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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Faculty and Staff

School of Design and Construction –
2.3 Tenure and Promotion Guidelines (revised 8.17)

I. Introduction

This document contains guidelines for tenure and promotion within the School of Design and Construction (SDC) at Washington State University (WSU).[1] These guidelines are supplementary to procedures, policies, and criteria specified in the Provost’s Guidelines for Faculty Promotion and Tenure, the WSU Faculty Manual and the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture (VCEA.) In the case of conflict between documents, the Faculty Manual and/or those documents recommended by the Office of the Provost shall take precedence.

The SDC Tenure and Promotion Guidelines are intended to provide more specific directives pertaining to those faculty seeking tenure and promotion within the School of Design and Construction. They are also intended to provide greater detail to SDC tenure and promotion committees, the SDC director, and the SDC administrative manager for the myriad duties and details required during the tenure and promotion process. Upon approval by the dean and provost, all SDC faculty seeking tenure and/or promotion must be evaluated under these guidelines.

SDC administration must evaluate this document annually to ensure relevancy and compliance with university and/or college policies, and to update any links included herein. Prior to any evaluation, candidates and directors should ensure that they have reviewed the most current version of the following documents (or web pages):

Faculty Manual (PDF)

A Guide to Washington State University’s Policies and Procedures for Evaluating Tenure-track Faculty Members

Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Tenure and Promotion

Candidates and directors also should be sure to check for any updates to the “Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Pullman Campus Faculty Responsibilities Guidelines” (VCEA) and “Course Delivery Expectations Framework.” It is also recommended that the SDC director consult the candidate’s initial letter of appointment. If inconsistencies between the appointment letter and the current workload or responsibilities of the faculty member have shifted, those must be accounted for in any evaluation.

II. Procedures and Criteria for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor (tenure-track)

The standard length for the granting of tenure and promotion from assistant to associate professor at WSU is six years, although candidates are considered for advancement in rank after five years. Thus, nearly all material for the tenure and promotion dossier must be complete by the conclusion of the fifth year. Under most circumstances, faculty appointed at the assistant professor rank will be considered for promotion to associate professor at the time of tenure consideration. The same criteria and procedures will apply to both promotion and the granting of tenure.

Candidates seeking early consideration for tenure and promotion must receive the written support of the SDC director, dean(s), and provost. For accelerated tenure and promotion cases (particularly for those tenure-track faculty who may be joining WSU from another unit or institution), accomplishments and contributions in research, scholarship, and/or creative activities; teaching; and service since joining the SDC shall be more heavily weighted.

A. Tenure and promotion mentoring committee

  1. Committee composition: Within three months of initial appointment, the director will provide a tenure and promotion mentoring committee for untenured faculty members. The director will appoint this committee after consulting with the candidate and the appropriate program head about its membership.

    Each committee must consist of at least three tenured faculty members, ideally appropriate to the candidates’ research trajectory and interests. Two of these tenured faculty- should be from the SDC, and one of them should be the chair (chairs shall be self-selected amongst the committee). The SDC faculty on the committee need not hail from the candidate’s own academic program, although it may be advisable that at least one tenured faculty member is from that program.

  2. Committee role: The committee must keep abreast of the candidate’s research trajectory, teaching accomplishments, and service contributions; and should act in an advisory role as candidates prepare materials for their annual progress-towards-tenure presentation, third-year review, and final tenure and promotion dossier and colloquium. The committee should attempt to position candidates for success in tenure and promotion (and should provide advice for the organization of materials in presentations and dossiers), but should advise rather than advocate. The chair of the committee must ensure that at least one meeting per year is held, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the candidates—through accomplishments in research, teaching, and service—to ensure that they have put themselves in the best position for success.

  3. Committee meetings and report: The mentoring committee must have a formal meeting with the candidate at least once an academic year to review and discuss the candidate’s progress towards tenure and, if necessary, to highlight areas where improvement is needed. A report—to be shared with the candidate, members of the committee, and the director—will be drafted immediately following this meeting, and must include a list of members present, an assessment of the candidate’s accomplishments and progress, and clear directions for improvement. This formal, annual meeting must occur prior to the candidate’s progress-towards-tenure presentation so that the report can assist the director in the annual write-up of the progress-towards-tenure review (and potentially the annual review as well). Mentoring committees may choose to meet with candidates more than once a year (or candidates may request more than one meeting per year); however, only one report must be filed annually.

  4. Changes to the committee: The mentoring committee should be maintained for the duration of the candidate’s time to tenure, after which point the committee should be dissolved. If a change in committee composition is necessary, the director should work with the candidate (and the committee) to identify an appropriate replacement. Candidates may also request that the committee makeup be changed.

B. Progress-Towards-Tenure Review (Typically Years 1, 2, 4, 5)

  1. Progress-towards-tenure annual presentation: In conjunction with the director, the chair of the mentoring committee should arrange the annual progress-towards-tenure presentation and the distribution of evaluation forms. This presentation, intended to permit candidates the opportunity to explain to the faculty their cumulative progress towards tenure (and not only performance in the previous year) should occur in early or mid-March—around the time of the annual review. All SDC faculty and staff should be invited to the presentation and question-and-answer period.

    Candidates should present for fifteen minutes, and focus on progress in research, teaching, and service (and/or linkages between them). The director or mentoring committee chair must ensure that there is enough time for questions and answers and, for tenured faculty, that relevant material is available (e.g., the candidate’s CV, previous progress-towards-tenure reviews, and student evaluations). For tenured faculty, there should also be enough time provided for private discussion following the general question-and-answer session. The candidate’s mentoring committee (or a representative from it) must be present during this session to provide additional input, if necessary.

  2. Progress-towards-tenure evaluations and form: Tenured faculty must also fill out an evaluation form following the candidate’s presentation (Appendix A), and these forms must be turned in to the SDC administrative manager within one week following the presentation. The director must then summarize the thoughts of the tenured faculty on the annual progress-towards-tenure form (available on the provost’s website) and provide all tenured faculty in the school an opportunity to see what was written. Once all tenured faculty have been given adequate time to review the director’s summary (no more than one week), the director should arrange to meet with the candidate for discussion and signature(s). The candidate has the opportunity to provide an addendum to that form if desired. The form is then forwarded to the dean(s) and, once signed, becomes a permanent part of the candidate’s file. More information can be found on pp. 51-52 of the Faculty Manual.

C. Third-year review (intensive progress-towards-tenure review)

  1. Peer reviews of teaching: Twice during the first three years of service (prior to the third year review), faculty member(s) appointed by the director shall attend at least two instructional sessions given by the candidate. Ideally, the two peer evaluation instances shall be for different classes, and the two peer reviewers shall be different. Following each session, the reviewer(s) shall prepare an assessment addressing teaching style, effectiveness, and content (insofar as their expertise allows). This assessment, not to exceed two pages, must be shared with the mentoring committee, placed in the candidate’s file, and included in the third-year dossier.

  2. Third-year dossier preparation: During the third academic year of the candidate’s appointment (or in the year specified in the candidate’s letter of appointment), a review shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures specified in the Faculty Manual. This review supplants the progress-towards-tenure review for that year. The candidate, under the guidance of the mentoring committee, shall prepare a dossier to include past annual reviews; progress-towards-tenure reviews; curriculum vitae; teaching portfolio (no more than five pages); articles and/or creative work either published or in process; and relevant supplementary material (e.g., conference presentations; posters; grant applications; evidence of exhibitions; professional or consulting activity; awards; letters of support; and unsolicited commendation from colleagues, students, or alumni). An optional context statement may be included. The development of this dossier should be in accordance with the policies set forth by VCEA, the Faculty Manual, and the Office of the Provost.

