Guidelines and Criteria for Promotion and Tenure
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 Tenure
Criteria are listed below for the ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. 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 tenure. 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 tenure includes compliance with relevant university and Board of Regents policies. The University Handbook for Appointed Personnel (UHAP) provides more information on the promotion and tenure process.
Appointment to Assistant Professor
Appointment to Assistant Professor 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 teaching and productive scholarly output. To be appointed to this level, an individual must have a doctoral or other terminal degree. 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 to be an effective teacher. The individual should show evidence of productivity in scholarly work and the capability for sustained independent study. At this time, however, the significance and originality of the work, rather than its quantity, will be more important.
Appointment or Promotion to Associate Professor
Appointment or Promotion to Associate Professor is based on research accomplishments and excellence in teaching, Cooperative Extension and service activities. The individual's performance should reflect 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. The reputation should be evidenced by publications, grants, attendance and presentations at national meetings, and invited participation in post-graduate programs, national meetings and symposia. Such activity should be considered in terms of the individual's designated percentages of time. The position description is critical in discerning the expectations of the faculty member. If the individual's primary scholarly activities or responsibilities involve innovative or creative products (i.e., as in design, delivery systems, teaching), P&T materials may not show as much tangible evidence in terms of number of publications and grant support as would be the case for those with more scientific investigative responsibilities. The faculty member's efforts and results, whatever their character, should be attracting the attention and respect of professional peers.
An individual should be an accomplished teacher, well-prepared, with a mastery of the fundamentals of subject matter. The opinions of colleagues, summaries of student evaluations and the quality of the graduate students supervised will be important in this evaluation. Efforts should show promise of continued growth as a teacher.
If the individual's job involves outreach, then presentations, publications and other output may be evaluated with their other teaching and research activities. For these activities, the candidate should be developing a reputation of excellence among peers.
The candidate should have some committee responsibility in his/her department, the College, and the University. The candidate for promotion to Associate Professor should also be participating in local and national committees of professional organizations and provide service to the local community as appropriate.
Promotion to Associate Professor is typically accompanied by the award of tenure; however, appointments can be made to this rank with or without tenure. The University Handbook for Appointed Personnel (UHAP) provides complete information on these points.
Appointment or Promotion to Professor
The major criterion for appointment or promotion to Professor is excellent productivity and leadership in instructional, Cooperative Extension and research programs, with an appropriate balance of service resulting in regional, national and international recognition in the candidate's field. The candidate's position description is to be used in assessing the outcomes of the identified expectations.
Measures of research achievement include publications in leading peer-reviewed journals, generation of external support, technology development and transfer, and peer recognition as reflected by participation in meetings and symposia. Other factors considered are evidence of innovation in research and interdisciplinary activities.
The faculty member's instructional program must reflect high standards of scholarship, creativity and commitment to growth and development. The candidate should exhibit a broad-based perspective and a maturity of judgment that reflects distinguished academic leadership. Instructional activities must effectively address the mission of the candidate's unit and the needs of its clientele. Further, his/her instructional program should demonstrate excellence in education of undergraduate and graduate students. Criteria for promotion to Professor will also include the candidate's assumption of instructional responsibility and leadership activities which contribute to meeting his/her unit's mission.
Candidates with significant outreach programs are expected to contribute with distinction to appropriately-targeted, peer-respected publications and other public media. Instructional efforts must include effective skills in communication commensurate with excellence in focused outreach education efforts. Contribution to outreach education and service will be weighed in accordance with the candidate's programmatic area and unit's mission.
The candidate should have some committee responsibility in his/her department, the College, and the University. The candidate for promotion to Professor should also be participating in local and national committees of professional organizations and provide service to the local community as appropriate.
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