Faculty Tenure Guidelines

Tenure Track Definitions

What is Tenure?

Tenure is an employment contract between a faculty member and TMCC. The decision to grant tenure is based on a rigorous evaluation of a tenure candidate by the tenure probationary committee and TMCC administration during a probationary period. Please refer to the Board of Regents Handbook: Title 2, Chapter 4, Section 4.1.2.

Who is Eligible for Tenure?

Please refer to the Board of Regents Handbook: Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 2.1.c.

Who Decides?

A faculty member must earn tenure in conformity with the Nevada System of Higher Education Code. The College president recommends the faculty member for an appointment with tenure, and the Board of Regents confers tenure.

NSHE Code Standards

TMCC must use the NSHE Code standards and the ratings set forth in the Board of Regents Handbook: Title 2, Chapter 4, Section 4.4.2 while recommending academic faculty for appointment with tenure. 

Tenure Ratings

Please refer to the Board of Regents Handbook: Title 2, Chapter 4, Section 4.4.2 (b).

Tenure upon Hire

Please refer to the Board of Regents Handbook: Title 2, Chapter 4, Section 4.3.1 (b2).

Process

Establishment of Tenure Probationary Committee

Within 30 days of the contract start date of a new faculty member, the head of the administrative unit in which the faculty member serves shall appoint a tenure probationary committee. The committee will consist of three full-time tenured faculty members, at least two of whom shall be from the new faculty member’s department. The remaining one committee member may or may not be from the new faculty member's department. The new faculty member shall choose one member of the tenure probationary committee, and the unit administrator shall choose the remaining two members. (TMCC Bylaws, Article IV, Section F)

The tenure  probationary committee shall elect one of the members as the chair. The tenure probationary committee chair shall be responsible for scheduling meetings and reporting the progress of the candidate for tenure.

Probationary Period

Please refer to the Board of Regents Handbook: Title 2, Chapter 4, Section 4.3.1 (a) and (d); Section 4.3.2 and 4.3.3.

Required Activities

TMCC has developed a guideline to help the tenure candidate become better acquainted with TMCC and NSHE. The tenure candidate must do the following activities, and others believed necessary by the tenure probationary committee. The steps have been reviewed and confirmed by the Tenure Task Force as of July 1, 2010.

  • Become familiar with the NSHE Code.
  • Read the TMCC Bylaws.
  • Review the self-study report prepared for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
  • Read TMCC’s vision, mission, and values statements and strategic initiatives.
  • Attend a Board of Regents meeting.
  • Attend a Faculty Senate meeting.
  • Attend at least one Student Government Association function.

Annual Plan: New Faculty

The faculty member completes an annual evaluation plan form prior to the start of the academic year.  The faculty member will make their annual plan available to the department chair/director and the dean/head of administrative unit by the first business day after Labor Day. There shall be a general agreement among the faculty member, the department chair/director and the dean/head of administrative unit about the criteria selected within the annual plan form (TMCC-NFA Contract, Article 12).

Annual Evaluation

At the end of each annual evaluation period, the new faculty member shall submit to the department chair/director the following information:

  1. Annual evaluation form and other pertinent documents deemed necessary by the faculty member or by the department chair.
  2. Student evaluation reports and other student surveys may be included, but are not required.

The department chair and dean/head of the administrative unit shall prepare an evaluation report based on the annual plan, personal observations, reports and documents submitted by the new faculty member. While preparing the evaluation report, the department chair or dean/head of the administrative unit may use information collected during an interview with the faculty member (TMCC-NFA Contract, Article 12).

Overview of Tenure Process

Tenure shall be awarded only to individuals whose performance during their probationary period gives clear evidence of their ability and willingness to make a significant and continuing contribution to the growth and development of TMCC.

The decision to grant tenure shall be made during the tenure track faculty member’s fourth year of service.

The tenure candidate shall complete the Recommendation for Tenure form, and submit it to the department chair and dean/head of the administrative unit for review. The dean/head of the administrative unit shall then forward the form to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA).

