Policy E-7

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This is an archived version of the policy. See current university policy here


(Approved: Faculty Council 4/14/60; Amended: UFC 2/10/76, 3/8/94, 4/12/94; Trustees 5/6/94)

Teaching, research and creative work, and services which may be administrative, professional, or public are long-standing University promotion criteria. Promotion considerations must take into account, however, differences in mission between campuses, and between schools within some campuses, as well as the individual's contribution to the school/campus mission. The relative weight attached to the criteria above should and must vary accordingly. A candidate for promotion [or tenure] should normally excel in at least one of the above categories and be at least satisfactory (research/creative activity; service) or effective (teaching) in the others. In exceptional cases, a candidate may present evidence of balanced strengths that promise excellent overall performance of comparable benefit to the university. In all cases the candidate's total record should be assessed by comprehensive and rigorous peer review. Promotion to any rank is a recognition of past achievement and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of greater responsibilities and accomplishments.


The prime requisites of any effective teacher are intellectual competence, integrity, independence, a willingness to consider suggestions and to cooperate in teaching activities, a spirit of scholarly inquiry which leads the teacher to develop and strengthen course content in the light of developments in the field as well as to improve methods of presenting material, a vital interest in teaching and working with students, and, above all, the ability to stimulate their intellectual interest and enthusiasm. The quality of teaching is admittedly difficult to evaluate. This evaluation is so important, however, that recommendations for an individual's promotion should include evidence drawn from such sources as the collective judgment of students, of student counselors, and of colleagues who have visited his/her classes or who have been closely associated with his or her teaching as supervisor or in some other capacity, or who have taught the same students in subsequent courses.


In most of the fields represented in the program of the University, publications in media of quality are expected as evidence of scholarly interest pursued independently of supervision or direction. An original contribution of a creative nature is as significant or as deserving as the publication of a scholarly book or article. Quality of production is considered more important than mere quantity. Significant evidence of scholarly merit may be either a single work of considerable importance or a series of studies constituting a general program of worthwhile research. The candidate should possess a definite continuing program of studies, investigations, or creative works.


Educated talent, technical competence, and professional skills are indispensable in coping with the complexities of modern civilization. Because most technical assistance is carried on by professional persons, and a high proportion of them have university connection, the University must provide people to fill this need. The performance of services for the University or for external organizations may retard accumulation of evidence for proficiency in research or teaching even while contributing to the value of the individual as a member of the University community. In such cases effective service should be given the same consideration in determining promotion as proficiency in teaching or research. The evaluation of the service should be in terms of the effectiveness with which the service is performed, its relation to the general welfare of the University, and its effect on the development of the individual.


When considered for promotion the individual should be assessed in regard to all three criteria from the preceding section. Favorable action should result when the individual has demonstrated a level of competence or distinction appropriate to the proposed rank in one area of endeavor. Failure to promote may arise from unsatisfactory or ineffective performance in the other areas.

From Instructor to Assistant Professor

This promotion usually is based primarily on evidence of good teaching. Active participation in the affairs of the candidate's department and a promising beginning of independent scholarship are expected.

From Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

This advancement is based on continued improvement, whether in quality of teaching, in scholarship, or in the performance of service roles.

If teaching is the primary criterion, it should be distinctly superior to that of effective teachers at this and other major institutions.

If research or other creative work is the primary criterion, the candidate should have demonstrated a broad grasp of his or her own and related fields and should be establishing a national reputation as a scholar. A definite and comprehensive plan of future research covering a number of years and a beginning thereon which extends well beyond the limits of the doctoral dissertation should be evident.

If service to the University, profession, or community is the primary criterion, it should be discharged with merit and should reflect favorably on the University and on the individual's academic status.

From Associate Professor to Professor

This promotion is based upon achievement beyond the level required for the associate professorship. If teaching is the primary criterion, the candidate must have demonstrated an extraordinary ability to stimulate in students, either undergraduate or graduate, a genuine desire for scholarly work. Wherever feasible he should have demonstrated the ability to direct the research of advanced students.

If research or other creative work is the primary criterion, the candidate should have shown a continued growth in scholarship which has brought a national reputation as a first-class productive scholar. If administrative, professional, or academic service is the primary criterion, distinguished contributions must be evident.