Faculty/Staff Handbook

I. General Information

II. Faculty and Professional Staff Governance

III. UB Academic Policies

IV. UB Personnel Policies

V. SUNY: General Information

Site Index

III. University at Buffalo Academic Policies
III.A. Policies, Procedures, and Criteria for Faculty Personnel Actions
III.A.1. Checklist for all Dossiers
III.A.2. Sample Format: Curriculum Vitae
III.A.3. Sample Evaluation Letter
III.A.4. Participation of Organized Research Units, Centers, and Institutes in the Promotion Process
III.B. Responsible Conduct in Intellectual and Creative Activity
III.C. Complaints Against Faculty
III.D. Disciplinary Procedures for Academic Infractions by Students
III.E. Faculty Teaching Responsibilities
III.F. Teaching Assessment and Improvement
III.G. Academic Standards
III.H. Undergraduate Grading Policy and Procedure
III.I. Graduate School Policies and Procedures Manual
III.J. Grading Procedures for Graduate Students

III.A. Policies, Procedures, and Criteria for Faculty Personnel Actions

(including appointment, reappointment, promotion, and tenure)

As approved by the President, June 1988

Note: The policies, procedures, and criteria for faculty promotions are currently under consideration of the Faculty Senate. Updates and modifications will be published as soon as they are approved.



Introduction

This document contains the procedural requirements and policies of the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY-Buffalo) concerning the appointment of faculty members, promotion from one faculty rank to another, and the granting of continuing appointment. These policies and procedures are framed within and subordinate to the Policies of the Board of Trustees of State University of New York and the Agreement between State University of New York and the United University Professions (UUP). They are bas ed on experience at this and other universities, suggestions from the president, the provost, the vice presidents, the deans, and the President's Review Board on Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure (hereafter referred to as the review board or the board) , and the Faculty Senate. 

Originally issued in 1972, these policies were extensively revised in 1978. Additional changes were made by then-President Steven B. Sample's Directive of September 13, 1982, concerning the President's Review Board, which directive was revised December 29 , 1982, and by memos from the president on February 22, 1983, November 9, 1983, and June 1, 1984. Subsequent modifications of protocol and clarifications of language have also been incorporated. 

These policies are to be construed and applied in a manner consistent with the policies of the trustees and the provisions of the agreement with the UUP. It is incumbent upon individual faculty members, whether or not they exercise administrative responsibility, to be familiar with the trustees' policies and the UUP agreement, especially those articles covering appointment, promotion, and continuing appointment. 

The material that follows is divided into three principal sections.

The first section defines the criteria for appointment and promotion to academic ranks. Broadly speaking, these are intended to help SUNY-Buffalo achieve status as one of the top-ranked public research universities in the nation, and to maintain that position. 

The second section prescribes the course of personnel actions that lead to initial appointment, reappointment, promotion, and the granting of continuing appointment. These actions follow a logical sequence through various levels of academic organization, beginning with recommendations at the departmental level. This second section also specifies the administrative responsibility and type of faculty involvement at each level, and the procedures for the selection and participation of an advocate if the candidate should elect to designate an advocate. 

The third section prescribes the documentation that should be assembled in an appointment or promotion dossier, the annual timetable for handling promotion and tenure actions, and the steps necessary for the protection of confidential materials.

I. Criteria

The selection, evaluation, and promotion of members of the faculty of the State University of New York at Buffalo has major importance for the development of the university as a center of excellence in scholarship and teaching. The definition of two different series of faculty-the professorial and the librarian series-implies a recognition of their somewhat different functions. Hence, somewhat different criteria are necessary for promotion and tenure in these two faculty series.

The basic considerations in assessing the performance of professorial faculty are mastery of subject matter, effectiveness in teaching, scholarly accomplishment, effectiveness of university service, and potential for continuing professional growth. The basic considerations in assessing the performance of library faculty are competence in librarianship, contributions to the libraries and their services, scholarly accomplishment, effectiveness of university service, and potential for continuing professional growth. The general criteria set forth below indicate the kinds and levels of attainment that candidates for appointment or promotion to the various faculty ranks should have achieved.

These criteria should be considered minimal standards for appointment to or promotion in the university. They are broad enough to cover all but the most unusual of scholarly endeavors pursued within the university. Promotion standards developed by an individual department, school, or faculty in response to the presidential directive of November 9, 1983, are for the use of that department or school and for the information of all faculty to whom they apply and all higher faculty review bodies. The directive states that information shall be gathered periodically "from the most distinguished public universities in the country concerning academic standards in use in the several disciplines." They will be received and reviewed by the provost, and submitted to t he President's Review Board and the president, as a statement of a special element of the department, or school/faculty process, and as contextual guidelines regarding the evaluation of faculty members for appointment, promotion, and tenure, and must be made available to the faculty in those units. In extraordinary circumstances, full presidential approval may be granted to a set of standards developed by a school or faculty.

I.A. Criteria by Academic Rank

I.A.1. Instructor/Assistant Librarian


Practice varies throughout the university regarding the use of the Instructor rank. In some scholarly areas, it has virtually disappeared; in others, it may still be useful.

This rank may be recommended for someone who has yet to complete the appropriate terminal degree and who does not have other scholarly or professional attainment. Such a person is at the beginning of an academic career, and thus must be evaluated principally on promise, as evidenced by graduate and professional study. Such evidence should strongly indicate that the candidate will complete the appropriate terminal degree, or an equivalent course of scholarly professional work, within one year of the date o f appointment. The evidence must also support strongly the prediction that the individual will be a good teacher and researcher or creator. For a second one-year appointment, the person should have completed all work for the doctorate or other appropriate terminal degree, or have completed equivalent scholarly or professional work, and should be awaiting recognition of that accomplishment, e.g., conferral of the degree. In addition, the person must have a satisfactory performance record, and must continue to show high promise as a researcher or creator.

I.A.2. Assistant Professor/Senior Assistant Librarian

Appointment at this rank is granted to one who has received the appropriate terminal degree, or who possesses equivalent scholarly or professional attainments. A candidate for such an appointment should have high promise as a teacher/librarian and researc her or creator. For those who have had previous experience as a faculty member here or elsewhere, there should be positive evidence of teaching/librarianship ability, and completed research or creative activity beyond that involved in graduate or professional study. Candidates with prior service in the rank of Instructor/Assistant Librarian or Assistant Professor/Senior Assistant Librarian without the terminal degree or its equivalent, should have demonstrated excellent research or creative activity beyond that involved in graduate or professional study. When it is anticipated that a candidate will be seriously considered for promotion to continuing appointment during the term of appointment as Assistant Professor/Senior Assistant Librarian, i.e., the app ointment is to a "tenure track" position, the documentation supporting the candidate's initial appointment, and any renewal, should include strong evidence that qualifications in both teaching/librarianship and research or creative activity for such promotion will exist by the time a tenure decision is to be made. Recommendation for promotion to continuing appointment must be initiated no later than during the sixth year of service in this rank in the State University of New York system. If promotion is denied, notice of nonrenewal must be made in writing twelve months prior to the expiration of the term of appointment.

I.A.3. Associate Professor/Associate Librarian

Candidates for the rank of Associate Professor/Associate Librarian must hold the appropriate terminal degree or have equivalent scholarly or professional attainments. They should have achievements in teaching or librarianship and research or creative activity extending well beyond those involved in the attainment of the doctoral degree or its equivalent. In all cases of proposed continuing appointment as an Associate Professor/Associate Librarian, the candidate should have demonstrated a continued high level of performance as a teacher/librarian and researcher or creator, commitment to high scholarly standards, and evidence of effective participation in university and community service. The quality of the research or creative activity of such an appointee should be unambiguous and unequivocal. This evaluation of the candidate's work should be supported by substantial evidence of peer review that has been carried out in a manner characteristic of and appropriate to the discipline. The candidate must demonstrate solid professional achievement and the potential to meet requirements for the rank of full professor. Clear and convincing evidence must be submitted to show that each candidate has the credentials to achieve continuing appointment as an Associate Professor/Associate Librarian in his or her discipline at the leading public research universities.

Candidates with no previous teaching/library experience, or whose records pose other questions of qualifications, should be given an initial term appointment at unqualified rank, or a visiting appointment. This course of action will provide an opportunity for a very careful evaluation to be made of their effectiveness as teachers or librarians before continuing appointment is recommended. Employment at this rank for more than three years must be on the basis of continuing appointment.

I.A.4. Professor/Librarian

The criteria applicable to appointment at the rank of Professor/Librarian are those already indicated as applicable to the rank of Associate Professor/Associate Librarian. In addition, candidates for appointment at this rank should be clearly established, nationally visible, and highly regarded as scholars, and have demonstrated the ability to direct the research programs or creative activities of advanced students where this will be a part of the expected responsibilities. As in the case of appointments at all other ranks, the recommendation for an appointment at the rank of Professor/Librarian should present clear and strong evidence that first-rank performance as a teacher/librarian and researcher or creator has been shown, and can be expected to continue. Appointment or promotion to the rank of Professor/Librarian is never to be simply a reward for services already performed. Those faculty holding this rank have primary responsibility for the scholarship of the university, and their attainments as scholars in their disciplines must be of the first rank. Nothing less than excellence is acceptable here. Clear and convincing evidence must be submitted to show that each candidate has the credentials to achieve the rank of Professor/Librarian in his or her discipline at the leading public research universities.

Candidates with no previous teaching/library experience, or whose records pose other questions of qualifications, should be given an initial term appointment at unqualified rank, or a visiting appointment. This course of action will provide an opportunity for a very careful evaluation to be made of their effectiveness as teachers or librarians before continuing appointment is recommended. Employment at this rank for more than three years must be on the basis of continuing appointment.

I.A.5. Distinguished Professors

Three distinct titles: Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Service Professor, and Distinguished Teaching Professor, are reserved for a highly select group of outstanding faculty members. Designation to these ranks is conducted in a special process administered through standing committees appointed by the president.

Units desiring to recommend a faculty member for a Distinguished rank should verify the procedures to be followed and the documentation to be gathered with the appropriate committee prior to beginning the action.

I.A.6. Faculty Professor

Faculty Professor is an in-house title given to individual faculty members in recognition of their broad-based qualifications, which are recognized in a number of different departments and/or programs within a school or faculty. The statements of recommendation and advisory votes should reflect general faculty-wide acceptance of the action. The specific duties and privileges of a Faculty Professor are to be decided on an individual basis.

I.A.7. Emeritus Academic Rank

No special action is required to grant Emeritus status. All members of the university faculty who have retired in good standing will be eligible to add the word "Emeritus" or "Emerita" to their academic or administrative title at the time of retirement.


