Apr 14, 2024  
Faculty Handbook 2023 - 2024 
    
Faculty Handbook 2023 - 2024

3.8 - General Expectations for Promotion and Faculty Performance for Non-Tenure Track Librarian Faculty in Professorial Ranks


Librarian faculty at Kennesaw State University are educator-practitioners engaged in professional librarianship. Professional librarianship is defined within the field as professional library service in support of the educational, scholarship, and service functions of the University.

Professional librarianship includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

  • Ensuring high quality service, consultation, and comprehensive reference services to students, faculty, and other clients
  • Providing enhanced access to information and contributing to global, networked information resources
  • Acquiring, organizing, managing, and preserving information resources in a broad range of formats
  • Creating an environment conducive to learning and scholarship
  • Teaching information retrieval and evaluation using current and emerging technologies

The position is non-tenure track, and the holder is not eligible for consideration for the award of tenure or probationary credit toward tenure. There will be no administrative transfers between tenure track and librarian faculty positions. However, faculty holding one type of position may apply for a declared, open position of the other type and be considered through the normal search and screening process.

The terminal degree appropriate for initial appointment to all academic ranks as a library faculty member in the Horace W. Sturgis Library or Lawrence V. Johnson Library is an ALA-accredited master’s degree or international equivalent in librarianship/information science. For those library faculty with specialties in other areas, such as archives or automation, an additional master’s degree in the appropriate field may be a valid terminal degree.

Departments and colleges may also establish an optional third-year review for non-tenure track librarian faculty to provide feedback for an optional promotion review. As indicated in the KSU Faculty Handbook Section 3.1 (Introduction), establishment and revision to guidelines must be approved by the full-time permanent faculty in the department or college, as appropriate, the department chair (for department guidelines), the College P&T Committee, the dean, and Provost.

A. Promotion for the Non-Tenure Track Librarian Faculty Professorial Ranks

The professorial ranks are typically linked to the different stages of career development and accomplishment for university faculty. Faculty members at the different stages of an academic career tend to have different levels of experience, expertise, accomplishment, effectiveness, and productivity. They also tend to have different opportunities for contribution, leadership, and mentorship. Consequently, KSU’s general expectations for faculty performance and for promotion in rank will be dependent on experience levels and the faculty member’s career path.

Experience is correlated with professorial rank, but years of service or successful annual reviews alone are not sufficient to qualify for a promotion in rank. When a faculty member’s experience, accomplishments, and career development evolve to the point where expectations applicable to the beginning level of the next highest rank are being met, the faculty member can make a strong case for promotion. A decision of promotion will result from a thorough review of a faculty member’s accomplishments and contributions to the University by KSU teaching and administrative faculty colleagues. This review is accomplished in consideration of the faculty member’s situation and context and in relation to their stage of academic career development.

Only faculty who were hired in professorial rank with credit toward promotion (USG Academic & Student Affairs Handbook 4.6) can undergo a promotion review before the fifth full academic year of service at KSU. A faculty member who was hired without credit toward promotion may apply for promotion during the fifth year of service (after serving a minimum of four years in rank).

Board of Regents policy allows for consideration of early promotion. According to USG Academic & Student Affairs Handbook 4.6, strong justification must be provided to support any consideration of “early” promotion wherein the individual has served fewer than the minimum number of five years in rank at the current institution.

At KSU, before a faculty member submits an application for early promotion, the faculty member should seek guidance from the department chair, dean, and Provost. However, in the rare case where a faculty member has served less than four years in rank at the current institution, prior presidential approval to be reviewed for promotion is required.

In addition to the minimum criteria above, promotion to the rank of associate or full professor requires the terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or its equivalent in training, ability, and/or experience (BoR Policy Manual 8.3.6.2). Kennesaw State University takes the view that the qualities of knowledge, experience, and ability that would qualify as equivalent to the earned doctorate or terminal degree must be demonstrated at a high level of achievement. Equivalency should be awarded only in cases when the demonstrated evidence is clear and convincing. In addition, the judgment of equivalency depends on many variables specific to the particular discipline in question and to the individual achievements of the person making the case for equivalency.

The following criteria are established as a guideline for faculty committees and administrators who will use their professional judgment to recommend doctoral or terminal degree equivalency for hiring and promotion and tenure.

Required criteria for terminal degree equivalency include:

  1. Demonstrating broad and in-depth knowledge and understanding of the body of information in the discipline beyond a masters’ degree
  2. Demonstrating the ability to implement one’s own scholarship and creative activity agenda, to apply research and creative methodologies, and to produce scholarship that meets the criteria for quality and significance outlined in departmental guidelines

A variety of other factors may be considered in determining doctoral equivalency. Additional supporting evidence might include the following:

  1. Holding a master’s degree in the appropriate discipline
  2. Completing graduate coursework in the discipline beyond what would be expected for a masters’ degree
  3. Holding appropriate professional licensure or certifications in the discipline
  4. Achieving a leadership position in and/or honors and awards from a professional society or societies which indicates regional, national, and/or international peer recognition of professional accomplishments
  5. Having professional work experience relevant to the faculty member’s teaching assignments that are significant in level of responsibility and duration
  6. Having already been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor

In addition to the criteria mentioned, there may be other discipline-specific achievements that constitute doctoral or terminal degree equivalency that colleges and/or departments have outlined in their promotion and tenure guidelines.