Finally, the VPAA passes the recommendation to the College president. If the president agrees with the recommendation, s/he shall forward the proposal to the Board of Regents. The president shall then send a notice of the board's decision, in writing, to the tenure candidate.

Tenure Time Clock

Please refer to the Board of Regents Handbook: Title 2, Chapter 4, Section 4.3.1 (c).

TMCC Timelines

Probationary Timeline
Within 30 days of the contract start date of a new faculty member Dean/head of administrative unit shall appoint a tenure probationary committee
First meeting of tenure probationary committee should occur as soon as possible Committee members shall elect the committee chair, and review tenure guidelines with the candidate
Each Semester:
October (Fall) and March (Spring)
Tenure candidate shall write a summary of tenure-related activities and forward it to all members of the tenure probationary committee
Each Semester:
before November 1 (Fall)
and April 1 (Spring)
One tenure probationary committee member shall observe the tenure candidate's teaching performance and completes the Peer Observation of Teaching Effectiveness form
At least once per Semester:
before November 1 (Fall)
and April 1 (Spring)
Tenure probationary committee shall meet with the tenure candidate and complete the Probationary Development/Department Review Report form
Each Semester:
by November 20 (Fall)
and April 20 (Spring)
Tenure probationary committee shall submit probationary development/department review report, summary of tenure-related activities and peer observation of teaching effectiveness to dean/head of administrative unit
Once per year Dean/head of administrative unit shall observe the tenure candidate's teaching performance and complete the Dean’s Observation of Teaching Effectiveness form
Each Semester:
by December 8 (Fall)
and May 20 (Spring)
Dean/head of administrative unit shall forward probationary development/ department review report, summary of tenure-related activities and peer observation of teaching effectiveness form, and Dean's Observation of Teaching form, to VPAA
Application Timeline
At end of probationary period Tenure probationary committee recommends to dean/head of administrative unit and VPAA appropriate action with regard to appointment with tenure
By November 1 Tenure application due from tenure candidate to department chair and dean/head of administrative unit
By December 1 Tenure application due from dean/head of administrative unit to VPAA
By December 31 VPAA reviews applications and makes recommendations to President
By agenda item deadline for first Spring Board of Regents meeting President reviews and approves recommended candidates and places names of those approved on Board of Regents agenda.  Candidates not approved will be notified in accordance with NSHE Code, Title 2, Chapter 5.2.3 and 5.2.4.
First Spring Board of Regents meeting Board of Regents meets and considers tenure recommendations
July 1 Tenure is effective for those approved by the Board of Regents

The Final Decision

The tenure probationary committee shall, at the end of the probationary period, submit a final probation report and attach a summary of the previous years’ probation reports. These reports will be submitted to the appropriate unit administrator and will contain the evaluation results and recommendation of appropriate action with regard to an appointment with tenure (TMCC Bylaws, Article IV, Section F).

The head of the administrative unit must agree with the recommendation of the probationary tenure committee in order for the tenure application to go forward to the VPAA. If the head of the administrative unit's yearly evaluations of the new faculty member have not been favorable, the head of the administrative unit can recommend non-renewal.

After reviewing all documentation from the tenure probationary committee, department chair and the head of the administrative unit, the VPAA makes a recommendation to the president.

The president makes the final decision for either the recommendation to the Board of Regents, or for a notice of non-renewal.

A faculty member who has been denied appointment with tenure may, within 15 calendar days after notification of such denial or termination, provide a written request to the president asking for a statement in writing detailing the reasons for the denial or notice of termination. The response must be received by the faculty member within 15 calendar days president receives the written request for reasons. (B/R, Title 2, Chapter 5, Section 5.2.3)

