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Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Standards for CEHHS | Policies | CSUSM

Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Standards for CEHHS

Definition: Standards governing RTP process for faculty in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services (CEHHS).
Authority: The collective bargaining agreement between The California State University and the California Faculty Association.
Scope: Eligible CEHHS faculty at California State University San Marcos.
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 07/20/2017
Originally Implemented: 07/01/2012
Signature Page/PDF: View Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Standards for CEHHS


A. Preamble

  1. This document sets forth general standards and criteria for retention, tenure, and promotion of full-time faculty for all units within the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.
  2. The provisions of this document are to be implemented in conformity with University RTP Policies and Procedures; the CSU Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Articles 13, 14, 15; and the University Policy on Ethical Conduct.
  3. Many of the programs within the College are also guided by the standards of national accreditation bodies.

B. Definitions of Terms and Abbreviations

  1. The CEHHS uses the same definitions, terms, and abbreviations as defined in the University RTP document. For clarity, the use of "is" is informative, "shall" is mandatory, "may" is permissive, "should" is conditional, and "will" is intentional.
  2. A “standard” is a reference point or formalized expectation against which progress can be measured for retention, tenure, and promotion.
  3. Faculty have a right to clearly articulated performance expectations. Departmental and School RTP Standards provide consistency in guiding tenure-track faculty in the preparation of their working personnel action files (WPAFs).
  4. Departmental, and School RTP Standards educate others outside of the discipline, including deans, university committees, and the provost, with respect to the practice and standards of a particular department/discipline/field.
  5. Departments, and Schools must respect the intellectual freedom of their faculty by avoiding standards that are too prescriptive. Department and School standards should be as brief as possible with emphasis on the unique nature of the department.
  6. All College, Department, and School RTP Standards shall conform to the CBA and University and School RTP documents.  The RTP Standards documents for each unit within the College shall contain the elements of School/Department RTP standards described in RTP documents for each unit and shall not repeat the CBA, or University RTP document, or include School-specific advice..
  7. All College, Department, or School RTP Standards must be approved by a simple majority of all tenure-track faculty within a department or School and then be approved by college/school/department/library and the Academic Senate before any use in RTP decisions.


A. Introduction and Guiding Principles

  1. All standards and criteria reflect the University and School/Department Mission and Vision Statements and advance the goals embodied in those statements.
  2. The performance areas that shall be evaluated include teaching, research/creative activities, and service.  While there will be diversity in the contributions of faculty members to the University, the School/Department affirms the university requirement of sustained high quality performance and encourages flexibility in the relative emphasis placed on each performance area.  Candidates must submit a curriculum vita (CV) and narrative statements describing the summary of teaching, research/creative activity, and service for the review period.  If service credit was granted at the time of employment at CSUSM, the Candidate’s teaching, research, and service activities completed at the university for which service credit was awarded at the time of hire will also be evaluated for the purpose of granting Tenure and/or Promotion.  The faculty member must meet the minimum standards in each of the three areas.  Only items not considered in a prior tenure/promotion review at CSUSM may be included.
  3. Items assessed in one area of performance shall not be duplicated in any other area of performance evaluation. Items shall be cross-referenced in the CV, narrative statements, and WPAF to demonstrate connections across all three documents. Candidates who integrate their teaching, research/creative activities, and/or service may explain how their work meets given standards/criteria for each area.
  4. The School/Department recognizes innovative and unusual contributions (e.g., supervising research, using particularly innovative or challenging types of pedagogy, writing or rewriting programs, grant writing, conference or community presentations, regional or national profile committee/commission membership, grant reviews, consultancy to community, curriculum development, assessment development, accreditation or other required report generation).
  5. Retention, tenure, and promotion decisions are made on the basis of the evaluation of individual performance. Ultimate responsibility for understanding the standards, meeting the standards, and effectively communicating how they have met the standards rests with the candidate. In addition to this document, the candidate should refer to and follow the University RTP Policies and Procedures. Candidates should also note available opportunities that provide guidance on the WPAF and describe the responsibilities of the candidate in the review process (e.g., Provost’s RTP meetings; Faculty Center Professional Development, and advice and counsel by tenured faculty. Candidates are encouraged to avail themselves of such opportunities.
  6. Candidates for retention will show effectiveness in each area of performance and demonstrate progress toward meeting the tenure requirements in the areas of teaching, research/creative activities, and service.
  7. Candidates for the rank of associate professor require an established record of effectiveness in teaching, research/creative activities, and service to the School/Department and University.
  8. Candidates for the rank of professor require, in addition to continued effectiveness, an established record of initiative and leadership in teaching, research/creative activities, and service to the School/ Department, University, community, and profession. Promotion to the rank of Professor will be based on the record of the individual since promotion to the rank of Associate Professor.
  9. The granting of tenure at any rank recognizes accomplishments and services performed by the candidate during the individual’s career. The record must show sustained and continuous activities and accomplishments. 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 the individual’s career. Tenure will be granted only to individuals whose record meets the standards required to earn promotion to the rank at which the tenure will be granted.


A. Retention: A positive recommendation for retention requires that the candidate’s record clearly meets the articulated standards for the granting of a retention decision in each of the three areas: teaching, research/creative activities, and service.

B. Tenure and/or Promotion: A positive recommendation for tenure or promotion requires that the candidate’s record clearly meets the articulated standards for the granting of a tenure/promotion decision in each of the three areas: teaching, research/creative activities, and service. A candidate shall normally be considered for promotion at the same time they are considered for tenure.

C. Early Tenure and Promotion for Assistant Professors (prior to the 6th year in rank): The option for early tenure for Assistant Professors is considered an exception. A positive recommendation for early tenure requires that the Candidate show a record of achievement at CSUSM combined with a record of achievement for which service credit was awarded (if applicable) that fulfills all criteria for tenure as specified in University, College, and Department Standards. At CSUSM, early tenure is typically requested in Year Five for those without service credit, in Year Four for those with one year of service credit, or in Year Three for those with two years of service credit.

D. Early Promotion for Associate Professors: The promotion of a tenured faculty member to the rank of Professor normally shall be effective at the beginning of the sixth year after appointment to their current academic rank/classification. Promotion that will be effective prior to the start of the sixth year after appointment to current rank/classification is considered an early promotion. Early promotion requires clear evidence that the candidate has a sustained record of achievement that fulfills all criteria for promotion as specified in University, College, School, and Department standards. For early promotion, a sustained record of achievement should demonstrate that the candidate has a record comparable to that of a candidate who successfully meets the criteria in all three categories for promotion in the normal period of service.

E. Faculty who are hired at an advanced rank without tenure may apply for tenure after two years of service at CSUSM (i.e., in fall of their third year at CSUSM). A positive recommendation requires that the candidate’s record at CSUSM clearly demonstrates a continued level of accomplishment in all areas and, together with the candidate’s previous record, is consistent with the articulated standards for the granting of tenure at the faculty member’s rank.

F. Standards and criteria for Teaching, Research and Creative Activities, and Service can be gleaned from the School/Department Standards for each unit in the CEHHS.