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Policy on Conversion of a Non-Tenure Eligible Position to a Tenure-Eligible Position

  1. Purpose
    The purpose of this policy is to establish a uniform procedure, including criteria, for the colleges and departments/schools to follow when addressing the issue of the conversion of current faculty from non-tenure eligible to tenure-eligible positions and appointment to the academic rank of assistant, associate or full professor. The intent of the policy is to provide guidance for these actions that is consistent with the policy on Academic Rank and Criteria for Ranks. Conversion from a non-tenure eligible to a tenure-eligible position cannot be used to support recommendation for promotion or salary adjustment.

  2. Criteria
    If a faculty member who is appointed in a non-tenure eligible position meets the criteria listed below, he/she may be considered for conversion to a tenure-eligible position and appointment to the rank of assistant, associate or full professor.

    1. Must have been appointed to current position after a national search.

    2. Must have been appointed as a full-time faculty member for at least one academic year in a non-tenure eligible position.

    3. Must have a terminal degree in the field or its clear equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education that supports the individual's role as a teaching and research faculty member.

    4. Must provide evidence of demonstrated success in current teaching and research performance and positive evaluation of future potential necessary to meet the criteria for tenure and promotion at Old Dominion University, as evaluated by the department/school and college.

    5. A current faculty member in a non-tenure eligible position can request conversion to a tenure-eligible position that is below, at the same or higher rank than their current rank. For example, a research associate professor can seek conversion to a tenure-track assistant, associate or full professor. Selection of the post-conversion rank should be discussed with the department chair and dean and the vice president for research (if applicable).

  3. Application, Review, Recommendation, and Approval Procedures
    Faculty who are appointed in non-tenure eligible positions who meet the criteria for conversion to a tenure-eligible assistant, associate, or professor position should discuss the matter with their department/school chair and dean. In the case of research faculty with an appointment in a research center, this process should also be discussed with the center director and needs approval from the relevant chair and dean as well as the vice president for research for faculty in research centers that do not reside in an academic college. Base funding for the converted position must be identified and committed before an application is considered.
    Prior to moving an application for conversion forward, the dean will confirm that the candidate meets all the qualifications for the requested position and provide the following information in his/her recommendation: (i) demonstrated need for a tenure-eligible faculty in the department/school, (ii) justification for conversion instead of conducting a national search for the position, (iii) impact of the conversion on teaching workload and/or research productivity in the department/school and college, (iv) availability of funds in the department/school/college to support the position, (v) a statement that all conversion eligible faculty in the department/school with pertinent background and expertise were given the opportunity to apply, (vi) a statement that the applicant has been informed that if his/her application is successful he/she must remain in rank for at least four years before being considered for tenure and/or promotion, and (vii) an acknowledgment that approval of the conversion request does not mean that the department/school or college will receive an additional non-tenure track position as a replacement for the converted position.
    The guidance and procedure outlined below should be followed in the preparation and submission of the application for conversion.
    1. The application for conversion to a tenure-eligible position and appointment as an assistant, associate, or full professor must include the following materials: a current vita, a personal statement, a teaching portfolio that includes courses taught and student course evaluation data, and copies of scholarly work completed within the past five years.

    2. Faculty whose terminal degree is not awarded in their teaching discipline must present documentation, as part of their application, that demonstrates that the degree and program of study is the clear equivalent of a terminal degree in the field/discipline.

    3. Faculty undergoing review for conversion do not need to submit annual evaluation materials during that academic year.

    4. With one exception, the normal procedures, as outlined in the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook policy on Academic Rank and Criteria for Ranks, are followed for consideration of appointment to assistant, associate or full professor, which are tenure-eligible academic ranks. The exception is the addition of external reviews of current research and research potential.

    5. Three external individuals identified by the department/school chair selected from a list of six (three provided by the department/school promotion and tenure committee and three provided by the candidate) shall be invited to provide recommendations on the applicant's record of current research/creative work and future potential. The candidate must identify any conflicts of interest with potential reviewers. These reviews shall be submitted by the reviewers to the department/school chair.

    6. The review and approval process for the application to convert a faculty position from a tenure ineligible to tenure eligible position shall be as follows. Approval is required at each level for the review process to continue.
      1. The department/school promotion and tenure committee reviews the application, including the external reviews, for conversion to tenure-eligible status and submits its recommendation to the department/school chair.

      2. The department/school chair reviews the complete set of application materials and the department/school promotion and tenure committee recommendation and submits a recommendation along with the application materials to the college promotion and tenure committee.

      3. The college promotion and tenure committee reviews the application materials and prior recommendations and submits the application and its recommendation to the college dean.

      4. The college dean reviews the application materials and all prior recommendations and submits them with a recommendation to the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

      5. The provost and vice president for academic affairs reviews the application materials and all previous recommendations and makes a final decision on the conversion to tenure-eligible status, informing the candidate, department/school chair, college dean, and the president.

      6. If approved, the conversion shall be effective with the beginning of the next academic year.

      7. Faculty members whose conversion was denied will remain in their current position.

- Approved by the provost and vice president for academic affairs
July 1, 2003
Approved by the President and
Revised May 17, 2004
Revised July 9, 2018
Revised May 26, 2020
Revised January 12, 2022


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