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Criteria for Promotion & Tenure

Recommendations for promotion and tenure by the College of Arts and Sciences shall be made in full accordance with established policies and procedures of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as outlined in Sections 2.13 and 2.14 of the September 1996 edition of the Faculty Handbook. College criteria for faculty promotion and tenure are varied and complex. They recognize that each faculty position has its own distinctive requirements and that the missions of academic units within the college are highly diverse. Moreover, advancement in academic rank and/or the award of tenure must be based on a faculty member’s demonstrated proficiency in fulfilling his/her particular role and in contributing to the performance of the unit mission.

Beyond these specific considerations, the college expects all faculty members to make significant contributions in three general areas of academic life: (a) teaching and corollary activities; (b) research, scholarship, and creative accomplishment; and (c) service to the college, university, public, and profession. It is recognized that individual contributions may not be equal in these three areas. Accordingly, more limited achievement in one area may be offset by unusual excellence in the other two areas. Any such differentiation among the three dimensions of faculty participation must be consistent with the commitment of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to a distinctive research mission. Successful faculty members will share that commitment. A clear record of continuing accomplishment and potential in this area is, therefore, absolutely necessary for positive promotion and tenure consideration.

It is the view of the college that the excitement and inspiration of active research and creative accomplishment are essential to sustained enthusiasm for teaching and effectiveness in the classroom. Recognizing the critical importance of the teaching mission in higher education, the college seeks excellence of instruction not only as a goal but also as a demonstrated fact. Systematic documentation of teaching quality and effective results is expected of all faculty under consideration for promotion and/or tenure.

Finally, it is assumed that all members of the faculty will contribute to nonteaching service in their departments, the college and the university, as well as to their professions and the public. They will be expected to provide documentation of such service at the time of promotion and/or tenure consideration.

More specific criteria by academic rank may be summarized as follows:

Professor

1. Should hold the doctorate or other terminal degree in the discipline, or possess outstanding experience and expertise appropriate to the particular appointment;

2. should normally have served as an associate professor for at least five years;

3. should have acquired an established national professional reputation demonstrated through a record of research, scholarship, or creative accomplishment, indicative of continuous and progressive professional development since faculty appointment in the university;

4. should have achieved a demonstrated record as an accomplished teacher in his/her field; and

5. should have contributed significantly and substantially in some combination to meeting the needs of the University, the community, and the profession. Service expectations are greater for full professors than for individuals holding lesser ranks.

Associate Professor

1. Should hold the doctorate or other terminal degree in the discipline, or possess outstanding experience and expertise appropriate to the particular appointment;

2. should normally have served as an assistant professor for at least four years;

3. should have a strong record of research, scholarship, or creative accomplishment with clear promise that promotion to professor is likely at some point in the future. Appropriate evidence would be publication of a book-length manuscript or comparable contributions to the profession; and

4. should show evidence of excellence in teaching, including one or more evaluations by peer visitation of classes prior to consideration of promotion to associate professor.

Assistant Professor

1. Should hold the doctorate or other terminal degree in the discipline, or possess outstanding experience and expertise appropriate to the particular appointment;

2. should have established an active research/creative achievement program with the goal of publishing a book-length manuscript or equivalent research contributions, or making comparable contributions to creative achievement by the time of consideration for promotion and tenure;

3. should demonstrate strong interest in teaching and clear promise of classroom excellence in performance; and

4. should participate significantly in professional activity in the discipline beyond formal teaching and research.

(Revised Fall, 1996)

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