FUNCTIONS AND CRITERIA FOR
EVALUATION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION
RATIFIED BY FACULTY MEMBERS IN THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
BY VOTE, APRIL 27, 2005.
ACCEPTED BY THE DEPARTMENT HEAD OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT.
Harriet Kramer Linkin 5/12/05
ACCEPTED BY THE DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES.
Waded Cruzado-Salas 5/12/05
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION
NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY'S MISSION
New Mexico State University is the state’s land-grant university, serving the educational needs of New Mexico’s diverse population through comprehensive programs of education, research, extension education, and public service.
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH'S MISSION
The English Department promotes broad literacies within our students and throughout our diverse cultures.
We help our students become strong writers and thoughtful readers. We encourage students to develop habits of mind that allow them to read a range of literary and other texts with critical understanding, to write a variety of creative, academic/scholarly, and practical texts, and to work in thoughtful ways with a commitment to the good of the community. We teach students to respect cultural diversity. We train teachers to understand and use current approaches to language, literature, and communication instruction. At the graduate level, we provide advanced education in the study of literature and rhetoric, the practice of creative writing, and the development of professional writing and communication abilities for many purposes.
The English Department seeks to advance knowledge and enrich culture through research and creative activity. The Department recognizes a wide range of research practices, including but not limited to creative writing and performance; critical, cultural, and historical studies of literary and other texts; inquiries into rhetoric and professional communication; studies of language and communication; and research on teaching, program development and learning.
The English Department supports the community, state, and nation through public outreach. We support the teaching of language arts in the schools and the enjoyment of literature within our communities. We promote the use of effective communication in private and public spheres, with the goal of enhancing the lives of citizens at home, in the community, and in the workplace.
FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
The Department of English's functions and activities derive from its mission and objectives. Each faculty member is responsible for teaching, research, and service. The following materials provide additional information in each area of responsibility about departmental functions and activities for individual faculty members. Yearly evaluation of a faculty member and evaluation of a faculty member for tenure and promotion are based on the following:
Teaching Functions: Every faculty member is expected to strive for excellence in the classroom. Tenure-track faculty members teach nine hours per semester except when assigned extraordinary advising, research, or service responsibilities. Normally, the teaching load represents 45% of one's obligation to the department. Individual faculty members may seek approval from the Department Head and Dean of Arts and Sciences to modify this level of teaching responsibility.
Faculty members are expected to teach at all levels-lower division (including general education courses), upper division courses, and graduate courses. While teaching assignments are primarily designed to meet the needs of the student body, faculty requests (especially those that reflect an individual's scholarly ambition and professional growth) are an important secondary consideration.
Additional expectations of faculty members include the following: to provide for student evaluation of all courses, to serve on and chair graduate student committees, to work with students outside the classroom, to contribute to outcomes assessment efforts, and to develop new courses.
Research Functions: The department is strongly committed to research and creative activities. Each faculty member will conduct research or creative activities that result in high quality publications as judged according to professional standards of the various disciplines within English.
A tenure-track faculty member in the department who teaches nine hours per semester will normally be assigned a 45% research responsibility. Individual faculty members may seek approval from the Department Head and the Dean of Arts and Sciences to modify this level of research responsibility.
Specific research responsibilities include the following: developing an active agenda of research or creative work, contributing to disciplinary knowledge (print or electronic), disseminating the results of one's work in books and professional journals (print or electronic), and presenting at professional conferences. Responsibilities may also include (as appropriate) seeking and obtaining external funding and involving students in professional projects. In addition, a faculty member may engage in research related to program development that will lead to publication.
Service Functions: The department values service to the profession, the university, the department, and the community. However, a faculty member's service responsibility does not carry the same weight as one's teaching and research responsibilities. The rewards of tenure and promotion cannot be offered to a faculty member whose primary contributions are service related.
A tenure-track faculty member who teaches nine hours per semester will normally be assigned a 10% service responsibility. Individual faculty members may seek approval from the Department Head and the Dean of Arts and Sciences to modify this level of service responsibility.
