Dean of Faculty

Office of the Dean of Faculty
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Review and Assessment

Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

Department of Mathematics

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First Reappointment


The primary instruments for evaluating teaching, as prescribed in the Faculty Handbook, are the College course evaluations, letters from students, and reports from senior members of the department.

We expect that most of the circled responses on the College course evaluations will be agree’s and strongly agree’s, and that the narrative responses from students will be similarly positive and supportive.

Evaluation of teaching by senior faculty may be based on such factors as contributions to the department’s curriculum, pedagogical publications and presentations, if any, and information about the candidate’s approach to teaching that may have been garnered from such considerations as classroom observation or collaboration in teaching multi-section courses.  To facilitate classroom visits, the candidate will, each semester at his or her convenience, invite a senior member of the department to one or more of his or her classes.  The senior member will write a short response to the visit and share it with the candidate.


The department expects that, by the time of the first reappointment, the candidate has begun to establish a research program that extends beyond work done prior to arrival at Hamilton. The primary evidence of this is publication of peer reviewed work, but, at the time of reappointment, work in progress, collaborative efforts that are under way, and manuscripts in preparation are examples of factors that might also signal a scholarly portfolio having a positive trajectory. In addition, we would normally expect that the candidate has presented, or intends to present, work at conferences, seminars, or colloquia.


During the first two years, we expect the candidate to participate fully in the life of the department and to begin to explore avenues for college-wide service.  Examples of departmental service include activities such as organizing the Putnam Exam, administering the Tompkins Prize Exam, working with colloquium organization and scheduling, and helping to provide students with information on summer or pre- and post-graduate opportunities.

Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure


By the time of the tenure decision, we expect that the circled responses on the College course evaluations will be clearly dominated by agree’s and strongly agree’s and that the narrative responses and letters from students will complement the teaching portfolio by describing an engaged, effective, influential classroom teacher who is also committed, available, and accessible to working with students outside of class. Any areas that, at the first reappointment, were noted to require improvement, should have been addressed and resolved.  By this time, most tenured members of the department should have first-hand knowledge of the candidate’s work, as detailed in the teaching section under the first reappointment.


The candidate should present evidence of a fully launched research program that is likely to continue in the post-tenure years. Published work and conference presentations are the best attestation of this. A wide variety of research profiles could meet our standard for tenure.  In addition to the quantity of published work, we will also consider its quality and that of the journals in which it appears. One short paper that solves a long-standing unsolved problem, for example, a monograph that helps unify an area of mathematics, or a new textbook in an emerging area, might contribute as much to mathematics, and to the quality of the candidate's portfolio, as several longer papers with a narrower focus. An invited plenary address at a regional or national conference, for example, might contribute as much as several shorter contributed talks, colloquia, or seminars.


A candidate standing for tenure should have continued his or her active role in the department.  In addition, he or she should have begun serving as an academic advisor and assuming a role in wider campus governance.  Professional service to mathematical organizations, for example, would also be evidence of service.

Promotion to Full Professor


The candidate’s teaching record, as evidenced by student evaluations and letters, should indicate sustained excellence and continued growth since tenure. Other factors contributing to the teaching component of the file might include pedagogical work in the form of running workshops or writing textbooks, continued contributions to the departmental curriculum, and mentorship of junior colleagues.


A sustained, active scholarly record is expected. Again, the best evidence of this is continued publication complemented by presentations at conferences, seminars, and colloquia.


The level of service for promotion should be elevated beyond mere committee membership to leadership roles in College governance or in the wider mathematics community. This might include chairships of College committees or the department, serving as an external reviewer in another college’s departmental review, refereeing or reviewing articles, or involvement in regional or national organizations.