Schedule and Procedures for Contract Renewal and Promotions

Schedule for Tenure with Post-tenure Review System

Schedule for Contract Renewal

Long-term faculty appointments at EMU are based on a system of tenure with post-tenure review. The terms of the contract period shall be negotiated in all cases (exceptions by mutual agreement of the faculty member and their dean) by March 15 preceding the new contract period. The initiative for negotiating the next contract period shall come from the respective dean.  Tenure-track contracts are offered on the following schedule:


  • First contract period - one-year contracts (for first three years)
  • Second contract period - three-year contract


  • Subsequent contract periods – six-year contracts

Advancement in the tenure track assumes completion of the terminal degree (Ph.D. or equivalent, e.g., D.N.P., M.F.A. or J.D.). For professional programs, EMU values professional credentials if accompanied by extensive practical experience.  Therefore, EMU accepts the M.S.W. and the M.B.A to meet this requirement.

For those in the tenure track, at any time during the review process, a lesser term may be negotiated by mutual agreement of the faculty member and their dean. This agreement must be documented with a copy placed in the faculty member’s official personnel file.  If a faculty member is unavailable when the review would normally be scheduled (e.g. the person is on sabbatical), the contract may be extended for one year. An annual Salary & Benefits Statement shall be issued by EMU to the faculty member and shall indicate salary level and fringe benefits.

One-year ContractsThe first contract period (3 one-year contracts) shall be provisional. This period of time provides an opportunity for the faculty member and the institution to determine whether a longer-term relationship between the person and the institution would be mutually beneficial. During this provisional time, the institution is under no obligation to renew the contract. Renewal is at the discretion of the dean in consultation with the program director.

Three-year and Six-year ContractsThe review process, in preparation for three- or six-year contracts, shall occur during the last year of the previous contract period. Contract review criteria are identical to those established for promotion. The three-year contract is processed by the colleague review committee, the program director, the dean, and the Faculty Status Committee (FSC). Normally tenure is granted at the time of awarding the first six-year contract, after processing by the dean, colleague review committee, and Faculty Status Committee. Tenure must be approved by the Board of Trustees. Entry into tenure represents a long-term commitment by the faculty member and the institution to continuing service. Subsequent six-year contract renewal provides an opportunity for post-tenure review to plan the ongoing growth and development of the faculty member, review the goals of the individual and the institution, and assess institutional need for the next contract period.

Beyond the age of 60, after multiple post-tenure contracts, the faculty candidate may negotiate with the respective dean for a shorter contract and expectations regarding contract renewal.

Note Regarding Annual Faculty AssessmentAll faculty members complete an annual assessment of performance and set goals for growth. An annual interview with the dean occurs so that the faculty member may gauge their own progress toward the review criteria, as well as toward goals for teaching, scholarship, and professional development.  Annual review documents are maintained in the faculty member’s official file in the provost’s office.

Non-tenured:  Annual contract non-tenure-track faculty may be awarded successive three-year contracts after five successful years of teaching and service or scholarship. Click here for the Contract Review Process for Faculty in Consecutive 3-year Contracts. 

Schedule for Promotion

Promotion by Rank requires:  a specified length of EMU service attained, as well as specific ratings (Competent, Proficient, or Outstanding) across the domains of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service.

Faculty members are usually hired at the rank of instructor or assistant professor. Ordinarily, the rank of associate professor is considered after 6 years of faculty performance and demonstration of Proficient performance in Teaching, and Proficient performance in either Scholarship or Service. If a faculty member, upon employment by EMU, has already achieved the rank of associate professor or professor at another accredited institution, consideration may be given by the provost and respective dean, for awarding the same rank at the time of hiring. Ordinarily, a faculty member is eligible for the rank of full professor after a minimum of six years of experience at the associate professor level. When current faculty work toward a terminal degree, application for promotion will be considered only if the work toward the degree is completed by May 15. A person’s schedule for promotion will be specified at the time of hire.

Timing of Application for PromotionApplication for promotion typically occurs at the time of contract renewal. In extraordinary cases in which the faculty member demonstrates excellence in advance of, or following, the scheduled period of review for contract renewal, the respective dean and program director may approve special requests for early/delayed promotion reviews.  Once the out-of-schedule promotion is granted, another full contract (3 year or 6 year) will commence at the time of the promotion/contract review in order to maintain the regularity of the review cycle.