Specific service responsibilities normally include the following: serving on departmental committees, participating on college and university committees, supporting the discipline through appropriate professional activities, and serving the community through educational outreach and research. Tenured faculty members bear the additional responsibility of sitting on the department's Tenure and Promotion Committee, and providing departmental and university leadership. In addition, faculty may engage in adminstrative work, such as directing the Writing center or the general education programs, editing Puerto del Sol, coordinating readings, or engaging in community service.
THE EVALUATION OF FACULTY PERFORMANCE AND APPLICATIONS
FOR TENURE AND PROMOTION
The department and its faculty members will comply with all procedures concerning annual review and applications for tenure and promotion as established by the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual and appropriate documents from the College of Arts and Sciences. University policies also require the Department Head to complete a yearly performance appraisal of faculty performance to determine annual merit increases (discussed elsewhere). Each year in the spring, the Tenure and Promotion Committee must review the annual reports of faculty previous to tenure, and those faculty eligible for promotion. In the case of faculty previous to tenure, the Tenure and Promotion Committee will comment on the candidate’s progress toward tenure and recommend to the Department Head whether the faculty member should be offered a contract for another year. The Department Head also makes a separate recommendation to the Dean concerning annual contract renewal and the candidate's progress toward tenure and promotion. In the case of faculty eligible for promotion, the Tenure and Promotion Committee advises the faculty member on whether to apply for promotion or to wait until a later opportunity. According to the AP&P, the deliberations and judgments of the Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Department Head are separate.
ANNUAL REVIEW EVIDENCE AND EVALUATION
Teaching Evidence and Evaluation: The quality of teaching, both inside and outside the formal classroom, will be considered during annual review of department faculty members. The Tenure and Promotion Committee and Department Head will examine evidence of teaching quality when reviewing a tenure-track faculty member. Student evaluations of teaching performance must be included in such evidence. Student evaluations must be conducted in accordance with university and college procedures. The basic expectation is that a faculty member will turn in complete sets of student evaluations for each course taught, plus summary analyses and statistics. Peer evaluations, reflective assessments, or other evidence of teaching excellence will also be considered. Participation on and especially the chairing of graduate student committees will also be considered. Curriculum development, teacher training and supervision, professional development activities involving teaching, and teaching innovations, as well as performance as an advisor outside the formal classroom, will also be considered.
Research Evidence and Evaluation: For both annual review by the Tenure and Promotion Committee and for applications for tenure and promotion, faculty members must provide evidence of the quality and quantity of their research activities. The department's Tenure and Promotion Committee and Department Head will judge the quality of a faculty member's research and creative activities. Publications, grants, exhibits, and other concrete indications of on-going research and creative activities are fundamental components of the evidence for excellence in research. Academic books published in recognized presses, chapters in scholarly books, articles in high quality, refereed, international and national journals, and creative works published by appropriate presses and journals are usually strong evidence of excellence in research. Such works are assessed in terms of their impact in the discipline, the quality of the academic press or journal within which they appear, and their record of citation and review. Significant editorial work, such as scholarly editions, edited collections, anthologies, and scholarly websites are also considered as research. Non-refereed publications, technical reports, and publications in local or regional journals are not normally assessed as highly as the aforementioned works, nor are textbooks, instructional guides, instructional software, or web-based teaching materials. In cases other than refereed publications, it is the burden of the faculty member to make a case concerning the quality and significance of the work. We value collaborative scholarship, but we generally expect that a faculty member who presents co-authored works will also present single-authored works. Papers and presentations at professional conferences and reading performances are not normally valued as highly as refereed books and journal articles. External funding for a faculty member's research or creative activities is also evidence of accomplishment. Developing and evaluating programs in writing or reading can also be considered research activity when they lead to publication.
For tenure and promotion, the department requires external reviews by tenured faculty from other universities. External reviewers will be selected from lists supplied by the candidate for tenure and promotion and by the Department Head and Tenure and Promotion Committee. The Department Head and Tenure and Promotion Committee will obtain these reviews following university and college procedures (see AP&P Manual for details).
Service Evidence and Evaluation: Evidence of service to the profession, university, department, and community will be considered when evaluating a faculty member's annual performance and when making decisions concerning tenure and promotion. The department recognizes that the specific service performed by different faculty members will vary.