Faculty members submitting portfolios for promotion to associate or full professor who do not hold the doctorate or terminal degree must address the criteria for equivalency in their portfolios. The review committee or administrator will consider equivalency at the time the promotion recommendation is considered. Candidates without a doctorate or terminal degree can be promoted if, in addition to the criteria for promotion, they meet the requirements for equivalency as stated in departmental, college, and University guidelines. Each level of review will make a recommendation for promotion and a decision on doctoral or terminal degree equivalency.

The criteria for the optional promotion review are based on criteria established for librarian faculty for the beginning level of the next higher rank as articulated in department, college, and University guidelines. The same committee structure that is used for promotion review of tenured and tenure track faculty will be used for the promotion review of librarian faculty.

Non-tenure track librarian faculty with professorial rank must prepare a portfolio for the optional promotion consideration. The portfolio contents will follow the guidelines for tenure track faculty who are reviewed for promotion, see KSU Faculty Handbook Section 3.12 (Portfolio Guidelines and Contents).

Annual reviews and/or portfolio feedback indicating poor performance with little or no improvement over time and based on the department and college promotion and tenure guidelines, provide the basis for nonrenewal of non-tenure track librarian faculty with professorial rank. Non-tenure track librarian faculty with professorial rank have the option to respond in writing within 10 calendar days after receiving reviews of their performance, should an appeal be necessary. Response letters are directed to the reviewing committee or administrator and copied to the next level of review. This response will become part of the portfolio that will be forwarded to the subsequent levels of review. The response letter should address the interpretation of the information in the portfolio but it should not include new evidence to be considered in the review process. The reviewer (committee or administrator) does not respond to this letter.

B. Faculty Performance Expectations for Non-Tenure Track Librarian Faculty with Professorial Rank

Faculty performance is evaluated for non-tenure track librarian faculty with professorial rank through annual reviews. Non-tenure track librarian faculty with professorial rank will follow the annual review processes and timelines outlined for non-tenure track faculty in the KSU Faculty Handbook Section 3.12 and Section 3.13.

Consistent with BoR Policy (BoR Policy Manual 8.3.4.2), all non-tenured faculty members who have been awarded academic rank and who have served full-time for the entire previous year under written contract have the presumption of renewal for the next academic year unless notified in writing by the Provost or the President of the institution of the intent not to renew. Notice of intent to renew or not renew a non-tenure track faculty member with professorial rank should follow the schedule outlined by the Board of Regents in the USG Academic & Student Affairs Handbook 4.8.1. (Renewal and Nonrenewal of Contracts of Non-Tenured Faculty).

Below are the general expectations for librarian faculty with professorial rank:

Librarian Assistant Professors

Faculty members at this rank are adapting to the expectations of the academy and KSU and getting established in the library. This rank provides opportunities to learn job responsibilities and develop expertise in one’s area of specialization. As librarian assistant professors gain experience, they are expected to improve their job performance and take progressively more responsibility for their own day-to-day assignments.

Librarian Associate Professors

Librarian Associate Professor is the rank for library faculty with four or more years of experience who have demonstrated an excellent quality of job performance in their area of specialization. Individuals at this rank provide contributions to the library and the institution. Individuals at this rank also demonstrate significant engagement in professional activities. Individuals at this rank also build leadership and administrative skills and begin to demonstrate the ability to anticipate the needs of the organization. Based on BoR policy (BoR Policy Manual 8.3.6.2), promotion to the rank of librarian associate professor requires the terminal degree in the appropriate discipline 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. Initial appointments to the librarian associate professor rank should have a terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or the equivalent in training, ability, or experience (BoR Policy Manual 8.3.1.3).

Librarian Professors

Librarian Professor is the rank for librarians with nine or more years of experience who have consistently demonstrated excellent and outstanding job performance. Individuals at this rank are leaders within the library and the institution. In addition, individuals at this rank are recognized as leaders within the profession through contributions in areas of professional activities. Based on BoR policy (BoR Policy Manual 8.3.6.2), promotion to the rank of librarian professor requires the terminal degree in the appropriate discipline 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. Initial appointments to the rank of librarian professor should have a terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or the equivalent in training, ability, or experience (BoR Policy Manual 8.3.1.3).

C. Joint Appointments for Non-Tenure Track Librarian Faculty

If a non-tenure track librarian faculty member has a joint appointment in two or more academic departments or across two or more divisions, a joint appointment agreement (Memorandum of Understanding; MOU) must be developed. This agreement must delineate how the home unit and the sharing unit(s) will provide input during the promotion process. The joint appointment agreement must specify who can provide input into the faculty member’s annual and promotion reviews and who will write the review(s). Normally, the chair of the academic home department will be responsible for completing annual reviews. The joint appointment agreement must also specify the composition of the promotion committee and as how members of the committee will be elected.

D. Conversion Between Non-Tenure Track Faculty Positions

If a non-tenure track librarian faculty requests and is granted a conversion to another type of non-tenure track faculty position, the individual’s clock is reset, because this is a different faculty type with a different set of expectations and guidelines. Thus, the faculty member will begin the first year in the new non-tenure track faculty position at the beginning of the next academic year after the approval of the conversion and the faculty member will follow all performance evaluations appropriate for that new faculty type and rank.