P & T Guidelines: DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

September 8th, 2008 by Bridget

Department of Biological Sciences:

Promotion and Tenure CRITERIA AND GUIDELINES

(Approved by department vote May 21, 2007)

The purpose of this document is to make clear the expectations of the Department of Biological Sciences faculty for candidates throughout their tenure and/or promotion process. Candidates should also refer to the Faculty Handbook, Sections 2.7 and 2.8, for eligibility requirements, university-wide criteria and procedures. These guidelines shall be reviewed at least every five years by an ad hoc Department P&T Committee.

TENURE

Tenure for an Assistant Professor is normally applied for at the same time as for promotion to Associate Professor and generally the process begins in the fall of the sixth year of teaching experience. Persons hired as an Associate or Full Professor should see the Faculty Handbook for eligibility rules. In the first full semester of employment, a mentor will be assigned to the new faculty member to assist him/her in meeting the expectations of the department and university leading to tenure. Said mentor will be selected from the Department of Biological Sciences by mutual agreement among the new faculty member, the mentor and the department chair.

DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES VALUES

The Department of Biological Sciences has identified a set of values as guidelines for prospective P&T candidates (see Appendix I) so that they are aware early on about what kinds of activities and behaviors will most likely result in a positive recommendation from their colleagues and the department chair. The values are not exclusive and the candidate should feel free to discuss with the department chair additional appropriate activities during the period leading up to candidacy.

The department believes that the traditional values of Plymouth State University all express a different form of scholarship. These traditional values are Teaching, Scholarship and Service. These can best be defined as the following forms of scholarly activity: Teaching scholarship; research scholarship; service scholarship. We have chosen to use this nomenclature for our promotion and tenure guidelines.

TEACHING:

Quality undergraduate teaching has been and will continue to be the focal point here at PSU. In the upcoming years teaching at the graduate level will also be involved, at least with some faculty. For the promotion to Associate Professor excellence in teaching will be of foremost importance. The judgment of teaching performance will center upon the teaching evaluations over the 5 year period. Classroom results should be reflected in these student evaluations of the course and teaching effectiveness. A standardized evaluation form will be used by all faculty in the department. Additional ancillary evaluations of the courses taught will also be accepted if desired by the candidate.

Additional criteria are included in the list below:

Summary of criteria that may be used to evaluate teaching effectiveness:

· Student evaluations, both standardized and customized

· Course and curriculum development

· Performance assessment

· Involvement in student-oriented research

· Collaborative teaching within and outside the department

· Teaching awards

· Effort in institutional curriculum development/change

· Involvement in the Teaching and Learning Center

· Participation in First Year Seminar or First Class or Reflective Practice groups

· Demonstrated innovation in pedagogy or other aspects of course delivery

RESEARCH/SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY:

Continued scholarly activity is considered an intrinsic trait of professionals in biology. The heart of science is a curiosity about the world. In terms of biology this encompasses an enormous spectrum of topics ranging from molecular and cellular biology to environmental issues of global proportion. All members of the Department of Biological Sciences should have active interests in biology beyond the scope of the classroom. PSU is in a major transition and the level of research expectations will be higher in the future. These expectations, of course, will be tempered by the reality of the strong element of teaching in this department. With current teaching loads research expectations will be modest. If reduced loads become the norm in upcoming years then higher research output and graduate mentoring will be expected. As such, the department will need to revisit this aspect of promotion and tenure, and an important guideline in determining the criteria for any biology faculty must be the job expectation at the time of being hired.

Criteria for judging research/scholarly achievement:

  • Research resulting in publication in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Continued research over a period of years resulting in recognition as an authority in the given discipline. (This is more pertinent to promotion to full professor)
  • Collaborative research efforts
  • Research with undergraduate and graduate students
  • Grant submissions and grant awards
  • Contractual applied research
  • Participation at national and regional scientific meetings
  • Invited and peer-reviewed presentations in poster or spoken format
  • Publication of non-peer reviewed technical reports
  • Efforts as a peer-reviewer for journals within the field of expertise

With the new initiatives at PSU and the recent addition of the MS in Biology, the department can expect that by the fourth or fifth year at PSU a faculty member would be establishing their own unique research niche and a publication or two are in the submission/review or acceptance process. Grant submissions, collaborative efforts, etc. can be taken into account to offset a lack of publications at this point in the candidate’s career. For promotion to full professor research accomplishment will take a larger role with publications expected and the establishment of a level of recognition beyond the regional level.

SERVICE:

Service is a more subjective area than Teaching and Research/Scholarly Activity and there are many endeavors which would be appropriate. These include the major areas of service to the department, to PSU in general and to the local and state community. Examples include:

  • Departmental committees (e.g. P&T committee, national searches, etc.)
  • PSU committees (a multitude of possibilities and weighted according to work load, e.g., policy-making committees that meet regularly and have large work loads would be weighted more heavily than non-policy-making committees which meet infrequently)
  • Various community activities potentially weighted according to amount of work required (e.g., service on a town committee that meets regularly with additional tasks between meetings may be weighted more than involvement in one-time events)
  • Other: Candidates for promotion are encouraged to describe areas of service that may not fall under a discrete category

It is also taken into consideration that individuals vary greatly in their involvement of Research and Service and an exceptional contribution in one are will offset a lesser role in the other. Of course the promotion to full professor will require significant research activity.


