Faculty and Librarian Promotions
About This Policy
- Effective Date:
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- University Faculty Council
Office of the President
- Responsible University Administrator:
Board of Trustees, Indiana University
Procedures for Recommendations
Before any decision is made within a department, school, program, or division about whether to recommend promotion, the appointee shall be notified that he or she is under such consideration and that within a properly specified and reasonable period of time, such as two to four weeks, he or she may submit materials which it is believed will be relevant to a consideration of his or her professional qualifications.
(University Faculty Council, April 29, 1976)
The departmental chairperson or director of an academic unit shall have the responsibility of submitting the names of those members of the department who are deemed worthy of promotion on the basis of the established criteria.
It shall be the privilege of any faculty member or librarian to submit a recommendation for the promotion of any faculty member or librarian, including himself or herself. These recommendations shall be properly documented.
Recommendations, whether submitted by individual faculty members or librarians or coming from chairpersons or directors, shall be submitted through the academic administration of each campus. For specific information on the promotion process, see campus-specific documents.
Academic administrators and Chancellors/Provosts, advised by faculty and librarian committees, are responsible for submitting promotion recommendations to the President.
It shall be the responsibility of the President to submit to the Board of Trustees in time for consideration at their April meeting the names of those recommended for promotion. The President shall state in writing to the relevant Chancellor/Provost or Vice President the reasons for any changes made in the Chancellor’s/Provost's or Vice President’s recommendations.
Where a candidate is not promoted, it shall be the obligation of the chairperson or dean to review with the candidate the reasons for the failure to promote, if such a request is made by the faculty member involved.
(Faculty Council, April 1, 1952)
Criteria for Promotion
Teaching, research and creative work, and services which may be administrative, professional, or public are long-standing University promotion criteria. Promotion considerations must take into account, however, differences in mission between campuses, and between schools within some campuses, as well as the individual’s contribution to the school/campus mission. The relative weight attached to the criteria above should and must vary accordingly. A candidate for promotion [or tenure] should normally excel in at least one of the above categories and be at least satisfactory (research/creative activity; service) or effective (teaching) in the others. In exceptional cases, a candidate may present evidence of balanced strengths that promise excellent overall performance of comparable benefit to the university. In all cases the candidate’s total record should be assessed by comprehensive and rigorous peer review. Promotion to any rank is a recognition of past achievement and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of greater responsibilities and accomplishments.
- The prime requisites of any effective teacher are intellectual competence, integrity, independence, a willingness to consider suggestions and to cooperate in teaching activities, a spirit of scholarly inquiry which leads the teacher to develop and strengthen course content in the light of developments in the field as well as to improve methods of presenting material, a vital interest in teaching and working with students, and, above all, the ability to stimulate their intellectual interest and enthusiasm.
- The quality of teaching is admittedly difficult to evaluate. This evaluation is so important, however, that recommendations for an individual’s promotion should include evidence drawn from such sources as the collective judgment of students, of student counselors, and of colleagues who have visited other classes or who have been closely associated with his or her teaching as supervisor or in some other capacity, or who have taught the same students in subsequent courses. Because numerical summaries in student course evaluations may reflect cultural biases, and low participation rates may skew results, numerical ratings should not be used as the primary source of data for evaluating teaching. Each campus and unit faculty governance organization shall have a policy for evaluating teaching that provides for qualitative student feedback and other sources of information.
Research and Creative Activities. In most of the fields represented in the program of the University, publications in media of quality are expected as evidence of scholarly interest pursued independently of supervision or direction. An original contribution of a creative nature is as significant or as deserving as the publication of a scholarly book or article. Quality of production is considered more important than mere quantity. Significant evidence of scholarly merit may be either a single work of considerable importance or a series of studies constituting a general program of worthwhile research. The candidate should possess a definite continuing program of studies, investigations, or creative works.
Service. Educated talent, technical competence, and professional skills are indispensable in coping with the complexities of modern civilization. Because most technical assistance is carried on by professional persons, and a high proportion of them have university connection, the University must provide people to fill this need. The performance of services for the University or for external organizations may retard accumulation of evidence for proficiency in research or teaching even while contributing to the value of the individual as a member of the University community. In such cases effective service should be given the same consideration in determining promotion as proficiency in teaching or research. The evaluation of the service should be in terms of the effectiveness with which the service is performed, its relation to the general welfare of the University, and its effect on the development of the individual.
(Faculty Council, April 14, 1960; University Faculty Council, February 10, 1976; “Balanced Case” language approved by University Faculty Council, March 8, 1994; Modified by UFC Agenda Committee and reported to the UFC, April 12, 1994; Adopted by Board of Trustees, May 6, 1994)
Promotion in Rank
When considered for promotion, the individual should be assessed in regard to all three criteria from the preceding section. Favorable action should result when the individual has demonstrated a level of competence or distinction appropriate to the proposed rank in one area of endeavor. Failure to promote may arise from unsatisfactory or ineffective performance in the other areas.
From Assistant Professor to Associate Professor. This advancement is based on continued improvement, whether in quality of teaching, in scholarship, or in the performance of service roles.
If teaching is the primary criterion, it should be distinctly superior to that of effective teachers at this and other major institutions. If research or other creative work is the primary criterion, the candidate should have demonstrated a broad grasp of his or her own and related fields and should be establishing a national reputation as a scholar. A definite and comprehensive plan of future research covering a number of years and a beginning thereon which extends well beyond the limits of the doctoral dissertation should be evident. If service to the University, profession, or community is the primary criterion, it should be discharged with merit and should reflect favorably on the University and on the individual’s academic status.