Review Procedures for One-year Contracts

After the first semester in the first and second years, and prior to signing another one-year contract, the dean shall meet with the faculty member to conduct a review, based on the Domains for Faculty Performance. The dean shall place a summary of the review in the faculty member’s personnel file in the office of the provost. The faculty member is notified by March 15 of the contract renewal decision for the 2nd and 3rd one-year contracts.

Review Procedures for: Three- and Six-Year Contracts & Promotion

Procedures for contract review and/or promotion consideration involve several steps:

  • Faculty candidate prepares for the review by completing the steps in the initial and preparation procedures, listed below.
  • Selected colleagues and peers review the performance of the faculty candidate in the 3 domains and provide individual and group response.
  • The Colleague Review Committee chair writes a summary and the dean adds their recommendation.
  • The Faculty Status Committee reviews the dossier, interprets the data, and makes the decision on contract renewal/promotion.
  • The Board of Trustees takes action to confirm all promotions and renewal of six-year contracts.

Initial Procedures

  1. The Provost's Office in collaboration with the deans' offices will identify faculty members eligible for contract review and/or promotion, and the chair of each Colleague Review Committee. 
  2. Prior to the end of the contract year (in May), the provost conducts a “process overview” workshop for faculty undergoing the process.
  3. In April, prior to the review process, the dean initiates the review process via letter to the faculty member indicating eligibility for contract review, and/or promotion to associate professor. The letter is copied to the respective program director. In the case of promotion to full professor, the faculty member in consultation with their program director initiates a request for promotion to full professor.
  4. By May 15, if needed, the faculty candidate submits a list of names to the dean to be considered for external letters of recommendation from professional colleagues.
  5. Promotion to full professor only: If requesting a promotion to full professor, the faculty candidate submits a letter of request for promotion consideration to the program director and respective dean no later than May 15.

Preparation Procedures

  1. By September 15, the faculty candidate invites a minimum of 2 tenure-track colleagues  (at least one colleague must be from within the candidate’s program) to conduct class visits. The colleague observer meets with the faculty candidate to review the results; the observer submits the class-visit evaluation form to the program director and a copy to the faculty candidate.
  2. The dean, in consultation with the candidates, appoints the school’s Colleague Review Committee (CRC) by May 15 with at least one member from each of that year’s candidates’ respective programs.  If a candidate has concerns about the composition of the CRC, they may consult with the dean and seek a mutually agreeable solution. The dean may also make additional appointment/s of CRC members from outside the school in special circumstances; the faculty candidate may also request the addition of a colleague from another EMU school or program who has special insight into their performance in a domain (see Colleague Review Procedures). In extraordinary circumstances (for example, an unusually high number of candidates in a given year) a dean may appoint more than one CRC within a school. After the CRC is finalized, all faculty members in the school are informed of the CRC appointments.
  3. In September, the faculty candidate completes the Self-evaluation Form (SEF).
  4. The faculty candidate compiles the dossier and submits it to the CRC chair by October 1. The dossier is stored in a location that ensures confidentiality.
  5. The Provost's Office solicits evaluation forms from all students in the candidate’s program who have completed at least one course taught by the candidate. The Office of Institutional Research summarizes the data and results are forwarded to the CRC.

Colleague Review

Colleagues review the faculty candidate’s performance in the three domains. The CRC consists of at least five tenure-track faculty members and may include up to two EMU tenure-track colleagues from outside of the particular school, as outlined below. The CRC elects its own chair from among its members.

The faculty candidate may also request that one additional colleague be added to the CRC for review of their particular case. The faculty candidate may wish to nominate a colleague who has at least six years of EMU faculty experience, who has insight into an area of scholarship, teaching, or service that their school colleagues may have not had opportunity to observe (e.g. cross-disciplinary co-teaching, research, etc.). The dean must approve such requests. Anyone added to the committee must be a tenure-track faculty member.

In other special circumstances, the dean may appoint up to two additional colleagues from outside the school after consulting with the faculty candidate and program director.