I.B. Qualified Academic Rank

Qualified ranks are used primarily to designate faculty members whose primary contributions will be in one area of academic activity. For example, the "Research" prefix is appropriate for faculty members whose activities are primarily in research; "Clinic al" for those teaching in a clinical environment as part of an established academic program; "Adjunct" for those with appropriate professional qualifications who perform teaching or research in connection with an academic program. These positions may be f ull time, part time, or voluntary. The proper descriptive prefix should precede the rank, i.e., Clinical Assistant Professor, Adjunct Instructor, etc. Qualified titles, such as Artist-in-Residence, Visiting Scholar, etc., may also be used as in-house titles as appropriate, in conjunction with other qualified rank titles. Lecturer is also a qualified title used primarily for appointments restricted to teaching. These appointments do not lead to consideration for continuing appointment.

Qualified titles should not be considered honorary but must be earned. Appointment to or promotion in qualified rank should be carried out with the same care, using the same criteria and the same standards applied to unqualified academic ranks in the applicable area of academic activity or service. Schools or faculties are expected to develop procedures for the evaluation of candidates for appointment and promotion in qualified rank.

I.C. Mode of Evaluation

Faculty members should be regularly evaluated in three areas: teaching, research or creative activity, and service. Instead of traditional teaching, library faculty should be evaluated on the performance of the basic function of the librarian. Some member s of the faculty will excel at one or two of these areas, others will excel at all three. A balanced evaluation of a prospective faculty member will consider these differences and will also recognize the value of cross-disciplinary scholarly activity. How ever, certain minimal standards must be met.

Excellence in teaching/librarianship is to be valued; it cannot, however, counterbalance a lack of research or creative achievement. Similarly, excellence in research or creative activity is to be valued and recognized but will not counterbalance failure in teaching/librarianship. Service to the university and its community is also important but cannot be a full substitute for growth and achievement as a teacher/librarian and researcher or creator.

Given the complexity and variety of the university, four further general comments with regard to the evaluation of teaching/librarianship and research or creative activity are needed.

First, creative activity has been linked very closely with research here to emphasize that the creation of works of art (that phrase taken in the broadest sense) is an integral component of scholarship in a university. Creative activity in performance includes both the development of new forms or techniques, e.g., music composition, and the performance of work, for example, in theater. Since performance is part of the research and creative activity expected in these areas, its activity should be evaluated appropriately, and review bodies must look for and expect to find the same level of peer review as that expected for published research.

Second, research and creative activity may be carried out across disciplinary boundaries, and it may involve the scholarly contributions of more than one individual. In each case the activities deserve to be appraised with the same diligence as activities that are carried out within traditional disciplines or those achieved by individual faculty members. Care should be taken to recognize and evaluate the unique contributions of each researcher or creator.

Third, competence and instruction in clinical areas and librarianship are major concerns of the university. In some areas, evaluation of teaching must be an evaluation of the extent to which clinical skills are imparted. Evaluation of research and creative activity in clinical areas and librarianship must include evaluation of the development of new techniques and practices, just as evaluation in the performance areas must include that of superior or different interpretations of works in literature or the performing arts.

Fourth, creative contributions through independent effort, or through professional organizations, to the advancement of theory and practice in a field must also be evaluated.

A balanced evaluation of a faculty member must consider the performance expected in relation to the responsibilities assigned to the candidate. Thus, unusual university service may be considered in determining promotions in rank. Such service alone, however, should never be the basis for promotion. The importance, value, and quality of the candidate's research or creative activity, and the promise of continuing first-rank performance in this area, are primary considerations. One of the most important fact ors in distinguishing university faculty from faculty at other levels of higher education is the continual willingness to place one's ideas and works before peers for their critical judgment. Independent evaluations by scholars in the appropriate discipline(s), and public reviews, discussions, and citations of the research or works of art are appropriate for evaluation in this area.

The assessment of teaching effectiveness, whether in classroom, bedside, dental chair, library, laboratory, seminar, or tutorial, should rest upon solid evidence. This may be provided by systematic surveys of students in the classes taught by the faculty member under review, classroom observation, and assessments of theses and dissertations directed. In addition, the evaluation should consider the faculty member's involvement in undergraduate and graduate advisement, and on thesis and dissertation committees. University faculty are expected to be highly competent teachers.

Although some of the measures mentioned in the preceding paragraphs may also apply, the assessment of the quality of librarianship should be subject to a critical analysis by those persons who can best evaluate it. The relevance of library collections to academic programs, and the effectiveness of reference and information delivery, can be judged by library colleagues, professorial colleagues, and clientele. The quality of bibliographic control over the collections, and the imagination and skill with which complex problems are solved or approaches utilized, are less publicly visible, and must be judged principally by library colleagues. However, excellence in performance generally results in wide visibility.

I.D. Previous Service Credits

Satisfactory full-time prior service in academic rank at any other accredited academic institution of higher education may, at the written request of the appointee and at the discretion of the chancellor or his designee, be credited as service, up to a maximum of three years, at the time of appointment. Waiver of all or part of this service credit shall be granted upon written request of the employee to the chief administrative officer not later than six months after the date of initial appointment.

II. Procedures

Personnel actions that lead to initial appointment, reappointment, promotion, or the granting of continuing appointment begin as recommendations at the departmental level and proceed to the school or faculty level, and then to the provost or vice president* for final approval, subject to such delegation of responsibility as the provost or vice president may make to directors or deans. For continuing appointment, all recommendations proceed to the level of the provost or vice president and then to the president. Final authority to approve continuing appointments rests with the chancellor upon recommendation of the president. The president has delegated authority for approval of most other academic appointments to the provost and vice president. Details will be discussed in the following sections. Procedures and standards followed by individual departments, schools, and faculties during review may supplement these policies, but in each instance they shall:

1. be available in writing to all members of the unit, and be forwarded to all higher faculty personnel review bodies;

2. specify those who are eligible to vote on each type of personnel action, i.e., appointment, reappointment, promotion, and the granting of tenure;

3. state the method of presenting candidates for appointment or promotion, and specify the amount and nature of information that must be incorporated in the presentation, and the method of making that information available to those eligible to vote;

4. describe the composition and methods of selection, operation, and reporting of review or personnel committees at each level;

5. describe the method of voting; whether the ballot is secret or open; if by mail, whether eligible voters not present at the meeting at which the candidate's qualifications are discussed may participate; and whether faculty members who have voted as members of a department may also vote as members of a faculty/school committee.

*Unless otherwise stated, "Vice President" in these policies refers to the vice president for university services.

II.A. The Department - Centrality of Role

The academic excellence of a university is established and maintained at the departmental level. It is established by the quality of appointments at the Instructor/Assistant Librarian, Assistant Professor/Senior Assistant Librarian levels, and is maintain ed through careful consideration of appointments or promotions to Associate Professor/Associate Librarian levels, and by the careful selection of those who receive continuing appointment. That excellence is then reaffirmed by the quality of those who are appointed at or promoted to the rank of Full Professor/Librarian.

A major responsibility for establishing and maintaining a high degree of excellence rests on the department chairs, who must recruit individuals of great promise, ensure that faculty will be regularly evaluated, and oversee efforts to assist current faculty members in improving their performance. They must also take responsibility for difficult decisions that may lead to nonrenewal of faculty members whose records of teaching and scholarship do not provide compelling reasons for continuing appointment. In this connection, department chairs should obtain and be guided by current information about the standards for promotion and tenure in their respective disciplines at the leading public research universities.

Faculty members share the responsibility for and take an active role in recruiting and evaluating members of their department or school/faculty by their advisory votes as members of personnel or ad hoc committees, or as faculty members voting by rank or status, or as members of the whole, depending upon the applicable bylaws.

Faculty members should be informed about the criteria for promotion and tenure, and department and faculty/school expectations regarding their duties and responsibilities, upon initial appointment, and at any time during the course of an appointment when responsibilities change, and at renewal of a term appointment. Such specification of responsibilities is particularly important in those instances in which a faculty member carries a heavy service obligation, e.g., as associate chair of a department, or a s chair of a major university committee. In such cases, the relationship between performance in the administrative position and such personnel actions as increases in salaries or promotions in rank should be understood by all involved when the appointment is initiated. Specifications of duties should be included in letters of appointment and in any dossier presented for review.

Faculty members who have not yet achieved continuing appointment should not be asked to undertake substantial administrative tasks but should be allowed full opportunity to develop as scholars and teachers, or as librarians.

All faculty members on unqualified rank appointments should be reviewed and evaluated annually by the administrative officer of the department or comparable academic unit. The appropriate administrative officer should assess and discuss with the faculty/school members their performance on factors relevant to their particular cases. As a part of the review, the chair or other reviewing officer should consider:

(a) teaching load and other professional or academic
assignment;

(b) evaluation of teaching by students and colleagues;

(c) research projects currently in progress, and current
efforts to secure external support for research;

(d) work presented or published in the current or preceding academic year;

(e) undergraduate and graduate student advisement, including student research projects supervised, thesis or dissertation advisement and committee participation;

(f) department, faculty, school, or university committee assignments;

(g) academic, university, or community service;

(h) service to the profession or discipline;

(i) other significant academic and professional accomplishments; and

(j) reviews of the faculty member's artistic and/or scholarly work in appropriate publications.

The emphasis should be upon supporting and aiding the efforts of the faculty member rather than finding fault. Deficiencies in performance, however, should be made explicit. Student evaluations of teaching must be systematically conducted each year using a standard measuring instrument, and collected in a manner that assures the confidentiality of responses. Appropriate norms for appraising the results of student evaluations must be established. Students' opinions that have been gathered unsystematically have relatively little value in the promotion and tenure process. In those disciplines where class size or content does not permit measuring instruments (e.g., clinical instruction in the medical school), assessments in writing should be collected at the end of each semester.

II.B. Actions Not Requiring Review of the President's Review Board on Faculty Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure and Approval by the President

II.B.1. Appointments to and Promotions in Qualified Rank, or Term Appointments in Academic Rank (except for Professor and Research Professor)

Review procedures developed by the departments and faculty or school (see II.C.3.) are followed in order to evaluate the credentials of candidates for (a) appointment, reappointment, and promotion to all Adjunct, Visiting, and Clinical ranks, and Research ranks below the level of Professor; (b) appointment as Associate Professor/Associate Librarian without tenure; (c) appointment, reappointment, and promotion to Instructor, Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Assistant Librarian, and Senior Assistant Librarian .

The review board does not review any of the preceding appointments and promotions. Furthermore, the president has delegated final approval to the provost and the vice president for university services in their respective area for these appointments or pro motions.

