Request-Convert Faculty Contracts

Process for Requesting Multiple-Year Contract and Converting Term Contract to Tenure-Track Faculty Positions

I. Background Information

Effective July 1, 2004, new Tennessee Board of Regents policies on Faculty Appointments in Community Colleges (5:02:07:00), Academic Tenure for Community Colleges (5:02:03:70), and the Nashville State Community College Policy on Academic Tenure for Faculty went into effect.

One notable change in Policy 5:02:07:00 stipulates that:

    …A faculty member should not remain in a term appointment for more than six years. If it is determined that a position is warranted beyond the maximum six-year period, a new tenure-track position should be sought to replace it…. Exceptions to the six-year maximum may be granted annually if it is: 1) requested by the affected faculty member, 2) recommended by the appropriate supervisor and VPAA, and 3) approved by the college President…. The conversion of a term appointment to a tenure-track appointment is allowed, and each college should define the process in its institutional policy in keeping with TBR guideline P-010. The holder of the term appointment converted to a tenure-track appointment may be awarded up to three years credit for prior service in residence.

The campus process described in this document has been developed to comply with the directives and provisions of relevant TBR and campus policies. Moving from a term contract to a tenure-track contract does not guarantee that a faculty member will earn tenure. The faculty member will, during the sixth year of tenure-track credit, have to apply and complete the tenure process in accordance with TBR and campus policies. A faculty member who does not receive tenure as a result of that process may not request that the contract be changed back to a term contract.

Faculty members hired on term contracts prior to July 1, 2004 were hired under the previous policy and are not subject to policy 5:02:07:00. They do have the option of coming under this policy and should discuss that option with their Deans and the VPAA.

II. Conversion Process

Each year during the fall semester:

  1. Faculty who are at a minimum rank of Assistant Professor and who have never had a tenure-track contract at Nashville State in the past may request conversion to a tenure-track contract. They should submit the request to their Dean or Campus Director not later than November 15.
  2. If the faculty member does not request conversion to a tenure-track contract, that is tantamount to a request to continue on a term contract. The possibility of a multiple-year term contract can be discussed in the fall semester of the faculty member’s sixth year of service or in any subsequent fall semester. Multiple-year term contract requests must be approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the President.
  3. The Dean or Campus Director will make a recommendation to the Vice President of Academic Affairs about the conversion of the individual to a tenure-track contract, which would become effective the following year. The recommendation must be forwarded to the VPAA no later than December 1 of the year in which the faculty member requests conversion.
    For each faculty position, the supervisor will first examine relevant information to determine whether or not a recommendation for a tenured position is in the best interests of the institution and helps to maintain an adequate number of full-time faculty to ensure the integrity and quality of academic programs. The information provided and considered must include, but is not limited to:
    • Enrollment and graduates for at least five years, when appropriate.
    • NSCC faculty SCH production and faculty/student ratios for at least five years.
    • NSCC full-time/adjunct faculty percentages for at least five years.
    • NSCC percentage of TLCs in the department taught by tenured faculty for at least five years.
    • Current and anticipated curriculum needs.
    If it is determined that staffing needs suggest that adding a tenured position is in the best interests of the institution, the immediate supervisor will prepare a recommendation for a tenure-track contract for the faculty member requesting conversion. Information presented must include, but is not limited to:
    • Faculty member’s credentials and qualifications. Credentials must be exceptionally strong at the point of tenure application.
    • Expertise, certifications, degrees, experiences needed and anticipated.
    • Student and supervisor evaluations of the individual faculty member.
    If the immediate supervisor recommends conversion of the contract, a recommendation about granting 1 – 3 years credit toward tenure for prior service can be included. The recommendation must be justified through evidence of effective teaching and/or improved academic credentials, such as progress toward earning a higher degree if a higher degree is possible. Any credit for prior service can be awarded only at the time of the initial tenure-track contract.
    If the immediate supervisor recommends not converting the contract, then s/he will inform the faculty member of that decision in writing with an explanation of their decision. The faculty member can then request a renewal of the term contract.
  4. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will make recommendations to the President about the conversion of a term contract to a tenure-track contract not later than March 1.
  5. The President will make decisions regarding the recommendations and faculty members will be notified of the President’s decision by the last day of the spring term.
  6. Once a faculty member is converted from a term contract to a tenure-track contract, the immediate supervisor will work closely and communicate regularly with the faculty member to ensure s/he is fully prepared to apply for tenure at the end of the tenure-track contract period.

Approved June 2017