The University of Illinois Library faculty curate and provide access to information and scholarly resources in the advancement of the University's goals for teaching, research, and service. Librarians create and apply professional knowledge, as well as lead innovative and collaborative programs, services, and teaching. Library faculty further the Library mission to provide world-class library services and collections, acting as informed stewards of collections and content comprising a current and retrospective record of human knowledge.
The faculty of the UIUC Library is governed by University statements on promotion found in Article IX of the Statutes, in Communication Number 9 from the Office of the Provost, and in Communication Number 13 from the Office of the Provost regarding "Review of Faculty in Year Three of the Probationary Period."
Tenure is granted when retention of the faculty member is expected to advance the quality of the
University Library, as evidenced by the candidate's performance in the areas of 1) librarianship
and 2) research, creative, and scholarly activity, with consideration also given to 3) valuable
professional service. It is the policy of the UIUC Library that the level or scope of
administrative responsibility shall not in and of itself be a criterion for advancement in rank;
however, administrative responsibilities can demonstrate and contribute to excellence in
librarianship. Excellence in librarianship is one of the key factors in obtaining tenure.
The University Library employs a two-level review process for tenure and promotion cases. The Faculty Review Committee, composed of one tenured faculty member of the rank of associate professor or professor elected from each of the Library's nine divisions, serves as the first level of review. The Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee, composed of seven elected associate professors or professors who may not simultaneously serve on the Faculty Review Committee, serves as a second level of review. Each review committee submits official votes and recommendations to the Dean of Libraries. In order for a case to advance to the campus level, it must be independently endorsed by the Dean of Libraries.
For promotion to Associate Professor
Candidates for promotion to Associate Professor shall show tangible evidence of achievement and a high likelihood of sustaining contributions to the field and to the department in the future, including:
For promotion to Professor
Candidates for promotion to Professor shall demonstrate promise fulfilled, including:
Areas of review for promotion to all ranks are expressed in a general fashion in the Statutes. Section 3e of Article IX states:
In determining appointments to, and salaries and promotion of the academic staff, special consideration shall be given to the following: (1) teaching ability and performance; (2) research ability and achievement; and (3) ability and performance on continuing education, public service, committee work, and special assignments designed to promote the quality and effectiveness of academic programs and services.
Within the UIUC Library, these areas are defined as librarianship; research, creative and
scholarly activities; and service. Elements of these areas for review are described below:
As members of the academic community, academic librarians do a number of key things: communicate knowledge, discover knowledge, preserve knowledge, and apply knowledge. Academic librarians also play a preeminent role in the provision of knowledge for students, scholars, and society at large. Reviewers who comment on the quality of the candidate’s librarianship are drawn from among a pool of people the candidate serves (whether internal to the campus or to the Library faculty). Reviews are included in the materials used by every level of review up to and including the Provost.
Library faculty responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
B. Research, Creative, and Scholarly Activities
A candidate's scholarly and creative work shall be evaluated in terms of its originality, depth, and significance in the field. The candidate shall demonstrate an intellectual and professional identity and a cohesive body of research. There must be evidence that the faculty member has been progressively and effectively engaged in scholarly activity of high quality and significance. The Faculty Review Committee and the Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee shall look for evidence that the scholarly accomplishments of the candidate make a significant contribution to the field of librarianship or other discipline.
The Committees shall consider the type, scope, and impact of the research or other creative work, and consider both the evidence offered by the candidate and that solicited from external referees at other research institutions. The dossiers of candidates must demonstrate a strong record of publication. The faculty member's degree of responsibility for jointly produced scholarship and creative works shall be considered in the evaluation.
Research may be theoretical or applied, and may be specific to the fields of library science and information studies or may pertain to a disciplinary area to which the faculty member brings particular expertise. Methodologies shall be appropriate to the type of research conducted. Both single- and multi-authored publications are a strong part of the tradition in librarianship. There is no standard pattern for the order of authors in multi-authored works.
Research publications will be considered as part of the tenure review when they meet the following criteria:
In general, works that undergo considerable scrutiny before publication (e.g., by referees,
editorial boards, anthology editors, etc.), will be deemed of highest value. Consideration will be
given to the significance and reputation within its field of a journal or publisher.
Specifically, publications and creative works, in print or digital form, are evaluated in the following manner:
C. Professional Service and Public Engagement
Participation in the work of professional organizations sustains and enhances a faculty member's capabilities. Professional activities are regularly carried out within organizations at the local, regional, national, and international levels. For these reasons a strong professional service profile is valued. Special recognition shall be given to committee work and offices held at the state, national, or international level. Participation in faculty governance at the college and campus levels also constitutes an important service component. Service may include such activities as holding offices or committee memberships in professional societies, delivering invited papers or public lectures, serving on editorial boards, refereeing manuscripts or grant applications, organizing conferences, preparing grant proposals for campus or public agencies, and serving as a consultant. Public engagement, as defined by Provost Communication 9: Promotion and Tenure, may also contribute to a strong service profile, depending on the candidate’s terms of appointment.
University Library Bylaws
Communication Number 9: Promotion and Tenure
Communication Number 13: Review of Faculty in Year Three of the Probationary Period
University Library Calendar for Promotion and Tenure
University Library Strategic Plan
This document supersedes the following previous statements:
"Statement of Criteria and Procedures for Faculty Appointment, Promotion and Tenure, and Termination," adopted April 3, 1981 by the Library Faculty; "Criteria and procedures for appointment, promotion, and tenure approved by the University of Illinois Library faculty February, 1975," and "Criteria for tenure below the rank of associate Professor" adopted April 30, 1976 and amended July 28, 1976; Statement on Promotion, Tenure, & Appointments to the Library Faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign" adopted June 17, 1994. This document was approved and adopted by the University of Illinois Library Faculty February, 2000, then updated by faculty vote December, 2014.