Faculty Personnel Policies
- General Principles
College accepts the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom
and Tenure as established by the Association of American Colleges
and the American Association of University Professors. This
statement includes the following provision:
- After the expiration
of a probationary period, teachers should have permanent or
continuous tenure, and their service should be terminated only
for adequate cause, except in the case of retirement for age,
or under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies.
- Adequate cause is defined by Hope College to be moral turpitude,
incompetence, or academic irresponsibility. Because of pending
changes in federal law regarding mandatory retirement, the
exception in the case of retirement for age may be discontinued
after December 1992.
precise terms and conditions of every appointment should be stated
in writing and be in the possession of the College and faculty member
before appointment is consummated.
probationary period, which will not exceed seven years, includes
all full-time service at Hope College at the rank of Instructor or
above. Leaves of absence, including any year in which a faculty
member is absent for a full semester or more, and service under part-time
employment, are not included in "years of service" in determining
eligibility for tenure, unless a specific agreement is made before
this part-time service or period of leave begins.
- In the case of a faculty member who has had prior teaching
or professional experience, an agreement regarding the length
of the probationary period will be incorporated into the initial
contract. As a general policy,
the College will grant credit for all full-time teaching service
up to three years, if such service is at a four-year institution
and at the rank of Assistant Professor or above, and follows completion
of the terminal degree. Credit for all other teaching
or professional experience will be negotiated.
During the probationary period a faculty member has the academic
freedom that all other members of the faculty have.
no condition will any person be considered to have attained tenure
automatically. The faculty committee designated for the consideration
of all matters relating to tenure and for recommendations to the
administration for the granting, withholding, or revoking of tenure,
shall be the Status Committee. Once a candidate has been
approved by the Board of Trustees for tenure upon recommendation
of the College President, s/he is notified of this action in writing.
- Tenure is granted only to persons holding the rank of Assistant
Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor, and expires when
the faculty member retires.
- A person
not granted tenure during the probationary period will be given
a terminal one-year appointment following that decision, in conformity with
the standards for nonreappointment. (See B5.b.)
- Overall Tenure Guidelines Set by
the Board of Trustees
- In order to maintain flexibility and the
opportunity of adding new faculty from time to time, the Board
of Trustees has established the guideline that normally no more
than two-thirds of the faculty should be tenured, although they
may from time to time permit exceeding that limit. The
Provost presents a report annually on the tenure status of the
faculty to assist the Board in its decisions on tenure recommendations
and to enable it to take any other actions that it may deem necessary
to maintain the viability and flexibility of the College's programs.
- Recommendations for the granting of tenure for individual faculty
members are normally presented to the Board of Trustees at its
January meeting. These recommendations for tenure normally are
accompanied by written statements from the Provost, the Divisional
Dean and the Departmental Chairperson.
- Evaluation Criteria
- The principal criteria to be applied in the evaluation of a candidate
for tenure are as follows:
competence, as witnessed by student evaluations (see B3.b2),
colleague evaluations, and letters of support from students,
colleagues, and other persons who are sufficiently knowledgeable
to make a professional judgment;
predicted ability of the candidate to remain successful as a teacher and scholar
or artist in the years ahead based on previous performance;
in serving students outside of the classroom;
leadership abilities in the department and on the campus;
to the overall goals and objectives of the College.
In addition, the evaluators must consider the impact of the tenure
decisions on the viability and flexibility of the department's
program in the years ahead.
- Evaluation Process
Evaluations of the performance of faculty members during the probationary
period are made annually in accordance with procedures described above
(see Section B3.b) and in light of the concrete goals established and
the general criteria for faculty members (see Section B2.b). A
thorough evaluation takes place at the conclusion of a three-year
appointment period so that probationary faculty are informed of prospects
for receiving tenure. At the conclusion of this evaluation, the
divisional dean provides the candidate with a written statement containing
an assessment of progress towards tenure and outlining minimal objectives
to be realized if the candidate is to be considered for tenure. A
statement of procedures for the handling of Three-year Evaluations of
non-tenured faculty is available from the Office of the Provost.
- During the first semester of the academic year, new faculty
will be briefed by the chairperson of the Status Committee on
the process outlined below. A guiding concept for the evaluation
process is the integrated record of performance, i.e. the sum
of the impact a faculty member has on, and beyond, the Hope community
with respect to teaching, advising, scholarship, and service.
- Departmental chairpersons and the divisional deans have primary
responsibility for helping faculty under regular appointment
meet the criteria for tenure. One of the first steps is to help
faculty members to establish concrete goals for professional
growth and development in the next year(s).
- Every effort will be made during the probationary period to
keep the faculty member informed of the prospects for appointment
The decision regarding tenure will involve the results of the evaluation
as well as an assessment of the overall staffing situation in the
department and the College. Should the decision be reached not to grant tenure,
the faculty member will then have a terminal one-year appointment.
- In the
sixth year, an in-depth evaluation is made so that decision
on tenure can be reached and acted upon at the January meeting of the
Board of Trustees. A statement of the procedures to be followed
is available from the Office of the Provost; it contains a listing
of all materials which must be supplied to the Status Committee in
support of the recommendation of the departmental chairperson and
decision regarding non-reappointment can be made at any time during
the probationary period, subject to fulfilling the requirements for
advance notice of nonreappointment (see B5).
- Evaluation of Tenured Faculty
- Tenured faculty are expected to demonstrate continuing development
in teaching effectiveness and in scholarly contributions. The sabbatical leave
program and the summer grant program are instruments toward this end. The
same rigor that is used in evaluating nontenured faculty members
is applied to tenured faculty members as they are being considered
for merit raises and promotions.