Annual Review Report: Each year a succinct report (no longer than 10 pages) should summarize teaching, research, and service activities. This report should include a summary of and response to student evaluations. Attachments should include a current vita, complete sets of teaching evaluations for all courses taught, copies of published works, and evidence of work in progress.
CRITERIA FOR TENURE AND PROMOTION
The Tenure and Promotion Committee and Department Head will recommend that a faculty member receive tenure only when evidence demonstrates that the candidate maintains and will, in all likelihood, continue to maintain a high level of teaching effectiveness; an active, productive, and high quality research agenda; and appropriate service. Promotion to the associate level will be considered when, in addition to meeting the preceding standards, evidence shows that the candidate's work is beginning to receive positive national attention from professional peers. A candidate for promotion to full professor should exhibit special stature in his or her discipline, with leadership and substantial strength in all areas of teaching, creative activity, and professional service.
Teaching Criteria: Strong teaching performance is necessary for tenure and promotion. To qualify for tenure and promotion, a faculty member must provide evidence of strong, high quality teaching performance. A strong record of publication will not compensate for weak teaching.
Research Criteria: To qualify for tenure and promotion, faculty members must have a strong, high quality research program in progress. We recognize differences in publication expectations within the various disciplines in the department. To qualify for promotion to associate professor, faculty members must have a substantial record of publications attracting some positive national attention as demonstrated by readers’ reports, reviews, and citations. Previous to the closing of the application file, we expect a candidate in literature, rhetoric, or professional communication to publish, or have accepted for publication, a scholarly book or a minimum of three scholarly articles or book chapters. In creative writing we expect the publication of a book by a reputable press during the probationary period. To qualify for promotion to professor, continuing research productivity, increased recognition in the field, and professional academic leadership should be demonstrated. Strong teaching will not compensate for a weak record of publication.
Service Criteria: To qualify for tenure and promotion, faculty members must demonstrate appropriate to the level sought, service to New Mexico State University, their academic discipline, and the wider community. For promotion to professor, academic leadership must be demonstrated. A faculty member's service is less important than teaching and research in tenure and promotion decisions.
COMMITTEE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Tenure and Promotion Committee: All tenured members of the Department of English faculty and an external member appointed by the Dean of Arts and Sciences will act as the Tenure and Promotion Committee. In cases of promotion, members must hold rank equal to or higher than the rank to which the candidate is to be promoted. If the department lacks sufficient faculty members to form a Tenure and Promotion Committee (as determined by the College of Arts and Sciences), the Dean of Arts and Sciences will appoint additional outside members following university and college procedures.
The department's Tenure and Promotion Committee will review all non-tenured faculty members once a year in the spring. The chair of the Tenure and Promotion Committee advises candidates on procedures, coordinates the review, and drafts the letters of recommendation for review and signature of all committee members.
The department's Tenure and Promotion Committee will answer the following questions each year during a spring semester review of probationary faculty members. For each question, the Committee will address in writing the probationary faculty member's teaching, research, and service.
- Did the faculty member make acceptable progress toward tenure and promotion during the current, annual reporting period?
- Should the probationary faculty member's contract be renewed?
- Has the faculty member made acceptable progress toward tenure and promotion since beginning his or her probationary period?
- Does the Tenure and Promotion Committee have any comments and recommendations for the faculty member? What are they?
The Department Tenure and Promotion Committee will provide a written review of the faculty member drafted by the Committee chair to be signed by all. Minority opinions may also be forwarded. All such materials will be forwarded to the Dean of Arts and Sciences, following university and college procedures.
The Department Head
The Department Head will independently review the performance of each faculty member once a year and will consider evidence and assess performance in accordance with principles established in this document and in the AP&P. For probationary faculty, the Department Head forwards to the Dean a separate assessment of progress toward tenure.
APPLICATION PROCESS FOR TENURE AND PROMOTION
Normally, faculty members begin to apply for tenure and promotion during the spring of the fifth year of employment. Candidates should consult with the Department Head about precise timing, which may vary depending on prior service. After consulting with the Department Head, the candidate declares his/her intention to apply for promotion and/or tenure in a written memo to the Department Head. Candidates with extraordinary records may apply for early promotion (without tenure), but they should seek advice from the Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Department Head before proceeding. If a faculty member does not wish to be considered for tenure, he or she must give the Department Head written notice of resignation. This notice should be given before the end of the fifth year of service. Not submitting an application is de facto notice of resignation.
