Other Procedural Issues and Considerations

The candidate may have access to the non-confidential material in the file, upon proper request after each level of review. To provide consistency and avoid misunderstanding, the following rules and procedures will apply:

  • Upon specific request to the university officer having temporary custody of the file (department Chair, Dean, Provost), the candidate shall be permitted to examine the document register.
  • The candidate is permitted to examine, but not take custody of, the non-confidential material in the file by making a written request to the appropriate university officer (department Chair, Dean, Provost). That officer will secure the material and schedule an appointment for examination of the file as soon as possible, but not later than five (5) working days from the date of the request. The candidate has 5 business from the date of receiving the recommendation to submit a response if he or she wishes. The response is added to the file.
  • Article 31.6a of the UUP Agreement between United University Professions and the State of New York (2011-2016) states that the candidate shall have access to all of the non-confidential portions of the file after all recommendations have been prepared for the President's review. The candidate should apply, in writing, to the Office of the Provost requesting to see the file before the President takes action. When the file is complete, the Office of the Provost will arrange the review. Pursuant to Article 31.6.c of the Agreement between United University Professions and the State of New York, “examination of the file and response to material contained therein to which the employee has access pursuant to subdivision 31.6(a) or subdivision 31.6(b) shall take place after the file has been submitted to the management administrative officer of the College, but prior to this officer’s consideration of its content.” Should an employee wish to review and respond to the material in his/her file prior to the management administrative officer’s (in the case of the University at Albany, the President), he/she should make formal request in writing to the Provost’s Office upon receiving the Provost’s recommendation.

Adding Materials to the file

The candidate is allowed and encouraged to add materials to the file as follows:

  • The candidate, if he or she chooses, is allowed to include a written response to each recommendation (i.e., department vote, Chair’s letter, school committee vote, Dean’s letter, etc.) during the review process. That response must be submitted within 5 business days of receiving the recommendation, and added to the file.
  • The candidate is allowed to add materials to the file (e.g., new manuscripts, published works, new teaching evaluations) during the course of the process. This is done by sending any new materials electronically or physically to the current custodian of the dossier (this custodian might be in the department, the Dean’s office, the Provost’s office, or the President’s office, depending on stage of review.) The custodian will place the new documents in the file and update the Document Register.

Voting and Review Procedures

  • Promotion to Associate Professor (or Associate Librarian) and consideration for continuing appointment are concurrent activities as evidenced by a single vote. In no case will a recommendation for continuing appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor (or Assistant or Senior Assistant Librarian) be considered.
  • During the review process, discussion of the candidate's qualifications should focus on the applicable criteria and exclude references to matters that are not appropriate for consideration. Distinctions between legal and illegal inquiries are outlined in a document prepared by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and available on the P&T website. Although designed for initial appointment interviews, this chart is equally applicable to reviews for promotion and continuing appointment and should serve to prevent any inadvertent references to inappropriate areas of discussion.
  • A faculty member is only allowed to vote on a particular case at one level. Therefore, when a member of the candidate’s department of primary appointment is also a member of the school or college’s personnel committee, or a member of the CPCA, such individual will be excluded from the school or college personnel committee meetings, or from CPCA meetings, at which the candidate’s case is being considered.

Personal Presentations by the Candidate

Although personal presentations are rare, the candidate has the right to appear before the department, the school/college committee considering promotion and/or continuing appointment, and the CPCA, if the candidate so desires. The candidate who wishes to make a personal presentation, must make a written request prior to the meeting at which the case will be reviewed.

Reconsideration Requests

In accordance with Section VI of University Senate Bill No. 8990-28, when a member of the faculty has been considered for continuing appointment in the mandatory year and a negative decision has been rendered, this action should be considered final. Exceptional circumstances may cause a candidate to feel that substantial new evidence of productivity justifies reconsideration of his/her case. In such exceptional circumstances, the following procedures shall apply.

