FACULTY HANDBOOK

Back to Index

2. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR FACULTY MEMBERS

2.1 Appointment and Promotion  ( FAQ, Official Rules - in Turkish, Check List For The Promotion Process)

The rules and procedures for academic promotion and appointment aim to make the best possible selections among the candidates for appointment to academic positions which carry responsibilities for teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels, research, and applied work.

2.1.1 General Rules

2.1.1.1 The Promotion and Appointment Group and the Promotion and Appointment Committee

The Promotion and Appointment Group is composed of the 8 professors, appointed 3-year terms, by a committee formed by the joint proposal of the Rector and the Provost, and the approval of the President of the Board of Trustees. A group member may be re-appointed after the completion of the three-year term. This committee is headed by the Provost, and the names of its members are kept confidential. Committee members from the same department as a candidate may not participate in the promotion procedures of that candidate.

The decisions of the Promotion and Appointment Committee are based on the majority of five randomly selected closed votes of its members. Members may not abstain in voting. The committee work and appointments to the committee are kept confidential. Every committee member presents his/her confidential rating of a successful candidate, in the categories "successful", "highly successful", or "internationally acclaimed".

The evaluations of the outside referees are to be kept confidential.

No one or no group of people may have access to these documents except the Dean, the members of the Promotion and Appointment Committee, the Rector, and the Head of the Board of Trustees; these documents may not be reproduced.

2.1.1.2 Minimum Standards for Promotion

Minimum standards for promotion are set by the President of the Board of Trustees at the level of the University, the Faculties, or in general areas of sciences and arts. Faculties and Departments may bring additional requirements with the approval of the President of the Board of Trustees.

It is required that the decisions of the Promotion and Appointment Committee conform to section 2.1.5 of these promotion rules for the promotion and appointments of associate and full professors.

 

2.1.1.3 Journal Publications

The evaluations of journal publications rely on the information provided by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI), which allows citational analysis to judge the impact of publications. The Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) fully covered journals that are listed in Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded, and Social Science Citation Index are considered leading international journals. It is highly recommended that faculty members choose the journals found in the ISI lists before submitting their manuscripts for publication. Leading journals are considered to be those which are highly ranked by the Institute of Scientific Information in terms of their impact factor and half-life. Note that having an impact factor and/or half-life rating does not guarantee the journal to be an ISI indexed journal. Refer to the journal list to see the impact factor and half life information of both ISI journals and some non-ISI journals.

 

2.1.1.4 Announcement of Openings

An academic appointment in Bilkent University is based on the existence of a need in a particular department. When such a need is confirmed by the Rector's office, the availability of a position is announced.

 

2.1.2 Classifications of Appointment

The academic appointment process is initiated by the department, which proposes the appointment by submiting the candidateís CV, and other relevant information to the faculty/school. If it approves, the faculty/school submits the appointment to the Office of the Rector for final approval.

Appointments are classified by the following academic ranks:

2.1.2.1 Visiting Appointments

Visiting positions are generally reserved for staff who are visiting the university from outside institutions for a limited time, e.g. Visiting Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, Visiting Assistant Professor and Visiting Instructor. In addition, in some cases, "visiting" refers to academic staff who have not gone through the Appointment and Promotion Committeeís procedures to become Associate or Full Professors.

 

2.1.3 Promotion and Appointment as an Assistant Professor

2.1.4 Promotion and Appointment as an Associate or Full Professor

2.1.4.1 Application

A candidate applying for appointment as an Associate or Full Professor presents a folder containing the items listed below, along with a petitioning letter, to the chairperson of the relevant department, or to the dean of the relevant faculty if the field of study is not encompassed by a department.

Standard information form: This form contains the curriculum vitae of the applicant, including information on courses taught, publications listed in a given classification, publications in preparation, citations to previous work, theses directed, projects conducted, awards, patents, knowledge of languages, grants received, other professional activities (membership in editorial boards and conference organization committees, referee work, consulting, etc.), academic and administrative activities (curriculum development, laboratory establishment, committee memberships, etc.); for artists, exhibitions, concerts, stage activities, reviews of such work, articles about these activities or the artist, ranking and awards in competitions. The Department Chairperson or the Dean may complete the forms of those applicants who are applying from outside the University.

Documents: copies of all publications other than own thesis (4 copies of articles, 1 copy of books) and audio visual recordings and similar material documenting academic and/or artistic activities.

Referee Information Form: Names, addresses, and research areas of three referees who can evaluate the academic work of the applicant, along with a list of work the applicant wants the referees to evaluate.

Copies of these forms can be obtained from the faculty memberís department or the Office of the Provost.

