Promotion and Tenure Workshop - Howard University, Graduate

Report
TENURE:
BASIC INFO AND ISSUES
Carolyn M. Byerly, Ph.D., professor
Department of Journalism and
Graduate Program in Mass Comm & Media
Studies
DEFINITION
Tenure in higher education is the granting of indefinite
employment to faculty who successfully complete a
period of probationary employment (typically 4 -6
years).
A tenured faculty member can only be dismissed for
violations of university policy or other just cause.
PURPOSE OF TENURE
The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and
Tenure in the AAUP (aaup.org) states:
The purpose of this statement is to promote public
understanding and support of academic freedom and tenure
and agreement upon procedures to ensure them in colleges and
universities. Institutions of higher education are conducted for
the common good and not to further the interest of either the
individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common
good depends upon the free search for truth and its free
exposition.
(emphasis added)
ACADEMIC FREEDOM
Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and
applies to both teaching and research.
Freedom in research is fundamental to the
advancement of truth.
Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is
fundamental for the protection of the rights of the
teacher in teaching and of the student to freedom in
learning. It carries with it duties correlative with
rights.
TENURE = ACADEMIC FREEDOM
Tenure is a means to certain ends; specifically:
(1) freedom of teaching and research and of
extramural activities, and
(2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make
the profession attractive to men and women of
ability. Freedom and economic security, hence,
tenure, are indispensable to the success of an
institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students
and to society.
(From AAUP.org, academic freedom)
OTHER BENEFITS OF TENURE:
 Service on committees – in many universities, tenure
is required for service on, e.g.:
 Appointments, promotion & tenure (APT) committees
 Faculty Senate Council
 Judiciary Committees (student and faculty)
 Faculty Grievance Committees
 Ability to successfully establish longer -term research
studies
 Funding sources want to see a track record, secure
employment
CRITERIA FOR TENURE
Policies for Tenure & Promotion in your department
spell out more clearly what you have to do in each of
these categories. Consideration for tenure is based on
demonstrated excellence in:
Timeframe: Typically 6 years (go up in 5 th ) unless
candidate is unusually productive
CRITERIA FOR TENURE (CONT.)
 RESEARCH:
 Evidence of sustained productivity
 Refereed conference papers
 Refereed articles in acceptable journals (1-2/year)
 Book chapters in edited volumes of established scholars
 Book(s) published by academic publishing houses that
send out proposals for blind review
 Positive reviews of books and/or receipt of awards from
peers in field, organizations
 Seeking and/or receiving grants for research
 Leadership (e.g., chair divisions in associations)
CRITERIA FOR TENURE (CONT.)
 TEACHING:
 Student evaluations with scores in upper ranges
 Positive peer evaluations (by dept. colleagues, chair
and/or dean)
 Innovative course (re)development
 Incorporation of technology into course designs
 Involvement in curriculum development
 Obtaining grants to develop courses or benefit students
RESEARCH OR TEACHING?
Colleges and universities are typically categorized as
either “research” or “teaching” schools.
Know which of these your campus considers itself to
be because that will suggest what is emphasized in
tenure requirements.
CRITERIA FOR TENURE (CONT.)
 SERVICE:
 Serving on department, school, university committees
 Serving on committees of professional organizations
 Organizing and/or coordinating events
 Holding leadership posts in community organizations
 Giving guest (invited) lectures, either in dept or elsewhere
 Other activities that advance your dept, school, university
or field
AT RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS
Committees are typically concerned with:
1) Productivity – number of refereed publications,
other publications, refereed conference papers
2) Quality of publications – prestigious often
preferred
3) Consistency – work is even in its progress rather
than all bunched up as tenure time approached
CONTINUED:
4) Coherence – work is connected thematically,
methodologically, or/or in other ways (i.e., that there has been
a clear trajectory or path)
5) Significance to field – work expands known knowledge, sets
forth new ideas, etc., on things deemed most important
TENURE & PROMOTION PROCESS
Typical due process in tenure & promotion:
1- Annual evaluations signal how you are doing
2- “Midpoint” review – some departments provide a
comprehensive review to assess whether you are on track for
tenure (can be requested)
3- Tenure time:
 Submit portfolio with evidence in research, teaching, service
 Select external reviewers (usually 4-6)
 Departmental T & P committee, Chairman, School T & P Committee,
Dean, Provost, President all evaluate and rule
 Tenure (& usually promotion) awarded or denied
ISSUES TO CONSIDER
1) Is this the right campus for YOU?
2) What do you want to contribute to your field?
3) How savvy are you about academic politics?
4) Do you have a solid intellectual network, on campus and
across your field?
5) Have you built good working relationships with your
colleagues in the department and campus?
6) Do you have a plan in case you are denied tenure?
CONTACT INFO
Dr. Carolyn Byerly
[email protected]

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