University Promotion, Tenure/Reappointment & Merit Committee

PTRM Flexibility for AY 2020-2021

Optional COVID Impact Statement

This document may be included in the front of your PTRM portfolio or Annual Report Binder, to remind
reviewers of the impacts of the COVID pandemic upon faculty work and lives during
AY 2020-2021.


Peer Evaluations for Fall 2020

For Fall semester 2020 peer evaluations are only required for first year full-time
faculty, tenure-track faculty, and those faculty to be reviewed for promotion or undergoing
a comprehensive five-year review during 2021-2022 (who will be submitting materials by Monday, June 21, 2021). Focus of evaluations, as always, should be on suggestions to enhance teaching.  Any
faculty may request a peer review this semester.

Tenure Review Extension

Any tenure-track faculty employed at TU during the 2019-2020 academic year will automatically
be granted a one-year tenure review extension upon written notification to the Department
Chair and submitted to the Office of the Provost by the third Friday in April of the
faculty member’s 5th year at TU. For example, for a faculty member whose appointment at TU began in AY2019-2020
the option to request a one-year tenure review extension would remain availabe up
to AY2023-24.

Annual Reports & PTRM Due Dates during AY 2020-2021 

    • The regular PTRM schedule applies for 2021.  Faculty PTRM materials must be submitted
      by June 21st 2021.  The delayed due date in Summer 2020 was a temporary deviation
      from the normal PTRM schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have now returned
      to the regular PTRM schedule.
    • Electronic submission of materials remains permissible and preferred. Mode of submission
      may be determined by colleges and/or departments. TU has not adopted a common university
      PTRM submission platform at this point, though that work is in process.
    • College PTRM materials are due to their deans on the first Friday in January (January
      7, 2022). 
    • A reminder: In Summer 2020, faculty were given the option to report on work completed
      over Summer 2020 on their Annual Report Part 1 for AY 2019-2020, or on their Annual
      Report Part 1 for AY 2020-2021, or on their Annual Report Part I for both Academic
READ:  Officers | Towson University

First Year Tenure Track Faculty

The UPTRM unanimously passed a motion, reviewed by the Academic Senate at its 10/17/19
meeting, supporting the Provost’s recommendation to modify the procedure for first
year faculty review by eliminating the reappointment binder due in December. According
to this recommendation:  In lieu of a December binder submission and committee review,
the department chair will review all relevant documentation for first-year faculty,
including CV, teaching, and peer evaluations; meet with the candidate to discuss the
review; and make a recommendation for reappointment or non-reappointment to the Department
PTRM Committee. Should the Chair’s recommendation be for non-reappointment, the Department
PTRM committee will convene to review the relevant documentation and vote in accordance
with standard PTRM procedure and report the outcome no later than March 15.  Chair
and Department PTRM recommendations will advance to the College Dean.  While this
new policy is not included in the current ART document, this revised review process
is a permanent change and will be the standard procedure moving forward, recorded
in the ART document that is currently being revised.

Optional Merit Review Procedure 

  • Merit Procedure. The UPTRM Committee endorsed the Provost’s proposed alternative procedure
    as an option for departments during AY 2020-2021 ( for review of AY 2019-2020 performance)
    due to Covid-19. This was a temporary endorsement. Any permanent change to the Merit procedure will be reviewed by the
    Academic Senate and the UPTRM committee before implementation.
  • Merit Letter Template*. The UPTRM recommended the use of a Letter Template to streamline
    & simplify individual faculty review results as an option for the AY 2020-2021 (for
    performance in AY2019-2020). Departments adopting this option must secure a majority
    vote of all faculty in accordance with their PTRM document procedures.  
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This is not a mandate. Departments are at liberty to construct merit letters that
meet their needs and demands.

It should be noted that the templates are recommended to reduce the time, effort devoted
to the production of letters and to reduce the length of letters produced. The UPTRM
Committee strongly encourages a minimalist approach to this aspect of the review process.

A sample template letter is available in the UPTRM Resources section at the bottom
of this page.

Voting Procedures for the Fall 2020 PTRM Deliberations

The Office of the Provost strongly recommends the use of TU’s Involved @ TU web-based program for all remote PTRM voting.  Departments may use other means of voting and voting records so long
as the ballot information and the balloting process follows that articulated in the Towson University Policy on Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty.  All ballots must collect the Faculty ID number.  Any voting mechanism must be secure
and allow for records retention in accordance with USM records retention policies.
(Records Management) 
While it is NOT necessary to use the TU Ballot Summary, a paper copy of the electronic
voting record, which includes a record of faculty ID numbers associated with each
ballot, must be printed and kept on file per the ART policy. 

The Department Summary Recommendation (DSR) forms must be completed with faculty signature acknowledging receipt of the department’s decision
and be retained within the Department and College Dean’s office.  If a department
chooses it can forego the use of the DSR and use an email acknowledgment system, if
the email acknowledgment is printed and retained. For Docusign Account Forms, see this link.  

Suspension of 3-Year Cyclical Review for AY 2020-2021

Due to Covid-19, the UPTRM Committee suspended its 3-year cyclical review for AY 2020-2021.
The academic units affected were the Colleges of Fine Arts and Communication and Health
Professions. Review of these academic units will resume in the subsequent AY 2021-22. 

For cyclical review schedule, see below.


Change of Date for Recommendation Submissions to Chairs and Deans 

The date for college PTRM committees to submit materials to the Dean is  the first
Friday in January, according to the current ART document calendar.


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