Law Library Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures

June 1986

The policies and procedures set forth herein are for the purpose of acquiring, developing, promoting and retaining a staff of professional law librarians of the highest quality and for the purpose of establishing standards of professional competence and performance which will assure that objective.

Library faculty rank

All professional librarians employed by the School of Law will be accorded faculty rank within the University and will be governed by Board of Trustees Policy 405.1 as Revised June 18, 1982, and by the provisions contained herein.  University faculty rank relates to the School of Law library and does not relate to faculty status on the School of Law faculty unless the appointment by the Board of Trustees specifically provides for School of Law Faculty status.  A “professional law librarian” or “professional librarian” is defined as an individual employed in that specific capacity and who also either (a) has received a degree in law (J.D., LL.B.) from a law school approved by the Arkansas Supreme Court for admission to the Bar, or in law librarianship (M.L.L.), or in library science (B.L.S., M.L.S., M.A.L.S., M.S.L.S.), from an accredited or provisionally approved School of Library Science, or any combination of the foregoing; or (b) is qualified through experience or special programs of instruction to be certified as a professional law librarian by the standards of the American Association of Law Libraries (A.A.L.L.).

A person who is appointed as a professional law librarian and who meets the foregoing criteria will receive one of the following titles upon appointment by the University:

  • Instructor of Law Librarianship
  • Assistant Professor of Law Librarianship
  • Associate Professor of Law Librarianship
  • Professor of Law Librarianship

The foregoing faculty titles may be and often will be granted in addition to any other titles or classifications which may be set forth in the appointment.  An individual appointed to a tenure-track professorial position in the School of Law, however, will not receive one of the foregoing law librarianship titles although that individual may receive an additional administrative title or titles (e.g.:  Director of the Law Library or Head Librarian).

Procedures for initial appointment

The initial recommendation for appointment will be made by the Director of the Law Library to the Dean of the School of Law.  If the Dean approves the recommendation, it will be processed in the manner provided by the University for such appointments.

The classification or rank accorded the professional law librarian proposed for initial appointment depends upon qualifications which are defined as follows:

  • Instructor of Law Librarianship – B.L.S., M.L.S., M.A.L.S., M.S.L.S., M.L.L., J.D., or LL.B. degree or who fulfills the criteria of I(b).
  • Assistant Professor of Law Librarianship – B.L.S., M.L.S., M.L.L., M.A.L.S., M.S.L.S., J.D. or LL.B. with two years or more of professional law library experience
  • Associate Professor of Law Librarianship – B.L.S., M.L.S., M.L.L., M.A.L.S., M.S.L.S., J.D. or LL.B. with five years or more of professional library experience and with at least three of such years being law library experience.
  • Professor of Law Librarianship – M.L.S., M.L.L., M.A.L.S., M.S.L.S., J.D. or LL.B. with eight years or more of professional library experience and with at least five or more of such years being law library experience.

The foregoing are minimal requirements for the initial appointment, and it is anticipated that some persons will be employed at a lower academic rank even thought their requirements may qualify them for a higher rank.  The quality of professional ability as demonstrated through previous experience, service or scholarship is the essential element in appointments made at the Associate Professor or full Professor level.

Criteria for promotion

Promotion, as well as merit salary increases, depends primarily upon the quality of service rendered, upon demonstrated professional ability, upon professional development, and upon scholarly endeavor of a substantial nature.  These are not the sole criteria upon which promotion may be predicated, since promotions necessarily involve intangible qualities and judgmental decisions.  However, the basic criteria for promotion are as follows:

  1. Fulfillment of the requirements for the next higher rank, as those requirements are listed for initial appointments under II.B., supra.
  2. The demonstration of professional competence and service of high quality within the Law Library.
  3. Participation in professional library, law library, law school, bar association or public service activities at the local, state or national level.
  4. Evidence of scholarly pursuit including relevant educational achievement following employment, participation in workshops, seminars, institutes or professional meetings, and written contributions or professional publications or internal documents and policies.

At least three of the four criteria listed above must be met in order for a promotion to be recommended, and two of the four which must be fulfilled in any event are numbers (1) and (2).

Criteria for tenure

Retention and promotion of law library faculty depends upon the foregoing, upon their continuing service to the School of Law, and upon their professional development.  Tenure is a commitment by the School of Law which is to be awarded only following careful scrutiny in that regard.

Tenure will be considered and may be granted on the same time basis, except as otherwise provided herein, as that provided by University of Arkansas rules governing the award of tenure to teaching faculty.  Thus, the same regulations as to years of service required for the achievement of tenure by a person occupying a tenure-track position on the University teaching faculty will govern.

The award of tenure will require that the person under consideration comply with the requirements stated under III, pertaining to promotion, and will further require the following:

  1. Demonstration of a continuous high quality of performance including professional improvement and the promise of continued professional growth and service;
  2. Demonstration of the potential for future contributions to service in the law library; and,
  3. The probability that the person under consideration will meet the criteria for ultimate promotion to full Professor, if the person under consideration has not already achieved such rank.

Procedure for promotions and tenure

Persons recommended by the Director of the Law Library for either promotion or tenure will be asked to submit the resume form provided by the School of Law for promotion and tenure.  Such form will be submitted to the Director of the Law Library, who will evaluate the materials in consultation with professional law librarians who hold tenure within the Law Library.  The Director will then forward the materials to the Dean along with the recommendation of the professional staff holding tenure and the separate recommendation of the Director.  The materials will then be considered by the Committee on Promotion and Tenure and the Dean of the School of Law.  The Dean will forward the materials to the central administration along with the separate recommendations of the professional staff holding tenure, the Director, the Committee on Promotion and Tenure, and the Dean.

Adopted by the Committee on Promotion and Tenure, October 27, 1982