Adopted January 14, 1987
Revised Spring 2004
Tenure criteria outlined in this document are intended to assure adequate levels of competence, professionalism, and service at all levels of faculty performance prior to awarding tenure. They are founded on the premise that an academic professional must be dedicated wholeheartedly not only to the specific ideals and objectives of his/her academic specialty, but also to the broad mission of the college and university. Further, they assume that in addition to time and degree requirements, a candidate shall not be given tenure without demonstrated achievement in the areas of teaching, professional activities, and service to the university and community. No document of criteria and procedure can substitute for professional evaluation by one's peers, guided by common sense in the process. It is necessary for the candidate to provide the committees with pertinent information with respect to the categories considered. When in doubt concerning certain pieces of information, the committees should seek clarification, including but not limited to requesting the candidate to appear before them. In all cases due process, proper procedure, reasonableness, and fairness should be followed. The process outlined in this document serves as the essential path toward selection of qualified candidates for tenure. Tenure is earned by strong academic achievement, and not by fulfilling the criteria of an artificial checklist. In the tenure process, a candidate's total professional career may be considered, including performance at Weber State University as well as at other institutions of higher education. The policies and procedures outlined in this document deal specifically with the probationary period for faculty members in the tenure track. The decisions by peers and administrators in the tenure process are those of fellow professionals including an evaluation of all pertinent materials but are often subjective in nature.
METHOD OF EVALUATION
To be recommended for tenure, the candidate must:
- 1. have a terminal degree as outlined in this policy and in the Weber State University Policy and Procedures Manual,8.6 and 8.11
- 2. meet the standards of one of the following channels and provide evidence of appropriate performance, and
- adhere to professional standards of behavior as outlined in PPM 9.3 through 9.8.
Appropriate channels for the candidate to examine and then follow to become qualified for tenure consideration are as follows:
A candidate must fulfill all parts of one channel in order to meet the requirements for tenure. It is clear that a candidate will meet the requirements if the ratings in one channel are exceeded.
CATEGORIES FOR TENURE EVALUATION
Three categories are delineated as areas of evaluation for tenure consideration: teaching, professional activities, and service. Within each area, the faculty member being considered for tenure shall be rated as excellent, good, satisfactory, or inadequate. Teaching (competence and performance) is considered to be the most important of the three evaluation categories. Deficiencies in teaching cannot be compensated for by exceptional performance in the other areas. Each category for evaluation is to be rated as noted under the section on ratings. Rating involves both an evaluation of objective criteria and some subjective judgements. Those involved in observations of the candidate including peer evaluations of teaching should not only make general observations but be specific as to whether the teaching or other activity is excellent, good, satisfactory, or inadequate.
Teaching is defined as instruction conducted under the auspices of Weber State University. This category includes, but is not limited to, formal classroom instruction and all activities directly related to classroom instruction including: curriculum development, evaluation and revision; student advisement; sponsorship of student research; proposals for the acquisition and use of equipment and library resources; sponsorship of student honor societies and organizations; sponsorship of special educational events or programs. The teaching category will also include the preparation and use of teaching materials such as: course syllabi, bibliographies, audio-visual aids, computer programs, and other materials primarily intended for instructional use.
Teaching performance will be systematically evaluated by students, peers, and appropriate administrators. Candidates should be evaluated on the basis of their individual full-load requirements. For instance, if an administrator is only required to teach three hours per semester, that administrator should be evaluated on the basis that three hours represents a full load.
Evaluation in the area of teaching will include but is not limited to:
Semi-yearly or semester student evaluations using an acceptable rating instrument (one approved by either the university, the college, or the department). The file is to include evaluations of courses representative of those taught by the candidate. If the program has unusually small classes, some smaller classes (under 15 students) will be accepted for student evaluations. The decision concerning which of the smaller classes to use will be made by the candidate in consultation with the chair or, if no agreement is reached, through binding arbitration by the dean. Data must be interpreted by the teacher as well as reviewers, in terms of departmental and college expectations. Evaluation of teaching will require summaries (not original response sheets) of student evaluations for at least five courses with minimum enrollments of 15 students, spread over at least a two-year period ( i.e., there should be a cumulative, running account of teaching abilities over time).
