P & T Guidelines: Computer Science and Technology Department

September 16th, 2008 by Bridget

Computer Science and Technology Department

Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

September 11, 2008

The main purpose of this document is to clarify and articulate as best we can what the University-wide tenure and promotion criteria look like when viewed through the lens of the Computer Science and Technology Department.

As you read about the three areas (teaching, scholarship and service), we encourage you to recognize some potentially useful blurring and overlap among them. We also commit to recognizing that each candidate will have individual areas of strength which may vary.

We encourage new faculty to review this information with the department chair and with any senior faculty to ask questions, get clarification, solicit feedback, etc. The P&T Committee will use these guidelines to help quantify and justify their decisions regarding promotion and tenure.


Assistant to Associate

We are looking for someone who is an excellent teacher. The candidate must be intellectually alive and pursuing scholarly interests. In addition, this person must demonstrate a collegial willingness and disposition to become involved with and contribute to the department and wider institutional communities.

Associate to Full

In addition to continuing to meet the criteria for Associate Professor, a candidate for Full Professor should additionally demonstrate accomplishment in his or her field at a regional and/or national level.



As professionals in the field of Computer Science and Technology, we are required to engage in constant learning about our rapidly changing field. Excellence in teaching in the field, therefore, requires the ongoing incorporation of new content, skills and technologies into the classroom environment. In addition, since we often learn these new skills and technologies via hands-on experience, students benefit by similar hands-on learning. As such, excellence in teaching requires the use of active learning techniques as much as possible. Faculty in Computer Science and Technology can demonstrate their commitment to the value of creating up-to-date, active learning-based curricula in a number of related and overlapping ways. Because teaching is of primary importance to PSU, the successful faculty member will engage in all of the following:

1. Demonstrated expertise, interest and on-going learning in the subject areas being taught.

2. Currency and/or innovation in content and/or methodology; curricular revision and development (changing what you do to meet the evolving needs of the students and the curriculum).

3. Demonstrated pedagogical concern for active student engagement (for example, designing and using effective hands-on lab exercises).

4. Demonstrated ability to tailor instruction to students at a variety of levels and in the various degree programs offered by the department.

5. Demonstrated provision of individualized feedback on student work.

6. Active engagement in the supervision of senior projects and other independent student work (simply signing on as an advisor is not active engagement); although it is often not possible to be an expert in the particular content area of project, faculty should be willing and able to help students move forward toward completion.

7. Clearly organized and planned classes. Course materials should clearly reflect the goals of the course in a curricular context.

8. Clear and consistent criteria for assessment of student performance. These criteria should allow the faculty member to effectively and accurately evaluate student mastery of the course content and the skills. Assignments and other materials to be graded should help students achieve the stated goals of the course.

9. Availability to students both during and outside of class. In the same way that we ask our students to not merely “occupy space” in our classrooms and have that count as good class participation, we demand of ourselves a high level of engagement with our teaching work.

10. Effective advising and mentoring, in official and unofficial capacities. At the minimum, a good advisor helps students to plan their curricula so that they are able to graduate on time and meet their professional goals. An excellent advisor is engaged in student learning and encourages students to publish work, pursue internships, etc. Advising student organizations, which might also fall under “service,” has pedagogical value as well.

11. Reflection concerning one’s teaching. Faculty should seek out opportunities for professional development that are oriented towards teaching and participate in fostering a climate where talk about teaching is common, productive, lively, etc.

Supporting Evidence to Provide to Tenure/Promotion Committees

Course Evaluations


Classroom Observations (by administrator such as the VPAA, chair, and colleagues, etc.)


Assignments with clearly stated learning objectives

Samples of Student Work

Samples of commentary on student work

Samples of reflection on teaching (teaching journals, etc.)

Documented participation in professional development activities related to teaching (conference programs, letter from reflective practice colleague, etc.)

