Revised 1/23/98


  1. Introduction

  2. Standards

  3. College of Optometry Promotion and Tenure Committee

  4. Promotion to Professor

  5. Promotion to Associate Professor

  6. Responsibilities of Individual Faculty Members

  7. Revision of This Document

I. Introduction
The mission of a College of Optometry is to produce competent optometrists. The activities of the faculty must appropriately reflect the acquisition of knowledge through both basic and clinical research, its dissemination through classroom and clinical teaching, and its full utilization through the advancement of vision science and patient care. These objectives are encompassed in the traditional categories of faculty evaluation, i.e., teaching, scholarly activity/research, and service.

The variety of activities necessary to conduct an optometry program requires a faculty with diverse training and wide range of interests. Each candidate for tenure and promotion will bring a unique set of abilities and skills to be evaluated; the overall contribution of the individual to the College's mission is the important consideration.

II. Standards
The highest quality of work will be expected of all faculty, although the activities demonstrating quality will, naturally, differ. All faculty considered for tenure must demonstrate a capacity for original, independent scholarly work of a creative nature; however, the amount of scholarship, and specifically research, expected of vision scientists will be rather greater than that of clinical faculty. Research publications and grants awarded will be important in the evaluation of vision scientists and clinicians; however, consideration should be given to grant availability within a given specialty. A key to determining the relative weighting of publications is whether they are evidence of an active, creative mind; are they significant contributions to the developmental work of the discipline? Clinical publications should advance the field of vision care; the development of new or improved diagnostic techniques, new equipment, and new or improved methods of therapy would all quality. Optometrists seeking tenure and/or promotion will be expected to be licensed in Missouri at the highest level of practice. Collaboration between vision scientists and clinicians for external funding, research, and publication is encouraged.

A. Guidelines for Promotion to Associate Professor

The quality of teaching performance will be measure through a variety of measures, including student evaluations of didactic and laboratory courses and of clinical instruction, evaluations by colleagues, evaluations solicited from alumni, efforts toward curriculum improvement and innovation, performance of students on standardized tests, special tutorial assistance to students, and direction of independent research projects, theses and dissertations.

Research and Scholarship
The quality and extent of research and scholarship will be measured by evaluations by nationally and internationally recognized experts in the field of study, by the quality of the journals and presses in which work is published, by citations of the published work, including the quality of the journals in which the work is cited, by the prestige of the conferences and universities at which presentations are made, by continued efforts to seek external funding for research, by peer recognition with awards or acquisition of speciality certification, by consultant to organizations and governmental agencies such as the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation, and by service as an editor or reviewer for scholarly journals.

Service obligations of all full-time faculty members include college, campus and university wide committee work. Other examples of service activities include administrative contributions to the operation of clinical units, participation in continuing education programs. participation in professional organizations, and presentations to service groups.

Candidates are expected to show good performance in all three of these areas. Although the service component is valued and important, candidates for tenure should be aware that deficiencies in teaching or scholarship are unlikely to be offset by contributions in service.

B. Guidelines for Promotion to Professor
The rank of Professor is the highest academic rank and as such, promotion to this level is reserved for those individuals who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement. The general requirements for promotion to Professor differ in degree but not in kind from those for Associate Professor. The candidate for promotion to Professor should have shown superior performance in two of the three areas of teaching, scholarly activity, and service and excellence in at least one. This high level of accomplishment should have been maintained over a significant period of time, and it must be anticipated that the candidate will continue to make valuable academic contributions. The candidate must be recognized as an outstanding authority in his or her field, by both University of Missouri colleagues and established peers outside the University.

III. College of Optometry Promotion and Tenure Committee

The Promotion and Tenure Committee (PTC) of the College of Optometry shall consist of all the tenured members of the College of Optometry faculty with the exception of the Dean. The PTC will meet early in theFall Semester and as often thereafter as necessary. The Committee will elect a chairperson from among its members at this first meeting. The person elected should not be a candidate for promotion while serving as chairman.

The PTC will evaluate each candidate for promotion and tenure progress at the end of each year. The nature and scope of these evaluations are detailed in Section II and the procedures are further elaborated in Section V.

Members of the PTC may make recommendations concerning continuation or discontinuation of employment or the Dean may consult the Committee for such input. Such recommendations shall be separate from their annual report.