An annual evaluation by peers and appropriate administrators will include (but shall not be limited to) such areas as teaching skills, knowledge of the subject, development of course content including goals and objectives, appropriate use of and quality of teaching resources and/or aids, expectations for student performance, personal commitment to teaching improvement, and student consulting and advising sessions. Peer evaluations will reflect an in-depth examination of the candidate's teaching abilities and will be taken from all possible areas of information including classroom visits. Written evaluations by peers are to be included in the candidate's tenure file. Such evaluations are to address broad teaching skills as well as specific teaching abilities employed by the candidate. Peer teaching evaluations are to include in-class as well as out-of-class activities and observations, and the evaluations are to include general descriptive comments as well as specific comments on teaching and one of the specific tenure ratings listed under the ratings sections of this document. A minimum of three peers will be considered as a representative cross-section of peers for teaching evaluation in the tenure process on an annual basis. Those peers who are to be involved in the teaching evaluation of a candidate are to be appointed on an annual basis early in Fall Semester by agreement between the faculty member and the department chair, or failing that, through binding arbitration by the Dean in consultation with the faculty member and the chair. The department chair may serve as one of the peer evaluators. Peer teaching evaluation should be ongoing through the academic year. Peer evaluators in the tenure process may be but are not required to be members of the department Tenure and Review committee. A classroom observation form for classroom evaluation by peers is appended to this document, including a suggested conference for a peer advisor and a faculty member. Following is a list of areas which may be included in classroom observation. The list is not exhaustive, nor should it suggest that one teaching style is preferred to another. Rather, effective teaching, (of whatever style), is the end object which is desired. The following areas for observation are not listed in any prioritized order.
Learning set--orienting students to the day's work, summarizing what has been done previously.
Organization--outline, notes or key words presented visually or in handout. Key points are clearly emphasized and ideas logically ordered.
Pacing--material is covered but not rushed at the expense of student comprehension. Time is allowed for review and student questions.
Communication and Rapport--the atmosphere is one of respect and confidence, showing sensitivity to the student's questions and responses. Variety of expressions (warmth, humor, nonverbal language for emphasis and varied voice tones) are used.
Use of questioning--techniques stimulate thought, are clearly genuine and are spaced comfortably.
Student participation--is encouraged and skillfully guided and focused.
Importance of material--relevant, appropriate in prospective and context with key issues and their implications emphasized.
Closure--includes a comprehensive summary of work and its implication to future work if appropriate. Class ends on time and instructor indicates when and where after-class conferences can be arranged if desired.
Qualitative measures of performance, including but not limited to: providing enrichment opportunities for students, using innovative teaching techniques, making a unique contribution to the department in teaching courses generally not preferred by others, maintaining reasonable academic standards, activities designed to promote student retention.
Quantitative measures of performance, including but not limited to: meeting classes regularly, willingness to keep office hours, producing noticeable learning as indicated by tests, production of student credit hours, willingness to attend and participate in college and department meetings.
More specific demonstrations of teaching ability by a tenure candidate may include the following: development of new and/or experimental courses; teaching of honors sections or courses; demonstration of value-added learning results; innovations in in-class learning activities, such as: role-playing exercises, collaborative learning groups, use of case studies, simulation exercises or games, the utilization of microcomputer activities; innovations in out-of-class learning activities, such as: research projects, field projects, public service projects, internships, and field trips; teaching especially difficult or unpopular courses; writing or adapting software to increase computer- related learning; development of student learning aids; facilitating student learning in new and/or unique ways.
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND SCHOLARSHIP:
Professional activities may be interpreted rather broadly as both professional and scholarly activities. Both formal and informal activities are involved in this category. Formal activities include published professional work which has been subject to editorial review and formal acceptance processes. Research reports and published articles which have been appropriately reviewed and accepted will be included. Research which is underway or completed but has not yet been published should generally be included in the informal area of professional/scholarly/creative activities. This informal area also includes other activities which have generally not been subjected to review by referees, juries, and/or other acceptance groups. Professional activities considered for tenure review may include a broad range of publications, creative activities, and professional activities which indicate the involvement and the promise of tenure candidates both to the university and to the broader scholarly community.