Step 1 (Spring, 5th Year) The List of External Reviewers:
The purpose of external reviewers is to provide independent evidence of the stature of a candidate’s research or creative work; therefore, it is important that the reviewers be objective and without close personal ties to the candidate. During the spring of the fifth year of employment, the candidate should submit to the Department Head a list of three to five potential external reviewers. The list should include names, professional rank, professional address (including e-mail), and preferred telephone numbers. Except in unusual circumstances, reviewers should be senior in rank to the applicant. Attached to the list should be a brief description of each individual, detailing the person’s qualifications to perform the review. If the candidate has any current or past relationship with the reviewer, the relationship should be briefly described. No one employed at NMSU may be listed. After submitting the list, the candidate should have no contact with anyone on the list until after the full application packet has been sent from the department to the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
The Tenure and Promotion Committee will work with the Department Head to find external reviewers for the candidate’s work, using the candidate’s list and lists of their own making (three for tenure and five for full professor). It is incumbent upon the candidate to submit a list early enough in the spring semester to permit the department to reach people before the summer.
Step 2 (Late Spring, 5th Year) External Reviewer Packets:
The candidate must assemble three packets or five (depending on rank sought) of materials that will be mailed by the department to reviewers who agree to evaluate the candidate’s application. These must be ready to mail shortly after the submission of the list. Each packet should include the following:
- A current vita
- Publications or photocopies of publications.
- Work accepted for publication but not yet published.
- Completed, but as yet unpublished work.
- Publicly presented work, such as papers given at a professional conference.
The candidate’s teaching and service are not subjected to external review and related materials should not be included. The Department Head will arrange for the external reviewers and will provide them with a vita, copies of publications, and a brief description of the candidate’s teaching and administrative load.
Step 3 (Spring/Summer, 5th Year) The Tenure and Promotion Application:
In this application, the candidate has the opportunity to make the best case for one’s candidacy. While self-promotion is required by the document, the department encourages candidates to avoid inflating the significance of one’s accomplishments (and to avoid statements that may mislead or misinform the committee). A candidate’s acknowledgment of a specific weakness (a difficulty teaching a specific course, for example) and a description of steps taken to remedy the problem are appropriate and valuable parts of the narrative. Candidates should review the applications of faculty who have successfully completed the process. These are available in departmental records.
The Tenure and Promotion Application Narrative (15-25 pages) should have six distinct parts with the following headings:
- Prior Experience
- Publications and Other Research or Creative Activities
- Professional Service and University Activities
It is also typical to have attachments (see below).
Prior Experience: In this section, the candidate should briefly outline any academic or related work completed prior to employment at NMSU, including graduate teaching, publications, and funded grants. If the publications were accepted before coming to NMSU but were not in print until after the candidate began employment at NMSU, then the publication should be properly listed in a later category. Similarly, grants awarded before employment at NMSU but not funded until after the candidate was employed by NMSU should properly be listed in a later category (unless the grant benefits the candidate’s prior institution and does not directly benefit either the candidate, NMSU, or the local community). The department will consider the candidate’s continuous record. Candidates who negotiate credit toward tenure and promotion upon hiring will have prior achievements credited toward tenure and promotion. In such cases, the publications may be listed in a later (and more heavily weighted) category. Teaching for and service to other universities still carry somewhat less weight, and they should be listed in this category. The Prior Experience section should typically run no more than two pages in length.
Teaching: This section should describe in detail the candidate’s teaching at NMSU. At the heart of this section should be a thoughtful consideration of one’s teaching, including topics such as one’s approach or philosophy of teaching, one’s strengths and weaknesses as a teacher, and one’s evolution and growth as a teacher. The candidate may wish to treat graduate and undergraduate teaching separately.
While student evaluations are gathered in another part of the application packet, the narrative should contain an overview of student responses to the candidate’s teaching, including the following: statistical summary of graduate and undergraduate evaluations, excerpts from student evaluations, and a thoughtful response to the students’ perceptions of one’s strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. Other methods of evaluating teaching, such as peer reviews, may be included.