The colleague review process includes:

  1. In October, each member of the colleague review committee (CRC) reviews the dossier using the Colleague Review Response form. All members of the committee complete Part I of the colleague review response form prior to the meeting of the colleague review committee. Program colleagues of the candidate who are not members of the CRC may also choose to review the dossier and submit their feedback via Part I of the response form to the CRC.
  2. By November 7, the chair convenes the CRC to discuss the candidate’s performance (Not Achieved, Competent, Proficient, or Outstanding) in each of the three domains. Discussions during the meeting are confidential.
  3. Following the CRC meeting, all members complete and sign Part II of their individual colleague response forms. Individual members submit their form to the CRC chair by November 15. The faculty candidate does not see the individual response forms.
  4. The CRC chair reviews the results of the response forms and drafts a summary report. The report summarizes the discussion of the CRC, the performance ratings in each domain, and the level of support for the contract renewal/promotion.
  5. The CRC chair submits the summary report, completed dossier, student evaluation results, colleague response forms, and faith integration paper (for the initial tenured six-year contract only) to the respective dean by November 30. The summary may be viewed by any member of the colleague review committee, upon request.

The CRC chair meets with the faculty candidate for an oral summary of the faculty review by November 30. No individual data are revealed.

Dean’s Review

  1. By December 15, the dean reviews the dossier, the summary report, student evaluation results, and the individual colleague response forms. The summary report and the response forms are not placed into the dossier.
  2. The dean writes their letter of recommendation, evaluating the information that has come forward from the CRC. The faculty candidate may meet with the dean to discuss any aspect of their candidacy.
  3. By January 15, the dean informs the chair of the CRC of their recommendation to the Faculty Status Committee.
  4. The dean forwards the completed dossier, with the summary report, student evaluation results, response forms, dean’s letter of recommendation, and faith integration paper (for the initial tenured six-year contract only) to the Faculty Status Committee.

Faculty Status Committee Review

The Faculty Status Committee performs the final review of the dossier and all related materials.  The Faculty Status Committee’s discretion varies with the type of contract being requested.

  1.  For a three-year contract, the committee may decide to approve, to disapprove, or to delay the three-year contract for no more than one provisional year accompanied by a performance improvement plan with measurable outcomes.  At the end of the provisional year, the dean may award a three-year contract based upon successful completion of the performance improvement plan.
  2. For the initial six-year contract, which includes application for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, the Faculty Status Committee may only approve or deny.  Applicants who are denied tenure and promotion may, at the discretion of the respective dean and with the approval of the provost, be offered a non-tenure-track appointment to one of the alternative faculty titles.
  3. For continuing post-tenure six year contracts, renewal is the presumptive outcome.  If the Faculty Status Committee determines that there has been a significant shortfall in performance standards, they may renew the contract for six years or a lesser period, accompanied by a performance improvement plan, or they may decide on non-renewal.  In the case of non-renewal, the faculty member may, at the discretion of the dean and with the approval of the provost, be offered a continuing non-tenure-track appointment to one of the alternative faculty titles.

The process and timetable for the Faculty Status Committee’s deliberations are as follows:

  1. January 15-February 15: The Faculty Status Committee reviews the completed dossier, the attached reports, student evaluation results, and colleague response forms.
  2. By mid-February, the Faculty Status Committee convenes and decides on the contract renewal/promotion request.
  3. By the end of February, the Faculty Status Committee reports in writing the resulting decision and the rationale to the faculty member, and copies the program director and respective dean. Dossier is returned to the faculty member.
  4. The chair of the FSC forwards the decisions for promotion and for tenured six-year contracts to the Board of Trustees, along with the minutes of the FSC meeting.  The provost presents the decisions of the FSC as motions to the Board of Trustees for confirmation.


  1. The summary report, response forms, student evaluation results, and letter of recommendation are filed securely by the provost’s office for 6 years.

Board of Trustees

  1. At the March Board of Trustees meeting, the Board of Trustees takes action on all promotions, and post-tenure six-year contracts.
  2. The provost issues a letter communicating the action to the faculty candidate, no later than April 1st.