For each nominee to be evaluated for tenure and/or promotion, an ad personam committee shall be established. This committee, consisting of at least three qualified persons from the department or from other departments or from outside UM-St. Louis, shall be elected by the department tenure and promotion committee after consultation with the nominee who is entitled to select one member of his/her ad personam committee. Each member of the ad personam committee shall hold rank equal to or higher than the rank for which the faculty member might be recommended. The APC will be appointed no later than the faculty member's third year of employment counting toward tenure. The PTC may change the membership of the APC when necessary, respecting the rights of the candidate.

The APC is responsible for obtaining the best possible information and conducting a thorough evaluation of the candidate. The PTC will review the report of the APC and the recommendations of its members. Decisions on tenure and/or promotion recommendations will be made by all members of the PTC. Absent members and those on sabbatical leave will have a vote whenever practical. Votes on recommendations for tenure and/or promotion will be by sealed ballot. A positive recommendation will be made when a majority of all the votes cast are positive. A ballot may be repeated at the discretion of the committee. If the final result is negative, the candidate shall be informed by the Chair of the Committee. The candidate then has the right to request reconsideration, as stated in the UM-St. Louis Faculty Handbook. Should the candidate wish, he may supply the Committee with additional relevant information within ten days of being informed of the Committee's decision, either verbally or in writing, prior to reconsideration. No recommendation will be forwardedto the Dean until the reconsideration process is completed. If the final result is negative, the results, not a recommendation, will be forwarded to the Dean, along with the recommendation required by the Faculty Handbook and University Rules.

Following a positive vote, the chairman will select an individual to write the College recommendation.

Following PTC approval, the College recommendation shall be sent to the Dean of the College of Optometry no later than November 31. If the nominee is a member of the graduate faculty, the College recommendation must be sent to the Dean of the Graduate School.

IV. Promotion to Professor
Promotion to the rank of Professor is considered and voted on only by tenured Professors. Each Associate Professor must provide the committee with an updated factual record annually in order to be provided with an assessment progress toward promotion.

The review committee shall consist of the ad personam committee selected according to the rules of section III. It isunderstood that the candidate for review does not participate in selection of his/her reviewer. When the review committee decides a candidate should be considered for promotion it shall gather the information for the candidate's ad personam report. The review committee and the professors in the College shall vote to decide whether a dossier shall be sent forward to the campus Tenure and Promotion Committee.

V. Procedures and Chronology of Events for Promotion to Associate Professor
For each faculty member, the following procedures will apply during the normal 6-year probationary period. Candidates for promotion and tenure are responsible for providing complete and accurate information to the promotion and tenure committee (PTC) by April 15 of each year so that their evaluations can be completed in a timely fashion. In addition, the committee may request further information and the candidate may augment this data with anything else considered relevant.

First and second years of probationary period
An ad personam committee (APC) will be appointed to evaluate and counsel new faculty on their performance in the areas of teaching, research/scholarship and service. The major sources of information will be: the candidate's Factual Record, prepared according to section of section 02-07 of the Faculty Handbook, a statement of teaching and research interests, copies of teaching materials and syllabi for each course taught, course evaluations using standardized surveys completed in eachcourse, copies of papers published and manuscripts submitted for publication, copies of grants submitted, and any other pertinent material that the candidate provides to the committee. The Promotion and Tenure Committee will be looking for signs of development of the candidate's scholarly research program and will evaluate the initial phases of development of teaching and service. After reviewing the materials submitted by the candidate, the APC will prepare a letter of evaluation which will bediscussed, revised if needed, and approved by vote of the entire PTC. The candidate may request a meeting with the PTC either before or after receiving the letter of evaluation. A copy of the letter of evaluation will be sent to the Dean. If the Dean's annual review of the candidate is at variance with that of the PTC, the Dean will meet with the PTC to discuss these differences with the goal of providing the most accurate feedback to the candidate. If the candidate feels that there is a disparity between the Dean's evaluation and that of the PTC, or if the candidate feels that the PTC's evaluation is unfair, the candidate should supply the PTC with a written response to the annual review. The candidate may also request a meeting between the Dean and the PTC in order to resolve any perceived discrepancies in these evaluations.

