Featured Post

Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Promotion guidelines

My department has been trying to come up with some less nebulous guidelines for promotion and tenure. This is what I came up with this morning. This only covers the research part of the case, of course.
Typically, a succesful candidate for promotion at either level (Associate Professor, Professor), will have a book (or at a minimum, a book manuscript under consideration by respected outlet), as well as five to eight refereed articles or refereed book chapters. In most cases, a candidate will have other publications as well. Editing a collection of essays, preparing a significant critical edition of a literary work, or publishing a serious book-length translation of a major literary work, will be also be considered as serious contributions to research. Such materials will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as the equivalent of 1-2.5 refereed articles. In such cases, there may be fewer refereed articles in the promotion file.

In contrast, book reviews, encyclopedia articles, interviews, revisions of textbooks, translations of magazine articles or minor works (and other relatively minor publications) cannot compensate for the absence of major publications, even if there is a large quantity of minor publications. In fact, a large quantity of such material on a curriculum vitae could be cause for concern, since outside reviewers could have a negative reaction to such a profile.

The minimum standard for promotion, then, would normally be one book, five refereed articles (or other substantial publications deemed to be equivalent), and some other publications of various types. Candidates, however, should normally attempt to exceed expectations rather than merely meeting them.

In linguistics, where a book is not the “gold standard” for promotion at either level, the core of the promotion case will typically be serious, refereed articles published in prestigious journals, supplemented by other research production appropriate. Normally, a successful candidate would have 8-10 journal articles along with some other publications or instructional materials as appropriate.

For promotion to Associate Professor, a candidate should demonstrate intellectual growth beyond the dissertation and an emerging national reputation. For promotion to Professor, the expectation is a solid national and international reputation. The quantity of publications is not enough to ensure promotion at either level: stated in more holistic terms, the standard is a substantial and recognized contribution to research commensurate with the rank to which the candidate aspires.


Clarissa said...

I have read this carefully and have decided to adopt these criteria instead of the ones offered by my department. These are really tough and that makes me feel very motivated.

I was on the committee that created our promotion and tenure requirements, and the senior faculty members kept the standards low out of concern for me. "You are the only person without tenure here," they said. "We are trying to make things easy for you." (And I know that they really mean it). I appreciate the kindness, of course, but now I feel somewhat undermotivated.

Jonathan said...

If you go for those higher standards then you will meet the lower ones easily.

Tanya Golash-Boza said...

Jonathan: I know aspiring candidates will appreciate the clarity. I wonder if it might be useful to be a bit clearer about the book ms. process. Perhaps even "a completed manuscript under review, and preferably in press."

In my (limited) experience, I have seen people wait too long to submit their book manuscript, which creates unnecessary worry around the time they come up for review. So, I would suggest wording that could try and avoid that.

Jonathan said...

Thanks for that wording. I think that would work better than what I have now.