  3. Third-year dossier dissemination: Candidate shall make available to tenured faculty their dossier both electronically and in hard copy, and must submit that material to the administrative manager by a date specified by the director—typically in February of the spring semester of the third year. The tenured faculty of the SDC should have at least a week to review the candidate’s third year dossier prior to the candidate’s presentation.

  4. Third-year review presentation: As with the annual progress-towards-tenure review, candidates shall have the opportunity to present their accomplishments in research, teaching, and service to the entire SDC faculty and staff—typically in March of the year of review. Following this presentation, which should be limited to no more than twenty minutes, a question-and-answer period will take place. Following this, only tenured faculty shall remain to discuss the candidate’s progress, and recommendations will be distributed to tenured faculty per the guidelines in the Faculty Manual. Tenured faculty shall have one week to submit completed recommendations to the school’s administrative manager, who shall collect them for the director. In completing recommendations, tenured faculty should be sure to account for the entirety of the candidate’s accomplishments—not just the quality and scope of the presentation. The recommendations, available annually from the provost’s office, will ask faculty to choose from the following criteria:

    • Progress satisfactory
    • Some improvement required
    • Substantial improvement required
    • Unsatisfactory

    More information regarding these terms can be discovered under section five of “A Guide to Washington State University’s Policies and Procedures for Evaluating Tenure-Track Faculty Members: Tips for Faculty Members, Mentors, Department Chairs, and Deans.”

  5. Third-year review recommendations and director recommendation: Per the provost’s guidelines, the director must collect recommendations from tenured faculty and write a letter of evaluation. That letter must summarize faculty recommendations (and, if possible, verbal discussion), and the director must provide an overall evaluation. The letter is then forwarded to the dean(s), who makes an additional recommendation and forwards the candidate’s materials to the provost. The evaluations from the provost, dean(s), and director become a permanent part of the candidate’s file. The director is responsible for meeting with the candidate to discuss the review following the provost’s decision. More information about this process can be found on p. 52 of the Faculty Manual, and through the Office of the Provost (PDF).

D. Final tenure and promotion review

  1. Final tenure and promotion dossier preparation: By the conclusion of the fifth academic year of the candidate’s appointment (usually in May), the candidate, under the guidance of the mentoring committee and the director, per guidelines released by the Office of the Provost, shall prepare an updated and more extensive dossier than that which was prepared for the third-year review. Similar to the third-year review, however, the dossier should include past annual reviews; progress-towards-tenure reviews; peer reviews of teaching; a context statement (not to exceed two pages); curriculum vitae; teaching portfolio (no more than five pages, and organized as closely as possible to the categories as specified in the guidelines that can be downloaded from the Office of the Provost website); articles and/or creative work either published or in process; and relevant supplementary material (e.g., conference presentations; posters; grant applications; evidence of exhibitions; professional or consulting activity; awards; letters of support; or unsolicited commendation from colleagues, students, or alumni). The final dossier also could include teaching evaluations. Candidates should be careful to include only relevant material, and should scrutinize, as well, their respective college’s recommendations for organization and content.

    Because external reviewers may still request hard copy dossiers, tenure-track candidates, working with the SDC administrative manager, should be prepared to mail both hard copy and digital copies of their dossiers. It is, however, expected that all files viewed and assessed by SDC faculty as part of the tenure and promotion process should be done electronically. To maintain confidentiality, a “Sharepoint” or other related site must be created for the uploading of files.

  2. Peer reviews of teaching: Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to obtain at least one more peer review of teaching following the third-year review. Either the candidate or the SDC director may initiate further review; if so, a faculty member(s) appointed by the director shall attend instructional sessions given by the candidate. The reviewer(s) shall prepare an assessment addressing teaching style, effectiveness, and content (insofar as their expertise allows). This assessment, not to exceed two pages, must be shared with the mentoring committee, placed in the candidate’s file, and included in the third-year dossier.

  3. Final tenure and promotion dossier dissemination for external letters: The candidate shall work with the mentoring committee and the director in May to identify outside evaluators for external letters. A minimum of four (4) letters must be attained from higher-ranking faculty at peer or higher-ranking institutions. No more than half of those external letters shall come from evaluators suggested by the candidate. Once specified, the director must work with the administrative manager to ensure that all dossiers are mailed to external reviewers in the manner of their choice (either hard copy or electronic). It is highly advisable that all dossiers are sent out no later than early June in order to ensure that external reviewers have enough time to evaluate.

  4. Final tenure and promotion colloquium: Similar to the annual progress-towards-tenure review, candidates shall be encouraged to present their accomplishments in research, teaching, and service to the entire SDC faculty and staff in a final tenure and promotion colloquium, typically during August or September of the sixth year. At least one week prior to the colloquium, the candidate’s dossier should be made available to the tenured faculty of the unit. As the colloquium itself follows shortly after the candidate’s fifth-year progress-towards-tenure annual presentation, it may be similar to that presentation. However, the final tenure and promotion colloquium should provide a more comprehensive summation of the candidate’s work as well as their plans for the future. This colloquium presentation should be limited to twenty minutes, after which a question-and-answer period will take place. Following this, only tenured faculty shall remain to discuss the candidate’s progress, and final tenure recommendations will be distributed to tenured faculty per the guidelines in the Faculty Manual.

  5. Final tenure and promotion recommendations: Tenured faculty shall have one week following the colloquium to submit completed recommendation forms to the school’s administrative manager, who shall collect them for the director. All eligible faculty must fill out a recommendation form, check one of two boxes (to recommend tenure and promotion or to recommend denial) and defend their selection. Recommendations with more thoughtful and objective analyses of the candidate’s case will be taken more seriously than those with little rationale and little effort.

  6. Director’s assessment: Per the provost’s guidelines, the director must collect recommendations from tenured faculty and write a letter of assessment, which is typically due in the deans’ offices in August or September (depending upon the college). That letter should summarize faculty recommendations (as well as any discussion), but it should be a far more comprehensive letter than any of the annual progress-towards-tenure reviews. This letter must evaluate the candidates’ teaching, research, and service in light of their profession, peers, and school mission. The director also must provide an overall evaluation. It is neither expected that the director reveal the content of that letter or decision to the candidate or other school faculty, nor it expected that the director meet with the candidate to discuss the progress of the case as it moves forward.

    More information regarding recommendations and the chair/director’s assessment can be discovered under section five of “A Guide to Washington State University’s Policies and Procedures for Evaluating Tenure-Track Faculty Members: Tips for Faculty Members, Mentors, Department Chairs, and Deans.”

  7. Deans’ area and provost review: The candidate’s dossier, replete with the director’s assessment, faculty recommendations, external letters, progress-towards-tenure reviews, and annual reviews are to proceed to the dean of VCEA for internal review in those offices. A tenure and promotion committee at the college level, comprised of representatives from several college units, will review the package and provide a recommendation and written assessment to the dean(s). The dean(s) then advance their recommendation (to grant or deny tenure and promotion), along with the dossier, to the Office of the Provost. This entire process is described in greater detail in the links provided at the top of this document.

E. Criteria for advancement of rank to Associate Professor (tenure-track)

Candidates for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor in the SDC must demonstrate outstanding accomplishments in disseminated design or construction research, scholarship, and/or creative activities; must demonstrate excellence in teaching; and must provide evidence of effectiveness in service and outreach. Within those three areas of criteria, all candidates must also demonstrate effective, respectful, and professional interaction with faculty, staff, and students. That interaction should not detract from the progress or advancement of others, but is not intended to restrict basic academic freedoms such as dissent or differences in opinion. Furthermore, the potential for candidates to meet the requirements for future promotion to the rank of professor must be apparent.

