Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

Promotion and Tenure Guidelines

Promotion and Tenure Guidelines

Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science


Tenure and Promotion Guidelines



These tenure and promotion guidelines are published for the purpose of providing orderly and equitable departmental procedures for assessing and recommending faculty for tenure and promotion. They supplement the provisions of the Faculty Handbook dealing with tenure and promotion.


The guidelines are presented to develop a general understanding of faculty performance. They do not constitute a list of minimal attributes the sum of which defines the "perfect” faculty member. The Department assesses its faculty on a comparative basis, incorporating the professional standards of the discipline at large. Thus, the awarding of tenure and promotion is based upon the Department's understanding of competitive excellence.  Additionally, the needs of the Department must be considered.  Faculty members must realize that their contributions are assessed not only according to performance standards but also in view of the Department's subject area needs and its plans for future program development.



The Department's guidelines become effective when they are approved by the full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty during a regularly scheduled Department meeting. Final approval rests with the University Committee on Rank and Tenure and the Senior Academic Officer.  Suggested revisions are to be submitted to the Department Chair, who will place them on the Department's agenda.


A copy of the procedures will be distributed to each Department member.



The University criteria for tenure are the qualifications as stated in the 2009 Faculty Handbook on pages 50-54.  This provides in part:



Tenure is not automatically granted with appointment or promotion to a particular rank, nor may it be earned de facto due to time at a particular rank or years of University employment. It is granted only to faculty members whose performance gives evidence of research/scholarship, and productivity which, if sustained, would merit promotion to the rank of professor. While tenure and promotion are separately decided, it is unusual for tenure to be granted below the rank of associate professor. This statement allows for a variety of interpretations concerning the specific criteria for tenure.  The fact remains, however, that the faculty member being considered for tenure must have performed his or her academic and teaching duties with distinction and, in the view of colleagues, be judged as meriting recognition in his or her field. The basis for the Department's decision on tenure will be an assessment of the faculty member's research, teaching, and service.



For promotion, faculty members are expected to have demonstrated high levels of scholarly accomplishment and clear promise of continued scholarly productivity. Evidence consists of scholarly publications and presentations.


"Scholarly Publications" shall be understood as books, articles or book chapters which exhibit substantial original research and/or analysis. Normally, articles should be published in refereed journals with substantial visibility within the discipline or sub-discipline.  The tenure and promotion committee will also evaluate articles in other scholarly journals, edited books, chapters in edited books, applied political science monographs, and book review essays.


There is no fixed number of publications that assures a favorable departmental recommendation.  Notable scholarly achievement is required for tenure.  The prominence of the press or journal in the discipline will weigh heavily.


"Presentations" shall be understood as conference papers and invited lectures, the text of which must be made available. Faculty members are expected to engage in ongoing research of this kind.


The Department Chair will select four external (outside the University) reviewers to assist the Department with the evaluation of the research of candidates for tenure or promotion.  The faculty member under consideration will be asked to supply the names of four to five scholars outside the University who are in a position to judge her or his research. The Chair will select two scholars from this list and two others outside the University for a confidential assessment of the quality and potential of the candidate's published scholarship. The reviewers selected by the Chair may be on the candidate's list of scholars, at the discretion of the Chair.  The candidate must provide copies of his or her published scholarship, including forthcoming publications, which will be sent to the outside reviewers.



It is expected that in order to be eligible for tenure and promotion, the faculty member will have performed his or her teaching duties with distinction.  Evidence of teaching performance in the classroom includes student evaluations, syllabi and course materials, and teaching awards or award nominations.  Additional evidence of teaching effectiveness includes student advising, the supervision of directed readings, service on comprehensive examination committees, service as a director or reader for theses and dissertations, course development, curriculum planning and teaching innovation. The Department will administer student evaluations in each section of every scheduled course each semester during the academic year, excluding the summer.  Additionally, selected members of a committee of tenured faculty appointed by the chair will visit at least one class of each non-tenured faculty member during each semester of the first three years of her or his appointment.  After the initial three years, a member of the committee will visit at least one class during each year until a tenure decision has been made.  Following each visit, the committee will provide a written assessment of the faculty member’s classroom performance to the Department Chair and the faculty member. These assessments will become part of the faculty member’s tenure and promotion file.



Although it will not substitute for a faculty member's record of scholarship and teaching, service to the discipline, Department and University is expected of all full-time faculty.


Service to the discipline of political science includes participation in national or regional professional associations as an officer, a program section or panel chair, or a panel discussant. Additionally, it includes editorial duties such as membership on editorial boards and service as a referee for professional journals or academic presses.  Finally, service to the discipline includes peer reviews of grant proposals to major funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation or the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Service includes active participation in Department, College and University committees, councils, and programs and may also involve professionally-related contributions to the community.



All tenure-track faculty will be considered for tenure after the period of service specified in the tenure and promotion guidelines of the College of Arts and Sciences:


Generally, six years of service at the rank of Assistant Professor at Loyola University

Chicago (LUC) is required for tenure and promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor in CAS. Ordinarily, the candidate for promotion petitions CAS in the fall of his or her sixth year. In CAS, early promotion is allowed for the exceptionally well-qualified candidate.  The final decision to grant tenure must be made by the end of the candidate’s sixth year.


Candidates who have compiled an extremely strong record, particularly in the area of research, may petition the department chair in the spring semester of their fourth year of service to be considered for early tenure and/or promotion to associate professor.