This section is also the appropriate place to describe one’s development of new courses, curricular or pedagogical grant work, or other relevant curriculum development. The candidate’s work with thesis students, on M.A. and Ph.D. committees, and in the formal advising of students should be delineated here. If the candidate has provided or participated in teaching improvement seminars or other programs that indicate commitment to excellence in the classroom, these should also be mentioned in this section. Links to electronic teaching materials, with description of the material, are also appropriate.
If the candidate has won any teaching awards, they should be named in this section. The award should be described and a context for viewing the relative merit of the award should be included.
Administrative work, especially if performed in lieu of teaching, may be described in this section or may more appropriately fall into the category of Professional Service and University Activities. Candidates should consult the Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Department Head to discuss specific cases.
The Department of English values strong teaching. Only teachers with a documented record of success will earn tenure.
Publications and Other Research or Creative Activities: While the candidate’s actual publications appear elsewhere in the application packet, the narrative provides the opportunity to detail, describe, analyze, and provide a context for one’s work. In addition to listing works published or accepted for publication during the time of one’s employment at NMSU, the candidate is encouraged to include a thoughtful overview of one’s professional agenda. Major publications should be described and placed in a professional context, indicating the quality of the book or journal where each publication appears. For each publication, a specific statement should indicate whether the publication was peer-reviewed. Papers given at conferences may be mentioned. Excerpts from the reviews of one’s works should appear in this section. Candidates should substantiate any claims made about the status or stature of all materials.
If, among the candidate’s publications or grants, there are co-authored works, the candidate should provide an explicit statement about the degree of the candidate’s contribution. This section is also the appropriate place to list grants funded in recognition of scholarly or creative work. Other kinds of recognition connected to one’s research or creative work belong in in this category. Any awards for research or creative activity should be named in this section. The award should be described and a context for viewing the relative merit of the award should be included. Work in program development, administration, and evaluation should be documented in this section when such work leads to publication. The candidate should establish the contribution to scholarship resulting from such work.
The department values having active recognized scholars and writers. Candidates who fail to publish their work will not earn tenure.
Professional Service and University Activities: In this section, the candidate should detail the professional service provided over the time of one’s employment at NMSU and include other university activities that contribute to the vitality of NMSU. Professional Service is a broad term, and there may be some overlap in this section with other sections. For example, curriculum work described in the Teaching category may be mentioned again in this section; a national post that recognizes one’s stature in one’s discipline may merit mention in the Research category, but the demands of such a post may properly belong in the Service category. However, it is important for the candidate to indicate that the activity has been previously cited in the narrative.
Professional Service includes the following categories:
- Service to the department includes departmental committee work, chairing a committee, ad hoc committee, administrative assistance, fund raising, editing departmental publications, operating departmental programs, developing uses of technology, etc.
- Service to the university includes university committee work, chairing a university committee, serving on the faculty senate, fund raising, supporting university projects in specific ways, serving on internal/external review committees, developing uses of technology, etc.
- Service to the discipline includes serving as an officer in appropriate regional or national organizations; serving on an editorial board; judging professional work for a journal, a press or professional organization or for a professional prize; peer review for a professional journal, press, organization; developing websites, etc.
- Service to the community includes participation in or organization of university outreach programs, promoting the university’s mission in appropriate ways, etc.
For each category, the candidate should describe the specific work undertaken. For example, a candidate who serves for three years on the Undergraduate Studies Committee may note that the committee undertook, during that time, the major project of instituting the Outcomes Assessment plan.
Step 4 (Spring/Summer, 5th Year) Vita Preparation:
Every university professional is expected to maintain an up-to-date vita. The vita should contain at least the following standard information:
- educational background
- professional employment and job experience
- courses taught
- titles and complete bibliographical entries of publications (including page references for all articles)
- a record of grants funded
- a record of service proffered
- a list of awards received.
The vita should provide all of the above information for the candidate’s entire professional career.
