Retention, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) Standards - SoN

Definition:Standards governing RTP process for faculty in the School of Nursing.
Authority:The collective bargaining agreement between The California State University and the California Faculty Association.
Scope:Eligible Unit 3 School of Nursing faculty at California State University San Marcos.
Responsible Division:Academic Affairs
Approval Date:06/22/2012
Implementation Date:07/01/2012
Originally Implemented:08/08/2007
Signature Page/PDF:View Signatures for Retention, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) Standards - SoN Policy



A. In the standards and procedures described by this document, “is” is informative, “shall” is mandatory, “may” is permissive, “should” is conditional, and “will” is intentional.

B. The following terms, important to understanding faculty policies and procedures for retention, tenure, and promotion are herein defined.

  1. Candidate - a faculty unit employee being evaluated for retention, tenure, or promotion.
  2. Evaluation – a written assessment of a faculty member’s performance. 
  3. Peer Review Committee (PRC) – the committee of full-time, tenured faculty unit employees whose purpose is to review and recommend faculty unit employees who are being considered for retention, tenure, and promotion.
  4. Probationary Faculty – the term probationary faculty unit employee refers to a full-time faculty unit employee appointed with probationary status and serving a period of probation.
  5. Promotion – the advancement of a probationary or tenured faculty unit employee who holds academic or librarian rank to a higher academic or librarian rank or of a counselor faculty unit employee to higher classification.
  6. Recommendation – the written end product of each level of a performance review.  A recommendation shall be based on the WPAF and shall include a written statement of the reasons for the recommendation.  A copy of the recommendation and the written reasons for it is provided to the faculty member at each level of review.
  7. Retention – authorization to continue in probationary status.
  8. RTP – retention, tenure, and/or promotion.
  9. Tenure – the right to continued employment at the campus as a faculty unit employee except when such employment is voluntarily terminated or is terminated by the CSU pursuant to the CBA or law.


This document sets forth general standards and criteria for retention, tenure, and promotion of full-time faculty in the School of Nursing within the College of Education, Health and Human Services.  The provisions of this document are intended to be implemented in conformity with University-wide Faculty Personnel Policy for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion.


A.  General Guiding Principles

  1. All standards and criteria should reflect the University Mission Statement and advance the goals embodied in that statement, including the following.

    As specified in the University Mission Statement:

    • CSUSM focuses on the student as an active participant in the learning process.
    • Students work closely with a faculty of active scholars and artists whose commitment to sustained excellence in teaching, research, and community partnership enhances student learning.
    • The university offers rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs distinguished by exemplary teaching, innovative curricula, and the application of new technology.
    • CSUSM provides a range of services that responds to the needs of a student body with diverse backgrounds, expanding student access to an excellent and affordable education.
    • As a public university, CSUSM grounds its mission in the public trust, alignment with regional needs, and sustained enrichment of the intellectual, civic, economic, and cultural life of our region and state.
  2. The three performance areas that shall be evaluated, teaching, research, and service, are integral faculty activities.  While recognizing instruction as a central institutional mission, the COEHHS, School of Nursing and disciplinary standards and criteria should recognize the diversity of each faculty member’s contribution to the University.  While the School affirms the University-wide requirement of sustained high quality performance in all areas, it encourages flexibility in the relative emphasis placed on each of the three performance areas.
  3. Methods of performance assessment for research, teaching, and service shall be clearly specified and uniformly applied to all faculty.  Activities assessed in one area of performance shall not be duplicated in any other area of performance evaluation.
  4. At all levels and stages of the RTP process, faculty have the right to clearly articulated performance expectations.  The RTP process should be simultaneously evaluative and developmental and be carried out in a cooperative, collaborative environment.
  5. Retention, tenure, and promotion decisions are made on the basis of the evaluation of individual performance.  Ultimate responsibility for meeting all standards and criteria rests with the candidate.

B. Standards Applied in Different Types of Decisions

  1. It is expected that candidates for retention at the rank of assistant professor will show effectiveness in each area of performance and demonstrate progress toward meeting the tenure requirements in the areas of teaching, research, and service.
  2. Promotion to the rank of associate professor requires an established record of effectiveness in teaching, research, and involvement in service activities that enhance the University and the profession.
  3. Promotion to the rank of professor requires evidence of continued commitment to and effectiveness in instruction, evidence of substantial achievement in scholarly/creative activities, and service to the University and/or the profession.
  4. The granting of tenure at any rank recognizes accomplishments and services performed during the probationary years.  Further, the granting of tenure is an expression of confidence that the faculty member has both the commitment to and the potential for continued development and accomplishment throughout his/her career.  Tenure will not be granted to an individual whose record does not meet the standards required to earn promotion to the rank at which the tenure will be granted.


