Dean of Faculty Office

Office of the Dean of Faculty
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Faculty Review & Development

Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

Department of Government

The department seeks to tenure and promote outstanding teacher-scholars who are active members of the departmental and college communities. We will give roughly equal weight to performance in teaching and scholarship, and lesser weight to community and professional service. Inadequacy in either teaching or scholarship cannot be offset by strength in the other two categories.

Process for Evaluation Prior to Re-appointment and Tenure

The department chair has primary responsibility for advising tenure-track faculty as they work toward re-appointment and tenure. This will be done formally through the chair’s evaluation of tenure-track faculty members’ annual reports each year, which will be shared with all tenured members of the department. Through this process, the chair will review not only tenure-track faculty members’ annual reports, but also their syllabi and research material. To evaluate teaching, each tenured faculty member will observe at least one of the non-tenured faculty’s class sessions during each probationary period, and write a brief report to the chair, copies of which will be put in the faculty member’s file and given to him/her. Tenure-track faculty should work with the chair in arranging the classroom visits each semester.

Standards for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor


Assessment of the quality of teaching will be based on student evaluations of teaching, both in course evaluation forms and student letters in the tenure file; direct observation of classroom teaching; evidence of high expectations and standards for students; our own and external reviewers’ assessment of teaching material; and ability to teach a variety of courses. The department expects student evaluations to be at or above departmental norms for at least some courses and reasonably near college and departmental norms overall. In assessing student satisfaction, the department will take into account the nature and size of courses taught. The department expects all members to be willing and able to teach courses at all levels of our curriculum.


Candidates for tenure must have established themselves as recognized and respected scholars in their sub-field within the discipline. Scholarship will be judged on the basis of quality, quantity, and trajectory.


Assessment of quality will be based on publication venue, internal reading of scholarly work, and especially reports from external reviewers. Books and articles in refereed journals will receive the greatest weight, followed in descending order of importance by articles in anthologies, articles in non-refereed journals, articles submitted to journals (especially those receiving “revise and resubmit”), other kinds of publications such as book review essays and book reviews, and conference papers.


Assessment of quantity depends upon the particular path chosen by the candidate.  For those choosing to publish their research in book form, successful candidates will ordinarily have had a book accepted for publication and at least some additional scholarly publications at the time of tenure. For those choosing to publish their research as articles, successful candidates will have approximately six articles in peer-reviewed journals. In both cases, there should be evidence of scholarly activity that demonstrates the potential for continued publishing success (see Trajectory section below). These standards are intended as rough guidelines and the Department believes that the quality is more important than any fixed standard of quantity.


Trajectory involves substantial progress on a research project beyond the dissertation, evidenced by articles, book chapters, conference papers, or other publications.


The department expects candidates for tenure to serve the department and college in modest roles beyond their teaching and scholarship. Most appropriate is service within the department itself, though limited service to the college as a whole is also encouraged. We especially value service that directly benefits our students’ learning beyond the classroom, such as bringing speakers to campus and advising relevant student groups such as the Model UN. We also value moderate professional service, such as organizing panels or small conferences, or taking on organizational tasks in national or regional professional associations. We endeavor not to overburden junior faculty with service, but expect them to be willing to take on moderate obligations when the opportunity arises.

Standards for Re-appointment prior to Tenure

Candidates for re-appointment prior to tenure should demonstrate clear evidence of progress toward the standards outlined above for tenure. For teaching, student evaluations should be near departmental and college averages, or should show substantial progress toward that goal. For scholarship, this could include one or more publications, several conference papers, articles submitted to journals, or substantial parts of a book manuscript. For service, candidates should have shown a willingness to serve in modest roles when asked.

Standards for Promotion to Professor

Candidates for promotion to Professor should demonstrate sustained achievement in scholarship, teaching and service. The department will look for the same kinds of evidence for this that is outlined above for tenure. For teaching, student evaluations and letters should be at least comparable to those at the time of tenure, and the evaluations and other materials should generally demonstrate increasing pedagogical distinction. For scholarship, candidates should complete the second major research project via a number of significant publications, and indicate the direction of future research projects. For service, candidates should demonstrate greater willingness and ability to undertake more significant service obligations than prior to tenure, as these services are essential to the smooth functioning of the department, college, and profession.