In general, tenure-track faculty in the SDC are evaluated based upon forty percent (40%) of their efforts weighted towards research, scholarship, and/or creative activities; forty percent (40%) of their efforts weighted towards teaching; and twenty percent (20%) of their efforts weighted towards service and outreach. There is, however, overlap “among scholarship, teaching and service activities” (Faculty Manual, p. 48) and it is also understood that it is difficult for faculty to break down their time commitments in ways precisely mirroring this percentage breakdown. Furthermore, tenure-track faculty may excel more in one category than the other(s), and tenured faculty as well as the director should do their best to recognize this in any recommendation or evaluation.

However, for tenure and promotion to the level of Associate Professor, there will be no substitute for one category thoroughly at the expense of the other. According to a statement on page three of the “Recommendations for Faculty Promotion and/or Tenure” memo from the Office of the Provost (May 26, 2015), “good performance in one area cannot substitute for a failure to perform in other areas.” Tenure-track candidates should be mindful to balance their loads during their time-to-tenure. Importantly, tenure and/or promotion will not ordinarily be granted to faculty members who satisfy only minimal standards of the criteria listed below.

Tenure-track faculty in the SDC will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Research, Scholarship, Creative Activity

    The dissemination of outstanding research, scholarship, and/or creative activities is fundamental to all tenure-track candidates seeking advancement to associate professor in the SDC. Candidates are expected to develop and maintain an independent, focused, and sustained program of high-quality research, scholarship, and/or creative activity that should a) advance the theoretical, practical, and/or creative knowledge base of interior design, construction management, architecture, or landscape architecture; b) demonstrate a comprehensive and up-to-date engagement with the existing body of knowledge that constitutes the basis of the candidate’s area of research; and c) be published or displayed in peer-reviewed regional, national, or international venues, sponsored by relevant professional organizations.

    If extramural support (e.g., grants) is vital for candidates to sustain their research program, then scholarly outputs must accompany that support. While often necessary, important, and prestigious, extramural support alone does not constitute the dissemination of scholarly and creative work.

    Importantly, to achieve tenure and promotion in the SDC, candidates must provide evidence of the disseminationof peer-reviewed research, scholarship, and/or creative activity, and this work must be of outstanding quality. Candidates also should attempt to demonstrate that their research, scholarship, and/or creative activity contributes to the core mission, vision, and values of the SDC: for example, that which demonstrates the value of integration within the disciplines or professions of the school. Research, scholarship, and/or creative activity initiated prior to arrival at WSU (and published after one’s arrival) may be counted towards tenure and promotion, but there must be clear evidence of a scholarly body of work from research initiated at WSU.

    Tenure-track candidates should strive for at least five (5) products from Tier One, below, but importantly should demonstrate a sustained level of research, scholarship, and/or creative activity throughout their time-to-tenure. It is understood that the number of Tier One products may vary depending upon the size or quality of the publication or venue. For example, a single-authored book published by a reputable press (which typically takes several years to reach publication) may carry more weight than several published articles; a published article in a prestigious journal may carry more weight than two or three articles published in less prestigious journals; a nationally awarded or recognized project in design or construction may carry more weight than two or three projects awarded or recognized in local competitions.

    Over the course of their time-to-tenure, candidates also should accumulate several items from Tier Two and Tier Three. Candidates should not, however, stack accomplishments exclusively in Tier Two and Tier Three and expect to receive tenure and promotion. Candidates whose scholarly and/or creative contributions fall entirely outside of Tier One or who find it challenging to achieve five Tier One products are urged to communicate regularly with their mentoring committee and director to clarify their research and scholarship contributions towards tenure and promotion. No matter the numbers of accomplishments in the various tiers, however, the “evaluation of research, scholarship and creative activity, the quality of the work, not the sheer quantity, is the primary criterion.” (Faculty Manual, p. 48).

    As gray areas often exist depending upon the program, discipline, the profession, and/or the shifting reputations of journals, publishers, conferences, exhibition venues, fellowships, scholarships, and grants, it is also recommended that candidates work consistently with their mentoring committee and the director to determine the validity of their research, scholarship, and/or creative activity for tenure and promotion consideration. The value of this work should be reflected in annual reviews, annual mentoring committee reports, progress-towards-tenure reviews, and the third-year review.

    The quality of the breadth and depth of the candidate’s overall disseminated research, scholarship, and/or creative activities will always be open to some interpretation. Yet if all the procedures above have been followed and candidates have been receiving a consistent message about the direction and success of their research, scholarship, and/or creative output, there should be no surprises regarding the relative value of the venues in which work is being disseminated by the time of tenure and promotion consideration.

    Because the school’s disciplines (as well as professional industry and practice) value certain types of disseminated research and scholarship in occasionally divergent ways, the list below is not intended to be entirely prescriptive. Candidates may wish to make a case for particular contributions in research, scholarship, and/or creative activities that blur the lines between tiers, are not listed below, or that may be valued more highly in other departments, programs, schools, or colleges—either within WSU or at other peer institutions.

    However, there shall be no exception for peer-reviewed work—whether published written work or juried exhibitions. Peer-review is defined as having been formally-reviewed and evaluated by at least two independent scholars or experts with knowledge of the topic. Peer review, optimally, should also be “blind” reviewed to ensure fairness, and candidates should not be involved in reviewer selection. Multi-authored, collaborative, and/or interdisciplinary peer-reviewed projects are acceptable, but candidates’ specific contributions to such projects must be clear and should not be pursued to such an extent that they blend too heavily with the work of others. For tenure and promotion it must be clear the candidate has established an independent body of research and scholarship that can be distinguished from the work of others.

    The candidate is urged to consult the documents linked on page one for additional advice as to how research, scholarship, and creative activity contributions should be included in the tenure and promotion dossier, how they should be organized, and what value is placed upon such activities in the colleges. What is listed below is intended to cover the majority of what is expected for research and scholarly productivity in the SDC:

    Tier One

    • Published, peer-reviewed book(s) representing original work with the candidate as principal or co-author, issued by a reputable academic publisher (e.g., a university press). A single book should be granted significant weight for tenure and promotion consideration.
    • Book manuscripts, with the candidate as principal author, accepted by a reputable academic publisher (following peer-review and with evidence of acceptance).
    • Peer-reviewed articles, with the candidate as principal or co-author, published in recognized regional, national, or international journals or edited books (either print or online).
    • Editor or co-editor of a published, peer-reviewed book, issued by a reputable academic publisher (e.g., a university press), with evidence of scholarly production in association with the book (e.g., introduction, contributed article, conclusion/epilogue, chapter prologues).
    • Completed projects in interior design, construction management, architecture, or landscape architecture (or related fields) recognized through awards or meritorious citations by professional design or construction organizations or juries.
    • Publication of creative work or construction projects, with the designer or construction manager as lead author, in recognized and peer-reviewed regional, national, or international design or construction journals.
    • Exhibitions of creative work at museums, galleries, or exhibitions of regional, national, or international significance, selected through peer review.
    • Competition entries with a demonstrated, disseminated, and peer-reviewed scholarly component.
    • Lead-PI on a successful research-oriented grant of national or international significance (peer-reviewed, disseminated work should emerge from this grant).
    • Awarded fellowships and/or scholarships of regional, national, or international repute, adjudicated by peer-review panels.
    • Completed multimedia works, such as product design, graphic design, artwork, film, digital media, or other related activities that have a demonstrated scholarly component and a relationship to the fields of interior design, construction management, architecture, or landscape architecture recognized through awards or meritorious citations by professional organizations or juries; or through publication in recognized regional, national, or international journals.

