Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure of CES Faculty
July 1996 (most recent revision)
Table of Contents
- General Statement
- University Policy
- College Policy
- Evaluation Criteria
- Letter of Application
- Document Format
- Submission and Evaluation Procedure
Due Dates for Promotion and Tenure
Tenure is intended to preserve and enhance an institution of higher education's excellence and its function in developing the human intellect. Tenure contributes to this objective by giving a strong measure of security and protection to faculty members; it frees them to teach, inquire, create, publish, and serve with less concern for the immediate popularity or acceptability of their efforts than would be the case if termination of employment were a constant possibility.
The granting of academic tenure represents a long-term commitment of institutional resources which requires proof of excellence in past performance and a forecast that an individual faculty member's intellectual vitality and future contributions will continue to be of high quality for many years to come. There is no entitlement to tenure based upon a record that is merely competent and satisfactory for a prescribed period of time.
(From Mentor in a Manual: Climbing the Academic Ladder to Tenure, by A. Clay Shoenfeld and Robert Magnan. Magna Publications, 1993)
Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure of Cooperative Extension Service Faculty in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences , July 1996
Unanimously Approved and Adopted in November 1995, by the Extension Administrative Cabinet
Context: The College of Agriculture and Home Economics has a diverse mission and different kinds of appropriated funding sources not generally present in other colleges at New Mexico State University. Consequently, this college has a Promotion and Tenure Committee made up of three promotion and tenure subcommittees: one for faculty with majority appointment in Academic Programs and the Agricultural Experiment Station, one for faculty with majority appointments as Extension specialists, and one for Extension county faculty. These three subcommittees make up the College Promotion and Tenure Committee. This document relates exclusively to Cooperative Extension Service faculty.
For strict conformity to University guidelines which foresee one promotion and tenure committee for each college, the committees referred to hereinafter as the Promotion and Tenure Committee are technically the Extension subcommittees of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee. Thus, Extension has two subcommittees, one for county faculty and one for state specialist faculty. Their function parallels that of the college committee in other colleges.
Promotion of faculty members and issuance of continuous contracts are matters of utmost importance to any university. Criteria in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences by which individuals are evaluated defy simple enumeration because most faculty have unique professional skills, as well as teaching, research, and/or Extension responsibilities. Further, the land-grant philosophy under which New Mexico State University functions dictates that faculty also should participate in various service activities. Therefore, promotion and tenure evaluations must consider the person's professional performance in light of budgeted responsibilities and non-budgeted service functions.
Important principles should apply to all evaluations even though they cannot be translated into criteria uniformly applicable to all disciplines. The person being evaluated should demonstrate professional stature and ability to communicate with relevant clientele that are consistent with the rank or tenure status the person is seeking. Many faculty have a professional specialty that is unique within the College; the rest share a professional specialty with only a few other faculty in the College. Consequently, the evaluation of a candidate's professional development and stature, as well as prospects for further development, must consider a number of factors.
Extension faculty are an integral part of the New Mexico State University system. Faculty designated as Extension Specialists and County Extension Agents make up the strength of one of the finest informal educational systems in the world. To maintain this strength, it is critical that careful consideration be given to the promotion and tenure of faculty as these faculty progress through their Extension careers.
This publication puts into place the pertinent materials that relate to promotion and tenure in the Cooperative Extension Service. The intent is to develop a thorough understanding of the procedures and criteria required for Extension faculty to be considered for promotion and/or tenure. (Reference: Policy Manual, Chapter 5.90: Promotion and Tenure.)
Promotion for Extension faculty consists of progress through the various academic ranks of the university. These ranks are instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. It is the responsibility of the individual faculty member to apply for promotion at appropriate times in his/her career. In the Extension Service, title changes and changes in assignment are not considered as changes in academic rank; therefore, personnel actions are not covered in these guidelines.
Tenure considerations for tenure-track faculty will occur during the faculty member's sixth year of employment. If a faculty member's employment begins prior to the last Friday in September, tenure-track credit will be retroactive to July 1. If a faculty member's employment is after the last Friday in September, tenure-track credit begins the following July 1.
