P & T Guidelines: Social Science Department


C.1, Supplementary Department Guidelines and Professional Standards for Promotion and Tenure:

These guidelines are intended to supplement the University criteria contained in the Faculty Handbook. They are meant to clarify within the department what will generally be interpreted as fulfillment of the faculty and University System norms.

Plymouth State University's current system of faculty governance is based on the assumption that professionals have the capacity to police their own ranks, rather than respond to primarily administrative, and usually authoritarian, supervision. This implies the grave responsibility of disciplining the activities of our colleagues with tact and respect for individuality and academic freedom.

A. Teaching. It is not intended here to contribute to the discussion about the identification and measurement of "good teaching." But teaching also involves presence on campus, availability to students, and involvement with department and University activities related to the academic programs. The priority of the teaching role at PSU demands a wholeheartedly full-time commitment to the department and to the University.

While attempts at rigorous definition of full-time commitment would not be useful, members of this department expect all their colleagues to demonstrate on a continuing basis that their energies are expended primarily for professional activities. For example, the University schedule makes it technically possible to be on campus only two or three days a week. From time to time it is helpful to arrange such a schedule to provide time for a particular research project, or some other professional activity, or to accommodate other needs of a temporary character. As a general rule such arrangements should not be considered as constituting full-time presence on campus on a long-term, continuing basis.

B. Professional Growth. The normal manifestations of professional growth are research activity which is directed at least in part toward judgment by and dialogue with professional peers, as is the case with refereed publications and scholarly papers. Participation in post-doctoral programs and institutes, and in the work of professional societies, also serves the purpose.

In some fields applied, clinical, and practical work may contribute; however, this will generally not necessarily assure, and therefore replace, scholarly endeavor toward continued learning.

C. Service. The service norm calls for substantial involvement in the work of the governance committees at all levels, but primarily that of the university. It means that department members seek to share the problems of institutional change and demands for improvement, and that governance is based on the assumption of broad sharing of its burdens.

Work with other special projects and activities may make significant contributions to the department and the University, and should therefore be taken into consideration. Such other activities, however, will not as a rule be deemed to compensate for inadequate participation in institutional governance tasks. (March 1984)

C.2, Department Promotion and Tenure Committee:

The Department Promotion and Tenure Committee will be comprised of 5 faculty including, when necessary, one non-tenured faculty member. Committee members will be elected during the spring semester and will serve two-year staggered terms. (February 1989)

All tenured faculty other than the Chair and Assistant Chair are expected to serve in turn. Both members of a married couple cannot serve on the same committee. (April 1999)

Membership of the Committee will be on a rotational basis determined by the alphabetical order of the faculty. Service will begin with those at the beginning of the alphabet and proceed through the entire list after which it will again return to the first part of the alphabet. (November 1989) All tenured faculty are expected to serve in turn. (April 1999)

It shall be the policy of the department that the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee consult with and consider the opinions of faculty members of the candidate's discipline. (February 1989)

Membership of the Promotion and Tenure Committee shall always consist of at least one person in the same discipline as the promotion and/or tenure candidate. In all events the total number of members must conform to requirements of the Faculty Handbook, sec. 2.8, Procedures for Promotion and Tenure. (March 1997)

C.3, Faculty Visits to Classes:

The department faculty endorse the concept of the open classroom which is designed to encourage the interaction of faculty within and between disciplines and to improve the quality of teaching. It is also intended to foster innovation in method and content.

As part of this policy, the process of observation for faculty applying for promotion and/or tenure shall include the option of the discipline coordinator and others within the discipline to arrange visits to the faculty member's classes.

Notification of such visits shall be made in a timely manner and shall allow the faculty member to determine which class sessions are most appropriate for these visits. The procedure in no way precludes visits by the chair and members of the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee, nor does it replace or supersede any university-wide promotion and tenure requirements of this nature. (March 1989)

C.4, Tenure and Promotion Procedures and Guidelines:

a. Committee members shall meet prior to considering applications for promotion and/or tenure and shall review the College promotion and tenure guidelines in the Faculty Handbook, 2.7 and 2.8, as well as the policies in Section C. of the Department Policy.

b. Promotion and Tenure applications should be provided in a single binder and should include material the candidate believes will best support his/her case for a favorable outcome. The following items are most appropriate for the application binder: table of contents; application forms; the candidate’s statements about teaching, service and scholarship; curriculum vita; letters of recommendation; and summary of students evaluations. Supporting materials, such as student evaluation forms and copies of published material, should be packaged separately and should be summarized or described in the primary binder.

c. Should a candidate wish to include new materials in the binder or support package subsequent to their submission to the Committee but prior to the Committee’s formulating a recommendation, she/he may do so personally in the presence of the Committee chair.

d. The Committee may ask candidates for additional material.

e. Each Committee member should review carefully at least the primary folder and personnel folder of each candidate before deliberations begin.

f. Evidence of professional reputation (regional, national or international) might include, but would not necessarily be limited to, those enumerated in the Faculty Handbook, 2.7. Taking coursework or completing degrees away from the University would not, per se, be evidence of a professional reputation. (April 1999)

g. The Committee recommendation and statement form should be completed by the committee in consultation with all members and each member shall sign the form or shall submit a separate statement which shall be considered part of the Committee’s recommendation package to all higher levels of review.

h. Upon the request of a Department member anticipating candidacy for promotion or tenure in the near future, the Committee shall perform a review of the materials provided, shall identify strengths and weaknesses and shall make helpful recommendations. (April 1999)

C.5, All searches for full-time faculty positions shall be national searches conducted by the department committee formed for that purpose.

The Search Committee shall consist of:

1. all continuing full-time faculty in the discipline/program

2. two full-time faculty members from other disciplines in the department to be elected by the department disciplines not involved in the search

3. one full-time student majoring in a program within the discipline who members of the discipline unanimously agree upon

4. one non-voting advisor from the Human Resources Office to be appointed by the Director of that Office.

The entire Committee shall:

1. write the description for the search

2. review applications

3. interview candidates

4. make recommendations to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

All Search Committee members shall have equal voting rights.

(September 2000)