The professional activity area has been divided into two categories - Area A which includes scholarly activities and formally accepted published works and Area B which generally includes informal research and other scholarly activities. Individual examples listed under each category are not listed in any priority nor are they intended to be exhaustive, only exemplary. The ordering of classifications is not inviolate. Different orderings of importance may be agreed upon in specific instances if a valid case is presented. In general, the more important the publications and/or activities, the fewer necessary to qualify for a given rating. In all cases the ratings are to be based on the candidate's relative standing in relation to departmental and college peers.
Evaluation committees may seek separate evaluation of professional activities and publications from experts outside of the committee or outside of the university. The tenure candidate may suggest such experts and may also make a statement in the tenure file concerning his/her evaluation of the relative merits of the professional activities being evaluated.
Classifications to be included under professional activities are as follows in their order of importance--Area A is more important than Area B.
Area A (Primary Importance)
[Items listed are neither prioritized nor exhaustive, only exemplary.]
Publication of specific research or theoretical work in the form of a book or monograph.
Publication of articles subject to review and formal acceptance processes.
Textbook publications - The key to including textbooks under publication lies in the fact that good textbooks improve teaching effectiveness not only of the author, but, more importantly, for others in the profession.
Creative projects which are viewed by the public at large and are deemed noteworthy by that public - It is understood that quality in a creative area is judged most often by subjective means that may vary greatly.
Service as editor or assistant editor of a scholarly journal.
Important positions in academic associations. This activity will qualify as one of primary importance when it is combined with significant professional activity in the field of academic interest to the association.
Consulting in field of expertise - This activity will qualify as one of primary importance when such activities are non-routine and of significant importance.
Organizing and presenting seminars, workshops and conferences in one's field of expertise - This activity will qualify as one of primary importance when such activities are of significant importance.
Research which does not result in publication will normally not be considered in Area A. However, when such research activities are of significance they may be included in Area A.
AREA B (Secondary Importance)
[Items are not listed in any priority nor are they intended to be exhaustive, only exemplary.]
Those activities listed in Area A which were not used or not deemed to qualify as of primary importance may qualify in Area B.
Delivery of scholarly papers at academic meetings, subsequently published as proceedings.
Publication of book reviews.
Delivery of scholarly papers at academic meetings.
Publications for readers other than those of the academic community.
Participation in a professional paper session as organizer, chair, or discussant.
Involvement in providing appropriate clinical and/or applied services connected with his/her professional expertise.
Service as referee, book review editor, or similar position with a scholarly journal.
Grantsmanship and associated research output - S significant professional development may take place through research projects.
Successful grantsmanship, however, is typically placed within the service category. To be considered in the publications/professional/creative activity category, the research project will normally meet the requirements of subsequent publication of results. If the results are subject to formal review and acceptance procedures similar to those attending academic journal acceptance, the publications may be considered as equivalent, subject to determination of quality and importance.
Significant scholarship or research even if not formally published, such as: research report, monograph, working paper, and research reports associated with grants.
Research reports, monographs, working papers, etc., not subject to formal academic review and acceptance. Other professional activities not specifically identified herein shall be evaluated by the committees within the implied guidelines established in this document. Candidates should consult with the department chair and dean to establish legitimacy and appropriateness for the tenure evaluation process.
Other activities may include continuing formal post-terminal degree education within the discipline or field, development of entirely new fields or areas of expertise which prove beneficial to both the candidate, and the department or the university, presentation of professional papers at scholarly meetings, as well as funded research. Research may be interpreted rather broadly, but normally shall be limited to those activities which go beyond the mere maintenance of professional credentials and/or staying current in the literature of the candidate's discipline.