II.B.2. Term Appointments in Tenure-Track Positions

II.B.2.a. Length of appointments

The Policies of the Trustees (Article XI, Title D, Section 4) and the collective bargaining agreement (Article 32) both require that incumbents holding term appointments be given notice of nonrenewal at least twelve months prior to the expiration of their term after two or more years of uninterrupted service. The Policies of the Board of Trustees set limits on the number of years a person may hold unqualified academic rank without receiving tenure (Article XI, B.3.). For Associate Professor/Associate Librarian and Professor/Librarian, that limit is three years. For Assistant Professor/Senior Assistant Librarian, that limit is seven years. These requirements may be implemented as follows:

II.B.2.a.1. Initial appointments and reappointments may be for one to three years. In most cases the initial appointment will be for either two or three years. The choice in this regard is to be made by the dean, after receiving the recommendation of the department or program chair and appropriate faculty bodies.

II.B.2.a.2. Common patterns of initial appointments and reappointments of Assistant Professor/Senior Assistant Librarian are: (a) an initial appointment to a two-year term; reappointment to a second two-year term; reappointment to a three-year term; or (b ) an initial appointment to a three-year term; reappointment to a two-year term; reappointment to a final two-year term. Either of these patterns is acceptable, and other variations may be appropriate, depending on the norms and practices of the several disciplines and professions. Deans will be given considerable discretion in this regard. It is expected that the tenure review will be conducted no later than the sixth year the candidate holds unqualified rank. In exceptional circumstances, and upon request of the candidate, review may be deferred until the seventh year, in which case the candidate must be given one year's notice of nonrenewal at the end of the sixth year. Candidates with exceptional qualifications may be proposed for promotion and continuing appointment before the sixth year. However, the seventh year of appointment in an unqualified title is either a continuing appointment or a terminal appointment with one year's notice for the candidate.

II.B.2.a.3. Other options should be treated as exceptional, and each such case should be reviewed with the provost's office.

II.B.2.b. Review and Documentation for Reappointment

Periodic review of the progress of incumbents in tenure-track positions prior to the final tenure review is expected (see Section II.A.). Some documentary evidence of the review should be provided at the time of reappointment and submitted with the change of status form. As a minimum, a current curriculum vitae and a letter of evaluation written by the dean to the provost or vice president should be forwarded. The provost will not make substantive determinations on the reappointment of individuals provide d that the dean certifies that the incumbent's progress has been reviewed and has been shared with the incumbent.

II.B.2.c. Notice of Nonrenewal

When a determination is made at the faculty or school level that an incumbent in a term appointment is not to be renewed, the appropriate officer must notify the incumbent in writing. The dean or director must inform the incumbent that he or she may request that the provost or vice president review the decision of the faculty/school, but only if the incumbent can provide clear and convincing evidence that the decision is a result of bias or serious procedural error, or some violation of law, contract, or SUNY policy. Reviews will not be carried out solely because the candidate disagrees with the judgment of the faculty/school. Requests for review by the provost or vice president should be made within thirty days of the notification of the incumbent by the dean or director.

II.C. Actions Requiring Review by the President's Review Board on Faculty Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure

II.C.1. The Board - Composition and Charge

In addition to faculty participation in the appointment, promotion, and tenure process at the departmental and school or faculty levels, faculty advice is made available to the provost, vice president, and the president through the President's Review Boar d on Faculty Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure (the board or PRB). The voting members of the board are nine tenured faculty, holding the rank of Professor or Librarian, who enjoy national reputations for outstanding past and current contributions to the ir respective disciplines. These voting members are appointed by the president from candidates recommended by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, the provost, and the vice president. (Recommendations of the provost and vice president will be shared with the Executive Committee, which may advise the president regarding those nominations.) Two nonvoting student members, one graduate and one undergraduate, are appointed by the president from a slate of candidates recommended by the Graduate Student Association and the Undergraduate Student Association. The board is chaired by a senior professor or librarian who enjoys a national reputation for outstanding academic contributions. The chair is a nonvoting member of the board and is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the president. Voting members of the board are appointed for staggered three-year terms. Student members, when possible, are appointed for two-year terms. The terms of all board members begin on September 1 and end August 31.

The board shall review all recommendations for promotion or appointment to the ranks of Professor, Research Professor, and Librarian, and the granting of continuing appointment at any rank. The board shall not review recommendations for term or temporary appointments below the rank of Professor or Librarian or to any qualified rank except Research Professor.

The board's review of a particular recommendation for appointment, promotion, or tenure begins when the provost or vice president forwards to the board the required number of copies of the candidate's dossier. The board shall advise the president and the provost or vice president whether, in the members' judgment, promotion of the candidate will contribute to the development of excellence in the university, and whether or not the candidate would be appointed, promoted, and/or granted continuing appointment under the standards generally applied in the candidate's discipline, profession, or area of expertise at the leading public research universities. The board may ask the provost or the vice president to collect additional information concerning a particular candidate's background and qualifications, and to ensure that proper procedures have been followed in the evaluation of the candidate. All additional information shall be included in the candidate's dossier, and shall be available to the candidate, except in the case of additional evaluative letters that the reviewer has requested be kept confidential. It shall be the responsibility of the provost or vice president to insure that the board has adequate time to conduct its review of each candidate's dossier.

The chair shall prepare a written report of the recommendation of the board resulting from the review of each candidate's dossier and shall give the report to the members of the board, the president, and the provost or the vice president before the provost or vice president formulates a recommendation to the president. The chair, or a member of the board recommended by the chair, shall meet with the provost or vice president, if either of them so requests, to discuss the board's recommendation. When the board's recommendation has been made, its participation in a particular case is considered completed unless further involvement is specifically requested by the provost, the vice president, or the president.

Significant additional information that is solicited by or becomes available to the provost's office following the vote of the PRB, but prior to the provost's recommendation to the president, will be made available to the chair of the PRB. If the chair of the PRB deems the new information important enough to warrant a reconsideration of the case in question by the full PRB, the provost will withhold the recommendation to the president pending a reconsideration of the case by the full PRB. In all such case s, the information will be shared with the dean and, as appropriate under contract or SUNY policy, will be available for review by the candidate.

II.C.2. Schedule of Review**

For promotions to full Professor/Librarian:

For Promotions Effective Deadline for Receipt of Dossiers in Provost's Office
July 1 (most 12-month appointments) October 1, preceding calendar year
September 1 (most 10-month appointments) December 1, preceding calendar year

For continuing appointment at any rank, and promotions to Associate Professor/Associate Librarian:

Action Required Before Deadline for Receipt of Dossiers in Provost's Office
January 1 October 15, preceding calendar year
July 1 March 1, same calendar year
September 1 March 15, same calendar year

**For deadlines regarding librarian dossiers, contact the vice president for university services.

II.C.3. Sequence of Review

II.C.3.a. Department

The review process for promotion is initiated at the department or unit level. The role of the director or the department chair in helping the candidate prepare for this process has been described previously (see Section II.A.). The candidate's dossier is assembled at this level. Faculty members must evaluate the candidate and vote whether to support the recommended action according to the approved departmental procedures. The case made by the chair and department is forwarded to the next academic level appropriate to the school or faculty.

II.C.3.b. Academic Levels Above the Department

While the structures of academic units within which various faculty members are appointed may differ, reviews and recommending votes by faculty are necessary at each level of the applicable organizational structure, as are the statement and recommendation from the administrative head at each of those levels. Since the guidelines are general, some modifications may be necessary in applying them across academic units.

Academic officers above the department level, such as deans of schools or faculties, must act as critical reviewers and recommenders on the basis of the case made by the chair and the department.

II.C.3.c. Provost and Vice President

The provost and the vice president for university services are responsible for review of the personnel actions of their respective academic units.

In all cases involving continuing appointment, or appointment at or promotion to the rank of tenured full Professor/ Librarian or Research Professor, the provost or the vice president must review the dossier and the recommendations and send an analysis an d personal recommendation to the president. (See President's Memo of 6/25/85.)

The provost and the vice president have been designated the final authority to reject a candidate's bid for promotion or tenure in those cases in which the cognizant faculty and officers at all prior levels of review have recommended against such promotion or tenure.

For all new appointments, the provost or the vice president is also responsible for ensuring that affirmative action/equal opportunity policies and procedures have been followed.

II.C.3.d. The President

All appointments and promotions, and the granting of continuing appointment, require positive action by the president except in those instances in which final authority has been expressly delegated to the provost or the vice president. The president's act ion is based on a review of the prior recommendations at each level, given the standards set for this university. Actions at all levels of the university are advisory to the president.

Under extraordinary circumstances, the president may act in cases of appointment, reappointment, promotion, or the granting of continuing appointment without resorting to the full process of review and consultation herein described.

II.C.3.e. Sequence of Review

University procedure requires review of all departmental recommendations regarding appointment, reappointment, promotion, or the granting of continuing appointment at each of the levels of academic organization as described previously. If the recommendations are negative at the department and faculty/school level, the dossier is forwarded to the PRB only when the candidate or the provost or the vice president so requests.

II.C.3.f. Final Action

If the recommendation at any level of review is positive, the dossier is forwarded to the president by the provost or vice president. If all prior levels of review recommend against promotion, the provost or vice president may decide not to grant promotion or tenure, and the dossier is not considered by the president.

II.C.4. Right of Advocacy

In making decisions so important to the university and the individual faculty member, the various review bodies must provide full and fair consideration of each case. In order to assure this, the candidates must have an opportunity to designate an advocate of his or her choice.

II.C.4.a. Selection and Role of Advocate

II.C.4.a.1. An advocate may be designated by the candidate at the start of the review process, or at a subsequent stage as indicated later, if the candidate believes that the case will be strengthened or more fully presented through use of an advocate.

II.C.4.a.2. The advocate must be a faculty member at the university or at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, must be from the department or discipline of the candidate, and must have direct personal knowledge of the candidate's professional and academic performance. Faculty members holding administrative titles in an academic unit or at the provostal, vice presidential, or the presidential levels may not act as advocate. However, no member of the faculty acting as advocate may be excluded from normal participation in personnel actions, except that participation in discussion or voting as a member of a subsequent review body when it is considering the candidate's case is prohibited.

II.C.4.a.3. Review proceedings are not adversarial hearings or bargaining sessions. The advocate's task is not to attack the dossier or the judgment of prior levels of review, but to present the case for the candidate and to explain the candidate's work, contribution, and promise, and to point out to the review bodies and/or administrative officers the material or information in the dossier that would be especially helpful in evaluating the candidate's achievements and promise.

