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Dean of Faculty

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Review and Assessment

Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

Department of Psychlogy
 

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In accordance with the Hamilton College Faculty Handbook, the Department of Psychology’s criteria for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor include three factors: teaching, research, and service. The tradition of the Department is to select and retain colleagues who are highly capable teaching scholars. This means that those recommended for tenure and promotion are people who are active participants in behavioral science, both as independent investigators and as talented teachers.

Our criteria for evaluating the quality of professional activities reflect standards shared by our peer institutions (i.e., highly selective liberal arts colleges), and it is our intention to interpret these standards with an understanding that the discrete composition of produced work will differ from candidate to candidate. Nevertheless, it is the expectation that the record of a viable candidate will provide clear evidence of a successful pattern of accomplishments in both teaching and research, coupled with high motivation to sustain this activity for his or her professional life. Teaching is the most heavily weighted criterion for reappointment, promotion, and tenure. Scholarship is almost equally important.

The Senior Project is a central part of the curriculum in Psychology at Hamilton, and often it provides an opportunity for students to take ownership of a project that is conducted in close collaborative relationship with the faculty advisor. Thus, aspects of this experience might in certain circumstances be evidence of accomplishment in either teaching or scholarship. Similarly, the supervision of students in summer research might provide evidence of successful teaching, whereas the final product might reasonably be considered in the category of scholarship.


Teaching

The Department expects its faculty to be excellent teachers, which may be demonstrated by the candidate in several ways:

  • Student teaching evaluations, both numerical and narrative, that show the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in the classroom, to motivate students to think deeply about course material, and to be an effective teacher.
  • Faculty observations, based on classroom visitations, which document the candidate’s effectiveness as a teacher.
  • Engagement of students in increasingly sophisticated learning experiences, such as independent laboratory projects, independent study, the Senior Projects and (when appropriate) extramural presentation and/or joint publication with faculty of research projects.
  • Course materials, which indicate creative and pedagogically valuable approaches to presenting information and encouraging learning.

Research

The Department expects its faculty to be productive scholars who have demonstrated a commitment to research, and the ability to initiate and maintain an active and independent program of scholarship that goes beyond dissertation or postdoctoral work. Evaluations of the candidate’s program of research will include the number of publications, the quality of individual publications, and the importance of the journals in which the candidate has published. Because the criteria for evaluating the quality of one’s professional activities reflect standards shared by our colleagues at other institutions, and in order to have an independent, objective assessment, the Department’s judgment will incorporate the evaluations of colleagues at other institutions in order to take into account the broader, shared standards in the academic community.

Publication with student coauthors is evidence of effective integration of teaching and scholarship at Hamilton. Although the Department encourages faculty-student collaboration in research, this is not required. Therefore, while we recognize the positive features of a research program that incorporates students, the absence of such a program does not count against a candidate upon the evaluation of the scholarly record. Furthermore, student involvement in research weighs at least as heavily in the evaluation of teaching as it does in scholarship.

  • The primary indicator of a successful program of scholarship is the publication of peer-reviewed journal articles reporting original research.
  • Other journal articles, such as literature reviews and methodological papers, as well as book chapters and edited books, will also be considered as evidence of scholarly activity, although the weight given to these accomplishments will not be as great as that given to peer-reviewed empirical journal articles. In some cases (e.g., for clinical psychologists), active involvement in clinical work will be counted towards evidence of scholarly activity.
  • Conference presentations, particularly those given at national and international conferences, will also be considered.
  • Grant proposals, conference organization, journal editing in the area of the candidate’s specialty, will also provide evidence of active engagement in scholarship.

Service

The Department expects that its faculty will engage regularly in service to the College in a variety of ways. These include:

  • Serving as an academic advisor to students.
  • Departmental service, which may consist of organizing Department meetings (e.g., for concentrators, Senior Project presentations); contributing to curriculum and pedagogical development; and performing a variety of Departmental tasks (e.g., administering the human subjects pool, serving as advisor to Psi Chi).
  • College service, by serving on committees and by organizing and participating in college events.
  • Professional service, which may involve serving as an ad hoc reviewer for one or more scholarly journals; participating as a reviewer for granting agencies; and community service (e.g., outreach programs) of a professional nature.
  • Being constructive and courteous in serving the needs of the Department, contributing positively to the work environment, and promoting the professional development of departmental and college colleagues.


