Post-Tenure Review


Post-tenure review in the College of Human Medicine (CHM) is defined as the formal review of a tenured faculty member who has not achieved specific, minimal departmental annual review criteria in one or more of the four review areas: 1) Instruction; 2) Research, Creative, and Scholarly Activity; 3) Clinical and Professional Service; and 4) Community and Administrative Service. The formal review is triggered by two consecutive written annual reviews where these criteria are not met.

The goal of the post-tenure review in the CHM is to develop a specific written development plan to enable the faculty member to achieve all stated annual review criteria in the future. If the tenured faculty member is unwilling or unable to achieve the goals identified in the written plan, then other University policies such as the "Policy for Implementing Disciplinary Action where Dismissal is Not Sought" or the "Dismissal of Tenured Faculty for Cause Procedure" may be invoked.

The post-tenure review policies and procedures outlined in this document are intended to supplement those relevant policies and procedures specified in MSU’s Faculty Handbook. The tenured faculty member retains the right to challenge any and all actions and decisions generated by this policy using the University Faculty Grievance Office procedures.

Post-tenure in CHM is based on the following assumptions:

  1. tenured faculty represent the College’s most significant investment,
  2. tenured faculty should continuously strive for excellence in all categories of review,
  3. post-tenure review is intended to support continued excellence among tenured faculty, and not used to weaken or undermine the principles of academic freedom and tenure.
  4. academic departments are best prepared to assess a tenured faculty member’s productivity, and to develop a relevant and realistic plan to address areas of concern.
  5. tenured faculty skills, needs and interests evolve during their career, and
  6. the College and its academic units have a responsibility to actively participate in sustaining the vitality of its tenured faculty.

Post-tenure review in CHM is premised upon the existence of specific annual review criteria and procedures being in place in each academic department. These include:

  • the existence of written, specific and measurable annual review criteria;
  • procedures for conducting the annual review of each tenured faculty member;
  • an objective rating process for assessing each faculty member’s accomplishments against the annual review criteria, and
  • the existence of written annual review letters to the tenured faculty member documenting the results of the annual review by the department chair.


Post-Tenure Review Procedures

If a tenured faculty member who receives at least two consecutive written annual reviews indicating that they have failed to meet specific, minimal departmental annual review criteria in one or more of the four review areas:1) Instruction; 2) Research, Creative, and Scholarly Activity; 3) Clinical and Professional Service; and 4) Community and Administrative Service the following procedures will occur:

  1. The faculty member and department chair must meet to develop a specific, written development plan to assist the faculty member in refocusing efforts and/or developing skills to achieve the annual review criteria over the next two academic years.
    This meeting must occur as soon as possible, but no later than 60 days from the date of the second annual review.
  2. The written development plan must include specific expectations, implementation methods, resources, timelines and outcomes for achieving each unmet annual review criteria.
  3. The written development plan must be reviewed and approved by tenured faculty on the department’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure (RPT) Committee at or above the rank of the faculty member being reviewed. If the department does not have a sufficient number of tenured faculty to review the written development plan, then the plan will be reviewed and approved by tenured faculty members at or above the rank of the tenured faculty being reviewed on the College RPT Committee.
  4. If there is disagreement over any part of the faculty member’s written development plan, the faculty member may appeal the plan to the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development, or file a grievance against the department chair using the University Faculty Grievance Office procedures.
  5. The department chair must provide a copy of the written development plan to the tenured faculty member being reviewed and to the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Development within 15 working days (from review and approval of the departmental peer review committee). The timeline for completing the plan begins the date the final written development plan is received by the tenured faculty member.
  6. It is expected that by the end of the first year, the tenured faculty member will be actively engaged in completing the written development program, and by the end of the second academic year, the faculty member should have met the expectations identified in the written development plan. Determination of whether the written development plan was achieved will be determined through a regularly-scheduled departmental annual review at the end of the second academic year. If the tenured faculty member has met the expectations specified in the written development plan, then no further action is needed.
  7. If the expectations are not met, the faculty member may face appropriate sanctions and/or disciplinary actions consistent with established University policies and practices for tenured faculty. The department chair will meet with the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development to determine appropriate sanctions and/or disciplinary actions.

