other communications; and representation of Georgia Tech to external organizations for the purpose of obtaining, managing, and performing high-quality sponsored research programs. Preference will be shown for qualified personnel holding a Doctoral degree in their specified discipline.

In addition to the basic requirements, above, demonstrated superior performance of professional duties is required as follows:

A.    Peer recognition of mastery of a complex and difficult field of specialization as demonstrated through authorship of refereed papers and/or products developed and delivered to the sponsor community such as software or hardware, and documented impacts of these products. The latter may come in the form of sponsor satisfaction testimonials. While emphasis will be given to authorship of journal and symposium papers which have been refereed, recognition will also be given to contributions to other journals, organizational publications, widely distributed reports which effect an education and technology information transfer; and at least two (2) of the following B through E.

B.    Important technical contributions and innovation as documented in formal reports of several projects over a minimum time of four (4) years prior to recommendation for promotion.

C.    Supervision of others' work by virtue of being a program manager, project director/principal investigator, co-project director/principal investigator, or task leader on sponsored research of such magnitude as to require guidance and supervision of other professionals.

D.    Substantial documented contributions in sponsored program development.

E.    Superior ability in representing the School/Center/Laboratory/Georgia Tech in service to and dealings with outside organizations.


Principal Research Scientist   

In addition to the years-in-rank requirement, this rank requires either:

  • A Master's degree and eleven (11) years' relevant full-time experience; or
  • A Doctoral degree and seven (7) years' relevant full-time experience.

At least the most recent three (3) years of relevant experience shall have been at a responsible technical or managerial level. Preference will be shown for qualified personnel holding a Doctoral degree in their specific discipline. In addition to the basic requirements above, the candidate for the rank of Principal Research Scientist must

 A.    Show clear evidence of consistent performance in the making of original and innovative contributions that are nationally recognized for their excellence as documented by external peer review of the candidate's work (See Section on Letters of Evaluation below); and have demonstrated outstanding capabilities in at least two (2) of the following research or service activities B through D:

B.    Leadership in developing and managing a technical thrust involving related projects. Special consideration will be given to programs involving a broad participation by research and instructional Faculty and Students

C.    Substantial contributions to Georgia Tech by service to the Institute, the State, the Nation, or to the candidate's profession

D.    Broad recognition of technical stature as evidenced by invited papers or seminars, session chairperson at national symposia, memberships on national committees, offices in professional societies, or other appropriate honors

Letters of Evaluation
At least three (3) letters of evaluation must be obtained by the Institute from highly qualified persons in the candidate's professional field who are not employed by the Institute.


Joint Appointments in Instructional Units

Instances may arise where it is appropriate for a Research Faculty member not in an Instructional Unit to receive a joint appointment to such a Department.  See Section 3.3.1 concerning Joint Appointments.

3.2.2 Non-Tenure Track Academic Faculty Members: Hiring and Promotion Guidelines

While persons holding the positions detailed under the following headings are members of the Academic Faculty, they are not eligible for tenure. While they are subject to many of the general hiring and promotion criteria for tenure-track Faculty, there are significant differences.  The following sections identify non-tenure track positions in the Academic Faculty and their promotion criteria.

Professor of the Practice

The position of Professor of the Practice is for qualified academic, business, or government leaders. Due to the stature of individuals to be offered this position, the category will have only one rank:  Professor of the Practice.

The qualifications and expectations for this position are:

  • Have substantial bases of experience, normally at least ten (10) to fifteen (15) years, and a national/international reputation for excellence.
  • Have rich and extensive backgrounds in fields and disciplines related to the school or college of appointment at the Institute.
  • Will serve as liaisons between industry or government and the Institute in identifying teaching and research opportunities that support the public interest and societal needs.
  • May be expected (depending on circumstances of their appointment) to generate financial resources to support and enhance the Institute programs in which they work.

The guidelines for implementation are:

  • General duties and responsibilities must be agreed upon in advance with each Professor of the Practice and her/his Chair and/or Dean.
  • Appointments as Professor of the Practice may be full-time or part-time. Eligibility for fringe and retirement benefits will conform to Georgia Tech employment policies.
  • “Professor of the Practice” is a non-tenurable title which is consistent with Board of Regents provisions for “Non-Tenure Track Personnel”. This classification carries with it membership in the Academic Faculty of the Institute.
  • The position may be described as “Professor of the Practice of X,” where X is an academic discipline or specialty. For communications purposes, a Professor of the Practice may represent himself or herself with a shorter title as “Professor of X.”
  • Professors of the Practice will be reappointed annually but with no limit as to the number of years that may be served.
  • Professors of the Practice will participate in an annual evaluation, as is regularly conducted for tenure track Faculty. Performance will be evaluated during this annual review, with actions and recommendations made as appropriate.
  • During the term of their appointment, Professors of the Practice are subject to, and protected by, the same Institute policies concerning academic freedom as tenured and tenure track Faculty.
  • Funding sources for Professors of the Practice may include the Institute, College, School, or Center, or some combination of these, and the funds may consist in whole or part of funds generated by the individual.
  • Schools and Colleges at the Institute have considerable latitude in developing complementary policies and procedures for Professors of the Practice as long as they are consistent in spirit with overall policies detailed in this Section.
  • The Institute and its Schools and Colleges will adopt appointment and reappointment policies. At minimum, these policies will involve letters of recommendation concerning the individual being proposed for a position as Professor of the Practice, on-campus interviews of the candidate, input into the decision by a body of the faculty in the School or College, recommendation of the Chair and/or Dean, and approval by the Provost. Faculty involvement in the decision to hire should be identical to those procedures used for hiring tenured Professors.

Academic Professionals

Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.8.3.

Academic Professional titles may be assigned to appropriate positions (as defined below). Persons in such positions may be involved in duties of a managerial, research, technical, special, career, public service or instructional support nature. The ranks of the Academic Professional at Georgia Tech include: Associate Academic Professional, Academic Professional, Senior Academic Professional, and Principal Academic Professional.

The following stipulations apply to all Academic Professional positions:

  • The position requires an appropriate terminal degree, or in rare and extraordinary circumstances, qualification on the basis of demonstrably successful related experience, which exception is expressly approved by the President.
  • The Academic Professional designation may not be assigned to a position where the teaching and research responsibilities total 50% or more of the total assignment.
  • The position is not a tenure-track position, and the holder of the position is not eligible for consideration for the award of tenure, or for probationary credit toward tenure.

The designation Academic Professional would apply to a variety of academic assignments that call for academic background similar to that of a Faculty member with professorial rank, but which are distinctly different from professorial positions. Examples include managing instructional laboratories, assuming academic program management roles not suited for expectations applied to Tenure-Track Faculty members, operating instructional technology support programs, being responsible for general academic advising, assuming professional student counseling center responsibilities, providing specialized skill acquisition training as support for academic programs, working with Tenure-Track Faculty members in course and curriculum development and in the laboratory, and course delivery.

General categories for Academic Professionals include:

  • Training and Instructional Support. This includes educational needs assessment, program development and coordination, instructional materials and technology development, delivery of specialized or skill acquisition instruction, and program evaluation.
  • Technical Assistance. An advisory or operating role which provides specialized knowledge appropriate for program support and development. The activities range from a significant or advisory or operating role to managing a technical support unit to development of organizational structures and function.
  • Specialized Management. This includes supervision of clinical practice or field experience, or providing services or out-of-class educational opportunities for Students.

Reappointment of Academic Professionals is made annually. Notice of non-reappointment must be made in a timely manner consistent with Board of Regents policy, using the three-, six-, and nine-month notification schedule depending upon length of service in the position, as outlined in the Notice subsection of 3.3.3.

Criteria or guidelines for reappointment in Academic Professional ranks generally follow those established for Instructional Units as set out in Section 3.3.3.  Additional criteria may be established by the President in consultation with the Faculty Executive Board, and shall be published and distributed to the Faculty.

Guidelines for Appointment and Promotion

  • Associate Academic Professional. This is the entry-level rank and normally requires completion of the terminal degree.  In exceptional cases, this rank may be used for individuals completing a terminal degree and for a period of two (2) years.  If the degree is not conferred, another position appointment is required.

  • Academic Professional.  This rank requires a terminal degree.  It also requires significant related experience or promotion from the rank of Associate Academic Professional.  Ordinarily at least three (3) years as an Associate Academic Professional is required before promotion to the rank of Academic Professional.  The quality of performance and potential for development must be recognized by peers. Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment.

  • Senior Academic Professional.  This rank requires a terminal degree.  It also requires evidence of superior performance in the chosen field, recognition by peers (whether national, regional, or local), and successful and measurable related experience.  Promotion to Senior Academic Professional from the rank of Academic Professional requires at least five (5) years at that level. Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment.

  • Principal Academic Professional. This rank requires a terminal degree.  It also requires evidence of superior performance in the chosen field, recognition by peers (whether national, regional, or local), and successful and measurable related experience, including but not limited to supervision of others’ work, significant responsibility and authority within program area, and demonstrated impact  in discipline and/or administrative function.  Promotion to Principal Academic Professional from the rank of Senior Academic Professional requires at least six (6) years at that level. Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment.

Minimum expectations in all Academic Professional ranks are listed below. The candidate does not need to demonstrate noteworthy achievement in all five (5) of the following areas, but must do so in number one (effective administration) and two of the others.

  1. effectively carrying out assigned administrative duties within unit;
  2. superior teaching, if applicable;
  3. outstanding service to the Institute, and/or community
  4. outstanding research, scholarship, creative activity, or academic achievement, as defined by role; and
  5. professional growth and development.

As part of the promotion process, the supervisor should submit a written recommendation setting forth the reasons for promotion. The Academic Professional’s length of service with the Institute shall be taken into consideration in determining whether or not the individual should be promoted.