    Tier Two

    • Peer-reviewed articles, not yet published, with the candidate as principal or co-author, accepted (either in press or pending minor revisions) by recognized regional, national, or international journals or edited books (either print or online). Evidence of acceptance must be included in the file.
    • Published, peer-reviewed books or articles in reputable journals with the candidate as secondary or other author (in these cases, the candidate’s contributions must be specified in the curriculum vitae).
    • Co-PI on a successful research-oriented grant of national or international significance (peer-reviewed, disseminated work should emerge from this grant).
    • Lead-PI on a successful research-oriented grant of regional significance (peer-reviewed, disseminated work is expected to emerge from this grant).
    • Invitation to build or exhibit completed, peer-reviewed creative designs or construction projects, with a demonstrated scholarly component. (Evidence of invitation must be included in the file.)
    • Invited keynote or plenary speaker at a conference of regional, national, or international repute.
    • Live presentation of peer-reviewed papers in regional, national, or international professional or academic conferences.
    • Session chair for a regional, national, or international professional or academic conference (responsibilities typically include shaping the session content and selecting and editing papers for presentation).
    • Curatorial roles in reputable regional, national, or international exhibitions or competitions.
    • Poster presentations of peer-reviewed projects at regional, national, or international professional or academic conferences.
    • Publication of peer-reviewed papers in conference proceedings of recognized regional, national, or international organizations.
    • Published reviews of books or exhibitions in reputable regional, national, or international journals.
    • Transfer or adoption of research or scholarly outcomes in regional, national, or international policy, code, or practices.

    Tier Three

    • Creative and/or scholarly works-in-progress with potential for tangible peer-reviewed outcomes including publication, construction, grant funding, or awards.
    • Submitted or pending research-oriented grants, fellowships, or awards with candidate as either Lead-PI or Co-PI to agencies of regional, national, or international significance.
    • Co-PI on an accepted research-oriented grant of regional significance.
    • Reviews of candidate’s scholarly, creative, or construction work in reputable regional, national, or international publications.
    • Recognition for work in reputable regional, national, or international competitions.
    • Demonstrated research activity that contributes to innovative instruction.
    • Accepted abstract submission to conferences of regional, national, or international significance.
    • Invited lecture, workshop, or short course as part of an academic lecture series.
    • Consulting role, with demonstrable scholarly or research component, on major projects in the fields of interior design, construction management, architecture, landscape architecture, or related fields.
    • Published, peer-reviewed work in trade (or “for-profit”) publications
    • Recognition of accomplishments through reputable popular media (magazines, newspapers, websites, television, film, etc.).
  2. Teaching

    The SDC expects teaching excellence for tenure and promotion to associate professor. Candidates should demonstrate, through annual teaching, syllabi, assignments, and their teaching portfolio, a clearly defined pedagogical narrative and philosophy. These materials should demonstrate the basic skills of effective instruction, including command of subject matter, organization, clarity of presentation, and the ability to stimulate intellectual curiosity. Furthermore, there should be evidence that candidates are imparting contemporary, updated concepts and/or teaching methods and perspectives to students. Faculty in the SDC are expected to continually assess their effectiveness in teaching and adjust their practices to improve student outcomes. College and/or university assessment tools should be employed to demonstrate excellence in teaching.

    Candidates also should strive to demonstrate that their teaching contributes to the core mission, vision, and values of the SDC: in particular, those that demonstrate integration between the disciplines. Beyond simply teaching classes with students from more than one discipline (this may be part of a candidate’s regular teaching assignment), special efforts to create innovations in integrated teaching and/or to bridge traditional borders between disciplines should be articulated. Those who can demonstrate success in this realm shall be provided special commendation, although the forms of “success” must be clearly spelled out in the dossier, and ideally substantiated by external factors (e.g., future collaborations, student evaluations).

    Throughout their time-to-tenure, candidates must demonstrate a sustained level of excellence in teaching or a documented process of development towards excellence. For tenure and promotion consideration, candidates should achieve at least three (3) of the accomplishments from Tier One, below, as well as several items from Tier Two and Tier Three. Candidates should not, however, stack accomplishments in Tier Two and Tier Three and expect to be assessed for excellence in teaching. Candidates whose teaching contributions fall exclusively outside of Tier One or who find it challenging to accomplish at least three Tier One items are urged to communicate regularly with their mentoring committee and director to clarify their teaching contributions towards tenure and promotion. Teaching in the SDC will be assessed based on the following criteria:

    Tier One

    • Consistently high student course evaluations (relative to program, school, or college averages).
    • Positive peer reviews of teaching performance.
    • Interdisciplinary course participation (e.g., SDC courses) with tangible results of success and/or collaboration between students and/or faculty.
    • Teaching awards or honors.
    • Development of new courses (beyond or including initial appointment).
    • Innovative teaching methods, such as flipped classrooms.
    • Development of new course content, assignments, lectures, or other instructional activities within older courses.
    • Development of courses for distance or online learning (typically in conjunction with WSU Global Campus).
    • Securing grants to support instruction and/or the publication efforts of students.
    • Positive student rapport, as substantiated by student evaluations.

    Tier Two

    • Voluntarily teaching classes beyond a normal teaching load.
    • Chair of interdisciplinary Ph.D. committee (IIDP program).
    • Chair of graduate project with demonstrated teaching effort beyond regular course instruction.
    • Advisor of undergraduate thesis in the Honors College.
    • Evidence of substantial mentorship of SDC graduate thesis and non-thesis project work.
    • Evidence of improvements in instruction through assessment tools.
    • Instructional supervision or mentoring of independent and/or special student projects with demonstrable effort on the part of faculty (e.g. 499 courses).
    • Participation in, and significant contributions to, school study tours beyond regular or assigned course load.
    • Regular availability and effective feedback to students (through office hours, written evaluations, and/or online correspondence).

    Tier Three

    • Invited guest lectures, seminars, or workshops provided to other classes in the SDC and university.
    • Committee member (not chair or advisor) of masters-level graduate project or undergraduate thesis in the Honors College.
    • Consistent instruction in courses where total classroom contact hours, preparation time, enrollment, or grading significantly exceeds that of other courses in the program or school.
    • Development and/or updates of classroom instructional assignments or aids to improve learning and retention of course content.
    • Attendance at workshops, seminars, and related events focusing upon improvements or innovations in teaching.
  3. Service and outreach

    Effective service and outreach is crucial to the effective operations of the program(s), school, college(s), and university, as well as to the professional growth of the tenure-track faculty candidate. Through involvement with the public, service and outreach is also essential to the land-grant mission of the university. Tenure-track faculty are generally not expected to provide service and outreach at the same level as their tenured colleagues, particularly in the initial years of their appointment, but must contribute annually in some fashion.

    There is no prescribed number of service and/or outreach activities that candidates must accomplish in order to fulfill obligations for tenure and promotion. Candidates who find their service and/or outreach activities overlapping with their teaching and/or their research, scholarship, or creative activities must clarify their efforts with their mentoring committee and the SDC director to ensure that credit is provided in the appropriate category. While not divided into tiers, below, it is understood that some of these service activities require a substantial amount of time and should be credited as such (e.g., chair of a significant regional, national, or international conference; or chair of committee necessary for program accreditation). Effectiveness of service and outreach can include, but is not restricted to, any or all of the following, but should include some mix of program, school, college, and university service; community service; and/or professional service:

    Program, school, college, and university service and outreach

    • Participation in, and contributions to, program, school, college, and/or university committees.
    • A significant commitment of time on a school, college, or university task force or other special service activity (e.g., serving on a faculty senate committee).
    • Advisor of student organizations.
    • Mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students beyond curriculum and courses (e.g. “career” advice, job placement advice, résumé/portfolio recommendations).
    • Involvement in student recruitment (e.g., SDC ambassador program, recruiting workshops, Alive!, presentations at high schools and/or community colleges).
    • Volunteer work that contributes to the quality of education and overall academic experience of students, such as mentoring student activities in construction (e.g., Habitat for Humanity).
    • Lectures or presentations at professional or student organization meetings, when such lectures neither meet the requirements, as listed above, for teaching or disseminated design or construction research, scholarship, and/or creative activity.
    • Significant participation in program activities necessary for professional accreditation.
    • Coordination of school or program-related lectures, exhibitions, or symposia outside of the candidate’s normal employment responsibilities or committee work.

