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Review and Assessment

Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

Department of Anthropology

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According to the Faculty Handbook a department's evaluation of a candidate who is standing for reappointment, tenure or promotion is to be based upon the quality of the candidate's teaching, scholarship and service. Each criterion figures in the evaluation, but teaching and scholarship outweigh the importance of service. Excellence in teaching and service, in the absence of a significant record of scholarship, is not a sufficient basis for tenure and promotion to full professor.

This document qualifies these general criteria in a manner consistent with the past practices and continuing expectations of the members of the Anthropology department. We intend this document to provide guidance to (1) members who will stand for reappointment, tenure and promotion and (2) those faculty who will evaluate members who are standing for reappointment, tenure and promotion. Members standing for reappointment, tenure or promotion should prepare their dossier in a manner consistent with the following criteria.
 

Teaching

For purposes of judging a member's qualifications for reappointment, tenure and promotion, the Faculty Handbook (p. 32) identifies three criteria. These are:

  1. Commitment to teaching
  2. Knowledge and mastery of the discipline
  3. The ability to communicate with, stimulate, and evaluate students.


1. We take commitment to teaching to mean a desire to develop and offer courses that contextualize human evolution, material culture, cognition, language, social and political systems, belief structures and creative worlds. Commitment to teaching further reflects efforts to experiment with methods of instruction that engage and challenge students. A member's commitment to teaching is exemplified in the following:

  • Participation in curricular planning
  • Teaching introductory courses and participation in other courses required for the concentration, including the senior project
  • Regular evaluation of pedagogy and teaching philosophy
  • New course design
  • Contribution to interdisciplinary programs

2. Knowledge and mastery of the discipline are demonstrated by:

  • Course content that keeps abreast of developments in theory and method
  • Course content that keeps abreast of interpretive developments
  • Course topics that are effectively contextualized within the debates of the field and those of allied disciplines

3. The ability to communicate with, stimulate, and evaluate students is most directly evaluated through assessments made by students and faculty. These appear in several conventional forms, e.g., course evaluations, letters solicited from students, assessments developed from faculty visits, and letters from faculty colleagues with intimate knowledge of a member's teaching. We expect these assessments will offer positive reviews regarding the instructor's capacity to:

  • Clearly articulate course and lecture/lab expectations
  • Articulate the course content responsibly and coherently in relation to the wider discipline
  • Clearly organize presentations
  • Acknowledge student views on topics and be willing to engage in debate
  • Thoughtfully evaluate and grade students' work in a timely manner
  • Clearly articulate grading criteria


Effective teaching is a critical dimension of a member's contribution to the Anthropology Department and must be demonstrated if a candidate is to receive a positive evaluation for tenure. A candidate for promotion to full professor must show continued successful teaching, but scholarly success takes a more important place in the evaluation of the candidate at this stage.
 

Scholarship

The Faculty Handbook (p. 32) acknowledges the importance of the advancement of knowledge, and the salutary influence of research and scholarship on teaching. The Handbook identifies both original research and dissemination of a field's content to a general audience as appropriate forms of scholarship. It further states that a scholar's work must be made available to review by peers.

Members of the Anthropology Department are expected to participate in significant and continuing programs of research, to be engaged in the professional discourse of their research specialties within anthropology, and to be committed scholars. Thus, each member is expected to regularly share the results of their research with colleagues in the form of peer-reviewed publications.

Anthropologists typically prepare several kinds of scholarly work. From most to least significant for purposes of evaluation these include research monographs and/or books, journal articles, book chapters, and peer-reviewed short contributions (e.g., reviews and notes). We must keep in mind that each anthropological subfield differs with respect to publishing traditions, and also be mindful that as media change, guidelines should be modified.

We value the content and impact of colleagues' research in their respective subfields, and look for evidence of their ongoing and productive engagement with the central concerns of those disciplines. This is not readily measured in numbers of publications. Books and/or research monographs in particular, given the exigencies of anthropological fieldwork, require a long-term investment of research time and energy, and their publication should be regarded as indicating a significant achievement. Publication of an article in a top-tier journal also is important evidence of that engagement and is regarded as a high achievement for a given year. We note also that while anthropology journals differ in quality, they often also are targeted at different audiences, e.g., specialists in topical or geographic areas. Thus a publication in a regional or area studies journal, for example, cannot be assumed to be less significant than one in a journal with a larger or more general readership. Other kinds of scholarship, such as progress reports (e.g., to agency sponsors, grant reports), papers delivered at professional conferences, grant and research proposals, invited lectures, or papers circulated among colleagues for review, indicate progress in a member's research program. They are expected to form part of a member's scholarly portfolio, but in the absence of peer-reviewed publications do not constitute an adequate record of scholarly activity.

At the time of review for tenure, a member should have a clearly articulated program of research and peer-reviewed publications that demonstrate the intellectual coherence and validity of this line of inquiry. At the time of promotion to professor, a member's contributions should be recognized by others of his or her cohort as a significant contribution to the scholarly discourse in that research specialty.
 

Professional Service

Service takes several forms, including contributions to the department, to the College, to the community, and to one's profession. We expect that during a member's first several years at Hamilton (prior to first reappointment) most of her or his efforts will be devoted to course development, refining teaching skills, research and scholarship. During this time we encourage service on the departmental level (and to an interdisciplinary program, if appropriate), and, following the first appointment year, participation as an academic advisor.

We encourage, but do not require, that a member stand for election to a college committee following her or his first reappointment (after year 3). Contributions to the Department or interdisciplinary programs, such as serving on a hiring committee, may constitute significant service.

A member should assume service responsibilities expected of all continuing faculty members following tenure. That is, they should on average to make one significant service commitment on an annual basis, such as participation on (1) a standing committee, (2) an ad hoc curricular committee, (3) a college-wide search committee, or (4) as department chair.
 

Tenure and promotion criteria

To summarize, the criteria for tenure and promotion to full professor are as follows.

Teaching. Effective teaching is a critical dimension of a member's contribution to the Anthropology Department and must be demonstrated if a candidate is to receive a positive evaluation for tenure.

Research. At the time of review for tenure, a member should have a clearly articulated program of research and peer-reviewed publications that demonstrate the intellectual coherence and validity of this line of inquiry.

Service. For tenure, we prioritize department and interdisciplinary program service over college committees. Department and and interdisciplinary program service includes general advising, teaching of required courses, course development, supervision of student projects including independent studies, senior projects, senior fellowships, serving on hiring committees.
 

Promotion to Full Professor

Teaching. A candidate for promotion to full professor must show continued successful teaching including continued participation in course development, teaching of required courses, advising, student project supervision, and department curricular planning.

Research. Scholarly success takes a more important place in the evaluation of the candidate in promotion to full professor. At this time, a member's contributions should be recognized by others of his or her disciplinary cohort as a significant contribution to the scholarly discourse in that research specialty.

Service. For promotion to full professor we expect candidates to make, on average, one significant service commitment on an annual basis, such as participation on (1) a standing committee, (2) an ad hoc curricular committee, (3) a college-wide search committee, or (4) as department chair.

Finally, we note that members should be mindful of the significant commitment of energy and time that service often requires. As much as the department and College needs the dedicated service of its faculty, a member's contribution to service, no matter how substantial, will not substitute for continuing achievement in teaching and scholarship.

Cupola