2.1.4.1.1 Procedure

At the Department Chairperson Level

The applicant presents the application folder, along with relevant material, to the Department Chairperson. The Chairperson sets up a Pre-evaluation Committee composed of at least three faculty members. These members must be at the academic rank that is being applied for or at a higher rank. This committee evaluates the applicant in terms of:

  • the applicants standing in relation to the minimum standards of the department
  • research and/or artistic work
  • teaching experience and performance
  • academic, administrative and professional services

and prepares a detailed report. The Chairperson forwards the application folder to Dean's office within a month, including the following material:

At the Dean's Level

The Dean will solicit the names of prominent referees abroad from the applicant (three) and the Chairperson (three), plus those of his/her own choice (three to five), and asks them to evaluate the candidateís work. The list of selected referees is complied in Ek2. The Dean will accomplish this by sending the candidateís detailed CV and examples of scholarship (five) and requests that the referee returns an evaluation in two months. The Dean will send a reminder letter to those referees who have not sent their evaluations at the end of two months and will extend the deadline one month. Even if the Dean has not received all reports from outside referees, at the end of three months, the Dean will send to the Provostís Office the reports of the Initial Evaluation Committee and the Chairperson, the Deanís own report, copies of letters sent to referees (different letters for candidates in the areas of Humanities, Law, Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Education, Engineering, Science, Economics, and Management) th i.e., Ek4a, Ek4b, Ek4c, Ek4d, Ek4e, and Ek4f), and the reports of outside referees. All of the reports are to be forwarded to the Provost Office as confidential communications. If outside referee reports arrive or if the candidate has new work accepted for publication after the Dean has sent the candidateís dossier to the Provostís Office, the Dean will forward this material to the Provostís Office, provided that the review process has not been completed.

At the Provost and Rector Level

The Promotion and Appointment Committee, headed by the Provost, evaluates the application folder that has been forwarded by the Dean, hears the opinions of the Dean, and presents the result of the voting to the Rector within one month.

In Cases of Conflict

If the Pre-evaluation Committee evaluates the candidate's work to be satisfactory in terms of the minimum standards of the department, but the Chairperson and the Dean disagree, the Dean forwards the application folder to the Provost within one month, without seeking referee evaluations. If the Promotion and Appointment Committee agrees with the negative opinions, the decision on the application is negative. If the Promotion and Appointment Committee does not share the negative opinion, the Provost requests evaluations from the referees suggested by the applicant, the Chairperson, and the Dean.

If the Chairperson is in the opinion that the applicant does not satisfy the minimum standards of the Department, he/she forwards the application folder to the Dean, including the personal report, without forming the Pre-evaluation Committee. If the Dean shares the same opinion, the Promotion and Appointment Committee and the Rector are informed of the case.

If the Dean does not share the negative opinion of the Chairperson in regard to the level of the applicant in relation to the minimum standards of the Department, he/she may return the application folder to the Department for one time only. In this case, a Pre-evaluation Committee formed by a member appointed by the Dean, and two members appointed by the Chairperson evaluates the applicant. The report of the committee is included in the application folder and forwarded to the Dean.

 

At the University (Administrative) Council Level

The University Council selects five professors, at least three of which from other Universities or Higher Institutes of Technology in Turkey, to evaluate the applicants who have received an affirmative decision for appointment as an associate or full professor as a result of the procedure described above. These professors write separate reports for each applicant, and if there is more than one applicant for the same position, they state their preferences. The Rector hears the opinion of the University Council, and presents the case to the Head of the Board of Trustees.

 

2.1.5 Promotions of Department Chairpersons and Deans

Deans carry out the procedures for promotions and appointments of Chairpersons, while the Provost carries out the procedures for promotions and appointments of the Deans.

 

2.2 Annual Review and Evaluation of Faculty Members

This section sets forth the aims, policies, criteria, and procedures for internal review and action in annual advancement and compensation of faculty members. This system of annual evaluations applies to promotion within a given academic rank; thus it is different from promotions from one academic rank to another, which are recommended by the University Appointment and Promotion Committee.

The annual reviews involve appraisals of the performance of academic staff. These regular reviews seek the maintenance of high quality faculty and aim to enhance excellence in research/creative work and in teaching, and consequent reputation of the university. Bilkent University seeks to apply the highest standards with respect to academic achievement in research/scholarship/creative work and teaching. All faculty members are expected to produce high quality work in both research (or creative work) and in teaching. In determining the annual salary adjustments of the academic staff, consideration is given to:

  • contributions in international research/scholarship/art
  • contributions in teaching,
  • contributions in service to the University,
  • contributions to University resources in the form ofgrants from external sources.