Promotion to the rank of Academic Professional or above additionally requires the earned doctorate or its equivalent in training, ability, and/or experience. Neither the possession of a doctorate nor longevity of service is a guarantee per se of promotion.

Any promotion denied for budgetary reasons alone shall be considered as deferred until sufficient funds become available.

After initial appointment, each candidate for promotion will be judged primarily on the basis of the quality of performance of her/his assigned responsibilities consistent with the appropriate position description and on whether or not she/he meets the criteria for the rank.  The candidate will also be expected to have made significant progress in her/his own professional area.  Documentation of this progress necessarily will be appropriate for the specific position and may include such items as professional recognition, awards, service in professional associations, creative activities, and service within the academic community and professional or disciplinary contributions. Section 3.3.7 of the Georgia Tech Faculty Handbook provides guidance related to the evaluation of faculty members as teachers and educators and the evaluation of the research and service contributions of faculty. This guidance may be used as a framework for promotion consideration; however, evaluators should keep in mind that teaching and research together should constitute less than 50% of any Academic Professional’s duties.

Academic Professional ranks constitute a career ladder, and minimum times in rank are generally required for consideration for promotion.  However, promotion is not routine:  Each rank has its own performance criteria.  Thus, successful performance at one rank in and of itself does not necessarily imply having met the criteria for the next rank simply with the passage of time.

Promotion Procedures

Candidate’s Responsibility

Preparation of the promotion dossier is the responsibility of the candidate in consultation with and support of his/her supervisor. The candidate has the responsibility to prepare and review the documentation that is submitted, except for the evaluation letters.  However, the list provided by the candidate for external evaluators should be included in the package.  When this documentation is complete, and in the proper format, the candidate will sign a statement that it is both accurate and complete.

Should the candidate fail to meet the deadlines established by the Unit for submission of the required documentation, consideration of promotion may be delayed until the following year.

The candidate should include at a minimum the following information:

  • A position description (provided in conjunction with the supervisor), if the promotion includes a change in professional responsibilities.
  • A self-statement by the candidate.
  • A curriculum vitae that summarizes biographical, personal, and professional data.  As Academic Professional positions vary in responsibilities, no standardized format is appropriate.  However, the initial page should include the standard education and work history.  Professional contributions beyond those of the position description should be included, as should any awards, recognition, grants, artistic installation/presentation, etc.
  • The candidate may also submit evidence of three (3) to five (5) examples of their relevant best work that represent their administrative and/or creative capabilities. These may include reports, published papers, books, software, patents, art productions, or other relevant examples that reflect their superior performance and will be recognized by their peers as such.
  • If the candidate has teaching responsibilities, the candidate should provide their own table of student evaluation scores from the Course Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS). The table should include the scores from the question: “Is the instructor an effective teacher?” Other evidence of effective teaching may be provided with the guidance of the supervisor.
  • Names of Reviewers. The candidate should provide the names of at least three (3) people who are in a position to evaluate the dossier for promotion. Depending upon the nature of the candidate’s responsibilities, these letters may be national, regional, or local.
  • Signed Statement of Completeness and Waiver of Access forms provided by the Unit.

External Peer Review

Letters of recommendation.  Depending upon the nature of the candidate’s responsibilities, these letters may be national, regional, or local.  There should be at least three and need not be more than five, but each should address the substance of the candidate’s accomplishments and be solicited either by the supervisor or Unit head with an explanation of the criteria for evaluation, as appropriate.

The list of individuals from whom letters are to be obtained should be developed jointly by the candidate for promotion and the supervisor. The final decision regarding who shall be selected to provide recommendations from the list shall rest with the supervisor. It is appropriate to use the same letters for two (2) consecutive years of the process.

A candidate for promotion may request that a particular individual not be contacted as an external reviewer. Such requests are typically honored. If the supervisor concludes that circumstances require use of that reviewer, the letter must be in addition to those normally required, identified as such, and filed separately from the other external letters. A justification for including the letter must be included in the package.

External evaluations shall be solicited by the supervisor or Unit Head and supplied to the other levels of review. These letters shall be solicited with the understanding that, insofar as possible, access to them will be limited to persons involved in the promotion decision.

All candidates will be asked to sign a waiver indicating whether or not candidate “waives all rights to see the identity of the external letter writers and/or the content of their letters”. The waiver form with the candidate’s decision will be included in the package.

Internal Review

Based on the candidate’s dossier and the external letters, the supervisor will provide a letter of evaluation addressed to the Unit Head. This letter should provide an analysis of the candidate’s experience and performance using the relevant criteria related to their position, a summary of the external letters, and a recommendation for or against promotion.  If the promotion also includes a change in or additional professional responsibilities, the change should be described. This letter from the supervisor will be added to the candidate materials and external letters.

The Unit Head will convene a committee which may include tenured faculty as well as academic professionals at or above the rank being considered (the members of the committee may be external to the home unit).  Based on the results of an official vote, the committee will send its recommendation to the Unit head describing the rationale of the vote either for or against promotion.

The Unit head will write a letter to the Provost summarizing the main strengths and/or weaknesses of the case and whether he/she recommends promotion or not. In a case in which the supervisor is the Unit Head, for example when the candidate reports directly to the dean of a college, the Unit Head may provide the committee with written guidance that describes what the candidate has accomplished and what there is about the quality of the candidate’s work and expertise which warrants promotion at this time.  If the promotion also includes a change in or additional professional responsibilities, the change should be described. The Unit Head will write his/her letter to the Provost following the recommendation by the committee.

Institute Review

The Unit Head forwards his or her letter with the completed package to the Provost through the Office of Faculty Affairs for final review. The final outcome of the decision is communicated in writing to the Dean of the College or appropriate Unit Head, who in turn communicates the decision to the faculty member at the end of the review process.

Feedback to Faculty Members

After the final decision has been made and communicated in a letter from the President, It is important for the Faculty member to receive feedback regarding the assessments involved. The appropriate place for the individual Faculty member to receive this feedback is from the supervisor. The supervisor shall receive a copy of the recommendations prepared by the committee and all other reviewers (with the exception of the reviewers’ letters). At the end of the review process, the supervisor shall review each recommendation, including his/her own, with the candidate, and counsel the candidate appropriately.

In cases of disapproval of promotion, a candidate shall be counseled concerning the reasons for a negative decision.

The candidate may withdraw his/her promotion package at any time prior to submission of the package to the Office of the Provost.

 

Lecturers/Senior Lecturers

Full-Time Lecturers
Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.8.1

To carry out special instructional functions such as basic skills instruction, the Institute may appoint instructional staff members to the position of Lecturer. Lecturers are not eligible for the award of tenure. Reappointment of a lecturer who has completed six (6) consecutive years of service to the Institute will be permitted only if the lecturer has demonstrated exceptional teaching ability and extraordinary value to the Institute. The reappointment process must follow Institute procedures. Not more than twenty (20) percent of the Institute’s FTE corps of primarily undergraduate instruction may be Lecturers and/or Senior Lecturers.

Senior Lecturers
Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.8.2

The title of Senior Lecturer may be used at the discretion of the Institute.   The Institute is discouraged from initial hiring at the Senior Lecturer level. Lecturers who have served for a period of at least six (6) years at the Institute may be considered for promotion to Senior Lecturer. Promotion to Senior Lecturer requires approval by the President. Reappointment procedures for Senior Lecturers follow the same reappointment procedures as those for Lecturers. Senior Lecturers are not eligible for the award of tenure.

Hiring and Reappointment
Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.4

Full-time Lecturers and Senior Lecturers are appointed on a year-to-year basis.  Since individuals in these positions serve in Instructional Units, procedures for consideration of reappointment are handled by those Units in the same manner as for other Reappointments, as set out in this Handbook, Section 3.3.3. Hiring of Lecturers should include letters of recommendations, on-campus interviews, official transcripts, background checks, a job description specific to the appointment, other supporting documentation, request by the Chair and/or Dean, and approval by the Provost.

Lecturers and Senior Lecturers who have served full-time for the entire previous academic year have the presumption of reappointment for the subsequent academic year unless notified in writing to the contrary as follows:

  • For Lecturers with less than three (3) years of full-time service, the Institute shall provide non-reappointment notice as early as possible, but no specific notice is required.
  • For Lecturers with three (3) or more years but less than six (6) years of full-time service, the Institute must provide non-reappointment notice at least thirty (30) calendar days prior to the first day of classes in the semester.
  • For Senior Lecturers or Lecturers with six (6) years or more of full-time service, the Institute must provide non-reappointment notice at least one hundred and eighty (180) calendar days prior to the first day of classes in the semester.

Lecturers or Senior Lecturers with six (6) or more years of full-time service and who have received timely notice of non-reappointment shall be entitled to a review of the decision in accordance with the procedures in this Handbook.  For additional appeal procedures see Section VIII of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.

In no case will service as a Lecturer or Senior Lecturer imply any claim upon tenure or reappointment under conditions other than those above.

Guidelines for Promotion and Evaluation

Lecturers are expected to focus on classroom instruction, but service activities can be part of their duties.  The development of original course material and syllabi in line with the learning outcomes of the course(s) may also be part of their duties. Service may be included in the evaluation.  Some examples of service may include participation on internal or related external committees, faculty advisor for student organizations, advisor for senior design projects, or other meaningful engagement with the campus community.

Professional development may also be included in the evaluation.  Examples of professional development are publication of papers or technical reports, attendance at field-related conferences, incorporation of recent research into courses, attendance at teaching workshop, or creative contributions.  Any expectation of service or professional development activities should be outlined in the appointment letter. In rare cases, administrative duties may be assigned as a small percentage of the position responsibilities. However, classroom instruction should account for at least 62% of workload.

