THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
STATEMENT OF EXPECTATIONS AND CRITERIA
FOR PROMOTION AND TENURE
University College promotes the development of intellectual and personal excellence in a supportive, stimulating, and inclusive learning community. The College rewards such excellence and encourages continuous faculty development by awarding tenure and promotion to all faculty who merit these rewards.
The University policy on tenure and promotion, AC23, designates the general categories and principles for the evaluation of faculty in personnel decisions. Criteria for tenure and promotion outlined in AC23 are 1) teaching; 2) research, creative accomplishment, and scholarship; and, 3) service to the University, society, and the profession. AC23 allows individual units to develop their own specific expectations and standards within these categories; the guidelines contained in this document represent the application of AC23 to faculty in University College. These guidelines represent performance expectations for each faculty member in a tenure-eligible position.
University College, like all units of the University, is committed to excellence in teaching; research, creative accomplishment, and scholarship; and, service to the University, society, and the profession. Across these categories, the primary criterion for judging the level of achievement is consistent high quality, with qualitative expectations being more important than quantitative expectations. For example, consistent quality of teaching is more important than credit hours generated; consistent high quality of publications and presentations is more important than numbers of articles or books; and consistent high quality of service is more important than numbers of committee assignments or positions held. For a successful evaluation, a faculty member must demonstrate high quality and effective performance in each of the three categories of expectation.
University College further recognizes that faculty members will present dossiers with differing distinctions, within and among the categories of expectation. Tenure and promotion in University College are, therefore, awarded to candidates with varying strengths and records, provided the candidates meet the test of consistent high quality in each category.
Promotion and tenure decisions shall be based on recognized performance and achievement in each of the several areas, as appropriate to the particular responsibilities assigned to the faculty member. It is presumed that a positive tenure decision for an assistant professor is sufficient to warrant promotion to associate professor.
In an exceptional case, a decision can be made to tenure but not to promote. However, the burden will be on the committee(s) or administrator(s) who wish to separate promotion from a positive tenure decision to show why promotion is not warranted at that time.
Finally, University College subscribes to a successively higher set of expectations as faculty members progress from tenure through promotions to the higher ranks. As a faculty member develops, evidence of the capacity for creative work and leadership should emerge across all areas of expectation.
A. THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
A primary goal of University College is to achieve excellence in undergraduate education by placing a premium on helping students. Faculty members in the College are committed to enhancing learning and devote much time toward this end. A faculty member is expected to inspire the student to life-long learning through pedagogy that may range from traditional teaching-learning models to that which is highly innovative and stresses active and collaborative learning, cutting-edge technology, and the integration of the research, creative accomplishment, or scholarship of the candidate and others into the classroom.
For the awarding of permanent tenure and promotion to associate professor, the successful University College candidate must present a continued record of high-quality and effective teaching and advising, one that shows continual involvement with students and on-going growth and potential for growth in pedagogy, and indicative of creative work and effectiveness among students. For promotion to professor, the successful candidate must gain visibility and respect within the University for pedagogical excellence.
The candidate's teaching record is measured primarily by evaluations from students and faculty colleagues. This may take the form of student comments on course evaluation questionnaires; student interviews; letters systematically solicited from former students; peer classroom evaluations conducted by faculty and administrators in the unit; evaluations of course syllabi, course exercises, and teaching portfolios when appropriate; review of curriculum development and pedagogical innovation, especially that involving active and collaborative learning; effective uses of technology to enhance learning; receipt of grants for pedagogical development; active participation in workshops and conferences devoted to pedagogy or advising; faculty direction of student internships and undergraduate research projects; systematic measures of student success in later courses; teaching or advising awards; student ratings of teaching effectiveness (SRTE surveys); and any other means that attest to the candidate's teaching and advising effectiveness.
B. THE SCHOLARSHIP OF RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
University College fosters the achievement of scholarly excellence among its faculty. A faculty member is expected to establish and sustain a program of high-quality research, creative accomplishment, or scholarship as appropriate to his or her discipline. This program may take a traditional form in one's academic discipline or a non-traditional form such as pedagogical or interdisciplinary inquiry. Achievement is evaluated more by qualitative than by quantitative means.
For the granting of permanent tenure and promotion to associate professor, the successful candidate must establish a productive program of discipline-appropriate research, creative accomplishment, or scholarship, and sustain a level of achievement that shows potential for future growth and continued productivity and sufficient to contribute to an emerging reputation in his or her field. For promotion to professor, the successful candidate must present a record of research, creative accomplishment, or scholarship that includes evidence of a marked capacity for creative work, leadership in the candidate's discipline, and significant recognition and respect beyond the University.
Evidence of research, creative accomplishment, and scholarship should originate from an active program that leads to refereed publication or juried exhibition appropriate to the discipline and may include pedagogical or interdisciplinary scholarship. Discipline-specific accomplishment may include articles in refereed journals, books, texts, parts of books, scholarly reviews, juried artistic accomplishment (such as musical composition, painting, sculpture, poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, theatrical plays, or dance), patents or product development, scholarly articles in non-refereed journals, invited presentations or exhibitions, commissioned or contracted work, serving as a referee for the work of others, editing a scholarly journal or newsletter, successful grant writing, participation in the activities of professional societies, consulting, receipt of professional honors and awards, or other evidence of significant professional accomplishment appropriate to the candidate's discipline.
Evaluation by expert peers within the University may provide essential, helpful information, and external peer evaluations of the quality of the candidate's record (as required by the Administrative Guidelines to AC23) will be made by professors of national standing in the candidate's discipline.
C. SERVICE AND THE SCHOLARSHIP OF SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY, SOCIETY, AND THE PROFESSION
University College expects all faculty members to contribute to the vitality and development of the University and to extend their knowledge and services to the communities and professions served by the University. Because it is an integral part of a faculty member's assignment, service is a significant factor in evaluations for tenure and promotion. The College expects faculty members to be active participants in campus faculty organizations and to serve on committees essential to the shared governance and development of the campuses, College, and the University. Moreover, faculty members are expected to serve students outside the classroom, contribute to campus-community relations, and be active as professionals within their discipline. The primary criterion for evaluating service is documented high quality and demonstrable impact of the faculty member's contributions.
For the granting of tenure and promotion to associate professor, the successful candidate must present a record of continuing active service that reflects contributions to the Campus, University, profession, and community and the potential for assuming greater responsibilities once tenure and promotion have been awarded. For promotion to the rank of professor, the the faculty member must demonstrate the leadership that is needed from senior faculty in the College, as well as the continued positive contributions expected of all faculty members.
Service expected of University College faculty may include activities such as active membership on, and making contributions to, Campus, College, or University committees; participation in strategic planning, curricular development, and granting writing; assisting with administrative tasks; developing or sponsoring co-curricular activities for students; participation in activities promoting cultural diversity; public speaking in the community; professional service to community organizations; representing the Campus, College, or University on community organizations; organizing or presiding at sessions of professional societies; participation in faculty governance; and other activity that demonstrates the candidate's continuing commitment to serve the University, its units, and the communities and professions it serves.
Procedures for implementing the University's policy on promotion and tenure are described in the Administrative Guidelines for AC23: Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations.
*Approved by the Provost of the University, April 1997, revised April 2000. Revised January 2003. Revised August 2005 and August 2006 to reflect changes resulting from the reorganization effective 7/1/2005. Edited 12/14/2017.