 

2.2.1 Evaluation of Scholarly Research or Creative Work

    Academic performance of Bilkent University faculty members is monitored by the Academic Evaluation Committee which is composed of the Provost, Associate Provosts and the relevant Dean/Director. This committee reviews the Annual Faculty Survey forms filled out every December by faculty members as well as the evaluations by the Department Chair and the Dean/Director. Evaluations consider performance over the preceding 5 years. Within these 5 years, more recent performance receives more emphasis. While the performance during the current year is the given the greatest importance, this procedure rewards consistency in performance and reduces the negative impact of a temporary, e.g., one-year, reduction in performance.

    The individual faculty member is responsible for preparing the materials requested for this review. This involves providing evidence of work by filling the annual survey forms and enclosing the necessary documents or portfolios of their creative works and reviews of their works. These documents will vary across written (e.g., copies of reported publications), exhibited (e.g., brochures, catalogues, videos, slides, visuals on the web, judged competition for art shows), or performed (e.g., CDs, recordings, copies of concert programs) works.

    Note: Since publications and art exhibitions/performances play a significant role in the salary, the annual faculty survey forms should be filled out carefully. Copies of reported publications (and any related documents) or documents pertaining to the reported art exhibitions/performances should be sent to the Office of the Provost. It is also highly encouraged that academic staff check the Office of the Provost web pages which lists the publications and art exhibitions of Bilkent faculty currently in the database. Any omissions or corrections to this list should be reported as soon as possible.

    A merit-based salary system is used to encourage faculty members to publish their output in leading international outlets or presenting their creative work in leading international spaces and fora. Publishing/exhibiting their work in leading international outlets will enhance the contribution of the faculty members to the international as well as the national scientific/scholarly/artistic community. Thus, when a faculty member is up for promotion to Associate or Full Professorship, the leading people in his/her field will by then be familiar with her/his work.

     

2.2.1.1 Research/Scholarship/Creative Work

Research/Scholarly Publications

International publications are taken into account. Exceptions, such as for the Department of Turkish Literature, are rare. An individual should strive to publish in top journals and with leading publishers for recognition as well as for dissemination. Evaluation of publications considers the following:

  • Evidence of recent work: Bilkent affiliated publications (in the preceding 5 years or accepted for publication, in leading international outlets)
  • books
  • articles in refereed journals
  • chapters in books
  • book reviews
  • Acknowledgment/use of the work by others: citations by others to any of the faculty member's publications in the preceding 5 years

The individual weight of the publications or citations is determined by such factors as:

  • Impact factor and half-life of the journal as determined by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI). For more information, refer to the Citation Indexes and Journal Listings web page.
  • Relative position of the journal in the journal rankings of that particular area(s).
  • The ISI/non-ISI status of the journal.
  • Area normalization factor: Since different disciplines have different publication rates, a normalization factor is used. The statistics published by National Academy of Sciences (of the USA) are used for this purpose.
  • Number of authors in the publication.
  • Full paper/letter status of the paper.

In this internal annual review, the quality of publications is judged by the journals in which the articles are published, the publishers of the books, the reviews of the books authored or edited, citations by others, and the like. The journal of record and the publisher of the book are used as proxies for the substance and contribution of the article and the book (or the book chapter), respectively. See 2.1.1.3 Journal Publications for details of the evaluation of journals and ISI's citational analysis.

Assessment of edited books and book chapters involve considerations such as: What is the reputation of the publisher? Who is the editor and what are his/her credentials and citations? Who are the other authors in the edited book and what are their credentials and citations? What was the nature of the review process for the selection of the chapters?

In this review, Non-ISI journals are also considered but given a lower weight.

Presentations in conferences -- with or without proceedings, international or national -- are considered to be merely tools towards the goal of research publications and are not considered in merit evaluation. Textbooks are considered for evaluation of teaching performance but not for research.

 

Creative Works such as Art Works, Exhibitions, and Performances

Bilkent applies highest standards with respect to artistic or professional (design and architecture) achievements in the areas of creative work. The faculty member's creative products are expected to indicate a level of performance and critical recognition equivalent to what is demanded of the research/scholarship by faculty in other disciplines. Quantity, quality, importance, distinctiveness, and creativity of the work are important as well as the degree of influence (or potential future influence) on the field.

Creative works are expected to have a world-class contribution in national and international settings. International works are taken into account in evaluations.

 

2.2.1.2 Grants from External Sources

Bilkent Faculty members are expected to bring grants from external sources to enhance the sources already present at the University. See also Policy on Sponsored Research and External Activities.

2.2.2 Evaluation of Teaching and Service Performance

To encourage and reward commendable teaching performance and the dedicated service a faculty member provides to the university, Bilkent University has a cumulative point system. In the annual evaluation form, Chairs and Deans/Directors give points to each faculty member for teaching and for service. In April-May, the Academic Evaluation Committee composed of the Provost, Associate Provosts and the relevant Dean/Director reviews the point evaluations given by the department Chair and the Dean/Director in the annual survey form. Department Chairs and Deans/Directors assess the faculty memberís teaching performance and service to the department/university and assign an evaluation out of 5 for teaching and another evaluation out of 5 for service. The teaching and service points which are above the mean of the faculty/school cumulate over the years. When these teaching and service points add up and exceed a threshold, the faculty member gets an approximately 2% base salary raise in October.