Lecturers shall prepare a teaching portfolio which should include all materials for the course(s) taught, self-evaluation, student evaluations, and other related information.

The teaching portfolio will be reviewed as part of the annual evaluation by a committee constituted in each School or College. 

In addition to an annual evaluation, Lecturers in their third year will have a third-year review initiated by the Unit head and conducted by the School/College Committee.  This review will also be used to determine progress toward promotion to Senior Lecturer. Promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer may be considered after six (6) years at the Institute. Time in service does not necessarily imply having met the criteria for the next rank simply with the passage of time.

Formal evaluation for promotion should include the teaching portfolio, a current curriculum vitae including service and professional development activities, and letters of recommendation.  Materials will be reviewed by a School/College committee.  The School/College Committee will submit a letter of support for and the reason for the promotion as well as the official vote to the school chair or dean (depending on if the candidate is at the school or college level). The school chair or dean will write a letter to the Provost summarizing the main strengths and/or weaknesses of the case and whether he/she recommends promotion or not.

Promotion to Senior Lecturer requires approval by the President.

Senior Lecturers are expected to participate fully in the School/College and at a more robust level than a Lecturer.  Their participation may include new course development, service on internal/external committees, research and implementation regarding pedagogy, and/or provide leadership within the School/College.

Senior Lecturers will be evaluated annually.

 

Instructors

A person hired with the academic rank of Instructor is not eligible for tenure under Board of Regents policies.  They are however afforded the same expectations and procedures for reappointment as set out in this Handbook in Section 3.3.3.  The maximum period of time that may be served at the rank of full-time Instructor shall be seven (7) years.

Librarians and Archivists

The position of Librarian or Archivist is for qualified individuals within the Georgia Tech Library and Archives who provide complex information services to the Institute. Persons in such positions may be involved in duties of a managerial, research, technical, special, career, public service, or instructional support nature.

The following stipulations apply to all Librarian and Archivist positions:

  • The position requires an appropriate terminal degree, typically a master's degree in the appropriate area of specialization.
  • The position is not a tenure-track position, and the holder of the position is not eligible for consideration for the award of tenure, or for probationary credit toward tenure.

Career ladders are established for Librarians and Archivists, using the following titles: Librarian/Archivist I, Librarian/Archivist II, Librarian/Archivist III, and Librarian/Archivist IV.

Reappointment of Librarians and Archivists is made annually. Notification of non-reappointment must be made in a timely manner consistent with Board of Regents policy. Appointments, cumulative reviews, and opportunities for promotion occur in accordance with the Library Faculty Constitution, and are overseen by the Provost, as Chief Academic Officer of the Institute.

3.2.3 Adjunct Appointments

BOR Policy Manual, Section 1.2.5 The term adjunct is used at Georgia Tech to refer to honorary, unpaid affiliations with instructional units. A faculty member in one Georgia Tech unit may be appointed to adjunct status in another unit or an individual from outside the university may be appointed to that status. The appointment may be for a narrow purpose such as serving as an advisor to a graduate student, or extend to broader participation in the governance of the instructional unit. Adjunct status, by itself, never confers the right to participate or vote in tenure or promotion processes. The appointment should be made for a specified period of time through standard faculty appointment processes.

3.3 Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

Under Board of Regents policies, only Academic Faculty members in the professorial ranks can be Tenured or in the Tenure Track (i.e. eligible to be considered for tenure).  Tenure is granted only to a Faculty member whose home Unit is an Instructional Unit.

3.3.1 Tenure-Track Faculty Appointments

 

Recommendations on appointment of a Faculty member having professorial rank shall ordinarily originate within the relevant Instructional Units and shall be presented through the prescribed channels to the President.  Appointments shall become final upon approval by the President.

Procedures for recommending reappointment, promotion, or tenure of Faculty members shall adhere to the following criteria:

  • Recommendations by the Unit Head, Dean of the College, and the Provost shall be essential elements.
  • Recommendations by Faculty committees at the School and College levels are essential elements.  They
           shall elect their own Chairs and shall function in a manner that allows independent judgment.  Written
           committee recommendations shall be transmitted to the appropriate administrative officials.
  • The Provost shall consult with selected senior Faculty members before making recommendations to the
           President

 

Qualifications
Board of Regents Policy Manual, Sections 8.3.1.2 and 8.3.1.3

Minimum employment qualifications for all academic ranks within the Institute shall be:

  • Consistent with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ requirements for institutional accreditation
  • Evidence of ability as a teacher
  • Evidence of ability and activity as a scholar in all other aspects of duties assigned
  • Successful experience (this must necessarily be waived in the case of those just entering the academic profession who meet all other requirements)
  • Desirable personal qualities judged on the basis of personal interview, complete biographical data, and recommendations
  • Consistent with Board of Regents policy for Research Universities, initial appointees to the associate or full professorial rank should have the terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or equivalent in training, ability, or experience

Evidence of current academic credentials (or equivalents) shall be maintained by the Institute for all Faculty members, including any part time, temporary, or visiting instructors.

Hiring with Tenure
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Handbook, in exceptional cases the Georgia Institute of Technology may recommend to the Board of Regents that an outstanding distinguished senior Faculty member be awarded tenure upon the Faculty member’s initial appointment. Each such recommendation shall be considered by the Board individually and shall be granted only in cases in which the Faculty member, at a minimum, is appointed as an Associate or Professor, was already tenured at his or her prior institution, and brings a demonstrable national or international reputation to Georgia Tech.

Procedures

In cases where an Instructional Unit of Georgia Tech wishes to pursue hiring with tenure, the following procedures should be followed:

  • The Academic Head (Dean/Chair) responsible for the hire should prepare a written letter making the case for hiring with tenure. This letter, along with a complete Biographical Sketch or curriculum vitae detailing the relevant career activities of the individual should be forwarded to a committee of the Faculty for review.
  • A committee of the Faculty should review the qualifications of the candidate, and render a consultative vote as to whether the candidate should be hired with tenure. This committee may be a standing Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT) committee within the unit or an ad hoc committee of the Faculty organized to review the case for tenure upon appointment. Members of an ad hoc committee must meet the Instructional Unit’s qualifications to sit on an RPT committee in that Unit. The committee should review all of the application materials submitted by the candidate, and may request additional materials (e.g., written letters of reference).
  • The Faculty committee should use the appropriate criteria for appointment and tenure at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor as established in this Handbook and as may be further specified within the unit considering the candidate.
  • The committee should prepare a written letter to the Academic Head of the Instructional Unit and record its vote on the case for tenure on appointment.
  • The letter from the Academic Head (Dean/Chair) and the letter from the Faculty committee should be forwarded to the Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs for his/her review and final determination whether the Institute will petition the Board of Regents for tenure upon appointment.

Joint Appointments
Joint appointments must involve a budgetary commitment to the individual by each Unit. Normally, this would involve teaching and/or research activity. Each Faculty member with a joint appointment should have a Home Unit which has responsibility for administrative activity for the individual. Promotion, tenure, and reappointment decisions should involve all affected Units.

Instances may arise where it is appropriate for a research titled Faculty member who is not in an Instructional Unit to have a joint appointment in an Instructional Unit.  Such arrangements are to be encouraged where they work to the advantage of all parties concerned. The head of the Instructional Unit in which the joint appointment is held will be expected to supply letters of evaluation for all promotion/salary decisions. Tenure is not awarded to persons whose home unit is not an Instructional Unit.

3.3.2 Salary Determinations for Tenure-Track Faculty

Salary
The salary level associated with each Faculty position shall be based upon the general principles set out in Section 3.1.2.  In addition, the following specific criteria shall be utilized for salary determinations for Tenure-Track Faculty:

Documentation
In determining entry level salary as well as merit increases, appropriate documentation in support of quality of performance is required. The following is illustrative:

Instruction: The quality of instructional performance should be evaluated by peers, Students, and Unit Heads. Student evaluation should be ascertained on a systematic basis.

Contribution to curriculum development, such as the development of new courses or new laboratory experiences, should be evaluated by the Unit Head.

The number of independent study courses, theses, dissertations, etc., supervised. Quality should be evaluated by peers and the Unit Head.

Creativity: The number and brief description of research grants applied for and funded; publications in scholarly journals; and presentations at conferences and workshops. The quality of these contributions should be evaluated by recognized leaders in the field.

Professional honors and awards as well as invited addresses speak to the quality of the contribution. Innovative instructional techniques can be evaluated by peers, Students, and Unit Heads.

Service: The quality of service to Students, such as academic advising, directing field trips, etc., should be evaluated by Students, peers, and Unit Heads.

Service to the academic community might take the form of presenting lectures or seminars or serving on various types of committees. Appropriate documentation might be letters from those persons responsible for the activities.

Service to the Institute might involve such things as working on programs with Communications and Development, alumni organizations, or serving on various Institute committees. Appropriate documentation about quality of service might take the form of letters from the persons responsible for these activities or the chairs of the committees.

Contributions to the profession or discipline might take a number of forms: serving in leadership positions, participating in symposia or serving on panels, or editing professional journals. Appropriate letters regarding the quality of contributions would be expected.

Evaluation of quality of service to the community might be ascertained from letters from appropriate individuals. The service might take the form of presenting lectures, participating in panel discussions, appearing on appropriate radio and television programs, or judging science fairs.

Faculty Summer Salaries
Payment of compensation to Tenure-Track Faculty members for full-time employment during the summer session shall be at a rate not to exceed one-third (1/3) of their regular nine months compensation for the previous academic year.

Merit Increases
Merit increases for full-time Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty shall be based on the same principles applicable to all Faculty members, but shall consider weights especially appropriate in Instructional Units.

Annual Reviews
In addition to the general principles set out in Section 3.1.2, evaluation criteria for Tenure-Track Faculty follow those used for promotion, tenure, and salary decisions as set out further above and in Section 3.3.7. In each particular case, the criteria used will be ones appropriate to the individual’s major responsibilities.