    Community service and outreach

    • Civic engagement activities, such as participation on community panels; construction or preservation-related work; and landscape restoration.
    • Citizen service positions, related to professional expertise, in government agencies, commissions, or private non-profit entities (elected, appointed, or volunteer, with proportionate value acknowledged as appropriate by the mentoring committee).
    • Volunteer lectures, tours, and workshops.

    Professional service and outreach

    • Editor or coordinator of recognized, peer-reviewed regional, national, or international journal or project (either print or online)
    • Chair or organizer of a significant regional, national, or international conference.
    • Volunteer work involving professional expertise that contributes to the organization of professional conferences, design competitions, exhibitions, lectures, or related activities.
    • Member of editorial board of journal.
    • Invited commentator for session of reputable regional, national, or international conference.
    • Invited reviewer or juror for research grant proposals.
    • Invited peer-reviewer for submitted abstracts, articles, or papers to a reputable scholarly journal or conference.
    • Participation on advisory boards or committees of regional, national, or international professional organizations.
    • Participation on visiting accreditation teams at other institutions.
    • Participation in evaluation of examinations supervised by professional registration boards.
    • Membership in regional, national, or international professional organizations.
    • Technology transfer to further economic development.

III. Procedures and Criteria for Promotion to Professor (tenure-track)

To obtain the rank of professor, candidates must be making contributions to a major area of the candidate’s work assignment that exceed the minimum requirements for associate professor. Promotion to this rank shall be recommended only when candidates have achieved national and/or international recognition and a reputation as an established leader in their field of endeavor. The latter must be documented by a well-established scholarly program, a substantial body and/or celebrated quality of peer-reviewed work, evidence of professional stature, and continued excellence in research, teaching, and service.

Although there is no specified time-in-rank to become eligible for application for advancement in rank to professor, it is highly unusual for a faculty member to be considered for promotion with fewer than five years at the rank of associate professor. As with the process for promotion to associate professor, should candidates wish to be consideredfor promotion at their earliest eligibility, all material for the dossier must be complete by the conclusion of the fifth year since receiving promotion as an associate professor.

A. Mentoring committee

Associate professors, at any time, may request of the SDC director a mentoring committee to help guide them towards promotion to professor. Upon request, the SDC director should engage the candidate about membership composition and work towards appointing a mentoring committee which should consist of at least three full professors, The candidate should meet with the mentoring committee at least once every two years following its establishment, until such time that the candidate feels ready to prepare a dossier for promotion. If held, brief summaries of these meetings should be provided to the SDC director by a volunteer from the committee, but such reports are not required. Should associate professors choose not to pursue a bi-annual mentoring program at all, to help gauge the chances of success the SDC highly encourages the candidate to engage informally with full professors during the year prior to dossier preparation.

B. Procedure for promotion to professor

The procedure for promotion to professor is similar to that of associate professor (II, above). However, there is no requirement that a candidate must be considered for promotion following five years of service in rank as an associate professor.

If the director is of equal rank as the candidate desiring promotion, the director must consult with the dean of the candidate’s respective college to appoint a higher-ranked faculty member to see the candidate through the process. Under no circumstances can associate professors be involved in the promotion cases of other associate professors.

  1. Promotion dossier preparation: By May of the year that material is due in the dean’s office, the candidate should complete a promotion dossier that meets standards in the Faculty Manual and the Provost’s Guidelines and is ready for submission to external reviewers. The candidate, under the guidance of the director (or appointed full professor who has been asked to advance the case) and/or a mentoring committee, shall prepare an updated and more extensive dossier than that which was prepared for tenure consideration.

    The dossier should include past annual reviews; curriculum vitae; a context statement (not to exceed two pages); books, articles, or creative work published and/or in process; evidence of successful grant submissions (if applicable), a teaching portfolio (no more than five pages); and relevant supplementary material (e.g., national and/or international awards; conference presentations; posters; grant applications; evidence of exhibitions; professional or consulting activity; letters of support; unsolicited commendation from colleagues, students, or alumni). The dossier also could include teaching evaluations. Candidates should be careful to include only relevant material and, in particular, only material completed since receiving tenure. The development of the promotion dossier should be in accordance with the policies set forth by VCEA, the Provost’s Office, and the Faculty Manual.

  2. Promotion dossier dissemination for external letters: The candidate shall work with the director in May to identify outside evaluators for external letters, and shall provide a list of potential evaluators. A minimum of four (4) letters must be attained from higher-ranking faculty at peer or higher-ranking institutions, or from faculty who are widely recognized in the candidate’s discipline. No more than half of those external letters shall come from evaluators suggested by the candidate, however. Once specified, the director must work with the administrative manager to ensure that all dossiers are mailed to external reviewers no later than early June in order to ensure that external reviewers have enough time to evaluate them prior to fall semester. Because external reviewers may still request hard copy dossiers, candidates for promotion to professor, working with the SDC administrative manager, should be prepared to provide both hard copy and digital copies of their dossiers. It is, however, expected that all files viewed and assessed by professors evaluating the case should be done electronically. To maintain confidentiality, a Sharepoint or other related site must be created for the uploading of files.

  3. Promotion colloquium: As with the consideration for tenure and promotion to associate professor, candidates to professor shall be encouraged to present their accomplishments in research, teaching, and service to the entire SDC faculty and staff in a promotion colloquium, typically during August or September. At least one week prior to the colloquium, the candidate’s dossier should be made available to the tenured SDC faculty members holding academic rank higher than that of the candidate. This colloquium should be limited to no more than twenty minutes, after which a question-and-answer period will take place. Following this, only other professors in the school shall remain to discuss the candidate’s progress, and final promotion recommendations will be distributed per the guidelines in the Faculty Manual.

  4. Promotion recommendations: Professors shall have one week following the colloquium to submit completed recommendations to the school’s administrative manager, who shall collect them for the SDC director (or appointed professor who has been asked to advance the case). All professors in the school must fill out a recommendation to grant or defer promotion. Recommendations with more thoughtful and objective analyses of the candidate’s case will be taken more seriously than those with little rationale and little effort.

  5. Director’s assessment: Per the provost’s guidelines, the SDC director (or appointed professor who has been asked to advance the case) must collect recommendations from other professors in the unit and write a letter of assessment, which is typically due in the deans’ offices in August or September (depending upon the college). That letter should summarize the recommendations (as well as any discussion), but also must evaluate the candidates’ teaching, research, and service in light of their profession, peers, and school mission. The director also must provide an overall evaluation. It is neither expected that the director reveal the content of that letter or decision to the candidate or other professors in the school, nor it expected that the director meet with the candidate to discuss the progress of the case as it moves forward.

  6. Deans’ area and provost review: The candidate’s dossier, replete with the director’s assessment, faculty recommendations, external letters, and annual reviews are to proceed to the dean of VCEA for internal review in those offices. A tenure and promotion committee at the college level, comprised of representatives from several college departments, programs, or schools, will review the package and provide a recommendation and written assessment to the dean. The dean will then advance his | her recommendation (to grant or deny promotion), along with the dossier, to the provost.

C. Criteria for advancement in rank to professor

Criteria for advancement in rank to professor are generally the same as those for advancement in rank to associate professor (section II.E, above). Unless shifts in workload responsibility between research and teaching have been agreed upon in writing with the SDC director (to best facilitate the strength of the school), all associate professors will be required to demonstrate excellence in research, scholarship, and/or creative activity; teaching; and service for promotion to professor.