All colleges at New Mexico State University adhere to the general University promotion and tenure guidelines as set forth in the NMSU Policy Manual in the chapter labeled Faculty Policies, Chapter 5. It includes important statements concerning philosophical aspects of teaching, research, and service. Specific consideration is given there to qualifications for promotion to the junior (instructor, assistant professor) and senior (associate professor, professor) ranks. Candidates for promotion and/or tenure must carefully examine these University guidelines before beginning the application process.
In order for the College and University to grow and develop, junior faculty members must be encouraged and nurtured to develop their talents. Senior faculty members should consider it part of their responsibility to assist with this nurturing process.
Within the College, candidates for promotion and/or tenure are evaluated by their District Department Head or Program Department Head, Promotion and Tenure Committee, Associate Dean and Associate Director, and Dean and Chief Administrative Officer. At all levels of this evaluation, judgments must be made based on an individual's responsibilities and performance. These judgments should recognize that each faculty member has a unique responsibility within the University. Likewise, the candidate must be aware that advancement through the academic ranks requires not only excellence in an academic discipline, but also evidence of developing the professional stature and maturity of view expected of those in the professorial ranks. Candidates for promotion and/or tenure are, therefore, responsible for providing the basis for appraisal of his/her performance, professional maturity, and likelihood of continued contributions. Consideration for issuance of a continuous contract (tenure) begins no later than spring of the fifth year and is completed no later than the sixth year of employment. University guidelines state clearly that "promotion to professor should not be considered to be forthcoming merely because of years of service to the university."
Extension Associate positions are non-tenure-track positions and do not qualify for promotion and tenure consideration under these guidelines. These positions will be evaluated under the College of Agriculture and Home Economics promotion criteria for non-tenure-track faculty.
III. University Policy
A. General Qualifications for Promotion: Common elements to be considered for promotion, differing only in degree in all ranks, are:
- Teaching. This element is difficult to define precisely, but is commonly considered to include the teacher's knowledge of his/her field; awareness of developments in the field; skill in arousing interest and evoking responses in students; skill in stimulating students to think critically, to understand the interrelationships of fields of knowledge, and the application of knowledge to human problems; and skill in awakening students to realization of the social, political, economic, and ethical implications of their study.
- Research. This element is composed, in part, of the person's research or other creative work that indicates professional merit and interest. Results of this activity will normally find expression through accepted channels or media in the respective professional fields or in his/her teaching. Teaching and research are ordinarily closely related; it is difficult to comprehend how a person can teach well without having a first-hand understanding of how the knowledge of the field is discovered.
- Service. This element includes the person's general contributions to the organization and development of the University, and services to any agency or institution needing the specific benefits to be derived from his/her professional knowledge and skills.
B. In order to carry out the above three elements, faculty members should have the following Extension qualifications, differing only in degree with rank:
- Subject-Matter Knowledge. Faculty members should have a high scholastic or performance record, indicating competence in their subject-matter fields. They should update their technical knowledge constantly to maintain that competence. They must have the ability to apply technical knowledge in practical situations, and recognize inter-relationships in problems that involve their subjects and other fields of knowledge.
- Communication Skills. These skills involve being able to understand other people as well as project one's own thoughts effectively. Both abilities are essential to all faculty members, who must establish and maintain positive relationships with co-workers and other people. Faculty members must have the ability to write and speak well with diverse audiences and must know how to work competently with mass media.
- Organization and Programming Ability. Faculty members must be able to plan and conduct educational programs for audiences within their scope of work. They must be willing to cooperate with colleagues and others in accomplishing common goals. They must be willing and know how to take the initiative in organizing people for group action.
- Attitude. Faculty members must be willing to contribute to the development and continued growth of the Cooperative Extension Service, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences , and New Mexico State University. They must also exert a positive influence and contribute to building the morale of the Cooperative Extension Service.
- Other Service. Committee memberships, task forces, meetings attended, etc. as applied to the following:
- Industry (judging, speeches, popular articles published, consultations not reported above, workshops, field days, tours, etc.)
