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Rank, Tenure & Promotion

Initial Placement

All prospective tenure-track faculty members must undergo evaluation by the RTP Committee for a recommended initial placement on the Initial Placement Table (see Appendix C-1, page 56). To aid the Committee in evaluating credentials, all candidates must fill out an Initial Placement Form (see Appendix C-2, page 57). The candidate obtains this form from the appropriate division Associate Dean and sends it to the Dean of GSEP. The Dean then forwards the file(s) to the RTP Chairperson. Failure to submit this needed information will result by default in a Committee recommendation of the lowest rank or step. The following guidelines ensure that treatment of the faculty in the placement process remains consistent.


  1. Official evaluation and placement in rank, step, and years of experience are recommended by the RTP Committee to the Dean, with final approval given by the administration.
  2. The RTP Committee evaluates candidates for initial placement on the basis of years of experience and scholarly activity.
  3. In highly exceptional circumstances, such as severe budgetary constraints, a candidate for a faculty position might be offered a position at a rank and step lower than that for which the candidate qualifies according to his or her years of experience and scholarly activity, as outlined in the RTP Manual. In all such situations, the RTP Committee and the administration will discuss the matter before the position is offered to the candidate and come to a mutually satisfactory agreement. The situation will be carefully explained to the prospective faculty member. If the candidate chooses to accept the placement and signs the contract, he or she will then advance according to the normal rules of the RTP Manual.
  4. Candidates for faculty positions are given an initial placement based on their years of experience and scholarly activity as outlined in the RTP Manual. Any exception to this principle (e.g., outstanding achievement in one's discipline as in Section III.B.4) must be reviewed by both the administration and the RTP Committee before the position is offered to the candidate. The Provost must concur with the exception.
  5. The RTP Committee, based on its review of a candidate's materials, will recommend to the Dean of GSEP the initial rank, step, and year at which the candidate should be placed. To ensure that the candidate understands his or her exact placement, initial contracts offered to and signed by successful candidates shall include an attachment specifying the rank, step, and year level of the candidate's placement.
  6. To ensure that candidates for faculty positions understand the criteria and procedures used in determining initial placement and future advancement at GSEP, the Dean shall provide all top candidates a copy of the Initial Placement Table and the Eligibility for Advancement and Promotion Table from the RTP Manual upon making an offer for a position.

    New faculty members, whose first year at GSEP would normally be the year in which they would be eligible to apply for step or promotion, must wait until their second year to apply. If successful in this application, they will be advanced to the new step and/or rank at the beginning of their third year and will also be credited with one year at the new step.

Evaluation of Years of Experience for Initial Placement

  1. Full-time college teaching is the only kind of experience that counts one year as one year. Any two semesters, or three quarters of full-time college level teaching may be counted. Every 2 years of part-time college teaching will count as 1 year.
  2. In general, two years of related full-time experience, such as secondary or elementary school teaching, school psychology, counseling, or administration is equal to one year of approved experience; two years of full-time employment in an area of psychology is equal to one year of approved experience.
  3. No experience prior to the receipt of the doctoral degree may be counted.
  4. Outstanding achievement related to the applicant's discipline may be considered for initial placement if applicant has also met requirements for experience and scholarly activity. For example, a candidate who is a Rand Corporation scholar on education policy or an NIMH scholar on mental health issues might qualify as outstanding achievement.
  5. After calculating the total cumulative years of experience, one-half of a year is rounded up to the next full year. At least two of the five RTP Committee members should perform the calculations to determine each applicant's initial placement for review by the entire Committee.
  6. No more than one year of experience may be granted during a calendar year.

Evaluation of Scholarly Activity for Initial Placement

In addition to years of experience, scholarly activity is evaluated for initial placement. Scholarly activity requirements for each rank are specified in Section V.D.2 of this manual; these same requirements are used as criteria for scholarly activity requirements in initial placement. Candidates who possess the required number of years of experience to be placed at a certain rank, but lack the minimal scholarly activity required for that rank, are placed at the rank for which they are qualified according to their scholarly activity. In other words, their initial placement will be the highest rank, step, and year based on their scholarly activity. Candidates who possess the required scholarly activity to be placed at a certain rank, but lack the minimal years of experience required for that rank, are placed at the rank for which they are qualified according to their years of experience.