Candidates for the rank of professor must provide documented evidence that the quality and quantity of accomplishments are at a significantly higher level than that expected of an associate professor (Faculty Manual, p. 56). Furthermore, the candidate must present evidence of national and/or international recognition as well as a reputation for disseminated scholarly design or construction research or creative activities. Accomplishments can include innovations in teaching methods carried out in conjunction with the candidate’s teaching, but must be disseminated through rigorous peer review.

National and/or international recognition is most often achieved through outstanding accomplishments sustained over several years—with evidence of continuation. A high level of professional activity typically accompanies such recognition, including leadership roles in professional organizations. Evidence of continued accomplishments in all three categories of evaluation identified above (research/scholarship/creative activities; teaching; service and outreach) is also required. Work completed, published, presented, or taught prior to achieving rank as an associate professor may be included in the dossier, but significantly greater weight shall be placed on that which was completed since the initial promotion. Importantly, promotion to full professor will not ordinarily be granted to those faculty members who satisfy only minimal standards of the criteria listed in section II. E., above. Within the three categories of evaluation, all candidates must also demonstrate effective, respectful, and professional interaction with faculty, staff, and students. That interaction should not detract from the progress or advancement of others, but is not intended to restrict basic academic freedoms such as dissent or differences in opinion.

  1. Research, Scholarship, Creative Activity

    In addition to the cumulative qualifications already summarized for tenure and promotion to associate professor (II.E.1, above), a candidate must present evidence of national and/or international recognition, a reputation for sustained scholarly production, and an increased level of professional activity. This evidence may include, but is not limited to, a substantial body of publications; a select few book(s) and/or articles in well-regarded journals or presses; consistent invitations to exhibit work at high-quality venues; an established research program with a substantial record of external funding at a level appropriate to the candidate’s discipline; major professional service as an editor of peer-reviewed journal(s); invitations to speak to professional organizations or societies; and national and/or international awards.

  2. Teaching

    The candidate must show evidence of continued development in teaching, as indicated by the criteria listed in II.E.2, above. Special commendation will be provided for those candidates who have made demonstrable efforts to integrate the design and construction disciplines through teaching (beyond simply teaching an SDC course or existing courses with integrated components); who have taken leadership roles within the unit in regards to teaching; or who have made efforts to obtain extramural funding for curriculum development or teaching innovations.

    While accomplishments in research, scholarship, and creative activity will be analyzed more closely for promotion to professor, it should be emphasized that candidates who cannot present a record of continuing excellence in instruction will not be considered favorably for promotion to the rank of professor. The candidate may request the SDC director to initiate a peer review of teaching (with the assessment included in the dossier), whether informal in nature or according to the peer review protocol referred to in II.C.3, above.

  3. Service and outreach

    The candidate must show evidence of continued and increasing service to the program, school, college(s), university, community, and profession, the categories for which are listed in Section II.E.3, above. Candidates for full professor must be able to point to major service contributions well in excess of their contributions as an assistant professor. This can include, but is not limited to, university task force committees; chairing accreditation processes; curriculum development and/or reorganization; invitations and participation on professional advisory boards; and leadership positions in professional organizations.

IV. Procedures and criteria for promotion of clinical-track faculty

A. Overview

Clinical assistant professors are on fixed-term (usually three-year) appointments and are eligible to be granted promotion to clinical associate professor after six years of service in rank (Faculty Manual, p. 96). Clinical associate professors are eligible to be granted promotion to clinical professor after six more years of service in rank. Clinical faculty do not have a set term for promotion from clinical assistant professor to clinical associate professor, although six years as a clinical assistant professor is the minimum term in rank to be granted promotion. Credit toward the six-year minimum requirement as a clinical assistant professor may be given to individuals who transferred with previous years of service at WSU as instructors, lecturers, or tenure-track faculty. Faculty may also remain at the rank of clinical assistant professor and be reappointed to subsequent terms at that rank depending upon the contract, and provided satisfactory performance continues.

Should clinical faculty members seek promotion, they must undergo a comprehensive “tenure-style” review that will involve all the faculty in the unit who hold higher appointments than the candidate. The following faculty recommend promotion from clinical assistant professor to clinical associate professor: clinical associate professors, clinical professors, associate professors, and professors. The following faculty recommend promotion to clinical professor: clinical professors and professors.

Clinical-track faculty in the SDC have expectations for accomplishments in teaching (80%) and service (20%) and, depending upon program and school needs, may be expected to hold heavier teaching loads than their tenure-track or tenured colleagues (e.g., a 4-4 load, as opposed to a 2-2 load). Disseminated research, scholarship, and/or creative activities may bolster cases for promotion, but should not be used to substitute for excellence in teaching and effectiveness in service.

Further detail about clinical appointments can be discovered in a question and answer document prepared by the Office of the Provost on May 18, 2006 (PDF).

B. Mentoring for clinical-track faculty

Within six months of the appointment of the clinical-track faculty member, the SDC director will appoint a mentoring committee consisting of higher ranking faculty member(s) of the faculty, with an eye towards those faculty who have established an excellent reputation in teaching. Mentoring committees are not necessary if the employment is so temporary that promotion will not be an issue and where no guidance is deemed necessary in the performance of the job. Mentoring for clinical associate professors is recommended, but optional as in mentoring for associate professors (see III.A, above).

Once appointed, this committee should operate in much the same way as that for tenure-track assistant professors (see II.A, above), but its composition could include a minimum of two faculty and all members should be SDC faculty. Whatever the committee makeup, it should meet with candidates at least once annually and review their accomplishments in teaching and service (additional recognition can be noted for accomplishments in research, scholarship, and/or creative activities, if applicable). Similar to the mentoring of tenure-track assistant professors, the committee will summarize in a written report to the director the clinical-track faculty’s accomplishments, their progress towards promotion, and any recommendations for improvement. This review should be available to the SDC director prior to the completion of annual reviews (usually in March).

C. Procedures for promotion of clinical-track faculty

The procedures for clinical-track faculty in the SDC will proceed in a manner much the same as that for associate professor and professor (see II, above). There are some key differences, however, including: 1) external review letters may include those from former students; 2) the content of the dossier must emphasize teaching efforts; and 3) there is no third-year review. If the SDC director is not a full professor, for those clinical-track faculty seeking promotion to clinical professor, the director must consult with the dean of the candidate’s respective college to determine a higher-ranked faculty member to see the candidate through the process. Associate professors cannot be involved in the promotion cases for those seeking clinical professor; only clinical professors and professors may participate. More information can be found at the provost’s office website (PDF).

The following procedural operations apply both to clinical assistant professors and clinical associate professors seeking promotion:

  1. Peer-reviews of teaching: At least three times in the five-year period prior to the submission of the promotion dossier, faculty member(s) appointed by the director shall attend instructional sessions provided by the candidate. While not essential, ideally the sessions shall be for different classes, and there will be some variety in peer reviewers. Following each session, the reviewer(s) shall prepare an assessment addressing teaching style, effectiveness, and content (insofar as their expertise allows). This assessment, not to exceed two pages, must be shared with the mentoring committee (if one exists), placed in the candidate’s file, and included in the promotion dossier.

  2. Dossier preparation: Following five years of the candidate’s appointment in rank, the candidate shall prepare a dossier of teaching and service accomplishments that includes past annual reviews; a context statement (not to exceed two pages); curriculum vitae; teaching portfolio (no more than five pages); teaching evaluations; evidence of teaching innovations and significant service contributions; and any supplementary material (e.g., contributions in research, scholarship, or creative activity; letters of support; professional or consulting activity; awards; unsolicited commendation from colleagues, students, or alumni). Candidates should be careful to include only relevant material, and are encouraged to seek advice from their mentoring committee and/or the director in compiling the dossier.