The requirement for regular evaluations extends to all instructional Faculty whether they are tenured, non-tenured, part-time, temporary, or visiting. If a person is the instructor of record during the year, that individual will receive an evaluation by means regularly used to assess the teaching effectiveness of full-time faculty, as set out further in Section 3.3.7 of this Handbook. Each College will set out in written policies how the evaluations will be carried out for those teaching courses in their purview.

3.3.3 Reappointment of Tenure-Track Faculty without Tenure

General Principles
All non-tenured Tenure-Track Faculty who have been awarded academic rank (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor), are employed under written contract, and who served full-time for the entire previous year have the presumption of renewal for the next academic year unless notified in writing, by the President, of the Institute’s intent not to renew. Instructors are not eligible for tenure but have the same expectations and procedures for reappointment as the above.  

Notice (Board of Regents Policy Manual 8.3.4.2)
Written notice of intent not to renew shall be delivered by hand or by certified mail, return-receipt requested.

Notice of intention not to renew shall be given according to the following schedule:

  • At least three (3) months before the date of termination of an initial one-year contract.
  • At least six (6) months before the date of termination of a second one-year contract.
  • At least nine (9) months before the date of termination of a contract after two (2) or more years of service
           in the institution.

This schedule does not apply to persons holding temporary, limited-term, or part-time positions, or persons with courtesy appointments such as adjunct appointments.

Recommendations of non-reappointment made to the President may be referred by him for consideration and recommendation to the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee.

Procedures on Reappointment

Administrative Reviews
For the first three (3) reappointment cycles, the Unit Head(s) shall review the credentials and work of the individual Faculty member and make a recommendation regarding reappointment. If the recommendation is positive, the Dean(s) (where not the Unit Head) shall review the recommendation and documentation. If the Dean's recommendation is positive, then the President shall review the recommendations and make a decision.

In the event that any of these decisions is not to reappoint, the appropriate Unit Committee, the College Committee (where appropriate) and the Provost's Advisory Committee shall be convened and a complete review by all committees shall be conducted and forwarded to the President.

It is expected that this process will be completed at the Unit level in time to coincide with the annual review process and the recommendation of salary increases. Each unit will publish, no later than the mid-point of the summer semester, the schedule for the reappointment, promotion, and tenure process for the following academic year.

For joint appointments, this process shall be modified so that the committee established shall include at least one individual from each Unit where the Faculty member holds an appointment, as well as all Unit Heads involved.

Critical Reviews
In the spring of the third year, a complete review of the Faculty member's credentials and intellectual contributions shall be conducted by the appropriate committee at the Unit level (or in the case of a joint appointment, the appropriate joint committee), the Unit Head(s), the Dean's Committee and the Dean (in those units having organizational elements such as schools or departments), and then by the Provost's Committee. Each recommendation will specify one (1) of four (4) outcomes:

  • 'Reappointment'
  • 'Reappointment with counseling' which implies that academic performance, in most respects, is positive and appropriate, but that some 'mid-course corrections' are needed prior to the tenure decision
  • 'Reappointment with warning' which implies that, as the candidate moves toward the tenure decision, some substantial adjustments must be made in the academic performance if the outcome of that decision is to be positive
  • 'Non-reappointment' which means that the candidate should expect no contract to be offered beyond the following academic year

All these recommendations shall be forwarded to the President who shall make the decision and then inform the appropriate individuals. This review should coincide with the annual salary review at the Unit level. A complete review may be conducted during the fifth year at the request of the candidate.

If the Critical Review at the end of the third year (as described above) results in a positive reappointment decision, the fourth and fifth year review will be processed in the same way that the Administrative Reviews are conducted. If the decision is 'reappoint with warning' then the fourth year review process will be the same as the third year Critical Review. Similarly, if the fourth year decision is 'reappoint with warning' then the fifth year review process will be the same as the third year Critical Review.

The committee appointed to review the Faculty member's contributions will avail itself of the opportunity to review carefully the materials submitted by the individual and to comment in detail on the intellectual products of the candidate. Because this committee will be comprised of individuals who are knowledgeable in the field, the committee will have the responsibility of placing the candidate's contributions in context and to comment on the importance of the work. The Unit Head(s) should also obtain input from other Faculty members in the Unit regarding the candidate's contribution to teaching and service. This may include a Unit-wide committee to ensure consistency within the Unit across all candidates under review.

In the event that the Faculty member's service is interrupted by a leave of absence, then that particular year of absence or extension shall not be counted as contributing to the service periods stated in any of the above procedures. In any year of absence or extension, the Faculty member will be reviewed according to regular procedures, except that if a Critical Review would be called for as described above, that review shall be postponed until the next normal year of service.

Candidate’s Responsibility
The candidate has the responsibility to prepare and review the documentation that is submitted, except for evaluation letters, if applicable. However, the list provided by the candidate for external evaluators should be included in the package. When this documentation is complete and in the proper format, the candidate will sign a statement that it is both accurate and complete.

Should the candidate fail to meet the deadlines established by the Unit for submission of the required documentation, the Faculty member will receive a letter of non-reappointment.

Feedback to Faculty Members
It is important for the Faculty member to receive feedback regarding the assessments involved. The appropriate person for the individual Faculty member to receive this feedback is from the Unit Head(s). The Unit Head shall receive a copy of the recommendations prepared by each committee and by all other administrators with direct responsibility for reviewing the candidate, including the Dean (for those units where the Dean does not serve as the Unit Head), the Provost, and the President. The Unit Head shall review each recommendation, including his/her own, with the candidate, and counsel the candidate appropriately.

3.3.4 Tenure and Promotion Overview

This section sets forth guidelines for promotion of Tenure-Track Faculty and criteria to be used in granting of tenure. It is to be emphasized that this document lists criteria intended only as guidelines and not as a prescription for tenure and promotion. The possible factors to be used for evaluation are listed to aid the Faculty in their career development and to be used with, but not substituted for, enlightened judgment on the part of responsible administrators and Faculty in providing for the long-term development of Georgia Tech. (See Sections 3.3.5, 3.3.6, & 3.3.7.)

Promotion and tenure decisions are made separately, and guidelines for evaluation relative to each of these decisions are required. The philosophy underlying the two decisions differs, although the criteria used as a basis for each decision are similar. The performance of a Faculty member may justify promotion but not the awarding of tenure. The converse can occur, although it is not likely.

Promotion is based on the intrinsic merit of the individual's work. It recognizes the Faculty member for meeting the criteria of the next higher level in the professional hierarchy. The decision is based on an evaluation of the individual's scholarly activity including instruction, creativity, and service. The decision to promote or not to promote should not be tied in any way to questions of tenure.

In contrast to promotion, which is based on the merit of the individual’s work, tenure represents the Institute's selection of a Faculty member for a long-term commitment. Individuals are selected whose performance is outstanding and whose capabilities and interests, as manifested in performance, most closely support the objectives of the Institute, the College, and the instructional Unit. The decision is based on an assessment of the compatibility of the individual's performance and interest with the needs and objectives of the Institute, the college, and the individual instructional Unit.

For a Faculty member to be considered for tenure, the individual's performance must be judged to be at or above the level appropriate to his or her professorial rank. That judgment should be based on the criteria set forth in the "Guidelines for Promotion at Georgia Tech." (See Section 3.3.6)  All dimensions of the performance must be considered, that is teaching, creativity, and service. In appraising a candidate's qualifications for tenure, the weighting of the three (3) categories set forth above may vary for each case. It is recognized that the Institute has varied responsibilities and these responsibilities may best be met by a Faculty whose members have a mix of strengths. Given an appropriate level of performance, the primary criterion for tenure is the compatibility of the individual's performance and interests with the objectives of the unit, the College, and the Institute. Statements and supporting documentation from the candidate, the Unit Head, and the Dean should address this question. Assuming an appropriate performance level, the individual's professorial activity is evaluated relative to its compatibility with stated objectives.

Each instructional Unit should have a set of clearly defined and prioritized objectives defined in accordance with the mission of that Unit. The more clearly and specifically the objectives are articulated, the more precisely can an individual's capability and interest be compared to those objectives. The objectives are not static; however, they must be influenced or modified by factors such as changing enrollment patterns and changes in the unit's and Georgia Tech's mission within the University System of Georgia. Modifications in objectives typically occur gradually, not instantaneously, thus permitting faculty awareness of the changes.

Normally, only Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Professors who are employed full-time (as defined by Regents' policies) by an institution are eligible for tenure.  The term "full-time" is used in these tenure regulations to denote service on a 100% work load basis for at least two (2) out of three (3) consecutive academic terms.  Faculty members with adjunct appointments shall not acquire tenure. The award of tenure is limited to the specified academic ranks and shall not be construed to include honorific appointments.

Individual Faculty members may initiate a request for consideration for promotion or tenure, and this request must be processed through the prescribed channels.  Candidates may, by written request, withdraw their candidacy at any stage without prejudice.
Promotion and tenure decisions may be appealed through the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee.  Additional criteria or guidelines for promotion and conferral of tenure in professorial ranks may be established by the President in consultation with the Faculty Executive Board and shall be published and distributed to the Faculty.

Tenure resides at the Institutional level. Institutional responsibility for employment of a tenured individual is to the extent of continued employment on a 100% workload basis for two (2) out of every three (3) consecutive academic terms (normally for fall and spring terms) until retirement, dismissal for cause, release because of financial exigency, or program modification as determined by the Board of Regents.

