Proposed Guidelines for Tenure
Successful candidates for tenure will:
- Provide evidence of high-quality teaching:
- Solid faculty peer evaluations, with evidence of proactive measures taken for improvement in response to feedback;
- Student evaluations that are positive at time of tenure and promotion evaluation, and that generally show progressive improvement in response to feedback over pre-tenure period;
- Successful recruitment and supervision of one or more graduate students (MS, MA, MFA, and Ph.D.) in thesis and dissertation research; and
- Successful supervision and engagement of undergraduate students in thesis writing, independent research, or creative activity, as appropriate.
- Present a portfolio of outstanding scholarship benchmarked by publication, and successful mentoring of doctoral students, and leading to a national reputation:
- Receive strong external peer evaluations (from five or more individuals), with evidence of emerging national reputation and increasing peer citation of research by a community of scholars;
- Aim beyond the department’s minimum criteria for peer reviewed scholarship at time of tenure and promotion evaluation and show consistent publication output through pre-tenure. Publications should appear in high-quality, peer reviewed journals, whereby tenure-track faculty are highly ranked nationally in scholarly productivity. Annual publication norms for assistant professors in STEM fields are used to project five-year benchmarks (refer to Table 2.3), suggesting that a total of 7-10 publications during the pre-tenure period is a reasonable minimum target for most disciplines. Tenure-track faculty with a publication total near the low end of the range for a given discipline would be expected to have a higher percentage of papers in truly top-tier journals. Research findings should be presented regularly at professional meetings;
- In departments with graduate programs, show evidence of effective supervision and mentoring toward graduation of graduate students in thesis and dissertation research; and
- Show evidence that the faculty member has developed solo research theme(s) that are independent of his or her doctoral advisor’s and post-doctoral advisor’s research programs, unless equipment/infrastructure costs or best practices in the sub-discipline dictate that the faculty member continue to work in a specific research area; and
- If there are several or many authors on peer reviewed publications, it is fair to expect a developing scholar to be the primary (i.e., lead and/or corresponding) author on at least some of her or his papers, demonstrating primary intellectual input for the research.
- Specifically in the STEM areas, secure external funding from competitive sources to sustain a research program. External funding is an important measure of the quality and sustainability of a research program. To increase the likelihood of successful grant awards, many grant proposals must be submitted early during the pre-tenure period. Prior to the tenure and promotion evaluation, it is expected that faculty in a STEM department will have received external funding that, in total, equals or exceeds national benchmarks for their discipline (refer to Table 2.3).
- As an example, using the benchmarks provided in Table 2.3 for Chemistry, a tenure-track faculty member in review year four or five should strive to meet the annual benchmark of $62,800 in research expenditures from all external funding sources for the current review year, with one to three publications for that year. Looking forward to the next four years, the tenure-track faculty member should provide evidence, based on current grant awards and proposals, that he or she will meet the five-year projection of approximately $314,000 total research expenditures over that period, with a total of nine to thirteen publications;
- While Federal agency grants are considered the "gold" standard, the Carnegie Foundation counts other sources of research funding, including state and local governments, business, and nonprofit organizations, as long as the funds are classified as research dollars submitted through the Office of Sponsored Programs and generate F&A revenues in most cases. Thus, faculty will be able to achieve national benchmarks with a broad source of support;
- We also recognize that the funding benchmarks in Table 2.3 may be too general for some sub-disciplines. External funding should minimally be predictive of continued, long-term granting success and commensurate with a sustainable research program (i.e., support a stipend[s] for one or more graduate students, a portion of the faculty member’s summer salary, and requisite incidentals for conducting research in the relevant area of expertise).
- Provide service to the University, profession, and community:
- Modest service on committees is expected for the home department, including standing committees that serve the home department, student thesis or dissertation committees, social events, colloquia, etc.;
- The College and the department expect the faculty member to perform service assignments competently;
- Modest service is expected for the candidate’s profession, evidenced by providing peer reviews for journals or by acting as an evaluator for grant agencies; and
- Evidence of active engagement in a faith community.
- Demonstrate collegiality:
- Evidence of collegial interpersonal relationships with faculty colleagues, as well as with graduate and undergraduate students; and
- Evidence of integration within the life of the home department and University through regular attendance and participation in scheduled events.
The department and institution have the following responsibilities to facilitate the efforts of the pre-tenure faculty member in achieving tenure:
- Provide responsible mentorship by the department through the entire pre-tenure period through an early introduction to the Baylor teaching and research culture and through honest feedback if problems exist/persist;
- Provide constructive and honest information from tenured faculty, chair, and divisional dean during annual pre-tenure reviews regarding candidate’s progress during the pre-tenure evaluation period;
- Encourage candidates to collaborate with experienced scholars, either within the department or with other institutions, on articles and grant proposals. Particularly in the STEM areas, acting as a co-PI collaborator may enable the candidate to secure his or her first major competitive external grant;
- Provide opportunities for summer sabbaticals and research leaves, especially in year three or four; and
- Render difficult decisions within the departments in year three or four if the candidate is not progressing sufficiently in all evaluative areas and if the pre-tenure trajectory seems unlikely to lead to successful tenure application in year six.
Departmental promotion guidelines should be an extension of the standards set by the tenure guidelines. In other words, scholarship accomplishment upon tenure must continue to the point that the faculty member will attain a national and international reputation in their respective field (e.g., publications, reviewer panels, national professional organization, and editorships). Faculty in STEM departments who seek promotion to Professor should have flourishing publishing and granting records that at a minimum are consistent with benchmarks provided in Table 2.3 for quintile 3 with progress toward granting expenditures in quintile 2. Teaching assignments and lab space allocation will depend upon scholarly productivity for recently tenured professors or mid-career members at the associate or full professor level.