II.C.4.a.4. The advocate shall submit a written statement that addresses only the quality and impact of the candidate's academic work, professional growth and contributions, and promise for further development in these areas. The advocate may not add letters of evaluation to the dossier or include such letters in the statement. However, the advocate may, in the statement, suggest expert evaluators highly qualified to review the candidate's work. The statement shall be added to the dossier and shall follow the chair's letter transmitting the dossier.

II.C.4.a.5. Advocates must adhere to the rules on confidentiality. Since advocates may have access to confidential material not available to the candidate, they must avoid disclosure of confidential material to the candidate.

II.C.4.a.6. In addition to submitting a written statement, the advocate may make an oral statement to the unit review bodies and to the provost or the vice president, but not to the President's Review Board. The advocate may not question review body members or participate in debate.

II.C.4.b. Time for Designating Advocate

II.C.4.b.1. If the candidate chooses to designate an advocate at the outset of the process, the decision and designation must be made known early enough for the advocate's written statement to accompany the dossier at the start of departmental consideration.

II.C.4.b.2. Any administrative officer below the provost or vice president who recommends against the personnel action in question during the process must so notify the candidate in writing at the time he or she makes the recommendation, and, if an advocate has not previously been designated, must advise the candidate of his or her right to designate an advocate within seven working days thereafter.

II.C.4.b.3. The provost or the vice president shall inform candidates by letter of a negative recommendation of the PRB within seven working days after receipt of the report of the President's Review Board, and shall advise the candidate of the right to designate an advocate if one has not been designated previously. The advocacy process may not be invoked after the provost or the vice president has made a recommendation to the president.

II.C.5. Withdrawal

A faculty member who wishes to withdraw from the review process must send a written request for withdrawal to the administrative officer before whom the case is then pending, with copies to the administrative officers who have completed action on the case . For example, if a faculty member wishes to withdraw after a case has been forwarded from the department, the letter of withdrawal should be sent to the dean, with a copy to the chair. The administrative officer receiving a letter of withdrawal shall the n acknowledge receipt of the request and approve it by letter to the candidate, with copies to the administrative officers who have already taken action and to the next higher level of review.

II.C.6. Notice of Action

In accordance with the Policies of the Board of Trustees and the Agreement between the State University of New York and the United University Professions, candidates must be given a copy of a recommendation of a personnel action by an academic officer at any level at the time the recommendation is made. Notice of final approval of actions will be by letter from the president to the candidate, with a copy of the letter to the provost or vice president, the dean or director, and the chair. Notice of disapproval by the president will be by letter to the provost or the vice president who will, in turn, inform the faculty member, the dean or director, and the chair. The dean or director must ensure that the faculty member is given appropriate notice of nonrenewal of appointment.

II.C.7. Appeals

The multiple levels of review described in this document are designed to protect the integrity of both the candidate and the standards of the institution. Every attempt will be made in the review process for all relevant information regarding the candidate to be made available to the review committees and the responsible administrative officers. Various procedures for appeal of these decisions are prescribed in the Policies of the Board of Trustees and the Agreement between State University of New York an d United University Professions.

II.C.8. Reconsideration

Local campus review of a promotion and tenure case normally closes with the final decision of the president, or of the provost or the vice president, in those situations where they are delegated final decision authority. If the candidate has been denied promotion but already has continuing appointment, reconsideration is afforded only by a de novo process, including preparation of an entirely new dossier. As a general rule, considerable time must elapse, e.g., three years or more, before a candidate who h as been denied promotion can be advanced again for consideration.

If a candidate has been denied tenure, and has received notice of termination, reconsideration of the case may be granted as a matter of administrative discretion if there are substantial and compelling reasons to undertake such reconsideration. If, for example, substantial new and unanticipated evidence of the candidate's achievements in scholarship, teaching, or librarianship appears after a final decision, the dean or director may petition the provost or vice president to authorize reconsideration at prior levels of review. In such a case, the dean or director would be expected to establish that the evidence in question could not have been anticipated or gathered at the time the case was first considered, and that it constitutes substantial additional evidence that would very likely alter the outcome upon full reconsideration. When the provost or the vice president authorizes reconsideration, the original dossier and all supplementary material must be resubmitted for reconsideration at each level of re view, new votes must be taken, and new letters of recommendation must be provided by the chair or department head, and the dean or director. In each such case the provost or vice president shall retain the responsibility and authority to determine whether or not to submit the augmented dossier to the board, and whether or not to request that the president reconsider the case in the event that the board reconsiders and recommends that the provost and president reconsider the case.

III.  The Promotion Dossier


The dossier is divided into two sections.  Section A consists of documentation assembled at the departmental level and has two parts: Part I, which is available to the candidate, and Part II which contains confidential materials not available to the candidate.  Section B consists of materials and assessments added by the College or Professional School and is available to the candidate.  In the aggregate the dossier will also include letters of endorsement and transmittal prepared by the Chairs, Deans, and other administrative officers who participate in the review process.

Section A of the promotion dossier serves the function of providing a discipline-specific assessment of the candidateís contributions and an interpretation of those contributions for further evaluation in the broader institutional context.  It is extremely important that the departmental presentation of the candidate in the dossier be couched in terms that subsequent review bodies outside of the discipline can understand and appreciate.  In this regard, the Chairís role is crucial. 

Section A.  Departmental Preparation and Review

PART I (Available to Candidate)

III.A.I.1.  THE CHAIRíS LETTER

This letter of endorsement transmits the dossier to the Dean and review bodies at the College/School level.  It represents the Chairís recommendation and should include the quantitative vote of the department on the candidateís promotion with commentary on how the vote should be understood in terms of weight and degree of departmental support.  The letter is important as the summary document at the level of the discipline that interprets and contextualizes the candidateís work for subsequent reviewing bodies outside the discipline.  It should be written with great care and clarity.

The Chairís letter should essentially address three areas of the candidateís contributions.

        Research and Scholarship.  A thorough description of the candidateís work, including: an explanation of the impact of the work on the discipline; any limiting or mitigating factors; the quality of publications and other scholarly endeavors; grant awards and other external funding; past accomplishments and future promise.

Chairs should recognize the special nature of cross-disciplinary scholarship and research, making every effort to ensure that candidates who engage in such activity receive an appropriate evaluation from other participating departments or research centers when being considered for promotion.  For example, a letter of recommendation should be solicited from the director of any multidisciplinary research unit, center, or institute with which the candidate is associated.  Referees should be selected to represent each discipline in which the candidateís work participates.  In cases where the candidateís work occurs in collaboration with others, whether as co-sponsor of a grant or co-author of a publication, care should be taken to indicate precisely the candidateís degree of contribution in each instance.

        Teaching.  A description and analysis of the candidateís teaching contributions based on materials contained in the candidateís Teaching Portfolio (refer to documentation in Item 7), on student evaluations (refer to evidence compiled in Item 8), and on assessments of the Teaching Portfolio by internal evaluators.

        Service: Professional/Public, University, and Community (see also Item 6).  Of the three categories of service, address only those applicable to the candidate. Under Professional/Public Service, describe those contributions that draw upon the candidateís professional or scholarly expertise as it is applied to improving societyís welfare (e.g., serving on state or national task forces, providing technical or other assistance to social or government agencies, doing clinical work).  Also include within this category descriptions of the candidateís contributions to the profession itself: participation in professional organizations, editorial responsibilities with presses and journals, and organization of conferences and symposia.   In addition, summarize any administrative and committee service within the university, and, if relevant, to the community. 

III.A.I.2.  ADVOCATEíS STATEMENT

            Should the candidate choose to appoint an advocate prior to the departmental level of review, the advocateís statement should follow the Chairís letter.

IIIA.I.3.  APPROVED SEARCH REPORT COVER SHEET

            Included only when the candidate is a new appointment.  It should be placed in the dossier after the Chairís letter.

IIIA.I.4.  CURRICULUM VITAE

            Representing the academic and professional history of the candidate, the curriculum vitae is an extremely important part of the dossier.  It should be accurate, clear and up-to-date in every respect.  Gratuitous information such as the candidateís marital status, number of children, religious affiliation etc., should not be included.  The candidate should provide the information described below.

         Full name, campus address, home address.

         Employment history, including names of employing institutions, titles held and inclusive dates of employment.

         Professional and academic honors.

         Organizational memberships and offices held.

         Service, divided into three areas as applicable: (1) Professional/Public Service, encompassing both public service and service to the profession, (2) University Service, and (3) Community Service.

         Bibliography, listing under separate headings all books, monographs, articles, reviews, films, audio and video tapes, scholarly or other pertinent publications, talks, presentations, exhibits or performances.  Also indicate under a separate heading scholarly electronic publications with complete description of academic or professional nature and sponsorship of the electronic agency.  Use full bibliographic style showing all authors and inclusive page numbers.  Articles should be further subdivided as follows: (1) refereed journals, (2) non-refereed journals, (3) conference proceedings, and (4) contributions to books.  Scholarship and exposition should be separated from writings not intended as scholarly contributions.

        List of courses taught and other teaching activities.

        List of students supervised by the candidates and degrees conferred.

        List of [current] and past grant support (including grant title, funding agency, effective dates, grant total and direct costs, and role on grant, e.g. P.I., co-P.I., consultant, or percentage of time).

III.A.I.5.  CANDIDATEíS STATEMENT ON RESEARCH/CREATIVE ACTIVITY

            This should be a concise description, no more than three pages, of the candidateís research:  history of and future plans for funding; focus and origins of research program; its current status, especially noting, in cases for promotion with tenure, the extent of revision and degree of differentiation from work completed for graduate degree; evidence of influence of work in the field; plans for further development and new work.  This statement is an opportunity for the candidate to provide a sense of appropriate context and intention for the work perhaps not otherwise evident in the dossier.

III.A.I.6.  CANDIDATEíS STATEMENT OF SERVICE

       This should be a concise description, no more than two pages.  It is important to recognize the three categories of service acknowledged by the university and to construct the Statement of Service accordingly.  They include, in order of importance for the promotion review, Professional/Public Service, University Service, and Community Service. 

        Professional/Public Service.   There are two kinds of service encompassed by this category.  The first refers to work that specifically draws upon oneís professional academic expertise and is demonstrably applied to some aspect of societyís welfare and improvement.  Examples include but are not limited to: serving on a national state commission or task force; consulting with or providing technical assistance for social, governmental, or cultural agencies; doing clinical work with individuals; providing staff development; offering instruction in the form of workshops or venues of continuing education.  The second kind is work that contributes to the improvement of the profession itself: editing journals, magazines, newsletters; holding office in a professional organization, organizing conferences and symposia.  The impact of service contributions can, in great part, be estimated by the level and importance of the service (e.g., national, state, local), by the degree of client satisfaction and productivity it yields, by the extent of peer recognition, and by its relevance to the mission of the Department and School.