To ensure that faculty receive an appropriate assessment of their progress toward tenure, tenure-track faculty will be counseled annually by the Department Chair at the time of the University's annual faculty evaluation.  Additionally, the Tenure Committee will assess tenure- track faculty members at the mid-point of their progress toward tenure. Ordinarily, this review will take place during the third year for assistant professors and the second year for those initially appointed as associate professors.  This assessment will be based on a meeting at which the Chair will designate the faculty member who is the senior member of the candidate’s subfield (but is not the Chair) to prepare a summary. This summary will be given to the faculty member in writing.



Although closely paralleling the tenure procedures, and employing the same criteria, the decision to promote is a separate action.  Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor will be recommended if the candidate has met the standards of excellence which are normally expected of one who is granted tenure.

As to timing, the department’s timetable is that of the College of Arts and Sciences:


Generally, at the rank of Associate Professor at Loyola University Chicago, application for promotion to the rank of Professor may occur no sooner than the beginning of the 6th year at the current rank. In CAS, application for promotion (i.e., less than five complete years in rank) is allowed for exceptionally well-qualified candidates.


Candidates who have compiled an extremely strong record, particularly in the area of research, may petition the department chair in the spring semester before their fifth year of service as an associate professor to be considered for early promotion to professor.


To achieve the rank of Professor, the faculty member must have clearly demonstrated to colleagues that she or he has fulfilled the requirements in the 2009 Faculty Handbook, pp. 29-30:


The rank of Professor is ordinarily awarded only to a faculty member who has a sustained record of excellence in teaching and research, who has achieved recognition for a record of excellence in research and scholarship inside and outside of the University, who has made an ongoing contribution to his or her field of learning and to the University, and whose achievements make it likely that he or she will continue to develop as a scholar and teacher.


Because promotion to professor confers the highest academic rank in the profession, the candidate for promotion must show that he or she has clearly achieved teaching excellence and merited a national reputation as a researcher and scholar.  In this case, the same criteria apply as for tenure, but at a higher level of accomplishment.  Thus, the candidate's teaching should receive consistently positive student and peer evaluations.  His or her research should indicate a continuing scholarly involvement, demonstrated by publication in scholarly journals of substantial visibility in the discipline and/or respected academic presses. In effect, the candidate must demonstrate a history of published research culminating in a body of scholarship recognized by colleagues as making a substantial and important contribution to the discipline. Evaluation of scholarship will place specific emphasis on publications completed since the candidate's appointment to the rank of Associate Professor. 






At the appropriate prescribed time, or at the request of an individual candidate who has consulted with the Chair, the Chair will call a meeting of the Tenure Committee.  This committee is comprised of all of the Department's tenured members and evaluates all candidates for tenure. The candidate may not be present at the meeting, but is expected to provide documentation of his or her record and indicating why it merits favorable consideration for tenure.  This documentation should include (1) curriculum vitae; (2) statement of accomplishments in the areas of teaching, research and service; (3) publications and professional papers; and (4) course syllabi and evaluations.


The timetable for the review process is as follows: The candidate will submit his or her documentation to the Chair by July 1 of the academic year during which the candidate is being considered for tenure.  This documentation will immediately be made available to the Tenure Committee. Following the procedures set out earlier in this document, the Chair will solicit external reviewers to assist the Department with the evaluation of the candidate’s research, with September 15 being given as the deadline for the submission of the external reviews to the Chair. These external reviews will immediately be made available to the Tenure Committee. The Tenure Committee will meet by October 1, and will submit its report to the Chair by October 7. The Chair will write his or her report which, along with the report of the Tenure Committee, the candidate’s documentation, and the external reviews, will be submitted to the Dean by October 15.


When the Tenure Committee’s meeting takes place, the Chair will designate the faculty member who is the senior member of the candidate’s subfield (but is not the Chair) to prepare a summary of the meeting in which the faculty member is evaluated for tenure. The Tenure Committee’s evaluation is based on the criteria in this document.  The Tenure Committee will review the evaluations of the outside reviewers, the candidate’s statement, curriculum vitae, publications, professional papers and materials relevant to teaching and service.


At the conclusion of the meeting, the tenured faculty will vote by secret ballot on the question of tenure.  The votes will be counted publicly at the meeting by the Chair.  Faculty unable to attend the meeting may participate electronically.  Only votes recorded at the meeting will be reported as the official vote.  Although both the discussion and the vote are advisory to the Chair, the vote will be included in the tenure report to the Dean. The designated senior faculty member will prepare a summary of the meeting that reflects majority and minority views on the candidate’s case for tenure. A draft of the summary will be circulated among the tenured faculty for comment and possible revision, and then submitted to the Chair; the final summary will be part of the candidate’s tenure file.  After the meeting, the Chair will communicate the committee’s vote and his or her decision to the candidate.




The procedures for considering promotion are the same as those for the consideration of  tenure with one exception: the Department Promotion Committee is comprised of all tenured and nontenured full-time departmental faculty who are currently at or above the rank to which the candidate is seeking promotion.



The procedures and criteria outlined in this document must be viewed in the context of those procedures and criteria for tenure and promotion outlined in the Faculty Handbook. Departmental guidelines are not intended to duplicate the Faculty Handbook.


The Department’s Tenure and Promotion Committees are advisory to the Chair and

  1. The Department does not have final authority in matters of promotion or tenure. The Department’s recommendations are forwarded to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Dean of the Graduate School for their recommendations and are then submitted to the University Committee on Rank and Tenure. The Committee on Rank and Tenure recommends to the Senior Academic Officer its approval or disapproval for tenure or promotion.


All revisions of these guidelines must be approved by the appropriate deans, the Committee on Rank and Tenure and the Senior Academic Officer.