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Dean of Faculty

Office of the Dean of Faculty
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Review and Assessment

Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

Department of Geosciences

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The Department of Geosciences will follow the criteria listed in the Faculty Handbook. Tenure decisions will be based on accomplishment and promise in teaching, scholarship, and service. The first two criteria are the most important, and, in keeping with the Faculty Handbook, the quality of teaching will be the most heavily weighted.


Teaching

The candidate is expected to be an active and effective teacher in all facets of the concentration, including teaching introductory courses, core and elective courses, and participating fully in the senior program.

Measures of teaching effectiveness include but are not limited to:

  • Revision of course content to remain current with developments in the field
  • Ability to communicate with, stimulate, and evaluate students, which includes clearly articulating course expectations and grading criteria, using methods of instruction that challenge students and engage them in analysis within the discipline, and thoughtfully evaluate and grade student work in a timely manner.
  • Articulation of teaching philosophy and goals for students and demonstration of how teaching philosophy is implemented and goals for students are achieved
  • Development of courses and course materials that are consistent with research and/or best practice in pedagogy
  • Publication of course materials in peer-reviewed journals and/or dissemination of course materials via teaching-related web sites.
  • Presentation of course materials and teaching approaches at professional meetings.

In addition to a statement of teaching philosophy and goals for students, a candidate will present a teaching portfolio that contains materials such as lab exercises, group projects, exams, student work and other materials that demonstrate how the goals he/she has for students are successfully achieved and how students make progress toward departmental goals in the candidate’s courses.


Scholarship

The candidate’s research will have progressed beyond the initial stage of promise indicated by a successful third-year reappointment. The candidate will be evaluated both on the quality of his/her original research and on productivity. The candidate’s publication record must show that his/her research has moved beyond publishing work directly related to the his/her dissertation, and the candidate must have a clearly articulated research agenda for his/her own work. The candidate must also be actively involved in senior project research, either by working with students on a variety of research projects of their choosing or by involving students in the candidate's research. Working only on a variety of research projects with students is not enough for tenure, however.

The primary measure of scholarly success is publication of original research in widely distributed, high quality, peer-reviewed journals (print or online) or edited volumes. We recognize that collaboration on research projects is common or even essential for many research projects. A candidate must, however, demonstrate intellectual leadership in at least some of his/her published research.

Other types of published and non-published scholarship contribute to evidence of scholarly activity but do not substitute for publication of original research in peer-reviewed journals. These include:

  • Successful grant applications
  • Review articles, synthesis papers, or textbooks
  • Encyclopedia entries, book reviews, or written materials that have not been peer-reviewed
  • Excellent reviews of unsuccessful grant proposals
  • A variety of other measures that demonstrate that the candidate's colleagues value his/her work (e.g., invitations to collaborate, speak, chair sessions, lead field trips, write book reviews, review proposals and manuscripts, etc.). In addition, the candidate must regularly attend professional meetings and contribute with poster or oral presentations.

An estimation of the long-term research potential of the candidate is a component of the evaluation process. The candidate’s research record must show a trajectory consistent with continued productivity after tenure, and the candidate’s research portfolio must contain a statement that describes the candidate’s post-tenure research agenda.


Service

The candidate must show a continuing contribution to the Department, the campus community, and the larger geosciences community. Service can be demonstrated in a variety of ways. An incomplete list includes managing departmental functions such as coordinating senior project proposals and presentations, maintaining shared equipment, and College committee service. Service may also be to the broader community of the geosciences, such as serving in positions of responsibility in professional organizations or serving as a reviewer or associate editor for a journal. Service can also be to the local community, such as volunteering in schools and working on geoscience projects that affect the community. In addition, being an effective adviser of majors and non-majors is required.


Guidelines for Promotion to Professor in the Department of Geosciences

The Department of Geosciences will follow the criteria listed in the Faculty Handbook. Consistent with the Faculty Handbook, successful candidates for promotion to Professor must have distinguished themselves and shown high achievement in all three categories of teaching, scholarship, and service.