These guidelines are in full accord with the policies and procedures of the Board of Regents; however, the Georgia Tech criteria are more demanding than those established by the Regents.  These guidelines are intended to aid Tenure-Track Faculty in the conduct of their affairs in order to satisfy the requirements for promotion and/or tenure. They are not, however, a substitute for the advice and counsel of the Unit Head. All Faculty members should receive at a minimum an annual administrative review of their progress.

3.3.5 Tenure

Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.7

Criteria

Minimum expectations in all professorial ranks are:

  • Superior teaching, demonstrating excellence in instruction.
  • Academic achievement, as appropriate to the mission.
  • Outstanding service to the Institute, profession or community.
  • Professional growth and development.

More details are provided in Section 3.3.7.  Noteworthy achievement in all four (4) of the above need not be demanded, but should be expected in at least two (2). A written recommendation should be submitted by the head of the unit concerned setting forth the reasons for granting tenure. The Faculty member's length of service with the institute shall be taken into consideration in determining whether or not the faculty member should be granted tenure. 

In addition to the minimum criteria above, tenure at the rank of Associate Professor requires the earned doctorate or its equivalent in training, ability, and/or experience. Neither the possession of a doctorate nor longevity of service is a guarantee per se of being granted tenure.

Probationary Period and Credit
Tenure may be awarded, upon recommendation by the President and approval by the Board of Regents, upon completion of a probationary period which is normally at least five (5) years of full-time service at the rank of Assistant Professor or higher. A maximum of three (3) years credit toward the minimum probationary period may be allowed for service in tenure-track positions at other institutions or for full-time service at the rank of Instructor or Lecturer at the institute. Such credit for prior service shall be defined in writing by the President and approved by the Board of Regents at the time of the initial appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor or higher.

Maximum Time in Rank without the Award of Tenure
Except for the approved suspension of the probationary period due to a leave of absence, the maximum time that may be served at the rank of Assistant Professor or above without the award of tenure shall be seven (7) years, provided, however, that a terminal contract for an eighth year may be proffered if a recommendation for tenure is not approved by the Board of Regents. The maximum time that may be served in combination of full-time instructional appointments (instructor or professorial ranks) without the award of tenure shall be ten (10) years, provided, however, that a terminal contract for the eleventh (11th) year may be proffered if a recommendation for tenure is not approved by the Board of Regents.

Except for the approved suspension of the probationary period due to a leave of absence, the maximum period of time that may be served at the rank of full-time Instructor shall be seven (7) years.

Impact of Resignation on Tenure or Probationary Credit
Tenure or probationary credit towards tenure is lost upon resignation from an institution, written resignation from a tenured position in order to take a non-tenured position, or written resignation from a position for which probationary credit toward tenure is given in order to take a position for which no probationary credit is given. In the event such an individual is again employed as a candidate for tenure, probationary credit for the prior service may be awarded in the same manner as for service at another institution.

Extension of the Probationary Period for Tenure

The five (5) year probationary period must be continuous except that a maximum of two (2) years interruption because of a leave of absence or part-time service may be permitted, provided, however, that an award of credit for the period of an interruption shall be at the discretion of the President. In all cases in which a leave of absence, approved by the President, is based on birth or adoption of a child, serious disability, or prolonged illness of the employee or immediate family member, the five (5) year probationary period may be suspended during the leave of absence.

Purpose
The Georgia Institute of Technology has a critical interest in attracting and retaining a Faculty of the highest quality. This interest is enhanced by insuring that Faculty members are promoted and tenured in ways that are fair and humane. To ensure equity in administering the system of academic tenure, the Institute must provide consistent conditions and standards while supporting members in balancing personal and family obligations with professional and scholarly achievement. For these reasons, extensions of the probationary period for tenure are reserved for compelling circumstances which impair the ability of an individual to establish the stature expected of Faculty members at Georgia Tech within the normal time frame.

Conditions
Approvals of extensions of the probationary period are never automatic but may be granted when circumstances cause substantial impairment of a candidate’s ability to pursue his or her teaching and scholarly activities. Such circumstances may include severe personal illness, childbirth, adoption of a child less than six (6) years old, or other significant obligations to a member of the family or household. The probationary period may not be interrupted for more than one (1) year per event with a maximum extension of two (2) years.

If an extension is granted, no additional requirements for tenure can be imposed upon the candidate by virtue of the extension. Thus, the candidate continues to be subject to the requirements to which he or she would have been subject without the extension.

The terms and conditions of this policy apply equally to men and women.

 

Procedures
Requests for an extension of the probationary period must be made in writing and submitted to the appropriate Dean or School Chair who will review the request. All requests must be made within three (3) months of the event related to the extension request. Any supporting documentation should be attached to the request. Requests are not granted automatically. Generally, however, Georgia Tech will attempt to provide extensions to all candidates that are making good progress and are requesting an extension due to childbirth. Other circumstances warranting extension are considered equally valid but must, necessarily, be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Every effort should be made to accommodate a request when it becomes clear that circumstances, consistent with this policy, will substantially impede the Faculty member’s progress toward achieving indefinite tenure or promotion.

The School Chair will forward the request to the appropriate Dean along with an evaluative statement addressing the Faculty member’s scholarly progress. The Dean will make a recommendation and forward this request to the Provost for final action.
Consistency with Board of Regents’ policy dictates a required leave to be comprised of sick leave or other alternatives. This requirement will be developed with the appropriate Unit Head.

Unit Heads who recognize the need for a Faculty member to request an interruption of the probationary period are encouraged to discuss this policy with that individual and to do so in a timely manner. Faculty members should feel free to approach their Unit Heads for information concerning this policy or with individual requests for extension.
Administrative reviews will continue to occur on a regular basis and are unaffected by this policy. Critical reviews however, will be delayed with the probationary period extension.

3.3.6 Promotion

Criteria
Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.6

Minimum expectations in all professorial ranks are:

  • Superior teaching.
  • Outstanding professional service to the Institute, and/or the community.
  • Outstanding research, scholarship, creative activity or academic achievement.
  • Professional growth and development.

More details are provided in Section 3.3.7.  Noteworthy achievement in all four (4) of the above need not be demanded, but should be expected in at least two (2). A written recommendation should be submitted by the head of the unit concerned setting forth the reasons for promotion. The Faculty member’s length of service with the Institute shall be taken into consideration in determining whether or not the faculty member should be promoted.

In accordance with Regents’ policy for Research Universities, promotion to the rank of Associate Professor or Professor additionally requires the earned doctorate or its equivalent in training, ability, and/or experience. Neither the possession of a doctorate nor longevity of service is a guarantee per se of promotion.

Any promotion denied for budgetary reasons alone shall be considered as deferred until sufficient funds become available.

Guidelines for Promotion

From Instructor to Assistant Professor

  • A doctorate in an appropriate discipline or experience which is of value comparable to the doctorate in preparing the candidate for the role of an educator
  • Clear evidence of effective teaching
  • Clear evidence of creativity
     

From Assistant to Associate Professor

  • Sufficient time in grade. Generally, five (5) or more years in grade are expected. Three (3) years in grade, at least two (2) of them at Georgia Tech, or two (2) years of relevant professional experience plus two (2) years as an Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech, are a minimum requirement. Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment
  • A doctorate in an appropriate discipline or experience which is of value comparable to the doctorate in preparing the candidate for the role of an educator
  • Clear evidence of effective teaching
  • Clear evidence of creativity while at Georgia Tech
  • Clear evidence of contributions to Georgia Tech in meaningful ways by service to the Institute, to the public, or to appropriate professional organizations

A candidate for promotion to Associate Professor should satisfy the first four (4) of these qualifications. Marginal qualifications in any of these areas might be compensated for by strength in the fifth.

From Associate Professor to Professor

  • Sufficient time in grade. Generally, six (6) or more years in rank are expected. Three (3) years at the Associate Professor rank, at least two (2) of them at Georgia Tech, or two (2) years of relevant professional experience plus two (2) years as an Associate Professor at Georgia Tech are considered a minimum requirement before promotion. Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment
  • A doctorate in an appropriate discipline or experience which is of value comparable to the doctorate in preparing the candidate for the role of an educator
  • Significant contributions as an educator
  • Clear evidence of significant creativity
  • Evidence that the candidate is making substantial contributions to Georgia Tech by service to the Institute, to the public, or to the profession
  • Broad recognition in terms of visiting professorships, invitations to give papers or seminars, memberships on national committees, offices in professional societies, or other appropriate honors.

A candidate for promotion to Professor should satisfy clearly the first four (4) of these qualifications and should have some demonstrable accomplishments in the last two.

3.3.7 Promotion and Tenure Evaluation

Evaluation of Faculty Members as Teachers and Educators
Criteria for effective teaching are difficult to define. As a minimum an effective teacher should continue to become more proficient in the subject matter and more efficient in achieving the objective of the courses being taught. An effective teacher should be able, especially, to motivate Students to do their best and to respond favorably to the teacher's enthusiasm for the subject.

The concept of educator implies a broad perspective toward higher education that encompasses more than effective teaching. It involves such things as leadership in developing new educational programs, including postgraduate educational programs, attracting graduate Students, developing new laboratory experiments, etc.

Listed below (with no attempt to suggest any rank order) are some types of evidence that may be used to evaluate the performance of a Faculty member as teacher and educator:

Course and Curriculum Development

  • Development of new courses and laboratory experiences or new approaches to teaching.
  • Extensive work in curriculum revision or teaching methods for the school or department.

Teaching Skills and Methods

  • Relative performances of students in the candidate sections of multi-section courses.
  • Participation in programs, conferences, or workshops designed to improve teaching skills.
  • Awards or other forms of recognition for outstanding teaching.
  • Systematic Student evaluations, such as exit interviews or other standardized questionnaires. Information such as percentage of Students providing data and a copy of evaluation instructions must be provided. (See Student Opinion of Courses and Instructors below).
  • Demonstrated ability to teach basic courses effectively at the undergraduate and at the graduate level (when appropriate) where such courses are offered in the disciplines.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in the classroom environment.