Samples of revised course materials that demonstrate innovation based on new developments in the field



PSU is a university where teaching excellence is central; therefore, the Computer Science and Technology Department values the presence and contributions of active intellectuals who constantly seek out new information in their field so that their classrooms are stimulating and relevant. As scholars, we strive to be active practitioners of what we teach; we also strive to be learners while pursuing our own intellectual agendas, thereby serving as models for our students of what it might mean to be “intellectually alive.” We also recognize that there are many different ways (traditional and otherwise) to engage in and model what is broadly defined as scholarship. Our definition of scholarship involves the following criteria: 1) the work requires a high level of discipline-related expertise; 2) the work and its results are documented and disseminated; and, 3) the work is reviewed and judged to be meritorious and significant by a panel of one’s peers. To demonstrate scholarly engagement, the successful faculty member will participate in several of the following:

1. Ongoing research related to one’s field of study or to teaching in one’s field of study.

2. Publication in peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

3. Presentations at local, regional, national and international conferences.

4. Active membership, participation, and/or leadership in professional organizations (paying dues alone does not provide sufficient evidence of active participation).

5. Writing grant proposals, competing for awards, etc. The act of putting together a grant proposal demonstrates a degree of in-depth scholarly engagement with the field, regardless of the final outcome.

6. Editing and reviewing activities relevant to areas of study/research/teaching.

7. Presentation of work at Society for Scholarly Dialogue or other PSU workshops, events, etc.

8. Professional consultancies (judging at programming contests or AP exams, for example).

9. Consulting based on professional reputation.

10. Preparation of professional articles for conferences and publication.

11. Development of curricular materials (such as textbooks, lab materials, etc.) that will be used by others both within and beyond the department.

Supporting Evidence to Provide to Tenure/Promotion Committees

CV listing various publications, presentations, etc. (with dates)

Photocopies of publications, papers, conference programs, etc.

Letters (acceptance of papers/presentations at conferences, from journal editors, etc,)

Copies of curricular materials and letters from others using them

Grant Proposals (accepted and/or rejected)

Evidence of submitting work for review/publication

Copies of promotional materials from Society for Scholarly Dialogue talks

Thank you letters

Copies of works-in-progress — new work that has yet to be published or presented



Collegial service has many dimensions — departmental, institutional, community-wide, and national. While we are interested in supporting faculty service of all different kinds, when it comes to tenure and promotion, we are especially interested in seeing service to the department and school, and service somehow connected to teaching and scholarship. Involvement matters to us; we value faculty who are actively involved in supporting our students and our community by contributing time, thought and creativity to build a better curriculum, department and institution. Service, too, can take a variety of forms and be demonstrated in a variety of ways. The successful faculty member will engage in most of the following:

1. Active participation on committees, task forces, councils, etc.

2. Attending and participating in faculty meetings/faculty governance.

3. Attending and participating in department meetings.

4. Service on departmental subcommittees as needed.

5. Mentoring/advising student clubs, groups, organizations; attending and supporting student activities (especially as they connect to teaching and scholarship).

6. Informally sharing ideas and meeting with colleagues (within and beyond the Computer Science and Technology Department) to improve courses and programs; informally meeting to discuss curriculum, etc.

7. Participation in formal sharing of ideas to improve curricula (Work on new General Education program implementation, work on WAC, attendance at Frost Faculty Center workshops, etc.).

8. Attending such functions as commencement, convocation, etc.

9. Community outreach (off-campus workshops, public programs, etc.)

10. Service on community boards as it promotes the University. (A majority of your service, but not every bit of it, should be connected to your field, PSU, the department, etc.)

Supporting Evidence to Provide to Tenure/Promotion Committees

CV — list of committees served on at PSU

Letters/emails from student groups you have advised or mentored

Letters/emails from colleagues with whom you have served on committees, etc.

Letters/emails from individuals, organizations, etc., which document service

Promotional materials for workshops you’ve organized

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