School of Public Affairs: Promotion and Tenure Criteria

School of Public Affairs: Promotion and Tenure Criteria


Candidates for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs are expected to demonstrate teaching, research, and service performance consistent with the criteria to follow.  Candidates will be expected to demonstrate to external reviewers the extent to which their research and professional careers are consistent with expectations for excellence from the larger discipline of which candidates are part.

For promotion to Professor, candidates must demonstrate significant accomplishments beyond those presented at the time of promotion to Associate Professor.  The candidate must show continued effectiveness as a teacher; ongoing quality performance in service to the College, University, the public, and the profession; a level of research and scholarship sufficient to earn a national reputation for excellence.

Therefore, in compliance with the mission and vision of Capital College and the School of Public Affairs, we recognize the continuum of activities that reflects the functions and forms of scholarship.   A promotion and tenure dossier needs to reflect multidimensional evidence of the functions of scholarship—discovery, integration, application, and education.  The “forms of scholarship,” teaching, research, service and outreach, are vital to the intellectual growth and leadership of faculty, specific disciplines, and professional responsibilities to community, nation, and world.  The integration of the “forms of scholarship” addresses social, disciplinary, and environmental complexities.  Consequently, the successful dossier will provide evidence of such integration.


Promotion and tenure guidelines for School faculty research should be based upon reasonable criteria among the following:

  1. articles in refereed journals; a substantial record of productivity in the preparation of books; articles in professional publications; reports dealing with the findings of a project conducted for a governmental agency; and consultant reports prepared for the Institute of State and Regional Affairs or similar organizations;
  2. a record of continuous productivity in the preparation of papers for professional meetings and/or the chairing of panels at professional meetings;
  3. editing of symposia for refereed journals;
  4. a record of continuous productivity in the preparation of materials used for classes taught by the candidate; computer applications used for class, and/or the development of non-traditional projects used for pedagogical purposes;
  5. a record of outreach or other activities in which there was significant use of candidate’s expertise (consulting, reviewer for refereed journals, journal editor, peer review of grants, speaking engagements, services to governmental agencies, professional and industrial associations, educational institutions, etc.);
  6. a record of success with grants and contracts;
  7. a reputation for excellence in research and scholarship as judged by peers at other academic institutions.


Excellence in Teaching is a Requirement for Tenure and/or Promotion.  Effective teaching includes:

  1. well-designed and challenging courses which present material indicative of the state of knowledge in the fields being taught;
  2. the capacity for growth and improvement, as evidenced in participating in workshops and developing new methods and/or new courses;
  3. regularity of class meetings and accessibility to students in the candidate’s courses as well as to advisees;
  4. accurate and active advising;
  5. the teaching of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as CE courses and other outreach-based teaching, in keeping with the School’s needs and the candidate’s interests;
  6. a willingness to offer independent studies and to chair and serve on master’s papers and doctoral committees; supervision of undergraduate research, including Honors program papers;
  7. participation in programmatic development and review.

Teaching performance is measured by these indicators:

  1. student evaluations;
  2. peer review (classroom visitations by colleagues);
  3. course syllabi (review as part of the peer review process);
  4. quality of master’s papers, doctoral theses, independent studies, student research, and honors papers supervised by the candidate, as assessed by peer review;
  5. portfolio assessment


Faculty members in the School of Public Affairs should actively participate and make meaningful contributions in each of three areas outside their research and course offerings: to units of the university, including the program and School, through active involvement in committee work and faculty citizenship; to their discipline and profession; and to the broader community to which they belong.  While the relative emphasis in the three areas may vary by individual faculty member’s choices, some activity in each area is expected.  Performance is measured by such indications of activity as these:

  1. engagement with the public that make use of the expertise and interests of the faculty member, including speaking appearances, interaction with the media, working with schools, and writing outside of scholarly outlets.
  2. a record of contribution to the life of the program, School, college and the university, through involvement in and leadership of committees and related activities;
  3. offices held in professional or disciplinary associations;
  4. award and recognition by such organizations;
  5. work with student groups;
  6. a record of contributions to the University’s efforts to enhance equal opportunity and diversity.
Approved: September 5, 1991
Revised and Approved: June 12, 2003