Service takes many forms, but every faculty member must carry his/her fair share of the service functions. Each faculty member is embedded in at least two structures to which service must be rendered: the local administrative structure of Department, College and University, as well as a structure of professional affiliations. For faculty to maintain the independence they expect and have viable professional organizations, someone must supply the required services. As a faculty member matures, he/she should assume service responsibilities in broadening arenas. For example, an assistant professor should assume some service responsibility in his/her department/county office and perhaps have started District/College-level service; an associate professor further should assume some College-level service and perhaps have begun to engage in University-level service; a professor should serve at all levels. A faculty member should experience a similar broadening of service responsibilities to his/her professional organization(s).
The paragraphs above make it clear that evaluators need to know a candidate's specific skill(s), professional affiliations, clientele, and how supporting materials speak to perspectives raised above. The letter of application is the appropriate place for a candidate to deal with these matters. It is a summary of the candidate's interests, competence, past contributions, ongoing activities, and noteworthy circumstances. Without a well-reasoned letter of application, other supporting materials may appear to be unrelated information.
C. Specific Qualifications for Promotion: Considerations for rank will be based on the criteria in the University policy handbook, as a minimum. Time periods, if stated, are to be considered as minimum and not necessarily a maximum. Meeting the minimum requirements for time in rank does not automatically qualify a faculty member for promotion. Judgements will be based on the quantity and quality of evidence of performance provided by the candidate and by appropriate District Department Head, Program Department Heads, and College and University Administrators.
- Instructor. A master's or appropriate terminal degree is preferred. (Anyone employed after January 1, l974 must have a master's degree within six years to be considered for tenure-track faculty status). In addition to the general qualifications, an instructor:
- has a positive attitude toward the profession and makes a positive contribution to the total program.
- demonstrates cooperativeness, initiative, and ability as an educator.
- has the ability to accept delegated responsibility in planning and conducting Extension programs.
- demonstrates ability in the subject-matter area.
- demonstrates ability in interpersonal, mass communication, and public relations skills.
- evidence of professional growth and updating.
- evidence of continued development in communication skills.
- (County) ability to plan and implement (utilizing formal local advisory committees) effective Extension programs consistent with identified local needs.
- recognized as an emerging leader in area of responsibility in New Mexico.
- evidence of continued professional updating and attainment.
- demonstrated ability to objectively evaluate, strengthen, and improve existing programs and lay a basis for launching new ones.
- recognized as an established leader in area of responsibility in New Mexico.
All requirements for previous ranks must be met on a continued basis and additional qualifications include:
- a substantial command of the whole subject-matter field in assigned responsibility and a well-marked, sound, and significant scholarly view.
- recognized as an
established leader in area of responsibility in New Mexico and
established national and/or international reputation for outstanding
contributions to the development of improvements in agriculture, youth,
community development, or home economics. (National recognition from
professional organizations; regional, national or international
involvement such as offices or committee assignments.)
To be considered for this rank, a person is expected to have maintained all the qualities and conditions required for tenure and the Associate Professor rank.
D. Additional Considerations. Promotions will be based on documented records of outstanding successful efforts and performance evaluated according to the criteria listed in the performance evaluation forms.
College Policy The promotion and tenure policy of the College
of Agriculture and Home Economics conforms to University policy, but
includes the following additional conditions:
A. The conditions for tenure are the same as those for associate professor. Specifically, tenure will not be awarded to an assistant professor unless he/she is simultaneously being promoted to associate professor.
B. All faculty being considered for initial appointment with tenure will be evaluated for tenurability by the appropriate department Tenure Committee and the College Promotion and Tenure Committee. The criteria for tenurability will be those applied to current faculty. Because the materials available for these evaluations ordinarily are more abbreviated than the usual tenure materials, the committees need to take special care to document the basis for their recommendation(s).
C. Faculty appointed with service credit from other organizations will have a letter of offer detailing the conditions for promotion and tenure.
D. Letters of reference for promotion and/or tenure must include letters from the candidate's department; letters from the University, but outside the candidate's department; and letters from off campus.
V. Evaluation Criteria The
following items will be considered by all evaluators when preparing
A. Budgeted time in each area of assigned responsibilities.
- % Extension, % Experiment Station, % Academic Programs, and % other assigned responsibilities.
- Extension Program
- a. Evidence
of professional maturity in Extension programming
- i. Expertise
ii. Ability to relate subject matter to broader fields.
iii. Insight into future needs of society and directions of discipline.
iv. Leadership in program development.
v. Texts, publications, and other materials published or developed for teaching.
vi. Professional services to Extension programming.
c. Reputation among peers.