Generation of Textbooks, Instruction Materials, and Publications on Teaching

  • Publication of books or articles on teaching methods.
  • Publication of new instructional techniques or descriptions of laboratory materials (if not listed under Creative Activities).
  • Publication of textbooks (if not listed under Creative Activities).
  • Effective utilization of audio-visual aids and multi-media where appropriate.
  • Expository articles of broad interest exemplifying command of subject, breadth of perspective, etc.

Education Activities

  • Supervision of independent study courses, honors theses, graduate theses and dissertations, field trips, internships, and practice.
  • Supervision of Students who are working in instructional activities, such as lectures, laboratories, recitations, self-paced instruction, or tutoring.
  • Specialized teaching for honors Students or for other types of special programs.

Evaluation of Creative Contributions
While difficult to define precisely, creativity is characterized by the making of original and innovative contributions. The nature of the creative work must be appropriate to the individual's discipline. Moreover, it must be shown that significant creative activity has been performed while at Georgia Tech. To provide objective evaluation of creative activities, external peer review normally is required. The review should be based only on the individual's work and should not include opinions regarding promotion or tenure. A brief description of the reviewer, including positions and title, should be included. In general, the quality of such activities is of more importance than the sheer quantity. In cases where the creative work is a joint effort with others, there must be clear evidence that the individual under consideration has taken a leading role in conducting the work.

The creative work may be in a variety of forms. The nature of the material offered and the relative weight assigned to the various types of activity will vary among disciplines. Some examples of creative activities that may be appropriate at this institution are as follows:

Publications

  • Research papers in scholarly journals, literary publications, and books.

Unpublished Writings and Creative Work of Limited Circulation

  • Technical reports, engineering and architectural designs, and grant applications
  • Inventions leading to patents
  • Presentations at conferences and meetings.

Creative Educational Contributions

  • Innovative teaching methods, research in instructional techniques, and textbooks.

Artistic Creations

  • Paintings, sculpture, and music.

External Recognition of Creative Work

  • Prizes and awards, invited presentations, and consultancies.
  • For promotion to the rank of Associate Professor there should be clear evidence that the person has demonstrated an ability to make original and innovative contributions to a chosen field.
  • For promotion to Professor there should be clear evidence that the person has demonstrated consistent performance in the making of original and innovative contributions that are nationally recognized for their excellence.
     

At all levels, the candidate’s creative accomplishments throughout his/her entire career should be considered and special attention given to those that occurred at Georgia Tech.

Evaluation of Service Activities
While Faculty members usually contribute to the Institute primarily through teaching and creative activities, they also may contribute significantly to the development of Georgia Tech through rendering appropriate types of service to the Institute, to the public, and to the professional organizations to which they belong.

Professional Education
There is a rapidly escalating need for postgraduate professional education opportunities for persons to deepen, broaden, and raise the level of their knowledge and understanding, both in their professional field and in general. For this reason, Faculty participation in professional education activities constitutes a service to the public, to professional fields which seek to serve that public, and to the Institute.

Service to Students
Service to Students includes such activities as: advising, career counseling, presentation of lectures on special topics, participation in panel or group discussions, directing field trips, serving as faculty moderator of a student activity, and engaging in appropriate extra-academic activities with Students.

Documentation should include a statement from the Unit Head relative to the academic load of the Faculty member, participation in pre-registration and registration duties, as well as comments on the quality of those activities stated above.

Service to the Academic Community
Presenting lectures, participating in seminars, developing research proposals with other faculty members, serving on committees, study groups and task forces, and lending one's professional expertise to other faculty members for their benefit. The quality of the member's participation in such activities should be documented.

Service to the Institute
Significant service to the offices of the Institute, such as Institute Relations and Development, the Alumni Association, the Athletic Board, Education Extension teaching, special student services, recruitment and similar activities; and serving on various Institute committees. Documentation of these activities should include statements regarding the frequency of meetings, records of attendance, offices held, contributions to special reports, etc.

Availability for Service Activities
Maintaining regular office hours and expressing willingness to serve whenever opportunities are available. Documentation should include a statement from the Unit Head.

Service to the Profession
Membership in professional organizations; attendance at professional meetings and conferences, organizing professional meetings, serving as a discussant of papers read by others at professional meetings or being a panel member at such meetings, holding office in professional organizations; contributing consultative, advisory, editorial service in a professional capacity, and serving as site visitor for accreditation review. Documentation should include appropriate records, awards, or other forms of recognition.

Service to the Community
Community Service involves a wide range of activities directed toward local, state or national groups. Examples of such service include:

  • Lectures;
  • Panel discussions;
  • Radio and television appearances;
  • Membership on advisory boards or civic committees;
  • Involvement in community, charitable organizations, or the government;
  • Involvement in youth and citizen recreation programs; and
  • Advising students or judging the entries at science fairs.
     

Appropriate documentation of service activities should be included. For persons being considered for promotion to Associate Professor, the rendering of service in any of these categories is appropriate. For persons being considered for promotion to the rank of Professor, participation in service activities is required, and some form of leadership activity is expected.

Student Opinion of Courses and Instructors
To provide instructors with information about Student opinions of their teaching and courses, the Institute has developed the Course/Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS). Provision is also made for written comments from the students.

The surveys are conducted on-line and instructors may access the results for their courses on-line.

Unit Heads receive the responses to the Institute core items, and any optional questions from the respective units; however, they receive neither the responses to any additional optional items the instructors may have elected to include, nor the written comments. Students have access to the responses to the core Institute questions if the response rate is over a threshold requirement.

The results of the CIOS serve as one (1) component of an overall assessment system for documenting teaching proficiency. The survey, processed by the Center for Teaching and Learning under the auspices of the Provost, is administered in each School or College on a systematic basis during fall and spring semester each year. In addition, the survey system is available during summer semester.

3.3.8 Promotion and Tenure Procedures

Candidate’s Responsibility
The candidate has the responsibility to prepare and review the documentation that is submitted, except for evaluation letters.  However, the list provided by the candidate for external evaluators should be included in the package.  When this documentation is complete, and in the proper format, the candidate will sign a statement that it is both accurate and complete.

Should the candidate fail to meet the deadlines established by the Unit for submission of the required documentation, consideration of promotion and/or tenure may be delayed until the following year. However, if such a delay would have the effect of violating the maximum time of employment for an untenured Faculty member, the Faculty member will receive a letter of non-reappointment.

Format for Promotion and/or Tenure Packages: Guidelines for Candidates
It is important that all candidates follow as closely as possible the same format in preparing the documentation for promotion and/or tenure packages, although some flexibility should be allowed. All candidates must include a copy of their curriculum vitae.  The candidates should also write a brief summary of their major accomplishments at Georgia Tech with regard to teaching, research, and service. These personal narratives shall be three (3) to five (5) pages with one-inch margins, standard single-spaced and 10 pt minimum font. The candidates also are required to submit evidence of three (3) to five (5) examples of their relevant, creative capabilities. These may include published papers, books, software, patents, art productions, or other relevant examples.

Format for Promotion and/or Tenure Packages: Guidelines for Units
It is appropriate that each set of documents prepared by a Unit be preceded by letters of transmittal from the Unit Head, and from the Committee referenced in Internal Peer Review Section below, and the Peer Review Committee of that School. These will include comments regarding whether a candidate meets the required qualifications for each separate point of the promotion and/or tenure guidelines (See Sections 3.3.5 & 3.3.6). These comments should be brief and highlight the more significant contributions in each area. The presentation should be written so that the merits of the case are fully apparent to persons who may not be familiar with the discipline of the individual under consideration. Comparison of the relative merits of multiple candidates from within the department is encouraged.

The letter of transmittal should be followed by a curriculum vitae, prepared by the candidate, detailing the relevant career activities of the individual. Finally, the package may include further relevant documentation such as letters of evaluation, Student evaluations, and (if unavoidable) copies of unpublished creative work.

External Peer Review
Letters of recommendation from appropriate individuals outside the Institute must be obtained by the Unit for any decisions related to tenure or promotion. The individuals from whom letters are sought should be clear leaders in the field. Brief biographical sketches of these individuals should be included in the materials submitted for consideration, as well as the letters received. Generally, the letter writers should not have a personal or professional connection to the candidates (e.g., dissertation advisor, postdoctoral mentor, research collaborator). If letters from such individuals are included, they must be in addition to those normally required, identified as such, and filed separately from other external letters. A justification for including letters from these individuals must be included in the package.

The list of individuals from whom letters are to be obtained should be developed jointly by the candidates for promotion and/or tenure and the Unit Head(s). The final decision regarding who shall be selected to provide recommendations from the list shall rest with the Unit Head(s) and the Faculty committee. It is appropriate to use the same letter for two (2) consecutive years of the process.

A candidate for Promotion and Tenure may request that a particular individual not be contacted as an external reviewer. Such requests are typically honored. If the School Chair or Dean concludes that circumstances require use of that reviewer, the letter must be in addition to those normally required, identified as such, and filed separately from the other external letters. A justification for including the letter must be included in the package.

External evaluations shall be solicited by the Unit Head(s) and supplied to the office of the Dean. Theseletters shall be solicited with the understanding that, insofar as possible, access to them will be limited to persons involved in the promotion/tenure decision.

All candidates will be asked to sign a waiver indicating whether or not the candidate “waives all rights to see the identity of the external letter writers and/or the content of their letters”. The waiver form with the candidate's decision will be included in the package.

Internal Peer Review
Each College (or Unit within a College) should determine and publish appropriate measures of scholarly impact of Faculty candidates for Promotion and Tenure. Each Promotion and Tenure package should include an explicit discussion of the impact of the candidate’s scholarship relative to the College’s or Unit’s measure of impact.