APPENDIX I

SAMPLE PLAN

The following sample plan is not intended as either an exhaustive or prescriptive checklist. The items listed are intended as examples. Each candidate, with the assistance of his or her mentor, should develop, periodically revise, and implement their own plan, based on the candidate’s interests and opportunities. Ideally, the mentor should be from within the candidate’s discipline, and will assist the candidate in setting, assessing progress towards, and achieving the goals set forth in the plan.

YEAR ONE

Teaching Scholarship

  • Organize and teach assigned courses
  • Revise current courses based on student and faculty feedback for year two
  • Plan for year two
  • Join a PSU “Reflective Practice” group
  • Attend PSU T&LC activities

Service Scholarship

  • Participate in Departmental committees,
  • Become available for campus committees
  • Seek election for campus committees
  • Get involved with local schools or organizations

Research Scholarship

  • Develop research plan
  • Participate in professional organizations
  • Attend conferences
    • Local, regional or national

YEAR TWO

Teaching Scholarship

· Improve courses – general education or majors – this might include:

o Reorganization of a course for new general education standards,

    • Adding “real time” data collection to a lab vs. “canned” lab manual data.
    • Adding new “best practice” pedagogies or assessment techniques as defined by the professional organization of the discipline
  • Develop courses – general education or majors (within department)

Service Scholarship

  • Participate in Departmental committees
  • Become Available for campus committees
  • Seek election for campus committees
  • Participate in PSU campus initiatives
  • Participate in PSU clubs or chapters
  • Get involved with local schools or organizations

Research Scholarship

  • Get involved in grant proposals (departmental, campus, local)
  • Participate in professional organizations
  • Attend conferences (local, regional and national)
  • Assist in undergraduate and/or graduate research
  • Begin Implementation of research plan

YEAR THREE

At this point the teaching aspect of the faculty member should be stabilized. The Department of Biological Sciences encourages and expects its faculty members to continually evaluate and improve their teaching.

Teaching Scholarship

  • Improve Courses
    • Gen ed or majors
  • Develop Courses
    • Gen ed or majors (within department)

Service Scholarship

  • Participate in Departmental committees,
  • Participate in Campus committees
  • Participate in PSU campus initiatives
  • Participate in PSU club or chapter participation
  • Become involved with local and regional schools or organizations

Research Scholarship

  • Be successfully involved with grant proposals (departmental, campus, local)
  • Be active and have a leadership role in professional organizations
    • Committee work
  • Present talks (campus, local, regional)
  • Attend and/or present workshops (campus, local, regional)
  • Attend conferences
  • Participate in conferences (local or regional)
    • Presentations
    • Poster sessions
    • Planning and implementation
  • Assist in undergraduate and/or graduate research
  • Document research progress

YEAR FOUR

Teaching Scholarship

  • Improve courses.
    • Gen ed or majors
  • Develop courses
    • Gen ed or majors (within department)

Service Scholarship

  • Assume a leadership role on
    • Departmental committees
    • Campus committees
    • Election for campus committees
    • PSU campus initiatives
    • PSU club or chapter participation
    • Local and regional schools or organizations

Research Scholarship

  • Be successfully involved with grant proposals
    • Departmental, campus, Local, regional
  • Be active and have a leadership role in professional organizations
    • Committee work
  • Present talks (campus, local, regional, national)
  • Have a publication in the submission/review process based on PSU work
  • Attend and/or present workshops (campus, local, regional)
  • Attend conferences
  • Participate in conferences (local or regional)
    • Presentations
    • Poster sessions
    • Planning and implementation
  • Assist in undergraduate and/or graduate research
  • Document research progress

YEAR FIVE

Teaching Scholarship

  • Improve courses
    • Gen ed or majors
  • Develop courses
    • Gen ed or majors (within department)

Service Scholarship

  • Assume a leadership role on
    • Departmental committees
    • Campus committees
    • Election for campus committees
    • PSU campus initiatives
    • PSU club or chapter participation
    • Local and regional schools or organizations

Research Scholarship

  • Be Involved with grant proposals as PI or Co-PI
    • Departmental, campus, Local, regional
  • Participate and assume leadership role in professional organizations
    • Committee work
    • Leadership position (regional, national)
  • Present talks (campus, local, regional, national)
  • Publish in peer reviewed journals based on PSU work
  • Attend and present workshops (campus, local, regional, national)
  • Attend conferences
  • Participate in conferences (local, regional, national)
    • Presentations
    • Poster sessions
    • Planning and implementation
  • Assist in undergraduate and/or graduate research
  • Document research progress

Associate to Full Professor – In addition to continuing to meet the criteria for promotion to Associate Professor, the candidate should also demonstrate growth and accomplishment in all areas at the regional and national levels.

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