Penn State College of Engineering Penn State College of Engineering


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Faculty Resources

College of Engineering Promotion and Tenure Criteria of the Faculty and Dean

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To be considered for tenure or promotion, a faculty member should have demonstrated accomplishments in the areas of: (1) Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; (2) Scholar- ship of Research and Creative Accomplishments; and (3) Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession as defined in HR-23. The University requires that the dossier submitted for a candidate should contain three sections which address in turn each of the areas. Attention is drawn to the sections detailed in the College of Engineering Promotion and Tenure Handbook which outline the items to be incorporated in each section. The following criteria for the College of Engineering subsume the University criteria.

Tenure is based on performance and the potential for future advancement. Promotion to the rank of Associate Professor is based upon both actual performance and potential for continued growth and development. Someone considered for promotion to Associate Professor should have demonstrated ability to be a successful faculty member and the growth potential to merit promotion to Professor. A positive tenure decision normally is sufficient for promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor. In an exceptional case, a candidate can be granted tenure but not promoted to Associate Professor. However, in such cases, the burden is on the committee(s) or administrator(s) wishing to separate promotion from a positive tenure decision to show why promotion is not warranted. For promotion to Professor, a faculty member should be recognized by professional peers as an authority or leader in a major area of professional activity. The record of performance and external letters should clearly demonstrate that the individual has made important and recognized contributions.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Ability to convey subject matter to students; demonstrated competence in teaching and capacity for growth and improvement; ability to maintain academic standards, and to simulate the interests of students in the field; effectiveness of counseling, advising and service to students. (HR-23)

Excellence in teaching ability and effectiveness refers to the broad area of student-faculty interaction for educational purposes. A faculty member who is excellent in teaching presents the technical material required by the unit in a clear manner, guides and inspires students through instruction, and advances the understanding of the subject matter and methods of instruction

The candidate should have demonstrated the ability to advise students successfully in their studies and, where appropriate, to have supervised graduate students through the successful completion of their degree programs.

Teaching engineering and engineering technology is teaching the state-of-the-art. It is therefore expected that the candidate will update and revise courses and programs to keep up with technological change.

Teaching effectiveness is evaluated in part by student evaluations, peer reviews, recognition received for teaching excellence, and other appropriate evidence provided by the department in consultation with the faculty member.

Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments

Competence usually demonstrated through publications, exhibition or performance, or presentation of scholarly papers, to carry out research or creative work of high quality and scholarly significance and the ability to train students in research methods and practice; evidence of thorough understanding of the field; maintenance of high levels of academic performance; recognized reputation in the subject matter field; evidence of continued professional growth and active contribution to professional organizations. (HR-23)

Faculty members who engage in both graduate and undergraduate programs must demonstrate a consistent ability to initiate, conduct and complete high quality, innovative and creative activities and to disseminate the results of research, activities in appropriate journals or in forms appropriate to the candidate's area of specialization, and to train students in various facets of research.

Faculty members (many in the School of Engineering Technology and Commonwealth Engineering) whose mission may not involve participation in graduate programs must demonstrate the ability to engage in research and creative activities appropriate to their specific missions, and to disseminate the results from their research and creative activities by publication in the most appropriate journals or other suitable media.

Research competence is evaluated in part by assessing publications, particularly those in refereed journals. External letters of assessment play an important role in judging the quality of research contributions and the faculty member's reputation in the discipline.

Faculty members are expected to be active scholars who have recognized mastery in a major area of scholarly activity. In addition to the University wide criteria, professional activities and competence in professional practice are important factors for Engineering faculty.

Recognized scholarly activity is evaluated in part on the basis of external letters of assessment from peers, presentation of work as an authority, evidence of the development of state-of-the-art teaching methods, and professional activities and practice.

Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession

participation in the University, College, departmental, and unit affairs; competence in extending specialized knowledge to the University and to the public. (HR-23)

University service requires evidence of active participation in Departmental, College, Campus and University committees, governance bodies and related activities. It includes evidence of administrative support work.

Public service requires evidence of contributions of a professional nature to community affairs, government, industry and public and private organizations.

To excel in service, a faculty member should demonstrate leadership and make significant professional contributions to one or more of the above areas.

Approved by the Engineering Faculty Council, September 27, 1994

Approved by the Engineering Faculty Council, September 27, 1994