Librarians at the University of Mississippi are tenure track. Librarians apply for tenure the September after their fifth academic year (beginning of sixth academic year).

All librarians compile an annual Faculty Activity Report that is reviewed by tenured librarians in addition to supervisors and the Dean of Libraries. In addition to the Faculty Activity Report, JD Williams Library at UM has a formal third year review process for tenure-track librarians. Librarians compile a third year dossier that is then reviewed by the Library Retention, Promotion, and Tenure Committee. After review, librarians are given a summary of the committee's report as well as suggestions for what areas need improvement.

University of Mississippi Libraries
Tenure and Promotion Guidelines and Procedures
I. Introduction
II. Appointment
III. Annual Review of Nontenured Librarians
IV. Criteria for Tenure and Promotion
  • A. Evaluation of Librarianship (Teaching)
  • B. Evaluation of Research and Creative Achievement
  • C. Evaluation of Service
V. Tenure and Promotion Procedures
VI. Appeals
VII. Amendments
VIII. References

I. INTRODUCTION
The University of Mississippi is a comprehensive research institution offering a broad spectrum of academic programs. The library faculty provide academic support for the teaching, learning, and research missions of the University. Librarians are partners with the teaching and research faculty and with the administration in maintaining and enhancing the quality of instruction, research, and service. Librarians provide access to scholarly resources through the acquisition, organization, management and preservation of the collections and through supportive reference and instruction services. We address many challenges including integrating information resources into the intellectual life of the University, developing instruction programs that foster students' critical thinking about information sources, implementing new information access technologies, operating multiple information systems simultaneously, and maintaining a leadership role among libraries in the state and region.

The Libraries' Tenure and Promotion Guidelines are based upon similar guidelines in force at other universities and upon professional policy standards at the national level. They reflect the concepts articulated in the Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians 1, which was drafted by a committee of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association of American Colleges (AAC), and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). (approved 1972-73; reaffirmed 2001) This document also relies heavily on ACRL's Model Statement of Criteria and Procedures for Appointment, Promotion in Academic Rank and Tenure for College and University Librarians 2 and its Standards for Faculty Status for College and Universities Librarians. 3

This document supersedes all previous tenure and promotion guidelines and supplements the policies outlined in the current University of Mississippi Faculty/Staff Handbook: Section IV: Tenure and Promotions. 4

II. APPOINTMENT
In accordance with the policy of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), the minimum requirement for appointment to the library faculty is the master's degree in library science or information science from an ALA-accredited program. The master’s degree in library or information science is defined by ACRL as the "appropriate terminal professional degree for academic librarians." (Approved by the ACRL Board of Directors on January 23, 1975. Reaffirmed June 2001.)

Variations in the discipline of the terminal degree are rare, but may be made by the Dean of Libraries to allow the hiring of a candidate with a graduate degree in a field other than library science. The Dean will give written notification to the tenured Library Faculty of the stipulations pertaining to the appointment.

The minimum requirements for initial appointment at each rank are outlined below:

Assistant Professor
  • Earned master's degree from an ALA-accredited program in library science/information science.
  • Evidence of potential ability in librarianship, scholarship/creative activities, and service.
  • Evidence of collegiality and professional integrity.

Associate Professor
  • Earned master's degree from an ALA-accredited program in library science/information science.
  • Minimum of five years' appropriate professional experience in librarianship.
  • Documented evidence of substantive accomplishments in librarianship, scholarship/creative activity, and service, leading to national recognition.
  • Evidence of collegiality and professional integrity.

Professor
  • Earned master's degree from an ALA-accredited program in library science/information science.
  • Minimum of ten years' appropriate professional experience in librarianship.
  • Documented evidence of substantive accomplishments in librarianship, scholarship/creative activity, and service.
  • Documented evidence of sustained high quality professional productivity and national recognition in librarianship.
  • Evidence of collegiality and professional integrity.

