Tenure & Promotion Criteria
Criteria for Appointment to Tenure and Promotion in Rank
Academic rank and tenure are distinctive attributes of the teaching profession. For advancement in rank and appointment to tenure, the University expects full professional preparation (completion of the doctorate or the appropriate terminal degree). Only in demonstrably exceptional circumstances will an individual be considered for appointment to tenure without the doctorate or the terminal degree in his or her field. The appropriate terminal degree, when other than the doctorate, will be determined at the time of appointment by the Dean in consultation with the individual's department or program and the PSC. The University adheres to the principles of academic freedom (as outlined in Section E of the Faculty Handbook) and also expects a high quality of performance under each of the following criteria:
a) Excellence in Teaching
The primary standard for evaluation of faculty performance is excellence in teaching. In the application of this standard to individual cases, however, the Committee recognizes that within the University, and under the ideal of liberal education, there is great variety: in the goals for particular disciplines or courses, in class size and structure, in pedagogical technique, etc. When the Committee reviews a case, it seeks evidence of both a faculty member's aspirations as a teacher and his or her success in realizing those aspirations. Specific evidence of excellence in teaching might include: thorough class preparation; effective presentation; communication of respect for knowledge; continuing application of new knowledge to teaching; developing and teaching courses outside of one's home department(s), e.g., the first-year program, community-based learning courses, off-campus programs, or sophomore seminars; development of the ability to use knowledge creatively; contribution to the design and pedagogy of team-taught courses; ability to formulate intellectual contexts beyond the limits of a single discipline; skill in articulating fundamental, enduring questions relevant to a liberal education; ability to challenge students to think clearly; encouragement of students to develop open yet disciplined minds; stimulation of students to do independent work; adherence to high standards for student performance; a constructively critical attitude toward student work; care and thoroughness in the evaluation of student work; interest in students and contribution to their welfare through conferences and informal advising; development of improved methods of teaching; and such other evidence as the candidate may wish to present.
Additionally, at St. Lawrence teaching includes formal academic advising (including both undeclared students and majors). Excellence in advising includes being reliably available, serving as a sounding-board for advisee questions and concerns, and being a partner and/or mentor in helping to shape the liberal education their students envision. Advising should be done in a spirit of shared endeavor, with the view that the student's primary responsibility is to find his or her own way in response to the advice received.
b) Achievement in Scholarship and the Arts
PSC looks for signs that a colleague is achieving in scholarship and/or the arts. In evaluating scholarship and contributions to the arts, the PSC considers a broad range of evidence; however, it regards peer-reviewed performances, exhibitions, and/or publications to be the clearest evidence of scholarly achievement. Faculty members are expected to demonstrate a continuing commitment to improving their talents and skills, increasing their knowledge, and contributing to the general body of knowledge or the enhancement of the arts. The following list organizes evidence of achievement in scholarship and/or the arts according to commonly recognized significance, but it is the candidate's responsibility to explain the relationship of his/her work to this list, especially with respect to the particular practices of his/her field(s) and the contexts in which that work has appeared.
1. Peer-reviewed, accepted, and disseminated original research or professional artistic work; juried or reviewed exhibition or performance of creative work;
2. Receipt of an external research grant, scholarship, or fellowship; appointment as artist-in residence, or similar role, at a university, festival, or other artistic venue;
3. Invited contributions in the forms of publications (e.g., book review essays or book reviews) and speaking engagements; commissions for creative work; inclusion of work in a collection (at a museum, in print, on an audio or video recording, etc.); other invitations to work or present in professional venues;
4. Significant contribution to the programming of academic conferences; service on the editorial board of a journal or anthology; participation on a jury in selecting creative work for performance or exhibition;
5. Participation in professional organizations as an active member, a committee member, or an officer; formal advanced study in a selective academic program related to one's scholarly or creative work;
Recognizing that this list is not exhaustive, the candidate may wish to present other evidence of scholarly or creative activity (e.g., conference presentations) that speaks to the criteria laid out in the opening paragraph.
c) Contribution as a Member of the Academic Community
Faculty are expected to demonstrate acceptance of their responsibilities as members of the academic community at St. Lawrence University. Evidence of contribution to the academic community might include: participation in faculty governance; participation in the first-year program; participation in the scholarly or professional dialogue within the University; service to a department or program; participation in the life of the University and other evidence as the candidate may wish to present.
While uniformity in all areas is not expected, strength throughout the criteria is. The principal criterion for evaluation of faculty performance is the quality of teaching. The standards set forth herein are measures used to evaluate the quality of the total contribution of the faculty member to St. Lawrence University.
Throughout the evaluation of a candidate for tenure or promotion, the burden of proof rests with the candidate to give evidence for why tenure or promotion should be granted.