The first-level Peer Review Committee should be tailored for each candidate so that it is composed of Faculty in the same or related fields or technical interest areas. The Unit Head typically appoints this committee in consultation with the unit RPT Committee. Candidates shall have the opportunity to suggest to the Unit Head(s) the names of individuals who would be appropriate members of the committee. For joint appointments, input should be obtained from the Faculty of both units. In the event that the individual units do not have appropriate expertise relating to the candidate’s specific creative contributions, the committee may include individuals who are not members of the Georgia Tech faculty.

Expanded Peer Review
A unit-wide committee may be appropriate in large units with a number of sub-disciplines to provide some consistency across units and to comment on the teaching and service contributions of the candidate.

Decisions Involving Joint Appointments
A committee drawn from appropriate individuals of each Unit shall be established to provide recommendations. In the event that individual Units do not have appropriate expertise related to the candidate's specific creative contributions, a special committee shall be constituted and may include individuals who are not members of the Georgia Tech Faculty. All Unit Heads involved jointly shall provide recommendations. These recommendations will then be passed along to the next level(s) as appropriate.

Joint Academic/GTRI/Center Appointments
Promotion and/or tenure decisions of academic Units will be based on their own criteria; however, letters of evaluation from appropriate GTRI Unit Heads and/or Center Directors must be included in the documentation of these candidates. Appropriate individuals from GTRI or the Center normally will be included in the unit-level committees appointed to make the initial recommendation.

The Provost and Executive Vice President's Advisory Committee
The College Deans, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and senior members of the Faculty representing the Colleges, comprise the advisory committee. Vice-Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs  may participate in the discussions of the committee but does not vote. Similarly, the college Deans participate in the discussion but do not vote on the candidates from their colleges nor do representatives from a specific unit (such as Physics) vote on Faculty members from that unit. Normally, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs chairs the meetings. The Committee forwards all packages, along with its recommendations to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Recommendation of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs considers all information that has been compiled, transmits the complete package along with his/her recommendations to the President, and then notifies the college Deans of the recommendations involving Faculty within their respective colleges.

Final Dispositions and Reports
Upon approval of the award of tenure and/or promotion to an individual by the President, that individual shall be notified in writing by the President; notification will be forwarded to the Board of Regents.

An annual report shall be made to the President by each Unit of the Institute on the status of its Faculty. The annual report shall include the numbers of tenured and non-tenured Faculty, by rank. Individuals who have been retained in full-time faculty status at the Institute for a period in excess of seven (7) years without the award of tenure shall be identified by name and justification for such retention given. These reports shall be available for public inspection.

The Institute shall provide data annually to the Board of Regents, showing the Institute’s tenure rates by gender and race.

Feedback to Faculty Members
After the final decision has been made and communicated in a letter from the President, it is important for the Faculty member to receive feedback regarding the assessments involved. The appropriate place for the individual Faculty member to receive this feedback is from the Unit Head(s). The Unit Head shall receive a copy of the recommendations prepared by each committee and by all other administrators with direct responsibility for reviewing the candidate, including the Dean (for those Units where the Dean does not serve as the Unit Head), the Provost, and the President. The Unit Head shall review each recommendation, including his/her own, with the candidate, and counsel the candidate appropriately.

In cases of disapproval of promotion, a candidate shall be counseled concerning the reasons for a negative decision.

 

Promotion and tenure decisions may be appealed through the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee.  (See “Grievance: Process and Procedures”, Section 3.1.9).

3.3.9 Periodic Peer Review Policy

Purpose
Periodic Peer Review (PPR) is aimed at facilitating Faculty development and ensuring intellectual vitality and competent levels of performance by all Faculty throughout their professional careers. In both regards, the goal is to maximize the talents of tenured Faculty within the broad array needed for effective performance of the Institute and its Units. 

The Institute recognizes that the granting of tenure for Faculty is an important protection of free inquiry and open intellectual debate. This PPR policy defines a system of periodic peer evaluation of all tenured Faculty which is intended to enhance and protect the guarantees of tenure and academic freedom. It is recognized that PPR is most appropriately conducted by a committee of Faculty peers.

A Periodic Peer Review is both retrospective and prospective because it recognizes past contributions and provides the means for continuous intellectual and professional growth. It is recognized that, within the traditional mix of professional activities, different emphases may be appropriate at different stages in a Faculty member's career. As a Faculty development tool, PPR provides an opportunity to assist a tenured Faculty member in formulating a multi-year plan of professional growth and activity in teaching, research, and service based on his or her interests and the needs and mission of the Unit and the Institute. To assure professional competence, PPR provides an opportunity to assess the tenured Faculty member's effectiveness in teaching, research, and service over a multi-year period. Assessment of professional activities over a relatively long time span encourages Faculty members to undertake projects and initiatives that do not readily lend themselves to annual evaluation.

The outcome of a PPR may be a recommendation for a five (5) year review if the Faculty member’s performance is satisfactory or better; a three (3) year review if the Faculty member’s performance is less than satisfactory; or a referral of the matter to the appropriate Dean for further consideration.  A second consecutive recommendation for a three (3) year review indicates major and/or chronic deficiencies.

Evaluation Criteria

  • The criteria used may be those ordinarily used by the Faculty member’s Unit, or alternative criteria may be applied to reflect the varying emphases/roles senior Faculty may play.
  • The School Chair is responsible for formulating individualized alternative criteria, after consultation with the Faculty member; an understanding regarding such criteria must be reached and confirmed in writing prior to documentation submission.
  • If there is no agreement on criteria, the Faculty member may request a hearing by a committee established by the Faculty of the Unit. The Committee's decision on criteria is final.

Submission of PPR Package by the Faculty member
The Faculty member shall submit a PPR package, that contains:

  • A cover sheet
  • A copy of the approved individualized evaluation criteria, if applicable
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A statement from the Faculty member, of up to five (5) pages
    • If the Faculty member is undergoing a second or subsequent PPR, the statement must include information on how goals from the previous review have been met.
    • The Faculty member should state his or her goals for the next five (5) years.
  • The Faculty member's teaching evaluations
    • For the Faculty member’s first PPR, all evaluations should be included
    • For subsequent reviews, only course evaluations from courses taught since the last evaluation should be included.
  • Summaries of annual performance evaluations (to include rebuttals) for the years under consideration. The summary shall be prepared by the Chair and reviewed by the Faculty member.

Chair's Assessment Letter

  • After receipt of the PPR package, the School Chair will prepare a summary and assessment based upon the agreed criteria.  The summary should be supported by the Faculty member’s annual evaluations and rebuttals, if any.  If it is not, the Faculty member should be given the opportunity to comment on the summary. The letter should also include a detailed assessment of the Faculty member's goals for the next five (5) years.  The School Chair should deliver these documents to the Unit PPR committee.

Unit Level PPR Committee

Composition

The Unit Faculty shall determine the composition of the committee, with the following limitations:

  • The committee must have at least three (3) members.
  • The committee shall be composed of tenured, Academic Faculty from the unit of the Faculty member's primary appointment.  If a candidate has a joint appointment with budget sharing, then
    • The majority of the committee members for such Faculty members shall be from the primary Unit; and
    • At least one (1) member of the committee must be from the non-primary Unit
  • The Chair shall not be a member of the committee.  Whether to include administrative Faculty members other than the Chair is up to Unit Faculty.  This decision shall be reviewed every five (5) years
  • A single committee may review all PPRs or, if approved by the unit Faculty, several committees may do so. 

The Faculty member to be reviewed may:

  • Provide input on the composition of the committee for consideration by the Unit Faculty
  • Select a member of the committee to serve as an "advocate" or choose to add another tenured Faculty member to serve as "advocate", with voice and vote.
  • Remove one (1) person from the committee

Review Process
The committee shall:

  • Examine the documentation provided by the Faculty member and the Unit Head
  • Assess the Faculty member’s performance based upon agreed criteria.  The assessment should be written, and should contain the information specified below, based upon the committee’s recommendation

Five (5) year review recommendation following a First review or subsequent Five Year reviews: Faculty member is making appropriate progress

The committee's report should contain:

  • Narrative text commending satisfactory or better performance
  • Critique of substandard performance (if any)
  • Recommendations for corrective actions (if any)
  • Recommendation for five (5) year review
  • Record of committee's vote
  • The signatures of all members of the PPR committee
  • Comments on Faculty development and resources appropriate for execution.  For Associate Professors, this should include activities to enhance prospects for successful promotion.

Three (3) Year review recommendation after an initial review or a five year review: Major or Chronic Deficiencies
The committee's report should contain:

  • Narrative text containing critique of substandard performance
  • Detailed recommendations for corrective actions (if any)
  • Narrative text containing commendation for satisfactory or better performance
  • Recommendation for three (3) year review
  • Record of committee's vote
  • The signatures of all members of the PPR committee
  • Comments on Faculty development and resources appropriate for execution.  For Associate Professors, this section should include activities to enhance prospects for successful promotion.

Five (5) Year Review recommended after Three (3) Year Follow-up Review: No Major Deficiencies; Significant Improvement Made
The committee's report should contain:

  • Narrative text explaining that no major or chronic deficiencies are present
  • Comments on what improvement(s) have been made, if any
  • Recommendation for five (5) year review
  • Record of committee's vote
  • The signatures of all members of the PPR committee

Three (3) Year Review Recommendation after a Three Year Follow-up Review: Deficiencies Still Present, but the Faculty Member is Making Progress
The committee's report should contain:

  • Narrative text citing deficiencies still present
  • Comments on any improvement made, as well as significant improvements not made
  • Recommendations for corrective action
  • Possible resources
  • Recommendation for Three (3) Year Review and for Dean to consider referral to FSGC
  • Record of committee's vote
  • The signatures of all members of the PPR committee

Communication of Outcome of Five (5) and Three (3) Year Reviews:
The committee shall submit to the School Chair and Dean:

  • PPR Committee report
  • Supporting documentation
  • Chair's assessment of Faculty member’s goals and performance

The Dean shall provide a copy of all documents to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs; the Vice Provost’s Office, through Faculty Affairs, maintains all files of reviews.