  • The candidate must notify his/her department Chair of his/her request for reconsideration. This notification must be made no later than October 3 for candidates within the typical appointment cycle (Fall hires). For candidates who joined the University mid-year, or who, as a result of leaves or periods in unqualified rank, are on a “Spring hire” cycle, the notification must be made no later than March 1.
  • The candidate shall provide the department with the new evidence no later than October 15 or March 12 for the Spring cycle
  • The faculty members of the department will meet to evaluate the new evidence. Only if the department concludes that the new evidence establishes a substantial change from the situation during the previous consideration will the case be reconsidered and votes taken as in an original consideration. If the reconsideration results in a negative vote by the faculty and a negative recommendation by the Chair, the action is final; the request will not be forwarded for further consideration, and the Dean, Provost and President will be notified. If the reconsideration results in a positive recommendation by either the department or the Chair, the recommendation for continuing appointment will be transmitted to the school or college.
  • When a positive recommendation is forwarded by a department, each subsequent level of review shall determine to its own satisfaction whether or not there is substantial new evidence warranting reconsideration. This determination will involve a comparison between the total record on which the University decision in the mandatory year was based and the new evidence, available since that decision date, presented by the candidate.
  • A decision at the school or college level not to reconsider shall be transmitted to the CPCA. The Council shall inform the Provost and President if it, in turn, declines to reconsider that case.
  • If the school or college, or the CPCA, concludes that there is substantial new evidence, it will then send forward in the usual manner its vote for or against promotion and continuing appointment.
  • Final actions, including a department’s negative decision, will be communicated to the candidate by the President on or before November 17 of the reconsideration year, or April 14 for Spring hires.

Thus, all action on such requests must meet the following schedule:


For Fall Hires

For Spring Hires

Actions

October 3

March 1

An individual requesting reconsideration of a request for continuing appointment must notify his/her Department Chair of his/her request.

October 15

March 12

All material and new evidence must be provided by the candidate to the department for action by this date. All other steps for review will be followed and scheduled as needed.

November 17

April 14

The President will officially notify a candidate for reconsideration of approval or disapproval of that request.

 

Stopping the Tenure Clock

It is recognized that external circumstances sometimes preclude continuous progress towards tenure. These circumstances can include, but are not limited to, medical, child-care or elder-care issues, or the opportunity for a significant assignment away from tenure activities.
Tenure-track faculty may be placed in status that provides a temporary suspension of their tenure clock. In such cases, the faculty member is appointed to a qualified academic title (usually Visiting Assistant Professor) during which time the faculty member still has a full-time obligation to their department or other assignment, but he or she does not accrue time toward tenure. To request a qualified academic title, the faculty member should discuss with his or her department Chair the need for such an appointment status. The department Chair should prepare a written request and rationale and submit this to the Dean. This statement should not reveal information of a private and/or confidential nature. The Dean should add his/her recommendation and forward the request to the Provost. Documentation of the Provost's decision will be sent to the Dean, department Chair, and faculty member.

There are various other forms of paid and unpaid leave as well, some of which are described in the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees and the UUP’s Agreement between United University Professions and the State of New York. Any periods of paid or unpaid leave, or any time spent in a qualified rank, do not count toward time to tenure.

The UUP Agreement typically contains provisions for the Nuala McGann Drescher Affirmative Action/Diversity Leaves, which may provide an opportunity for research leave for some faculty. As this is part of the UUP Agreement, it is not a permanent or consistent source of support for UAlbany faculty. However, information about the Drescher Leave and its availability can be obtained from the Joint Labor Management Committees (JLMC). Recipients of Drescher Awards should be aware that while the tenure clock can be stopped during the time period covered by a Drescher Award, receipt of a Drescher does NOT automatically stop the clock. A separate request to be placed in qualified rank during a Drescher Leave period is necessary for the suspension of the tenure clock to occur.

Procedures for Early Consideration for Tenure
Early consideration for tenure is possible, and must be initiated by special request of a candidate. While it is not a routine occurrence, early consideration most commonly occurs when a candidate brings prior experience to his/her UAlbany faculty appointment. The decision to begin the tenure review process before the mandatory deadline should be made in consultation with the department Chair and Dean, and should only be made when there is consensus within the department and among the Chair/Dean that the case has a strong likelihood of success. The standards and expectations for tenure and promotion remain the same whether the case is presented early or in the mandatory year. The decision to advance a file early should not be made lightly, as once initiated, the review process typically cannot be stopped (see subsequent section).

Stopping the Review Process after Initiation
Except in very rare and unusual circumstances, the mandatory tenure review process, once started, carries with it the expectation that it will be completed in a timely manner and it cannot be stopped. In rare cases where unusual circumstances warrant a temporary suspension of the process, such circumstances require written documentation that becomes part of the candidate’s file. A candidate has the right to stop the review process at any time and resign from his/her faculty position.

For cases involving a request for promotion to full professor, the review process can be put on hold temporarily at any level of review. If it is stopped for lack of sufficient evidence warranting promotion, the dossier can be sealed, or the dossier can be held until new evidence appears, and then acted upon or resubmitted to the CPCA for review at the Provost’s discretion. In no case will documents contained in the file be removed.