    The dossier should be in accordance with the policies set forth by VCEA and the Office of the Provost, and the Faculty Manual. Candidates should be prepared to provide both hard copy and digital copies of their dossiers. It is, however, expected that all files viewed and assessed by SDC faculty as part of the promotion process should be done electronically. To maintain confidentiality, a Sharepoint or other related site must be created for the uploading of files.

  3. Letters of support: The candidate should work with the director and mentoring committee to identify four (4) different faculty, professionals, administrators, or former students to write letters of support, although the director may wish to solicit one or two of those letters without consultation from the candidate. While such letters may include those from higher-ranking faculty at peer or higher-ranking institutions, they are not required. However, should letters be obtained from faculty at WSU, those faculty should be from outside the SDC. Former students, if targeted for letters, should be chosen carefully; students currently in positions of employment with an established rank beyond entry level—and who can speak to the candidate’s influence in their career—will carry more weight than those from recent graduates and/or those in entry level positions. To assist in the writing of letters, candidates should be prepared to forward their dossier to all letter writers, and must work with the administrative manager in this capacity. It is highly advisable that all letter requests are sent out no later than in early June in order to ensure that outside evaluators have enough time to inspect the dossier and compose the letter.

  4. Promotion colloquium: As with tenure-track candidates seeking tenure and promotion, clinical-track candidates shall be encouraged to present their accomplishments in teaching and service to the entire SDC faculty and staff in a promotion colloquium, typically during August or September of the year prior to the promotion decision. At least one week prior to the colloquium, the candidate’s dossier should be made available to the higher-ranking faculty of the school. This colloquium should be limited to no more than twenty minutes, after which a question-and-answer period will take place. Following this, only faculty of a higher rank shall remain to discuss the candidate’s progress, and final promotion recommendations will be distributed to higher-ranking faculty per the guidelines in the Faculty Manual.

  5. Promotion recommendations: Higher-ranking faculty shall have one week following the colloquium to submit completed recommendations to the school’s administrative manager, who shall collect them for the SDC director. Those recommendations will ask faculty to recommend or defer promotion. All eligible faculty must fill out a recommendation and check one of those two options. Recommendations with more thoughtful and objective analyses of the candidate’s case will be taken more seriously than those with little rationale and little effort. Those faculty eligible to complete recommendations are described in IV.A, above.

  6. Director’s assessment: The SDC director must collect the recommendations and decide whether to advance the case through a letter to the deans (typically due in the deans’ offices in August or September, depending upon the college). Should the director wish to move forward with a recommendation for advancement to the deans, that letter should summarize faculty recommendations (as well as any discussion), but it should also provide an overall assessment from the director’s perspective.

  7. Deans’ and provost review: The candidate’s dossier, replete with the director’s assessment, faculty recommendations, external letters, and annual reviews are to proceed to the deans of VCEA and CAHNRS. The deans then advance their recommendation (to recommend or defer promotion), along with the dossier, to the Office of the Provost.

D. Criteria for advancement in rank for clinical-track faculty

Criteria for advancement in rank for clinical-track faculty are generally the same as those for advancement in rank for tenure-track faculty—at least in the realm of teaching and service (II.E, 2 & 3, above). Clinical faculty aspiring to promotion in the SDC are not expected to advance a research program, but accomplishments in research, scholarship, and/or creative activity should be taken into account in a promotion case. Such activities, however, cannot be used to substitute for excellence in teaching and effectiveness in service.

Candidates for promotion to clinical professor will be evaluated using the same general criteria as those desiring promotion to clinical associate professor, but teaching and service accomplishments must be substantial and sustained since the promotion to clinical associate professor. Work completed or taught prior to achieving rank as a clinical associate professor may be included in the dossier, but significantly greater weight shall be placed on that which was accomplished since the initial promotion.

Importantly, promotion of clinical-track faculty will not ordinarily be granted to those faculty members who satisfy only minimal standards of the criteria listed in section II. E. 2 & 3, above. Within those categories of evaluation, all candidates must also demonstrate effective, respectful, and professional interaction with faculty, staff, and students. That interaction should not detract from the progress or advancement of others, but is not intended to restrict basic academic freedoms such as dissent or differences in opinion.

Promotion for clinical faculty in the SDC will be evaluated as follows:

  1. Teaching

    The SDC expects teaching excellence for its clinical-track candidates. Candidates should demonstrate, through annual teaching, syllabi, assignments, and their teaching portfolio, a clearly defined pedagogical narrative and philosophy. These materials ought also to demonstrate the basic skills of effective instruction, including command of subject matter, organizational skills, clarity of presentation, and the ability to stimulate intellectual curiosity. Furthermore, there should be evidence that candidates are imparting contemporary, updated concepts and/or teaching methods and perspectives to students. Faculty in the SDC are expected to continually assess their effectiveness in teaching and adjust their practices to improve student outcomes. College and/or university assessment tools should be employed to demonstrate excellence in teaching.

    Candidates also should strive to demonstrate that their teaching contributes to the core mission, vision, and values of the SDC: in particular, those that demonstrate integration between the disciplines. Beyond simply teaching classes with students from more than one discipline (this may be part of a candidate’s regular teaching assignment), those who make special efforts to adopt integrated methods of instruction; create innovations in integrated teaching; and/or who help bridge traditional borders between disciplines should be recognized. Those who can demonstrate success in this realm shall be provided special commendation, although the forms of “success” must be clearly spelled out in the dossier, and ideally substantiated by external factors (e.g., future collaborations, student evaluations).

    Evidence of teaching excellence for promotion consideration for clinical-track faculty in the SDC should include at least three (3) items from Tier One (below), but also should include several items from Tier Two and Tier Three. Candidates should not, however, expect to stack accomplishments in Tier Two or Tier Three and expect to be assessed for excellence in teaching in the SDC. Candidates whose teaching contributions fall exclusively outside of Tier One are urged to communicate regularly with their mentoring committee and director to clarify their teaching contributions towards promotion. Teaching in the SDC will be assessed based on the following criteria:

    Tier One

    • Consistently high student course evaluations (relative to program, school, or college averages).
    • Positive peer reviews of teaching performance.
    • Interdisciplinary course participation (e.g., SDC courses) with tangible results of success and/or collaboration between students and/or faculty.
    • Teaching awards or honors, within or beyond the SDC.
    • Regularly teaching required classes beyond a 2-2 teaching load.
    • Development of new courses (beyond or including initial appointment).
    • Development of innovative teaching methods, such as flipped classrooms.
    • Development of new course content, assignments, lectures, or other instructional activities within older courses.
    • Development of courses for distance or online learning (typically in conjunction with WSU Global Campus).
    • Securing grants to support instruction and/or the publication efforts of students.
    • Positive student rapport, as substantiated by student evaluations.

    Tier Two

    • Voluntarily teaching classes beyond a 2-2 teaching load.
    • Chair of interdisciplinary Ph.D. committee (IIDP program).
    • Chair of graduate project with demonstrated teaching effort beyond regular course instruction.
    • Advisor of undergraduate thesis in the Honors College.
    • Evidence of substantial mentorship of SDC graduate thesis and non-thesis project work.
    • Evidence of improvements in instruction through assessment tools.
    • Teaching experience at varying levels of instruction in the SDC; for example, lower division undergraduate, upper division undergraduate, and graduate levels (unless no such opportunities exist or have been granted).
    • Instructional supervision or mentoring of independent and/or special student projects with demonstrable effort on the part of faculty (e.g. 499 courses).
    • Regular availability and effective feedback to students (through office hours, written evaluations, and/or online correspondence).