Teaching

Promotion to Professor requires outstanding teaching. The Department expects to see evidence that the candidate’s courses and course offerings have continued to evolve to reflect advances in the field and in pedagogy. The candidate is expected to continue to be an active and effective teacher in all facets of the concentration, including teaching introductory courses, core and elective courses, and participating fully in the senior program. The Department also expects tenured faculty to take greater responsibility for the curricular needs of the Department, such as providing flexibility in course offerings to meet Department needs.

Measures of teaching effectiveness include but are not limited to:

  • Revision of course content to remain current with developments in the field
  • Ability to communicate with, stimulate, and evaluate students, which includes clearly articulating course expectations and grading criteria, using methods of instruction that challenge students and engage them in analysis within the discipline, and thoughtfully evaluate and grade student work in a timely manner.
  • Articulation of teaching philosophy and goals for students and demonstration of how teaching philosophy is implemented and goals for students are achieved
  • Development of courses and course materials that are consistent with research and/or best practice in pedagogy
  • Publication of course materials in peer-reviewed journals and/or dissemination of course materials via teaching-related web sites.
  • Presentation of course materials and teaching approaches at professional meetings.

In addition to a statement of teaching philosophy and goals for students, a candidate will present a teaching portfolio that contains materials such as lab exercises, group projects, exams, student work and other materials that demonstrate how the goals he/she has for students are successfully achieved, how students make progress toward departmental goals in the candidate’s courses, and how the candidate’s courses and course offerings have evolved over time.


Scholarship

Promotion to Professor requires distinguished scholarship, and the candidate’s scholarship will be evaluated thoroughly for promotion. A candidate is expected to be able to demonstrate a strong post-tenure trajectory of original published research, to have become well-established and well-regarded in his/her field, and to show promise for continued research productivity in the future. The candidate will be evaluated both on the quality of his/her original research and on productivity. The candidate must also continue to be actively involved in senior project research, by working with students on a variety of research projects of their choosing and by involving students in the candidate's research. Working only on a variety of research projects with students is not enough for promotion.

The primary measure of scholarly success is publication of original research in widely distributed, high quality, peer-reviewed journals (print or online) or edited volumes. We recognize that collaboration on research projects is common or even essential for many research projects. A candidate must, however, demonstrate intellectual leadership in at least some of his/her published research.

Other types of published and non-published scholarship contribute to evidence of scholarly activity but do not substitute for publication of original research in peer-reviewed journals. Strong candidates for promotion will be able to demonstrate a variety of the following in addition to peer-reviewed publications of original research:

  • Successful grant applications
  • Review articles, synthesis papers, or textbooks
  • Encyclopedia entries, book reviews, or written materials that have not been peer-reviewed
  • Excellent reviews of unsuccessful grant proposals
  • Convening workshops for faculty or students at various venues; conducting field trips at national or regional meetings

In addition, strong candidates for promotion will be able to demonstrate that that the professional community values his/her work by, for example, invitations to collaborate, speak, chair sessions, lead field trips, write book reviews, review proposals and manuscripts, etc. In addition, the candidate is expected to attend professional meetings regularly and to contribute with poster or oral presentations.

An estimation of the long-term research potential of the candidate is a component of the evaluation process. The candidate’s research record must show a trajectory consistent with continued productivity after promotion, and the candidate’s research portfolio must contain a statement that describes the candidate’s post-promotion research agenda.


Service

Promotion to Professor requires significant service. Once a faculty member has attained tenure, he/she should assume greater responsibility for service to the Department, to the College, and the professional community. Service can be demonstrated in a variety of ways. An incomplete list includes managing departmental functions such as coordinating senior project proposals and presentations, maintaining shared equipment, service on College committees, and participation in College programs. Service may also be to the broader community of the geosciences, such as serving in positions of responsibility in professional organizations or serving as a reviewer or associate editor for a journal. Service can also be to the local community, such as volunteering in schools and working on geoscience projects that affect the community. In addition, being an effective adviser of majors and non-majors is required.

Cupola