Guidelines and Criteria for Promotion and Continuing Status for Research Professional Personnel

Revised February 2001


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) has three distinct major responsibilities: teaching, research, and extension. There is an emphasis on teamwork and integration of these functions, often utilizing an interdisciplinary collaborative approach. In addition to the normal university purposes, CALS follows provisions of the Hatch Act (1887) which established the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Smith-Lever Act (1914) which founded Cooperative Extension.

The college uses university-, college-, and unit-specific criteria for promotion and tenure or continuing status and the position description of each faculty member to guide advancement decisions. In CALS, each faculty member's position description reflects the relative responsibilities (percentage of effort) assigned to teaching, research, extension, and service in relationship to the unit's mission and strategic plan. This position description is part of the promotion and tenure or promotion and continuing status dossier.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences defines teaching and research in two ways to encompass both our campus-based faculty and our off-campus faculty. We use the term "outreach" to mean teaching and research directed at off-campus audiences. We also use formal and non-formal descriptions for teaching, so the term "teaching" applies not only to traditional classroom sessions, but also to field trips, field days, workshops, and other activities.

Examples of activities in each of these areas that may be considered in evaluating faculty are listed in Appendix A. CALS endorses the University of Arizona Guide to the Promotion and Tenure Process. These guidelines were used in formulating our guidelines and criteria and are included as Appendix B.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Mission Statement

To educate students and communities in ways that enable their future success in the regional and global economies and to develop new knowledge and new technologies to benefit society.

Guidelines and Criteria for Promotion and Continuing Status for Research Professional Personnel

Criteria are listed below for the ranks of research professional personnel. Research professional personnel are normally employed in research-only or research/extension positions. In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), each faculty member has a position description which is reviewed and updated as appropriate and which reflects the relative responsibilities assigned to teaching, research, extension, and service activities in relationship to the unit's mission and strategic plan. This position description provides the context for evaluating a candidate's success in meeting performance expectations for promotion and/or continuing status. Both formal and non-formal instruction are defined as teaching by CALS, including classroom sessions, demonstrations, workshops, and distributed learning. Research/creative activities may be basic and/or applied and may include the use of innovative approaches and new technology. (See Appendix A for examples of specific activities in each area.) The requirement of excellent performance and the promise of continued excellence necessary for the granting of promotion and/or continuing status includes compliance with relevant university and Board of Regents policies. The University Handbook for Appointed Personnel (UHAP) provides more information on the promotion and continuing status process.

Appointment to Assistant Research Scientist

Appointment to Assistant Research Scientist is made chiefly on the basis of past achievements and future promise. The position gives an individual the opportunity to develop potential, and to demonstrate effective and productive scholarly output. An individual must have a doctoral or other terminal degree and, preferably, some post-doctoral experience. The quality of the training and the candidate's record should be weighed in the evaluation of the individual's potential. The individual should be able and willing to organize and clarify complex material so as to improve as a researcher.

Appointment or Promotion to Associate Research Scientist

Appointment or promotion to Associate Research Scientist is based on research accomplishments. Excellence in teaching, extension and/or service activities can also be considered. For such appointment or promotion, the candidate should have performed independent and productive scholarly activity appropriate to the candidate's field. A reputation for excellence among peers at this and other institutions should be emerging as evidenced by publications, grants, attendance and presentations at national meetings, and invited participation in post-graduate programs, national meetings and symposia. The results should be considered with regard to the individual's percentage of time designated for research. The position description is critical in discerning the expectations of the faculty member.

If the candidate's scholarly activities concern innovations or non publishable activities, the promotion dossier may not show as much tangible evidence in terms of numbers of publications and grant support as would be the case were the products to be research reports and articles. The candidate's efforts should be carefully documented, however, and such efforts should be attracting attention and respect of professional peers.

For promotion to Associate Research Scientist, an individual should include quality non formal or formal teaching, service on graduate student committees, and supervision of graduate studies. Those scholarly activities should be documented and will serve as a secondary priority for promotion.

Promotion to Associate Research Scientist is normally accompanied by the award of continuing appointment; however, appointments can be made to this rank with or without continuing status. The University Handbook for Appointed Personnel (UHAP) provides complete information on these points.

Appointment or Promotion to Research Scientist

The major criterion for appointment or promotion to Research Scientist is continuation of high quality research as demonstrated by publications in refereed journals and successful competition for research grants, service on national and international committees, recognition as reflected by participation in meetings and symposia and by letters of recommendation and evaluation.

The candidate should express a wider perspective and greater maturity of judgment than usual for junior professional personnel. Although difficult to characterize, these advanced attributes should be revealed in effective communication, strong leadership and research innovation, in cognizance of other fields and awareness of interdisciplinary interactions, and in acceptance of responsibilities in the College, University and community. Promotion will be based primarily on research accomplishments. However, excellence in teaching, extension and service will also be considered and will contribute to the final decision. The candidate's position description is to be used in assessing the outcomes of the identified expectations.


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