        University Service.  This category is distinct from Professional/Public Service and is expected of all faculty as a regular contribution to the Department, School, and University communities.  Its most common form is service on committees, review panels, task forces, and other working groups at all levels of the University.  It also includes service in various administrative capacities (e.g., Director of Undergraduate or Graduate Studies in the Department, Department Chair, Program Director, Associate Dean of a School or College), the extent of significance being measured by the scope and level of the responsibilities.

        Community Service.  This includes contributions to local social service and community organizations.  Although this form of service is highly valued because it benefits the good of the whole, it cannot substitute for distinguished performance in the category of Professional/Public Service or even for extraordinary University Service.

III.A.I.7.  TEACHING PORTFOLIO

            The Teaching Portfolio described herein is primarily for the purpose of promotion evaluation rather than for development purposes, summative rather than formative, to emphasize core materials designed for valid peer-review comparisons rather than a flexible range of materials geared toward professional development.    It is to be concise in its focus, selective in documentation, and economical in format.  Its primary purpose is to provide materials explicitly representative of the candidateís teaching goals, strengths, and accomplishments (as distinct from evidence of scholarship in the discipline and various kinds of service activity) in a form that can be peer reviewed by both the department and by internal evaluators.  The Chair or Dean is to include the Portfolio among the materials sent to each internal evaluator.  The Portfolio, as a required component of the promotion dossier, reflects the universityís expectation of excellence in teaching and marks the value it places on teaching as a significant career activity for faculty.  The Teaching Portfolio is to be explicitly reviewed by the Department Chair (see Item 1).

The Teaching Portfolio consists of two parts: the candidateís statement about teaching and an appendix that selectively documents course materials and evidences of innovative teaching developments and other supporting materials.  For convenience and effectiveness of peer review, the entire Portfolio should be in the range of 20 pages, with the candidateís statement in the range of 3 pages.

        Candidateís Statement.   It should include the following descriptions:

1.       the candidateís teaching philosophy; the range of undergraduate and graduate courses taught; the relationship to and impact of these courses on the academic programs or units of the candidateís affiliation; innovations in teaching (including both traditional modalities and/or applications of information technology that enhance the quality of the classroom experience); and specific reference to any scholarly productivity in relation to teaching and learning (books, articles, software development, conference presentations, invited lectures, etc.).

           Appendix.  The materials in the Appendix should be selective, representing the candidateís best and most important teaching accomplishments.  So it is important to be focused and economical in decisions about what documentation to include.  The appendix should be organized clearly and coherently, and might include such materials as:

1.       samples of syllabi, assignments, tests, student research resources (documentation of website, CD-ROM, and/or other IT modalities if applicable);

2.       evidences of student learning or other measures of success (e.g., test scores, retention in the program, honors projects and student research accomplishments, job placements and outstanding instances of career achievement, etc.);

3.       documentation of teaching and learning innovations (e.g., development of new teaching techniques, of significant interactive learning strategies, of creative and effective applications of information technology that enhance learning, also evidences of pedagogical influence in the discipline or profession);

4.       external funding awarded for teaching-and-learning development activities.

III.A.I.8.  QUANTITATIVE TEACHING EVALUATIONS

            The results of course/teaching evaluations by students should be included in the dossier and presented in a standardized summary or tabular form, with an analysis of the summary as part of the Chairís letter.  Raw data should not be included but should be available for inspection in the department.  Averaged results, based on data from the Department, College, or School, should be presented as a basis for comparing the candidateís individual teaching effectiveness with other faculty in the unit.

            Letters from current and former students (in addition to those solicited for Item 9), reports of student or faculty teaching evaluation committees, the placement and career record of former students, and similar materials may be included here.  These should not be redundant of materials selected for the Teaching Portfolio (see Item 7), and should be formatted according to a year-by-year chronology.

III.A.I.9.   LETTERS OF EVALUATION

         Letters from External Evaluators

The dossier should present a minimum of four letters from external evaluators, solicited by the Chair or the Chairís designee.  The evaluators should be disinterested, distinguished scholars or professional practitioners from leading public or private research universities, preferably those institutions holding membership in the Association of American Universities.  The evaluators should hold a rank equal to or above the rank to which the candidate would be promoted.   

The Chair should make every effort to avoid letters from interested scholars, those having a personal or close professional relationship with the candidate: friends, students, former teachers and colleagues, mentors, co-authors and co-investigators.  If the Chair includes such materials, they should be in addition to the four required disinterested letters.  In all such instances the Chair must explain the rationale for their inclusion and why the assessments can be presumed disinterested and important to the case, and the evaluators should be asked to describe the nature of their relationship to the candidate.

Generally the evaluators should be selected by an ad hoc faculty committee appointed by the Chair, or by the Chair in consultation with faculty colleagues in the candidateís field of expertise.  The Chair is encouraged to seek the counsel of leading scholars from other peer institutions who work in the candidateís field as well as those within the candidateís department or school.  The Chair may also consult the candidate for names of evaluators, excluding collaborators and former teachers or students.  Such letters should be in addition to the four disinterested letters, not counted among the four, and the names not shared with the candidate.

In soliciting letters from evaluators (see sample Letter to Internal/External Evaluators III.A.3.), the Chair should address the following points.

First, rather than provide a general recommendation or unsubstantiated opinion, the evaluators should be asked to comment on the candidateís credentials: the quality of the faculty memberís current research or creative activity; the quality of publications or other evidence of peer review; and the candidateís potential for future growth and contribution to the discipline.  They should also provide specific comparisons between the candidate and others in the field who, relative to the candidate, are at the same stage in their careers.  It is particularly useful if the evaluators use non-specialized language and focus on the candidateís accomplishments and the contribution to the discipline.

Second, the evaluators must be asked explicitly whether, in their best judgment, the scholarly accomplishments and recognition achieved by the candidate would warrant the same appointment, promotion, or granting of tenure at the evaluatorís institution, or at other distinguished public research universities.

Third, the letter of solicitation to the evaluator should not indicate in any way whether the candidate has or has not received the support of the Chair, the Department, or any other officer or unit of the university.

Fourth, each letter must indicate that the evaluatorís response will be held in strict confidence unless the evaluator gives written permission for the candidate to see it.  A form for this purpose is to be enclosed with each letter of solicitation, with the evaluator indicating which of three options is preferred: that the entire letter be held in confidence; that the letter be available to the candidate with all references to the author deleted; or that the candidate may see the letter in its entirety.  This form must be signed and returned with the evaluatorís letter.

All letters received in response to the solicitation should be included in the dossier, as should notations of any calls to outside evaluators.  Refusals or disregarded requests should be noted as well

         Letters from Internal Evaluators.

At least two letters should be solicited from colleagues at UB, preferably from the candidateís department or from center and institute directors and affiliated faculty where applicable.  The Chair should seek internal evaluators who can best comment on the extent and quality of the candidateís research or creative activity, on teaching capabilities (based both on the Teaching Portfolio and other evidence), on librarianship in the case of Librarians, on ability to work with graduate students, on willingness and skill in working with colleagues and serving on committees, and on other public or professional service as appropriate.

 

In the case of external candidates who are being appointed from other institutions, the Chair should seek equivalent letters from colleagues in the department where the candidate was most recently employed.   For such candidates, the Chair will also solicit a minimum of four letters from disinterested distinguished referees external to the appointeeís institution.  The Chair may provide a synopsis of the report of the local search committee as a substitute for internal letters from UB. 

 

III.A.I.10.  UNSOLICITED MATERIALS

            The dossier may include materials that have not been solicited by those responsible for its preparation, for instance other colleagues within or without the department or school.  These should be included here, available for the candidate to review.

III.A.I.11.  CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT LETTER

This is the initial letter of appointment from the Chair or Dean to the faculty member outlining the expectations of the school or department and the specific duties to be performed.  Please delete all information pertaining to salary.

PART II of Section A (Confidential and Not Available to Candidate)

III.A.II.1.  PERSONNEL TRANSACTION FORM

This form is usually provided by the Chair or Dean and indicates the recommended action, usually a tenure or promotion action in the context of the dossier herein being described. 

III.A.II.2.  LETTERS OF EVALUATION 

This item pertains only to those letters of evaluation designated by the evaluator as confidential and therefore not available to the candidate.   Otherwise follow the same instructions as for ITEM 9, PART I above.

III.A.II.3.  BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON EXTERNAL EVALUATORS

            To aid reviewers, this item of the dossier should include the following materials:

        A statement of the method used to select the external evaluators, including  special reasons for selecting any particular evaluator.  The purpose of this statement is to present clear and convincing evidence that the evaluators are disinterested, i.e., have nothing personally and professionally to gain by the evaluation they provide;

        A list of all evaluators who were asked to write letters;

        A statement indicating those evaluators who did not respond, and also including those who did respond and declined to provide a letter (giving a brief reason for the declination);

        A copy of the Chairís letter of solicitation to the evaluators;

        A short bibliography of each outside evaluator establishing the evaluatorís scholarly reputation, appended to the end of the dossier.

The final list of evaluators is not to be shared with the candidate.

SECTION B.  COLLEGE OR SCHOOL REVIEW

III.B.1.  THE DEANíS LETTER*

            This letter transmits the dossier to the Provost.  It should contain the Deanís recommendation or that of the Associate Vice President for University Libraries and discuss the factors considered in making the recommendation.  It should also contain the votes of the Personnel Committee at the level of the College/School/Library as well as any other advisory bodies at that level that have been authorized to act.  The letter should include the following:

        A statement about the mission of the College/School/Unit, including its future growth and direction, and the contribution of the candidateís work to that mission;

        In the case of a promotion that might be construed as early, a statement giving the explicit reasons why early promotion is merited;

        An explanation of any irregularities or anomalies in the case, amplifying in this regard the letter of the Chair as necessary;

        A specific endorsement or modification of the Chairís assessment of the candidateís scholarly activity and instructional effectiveness, explaining the criteria used as a basis for these evaluations.

*The Deanís letter should be placed at the front of the dossier before the Chairís letter.

III.B.2.  ADVOCATEíS STATEMENT

            The advocateís statement(s) should be inserted in the dossier at that point in the promotion process when it is produced.

 

SECTION C.  Review by Candidate

            In the course of the promotion process, the candidate will automatically receive copies of the letters of assessment by the Chair, Dean, Provost and by any other administrative officers who may have written at each level of the review, including the report of the Chair of the Presidentís Review Board.  These letters should be copied to the candidate at the time they are written, and they must have all references to the identity of the author of confidential material expunged from them.

