Guidelines for Instructional Faculty Promotion 2023
Approved by the Provost’s Office May 26, 2022
Sent to the USF United Faculty on May 26, 2022
Goes into effect no later than May 26, 2023
In order to demonstrate appreciation for their many contributions to the University of South Florida (hereafter also referred to as “the University” or “USF”) and to encourage continued career development, the University provides a promotional career path for individuals who hold full-time, non-tenure track teaching positions. This page sets forth the promotion process guidelines for full-time, non-tenure track instructional faculty at the University. Academic units must provide newly promoted instructional faculty (as defined below) the promotional raises described for instructors in the current UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement.
These guidelines apply to full-time faculty with the job titles Assistant Professor of Instruction, Associate Professor of Instruction, Professor of Instruction (Professor of Instruction series) or Assistant Instructor, Associate Instructor or Senior Instructor (Instructor series). The Professor of Instruction series requires a terminal degree relevant to the teaching assignment, usually a doctorate. The Instructor series is designated for instructional faculty who do not have a terminal degree, and most commonly hold a Master’s degree. Throughout this page, all of these faculty will collectively be referred to as “instructional faculty”. If an instructor earns a terminal degree appropriate to their discipline, they will automatically be moved to the professor of instruction series at an equivalent rank.
At the discretion of the academic unit in which the applicant’s appointment resides, up to three years of full-time employment at USF or another four-year institution as a full time Visiting Assistant Instructor or Visiting Assistant Professor of Instruction or other comparable appointment may count toward the number of years required for promotion eligibility. Years employed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant or Adjunct do not count toward the number of years required for promotion eligibility, even if the teaching assignment was similar to the assignment of a Visiting Assistant Instructor or Visiting Assistant Professor of Instruction. Individuals must have been awarded the appropriate degree associated with the primary duties as defined by the academic unit in which the appointment resides.
The decision to apply for promotion rests with the individual, and there is no penalty
for one’s choice not to apply nor for failure to be granted promotion after applying.
Candidates may withdraw their application for promotion at any stage in the process
prior to the dean’s review.
Instructional faculty who have been conferred a rank (e.g. Associate Professor of Instruction, Professor of Instruction or Associate Instructor, Senior Instructor) within any academic unit at USF will maintain that rank upon transfer to another academic unit. Subsequent promotion (e.g., from Associate Instructor to Senior Instructor, or Associate Professor of Instruction to Professor of Instruction) will be subject to the criteria and processes of the new academic unit to which they are assigned.
In some cases, instructional faculty may be asked or elect to assume significant alternative assignments. In such cases, areas of assigned duties will be considered in the evaluation for promotion. Nevertheless, in all cases, excellence in teaching (the primary purpose for which instructional faculty are hired) must be demonstrated. Other areas of assignment cannot be substituted as a rationale for promotion.
Requirements of Promotion Levels
Promotion to Associate Professor of Instruction or Associate Instructor
- Five (5) consecutive years of experience at Assistant Professor of Instruction or Assistant Instructor are typically required prior to consideration for promotion. Earlier eligibility may be considered for candidates who can be demonstrated to be truly outstanding.
- Instructional faculty will be considered for promotion of the basis of meritorious performance in their teaching assignments. If the applicant has multiple areas of assignment, non-teaching assignments may be considered as contributing to the overall merit of the case for promotion (e.g. service or publications that address instructional concerns) but accomplishments in teaching assignments must serve as the major focus of the promotion determination.
- This evaluation should be comprehensive and consistent with, but not solely determined by annual evaluations. General procedures for this evaluation are set out below.
Promotion to Professor of Instruction or Senior Instructor
- Five (5) years of experience as Associate Professor of Instruction or Associate Instructor are typically required prior to consideration for promotion. Earlier eligibility may be considered for outstanding candidates.
- Instructional faculty will be considered for promotion on the basis of meritorious performance in their teaching assignments. In assigning ratings for candidates for Professor of Instruction or Senior Instructor, evaluating units should assess whether the individual has demonstrated continuous professional development and has achieved significant accomplishments in their teaching assignments at the Associate Professor of Instruction or Associate Instructor review, based on criteria established by the college/department/unit. Promotion to Professor of Instruction or Senior Instructor should also consider such secondary factors as service, leadership and contribution to scholarship, community engagement, or institutional success and acclaim that contribute to the instructional mission of the university.
- This evaluation should be comprehensive and consistent with, but not solely determined by, the annual evaluations obtained after reaching Associate Professor of Instruction or Associate Instructor. General procedures for this evaluation are set out below.
