Return to the CLAS Home Page Photo: Schaeffer Hall
 DEO Mailing
February 19, 2003 
CLAS Home > DEOs > This Week's DEO Mailing >

To: Departmental Executive Officers
From: Raúl Curto, Executive Associate Dean
RE: Advice on Preparing Departmental Standards for Tenured Faculty Review

Some DEOs have asked for additional guidance on preparing the departmental standards for tenured faculty review, which are due April 7 to the Dean's Office. This memo attempts to provide that guidance. At your request, I can also send you examples of documents that departments have submitted and have agreed may be shared with others, though you should understand that these have not yet been formally approved by the College. (After April 7, all departmental standards documents will be reviewed for approval by the College.)

When the Collegiate Standards for Tenured Faculty Review were still in the draft stage, DEOs asked that the College's language be flexible, so that departments could describe suitable expectations. Thus, the departmental standards should contain more explicit language than the College document, for the better information of tenured faculty members and those serving on tenured faculty review committees.

The departmental standards may use flexible language ("ordinarily," "typically"), where appropriate. Standards may be quantified, or may be more general (using terms such as "multiple" or "several" or "consistently"). Where quantified, standards can be stated as minimums or as ranges. Departmental documents may also indicate that not all standards are necessarily going to be met in every year, but that substantial contributions in all areas should be evident over the five years between tenured faculty reviews.

The Collegiate Standards emphasize that the departmental document should "recognize the range of ways in which tenured faculty can reasonably meet the performance standards." In departments that include more than one discipline or distinct subdisciplines, the departmental document might recognize the different profiles that are consistent with each area of the department.

In most cases, a one- or two-page document should be sufficient to describe how the individual demonstrates (and the department evaluates) continued professional vitality and visibility.

In the section on teaching in the Collegiate Standards, there are a number of terms that departmental documents might clarify. These include:

  • "appropriately sized classes" What are the department's norms or expectations for the types/sizes of classes that will be assigned in a typical year? Is there a standard expectation for distribution of teaching between undergraduate and graduate instruction?
  • teaching evaluations that meet "departmental expectations" What are the expectations? How is teaching measured or assessed as meeting those expectations (student evaluations and what other modes of assessment)?
  • "expectations for advising undergraduate students" What is the normal advising assignment or expectation?
  • "expectations . . . for mentoring graduate students" What is the norm for the amount or consistency of service on masters' and doctoral exam committees, service on or chairing of dissertation or thesis committees, or other types of graduate student mentoring?

In the section on scholarly and creative work, the document should reflect types and frequency of activity that indicate visibility in the discipline(s) in which your faculty work. The list below is not comprehensive, only suggestive:

  • Are books the primary form of scholarly publication in the department or some areas of the department? What are the appropriate markers of continued productivity (and the appropriate frequency) while scholarly monographs are in preparation (refereed articles, book reviews, book chapters, edited collections, draft chapters of the monograph, e.g.)?
  • Are refereed articles and invited chapters the primary markers of productivity in the department or some areas of the department? How is the significance of these publications evaluated (e.g., frequency? quality of the venue? impact?).
  • Is there an expectation or norm for citations of the faculty members' work, reviews of the faculty member's publications or creations, etc.?
  • What are the expectations for (and, where applicable, norms for frequency of) conference and symposium participation and/or invited talks?
  • The document might state a normal frequency with which applications for internal or external funding are submitted or received, and might be explicit about appropriate types/sources of external funds that faculty apply to.
  • If appropriate to the discipline, the document should make explicit the responsibility of faculty to generate funds in support of graduate research assistantships (and, where relevant, post-docs).

In the section on service,

  • The document should indicate that tenured faculty participate in the administration of departmental academic programs, and how they are expected to do so (e.g., through service on/chairing of curriculum committees, graduate admissions committees, etc.).
  • The departmental document should state that service to the College and University is expected.
  • The department should recognize professional service as a marker of scholarly/teaching visibility. The departmental document might define the forms of service appropriate to and typical of the discipline (e.g., grant review panels, editorial boards of scholarly journals or presses, juries for exhibits and honors, external review committees, office-holding and conference-organizing in professional organizations, etc.) What is the norm for the amount of or consistency of professional service over time?