The Dean (Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs for Colleges without Schools) shall transmit a letter and all documentation to the Faculty member.

Faculty Development Plans
The Faculty member who receives a Three (3) Year Review is required to meet with the Unit Head and Dean to establish a development plan.

  • Initial Three (3) Year Reviews: The Unit Head and Dean will arrange a meeting with the Faculty member to discuss the plan in a timely fashion. The Faculty member, Unit Head, and Dean will work together to develop a formal plan for Faculty development.  The plan shall contain:  
    • Specific goals or outcomes
    • An outline of activities to be undertaken
    • A timetable
    • Mutually agreed monitoring strategies
  • Subsequent Three (3) Year Reviews:  The Faculty member, Unit Head, and Dean will meet to discuss progress and update the previous formal development plan.

Resources may be allocated to assist in Faculty development.  The plan shall be retained at the unit level and should be considered during the next review.

Decision of the Dean upon Committee Recommendation for a Second Consecutive Three (3) Year Review
If the Unit level committee recommends a Three (3) Year Follow-up Review to the Dean, the Dean has two (2) options:

  • Refer the matter  to the  FSGC, or
  • Schedule another Three (3) Year Review

If referred to the FSGC:

  • FSGC shall review the matter (see Grievances: Process and Procedures)
  • FSGC, after review, shall send a recommendation to the President
  • The President shall make the final decision
  • The President shall notify the Faculty member, in writing, of the decision

Appeals and Grievances
The Faculty member being reviewed may appeal the Unit level recommendation, or other grievances related to the PPR process, to the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (See Section 3.1.9 Grievance: Process and Procedures). 

3.3.10 Process for 5-Year Comprehensive Review and Evaluation of School Chairs

Purpose
The performance of each academic School Chair will be reviewed annually by the responsible Dean. In addition, a comprehensive formal review must be completed around the end of every fifth year of appointment. The purpose of such a comprehensive review is to evaluate the progress of the School under the Chair’s leadership, to provide the opportunity for constructive input from Faculty and other constituencies, and to review the professional contributions and performance of the Chair as a “leader” and an “administrator.”

Ultimately, the purpose of such comprehensive reviews is to determine whether the Chair should be reappointed for another term. A second five (5) year appointment has been typical whereas a third five (5) year appointment is unusual. Nevertheless the reappointment decision will be based on the best interests of the Institute, College, School and individual.

It is recognized that all administrators, including the unit Chairs serve at the will of their immediate supervisors and higher administrators. Nothing in this review process is meant to limit the ability and responsibility of higher administrators to make changes in leadership positions whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable.

Criteria and Procedures
A review committee is appointed by the Dean of the College as follows:

  • The Committee will consist of no fewer than five (5) members.
  • A majority of the Committee members shall be chosen from tenured, non-administrative Faculty members in the unit.
  • The Committee Chair shall be chosen by the Dean in consultation with the School’s Faculty Advisory Committee.
  • The Committee will normally be chaired by a senior Faculty member.
  • The Committee Chair is normally from a different academic unit in the College.
  • The School Chair has the opportunity to comment on the composition of the Committee.
     

Establishment of Criteria to be Used in Reviews
The review criteria are to be defined by the Dean and the candidate prior to initial appointment or the Dean and the Chair prior to reappointment. As part of the Dean’s annual review of the Chair, the criteria may be reaffirmed or modified in consultation with the Chair of the School. As part of the Dean’s charge to the review committee, the Dean will review the evaluation criteria established at the beginning of the Chair’s current term, as well as any changes made since that time.  Specific responsibilities of school chairs that fall within these general criteria and must be included in the review are posted on the Faculty Affairs website.

General Criteria

  • Demonstrating evidence of commitment to the highest standards of quality in teaching, scholarship/research, academic development with evidence of the School’s actual progress on all three (3).
  • Providing effective management of internal affairs of the School.
  • Recruiting/retaining the highest quality Faculty, Staff, and Students.
  • Managing the School’s fiscal affairs.
  • Developing/maintaining open communications with all constituencies.
  • Facilitating goal setting by individuals, programs, and by the Unit as a whole.
  • Identifying issues and resolving conflicts affecting the Unit.
  • Developing internal and external resources.
  • Implementing fair and equitable performance evaluations and salary adjustments.
  • Establishing a working environment conducive to achieving individual and unit goals, as well as balancing and reconciling diverse interests with the unit.
  • Building relationships with constituencies within and outside of Georgia Tech.
     

Review Process
The Dean may schedule the review for any time between four (4) and six (6) years after either the initial appointment of the Chair or the preceding formal review. The review may be timed to coincide with the mandatory Board of Regents’ five (5) year Program Review. Utmost confidentiality must be maintained during the review process. The Dean will provide the Committee with confidentiality guidelines at their first meeting.

Early in the process, the Chair should be asked to meet with the review committee to provide a self-assessment. The Committee should seek input from Unit’s Faculty, Staff, and Students, and other constituencies. The Committee should identify areas where the Chair should place added emphasis/attention if he/she continues to lead the unit over the next five (5) years.

Conclusion of the Review
The Committee provides the Dean with a confidential, written report of no more than five (5) pages. The report shall include:

  • Assessment of the School’s progress under the Chair’s leadership.
  • Evaluation of the Chair’s performance as a leader and administrator.
  • Recommendations for improvement (if any).

The Chair being reviewed will have the opportunity to comment on the report. The Dean will evaluate the report and make a decision regarding the reappointment of the Chair. The Dean will communicate results of the review both orally and in writing to the Chair. The Dean will inform the Review Committee of the reappointment decision.

3.3.11 Process for 5-Year Comprehensive Review and Evaluation of Deans of Academic Units

Purpose
The performance of each Dean of an Academic Unit will be reviewed annually by the Provost. In addition, a comprehensive formal review must be completed around the end of every fifth year of appointment. The purpose of such comprehensive reviews is to evaluate the progress of the units under the Dean’s leadership, to provide the opportunity for constructive input from Faculty and other constituencies, and to review the professional contributions and performance of the Dean as a leader and an administrator.

Ultimately, the purpose of such comprehensive reviews is to determine whether the Dean should be re-appointed for another term. A second five (5) year appointment has been typical whereas a third five (5) year appointment is unusual. Nevertheless the reappointment decision will be based on the best interests of the Institute, Unit, and individual.

It is recognized that all administrators, including Deans, serve at the will of their immediate supervisors and higher administrators. Nothing in this review process is meant to limit the ability and responsibility of higher administrators to make changes in leadership positions whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable.

Criteria and Procedures
A Review Committee shall be appointed by the Provost as follows:

  • The Committee will consist of no fewer than five (5) members.
  • The majority of the Committee members shall be chosen from tenured, non-administrative Faculty members in academic units supervised by the Dean.
  • The Committee will normally be chaired by a senior Faculty member.
  • The Committee Chair is normally from a different College/Unit.
  • The Committee Chair is chosen by the Provost in consultation with the Chair of the Faculty Executive Board.
  • The Dean has an opportunity to comment on the composition of the Committee.

Criteria Established to be Used in Reviews
The review criteria are to be defined by the Provost and the candidate prior to initial appointment, or the Provost and the Dean prior to reappointment. As part of the Provost’s annual review of the Dean, criteria will be reaffirmed or modified in consultation with the Dean. As part of the Provost’s charge to review committee, the Provost will review the original criteria as well as any changes made.

General Criteria

  • Demonstrating evidence of commitment to the highest standards of quality in teaching, scholarship/research, academic development with evidence of College's actual progress on all three.
  • Providing effective management of internal affairs of the College.
  • Recruiting/retaining the highest quality administrators, Faculty, Staff, and Students.
  • Managing the College's fiscal affairs.
  • Developing/maintaining open communications with all constituencies.
  • Facilitating goal setting by individuals, programs, Schools, and by the Unit as a whole.
  • Identifying issues and resolving conflicts affecting the Unit.
  • Developing internal and external resources.
  • Implementing fair and equitable performance evaluations and salary adjustments.
  • Establishing a working environment conducive to achieving individual and Unit goals, as well as balancing and reconciling diverse interests within the College.
  • Building relationships with constituencies within and outside of Georgia Tech.

Review Process
The Provost may schedule the review for any time between four (4) and six (6) years after either the initial appointment or the preceding formal review. For Colleges without Schools, the review of the Dean may be timed to coincide with the Board of Regents' five (5) year Program Review. Utmost confidentiality must be maintained during the review process. The Provost will provide the Committee with confidentiality guidelines at their first meeting.

Early in the process, the Dean should be asked to meet with the review Committee to provide a self-assessment. The Committee should seek input from Chairs, Faculty, Staff, Students, and other constituencies. The Committee should identify areas where the Dean should place added emphasis/attention if he/she continues to lead the Unit over the next five (5) years.

Conclusion of the Review
The Committee shall provide the Provost with a confidential, written report of no more than five (5) pages. The report shall include:

  • Assessment of the College's progress under the Dean's leadership.
  • Evaluation of the Dean's performance as a "leader" and "administrator".
  • Recommendation for improvement (if any).

The Dean being reviewed will have opportunity to comment on the report. The Provost will evaluate the report and make a decision regarding reappointment of the Dean. The Provost will then communicate the results of the review both orally and in writing to the Dean. The Provost will inform the Review Committee of the reappointment decision.