            The candidate may have access to the non-confidential parts of the dossier (i.e., Part I), including letters written by external and internal evaluators who have given prior approval in writing.

For further information, contact the Office of the Provost at 645-2992. 

Current as of August, 2001.

III.A.1. Checklist for all Dossiers

Checklist for all Dossiers

III.A.2. Sample Format: Curriculum Vitae

Sample Format: Curriculum Vitae

III.A.3. Sample Evaluation Letter

Sample Evaluation Letter

III.A.4. Participation of Organized Research Units, Centers, and Institutes in the Promotion Process

The following document is PENDING approval of the President. It was approved by the Faculty Senate on December 7, 1999.

Resolution from the Faculty Senate Standing Committee on Tenure and Privileges Regarding Participation of ORUís, Centers, and Institutes in the Promotion Process.

Committee members: Professors Raj Acharya, David Benenson, Barbara Bono, Munroe Eagles, Norm Mohl, Don Schack, Carol Ann Sellers, Monica Spaulding; ex officio: Bill Fischer, Peter Nickerson; Chair: Peggy Acara.

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate recommends to the President that the following document be included in the Faculty and Staff Handbook.

Participation of Organized Research Units, Centers, and Institutes in the promotion process for faculty who have activities and responsibilities in these units.

UB has more than thirty interdisciplinary structures, which bring together faculty and staff from different departments and hiring units into areas of interest common to the members. The interaction across disciplines expands the avenues for faculty scholarship and creates collaborative studies and projects that enhance the scholarly life of the University. These interdisciplinary structures do not replace and are not intended to substitute for disciplinary focus within the departments, but they have provided many opportunities for exciting scholarly work at UB. While departments should continue to be the core organizational units at UB and the sole venue for faculty hiring and promotion, interdisciplinary units are critical for the missions of the University. To promote the growth of interdisciplinary units and encourage faculty participation in their activities, it is essential that such participation be fairly considered and evaluated in promotion decisions. To this end we propose the following rules to govern the "Participation of Organized Research Units, Centers, and Institutes in the promotion process for faculty who have activities and responsibilities in these units."

  1. When faculty wish to explore interdisciplinary activities, they should be encouraged to interact with Organized Research Units, Centers, and Institutes.

  2. All faculty appointments will continue to be made in departments. Whenever applicable, the letter of appointment of a faculty member must contain a description of the faculty member's level of commitment to any unit other than the hiring department(s).

  3. Whenever a current faculty member wishes to participate in or to adjust the level of her/his commitment to the activities of another unit, her/his participation must be discussed with, and agreed upon by, the faculty member, the department chair, and the head of the respective unit. If there is a disagreement with regard to the amount or kind of participation, a further discussion must be conducted with all interested parties, including Deans. The final agreement for such participation must be signed by all interested parties and documented in the offices of all involved Deans, Chairs and Unit Heads.

  4. Teaching research and service associated with other units must be credited by the faculty memberís department in the promotion process. This evaluation must include at least the following:

    1. In preparing the dossier for promotion of a candidate who has formally participated in the activities of another unit, the head of that unit must be consulted by the chair of the candidateís department.

    2. A letter from the head of the other unit must be included in the candidateís dossier prior to its submission at the school level and included on the checklist for the dossier.

    3. In soliciting letters of reference from outside and inside evaluators, the chair of the department must consult with the head of the unit for appropriate names. A record of this consultation must be included in the dossier.

    4. The head of the unit must be invited to participate in all discussions of the promotion by the departmentís voting body of record and is entitled to participate in other formal deliberations.

 

III.B. Responsible Conduct in Intellectual and Creative Activity

Responsible Conduct in Intellectual and Creative Activity

III.C. Complaints Against Faculty

Issued by the Provost February 28, 1986

The following set of guidelines has been established by the provost in order to provide guidance concerning the handling of complaints that concern members of the faculty. It is fully expected that each faculty or school will have established definitive procedures in this regard that address these issues and which adhere to these more general guidelines. A faculty member against whom a complaint has been filed should of course consult with the appropriate dean, and, if necessary, with the Office of the Provost.

1. The requirement that a person accused be given timely notice of the facts and source of accusation is intended to provide the person accused with an opportunity to prepare and offer an informed and effective response to the accusation before official action is taken or a sanction is imposed.

2. When complaints against a member of the community are made to or referred to an academic administrative officer, the officer may take such steps as are appropriate to resolve informally the issues raised by the complaint. For these purposes, deans, chairs, associate chairs, directors, and associate directors are all academic administrative officers.

3. In most cases, informal resolution will be the preferred course of action. The informal resolution process may include investigation, mediation, conciliation, and consultation between and among the appropriate parties, including the complainant, the person against whom the complaint is made, and his or her immediate supervisor. A salient characteristic of informal resolution, however, is that it may not result in the creation of written records that might subsequently be used or invoked to the detriment of the person against whom the complaint is made, nor may the process of informal resolution be a means for imposing a sanction or penalty upon a person who is the subject of a complaint.

4. Formal action on a complaint includes the initiation of proceedings intended to lead to official sanctions against the person complained against, and/or leading to the preparation and keeping of written records that might subsequently be used to the detriment of the person against whom the complaint has been made. Where formal action is initiated, the person against whom the complaint has been made must be given timely notice of the particulars of the complaint and an opportunity to respond to the complaint before further action is taken. The procedural requirements regarding formal disposition of complaints usually are specified by law or contract binding on public officers. Administrative officers should seek advice regarding their legal or contractual obligations when in doubt as to the steps to be followed in formally handling a complaint. When any of these officers wish advice regarding their obligations under law or contract, they should contact their immediate supervisor for assistance and advice. Deans, in particular, should develop expertise in the handling of complaints.

5. The preceding principles are intended primarily to aid in the prompt and appropriate disposition of complaints arising out of the day-to-day functioning of the university's academic programs, and where the underlying events are not likely to give rise to civil actions or criminal prosecutions. In cases where the events could lead to a civil proceeding by or against the State of New York, or its agencies, including the university, or in cases that are governed by contracts binding on the state or its agencies, administrative officers must observe their obligations as officers of the state and refer the matter to proper authorities for disposition within the applicable legal or contractual framework. In such cases, the matters of timely notice and opportunity to respond are governed by applicable legal rules and practices.

For further information, contact the Office of the Provost at (716) 645-2992.

Current as of Feb 28, 1986.

III.D. Disciplinary Procedures for Academic Infractions by Students

Approved by the Faculty Senate September 20, 1984

Preamble

The university community depends upon shared academic standards. Academic dishonesty in any form by any member of the university community represents a fundamental impairment of these standards.

When an instance of suspected or alleged academic dishonesty by a student arises, it shall be resolved according to the procedures set forth herein, unless procedures already exist within the professional school from which the student comes. These procedures assume that many questions of academic dishonesty will be resolved through informal consultation between the student and the instructor. If, however, such informal consultation fails to resolve the question, or the instructor considers formal proceedings warranted, the formal procedures described in Part II must be used.

It is recommended that the instructor consult with the department chair and/or the Department of Undergraduate Education or the graduate dean if there are any questions regarding these procedures.

Examples of academic dishonesty are listed in Article 5, Section 3 of the Student Conduct, University Standards and Administrative Regulations.

I. Informal Proceedings

I.A. When Used

Informal consultation between the student and the instructor is the desired method of resolving many questions of academic dishonesty. If an instructor has reason to believe that a student may have committed an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor s hall consult with the student within a reasonable period of time, but as close as possible to the discovery of the suspected act. If the instructor is investigating a suspected or alleged act of academic dishonesty, the instructor may consult with student s who may have some knowledge of the alleged act of academic dishonesty. The student suspected of academic dishonesty shall be notified by the instructor in advance of such a consultation.

I.B. Procedures

At the consultation, the instructor shall inform the student of the allegations relating to the specific infringement, and the student shall be given a copy of these procedures and criteria. The student shall be provided with the opportunity to explain an y suspected or alleged misconduct, including any extenuating or mitigating circumstances, to present evidence of innocence, or to give information relevant to an investigation. Neither the instructor nor the student shall be represented or accompanied by an attorney or any other advisor, and no record of this informal consultation need be preserved.

I.C. Decision

I.C.1. Finding of Guilty/Sanctions Imposable

If, after consultation with the student, the instructor believes that the student committed an act of academic dishonesty, the instructor has the authority to impose one or more of the following sanctions:

I.C.1.a. Admonition. An oral statement to the student that he or she has violated a university standard of academic honesty.

I.C.1.b. Warning. Written notice to the student that repetition of the wrongful conduct may be cause for more severe sanctions. (A copy of this letter shall become part of the confidential file maintained with respect to the matter. [See Section III.B.])

I.C.1.c. Revision of Work. Requiring the student to replace or revise the work in which dishonesty occurred. (The instructor may choose to assign a grade of Incomplete pending replacement or revision of the work.)

I.C.1.d. Reduction in Grade. With respect to the particular assignment/exam or the course.

I.C.1.e. Mandatory Resignation. To be indicated on the transcript by an "R."

I.C.1.f. Failure for Reason of Academic Dishonesty. To be indicated on the transcript by an "F."

The student shall be notified of the decision by letter (certified mail), a copy of which shall become part of the confidential file maintained with respect to the matter (see Section III.B.). The letter shall advise the student of the sanction(s) imposed or of the institution of formal proceedings.

I.C.2. Appeal

The student shall have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. The appeal shall be submitted in writing to the instructor and to the graduate and undergraduate dean, or the dean of the professional school of which the instructor is a member, no later than ten academic days after the faculty member has notified the student of his or her decision.* (A copy of the appeal shall become part of the confidential file maintained with respect to the matter [see Section III.B.].) Pending resolution, the student will be assigned a grade of Incomplete. The dean shall convene a committee comprising an equal number of faculty members and students to hear the appeal and to provide him or her with their recommendation.

The dean's decision shall be final.

I.C.3. Finding of Not Guilty

The student shall be notified of the decision in writing, but neither the decision letter nor other materials pertinent to the review shall be maintained in any file.

*Appeals from undergraduates enrolled in professional degree programs shall be submitted to the undergraduate dean.

II. Formal Proceedings

II.A. When Used

If the instructor has reason to believe that a student may have committed an act of academic dishonesty, and the instructor believes that formal proceedings and the harsher sanctions imposable there under are warranted, the formal procedures outlined here shall be used.

II.B. Procedures

When these formal procedures are to be used, a hearing shall be conducted by a tribunal, to be known as the Adjudication Committee. For students in the Division of Undergraduate Education or the Division of Continuing Education (Millard Fillmore College), the Adjudication Committee shall be constituted in accordance with the bylaws of these divisions. For students in graduate or post baccalaureate professional programs, the Adjudication Committee will be constituted in accordance with the bylaws of the individual school, faculty or division.