Step 5 (Spring/Summer, 5th Year) Accumulating Materials:
Applicants should begin assembling the following supporting documents as attachments to the Tenure and Promotion application:
- teaching evaluations for all courses taught at NMSU (and other materials that provide evidence of teaching excellence)
- an Annual Performance Report for each year of employment
- Department Head Appraisals for each year at NMSU
- documentation of service in the discipline, department, university, and community
- copies of publications and accepted publications as evidence of one’s research and creative work
- letters of acceptance from journals or editors for work not yet published
- records documenting external funding.
The candidate may choose to include additional materials. Occasionally candidates procure additional letters of support from individuals who do not meet the criteria of the external reviewers. In certain circumstances, letters from former students, other faculty members at NMSU, or members of the community sometimes appear under a separate title among the supporting documents. The department does not encourage such practice except under the following conditions. If the candidate worked on a specific project with a member of another department, a letter of support from this colleague may be appropriate. Similarly, candidates who have taught for programs within the university such as the Honors Program or Women's Studies may wish to include letters from the directors of these programs. Letters of support from current students are forbidden. Letters from former students are appropriate only if specific circumstances warrant them; which is to say, general letters from former students are discouraged. Letters from tenured and untenured colleagues within the department are forbidden, with the exception of letters evaluating teaching, as may be written by peers following classroom visits. Consult with the Department Head before including additional letters of support. Letters from community leaders with whom the candidate has conducted some kind of outreach program should usually appear under Service. General letters of support do not often carry much weight in the decision-making process.
Step 6 (Early Fall, 6th Year) Review Application Packet:
NMSU has an open file policy, which permits candidates to review all items in the packet of materials assembled for review. The candidate should check with the Department Head to see if external reviews have arrived. If a reviewer fails to produce a letter, the candidate may be asked to suggest an alternate external reviewer. Once the external reviews have arrived, the candidate may choose to examine the letters. A candidate may continue to add materials to the application packet until the file is given to the Tenure and Promotion Committee.
Step 7 (Early Fall) Annual Performance Report:
Candidates for tenure and promotion must complete their Annual Performance Report earlier than usual and include it in the documentation.
Step 8 (Early Fall) Submit Application Packet:
The candidate must deliver the application packet complete with all supporting attachments early in the fall semester of the candidate's sixth year of employment. The Department Head will provide deadlines to the candidate, and the candidate must meet them in a timely fashion. The application packet should include the following materials:
- the Tenure and Promotion Narrative;
- a current vita;
- an Annual Performance Report for each year of employment, including the application year,
- the Tenure and Promotion packet
- Department Head Appraisals for all years at NMSU
- teaching evaluations from all courses taught at NMSU (and other materials that provide evidence of teaching excellence)
- copies of publications or work accepted for publication
- letters of acceptance from journals for articles not yet published
- documentation concerning obtaining external funding
- evidence of service in the discipline, university, department, and/or community.
Step 9 Tenure and Promotion Committee Review of Application:
After a candidate submits the application packet to the department, the Tenure and Promotion Committee evaluates the candidate's record according to the criteria descibed previously in this document. The committee will deliberate, vote anonomously, and submit a report to the Department Head that describes its activities, votes, and recommendations. The Department Head will evaluate the candidate's record, review the committee's recommendations, and add a separate and independent review to the packet before sending all materials to the Dean of Arts and Sciences. Other than these two recommendation reports, nothing else will be changed, added, or deleted without the knowledge of the candidate. The Department Head must report in writing the recommendation by the Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Department Head to the Dean.
Candidates will not typically receive notice of the final status of their applications until late in the spring semester. Candidates may withdraw their applications for tenure and promotion at any time. Withdrawal of a tenure application must be accompanied by a letter of resignation.
Application for Promotion to Full Professor:
For the most part, candidates for promotion to full professor follow the previously detailed guidelines to a great extent; however, there are a few significant differences:
- Candidates must provide a minimum of five names on their list of possible external reviewers and the file must contain five letters.
- In the Promotion Narrative, the Prior Experience section should include mention of the candidate's work while an assistant professor at NMSU.
- In the sections that follow, the candidate should refer to publications, achievements, and teaching experience that have taken place since the candidate's promotion to associate professor.
- The narrative should include an argument that the candidate has demonstrated the leadership required of a senior faculty member, as well as supporting material that substantiate the claim.