 

2.2.2.1 Teaching Performance

Good teaching is essential for all. Bilkent faculty members are expected to teach with the highest standards -- effectively, competently, with commitment, and emphasizing "learning by inquiry." To increase the quality of teaching, students evaluate teachers so as to provide feedback to them. Quality means making the students learn by stimulating their interest in the topic, by challenging their capabilities, and by encouraging active participation and "doing" (research and applications). Learning means more than rote memorization of facts; hence, teachers are expected to enhance studentsí analytical, creative, critical, and independent thinking abilities.

The teaching performance of the faculty is appraised using student evaluations (see form, results), syllabi of the courses, and the evaluations of the Department Chair and the Dean/Director.

Teaching Practices Expected from Instructors

 

2.2.2.2 Service Performance

Bilkent faculty members are expected to carry out tasks not directly related to research and teaching such as participation in departmental or faculty/school committees, high school programs, student activities and clubs, and orientation programs. The service performance -- amount and quality of contribution to the Department, the Faculty/School, and the University -- is assessed by the Department Chair and the Dean/Director.

In some situations when a faculty member provides commendable service directly to the Rectorís office, the Rectorís office (including the Provost and the Vice-Rectors) may also give additional service points.

 

2.2.3 Evaluation of Overall Academic Performance

Academic/scholarly/creative performance of the faculty members is appraised by the Academic Evaluation Committee composed of the Provost, Associate Provosts and the relevant Dean/Director.

In March - April, this committee reviews the annual faculty survey forms filled by the faculty members as well as evaluations of the Department Chair and the Dean/Director. The committee then recommends promotion or non-promotion across the base salary levels of the currently held academic rank. It may also recommend an increased course load for a faculty member, if research or creative performance has been less than commendable for several consecutive years, or a reduction of a previously increased course load if research or creative performance becomes once again commendable. There can be at most one level promotion in one year (either in April or October, depending on the date of appointment of the faculty member to his/her current academic rank). The result of this appraisal is communicated to the faculty members in the form of a written letter sent from the Office of the Provost to the faculty member.

For the academic ranks of Professor, Associate Professor and Assistant Professor, there are 5 base salary levels within each rank:

  • Professor - levels P1 through P5,
  • Associate Professor - levels D1 through D5,
  • Assistant Professor - levels Y1 through Y5.

Promotion from one level to another, for example from D2 to D3, is not automatic but based on academic/scholarly/creative performance.

For the academic rank of Instructors there are 20 base salary levels:

  • B.S. or B.A. degrees - levels B0 through B20
  • M.S. or M.A. degrees - levels M0 through M20
  • Ph.D. degrees - levels H0 through H20.

Promotion from one level to the next is automatic (not based on evaluation of performance) every year. However, the annual academic evaluations are used over time, for advancement based on teaching and service.

 

2.3 Policy on Sponsored Research and External Activities

    The University supports activities which result in new knowledge, the dissemination of this knowledge, the application of this knowledge for the benefit of society and which contributes to the improvement of the University's academic environment. Thus it encourages faculty to seek nationally or internationally funded and sponsored projects or activities through which these objectives can be met. These activities should be of a nature to contribute to the academic and professional advancement of the faculty member or be of overall benefit to the University.

    All sponsored research and external activities must be carried out with the explicit knowledge and approval of the University. The University reserves the right to not approve any project or activity which it finds counter to the Universityís mission and objectives, even if there is financial gain for the University.

    The faculty member seeking approval for sponsored research or external activity must document the details of his/her proposed on specific forms. The proposal is evaluated by the department, faculty and Sponsored Research Committee and if approved is submitted to the Office of the Rector for final approval. Contact the Office of the Provost for further information.

     

2.4 Patent Policy

During the course of the normal activities of the faculty members of the University, inventions which are thought to be patentable and for which patent protection should be sought may arise. Since the University currently does not have an office responsible for patents, a faculty member may apply to a Patent Office in his/her name. In that case, all expenses related to the patent application are expected to be paid by the faculty member; funds obtained from externally sponsored projects that university undertakes may be used to cover patent related expenses. If the patent is granted, the University makes no claims upon the royalties and the faculty member receives all royalties generated by the patent.


2.5 Educational Goals, Policies, Principles and Procedures

  1. Goals of the University Pertaining to Education


  2. Teaching Practices Expected from Instructors


  3. Curriculum and Teaching Development

Back to Index