At Koç University, Assistant Professors have employment contracts for up to four-year terms. Associate Professors’ employment contracts are set for up to five-year terms. Full Professors in the School of Nursing and Full Professors in the School of Medicine excluding Basic Sciences faculty members have employment contracts for up to five-year terms. For all other full Professors, the tenure system is described in more detail in section II.5.3. These contracts may be renewed according to the procedures and principles described in the following sections. In highly unusual cases, the Board of Trustees may appoint a faculty member who has contributed in exceptional ways to the realization of the mission of the University for an unlimited duration.
Procedure and Timeline
Dean/Director sends a letter prior to the first week of the academic year to faculty members whose contract is to expire by the end of the academic year, requesting relevant evaluation documents, normally consisting of:
The material submitted by the faculty should cover the current contract period. An example of a letter is presented in Appendix 8.
Research statement should summarize previous research activities and achievements and discuss research plans and agenda for the coming years.
Teaching statement should summarize the personal views of the faculty member on teaching and teaching approaches used by him/her.
In addition, Deans can ask faculty members to submit a teaching dossier that contains relevant material such as lecture notes, readers, syllabus, sample exams, essays and term projects for courses taught within the current contract period.
Faculty members whose contract is due to end on August 31st of the following year, are expected to submit the above documents, including any additional materials they may judge as complementary, by using the web-based tool in Koç University Faculty Information System (KUFIS) by a suitable date around September 1.
The internal or external evaluation letters are not required for the Contract Renewal process. However, Dean/Director can appoint a jury consisting of two or three faculty members (of equal or higher rank) at his/her discretion in order to formulate his/her own recommendation. In case where review letters are to be requested, the material submitted by the faculty member are shared with the reviewers. The reviewers are requested to maintain the highest possible confidentiality in handling of such material. The members of the jury remain anonymous and their reports are confidential in order to ensure objectivity. The reports of the jury members are not shared with the President, Vice Presidents, and the Board of Trustees and are only used by the Dean/Director in order to form his/her opinion. The jury members may be from other institutions when needed. The jury members work individually and submit their personal reports to the Dean/Director by September 15.
Dean/Director formulates his/her recommendation in a written report by using his/her own evaluation and the jury reports as needed. Each individual contract renewal case is subsequently discussed and evaluated extensively at a face-to-face meeting of the relevant Dean/Director with the President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), and the Vice President for Research and Development (VPRD). Prior to the meeting, the material submitted by the faculty member and the evaluation of the Dean/Director are shared with the President, VPAA and VPRD.
If a unanimous positive decision is reached at the meeting to renew the contract for a specified period of time, the recommendation of the President to renew the contract is presented to the Board of Trustees together with the report of the Dean/Director and the CV of the faculty member.
In cases where a unanimous positive decision cannot be reached at the meeting, President requests Vice Presidents and the Dean/Director to separately submit to him/her their individual written evaluations and recommendations. Additionally, recommendation letters may also be requested from reviewers. President subsequently makes a final evaluation based on the material submitted by the faculty member and in consideration of all the reports. Rare structural changes at the University organization such as formation of a new College, restructuring existing units and fundamental changes in the curriculum can be taken into consideration when such a recommendation is formulated. The recommendation is then presented to the Board of Trustees for their approval, together with the reports of Vice Presidents, Dean/Director and the CV of the faculty member.
Faculty member is informed about the contract renewal decision at least 6 months prior to the end of his/her contract.
President then presents the contract renewal recommendations to the Board of Trustees for approval at their next scheduled meeting.
In case of a renewal decision, Dean/Director provides written feedback to the Faculty member summarizing the discussions with the President and Vice Presidents regarding the current performance and expectations for the next contract period.
Guidance for Contract Renewal Evaluation
The guidelines used for recommendations and decisions for contract renewals are essentially the same as those for annual evaluations as described in Section II.4. In effect, the contract renewal evaluation is the cumulative output of the annual evaluations. There exists, however, two significant differences in philosophy about the nature of the annual evaluations and contract renewal evaluations. While annual evaluations pertain to the activities of the report period, renewal evaluations pertain to the assessment of the individual, his/her contribution to the mission of the University and his/her promise for high quality future contributions to the University.
The quality and impact of research scholarship becomes more prominent in the renewal decisions. Although it is possible for a faculty member to receive “Meets Expectations Successfully” performance with a research performance that is "Below Expectations" complemented with teaching and service performances that are "Above Expectations", the fact that research performance is evaluated "Below expectations" over several years is likely to not lead to a favorable evaluation in the contract renewal process. Furthermore, faculty members are expected to rigorously improve Koç University standards, and sustainment of a “Meets Expectations Successfully” research performance over several years may not automatically lead to a favorable evaluation in the contract renewal process.
Equally, the renewal evaluation looks ahead and assesses the overall value and potential of the faculty member for growth, and is thus not confined merely to the accomplishments during the contract period. A special consideration is given to the estimation of the probability of subsequent promotion of Assistant and Associate professors at the end of the contract period, if renewal is to be recommended. In this respect, faculty members must prepare and pursue their plans to receive their Doçent title from the Inter-University Council. Having the Doçent title is taken as a positive point during the renewal evaluation of the candidate.
Not submitting the document for the contract renewal process to the respective Dean in time is considered as a decision on the part of the Faculty Member to not submit to an evaluation and to therefore not seek continued employment by the university after the end of his/her current contract term.