- Teaching (for Academic
Program/Experiment Station faculty)
- a. Evidence of professional
maturity in teaching.
- i. Expertise in subject-matter.
ii. In the candidate's technical specialty.
iii. In the broader area of which the candidate's technical specialty is a part.
iv. Ability to relate subject-matter to broader fields.
v. Insight into future needs of society and directions of discipline.
vi. Leadership in course and curricular development.
vii. Texts, publications, and other materials published or developed for teaching.
viii. Professional services to teaching.
c. Reputation among peers.
d. Achievements of former students.
- Research (for Academic Program/Experiment Station faculty)
a. Evidence of professional maturity in research/scholarly activity.
- i. Expertise in specialty field(s). This should be related to
ii. Ability to relate to broader fields.
iii. Insight into current trends in the discipline.
iv. Insight into future needs of society.
v. Quality of research.
- (a) Evidence of originality and innovation.
(b) Usefulness to the discipline.
(c) Usefulness to industry or public sector.
- i. Among departmental, College, and
ii. Among other professional peers--state, regional, national, international.
iii. Among representatives of industries and agencies, public and private.
- a. Evidence of professional maturity
b. Evidence of professional stature related to service functions
c. Evidence of outside requests for consulting
d. Evidence of cooperation with teaching and Experiment Station missions
e. Evidence of other activities in support of the mission statement of the college.
- International Activities
a. Evidence of utility to the University, contribution to the growth
and development of the faculty member, and benefits to the recipient(s)
of the programs or activities.
b. Publication(s) from the activity beyond required reports.
c. Seminars, classes, or similar presentations that incorporate international experience(s).
d. Evidence of utility to local clientele, contribution to growth and understanding of social, economic, and cultural development as a result of receiving, educating, and hosting international participants.
VI. Letter of
Application A well-reasoned summary of the candidate's
interest, competence, past contributions, ongoing activities, and
B. Educational background
- Dates degree(s) achieved
D. Review of
Progress Toward Tenure
Application for Tenure
title and percent of appointment.
_____ % Extension
_____ % Experiment Station
_____ % Academic Programs
_____ % Other
F. Present academic rank:
Date of promotion to present rank:
G. Date of employment with CES-NMSU:
H. Other professional service
I. History of performance ratings at NMSU (provided by Department Head).
J. Historical listing of publications
K. Historical evidence of major program accomplishments. Provide a descriptive paragraph for each accomplishment.
L. Historical listing of:
- Professional awards
- Memberships in
professional societies and organizations.
N. Historical listing of professional improvement.
- List professional
involvement such as annual or special in-service training provided by
- List other professional improvement such as short
courses and workshops, University courses for credit, and professional
society or association conferences or conventions.
VIII. Submission and Evaluation
Procedure (See AP&P, chapter labeled ACADEMIC, Section
VIII for further information)
A. Candidate, District Department Head/Program Department Head, Promotion and Tenure Committee.
All untenured, tenure-track faculty must submit their document to the Promotion and Tenure Committee each spring for evaluation of progress toward tenure and recommendation for temporary contract renewal.
Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee will review the current documentation file (including a current vita) and recommend which faculty members will be considered for promotion. The department head will inform the candidate in writing of the recommendations. Progress toward tenure and progress toward promotion should be addressed separately, since the timetables for attaining these goals are not necessarily the same, particularly in the case of promotion to professor. Any faculty member who feels that he/she is ready for promotion may ask that his or her name be included among those names under consideration. (Exceptions see Appendix: Extension Promotion Review Waiver)
Initiation of procedures for promotion and/or tenure normally begins in spring each year. The following fall, an assembly of materials, outlined in this document, will be evaluated by District Department Head/Program Department Head, Extension Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Associate Dean and Director, and the College Dean and Chief Administrative Officer. District Department Heads/Program Department Heads are responsible for informing Extension faculty regarding types of materials needed in the candidates files, but individual candidates are responsible for preparing the documentary material in his/her file. Promotion and tenure instructions should be distributed periodically to all faculty and specifically given to all new faculty during their first year. Each nontenured tenure-track faculty member must have a tenure recommendation within six years.