A. Teaching

  1. A central mission of the faculty is to enable students to comprehend and to utilize knowledge through scholarly intellectual activity.  Toward that end faculty are expected to continually learn about pedagogy and to carefully consider how to teach as well as what to teach.  They are expected to set clear expectations of success and to instruct with the assumption that all students can learn.  Faculty should involve students actively in the learning process and employ various instructional techniques.  Faculty should adapt their instructional methods to reach and to encourage all segments of the student body.
  2. Probationary and tenured faculty members are expected to continually strengthen their teaching skills and to demonstrate overall effectiveness in scholarly instruction at the undergraduate level as well as the graduate level in departments with graduate programs.  Toward this end, faculty are encouraged in every way to cultivate and maintain useful, innovative, and stimulating instructional techniques.
  3. Instructional activities include, but are not limited to:
    • Classroom teaching;
    • Clinical Laboratory teaching;
    • Seminars;
    • Curriculum development;
    • Program development;
    • Supervision of fieldwork, independent research, and library research;
    • Training and supervision of teaching and graduate assistants;
    • Individual consultation with students concerning course related matters.
  4. While the elements of instruction may vary among disciplines and candidates, the evaluations of instructional performance should consider the scholarly content and currency of courses, classroom performance, the incorporation of writing and critical thinking, efforts undertaken to improve instruction, the quality of advising, availability during office hours, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary activities, participation in course or curriculum development, and pedagogical innovations.
  5. Evidence of instructional performance should include, but is not limited to, the following: peer evaluations; student evaluations; a list of courses taught; samples of instructional materials such as syllabi, examinations, and other assessment tools, handouts; descriptions of new courses developed, and certificates of recognition for instruction.
  6. Student evaluation of instructional performance is required for 3 courses taught in an academic year and may include one clinical course. Provision of complete sets of (percentage as specified by CBA) university-prepared student evaluation reports, and from courses taught and since the last promotion.  

B. Research

  1. It is essential to the University’s Mission that each faculty member demonstrates continued commitment, dedication, and growth as a scholar.  In all cases, scholarship results in an original contribution to knowledge or understanding in the field through research and includes the dissemination of that knowledge beyond the classroom.
  2. Scholarship and evidence of scholarly activities include, but are not limited to:
    • Papers published or accepted for publication in peer refereed journals
    • Books or original monographs
    • Published book chapters of original material
    • Papers published in high quality practitioner journals
    • Papers published in refereed proceedings
    • Refereed paper presentations at professional meetings including abstracts published in proceedings
    • Invited papers presented at professional meetings
    • Working papers/works in progress
    • Grant or contract research
    • Clinical simulation scenario development
    • Case studies
    • Maintaining clinical experience in an area of nursing specialization
  3. Measurement of scholarly achievements should always include evaluation by professional persons in a position to assess the quality of the contribution to the field.  Professional evaluation includes, but is not limited to, acceptance of a scholarly work by a jury of peers or editorial board.  In all cases, quality of scholarly achievements shall be evaluated.

C. Service

  1. The School views activities that enhance the institution and the profession, both locally and nationally, as integral components of faculty service.  While the magnitude of service rendered may vary, in each instance the evaluation of service must be guided by the quality of that service and its relevance to the University’s Mission.
  2. Service activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Membership and offices held on committees, governing bodies, and task forces at the unit, college, and university level.
    • Membership and offices held on committees, editorial boards, professional advisory boards, external review teams, governing bodies, and task forces at the local, national, and international level.
    • Organizing regional or national conferences, workshops, or seminars.
    • Service as faculty advisor to student organizations
    • Mentoring of faculty.
    • Administrative activities such as scheduling, program coordination, or other special assignments.
    • Lectures, presentations, or programs given gratis to community groups or schools.
    • Gratis professional consultantships of service to the community.
  3.  Evaluation of service shall include: peer evaluation of the quality of service rendered, the extent to which the service rendered contributed to the University’s Mission, and the appropriateness of the service to the faculty member’s rank.
  4. Documentation of service may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:  a list & description of university, community, professional service; individual contributions to the committee, evaluation by fellow committee members regarding quality of service provided; documents, reports, or other materials produced; letters of invitation; programs; and newspaper clippings. Electronic submittal is an option for the WPAF.  The electronic submitted must follow protocols provided by the office of Faculty Resources.