The Adjudication Committee shall give the student reasonable advance notice (not less than seventy-two hours) of the hearing. The instructor shall provide the committee with a written statement of the evidence against the student and the names of potential witnesses. The committee shall convey this information to the student prior to the hearing, and shall indicate the possible sanctions that can be imposed if the student is found guilty.

At the hearing, the student shall be entitled to present evidence in his or her own behalf, examine all evidence against him or her, and cross-examine all witnesses against him or her. Neither party may be represented by an attorney or anyone else, but the student may be accompanied by an advisor of his or her choice, who may advise but not represent him or her during the proceedings. If the advisor chosen is an attorney, he or she may not act in his or her capacity as a member of the bar.

The technical and formal rules of evidence applicable in a court of law are not controlling, and the Adjudication Committee may hear all relevant material and reliable evidence that will contribute to an informed result. Irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence or cross-examination may be excluded by the chair of the committee.

II.C. Decision

II.C.1. Finding of Guilty/Sanctions Imposable or Recommendable

If a majority of the Adjudication Committee's members present are convinced that the student committed an act of academic dishonesty, the Adjudication Committee has the power to impose one or more of the following sanctions to which a majority of its members agree:

II.C.1.a. Any of the sanctions that the instructor, chair, and/or dean could have imposed (see Section II.C.1.)

II.C.1.b. Probation. To be upon stated terms, with any violation being a ground for suspension or expulsion.

II.C.1.c. Such other reasonable and appropriate sanctions as may be determined by the committee, with the exception of those stated subsequently in II.C.1.d., below.

II.C.1.d. In addition, the Adjudication Committee shall have the power to recommend to the university president imposition of the following sanctions:

II.C.1.d.(1) Suspension. For a definite term upon stated conditions.

II.C.1.d.(2) Expulsion. To be outright."For reason of academic dishonesty" should be noted on the transcript.

II.C.1.d.(3) Mandatory resignation from or failure in the course. "For reason of academic dishonesty" should be noted on the transcript.

The student shall be notified of the decision by letter, a copy of which shall become part of the confidential file maintained with respect to the matter (see Section III.B.). The letter shall advise the student of the sanction(s) imposed or recommended t o the president.

II.C.2. Finding of Not Guilty

The student shall be notified of the decision in writing, but neither the decision letter nor other materials pertinent to the review shall be maintained in any file.

II.C.3. Appeal

Neither the student nor the faculty member shall have a right of formal appeal.

III. Miscellaneous Provisions

III.A. A decision letter of the instructor finding the student guilty shall be kept in a confidential file, maintained by the graduate, undergraduate, or professional school dean, until the student graduates or has not been enrolled at the universi ty for a period of one year. At that time the letter shall be destroyed. The student shall have access to such a file.

III.B. The Adjudication Committee shall, if it finds the student guilty, keep a record of the matter consisting of all written communications, all written evidence, an audio tape or other record of the hearing, and its decision letter. This record shall be kept in a confidential file, maintained by the graduate, undergraduate, or professional school dean, until the student graduates or has left the university for a period of one year. The student shall have access to such a file.

III.C. Once the student is notified of the scheduling of a consultation or hearing, the student may not withdraw from the course without the permission of the instructor.

Current as of Sept 20, 1984.

III.E. Faculty Teaching Responsibilities

Adopted by the Faculty Senate April 1983

A Statement of Professional Responsibility for Faculty Members in their Relations with Students in Undergraduate Courses (lectures, recitations, seminars, laboratories, and clinical studies)

At the beginning of the course, each student should receive a course outline that clearly states the following:

1. Course Requirements. The anticipated number of papers and tests and any other requirements, such as homework, attendance, class participation, laboratory assignments, and clinical performance, that will count toward the final grade.

2. Academic Content. What the student will be held accountable for, including required readings, lectures, films, field trips, etc.

3. Grading Policy. How results from various requirements will be combined into a final grade: relative weightings, the degree of curving, and make-up policy for tests.

4. Office Hours. Specification of when and where the instructor is available for consultation each week.

During the semester, instructors are expected to conform to their initial course information (noted above), except as unanticipated circumstances require deviation, in which situations they should inform all students and provide an opportunity for discuss ion with students prior to making a final decision.

In addition, instructors will be expected to recognize the following policies as appropriate in class situations:

1. Criteria for the grading of papers should be made explicit before the paper is due; the formats for examinations should be made explicit prior to their administration.

2. All corrected papers and examinations should be available for review by students. If a student believes that an error has been made, he or she should be able to consult with the instructor and receive an explanation.

3. Classes are to meet at the time and on the campus listed in the SARA schedule, unless changed with the consent of the entire class.

4. Final examinations shall be offered as officially scheduled, not during the final week of classes.

5. Instructors are expected to meet classes on time and for the number of hours scheduled in SARA and to cover appropriate academic material.

6. Instructors should create an environment that discourages cheating on papers and examinations whenever possible.

7. Instructors should keep in mind their responsibility for assuring high academic standards in the work of students.

For further information, contact the Division of Undergraduate Education at (716) 645-2988.

Current as of April, 1983.

III.F. Teaching Assessment and Improvement

Issued by the President December 1983

The State University of New York at Buffalo has a primary commitment to the generation of new knowledge and insights through research and other creative activities by its faculty. An integral part of our scholarly mission is the dissemination of knowledge to and the cultivation of intellectual and professional skills among our students. While excellence in content is the primary criterion by which the effectiveness of instruction at a research university is measured, it is also of great importance that we continually assess and work to improve the teaching process itself.

On April 12, 1983, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution confirming the importance of quality teaching to the university's overall mission. That resolution called upon each department to define standards for teaching effectiveness, to assess the quality of instruction, and to assist departmental faculty in improving their teaching. The Faculty Senate pointed in particular to inconsistencies among departments in their efforts to evaluate teaching, and emphasized the need for systematic assessment and evaluation.

As a result of discussions with the Faculty Senate, the vice presidents, and the deans, the following guidelines for assessing and improving the quality of teaching at the University at Buffalo have been approved.

1. Each department should develop, adopt, and implement an appropriate teaching evaluation process. While procedures will vary from department to department, a systematic assessment process should be in place in every department.

2. Students should have the opportunity to evaluate instruction in every course. The form of that evaluation should be consistent with the nature of the academic experience.

3. Department chairs should review (at least annually) with each faculty member the results of student evaluations and other forms of assessment adopted by the department. The principal purpose of such reviews shall be to provide faculty members with the opportunity to improve the quality of their teaching.

4. Professorial faculty from each department should directly monitor and supervise all teaching by graduate teaching assistants. Moreover, each department should have in place, by fall 1984, a mandatory teaching-effectiveness program for its teaching assistants.

Current as of Dec 1, 1983.

III.G. Academic Standards

There are established academic standards of student eligibility for financial aid from state and federal sources. Such factors as course load, grade point average, and withdrawals, incompletes, and repeating of courses may, under some circumstances, change the eligibility of undergraduate and graduate students. Standards are different for different programs of study. Faculty members should obtain information on the regulations that apply to the students under their responsibility from the Office of Undergraduate Education (645-2988) or the Graduate School (645-2939).

Definition of Good Standing for Undergraduate Students

A. Academic Good Standing

The University at Buffalo considers an undergraduate student who has completed a semester or more at UB to be in academic good standing only if:

A.(1) the student's cumulative grade point average (for work attempted both at this university and at any other postsecondary institution the student may have attended) is 2.0 or above; and

A.(2) the student's cumulative grade point average for work attempted at UB is 2.0 or above.

Students who are not in good standing are on probation and subject to eventual dismissal.

B. Satisfactory and Timely Progress Toward a Degree

The University at Buffalo classifies undergraduate students as "sophomores" after they have completed at least 30 credit hours, as "juniors" after they have completed at least 60 credit hours, and as "seniors" after they have completed at least 90 credit hours, until they graduate.

If a student registers for a course and does not drop it during the regular drop/add period early in each semester, it cannot be considered as having been completed until the student ultimately receives a passing grade in the course. Thus, a course for which a student received a grade of "R" or "I" (with course requirements not yet fulfilled), or a failing grade of "F" or "U," must be considered as not having been completed.

The University at Buffalo considers an undergraduate student who has completed a semester or more at UB to be making satisfactory and timely progress toward a degree only if, in addition to meeting the conditions of academic good standing above:

B.(1) the student's grade point average for the most recent semester is 2.0 or above; and

B.(2) at least 75 percent of all credit hours for which the student was registered in all semesters at UB have been completed.

A junior or senior is making satisfactory and timely progress toward a degree only if, in addition to meeting conditions (1) and (2) above, the student is accepted and enrolled in a department or program offering a major.

Students who are found to be not making satisfactory and timely progress toward a degree in two or more consecutive semesters are on academic probation and subject to eventual dismissal.

Graduate School Policies on Academic Standards

Good Academic Standing

Good academic standing means that a student is making acceptable progress toward a graduate degree and is eligible to register for and pursue academic coursework at this university for the current semester. All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their study.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The minimum academic requirements for good academic standing established by the Graduate School (individual divisions may establish additional academic standards) are as follows:

Exclusive of "S" grades, grades earned in courses listed in the student's application to candidacy in a master's or doctoral program must average a "B" (3.00) grade point average or better.

An "S" grade will be awarded only in those instances where a student's letter grade would have been a "C" (2.00) grade point average or better.

Academic requirements other than those imposed by the Graduate School are determined by the program faculty and approved by the appropriate Graduate School Divisional Committee. All graduate students are expected to demonstrate competence in teaching and research with respect to their educational needs and career objectives.

Academic Review/Probation

Any graduate student who receives a grade of "U," "F," or "D" in any course required for completion of a degree program (e.g., seminar or research course, practicum, student teaching course, internship, field course, or similar application course or thesis), who falls below the minimum academic requirements stated above, or who indicates a lack of ability as determined by the program faculty, will receive an immediate academic review by his or her graduate program faculty. Upon completion of the academic review, the graduate program faculty may place the student on academic probation. Such notice will be made in writing by the department chair or a designee prior to the end of the drop/add period of the next semester and will indicate the terms of the probation and its removal.

Academic Dismissal and Transcripts

Graduate students not meeting the written terms of their academic probation may be academically dismissed from the university by their department/graduate program. Such dismissals shall be done in a timely fashion but no later than three weeks after the completion of the semester's final examinations. The Graduate School will be notified in writing of all such academic dismissals.