Appendix One. Faculty Evaluations

Excerpted from: Successful Faculty Evaluation Programs by Peter Seldin (pp. 72-73)

  1. Instructor knowledge. Does the instructor exhibit content mastery, breadth, depth? Has he/she religiously kept abreast of the discipline? Is his/her subject expertise appropriately demonstrated in the classroom? Is his/her material appropriate to the level of the course? And appropriate to the level of student preparation?
  2. Method of instruction.  Does the classroom presentation exhibit clear signs of planning and organization? Is the material clearly presented? Is class time used efficiently? Does the instructor adapt methods to meet new situations? Is special or supplementary material (e.g. handouts) effectively handled by the instructor? How much critical thinking and analysis by students in the class does he elicit?
  3. Instructor-student rapport. Does the instructor demonstrate fair and equitable treatment of the students in the class? Are questions answered in a direct and understandable manner? Does the instructor betray any sarcasm in dealing with students? Does he/she encourage student involvement when relevant? In dealing with student viewpoints contrary to his/her own, does the instructor encourage full and fair class discussion? Does he/she appear receptive to student suggestions? What is the best description of the instructor-student relationship as exhibited in the classroom?
  4. Teaching behaviors. Is the instructor=s oral delivery too rapid, too slow? Can he/she be easily heard? Is his/her choice of language understandable to the students? Is the classroom activity level too high, too low? Does the instructor at times express himself nonverbally? Does he/she exhibit any distracting mannerisms? Does he/she maintain eye contact with students? Is he/she blind to any part of the classroom and fail to call on students in that area?
  5. Enthusiastic teaching. Does the instructor exude enthusiasm for the subject? Does he/she show signs that he/she enjoys teaching? How hard does he/she try to stimulate students to master the subject? Does he/she encourage informal discussions with students before or after class?
  6. Concern for teaching. Does the instructor show interest in improving his teaching by an analysis of classroom performance and/or by innovating new teaching techniques? Does the instructor make the subject relevant to students and tie it to recent developments? Does the instructor seek out colleagues for discussions on teaching improvement?
  7. Overall. What parts of the teaching seemed particularly to enhance the learning process?  What suggestions are needed to improve the teaching performance? Does the instructor merit recommendation to students you advise? Was the classroom observation under circumstances that permitted accurate judgment on the efficacy of the teaching-learning process? How would you rate this instructor against others in the department? In the institution?

Appendix Two. Vision Statement of Associate Professor and Professor: The Ideal Candidate

Attributes of an Associate Professor

The Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs has established an area or areas of expertise that allow him or her to apply scholarship to teaching, scholarly research and writing, grants activity, and service to the School, College, discipline, and community.  The individual uses the expertise to add, broaden, and apply knowledge that is applicable to the classroom, to academic publishing, and to the concerns of the community.

The Associate Professor is an active participant in the affairs of the School, College, and University, through good teaching, involvement in faculty governance, careful advising of students, and mentoring of junior faculty.  He or she  has a well-established position in at least one of the program faculties of the School, and participates actively in the duties associated with program delivery, assessment, and improvement.

Through publishing, grants writing, participation in professional conferences and committees, and significant application of expertise to community and public affairs, the individual develops a reputation that reflects the quality and value of his or her scholarship. 

Attributes of a Full Professor

The Professor in the School of Public Affairs has established a national reputation for excellence in a field of expertise, through publications, funded research endeavors, and involvement in public affairs.  The Professor is considered a leader in his or her chosen field, as shown by the holding of leadership positions in professional/academic organizations, editorships or memberships on boards of editors, regular publication of scholarly research in books and journals, and significant appointments by public and non-profit organizations.  The Professor has established and maintains a high level of research productivity, and imports the findings of research into current and newly developed courses and programs.

The Professor provides leadership in program management, mentoring of junior faculty, and development and placement of students. Within Capital College, the Professor takes leading roles on committees and faculty governance as requested by School and College administrators.  The Professor works with peers to insure the quality of School and College undertakings and the integration of scholarship into the life of the College.

The Professor’s teaching and out-of-classroom work with students represents the highest values associated with the academic profession.  The individual continues to bring new material from  his or her scholarly activity into the classroom, and is able to direct undergraduate and graduate student research that reflects the important research issues associated with his or her field of expertise.