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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Guidelines for Faculty Tenure

Guidelines for tenure developed by schools must incorporate the following and must be approved by the Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer.

I. General

     A. Awarding of tenure to faculty currently holding university appointments
  1. A minimum of three years of probationary service at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) or another institution.
  2. Academic credentials congruent with the expectations of the school and department.
  3. Peer recognition that is reflected by national reputation.
  4. Evidence of sustained scholarly achievement reflected in peer recognition of published works.
  5. Significant scholarly accomplishments as defined in the Statement on Scholarship.
  6. Evidence of positive institutional citizenship, manifested as effective participation in service activities, mentoring of more junior colleagues, support of university missions and values, collegiality and leadership initiative.
  7. Overall value to the core missions of the university: teaching, research and service.
     B.  Awarding of tenure simultaneously with appointment to the university

Established scholars may be awarded tenure simultaneously upon appointment to the university faculty.  In these situations, tenure must be recommended by the relevant dean following a process and guidelines developed by the school, including the standard review by the school’s Faculty Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee.  A prospective faculty member may not independently initiate his/her candidacy for tenure.

The relevant dean shall submit the recommendation to the University Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure Committee for review and recommendation to the President.  The President shall make the final determination whether to recommend tenure to the Board of Regents.

School guidelines for recommending tenure to incoming faculty must include those indicated in section A. above, but may include additional criteria.  Examples of additional criteria are prior rank and tenure at another institution(s); extent and quality of prior teaching, research, and institutional service; length of service at other institutions; and consistent record of research productivity, effective teaching, professional and institutional service, and extramural support.  

II. Specific

Examples of types of activities and qualities that are consistent with the general guidelines (above) and faculty rank follow for the three areas of academic activity essential to the mission of the university (teaching, research and service).

     A. Teaching
  1. Teaches effectively: shows a range of skills, from mastery of content and method to sustained and outstanding performance, as documented by student and faculty evaluations. All teaching activities should receive consideration.
  2. Takes responsibility for the design, organization, coordination, and evaluation of a course or series of lectures, or has administrative responsibility at the school or departmental level for curriculum; supervises staff teaching within a course, department, school or the university.
  3. Receives recognition as an exemplary scientist or clinician whose teaching activities can be documented as providing an outstanding role model for students.
  4. Develops and/or presents effective continuing education or other professional programs, including invited presentations.
  5. Receives invitations to teach as a visiting professor at other institutions.
  6. Provides effective supervision to graduate students.
  7. Provides effective student guidance and counseling regarding program planning and general curricular activities, as well as consultation to student organizations and groups within and outside of the university.
  8. Demonstrates innovation in teaching methods and production of texts, educational software or courseware.
     B. Research
  1. Demonstrates initiative, independence and sustained activity in basic sciences, clinical, outcomes or population research.
  2. Publishes research findings and scholarly papers in refereed scientific or professional journals, book chapters and other scholarly works, especially as senior author.
  3. Presents research and scholarly findings at scientific and professional meetings.
  4. Obtains grants or contracts for research or other scholarly activities.
  5. Serves on or chairs thesis or dissertation committees.
  6. Receives invitations to preside over sessions at national or international professional or scientific meetings.
  7. Receives recognition for excellence in research by professional or scientific institutions or organizations.
     C. Service
  1. Provides exemplary patient care that augments the educational and research missions of the university.
  2. Provides staff responsibility for a service or specific area of patient care or clinical teaching for which peer recognition can be documented.
  3. Holds responsible, appointed positions within the institution and/or affiliated institutions (chair of department, member or chair of school or university committees).
  4. Provides consultation or service to other departments or schools within the university and to local, state, regional or national organizations that seek or benefit from the candidate's expertise.
  5. Serves on extramural review committees or editorial boards of scientific or professional journals.
  6. Performs a key administrative role in patient care, research or teaching activities within a department or division.
  7. Provides services to the professional or lay community through education, consultation or other roles.
  8. Engages in mentoring faculty colleagues.
  9. Serves as a consultant for or serves on government review committees, study sections or other national review panels.
  10. Serves on editorial boards of professional or scientific journals.
  11. Serves as an officer or committee chair in professional or scientific organizations.
  12. Serves in elected, responsible positions on civic boards or organizations concerned with health care issues at the local, state, regional, national or international levels.