The Faculty Handbook of the University sets out policies and procedures relevant to the implementation of this post-tenure review policy. They are summarized below:

MSU Policies and Procedures for Annual Faculty Performance Review
(from MSU Faculty Handbook)

From the  Faculty Handbook

All units must have procedures for written evaluation of tenure system faculty at all ranks to support the annual merit process and to provide a basis for a clear statement of performance expectations and accomplishments. It is recognized that provisions and practices in units may vary; however, all evaluation procedures must incorporate, at the minimum, the principles included in this model policy for regular faculty review, and must be applied uniformly to all faculty in the unit.

I. Principles
While some variation may occur in the approach to reviews, the following principles as implemented by unit procedures are to be followed by unit administrators (i.e., Deans, Chairpersons and Directors) and faculty. In the case of faculty with joint appointments, a lead unit administrator shall be designated. The process should be clearly defined by the bylaws or established personnel policies and procedures of each academic unit.

  1. Each tenure system faculty member shall be evaluated on an annual basis and informed in writing of the results of his/her review by the unit administrator.
  2. Each unit shall have clearly formulated and relevant written performance criteria and shall provide these at the time of appointment, and subsequently as necessary, to all faculty to clarify expectations.
  3. Faculty shall be informed of all factors used for evaluation, the evaluation of their performance on each of these factors and the relationship between their performance and decisions on merit salary adjustments and, if appropriate, on reappointment, promotion and tenure. Faculty are entitled to have all of their assigned duties considered in the evaluation.
  4. These annual assessments of faculty reviews shall be reflected in recommendations to the Provost's Office regarding reappointment, tenure, and promotion.

II. Guidelines for Implementation

  1. Units should initiate the annual performance review process early enough so that the full process, including feedback to faculty, may be completed before the beginning of the fall semester.
  2. Each faculty member shall submit a written summary of activities for the appropriate period of time to the unit administrator in a timely manner prior to the review. These materials will be shared with the faculty in accordance with unit bylaws and procedures.
  3. If unit bylaws or procedures provide for performance evaluation by peer review committees, unit administrators shall rely on the advice of this designated group, in addition to their own judgment.
  4. Unit administrators or their designees, no later than 3 months after completion of the evaluation, shall provide to the faculty member a written evaluation of her/his overall performance. Whenever appropriate, such evaluations shall contain constructive and explicit recommendations and clarify expectations of what is needed to make additional scholarly progress in the tenure system.
  5. If, after receiving the written review, the faculty member disagrees with its content or chooses to provide additional documentation or comment, the faculty member shall have an opportunity to respond to the review by submitting these materials in writing or meeting with the chair or director. Any additional written faculty comment and/or documentation which are submitted within one month of receipt of the written review shall become part of the documentation for the review.
  6. The full documentation for this written review, including the faculty member's response, shall be placed in the faculty member's unit personnel file.
  7. Meetings between faculty members and unit administrators are encouraged prior to the written summary to provide feedback about expectations and evaluation. Each faculty member shall have the right to meet in person with the unit administrator or designee after the written review is received.


 Post-Tenure Review policy from the MSU Faculty Handbook

Michigan State University has not adopted a distinct separate policy on the review of faculty following the award of tenure. Post-tenure review is implemented through several existing policies and procedures (contained in the Faculty Handbook), including a clarifying interpretation by the University Committee on Faculty Tenure on the meaning of the term "incompetence" in the disciplinary and dismissal policies. Performance is monitored through the use of annual written performance evaluations as required by the policy on "Faculty Review." Work performance, as determined in such reviews, is to be reflected in annual merit salary adjustments and as a basis for advice and suggestions for improvement. Although not triggered by a fixed number of years of low performance, discipline in a variety of forms may be invoked under the "Policy for Implementing Disciplinary Action where Dismissal is Not Sought." In more serious cases, "the Dismissal of Tenured Faculty for Cause Procedure" can be invoked. This procedure involves notice and a formal hearing involving review by peers. Interpretation of the term "incompetence" by the University Committee on Faculty Tenure includes an expectation for professional development support and review by peers before disciplinary or dismissal action is contemplated. More information is available on the history of post-tenure review deliberations.

Finally, department chairs and faculty impacted by this post-tenure review policy are encouraged contact the College’s Office of the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development for assistance, clarification and consultation.