Unit-level Criteria and Processes
Academic units with faculty holding the position in the Professor of Instruction series or the Instructor series will maintain procedures for processing applications and criteria for promotion within that unit. Criteria for promotion, specifying documented and measurable performance outcomes, must be developed by the units and reviewed every five (5) years. The standards should, at a minimum, include (i) definitions of Excellence of performance, (ii) a list of all supplementary documentation required for submission, and (iii) criteria to be used in determining requests for early promotion. Academic unit criteria shall be approved by a majority of the full-time instructional faculty (at all ranks), tenured and tenure-earning faculty in the unit, the unit head (for departments and schools), the dean, and the provost or designee.
Each academic unit shall ensure that the criteria and procedures are shared annually with all Assistant or Associate Professors of Instruction and Assistant or Associate Instructors. The general process is as follows (and can be found along with the promotion application form).
Sequence of Review
Specific levels of review are determined by the College. The general sequence of review for relevant levels and unit heads is as follows: The department (or equivalent) promotion committee, followed by review by the head of that unit, the school committee (if any), then the college committee. If relevant to the instructional faculty member’s home campus (St. Petersburg or Sarasota-Manatee), the Regional Chancellor may provide a formal review prior to the review by the College Dean. Finally, the College Dean reviews all materials and provides a final decision.
Each Dean’s Office will publish a list of instructional faculty in the college who are eligible to apply for promotion within the typical timeframe. This list should be provided annually by mid-September to all Assistant and Associate Professors of Instruction as well as all Assistant and Associate Instructors.
Applications for promotion shall be initiated by candidates in consultation with their immediate unit head (e.g., department chair) during the fall preceding the promotion process that occurs during the following spring semester. The unit head will inform candidates of the materials they will be expected to provide in support of their applications and provide guidance regarding additional supplementary documents to be submitted with the application. The Department staff or in some cases the Dean’s office staff will be responsible for adding student assessment of instruction to the application. Instructional faculty are encouraged to submit documentation demonstrating other forms of teaching effectiveness including but not limited to peer review of teaching, midcourse student evaluations and subsequent adjustments, development or revision of curriculum and course structure, and innovative practices.
Academic Unit Review Committees
Academic unit review committees within the instructional faculty member’s academic unit review the application. The committees consist of at least three faculty from the instructional faculty member’s academic unit. Instructional faculty representation should be included on each committee. At least one member of each committee should be a faculty member at the same campus as the candidate (i.e., Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee).
Associate Professors of Instruction, Professors of Instruction, Associate and Senior Instructors, as well as Associate and Full Professors may review applications for promotion to Associate Professor of Instruction and Associate Instructor. Only Professors of Instruction, Senior Instructors, tenured Associate Professors, or Full Professors may review applications for promotion to Professor of Instruction or Senior Instructor.
The committees evaluate the application, vote, assign overall ratings for each relevant area of assigned duties, and provide a recommendation concerning promotion along with a narrative that justifies the assigned ratings. A written evaluation and the results of the vote will be recorded as a part of the packet and forwarded to the next reviewing entity. Where a split evaluation exists, a minority report may accompany the majority recommendation. The applicant shall have the right to review the file following the committee review and attach a brief response to any materials contained therein, including the evaluation section(s) prior to the next stage of review.
Regional Chancellor Review
Regional Chancellors may provide a formal review of their campus faculty members promotion materials prior to the review by the College Dean.
The College Dean reviews all materials and provides a final decision and supporting narrative. A narrative only needs to be provided in cases where promotion is not recommended. The narrative should specify the reasons for that decision and make suggestions for improvement that might result in a positive decision at a later date.
In the event that the applicant disagrees with the decision made by the College Dean, a grievance may be sought as detailed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but such grievances are restricted to violations of that Agreement.
At the college’s discretion, promotion reviews may be conducted as part of the regular
tenure and promotion cycle, or may be conducted at a separate time. However, final
decisions regarding promotion must be completed no later than April 15th of each academic
Instructional faculty should notify their chair of their desire to submit an application for promotion by September 30 and submit an application according to their unit’s timeline. All recommendations and reviews must be circulated to the College Dean for a response no later than April 1.
Decision and Notification
A list of instructional faculty promotion decisions are to be provided by each college to the Office of the Provost no later than April 15th each year. The Provost’s office will notify the instructional faculty of the decision and the associated salary increase before the end of the contract year. The Chair/Director, College Dean and Human Resources are included in this communication.