Guideline UL-ACG16 Promotion of Full Time, Non-Tenure Track Faculty (Formerly UL-HRG16)

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Eligibility
  • Criteria for Promotion
  • Supporting Documents
  • Promotion Award
  • Statement of Scholarship Expectations for Librarians not in the Tenure System
    • Preamble
    • Scholarship Expectations
    • Demonstrating Currency in a Discipline
  • Cross References


The purpose of these guidelines is to provide a process for promotion to recognize the cumulative exceptional accomplishments and contributions of University Libraries’ faculty with full-time continuing appointments who are not on the tenure track.  This promotion is based on consistently demonstrated outstanding performance related to the individual’s assignment in librarianship and related activities and service.


Faculty covered by these guidelines are all full-time librarians not in the University’s tenure system who are subject to the review and evaluation procedures of the University Libraries.  Full-time non-tenure track faculty members may be considered for promotion to the rank of associate librarian after five years at assistant rank. There is no fixed time period for promotion to full rank. To be considered eligible for promotion in rank, a faculty member must meet the following criteria.


For promotion from assistant librarian to associate librarian, the performance of the candidate must consistently demonstrate, as appropriate within his/her professional assignment:

  1. Excellence in the Scholarship of Librarianship, including:
    1. the ability to select, acquire, analyze, transmit, and preserve documents and collections of recorded knowledge for students, faculty, and staff of the University, as well as for scholars outside the University;
    2. the ability to organize information optimally for subsequent retrieval;
    3. the ability to teach students and staff of the University, professionals in the field, and members of the general public to identify their information needs, develop and implement search strategies, recognize and access appropriate information sources to meet those needs, and critically use those sources;
    4. the ability to develop and apply technologies that further the University Libraries’ mission, including the use of distance technologies to make appropriate resources available to broader communities of scholars, students, professionals, and the general public; and
    5. the ability to apply professional knowledge and judgment in the administration of library collections, services, and departments to further the teaching, research, and service missions of the University.
  2. Strength in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (when assigned), demonstrated by classroom instruction of credit-bearing courses as measured by peer review; student evaluations; statements from administrators.  A variety of evaluative methods strengthens the assessment and is encouraged.
  3. Strength in the Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments demonstrated by continuous efforts to remain current in librarianship through a variety of scholarly activities that can be documented as described below under Supporting Documents.
  4. Strength in Service to the University, campus community, and society.  This can be demonstrated through a variety of activities.  Examples include, but are not limited to, service on campus and college committees, professional service to the local community, organizing workshops or programs for the campus community, or administrative support work on the campus.

For promotion from associate librarian to librarian, the performance of the candidate must demonstrate sustained excellence in the Scholarship of Librarianship and sustained strength in Teaching and Learning (when assigned); Research and Creative Accomplishments; and Service to the University, campus community, and society as appropriate within his/her professional assignment.


The supporting documentation for the promotion review will be the Faculty Activity Reports (FARs) for the academic years prior to the review as well as a representative number of peer evaluations of course-related instruction (when appropriate to the assignment) and accompanying annual letters of evaluation.  If credit instruction is a regular part of the faculty member’s assignment then SRTEs and other evaluative documents should also be included.

Faculty members recommended for promotion should write a narrative statement of no more than three pages identifying the accomplishments and contributions of her/his Penn State career that support a promotion, and provide a curriculum vitae.

Recommendation letters, the curriculum vitae, and the narrative statement of the faculty member are to be submitted to the Office of the Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications.


A salary increase in addition to an annual merit increase will accompany the promotion.  The same dollar increase in salary will be given to each faculty member approved for promotion.  The amount of the increase will be determined annually.  A merit-based salary increase is a prerequisite for a promotion-based salary increase during the year in which the promotion is received.

A full-time, non-tenure track faculty member with the title of Assistant Librarian who is promoted according to this procedure will receive the rank of Associate Librarian.  Faculty members with the title of Associate Librarian will receive the rank of Librarian.



The University Libraries are committed to excellence in the scholarship of librarianship and promote the development of intellectual and personal excellence in a supportive, stimulating, and inclusive learning community.

Scholarship Expectations:

Excellence depends heavily on maintaining currency in librarianship.  All faculty members in the University Libraries are expected to maintain current knowledge of their field and to demonstrate scholarly engagement in librarianship.  The Libraries encourage and support the continuous professional development of faculty members who are not in the tenure system.  Faculty members are rewarded for excellence based on their Faculty Activity Reports and annual performance reviews.

Demonstrating Currency in a Discipline:

There are many ways to demonstrate professional development and continuous efforts to remain current in librarianship.  The following is an illustrative, but not exhaustive, list of examples of activities that may be documented in an annual Faculty Activity Report (FAR).  Any one of the items listed under demonstrating currency in a discipline should not be favored over the others.

  • Participation in workshops to develop skills related to the faculty member’s position and area of librarianship
  • Participation in a panel discussion or presenting a paper
  • Attendance at conferences or workshops to learn about pedagogical developments in librarianship
  • Attendance at conferences to learn about current research developments in librarianship
  • Completion of continuing education courses or programs appropriate to librarianship
  • Pursuit of advanced degrees
  • Experimentation with and documentation of new teaching approaches
  • Conducting disciplinary or pedagogical research appropriate to librarianship
  • Grants received to support pedagogical work or scholarship
  • Research reports written for governmental agencies
  • Professional honors or awards or other evidence of significant professional accomplishment appropriate to librarianship
  • Acting as a consultant to non-Penn State libraries or museums
  • Service on review panels or accreditation boards
  • Service as a journal reviewer
  • Publications
  • Service to professional organizations
  • Outreach activities utilizing the candidate’s expertise in librarianship, including those that result in publication, curriculum development, creation of educational materials, or an equivalent product
  • Creating artistic products and forms appropriate to librarianship
  • Developing and publishing significant course-related materials in alternate media (DVD, CD, Internet)
  • Participation in Libraries’ initiatives to implement new technologies, services, etc.


Guideline UL-ACG13 Faculty Peer Review Committees

Guideline UL-ACG14 General Promotion and Tenure Working Guidelines

Effective Date: July 1, 2007
Date Approved: July 23, 2007 (Dean)
Date Approved: March 21, 2007 (Library Faculty Organization)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • February 2018 - Categorization changed from UL-HRG to UL-ACG in line with university-wide policies
  • April 26, 2017 - Revised to reflect legislation passed by the Library Faculty Organization 
  • July 1, 2007 – New guideline

Last Review Date: April 2017