From Associate Professor to Professor. This promotion is based upon achievement beyond the level required for the associate professorship.
If teaching is the primary criterion, the candidate must have demonstrated an extraordinary ability to stimulate in students, either undergraduate or graduate, a genuine desire for scholarly work. Wherever feasible he or she should have demonstrated the ability to direct the research of advanced students.
If research or other creative work is the primary criterion, the candidate should have shown a continued growth in scholarship which has brought a national reputation as a first-class productive scholar. If administrative, professional, or academic service is the primary criterion, distinguished contributions must be evident.
(Faculty Council, April 14, 1960)
Criteria for Promotion
Performance of Librarianship duties, professional development/research/creative activities, and service to the profession, university, and community are long standing University promotion criteria for librarians. Promotion considerations must take into account, however, differences in mission among campuses, and among library units within some campuses, as well as the individual librarian’s contribution to the library/campus mission. The relative weight attached to the criteria above should and must vary accordingly. In all cases the candidate’s total record should be assessed by comprehensive and rigorous peer review. Promotion to any rank is a recognition of past achievement and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of greater responsibilities and accomplishments. For specific procedures and criteria for promotion, see campus-specific documents.
The prime requisites of an effective librarian are intellectual competence, integrity, proficiency and a willingness to cooperate with others in carrying out the responsibilities of his/her position in the library. Evidence must show that the librarian uses professional experience, knowledge of appropriate research and creativity to solve problems, improve services, innovate, and lead. Recommendations for an individual’s promotion should include evidence drawn from such sources as the collective judgment of peers, faculty and colleagues, who have been closely associated with or have some knowledge of the candidate’s work.
Professional Development/Research/Creative Activities
A librarian who is responsive to the demands of the profession keeps abreast of the latest developments in Librarianship and makes original contributions through professional development/research/creative activities. Assessment of the quality of professional development/research/creative activities is based on evidence of the impact of such work on the development of the librarian and the advancement of the profession, among other factors.
Service is the application of a librarian’s knowledge, skills, and expertise to benefit the institution, the discipline, the profession, or the community in a manner consistent with the missions of the university and the specific campus. Assessment of the quality of service is based on evidence of its impact on furthering the goals of the library, the specific campus, the university, the community and the advancement of the profession, and its effect on the development of the individual, among other factors.
(University Faculty Council, November 30, 1976)
Promotion in Rank
When considered for promotion, the librarian should be assessed in regard to all three criteria from the preceding section. Favorable action should result when the individual has demonstrated a level of excellent performance of Librarianship duties and a level of competence or distinction appropriate to the proposed rank in one of the other areas of endeavor. In exceptional cases, a candidate may be promoted based on excellent performance and evidence of balanced strengths across the other two areas of professional development/research/creative activities and service that when considered together show a level of distinction appropriate to the rank under review. Failure to promote may arise from an assessment of unsatisfactory contributions in one of the three criteria areas. For details on the criteria and procedures, see campus-specific documents.
From Assistant Librarian to Associate Librarian. Excellent performance of Librarianship duties is the primary criterion. Professional development/research/creative activities and service are secondary criteria. The candidate must demonstrate continued improvement beyond the satisfactory level in one and be satisfactory in the other. If professional development is the secondary criterion, the librarian demonstrates a definite continuing program of relevant professional contributions and activities. If service is the secondary criterion, the librarian demonstrates a definite continuing commitment to service that reflects favorably on the university and the libraries, marked by increased levels of responsibility.
From Associate Librarian to Librarian. Promotion is based upon achievement beyond the level required for Associate Librarian. The librarian must have demonstrated an extraordinary ability and level of Librarianship which stimulates/ inspires others. Wherever feasible he or she should have demonstrated the ability to direct the work of others, mentor students or train staff and colleagues. If professional development/research/creative activities is the secondary criterion, the candidate should have shown a continued growth in professional contributions which has enhanced the reputation of the university. If professional service is the secondary criterion, distinguished contributions must be evident.
(University Faculty Council, November 30, 1976; April 28, 2009; Board of Trustees, June 12, 2009)
“Librarian” is the rank for librarians whose performance as Associate Librarians has been superior and whose professional development, research and/or creativity, and service have resulted in the attainment of state, regional, or national recognition in the library profession. Tenure normally accompanies this title.
“Associate Librarian” is the title for librarians who have excelled in performance as Assistant Librarians and whose professional development, research and/or creativity, and service show continued improvement. Tenure is normally attained in this appointment; however, promotions to this title may be made before the sixth year without granting tenure.
“Assistant Librarian” is the title for librarians who have had at least two years of appropriate experience; whose performance has met and fulfills the requirements of operational standards; whose professional development, research and/or creativity, and service have been satisfactory; and who show potential for meeting the criteria for promotion to Associate Librarian. Time spent as assistant librarian is counted toward tenure. In exceptional cases, librarians may be tenured in this appointment.
“Affiliate Librarian” is the title for librarians who have (1) a master’s degree from an American Library Association accredited library school or the equivalent professional credentials or a graduate degree in other professional or scholarly fields where appropriate and (2) less than two years of appropriate experience. This title shall not be held longer than three years. The second evaluation must be followed by a recommendation resulting in (1) promotion, (2) a one-year terminal appointment, or (3) continuation as affiliate librarian based on extenuating circumstances (e.g., illness) which shall be explained to justify such continuation. Time spent as affiliate librarian is counted toward tenure.
(University Faculty Council, April 11, 1978)
Updated July 26, 2016, to remove outdated references to the Indiana University Library Faculty Handbook.
On February 10, 2023, the Responsible University Office was updated to reflect organizational restructuring.