Senate Document SD 94-3
Approved, September 12, 1994
(Amended, March 15, 2010)
As a comprehensive university, IPFW is committed to maintaining a standard of excellence in its diverse programs, departments, and schools/colleges. To maintain that standard, it must be applied consistently at all levels of evaluation throughout the institution. This standard of excellence applies to teaching, research and creative endeavor, and service. Because the needs and goals of programs vary widely, faculty contributions to the university may be very different, yet all are essential to its success. Our criteria for promotion and tenure must take these differences into account. And yet there are standards applicable to all who hold faculty appointments in the institution. Meeting these standards is the responsibility of every faculty member; granting tenure or promotion is our recognition that they have been successfully met.
Promotion is a recognition of past achievement; tenure, a statement of confidence in future achievement. While promotion and tenure criteria are often the standards for summative judgment, they are most properly viewed as guidelines for faculty development. To this end, each department should develop a promotion and tenure policy of its own, setting out criteria for excellence and satisfactory achievement in teaching, research and creative endeavor, and service. The policy should define what the department means by "teaching," "research and creative endeavor," and "service" and list activities and achievements properly associated with those terms, along with qualitative standards by which they may be judged.
The policy so developed should be consistent in content and criteria for quality with those governing promotion and tenure in comparable departments at other universities, and may be evaluated by peers in the discipline in order to strengthen claims that faculty here are judged according to widely recognized professional standards. The policy must also be consistent with applicable Purdue University or Indiana University standards for promotion and tenure.
All types of evaluations should be accompanied by a statement indicating who solicited them, the terms under which they were obtained, the number solicited, and the number returned.
IPFW faculty are expected to be effective teachers and to have demonstrated a significant commitment to teaching. If teaching is the primary basis for promotion to Associate Professor, the candidate's performance should be clearly superior to the standard of satisfactory achievement at IPFW and comparable institutions; if the primary basis for promotion to Professor, the candidate should not only have established a record of excellent teaching but also have contributed to the general improvement of instruction at IPFW or in the discipline.
Teaching includes not only classroom instruction, but all other activities with a direct bearing on student learning. Evidence to support the evaluation of teaching should represent multiple perspectives, which may include information from students and colleagues, on and off campus, as well as self-evaluation.
Information from students may take the form of student evaluations, interviews, letters, surveys of graduates, and measurements of learning. This information should be accompanied by a statement of the manner in which it was gathered, the individuals involved in the process, and the safeguards employed to preserve confidentiality.
Evidence from colleagues may include evaluation of course materials, instructional contributions and curriculum development, pedagogical publications or presentations, formal observations of classroom teaching, and teaching awards. In many departments, a summative judgment by a senior colleague or colleagues of all the evidence concerning teaching effectiveness can provide support for a claim of comparative excellence.
Self-evaluation may include methods such as personal statements, self-assessment forms, and video and audio-tape analysis.
Furthermore, active involvement with professional organizations which focus on teaching effectiveness or with university-sanctioned student organizations may provide additional support for the candidate's interest in teaching and working with students.
IPFW faculty with release time for research are expected to be engaged in long-term programs of research, scholarship, or creative endeavor. This work should reach and be favorably acknowledged by an audience that extends beyond the campus. Faculty with release time for research are expected to maintain currency in their discipline and to share their expertise with peers at IPFW and other institutions. If research and creative endeavor is the primary basis for promotion to Associate Professor, the candidate should have demonstrated substantial achievement beyond the terminal degree; if the primary basis for promotion to Professor, the candidate should have gained national or international recognition for his or her work.
While assessing the scholarly or creative contributions of a candidate, some of the factors which may be important in establishing excellence are originality, significance, depth of consideration, contribution to the discipline, and relevance to the candidate's teaching. Depending upon the discipline and area of endeavor, some combination of several or all of these aspects may be involved in building a case for excellence. The quantity of research or creative endeavor is a sign of productivity; however, its quality is more important. And because the judgment of the candidate's work is primarily qualitative, it cannot be reduced to quantitative formulae.
The evaluation of research, scholarly, or creative outcomes by authorities in the field is accomplished by a variety of means, such as publication, presentation, exhibition, and performance. In general, the widely accepted evaluation practices within the discipline will determine what evidence a candidate includes in a tenure/promotion case. Documentation concerning the stature of the publication, conference, place of exhibition, or performance venue, as well as the selection process (refereeing, judging, competition) may also be important in establishing excellence. Letters solicited from authorities in the field outside the university should be an essential part of the documentation as well.
IPFW faculty are expected to take an active role in the campus beyond teaching and research or creative endeavor; they are encouraged to contribute their expertise to the community, state, and nation and to participate in professional organizations. If service is the primary basis for promotion, it should represent a unique achievement of special value to the campus, community, or profession.
Individual members of the Faculty should provide evidence of service adequate to enable its fair assessment. Such evidence might include self-reports, documents from those served, products of the service, reports of the results of the service, evaluation reports received with or without solicitation from disinterested third parties, and requests for continue service from those served. The evidence should demonstrate both the quantity and the quality of the service.
Policy regarding service should distinguish between professional activities (those related to the faculty member's discipline or assigned university duties, or to the mission of the university) and nonprofessional activities (those not so related). The quality of nonprofessional service should not be a major factor in promotion and tenure considerations.
Policies should also take into account the possibility that certain service activities may overlap with activities in the other two areas.