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Rank, Tenure & Promotion

II. Policies and Procedures for Conducting Business

  1. Composition and Election of the RTP Committee

    The RTP Committee is composed of five faculty members. Three members are tenured, and at least two of the tenured faculty are full professors. The other two members are non-tenured, tenure-track. Two are faculty members of the Education Division and two are members of the Psychology Division.

    Committee members are elected for two year terms at the end of the academic year on a rotational basis so that each year two or three members will be serving their second year and two or three new members will join the committee. . Election to the RTP Committee is by anonymous ballot and by a majority, not a plurality vote. The members of the RTP Committee will meet and elect the Chairperson at the first meeting of the newly elected Committee (see Section II.B.1.a.).

    Faculty members who are eligible for tenure, promotion, or five-year review may not serve on the RTP Committee during the year in which their case is being considered, except in special circumstances. In those exceptional cases where faculty members are eligible for tenure, promotion, or five-year review and must also serve on the Committee, they must excuse themselves from the deliberation and voting of their case.

  2. Committee Policies

    1. Officers
      1. Chairperson. Only tenured faculty members are eligible to serve as Chairperson. The Chairperson will be elected by a majority vote of the Committee members. In the event that the elected Chairperson must be replaced, the Dean will call a special meeting of the Committee to elect a replacement.
      2. Secretary. To elect, rotate, or dispense with the position of secretary will be a decision left to the Committee.
    2. Voting Privileges
      Only the three tenured faculty members may vote on recommendations for tenure while all Committee members may vote on recommendations for promotion and other RTP related business.
    3. Meetings
      1. Dates and Locations. The Chairperson, in consultation with the Committee members, sets the date and location for meetings. Either the Chairperson or secretary notifies members of the date before each meeting.
      2. Quorum. A quorum is required to conduct official business, i.e., discussions of initial placement, tenure, promotion, and five-year review. A quorum of the Committee consists of four Committee members.
      3. Decision Making.
        1. For all decisions, a majority vote is required. In the event official business is conducted with a quorum of four members, and a split vote occurs, the Chairperson is responsible for contacting the absent Committee member to reach a majority vote.
        2. For decisions of tenure, all three tenured Committee members must vote. If only two of the three tenured Committee members are present at the meeting when candidates for tenure are discussed, the Chairperson is responsible for contacting the absent tenured Committee member for his or her recommendations.
        3. Individuals who are not Committee members may be invited to specific meetings; however, such individuals may not be present when the Committee enters into final deliberation and voting.
        4. Information which may be considered relevant for decisions of tenure or promotion must come out of the process delineated in the Tenure Policy of Pepperdine University, Section VII: Dismissal for Cause. The RTP Committee is not responsible for investigating information obtained through unsolicited sources.
    4. Responsibilities of Committee Members
      1. Representation. RTP Committee members represent the faculty of GSEP. Communication with the Committee by a faculty member may be initiated by contacting any of the Committee members.
      2. Recommendation for Initial Placement. The RTP Committee recommends initial placement of rank, step, and years for prospective faculty members, including merit accelerations for outstanding achievement or contributions in the academic community.
      3. Verification of Eligibility for Tenure, Promotion, and Five-Year Review. During the spring semester, the Dean of GSEP and the RTP Committee (generally through the Chairperson) review the eligibility for promotion, tenure, and five-year review of faculty members. The Dean notifies faculty members of their eligibility to apply for promotion and tenure in the following academic year. Copies of these notices are given to the Chairperson of the RTP Committee. This same procedure applies to notifying faculty members scheduled for a five-year review.
      4. Recommendations for Promotion and Tenure. The RTP Committee reviews the application materials of faculty members and makes recommendations for promotion in rank and tenure to the Dean of GSEP during the fall semester.
      5. Five-Year Reviews. The RTP Committee reviews the five-year review portfolios of faculty who hold tenure and have received the rank of full professor, and provides input to faculty members regarding their performance and growth since their last review. The information is also reported to the Dean. The input to the faculty members and Dean will be provided by the end of the academic year.
      6. Manual Review and Revision. Each year the RTP Committee reviews the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion Manual and suggests revisions. It presents such recommended revisions to the GSEP faculty for approval no later than the final faculty meeting of the academic year. Upon receipt of faculty approval, the revisions and/or changes are submitted to the Dean of GSEP for review and action. The proposed changes and/or revisions will then be forwarded to the University administration for final approval.
      7. Arranging Annual Informational Meeting for Tenure-Track Faculty Members. Each year, the RTP Committee Chairperson will be responsible for contacting the Dean to arrange for an informational meeting for all tenure-track faculty members (see Appendix B.2).
    5. Professional Conduct
      1. Conflict of Interest. As indicated in Section II.A, except under exceptional circumstances, faculty members who are being considered for promotion, tenure, and five-year review may not serve on the RTP Committee. If an RTP matter arises that involves a Committee member, the member will be excused during the deliberations. In the event of a conflict of interest between an applicant and an RTP Committee member, the applicant and/or Committee member may raise the issue with the Dean.
      2. Confidentiality.All consideration of specific individuals concerning matters of initial placement, promotion, tenure, and five-year review are confidential; that is, they shall not be discussed by either members of the Committee or those consulted other than with those privileged to have such information. This also means that Committee members may not discuss any information from Committee deliberation with the specific individuals whose cases are under review. Any violation of confidentiality is considered unprofessional conduct and may result in censure of the offending Committee member. The following security procedures are to be followed so as to ensure the confidential treatment of RTP matters.
        1. Minutes
          The members of the Committee will review and approve the minutes for the previous meeting. All Committee members will retain a copy of the minutes in a secure manner until the end of the academic year, when all hard copies and computer files of the minutes will be destroyed with the exception of the Chairperson's file copy.
        2. Evaluation Forms
          After the Committee reaches a decision on a candidate, it must destroy all Committee evaluations. The peer and administrative evaluations and all supporting materials are turned over to the Dean of GSEP. The Dean forwards the appropriate materials to the Office of the Provost. After final administrative action has been taken on each candidate, the original set of evaluation forms and the faculty data form are retained in the Office of the Dean of GSEP in a sealed envelope.
        3. Retiring Committee Members
          At the conclusion of a Committee member's term, he or she gives all files relating to Committee business to the Chairperson who, in turn, destroys them. Furthermore, Committee members should delete all computer files and emails related to RTP business.
        4. Retiring Chairperson
          When a new Chairperson is elected, the outgoing Chairperson purges his or her files except for the previous year's minutes and the document that relates to the location of faculty on the Eligibility for Advancement and Promotion Table (see Appendix B, page 54). These are placed in a sealed envelope and turned over to the newly elected Chairperson.
      3. Censure. The committee has the power to recommend to the Dean of GSEP that one or more of its members be removed from the Committee when a member violates the policies or procedures of the Committee. All Committee members, except the member(s) in question, must vote on this recommendation and the decision must be unanimous among the remaining members.