III. ANNUAL REVIEW OF NONTENURED LIBRARIANS
(described above)

IV. CRITERIA FOR TENURE AND PROMOTION
The University’s Tenure Policies and Procedures, Part II. Criteria for Evaluating Faculty Performance 4 outlines the tenure and promotion process at the institutional level. The University guidelines state:

Eligibility for tenure consideration is reserved for full time faculty who … hold a regular academic appointment at the rank of assistant professor or above who merit the status of permanent members of a university faculty through their record of teaching, research, and/or creative achievement, and service at the University.

Each tenure-track faculty member must be given written guidelines of the level of performance expected in teaching, research, and service. This document outlines the University Libraries' Tenure and Promotion Guidelines.

Part II of the University’s Tenure Policies and Procedures 4 further states:

Each department shall develop guidelines within this general framework, which reflect their role in the University’s mission….

Under no circumstances … should a person be awarded tenure without evidence of scholarly research or creative achievement.

Teaching is central to the University’s mission. …

Service refers to the application of professional expertise which contributes to the solution of problems faced by modern society and enriches the life of the larger community served by the University. Service is related to the faculty member's academic discipline …

For librarians at the University of Mississippi, the teaching aspect is equivalent to librarianship. Librarianship is considered central to the University Libraries’ mission and is evaluated as the most important component of a candidate’s performance. Librarians must also show evidence of contributions in the areas of Service and Research/Creative Achievement.

Note that Part II of the University’s Promotion Policies and Procedures 4 states:

Although there are special cases in which it will be acceptable to award tenure without concurrent or subsequent promotion to the rank of associate professor or higher, these cases should be limited to special circumstances.

The following criteria incorporate the University’s guidelines, the significance of librarianship, and professional standards for job performance, research, and service.

For tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:
The candidate must have a record of consistent effectiveness in librarianship; increasing proficiency, responsibility, and leadership over the probationary period must be demonstrated. The candidate must show a record of research / creative achievement that is in keeping with professional standards in librarianship. Evidence of service to the department, university, and to the profession must be presented. Growth and leadership in service activities must be apparent.

For promotion to Professor:
The candidate must have a record of consistent effectiveness and leadership in librarianship. Proficiency, responsibility, and leadership over the evaluated period must be very high. The candidate must show a record of research / creative achievement that is in keeping with professional standards in librarianship. Evidence of leadership in service to the department, university, or to the profession must be presented.

A. Evaluation of Librarianship (Teaching)

Librarianship is defined as competence, creativity, and initiative in the performance of assigned professional duties. It is equivalent to Teaching Effectiveness as applied to the teaching faculty. A candidate’s effectiveness in Librarianship is the most important consideration in tenure and promotion decisions.

Methods for evaluation include peer review and performance evaluation by appropriate administrators, and annual reviews based on faculty activity reports and supervisor’s reports. The candidate should provide statistics, comments, or any other supporting materials wherever possible. Recommendations and evaluations may also be used from other faculty within the academic community with whom the individual has worked closely. These evaluations are distinct from external evaluations as discussed in section V.

Concepts used for evaluation of Librarianship

Evaluation of librarianship will focus on the candidate’s demonstrated level of contributions. Contributions that required a lot of effort and that produced significant results will be rated highly. The candidate’s dossier should reflect continued growth in professional development and leadership over time. The candidate should be seen as continually striving to improve and to seek greater levels of responsibility.

Candidates must be evaluated as effective or having a leadership role to be tenured and promoted. Candidates who are consistently evaluated as performing at minimal levels will not be tenured or promoted regardless of performance in Research / Creative Achievement and Service.

The concepts and examples listed are general guidelines, not a checklist.

Examples of leadership roles in Librarianship:
  • creative problem solving that improves or enhances departmental performance;
  • demonstrating initiative in the development of new projects and/or innovative programs;
  • taking a leadership role in the provision or development of services;
  • cooperating with other libraries and institutions to facilitate research and to develop regional and national library services;
  • developing effective administrative skills necessary to provide leadership.

