College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

TENURE DOCUMENT

Adopted April 18, 2013


PREAMBLE

This tenure document has been designed to aid in the evaluation of candidates seeking tenure in departments within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (COSBS).  Standards are set to ensure that only those faculty members who exhibit a high overall level of performance receive a positive tenure recommendation.  Diversity within the standards accommodates faculty members with different backgrounds, talents, and professional accomplishments.  In the tenure process, a candidate’s total professional career will be considered, including performance at other institutions of higher education.  It is the candidate’s responsibility to provide the committees with pertinent information related to his or her teaching, scholarship, and service to make a tenure recommendation.


INSTRUCTIONS TO TENURE COMMITTEES AND CANDIDATE


 
Department and college tenure committees are responsible for evaluating the performance of tenure candidates.  A committee must provide candidates substantial evidence for, and explanation of, ratings of their teaching, scholarship, and service, and detailed recommendations for improvement.  A committee may request additional information from a candidate or seek clarification of information provided by a candidate, but is not obligated to do so; candidates are responsible for ensuring the accuracy and comprehensiveness of their dossiers.

In the third-year review, committees and administrators will rate candidates in each area of evaluation (teaching, scholarship, service) according to the standards (excellent to unsatisfactory) necessary for achieving tenure, and explicate in their letters to the candidates what actions are necessary in each area of evaluation to achieve tenure according to the channels. 

In the sixth-year review, committees and administrators making tenure evaluations of candidates undergoing a sixth-year review must select one of the following recommendations and address in specific terms the recommendation in a letter to candidates:

  • Recommend tenure not be granted.
  • Recommend tenure be granted.

REQUIREMENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL EVALUATION


 
To be recommended for tenure, the candidate must:

  • have a terminal degree as outlined in the Weber State University Policy and Procedures Manual (PPM) 8.6 and 8.11,
  • meet the standards of one of the tenure channels and provide evidence of appropriate performance, and
  • adhere to professional standards of behavior as outlined in PPM 9.3 through 9.8.

CATEGORIES FOR TENURE EVALUATION


 
Three categories are delineated as areas of evaluation for tenure consideration: teaching, scholarship, and service.  Although most activities will fall within one area or another, aspects of some activities may be described in different areas.  For example, aspects of undergraduate research may be described in Teaching (mentoring activities), Scholarship (conference presentations or publications), and Service (BIS supervision).  Similarly, the activities of clinical faculty may be categorized as Service to the community (seeing patients) or the discipline (clinical supervision), Teaching (using case studies), and Scholarship (conference publications or presentations).  Within each area, the faculty member being considered for tenure shall be rated as excellent, good, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory.  Each category for evaluation is to be rated as noted under the section on ratings.

TEACHING

 Effective teaching or instruction is the most important duty of faculty members at Weber State University.  Deficiencies in teaching cannot be compensated for by exceptional performance in the other areas.  Teaching is simply defined as any transfer of relevant knowledge or skills from faculty to students, irrespective of context, medium, process, or outcomes (e.g., whether or not it results in a grade).  Teaching activities include, but are not limited to: classroom instruction, laboratory sections, field work or field trips, on-line instruction, and a variety of advisory, supervisory, or sponsorship roles including service or community-based learning, undergraduate research, student clubs and organizations, events, and programs.  All forms of teaching a faculty member performs, and all preparatory activities in service of teaching, will be given consideration by the Rank and Tenure Committee based on their merits.  However, it is the candidate’s responsibility to document the quality and effectiveness of their teaching or any related preparatory activities.

Teaching is an ongoing activity that involves the evaluation of faculty performance by students, peers, and responsible administrators.  Evidence of teaching effectiveness must include, but is not limited to, Student Course Evaluations, Self Evaluation, and Peer Review.

Department, college, and/or university-approved student course evaluation results are an important source of evidence of faculty teaching quality.  Candidates must be evaluated in all courses (including online courses, laboratory sections, field classes, and the like) every semester.