The criterion for consideration of service is that it must utilize in a professional way the candidate's area of academic expertise and the candidate's professional expertise in the college and in the community. Service includes such activities as public addresses in the area of the candidate's expertise, assumption of duties and projects relating to the operation of the department, the college, and/or the university. Activities which enhance the reputation of the university and which go beyond the maintenance of professional credentials qualify as service activities. As in the other areas of evaluation for tenure, there exists service activities that are clearly of primary importance and others that should be weighted as of secondary importance. Although determination is to be made separately in each case, the evaluation committee shall be guided by the understanding that the quality of the service rendered is the important factor, and candidates should file appropriate documentation for the quality as well as the quantity of service they have rendered. Leadership positions will usually be weighted more heavily in evaluation than membership on committees, boards, etc., although candidates are urged to document specifically the service rendered. This documentation may include a statement by the candidate as well as an indication of those individuals who may know of the quality and quantity of the service performed by the candidate.
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 the Weber State University Policy and Procedures Manual, Section 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, chairpersons, and dean shall, if necessary, indicate strengths and weaknesses in this regard.
Minimum degree requirements are outlined in PPM 8-6 and 8-11
The candidates for tenure will be evaluated in each of the above categories and a rating of inadequate, satisfactory, good, or excellent shall be determined and interpreted relative to the candidate's department and college peers.
A general description of each of these ratings, which shall serve as a guide to the evaluation committees, is as follows:
This rating shall be given to a candidate who does not meet the minimum requirements of the satisfactory category.
The candidate will be rated satisfactory if normal duties required of all faculty members are performed in an acceptable manner. The candidate must complete assigned duties and share in unassigned workload in the department, college, and university. Satisfactory means acceptable and desirable and should not imply undesirable or significantly below average endeavor.
The candidate will be rated satisfactory in the teaching category when rated consistently as satisfactory by students and peers, taking into consideration the courses taught.
The candidate will be rated as satisfactory in the professional activity category upon evidence of (1) satisfactory performance in Area A, or (2) good performance in Area B (as defined in the section titled "Professional Activity").
The candidate will be rated satisfactory in the service category when activities and performance levels indicate that the candidate is doing more than is necessary to "just get by".
The candidate will be rated good if normal duties required of all faculty members are performed consistently in an above average or more than satisfactory manner. Inasmuch as satisfactory implies commendable and desirable levels of achievement, a rating of good in any category implies a substantial degree of achievement above satisfactory levels.
The candidate will be rated good in the teaching category if rated consistently above average by students and peers, taking into consideration the courses taught.
The candidate will be rated good in the professional activity category upon evidence of (1) good performance in Area A, or (2) excellent performance in Area B, or (3) satisfactory performance in Area A, combined with good performance in Area B.
The candidate will be rated good in the service category when the candidate is performing at a level judged by peers and administrators to be above average in the acceptance and performance of significant service duties.
The candidate will be rated excellent if normal duties required of all faculty members are performed consistently in an outstanding manner. Inasmuch as a good rating in any category implies a substantial degree of achievement above satisfactory levels, a rating of excellent in any category implies a substantial degree of achievement above those considered appropriate for a good rating.
The candidate will be rated excellent in the teaching category if rated consistently outstanding or well above average by students and peers, taking into consideration the courses taught.
The candidate will be rated excellent in the professional activity category upon evidence of (1) excellent performance in Area A, or (2) satisfactory performance in Area A combined with excellent performance in Area B.
The candidate will be rated excellent in the service category when the candidate is performing at a level judged by peers and administrators to be outstanding in the acceptance and performance of significant service duties.
YEARLY TENURE EVALUATION
It is the responsibility of those evaluating the performance of tenure candidates to be as specific as possible both in the ratings and in a specific annual tenure recommendation. Tenure committees and administrators making tenure evaluations must choose from one of the following recommendations and address in specific terms the recommendation in a letter to the candidate:
Recommend termination of employment.
Deficiencies definitely need to be corrected before tenure can be granted.
Progress toward tenure is adequate at this time.
For those in the sixth year of tenure evaluation, recommendations must be one of the following:
Recommend termination of employment
Recommend tenure be granted.
Recommend extension of probationary period (limited to exceptional cases).
It is the responsibility of each candidate to illustrate and document those skills and abilities which the candidate has and performs as early in the tenure process as possible and to work toward achieving the necessary ratings in the appropriate channel(s). It is the responsibility of the tenure evaluators to provide specific feedback to the candidate to allow the candidate to identify areas of strength and areas of weakness.
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.