Examples of effectiveness in Librarianship:
  • demonstrating subject knowledge and the professional expertise used to build, organize, and preserve collections;
  • demonstrating subject knowledge and the professional expertise necessary to meet user needs and stimulate wider use of resources;
  • implementing, developing, and maintaining automated systems designed to enhance access to library resources or to improve overall or departmental performance;
  • translating knowledge of the curriculum and University policies into effective Library services and collections;
  • assessing and monitoring changing research patterns and trends in order to anticipate user needs;
  • developing expert skills in teaching and training techniques used in individual instruction sessions and in University credit courses;
  • encouraging others to reach their highest potential by fostering an atmosphere of open communication and receptiveness to suggestions and criticism;
  • establishing a record of sustained professional development through continuing education activities, reading and discussing professional literature, and monitoring and contributing to relevant electronic discussion lists;
  • demonstrating expertise in analyzing, developing, and maintaining bibliographic controls or digital collection controls and their associated standards;
  • having command of the knowledge essential for present position and awareness of current practices, developments, research and technology in assigned area(s) of responsibility.

Examples of minimal level of Librarianship:
  • displaying lack of effort in performance of assigned duties;
  • attending but not participating in library faculty meetings;
  • displaying lack of effort in improving job performance;
  • displaying lack of effort in taking on leadership roles within the library.

B. Evaluation of Research and Creative Achievement
The definition of research and creative achievement can be found in Part II-A of the University’s Tenure Policies and Procedures 4. A portion of that definition states:

In order to maintain the highest professional standards, it is imperative that accomplishments in research and creative achievement be judged against the prevailing professional standards of the faculty member's academic discipline. Achievements in this area should make contributions to the expansion of knowledge and indicate the continuing professional vitality of the candidate.

Faculty members of the University Libraries are expected to constructively contribute to the field of librarianship or to their areas of specialization through Research/Creative Achievement. Evidence includes the production of scholarly and professional articles, books, presentations or papers; electronic and/or multimedia resources; innovations that constitute significant advancement of professional practice that are disseminated and have significant value beyond the campus; and grants for research activities. These activities properly encompass a variety of venues and publication types. In keeping with prevailing professional standards in librarianship, these activities should focus primarily on refereed or reviewed work. Publications in areas outside of librarianship will count towards tenure and promotion if they are scholarly or peer-reviewed.

The University Libraries' tenured Librarians rate the candidate’s activities in Research /Creative Achievement on the basis of quality, extent, significance, usefulness, and creativity of the work. It should be emphasized that quality is more important than quantity.

Methods of evaluation include annual reviews, peer review, statements from administrators and colleagues, and other relevant information as required. Substantiating evidence should be submitted by qualified observers within and outside the University; for example, reviews of the candidate’s research and publication activities.

Concepts used for evaluation of Research / Creative Achievement.
Evaluation of Research / Creative Achievement will focus on the candidate’s demonstrated level of contributions. Scholarly contributions that required a substantive effort will be rated highly. The concepts and examples listed are general guidelines, not a checklist.

Examples of high levels of performance relevant to prevailing professional standards:
  • a book or chapters in a book;
  • articles in refereed publications;
  • web exhibits or catalogs that are substantive, posses a high quality of bibliographic description, and contribute to scholarship in a particular area;
  • new and creative contributions to librarianship that are disseminated and have significance beyond the campus;
  • awards of grants and contracts from external funding agencies.

Examples of intermediate levels of performance relevant to prevailing professional standards:
  • poster sessions or presentations at professional meetings;
  • submission of grant proposals to external funding agencies;
  • submission of institutional proposals for equipment (e.g. Associates Grants).

Examples of minimal levels of performance relevant to prevailing professional standards:
  • articles in professional publications that are not refereed;
  • multiple reviews of books, databases, software, etc. in professional publications.

C. Evaluation of Service
The definition of Service can be found in Part II-C of the University’s Tenure Policies and Procedures 4. A portion of that definition states

Service is related to the faculty member's academic discipline and includes such varied activities as consultantships, editorial work for professional journals, service to professional organizations, and other forms of funded and unfunded public service. Faculty contributions to University, school, or departmental governance shall also be considered in evaluating service.

Faculty members of the University Libraries are expected to actively serve the Library, the University, and the profession.

