Evaluation, Renewal, and Advancement of Term Faculty Appointments

Updated March 2024

Term Faculty Evaluation and Renewal 

Term faculty are eligible for evaluation, renewal, and advancement in alignment with their appointments. Term faculty include the following tracks: teaching, practice, clinical, research, adjunct, and affiliate. Professional and Scientific staff with faculty rank-only appointments may be eligible for advancement relative to their faculty title. 

Annual performance review 

Term faculty (full-time and part-time) shall receive an annual performance review by the chair (or designee). The review shall follow Faculty Handbook and department guidelines. The annual review is conducted by the department chair (or designee). 

Review for renewal

Term faculty appointments are eligible for renewal based upon the quality of performance and the continuing need of the unit. Term faculty members, full-time and part-time, shall be reviewed by an appropriate faculty committee before the end of third year after the initial appointment date. Peer reviews shall take place every three years (not counting annual reviews) OR at appointment renewal time, whichever is greater. Renewal reviews must include peer review.

Review for advancement

All term faculty may be proposed for advancement to the next rank according to the schedule and current time at rank as specified in Faculty Handbook, Colleges and departments specify procedures in their governance documents for advancing term faculty. Term faculty appointments at the assistant rank are eligible for promotion to the associate level after 5 years of employment as a faculty member at ISU (full or part time) or equivalent experience. They must meet the standards for appointment identified in Faculty Handbook, Advancement reviews include both peer and administrative evaluation. For term research faculty, external letters must also be included in the review for advancement. 

Term Faculty Advancement Process and Deadlines

Recommendation materials for the advancement of term faculty are due from the colleges to the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost on March 1. Candidates are encouraged to check with their departments to be aware of earlier department and college-level submission deadlines.  

Advancement portfolio materials

Advancement materials submitted by candidates to their departments for review may vary by college and discipline. However, it is expected that candidates provide an advancement portfolio that aligns with their Position Responsibility Statement (PRS) and that demonstrates the quality and effectiveness of their work (e.g., student ratings of teaching, peer evaluation of teaching, sample course syllabi, advising accomplishments, list of publications or grants, clinical caseload, etc.). To strengthen the advancement materials, candidates are advised to have their materials reviewed at the department level, such as by senior faculty mentors. These individuals may share constructive feedback with the candidate. The candidate is advised to prepare their documents in accordance with the college’s guidelines and/or advancement template. Each candidate’s advancement portfolio will contain the following materials:

  • Cover sheet (PDF, 156KB) The standard university cover sheet is to be completed by the department for each case and forwarded with the candidate’s materials.
  • All Position Responsibility Statements (PRS) utilized during the review period. For affiliate faculty only: provide instead any affiliation agreements utilized during the review period.
  • Updated curriculum vitae
  • A narrative summary of candidate accomplishments. Each college has established a template and guidelines for the candidate’s summary of accomplishments. This narrative summary will list and provide detail and context regarding the candidate’s accomplishments during the review period. The candidate summary will be limited to 10 pages.
  • Voting record (PDF | DOC)

See the following college-level templates and guidelines: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Ivy College of Business (DOC, 43KB), Design (PDF), Engineering (DOC, 97KB), Human Sciences (DOC, 401KB), Liberal Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine (PDF, 454KB)

Exemplary Term Faculty Portfolios

The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost makes a selection of exemplary Term Faculty portfolios available for faculty review throughout the year. These portfolios are available via CyBox. If you are interested in reviewing these portfolios, please read the guidelines (PDF, 218KB) and contact Mel Lee at mklee@iastate.edu or call 515-294-9591.


The advancement review process starts at the department level and is described in the department governance document. Information about advancement eligibility, criteria, process, and deadlines is available in the department. 

Once candidate advancement materials are submitted, a peer review by department faculty will take place and a vote recorded. In some departments, there is a review committee that votes, in other departments all eligible faculty vote. These details are clarified in the department governance document. The department chair also reviews and votes on advancement before forwarding to the college dean for review and recommendation. The dean then forwards the portfolio and all votes to the Senior Vice President and Provost for a final decision. The Senior Vice President and Provost will notify candidates of the final decision on advancement by May 1

Best practices and resources

Effective dates of advancement

Term faculty approved for advancement will begin in new faculty titles at the beginning of the next academic year (July 1 for 12-month appointments and August 16 for 9-month appointments). A standardized advancement increment will be added to the faculty member’s base salary according to institutional guidelines. The salary increment is in addition to, not a substitute for, any annual merit increase. 

Policy issues related to term faculty appointments and evaluation 

Please consult the Faculty Handbook Chapters 3 and 5 on term faculty appointment, evaluation, and advancement.