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the written reasons for denial of appointment with tenure or termination, a faculty member may request reconsideration. The request shall be submitted in writing to the faculty member’s department chair, supervisor, or dean/head of administrative unit who rendered the negative decision together with the reasons, arguments and documentation supporting the request for reconsideration. The request for reconsideration shall be promptly directed through regular administrative channels with recommendations for or against reconsideration of the decision. Final action shall be taken within a reasonable time by the president after receipt of the recommendations, except if the president, after reconsideration, decides to recommend appointment with tenure should be granted, the final decision must be made by the Board of Regents. (B/R, Title 2, Chapter 5, Section 5.2.4)

Summary of Duties

Duties of Candidate

The following duties have been developed by TMCC over the years:

  • Ensure that tenure probationary committee meets as directed by the NSHE Code.
  • Submit documentation each semester to the committee to show good progression towards receiving tenure in alignment with NSHE Code provisions.
  • Notify the head of the administrative unit and VPAA if the committee is not functioning as it is supposed to.
  • Sign-off on all tenure probationary committee reports and notify the VPAA promptly if one disagrees with the report.

(TMCC Bylaws, Article IV, Section F-3)

Duties of Committee

The committee has the task of deciding whether the candidate for tenure fits the institution and should be recommended for tenure, or should be given a notice of non-renewal at the end of the third year. The basis for this decision must be supported by the committee's periodic reports.

The following duties have been developed by TMCC over the years:

  • Review tenure guidelines/process with candidate at first meeting.
  • Each Semester before November 1 (Fall) and April 1 (Spring):
    • Tenure probationary committee must meet with the tenure candidate.
    • One tenure probationary committee member shall observe the tenure candidate’s teaching performance and complete the Peer Observation of Teaching Effectiveness form.
  • Help draft semester report if needed.
  • Committee members shall mentor the tenure candidate to become an excellent contributor to the College community.
  • Ensure the tenure candidate completes the Required Activities by reviewing the Required Acitivities Checklist at each meeting.
  • At the end of the probationary period, read the candidate’s Recommendation for Tenure form and provide feedback, if applicable.
  • At the end of the probationary period, submit probationary development/department review report to the head of the administrative unit. The report shall include recommendation for appointment with tenure or issuance of notice of non-renewal.
  • Maintain complete confidentiality at all times.
  • Foster communication between candidate, committee, and dean/head of administrative unit.

Duties of Committee Chair

The following duties have been developed by TMCC over the years:

  • Perform all the duties of a committee member.
  • Write committee report every semester accurately detailing the tenure candidate’s progress and obtain signatures from committee members.
  • Call meetings of tenure probationary committee to meet with the tenure candidate at least once each semester.
  • At the first committee meeting with the candidate, introduce the Recommendation for Tenure form which the candidate will complete at the end of the probationary period.
  • Submit probationary development/department review report to head of administrative unit by November 20 (Fall) and April 20 (Spring), except in the Semester when the tenure candidate submits their tenure application.
  • Maintain documentation of all committee activities.
  • Maintain complete confidentiality at all times.
  • If the candidate has not met the standards of performance as set by the committee, the chair must make the recommendation to the head of the administrative unit for an issuance of a notice of non-renewal.

Duties of Head of the Administrative Unit

The following duties have been developed by TMCC over the years:

  • Within 30 days of the contract start date of a new faculty member:
    • Appoint two tenure probationary committee members.
    • Request that new faculty member choose the third committee member.
  • Forward tenure committee reports to VPAA no later than December 8 (Fall) and May 20 (Spring).
  • Work very closely with the committee chair and the tenure candidate to ensure the candidate’s progress.
  • Review the candidate’s annual plan and prepare yearly evaluation reports.
  • Observe the tenure candidate's teaching performance and complete the dean/head of administrative unit's Observation of Teaching Effectiveness form.
  • If the decision is made not to continue the candidate on a tenure track, issue a notice of non-renewal to the candidate.

Changes to the Tenure Guidelines

Any revisions to the tenure guidelines are subject to the NSHE Code, TMCC Bylaws, and NFA Contract.

In addition, changes proposed by the TMCC Faculty Senate must be prepared and forwarded to the VPAA for review and approval. The VPAA shall confer with the deans/heads of administrative units and others to ensure that key constituents are included in the review process.