The University Libraries' tenured Librarians rate the candidate’s activities in Service on the basis of quality, extent, and significance. Service activities can carry more or less weight depending on the impact and effort applied.

Methods of evaluation include annual reviews, peer review, statements from administrators and colleagues, and other relevant information as required. Substantiating evidence should be submitted by qualified observers within and outside the University; for example, reviews of the candidate’s Service activities.

Concepts used for evaluation of Service.
Evaluation of Service will focus on the candidate’s demonstrated level of contributions. Contributions that required a large effort and that produced significant results will be rated more highly. The candidate’s dossier should reflect continued growth and leadership in Service over time. The concepts and examples listed are general guidelines, not a checklist.

Examples of leadership roles in Service:
  • providing editorial services to professional publications ;
  • chairing of University committees or serving on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee;
  • serving as an officer or chair in a professional organization;
  • receipt of awards or honors for professional activities;
  • consulting in a professional capacity;
  • planning workshops professional meetings, or conferences.

Examples of effectiveness in Service:
  • actively participating on University committees;
  • actively participating on Library committees;
  • actively participating on committees of professional organizations;
  • participation in University governance as a member of the Faculty Senate.

Examples of minimal levels of Service:
  • serving on Library committees;
  • attending meetings of professional organizations;
  • participating in community organizations or activities that are unrelated to professional duties..

V. TENURE AND PROMOTION PROCEDURES

The tenure and promotion procedures are outlined in the current University of Mississippi Faculty/Staff Handbook: Section IV: Tenure and Promotions.4

In the fall semester after the candidate has finished the 5th year of a probationary period, the Provost's office issues the candidate a University tenure and promotion packet. Each candidate is expected to follow the format of the packet and is responsible for preparation of the dossier. Relevant data for a tenure dossier includes information from the candidate's faculty activity reports, annual reviews, letters of recommendation from outside reviewers, and supporting material written or prepared by the candidate.

Evidence of the following must be included:
Librarianship
Service activities
Research / Creative Achievement activities

The candidate MUST also supply a list of three or more names of individuals from outside the University of Mississippi who are qualified to evaluate the candidate's Librarianship, Service, and Research / Creative Achievement. These individuals should be tenured and of a rank of Associate Professor or higher (or the equivalent for their institution). This list should not include the candidate's thesis or dissertation advisors. In addition, the candidate may supply a list of no more than 3 names of individuals from within the University who may be asked to evaluate the candidate.

The candidate's dossier is reviewed by a committee of all tenured library faculty members. After discussion of the candidate's record, the committee votes on whether to offer tenure to the candidate. The vote is recorded by the Dean of Libraries and becomes a part of the dossier. The Dean then makes a separate recommendation with comments. Tenured library faculty members of associate professor rank or higher vote on whether to offer a promotion to the assistant professor level candidate. The procedure is the same as for tenure in all other respects.

VI. APPEALS
The Appeal process for tenure and promotion decisions is outlined in
Part V of the University’s Tenure Policies and Procedures 4.

VII. AMENDMENTS
Any tenure-track librarian may propose amendments to this document by submitting them in writing to the Dean of Libraries The amendment must be approved by a 2/3 majority of all tenured librarians and voting is by secret ballot. All such amendments are subject to the approval of the Dean of Libraries, the Provost, and the Chancellor of the University.

VIII. REFERENCES

1. "Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians." American Library Association. 2003.
18 Feb, 2004 <http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/jointstatementfaculty.htm>

2. "Model Statement of Criteria and Procedures for Appointment, Promotion Academic Rank, and Tenure for College and University Librarians." American Library Association. 2003.
18 Feb, 2004 <http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/modelstatementcriteria.htm>

3. "Standards for Faculty Status for College and University Librarians." American Library Association. 2003.
18 Feb, 2004 <http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/standardsfaculty.htm>

4. “Faculty/Staff Handbook: Section IV: Tenure and Promotions.”
University of Mississippi.
18 Feb, 2004 <http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/HR/handbook/HB_sec4.html