The first step to be taken by individual faculty members anticipating submission of materials for promotion and/or tenure should be an examination of criteria used by the New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service. This process will provide a guide in preparing materials needed for consideration. The candidate prepares both a letter of application and a document following the format described in the section dealing with those materials. The document is supplied to the District Department Head/Program Department Head who will prepare a descriptive letter of evaluation outlining aspects of the individual's performance and contributions. The District Department Head/Program Department Head also should solicit at least five letters of recommendation from the candidate's peers, clientele, associates, and/or previous supervisors. These letters should be solicited by the supervisor, not the candidate. Letters of recommendation are not necessarily limited to those nominated by the candidate. (Note: An outside reviewer who is requested to write a letter of assessment for a candidate for promotion and/or tenure should be aware that the candidate will have an opportunity to read the letter.)
The candidate should have an opportunity to review all items included in the packet of materials that are assembled for the review by appropriate NMSU committees and administrators. Furthermore, once the packet is prepared, nothing will be changed, added, or deleted from it without the knowledge of the candidate.
The completed document is then assembled by the District Department Head/Program Department Head into a document having the following organization:
- University promotion form or contract status
- Evaluation and recommendation by District Department
Head/Program Department Head.
- Candidate's letter of
- Completed promotion and tenure document of faculty
- Minimum of five letters of reference from peers,
clientele, associates, supervisors, to be solicited by District
Department Head/Program Department Head from a list of names provided by
the candidate to their District Department Head/Program Department Head.
Letters of Recommendation are not necessarily limited to those nominated
by the candidate.
- Other support materials (i.e., unsolicited
materials). All tenured faculty will be allowed to submit unsolicited
letters commenting on the respective candidate's qualifications for
promotion and/or tenure for inclusion in this section if they choose to
B. Extension Promotion and Tenure Committee
Responsibility. The Extension Promotion and Tenure Committee advises
the Associate Dean and Director and the Dean and Chief Administrative
Officer of the College concerning each application for tenure or
promotion of an Extension faculty member and issuance of continuous
- Committee Structure. Two subcommittees will be formed
from Promotion and Tenure Committee members elected by the college
faculty. One subcommittee will be for state faculty (five state
specialists, one from each program area), elected from nominations
submitted by the Extension Specialists Association. A second
subcommittee will be for county faculty (five county Extension faculty)
elected from nominations submitted from the 4-H, Agriculture, and Home
Economics Agent Associations. Committee members will be elected for a
three-year staggered term and a chairperson will be selected by the
Associate Dean and Director. These peer committees will serve in an
advisory capacity to the Associate Dean and Director and the Dean and
Chief Administrative Officer. Members must hold continuous contracts and
be faculty with full professor rank.
- Committee Deliberation. Materials submitted to the
Assistant Dean and Deputy Director of Extension will be reviewed for
completeness by the District Department Head/Program Department Head.
When complete, the material will be forwarded to the appropriate
Extension Promotion and Tenure Committee. The committee will evaluate
the material and make a recommendation to the Associate Dean and
Director as follows:
- a. Recommended for promotion or
b. Not recommended for promotion or tenure.
Reasons will be given for positive or negative recommendations for promotion, and positive recommendations on tenure. Reasons will not be given for a negative recommendation on tenure.
In order to assist deliberations, the District Department Head/Program Department Head may be asked to meet with the committee when individuals from his/her area are evaluated.
- Committee Procedures.
a. Committee structure will be announced early in April.
b. The Committee will have an initial meeting with the Associate Dean and Director to discuss the evaluation procedures.
c. Spring review will be conducted by late May. The Committee will evaluate the progress of each non-tenured tenure-track faculty member toward a continuous contract and report the strengths and weaknesses of each in the area of their program responsibility in writing to the appropriate District Department Head/Program Department Head.
Recommend in writing, to the appropriate District Department Head/Program Department Head, whether a new temporary contract should be issued to each of these faculty members.
