Department of Computer Science
at the University of Vermont
Reappointment and Promotion Guidelines for Research Faculty

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1. Introduction

In accordance with the
Agreement Between the University of Vermont and United Academics (AAUP/AFT) (referred to as the Union Contract hereafter), this document is developed to provide reappointment and promotion guidelines for research faculty in the Department of Computer Science.

According to the Union Contract, "each faculty member is expected to engage continuously and effectively in creative professional activities of high quality and significance." All research faculty members must provide evidence in this regard for their reappointment and promotion reviews.

Publication of refereed articles in both journals and conferences is very important; in some areas of computer science, publication in top-tier conferences is considered as prestigious as publication in top journals. Acquisition of competitive grant and contract support is considered an indication of recognized research competence and productivity. Similarly, invited lectures or publications, journal editorship, or service as a major officer in a professional society, may be considered as recognition of scholarly achievement. Patents, software products, monographs, book chapters, unpublished conference presentations, and other products of scholarly activity may also be considered.

For peer-reviewed journal publications, the candidate is advised to provide information regarding the standards of the journal and its standing in the discipline. For conference proceedings, the candidate is asked to distinguish the level of peer-review (fully-refereed, abstract-refereed, non-refereed) and to provide information about the conference acceptance rates, if possible. For monographs and book chapters, the candidate is advised to provide information regarding the review process of the press, and whether or not the work was invited. Candidates are encouraged to outline the significant contributions of each major publication.

Collaborative, interdisciplinary, and cross-disciplinary research is strongly encouraged. For joint publications, the candidate should describe their role in the joint effort. For all greensheet reviews for research faculty, the candidate will be asked to provide contact information for co-authors with whom the candidate has created or published joint work since the last greensheet review. These co-authors will then be invited by the Chair to comment on their perception of the role of the candidate in their joint work. For interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary work, the candidate is advised to describe the nature of the publication venue and the relationship of the research to Computer Science.

2. Selection of Arm's-Length Evaluators

For the following research faculty greensheet reviews, "arm's-length" evaluators will be solicited to provide external reports: Arm's-length evaluators are individuals who do not have a significant personal relationship with the candidate. They are not former students, thesis advisors, former or present colleagues, co-authors, or collaborators.

Also, arm's-length evaluators should

  1. Be "acknowledged scholars and practitioners in the discipline of the candidate at other institutions. These scholars and practitioners should ... be capable of providing an objective, informed assessment of the candidate's work." [The Union Contract, Article 15, Clause 4, Page 30.]
  2. Be tenured at their home universities (and for promotion to the rank of Research Professor, have the same or an equivalent rank), if they come from academia.
  3. Have expertise in at least one of the candidate's research areas.
The Chair will inform the arm's-length reviewers of all pertinent facts regarding the candidate, with the candidate's representative publications and other creative work, and will ask them for comments on

2.1. Numbers of Arm's-Length Evaluators

2.2. The Selection Process

N below refers to the number of arm's-length evaluators that the Chair will contact for each type of greensheet reviews, as defined in Section 2.1.
  1. The candidate is asked to provide N nominations.
  2. The Chair compiles N other names from other sources.
  3. The Chair shows the N other names to the candidate and asks the candidate to identify (1) any names that are not at arm'- length, and (2) any names with whom the candidate has personal/professional disagreements.
  4. The Chair selects and contacts N names from the combined list, with at least half from the candidate's list.
  5. In the greensheets for all faculty to review, the Chair will list these N names and mention who were nominated by the candidate and who were solicited by the Chair independently.

3. Faculty Input and Eligible Voters for Research Faculty Reviews

3.1. Faculty Input and Schedule for Research Faculty Reviews

The Chair should set an appropriate schedule for each greensheet review, so that the complete greensheets will be ready for faculty review at least 2 weeks before the submission deadline to the Dean's Office.

Once the greensheets are ready for faculty review, all faculty members, tenured and untenured (including tenure-track/tenured faculty, research faculty, Lecturers, and Senior Lecturers) will be invited to review the greensheets and share their advice concerning the candidate with the Chair within a week. The feedback will be documented in the Chair's Evaluation.

At the beginning of the second week after the greensheets are complete, the Chair will convene (i) a meeting of all faculty members to discuss the greensheets, and (ii) a closed session for all eligible voters (as defined in Section 3.2) to vote on whether or not to recommend the candidate's application. This vote will be recorded in the Chair's Evaluation.

After the above faculty feedback and eligible voters' vote, the Chair will decide whether or not to recommend the candidate's application, and will inform the candidate with a detailed Chair's Evaluation.

3.2 Eligible Voters for Research Faculty Reviews

When a candidate applies for promotion to a particular rank, only those faculty members who are already at this rank or above are eligible voters. When a candidate applies for reappointment at a particular rank, only those faculty members who have successfully passed their reappointment at this rank and are not applying for another reappointment in the current year for the same level of reappointment, are eligible voters. The Chair is not an eligible voter.

4. Promotion to Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor and Research Professor

A research faculty member may become a candidate for promotion by personal request or by recommendation of the Chair (who is the formal supervisor of each research faculty member in the Department). Such a request or recommendation should be discussed in the appropriate May so that arm's-length evaluators can be organized in the following summer.

Research faculty members do not have teaching or service expectations in the Department, but if the candidate has performed significant teaching or service work, he/she may choose to include this work in the promotion greensheets.

The candidate's research will be evaluated using the quality criteria for active research in the Union Contract (Article 15).

After the Chair's Evaluation in Section 3.1, a candidate for promotion may choose to withdraw the current application.

5. Rebuttal and Appeal

After receiving the Chair's Evaluation on a reappointment and promotion review, the faculty member may rebut or appeal, following the procedures described in the Union Contract.