Appeals Procedure

  • If a faculty member wishes to appeal the decision of the Faculty Status Committee, it must be done in writing to the president within ten working days of notification of the committee’s decision. If the appeal to the president is denied, the faculty member may make a second appeal to the Academic Excellence Committee of the Board of Trustees. The second appeal must be done in writing to the chair of the trustee committee within ten working days of notification of the president’s decision.
  • All appeal procedures shall provide a fair hearing for all interested parties.

Dossier Preparation for 3- and 6-year Contracts & Promotion

The dossier is prepared to provide appropriate evidence of the faculty candidate’s performance in the areas of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service.

Dossier Documents Submitted by the Faculty Candidate

  • Cover Letter indicating the purpose of the review: tenure, contract renewal, and/or promotion.
  • Self-evaluation form: The faculty candidate identifies a rating of own performance (Not Achieved, Competent, Proficient, or Outstanding) for each domain, with a supporting explanation of the evidence. The candidate may also speak to current areas of focus in their professional development and contributions to the school/university.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Class Visit Forms: the faculty member places two signed class visit forms in the dossier; a program faculty member must complete one form.
  • Course Evaluation Summariesthe faculty member provides quantitative and/or qualitative summaries of course evaluation results since their previous review, along with a representative and helpful sample of course evaluation reports.
  • Statement of Faith and Life (depth of updating is at the discretion of the applicant)
  • Annual goals reports from prior 3 years
  • Faith integration paper (for the initial tenured six-year contract only). The integration paper is 5-10 pages in length and is also shared with peers at an appropriate venue, as arranged by the provost (not a part of the review process). The faculty candidate addresses how their teaching and scholarship is influenced by serving at Eastern Mennonite University, a Christian institution in the Anabaptist tradition. In addition, it should explore the question of affinity with the university mission. See the Faith Integration Guidelines for more information.
  • Supporting Evidence at Faculty Discretionoptional supporting evidence may be offered to assist in demonstrating the level of performance. Duplication of evidence is unnecessary. Supporting evidence may include, but is not limited to:
    • evidence of teaching strategies or curriculum development
    • sample syllabi
    • evidence of student learning
    • published scholarship
    • evidence of service assignments
    • reports generated by consulting or other professional service
    • internal/external letters of recommendation
    • evidence of public critique or adoption of one’s scholarly work

Documents Submitted by Others

The Colleague Review Committee chair:

  • At least two of the three are selected from a list of names provided by the candidate. 
  • Faculty candidate up for tenure review and/or request for promotion to Associate Professor or Professor provides the dean and CRC committee chair a list of four or more faculty or professional colleagues external to EMU who could write letters on their behalf. External peer reviewers should be contacted by the dean in May or June, before the colleague review committee is formed.
  • Submits summary of the committee report, candidate dossiers, student evaluation results, individual colleague response forms, and faith integration paper (for the initial tenured six-year contract only) to dean by November 30.

The Dean:

  • The dean forwards the completed dossier, with the committee summary report, student evaluation results, individual colleague response forms, the dean’s recommendation, and faith integration paper (for the initial tenured six-year contract only) to the Faculty Status Committee.
  • The summary report, response forms, and letter of recommendation are filed securely by the provost’s office for 6 years.

Discrimination and Grievance Procedures

The university’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Conflict and Grievance Policy and Procedure are in place throughout the entire review process. The main concern in any grievance procedure is to bring reconciliation and growth in ways that enhance community. To implement this goal, the American Council on Education definition of grievance is adopted: “Grievable issues are those in which there is the possibility of an error in the institutional policies (or lack of them), in its prescribed procedures for carrying out the policies, in the administration of those procedures, or in varying combinations of these.”  If it is determined that an institutional error has occurred, the second function of the grievance procedure is to provide a process to determine appropriate redress for the grievant.

Approved by Faculty Senate May 7, 2010
Approved by Academic Cabinet & President's Cabinet May 12, 2010
Approved by Board of Trustees June 19, 2010
Approved by Board of Trustees, March 24, 2012
Edited & revised by faculty senate academic committee, May 3, 2013
Revised to reflect new Board of Trustees committee structure, March 10, 2020
Revised and approved by Faculty Senate and Provost's Council, May 2020

Responsible Party

Responsibility for this policy lies with the Provost.

Policy Review

This policy is to be reviewed every three years.


Faculty/Staff Handbook