Data acquired from these student evaluations may be statistically summarized and compared by the faculty member, a department chair, or a review committee, to other reference groups (e.g., department members teaching the same class, the department as a whole, or other college faculty teaching similar classes).  Other teaching assessments may also be used to assess teaching, including ones used for departmental or general education assessment.  Furthermore, it is incumbent on candidates to explain how the course evaluation data reflect their teaching effectiveness.

A faculty member’s own critical self-evaluation of his or her teaching in a Teaching Profile is also an important source of evidence of their teaching effectiveness.  Candidates should provide evidence that they are competent in the three different elements of teaching: Subject Knowledge (evidence of the candidate’s knowledge and/or skills necessary to provide up-to-date instruction for the courses they teach), Pedagogy (evidence of knowledge of the issues surrounding the pedagogical approach they choose and demonstration of the evolution of and purposes for their choices), and Assessment of Student Learning (candidates must demonstrate that they assess students’ learning with valid, reliable assessment methods and tools which are tied to course and department student learning outcomes). 

PPM (8-11 IV E 3) requires that at least every three years, the teaching performance of tenure-track faculty be evaluated by a peer review committee (comprised of at least three department and non-departmental members, one of which must be the department chair).  The Peer Review Committee provides information about the candidate’s teaching performance to the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee. 


SCHOLARSHIP

 The candidate is expected to produce scholarship.  All types of scholarship will be given consideration by the Rank and Tenure Committee based on their merit.  It is the candidate’s responsibility to document the significance, impact, and quantity of their scholarship. 

Significant scholarship is judged as such by peers, and impactful scholarship influences and informs policy- and decision-making in relevant groups/institutions.  A candidate producing notably significant or impactful scholarship may require fewer items to receive a given rating than would otherwise be required.  Evaluation committees and candidates are encouraged to obtain independent evaluation of scholarly work from within or outside of the university to assist in establishing the relative merits of the candidate’s scholarship.  The following list of scholarly work is not exhaustive.

  • Publication of books or articles or chapters subject to peer review and formal acceptance processes.  It is the candidate’s responsibility to make the case that a particular publication is peer-reviewed, to establish the significance of the publishing forum, and to document the extent of his or her contributions to a jointly authored publication.
  • Unpublished works that are currently undergoing the peer-review process. 
  • Peer-reviewed grants that are in and of themselves scholarly work.
  • Service as editor or assistant editor of a scholarly journal that involves the production of scholarly work.
  • Delivery of scholarly papers or posters at academic meetings.
  • Publication of book reviews.
  • Non-peer reviewed scholarly products such as unpublished manuscripts, self-published works, research reports, and publications for general audiences.
  • Community-based research reports or presentations.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

 The candidate is expected to provide professionally-related service.  All levels of service, whether at the institutional, community, or professional levels, will be given consideration based on their merits by the committee.  Service to the institution is expected of all faculty.  It is the candidate’s responsibility to document the quality, quantity, and significance of these activities, and any leadership roles that they may have fulfilled.

Institutional service is provided at the university, college, and departmental levels, the bulk of which typically is reflected by committee-based work.  Leadership on such committees is not strictly defined as serving as chair, but as providing significant contributions in achieving service goals. Leadership will be weighted more heavily than committee membership, as will committee assignments which are more demanding. Administrative roles such as program coordinator or student club advisor also constitute university/institutional service activities.

Service to the community must be professional in nature and utilize the candidate’s area(s) of academic expertise.  Community service may include activities such as speech-making in the area of the candidate’s expertise, membership on boards, consulting, publishing in the popular press, advising to avocational groups, and participating in seminars or workshops.

Service to the profession includes activities such as acting as a reviewer of scholarly publications, chairing sessions or acting as a discussant at scholarly meetings, serving as an officer of a professional organization, and any other activities that contribute to one’s profession in a meaningful way.