Promotion to Full Professor

In accordance with the Hamilton College Faculty Handbook, the Department of Psychology’s criteria for promotion to the rank of Professor include three factors: teaching, research, and service. The tradition of the Department is to select and retain colleagues who are highly capable teaching scholars. The Department nominates candidates for promotion to the rank of Professor who “have distinguished themselves as teacher scholars” and “who have shown sustained professional achievement in scholarship, teaching, and service.” (Faculty Handbook, 2010.)

Our criteria for evaluating the quality of professional activities reflect standards shared by our peer institutions (i.e., highly selective liberal arts colleges), and it is our intention to interpret these standards with an understanding that the discrete composition of produced work will differ from candidate to candidate. Nevertheless, it is the expectation that the record of a viable candidate will provide clear evidence of distinction as a teaching scholar.

The Senior Project is a central part of the curriculum in Psychology at Hamilton, and often it provides an opportunity for students to take ownership of a project that is conducted in close collaborative relationship with the faculty advisor. Thus, aspects of this experience might in certain circumstances be evidence of accomplishment in either teaching or scholarship. Similarly, the supervision of students in summer research might provide evidence of successful teaching, whereas the final product might reasonably be considered in the category of scholarship.


Teaching

The Department expects its faculty to be excellent teachers, which may be demonstrated by the candidate in several ways:

  • Student teaching evaluations, both numerical and narrative, that show the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in the classroom, to motivate students to think deeply about course material, and to be an effective teacher.
  • Faculty observations, based on classroom visitations, which document the candidate’s effectiveness as a teacher.
  • Engagement of students in increasingly sophisticated learning experiences, such as independent laboratory projects, independent study, the Senior Projects and (when appropriate) extramural presentation and/or joint publication with faculty of research projects.
  • Course materials, which indicate creative and pedagogically valuable approaches to presenting information and encouraging learning.

Research

The Department expects its faculty to be productive scholars who have demonstrated a commitment to research, and the ability to initiate and maintain an active program of scholarship. Evaluations of the candidate’s program of research will include the number of publications, the quality of individual publications, and the importance of the journals in which the candidate has published. Because the criteria for evaluating the quality of one’s professional activities reflect standards shared by our colleagues at other institutions, and in order to have an independent, objective assessment, the Department’s judgment will incorporate the evaluations of colleagues at other institutions in order to take into account the broader, shared standards in the academic community.

Publication with student coauthors is evidence of effective integration of teaching and scholarship at Hamilton. Although the Department encourages faculty-student collaboration in research, this is not required. Therefore, while we recognize the positive features of a research program that incorporates students, the absence of such a program does not count against a candidate upon the evaluation of the scholarly record. Furthermore, student involvement in research weighs at least as heavily in the evaluation of teaching as it does in scholarship.

  • The primary indicator of a successful program of scholarship is the publication of peer-reviewed journal articles reporting original research.
  • Other journal articles, such as literature reviews and methodological papers, as well as book chapters and edited books, will also be considered as evidence of scholarly activity, although the weight given to these accomplishments will not be as great as that given to peer-reviewed empirical journal articles. In some cases (e.g., for clinical psychologists), active involvement in clinical work will be counted towards evidence of scholarly activity.
  • Conference presentations, particularly those given at national and international conferences, will also be considered.
  • Grant proposals, conference organization, journal editing in the area of the candidate’s specialty, will also provide evidence of active engagement in scholarship.

Service

The Department expects that its faculty will engage regularly in service to the College in a variety of ways. These include:

  • Serving as an academic advisor to students.
  • Departmental service, which may consist of organizing Department meetings (e.g., for concentrators, Senior Project presentations); contributing to curriculum and pedagogical development; and performing a variety of Departmental tasks (e.g., administering the human subjects pool, serving as advisor to Psi Chi).
  • College service, by serving on committees and by organizing and participating in college events.
  • Professional service, which may involve serving as an ad hoc reviewer for one or more scholarly journals; participating as a reviewer for granting agencies; and community service (e.g., outreach programs) of a professional nature.
  • Being constructive and courteous in serving the needs of the Department, contributing positively to the work environment, and promoting the professional development of departmental and college colleagues.

Cupola