- (1) District Department Head or Program Department
Head will then review the candidate's documentation and render a
separate recommendation on the matter of issuing a new temporary
(2) The District Department Head or Program Department Head will forward both his/her recommendation and the Promotion and Tenure Committee recommendation to the Associate Dean and Director.
e. The committee chair will prepare a report in memo form to the Associate Dean and Director concerning the recommendation on each candidate. This statement will contain the actual votes (for, against, abstention), as well as reasons for positive and negative recommendations for promotion, and positive recommendations for tenure. Reasons will not be given for negative recommendations on tenure. Committee members will be allowed to submit minority reports. The Associate Dean and Director will provide the candidate and the appropriate administrator with a copy of the committee's recommendation.
f. The Associate Dean and Director will make his/her recommendation to the college Dean and Chief Administrative Officer in January. The candidate will be informed of the Associate Dean and Director's and the Dean and Chief Administrative Officer's recommendations.
g. Criteria to be used will be consistent with the College and University promotion and tenure guidelines where applicable, while maintaining those criteria unique to Extension.
h. All voting forms will be destroyed by the committee chair.
i. Strict confidentiality of materials, deliberation, and decisions of committees will be observed. None of the materials, forms, discussion, or other business of dealing with specific candidates for promotion and/or tenure are to be divulged to persons other than the Associate Dean and Director or the Dean and Chief Administrative Officer. Confidentiality is crucial for unbiased recommendations.
j. Faculty approved by the Executive Vice-President for promotion and/or tenure are announced prior to the July 1 effective date. Faculty who fail to earn tenure are given one year's notice of termination.
*Early April Committee structure announced.
*Late April Candidate submits document
to appropriate District or Pro-
gram Department Head for review.
*Late May Promotion and Tenure Committee con-
venes for spring review of doc-
uments. (All untenured tenure-track
faculty must submit a document).
*Early November Promotion and Tenure documents for
promotion and/or tenure submitted to
District or Program Department Head.
*Early December Promotion and Tenure Committees con-
vene to evaluate documents.
*Late January Associate Dean and Director will sub-
mit recommendations to the College
Dean and Chief Administrative Officer.
Prior to July 1st Executive Vice-President announces,
effective date via letter, the faculty approved for
promotion and/or tenure.
*Dates and times are subject to change on an annual basis. These time frames are suggested guidelines.
Extension Promotion Review WaiverEach April, Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committees are instructed to review tenured and tenure-track faculty under the rank of full professor for the purpose of assessing progress toward promotion.
Although each Assistant or Associate Professor should have his/her
documentation file reviewed in this manner, there may be situations
where a faculty member may choose not to be reviewed, By signing this
document before March 15, the faculty member named below wishes to
withdraw his/her name from consideration for the current review
Name (print or type):
Department Head Signature:
Denial of tenure
is necessarily a traumatic
experience. But it is a simple fact of university life that not every
appointee to the rank of assistant professor, even one who may possess
some degree of qualification, can be given tenure. To award
tenure to marginally qualified candidates would block the road to
advancement for more highly qualified prospects who may be coming down
the tenure track in the future and seriously impair a university's quest
Almost certainly, if yours is a land grant university with a Cooperative
Extension Service, that unit will be set up separately from other
outreach configurations, befitting its charter in federal legislation
"to aid in diffusing among the people of the United State useful and
practical information on subjects relating to agriculture and home
economics, and to encourage the application of the same."
Massive historic and funding traditions [are] enjoyed by
extension faculty in what is generally recognized as the finest lay
education enterprise in the world.
(Judge Henry J. Friendly, Lieberman v. Gant, 630 F.2d 60 (2d Cir., 1980) In Mentor in a Manual: Climbing the Academic Ladder to Tenure, by A. Clay Shoenfeld and Robert Magnan. Magna Publications, 1993)
Extension activities should not be confused with service; they should be evaluated as teaching or research [are evaluated.]
(From Mentor in a Manual: Climbing the Academic Ladder to Tenure, by A. Clay Shoenfeld and Robert Magnan. Magna Publications, 1993)
Almost certainly, if yours is a land grant university with a Cooperative Extension Service, that unit will be set up separately from other outreach configurations, befitting its charter in federal legislation "to aid in diffusing among the people of the United State useful and practical information on subjects relating to agriculture and home economics, and to encourage the application of the same."
Massive historic and funding traditions [are] enjoyed by extension faculty in what is generally recognized as the finest lay education enterprise in the world.
New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.