ADHERENCE TO PROFESSIONAL ETHICS

 The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences endorses the statement of “Professional Responsibilities, Ethical Principles, and Standards of Behavior” contained in PPM 9-3 through 9-8.  Candidates for tenure shall be evaluated against those ethical canons and standards of behavior.  A general indication of the faculty member’s adherence to those ethical principles and standards of behavior shall be noted on the Tenure Evaluation Report, with a “yes” or “no” response.  Letters indicating the findings of the evaluative committees, chairs, and dean shall, if necessary, indicate strengths and weaknesses in this regard.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

 Minimum degree requirements are outlined in PPM 8-6 and 8-11.

RATINGS

 

Excellent

Teaching

The candidate will normally be rated excellent when evaluations by students and peers indicate that he/she has consistently been an outstanding teacher, and there is evidence that the candidate has made substantial and beneficial innovations to course material and teaching methods.

Scholarship

The candidate will normally be rated excellent with the publication of one peer-reviewed book or three peer-reviewed articles/chapters, and evidence of additional, ongoing scholarly activity.  Notably significant or impactful scholarship may substitute for one peer-reviewed article.

Service

The candidate will normally be rated excellent when he/she performs a variety of demanding service activities, provides leadership, and exhibits significant impact in his or her areas of service.

Good

Teaching

The candidate will normally be rated good when evaluations by students and peers indicate that he/she has consistently been teaching above the level of competence, there is evidence that the candidate has made some worthwhile innovations to course material and teaching methods, and that he/she has addressed and reduced any substantial deficiencies in teaching performance noted in a previous review.


Scholarship

The candidate will normally be rated good with the publication of two peer-reviewed articles/chapters, and evidence of ongoing scholarly activity.  Notably significant or impactful scholarship may substitute for one peer-reviewed article.


Service

The candidate will normally be rated good when he/she performs a variety of service activities, provides leadership, or exhibits significant impact in his or her areas of service.

Satisfactory

Teaching

The candidate will normally be rated satisfactory when evaluations by students and peers indicate that he/she has consistently been teaching at a level of competence, there is evidence that the candidate has made few innovations to course material or teaching methods, and that he/she has taken action to address any substantial deficiencies in teaching performance noted in a previous review. 


Scholarship

The candidate will normally be rated satisfactory with the publication of one peer-reviewed article/chapter, and a record of ongoing scholarly activity.  Notably significant or impactful scholarship may substitute for one peer-reviewed article.


Service

The candidate will normally be rated satisfactory when he/she provides minimal leadership and exhibits minimal impact in his or her areas of service.

Unsatisfactory

Teaching

The candidate will normally be rated unsatisfactory when evaluations by students and peers indicate that he/she has consistently been lacking competence as a teacher, when there is minimal evidence that the candidate has made innovations to course material and teaching methods, and when the candidate has neither addressed nor reduced any substantial deficiencies in teaching performance noted in a previous review.


Scholarship

The candidate will normally be rated unsatisfactory when he/she fails to meet the standards for satisfactory noted above.


Service

The candidate will normally be rated unsatisfactory when he/she fails to meet the standards for satisfactory noted above.

 
TENURE CHANNELS

Preliminary/third-year review:  Candidates are evaluated according to college tenure criteria in order to ensure a positive trajectory toward tenure.  However, candidates are not expected to be tenurable at third-year review.  The point of the third-year review is to establish whether the candidate is making satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress toward tenure, and to identify what remedial action candidates may need to make in order to be tenured.

Tenure /sixth-year Review:  Five channels exist for the candidate to follow and be considered for tenure.  A candidate must meet or exceed all parts of one channel in order to meet the requirements for tenure.





TIMETABLE FOR TENURE ACTIONS

 The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will adhere to the dated guidelines for the tenure process found in PPM 8-12.

EFFECTIVE DATE

This revised policy on tenure will be effective for all tenure-track faculty members who begin their service after the approval of the policy by the Board of Trustees.