The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Policy # [####]
College of Letters and Science Materials (Appendix A: COLS)

College of Letters and Science

Policy on Reappointment and Tenure

Approved by L&S Faculty: February 22, 1991

Approved by Vice Chancellor: March 11, 1991

Approved by the Chancellor: March 12, 1991

Approved by Faculty Committee February 24, 2010



This document establishes the general policy for reappointment and tenure for the College of Letters and Science. It will serve as a guide for the development of policy specific to the particular discipline(s) by each academic department or unit. The activities in the areas of evaluation enumerated below are intended to preserve and enhance the excellence of the College of Letters and Science by encouraging faculty members to develop their full potential as teachers and scholars.


The select mission calls for this University “to acquire, preserve, and disseminate knowledge,” to intellectually “challenge students,” and “to expect scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor.” The University guidelines require that candidates for tenure demonstrate (1) “quality performance in teaching,” (2) “scholarly achievement and institutional and extra institutional related professional services and activities at a level sufficient to ensure continued professional and intellectual growth,” and (3) “a significant contribution to the growth and development of the institution.”


1. Teaching – Effective teaching requires mastery of the subject coupled with organizational and communication skills necessary to share this knowledge with students in a manner that encourages them to learn. Effective teaching requires continual updating of course subject matter and instructional techniques. Effective teaching may involve diverse pedagogical approaches and may take place in many settings, some removed from the classroom. Effective teaching may require collective as well as individual efforts in developing or revising a curriculum or carrying out cooperative instructional activities.

2. Professional and Scholarly Activity – Professional and scholarly activity implies active engagement with one’s discipline or field. It includes the search for new knowledge, the expression of creative talent, and the application of existing knowledge to issues and problems within our society.

Professional and scholarly activity enables faculty members to acquire and maintain expertise within their disciplines and, where appropriate, across disciplines. It enhances their abilities to engage students both in gaining knowledge of their disciplines and in developing the skills by which that knowledge is acquired.

Professional and scholarly activity takes diverse forms depending upon each faculty member and upon each discipline. For the purpose of reappointment and tenure, the common criterion for all faculty members is that professional and scholarly activity must be demonstrated in such a manner that it can be observed and evaluated by appropriate peers.

3. Service – Service activities fall into three general categories: University, public, and professional. University service is work for the department, College, University and UW-System. Faculty members have an obligation to accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of the institution. Public service relates to the non-academic community, especially that public directly related to one’s professional expertise. Service to the profession includes such activities as serving as an officer in a professional organization, acting as a peer reviewer for a journal, conducting on-site evaluations and visits for purposes of academic review or reviewing grant applications.

4. Relative Importance of Areas – Teaching effectiveness and professional and scholarly activity are the two most important elements in reappointment and tenure decisions.


Probationary faculty members should demonstrate satisfactory progress in teaching, professional and scholarly activity, and service which will result in the granting of tenure. In their first years it is expected that probationary faculty will concentrate on effective teaching and establishing professional and scholarly activity, while also beginning university, community, and/or professional service. By the time of the tenure decision, a clear record of accomplishment in all three areas should be established.


This document serves as the framework for policies to be prepared and adopted by each department within the College. Department policies shall define more precisely what activities constitute professional and scholarly activities for their faculty members, and what levels of performance are necessary conditions for reappointment and tenure. Department policies also shall recognize the various contexts and methods of instruction appropriate to specific disciplines as they define what constitutes effective teaching. Departments shall identify appropriate types and levels of service. Finally, department documents shall describe the kinds of evidence that must be presented for evaluation in all three areas.


Policy on Promotion Documentation

Policy: In the College of Letters and Science, candidates for promotion must provide peer evaluations as part of their documentation of Teaching Effectiveness.

Rationale: The procedures for promotion should be consistent with other personnel procedures in the College of Letters and Science. In University guidelines peer evaluation is already one of the permissible types of evidence that may be used to demonstrate teaching effectiveness.

Approved by Faculty Committee, Minutes of 28 February 2002

Also approved in a College-wide referendum 8 May 2003

Policy: Candidates for promotion shall submit comments and votes by all levels of review from the most recent promotion consideration to the same rank if such a consideration took place in the previous five years.

Rationale: The Promotion Committee should be provided with the same documentation that is submitted to the Tenure and Renewal Committee. Reviewing previous comments and votes will help clarify for the Committee whether the candidate has addressed any concerns expressed previously by all levels of Review.


Policy Approved by the Faculty Committee, Minutes of 06 March 2002

Also approved in a College-wide referendum 8 May 2003