Third and Fourth Years
The PTC will conduct a more formal and extensive evaluation after the third and fourth years of the probationary period. Sources of information to be used for this review include an updated Factual Record, an updated statement of teaching and research interests, copies of syllabi and other teaching materials, teaching evaluations by students and peers, copies of published work and of manuscripts in progress, and copies of grant proposals. Because of the importance of a clear and complete Factual Record, the candidate should be careful in its preparation. The candidate may also request to meet with the PTC. The APC will write a letter summarizing its evaluation of the candidate. The report of the APC will be discussed, revised if necessary, and approved by the PTC. The chair of the PTC will send one copy of this letter to the candidate and another copy to the Dean. The candidate should also supply the APC with a written response to previous annual reviews. If warranted, the committee may modify its appraisal and inform the candidate and the Dean.

Fifth Year
The candidate will supply the APC with an updated Factual Recordand other materials by April 15. The candidate has the responsibility to be certain that the APC has copies of all scholarly materials published during the probationary period, a updated statement of research interests suitable for sending to outside reviewers, and a report of work in progress, including an abstract of each project's status and funding. The APC will request additional information, if needed, from the candidate and, after reviewing the submitted materials, will come to a preliminary determination of whether the record merits external review. The APC will present its preliminary evaluation to the entire PTC.

a. If the PTC decides (see section III) that the candidate's record does not merit further review, the PTC will instruct the APC to write a formal report of the basis for its evaluation. That report will be discussed and approved by the PTC and a vote taken on the recommendation. The candidate will be informed of the PTC's negative decision on tenure and promotion and offered an opportunity to request reconsideration of the committee's decision. If the PTC reaffirms its decision, the chair will inform the Dean. If the PTC reverses its decision, it will instruct the APC to solicit letters of evaluation, as described above.

b. If the PTC decides to request further evaluation of the case, the APC will solicit letters of evaluation of teaching, research and service. The candidate will be asked to provide a list of 6-10 names of potential reviewers of his/her research record. These should be experts in the field(s) in which the candidate works who can provide an impartial and objective evaluation; in general, it would be best not to include individuals with whom the candidate has had significant collaborations, dissertation or postdoctoral research advisors, close friends or relatives. The APC will construct an independent list of potential reviewers and will determine which of the potential reviewers will be asked to comment on the candidate's recordin research and scholarship. The APC will write to a random sample of all alumni who have been in the candidate's courses in order to solicit their views of the lasting impact of the candidate's teaching. The candidate will also be asked to submit a list of names of individuals who can comment on the quality of their service. The APC may suggest names of additional individuals suitable for evaluation of service and will write to a representative selection of the individuals named by the candidate and the committee.

On the basis of the documentation provided, the letters received from external reviewers and its analysis of the quality of the candidate's work in each of the areas reviewed, the APC will write an evaluation of the candidate for discussion by the PTC. The PTC will meet and discuss the case and will vote on a recommendation for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. In the event of a positive vote, the PTC will suggest any needed revisions to the dossier. The dossier will be prepared in the form specified by the Faculty Handbook (section 02-07) and the complete record forwarded to the Dean by November 31. The Dean will review the case and forward the recommendation. along with his or her own recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

In the event of a negative vote by the PTC, the candidate will be informed by letter and offered an opportunity to request reconsideration on the grounds that there is further relevant information that should beconsidered. Copies of such information must be provided to the Chairperson promptly. The candidate may also request to meet with the PTC. After reviewing any additional material, the PTC may either reaffirm or reverse its decision. The chair will inform the Dean and provide him/her with a summary of the information behind that decision.

VI. Responsibilities of Individual Faculty Members
Each faculty member has the right to select one member of his or her APC. New assistant professors should notify the chairperson of the PTC of his/her choice by March 1 of their first year on tenure track appointment. The faculty member may also request that their selection be changed with due cause. It is the responsibility of each and every faculty member to cooperate with the committees to ensure that the best possible information is available. They should provide all information requested to the committee chairperson in a timely manner. Should the information requested not be provided, the committee will recommend a terminal contract to the Dean. Faculty members should expect and allow visits by other faculty to their regular classes.

VII. Revision of this Document
At one meeting of the faculty each spring, the PTC will report and suggest necessary changes in these guidelines. V. The parliamentary authority for these meetings shall be the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order.