Graduate students who are dismissed for academic reasons from a graduate program will have a notation placed on their graduate transcripts indicating that they were academically dismissed, and the date of the dismissal.

REINSTATEMENT

A graduate student who has been officially dismissed and who seeks reinstatement shall submit a formal request for reinstatement, along with a supporting statement of explanation, to the chair of the academic department. The request shall be acted upon by the established procedure or review group appropriate to the particular graduate program. Only if a student is subsequently readmitted to the program from which he or she was dismissed will the dismissal notation be removed from the transcript by written request to the Graduate School.

First reading 4/8/97; second reading 4/29/97; approved 4/29/97

Resolution: Faculty Senate Committee on Grading

Regarding the retroactive and administrative awarding of "R" grades and the expunging of certain grades from student's records

Whereas the University at Buffalo's policy for the awarding of the "R" grades retroactively through administrative appeal is currently unclear, and

Whereas there have recently been numerous cases in which certain academic records have been selectively changed and/or permanently expunged from student's transcripts, and

Whereas the University at Buffalo has a responsibility to ensure that students' transcripts are accurate records of the students' true academic history, and

Whereas the current "R" grade is designed to reflect a student's choice to resign from a course without Q.P.A. penalty up to eight weeks after the beginning of a semester (up to eleven weeks for first-time freshmen and first-time transfer students), and

Whereas the grade of "I" is available to students after the resignation deadline in cases where they are prevented by circumstances beyond their control from completing course requirements, and whereas the grade of "R" was never intended to replace the In complete,

Be It Therefore Resolved That:

1. The grade of "R" shall be awarded only in cases where the student makes a timely election to resign from one or more courses.

2. All approved retroactive administrative resignations shall be indicated on transcripts by the symbol "W," meaning withdrawal from the university for the semester.

3. For purposes of determining academic good standing, courses with grades of "W" shall count as not having been attempted.

4. The deadline for undergraduate students to submit their petitions for retroactive administrative resignations (withdrawals) to the vice provost for undergraduate education shall be the end of the subsequent academic semester.

5. The vice provost for undergraduate education shall consider and act on all undergraduate students' petitions for withdrawal, and should consult members of the faculty and others as appropriate. The vice provost for undergraduate education must report a ll changes of grades to "W" to the instructor who assigned the grade in the first instance.

6. In deciding students' petitions for resignation after the deadline for "R" grades, the vice provost for undergraduate education shall apply the following principles:

6.(a) Administrative resignations will be considered only on a complete-semester, all-or-none basis (i.e., the student resigns from all courses taken in the semester, even those for which satisfactory grades have been awarded).

6.(b) Withdrawal petitions will be considered only in extraordinary circumstances, such as lengthy incapacitation, military or employment transfer to another locale, etc.

6.(c) If requested by the student, a stipulation may be appended to the transcript indicating the reason for withdrawal for that semester (e.g., "withdrawal for health reasons").

7. The vice provost for undergraduate education shall report annually to the Faculty Senate Grading Committee on the nature, number, and disposition of petitions for retroactive resignation, including cases in which exceptions were made to the principles stated above.

Academic Progress/Pursuit Criteria for New York State Financial Assistance

The Commissioner of Education has issued and the Board of Regents has approved regulations that establish academic standards for receipt of state student financial assistance. These regulations were effective for all students who were receiving aid for the first time during school year 1981–82 and thereafter. The regulations have two components: Pursuit of Program, and Academic Progress.

Pursuit of Program

This provision of the regulations calls for the completion of a prescribed percentage of a full-time course load (12 hours at the University at Buffalo) each semester in order to be eligible to receive state financial assistance the following semester. During the first two semesters of state financial assistance, a minimum of six hours must be completed. During the third and fourth semesters of state financial assistance, a minimum of nine hours must be completed. In addition, a minimum of 12 hours must b e completed during all subsequent semesters of state financial assistance.

Completion of a course means receiving a passing or failing grade in the course. "Withdrawals" and "Incompletes" do not qualify under this provision. An "Incomplete" grade that is changed to a passing or failing grade by the end of the following semester can be included once completed. Additionally, a graduate student repeating a course to improve a grade in which a grade of "C" or better had been originally earned cannot include the repeated course as part of the student's minimum full-time or part-time course load for financial aid eligibility. Exceptions at the graduate level exist for thesis or dissertation courses since students are allowed to repeat these courses for credit until the thesis or dissertation is completed. Students receiving state financial assistance must be careful to complete the minimum prescribed number of hours each term. The consequence of not completing the prescribed number of hours each semester is loss of state financial assistance the following semester.

Academic Progress

An academic progress standard has been established for each level of study (undergraduate, graduate, etc.) throughout the SUNY system. Academic progress guidelines require completion of a minimum number of hours at a minimum grade point average in order t o be eligible to receive state financial assistance. The following chart lists these standards for graduate students.

Please note that the standards reflected in the chart are for use in determining eligibility for financial assistance for graduate students only; standards for students in professional programs may vary. Professional students should check with their dean' s office for further information. Please note that the academic standards used by the University at Buffalo to determine good standing are significantly higher than these standards; it is unlikely, therefore, that state financial assistance will be lost u nder this provision while students attend the University at Buffalo.

Current as of Aug 31, 1997.

III.H. Undergraduate Grading Policy and Procedure

1. Plus/Minus (+/-) Grading*

Plus/Minus grades with corresponding quality point values are as follows:

"A" = 4.0
"A-" = 3.67
"B+" = 3.33
"B" = 3.0
"B-" = 2.67
"C+" = 2.33
"C" = 2.0
"C-" = 1.67
"D+" = 1.33
"D" = 1.0

*Note: "A+" and "D-" are not available grades. While the plus/minus grades are available, instructors are not obligated to use them. Please notify your students whether or not plus/minus grades will be assigned.

2. S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) Grading Option

Students may elect the S/U grading option for a particular course during the drop/add period (the first two weeks of class for spring and fall). Students elect the S/U option by completing the S/U form available at Hayes B and Capen 232 during that period . Instructors are not informed that students have elected the S/U option. The letter grade submitted by the instructor is converted to S/U ("A" through "C-" converts to "S"; "D+" through "F" converts to "U") and appears as "S" or "U" on the student's grad e report. S/U forms may be retrieved (cancelled) for one week after drop/add, at Hayes B only.

Students are advised to review the Undergraduate Catalog regarding the percentage of courses that may be taken for S/U and for program restrictions on the use of such grades. In particular, students entering the university in the fall of 1993 or later can not elect S/U grading in any course that is to be used to satisfy the Arts & Sciences General Education requirements.

3. "I" (Incomplete)

A grade of "I" (Incomplete) may be given to a student who has not completed all of the assigned work in a course, if he/she has a passing average and if there exists a well-defined means by which the course requirements can be completed. The grade of "I" must be removed within a period of fifteen months. Note: At the time an "I" is given, the instructor must specify the default grade that the student will receive if no grade is filed by the instructor before the expiration of the grace period. Individual instructors may set shorter time limits for removing an Incomplete. Incomplete grades not removed by graduation will revert to default grades. Default grades can be "A," "B," "C," "D (+/-)," "F," or "P." (If the student has elected the S/U grading option, it will supersede the default letter grade).

The student's grade report form and permanent record will list "I/default grade" until the "I" is made up and a final grade has been submitted by the instructor. If the "I" is not made up, the default grade will be posted on the transcript and will be considered the final grade.

Applicable dates regarding the fifteen-month provision are:

Courses Taken In: If "I" Not Removed, Default
Grade Will Be Posted:

Fall 1996 April 1, 1998

Spring 1997 September 1, 1998

Summer 1997 December 1, 1998

The Office of Records and Registration posts a date each semester by which all grades must be final for graduation in that semester. This date will be the date by which the "I" grade must be removed if the student plans to graduate in that semester or the default grade will become permanent.

Note: Please advise students to whom you have assigned an "I" (Incomplete) grade not to reregister for the course.

4. "J" Grade

Any error or misread grade on the grade form results in a grade of "J," meaning "reporting error"; blank or unrecorded grades also appear as "J." Any "J" grade automatically changes to "F" either at the end of the semester following its recording or at th e time of graduation, whichever occurs first, unless it is corrected by the instructor or department in charge of the course before that deadline. "Supplementary Report of Grade" forms should be used to remove the "J" grade.

5. "N" (Audit)

A student must arrange with the Office of Records and Registration for an audit grade ("N") in a course at the time of registration. Such an arrangement must include written approval of the instructor. The Office of Records and Registration will automatic ally record the audit grade on the student's transcript. The instructor, however, may terminate a student's audit status during the semester. The student must elect "audit" on a form (requiring the instructor's signature) furnished by the Office of Record s and Registration by the end of the add period (normally two weeks). The instructor may terminate a student's audit status by letter to the Office of Records and Registration. The "N" will be changed to "R." The Office of Records and Registration will notify the student of the change. The instructor must communicate to the student the grounds for possible termination at the beginning of the course. Note that termination of the audit does not mean a change to credit status, but a resignation from the course. Note: Students may not repeat for credit courses in which they have an "N" grade.

6. Pass/Fail

For courses that do not lend themselves to letter grades, instructors may opt to assign pass/fail (P/F) grades. Instructors must notify the Office of the Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, 255 Capen Hall, in writing, of their intention to use pass/fail grading, and must notify students of their course grading policy.

7. Resignation Without Academic Penalty

The period during which a student may resign from a course without academic penalty is eight weeks. The date for fall 1996 is October 18. Students who are unprepared or who are having difficulty mastering the subject matter of a particular course should b e provided with a clear indication of that fact in sufficient time to resign without academic penalty.

Between the "R" deadline (October 18) and three weeks afterwards (November 8), undergraduate students (freshmen and transfers) in their first semester at UB may obtain an administrative withdrawal from any course in which they are in academic difficulty. This special administrative withdrawal must be processed and signed by the academic advisor after consultation with the student.

Note: All instructors of 100- and 200-level courses should provide students with some measure of their performance before the "R" deadline.

8. Repeating Courses

An undergraduate student who receives a grade of "D+," "D," or "F" in a course taken at SUNY/Buffalo may repeat that course once. Both grades will be reported on the transcript, but hours earned toward graduation will be given only once. For the purpose o f calculating the cumulative quality point average (QPA), the two grades will be averaged. However, students should be made aware that additional restrictions may be imposed either by the department giving the course or by the student's major department, consistent with preannounced policy, and that the student should therefore consult both departments before attempting to retake such a course.

Current as of Aug 31, 1997.

III.I. Graduate School Policies and Procedures Manual

Graduate School Policies and Procedures Manual

III.J. Grading Procedures for Graduate Students

Grading Procedures for Graduate Students