    Tier Three

    • Invited guest lectures, seminars, or workshops provided to other classes in the SDC and university.
    • Committee member (not chair) of masters-level graduate project or undergraduate thesis in the Honors College.
    • Consistent instruction in courses where total classroom contact hours, preparation time, enrollment, or grading significantly exceeds that of other courses in the program or school.
    • Development and/or updates of classroom instructional assignments or aids to improve learning and retention of course content.
    • Attendance at workshops, seminars, and related events focusing upon improvements or innovations in teaching.
  2. Service and outreach

    Effective service and outreach is vital to the effective operations of the program(s), SDC, colleges, and the university. Through public involvement, service can be vital to the land-grant mission of the university, and clinical-track faculty can play a crucial role here. There is no prescribed number of service and/or outreach activities that clinical-track faculty must accomplish in order to fulfill obligations for promotion. Candidates who find their service and/or outreach activities overlapping with their teaching must clarify their efforts with their mentoring committee and the SDC director to ensure that credit is given in the appropriate category. Effectiveness in service and outreach can include, but is not restricted to, any or all of the following, but should include some mix of program, school, college, university, community, and professional service:

    Program, school, college, and university service and outreach

    • Participation in, and contributions to, program, school, college, and/or university committees.
    • A significant commitment of time on a school, college, or university task force or other special service activity (e.g., service on a faculty senate committee).
    • Participation in, and contributions to, school study tours beyond regular or assigned course load.
    • Advisor of student organizations.
    • Mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students beyond curriculum and courses.
    • Involvement in student recruitment (e.g., SDC ambassador program, recruiting workshops, Alive! presentations at high schools and/or community colleges).
    • Volunteer work that contributes to the quality of education and overall academic experience of students, such as mentoring student activities in construction (e.g., Habitat for Humanity).
    • Lectures or presentations at professional or student organization meetings, when such lectures neither meet the requirements, as listed above, for teaching or disseminated design or construction research, scholarship, and/or creative activity.
    • Significant participation in program activities necessary for professional accreditation (e.g., chair).

    Community service and outreach

    • Civic engagement activities, such as participation on community panels; construction or preservation-related work; and landscape restoration.
    • Citizen service positions in government agencies, commissions, or private non-profit entities (elected, appointed, or volunteer, with proportionate value acknowledged as appropriate by the mentoring committee).
    • Volunteer lectures, tours, and workshops.

    Professional service and outreach

    • Volunteer work involving professional expertise that contributes to the organization of professional conferences, design competitions, or related activities.
    • Coordination of lectures, exhibitions, or symposia not part of the candidate’s normal employment responsibilities.
    • Invited commentator for session of reputable regional, national, or international conference.
    • Invited reviewer or juror for research grant proposals.
    • Invited peer-reviewer for submitted abstracts, articles, or papers to a reputable scholarly journal or conference.
    • Participation on advisory boards or committees of regional, national, or international professional organizations.
    • Participation on visiting accreditation teams at other institutions.
    • Participation in evaluation of examinations supervised by professional registration boards.
    • Membership in regional, national, or international professional organizations.
    • Technology transfer to further economic development.

V. Procedures and criteria for promotion of instructors

A. Overview

Instructors in the SDC are not required to hold a terminal degree in their discipline, but given the professional nature of the SDC’s disciplines, should—in that instance—at least have substantial professional experience.

The primary responsibility of instructors (both instructors and senior instructors) in the SDC is to teach specific undergraduate courses, but they could be targeted to teach graduate courses as needed, provided they have the appropriate credentials. Service responsibilities, as well, may be included in contracts and must be taken into account in promotion decisions if this is the case. For the purposes of promotion to senior instructor, teaching excellence will be the principal criterion. Contributions in service (as well as research, scholarship, and/or creative activity) may bolster a case for promotion, but are neither required nor should be used as a substitute for excellence in teaching.

As indicated in the Faculty Manual (p. 95), instructors may be renewed indefinitely but are rarely eligible for promotion consideration to senior instructor prior to the conclusion of five years of service in rank. Should instructors seek promotion to senior instructor, they must undergo a comprehensive “tenure-style” review that will involve all the faculty in the unit who hold higher appointments than the candidate. The following faculty vote on promotion from instructor to senior instructor: senior instructors, clinical associate professors, clinical professors, associate professors, and professors.

Instructors in the SDC have expectations for accomplishments in teaching (100%) and, depending upon program and school needs, may be expected to hold heavier teaching loads than their tenure-track or tenured colleagues (e.g. a 3-3 load, as opposed to a 2-2 load).

B. Mentoring for instructors

Mentors or a mentoring committee for instructors should be appointed per the same process as that for clinical faculty (see IV.A.B. above); however, mentors need not be appointed when the employment is so temporary that promotion will not be an issue and where no guidance is deemed necessary in the performance of the job.

Within six months of the appointment of the instructor, the SDC director will appoint a mentoring committee (or single mentor) consisting of higher ranking member(s) of the faculty, with an eye towards those faculty who have established an excellent reputation in teaching. This committee should operate in much the same ways as that for clinical faculty, meeting with candidates at least once annually to review their accomplishments in teaching (additional recognition can be noted for accomplishments in service and/or research, scholarship, and/or creative activity, if applicable). Similar to the mentoring of clinical faculty, the committee will summarize in a written report to the director the instructor’s accomplishments, their progress towards promotion, and recommendations for improvement. This review should be available to the director prior to the completion of annual reviews (usually in March).

C. Procedures for promotion to senior instructor

The procedures for instructors in the SDC will proceed in a manner much the same as that for clinical faculty (Section IV.C.1-7, above).

  1. Peer-reviews of teaching: At least three times in the five-year period prior to the submission of the promotion dossier, faculty member(s) appointed by the director shall attend instructional sessions provided by the candidate. While not essential, ideally the sessions shall be for different classes, and there will be some variety in peer reviewers. Following each session, the reviewer(s) shall prepare an assessment addressing teaching style, effectiveness, and content (insofar as their expertise allows). This assessment, not to exceed two pages, must be shared with the mentoring committee, placed in the candidate’s file, and included in the promotion dossier.

  2. Dossier preparation: Following five years of the candidate’s appointment in rank, the candidate—in consultation with the director and the mentoring committee, per guidelines released by the Office of the Provost—shall prepare a dossier of teaching accomplishments that includes past annual reviews; curriculum vitae; teaching portfolio; teaching evaluations; evidence of teaching innovations and significant service contributions; external letters; and any supplementary material (e.g., contributions in research, scholarship, or creative activity; professional or consulting activity; awards; unsolicited commendation from colleagues, students, or alumni). Candidates should be careful to include only relevant material, and are encouraged to seek advice from their mentoring committee and/or the director in compiling it.

    The dossier should be in accordance with the policies set forth by VCEA, the Office of the Provost, and the Faculty Manual. Candidates should be prepared to provide both hard copy and digital copies of their dossiers. It is, however, expected that all files viewed and assessed by SDC faculty as part of the promotion process should be done electronically. To maintain confidentiality, a Sharepoint or other related site must be created for the uploading of files.

  3. Letters of support: The candidate for promotion to senior instructor should work with the director and mentoring committee to identify four different faculty, professionals, administrators, or former students from whom a letter of support shall be composed, although the director may wish to solicit one or two of those letters without consultation from the candidate. While such letters may include those from higher-ranking faculty at peer or higher-ranking institutions, they are not required. However, should letters be obtained from faculty at WSU, those faculty should be from outside the SDC. Former students, if targeted for letters, should be chosen carefully; students currently in positions of employment with an established rank beyond entry level—and who can speak to the candidate’s influence in their career—will carry more weight than those from recent graduates and/or those in entry level positions. To assist in the writing of letters, candidates should be prepared to forward their dossier to all letter writers, and must work with the administrative manager in this capacity. It is highly advisable that all letter requests are sent out no later than in early June in order to ensure that outside evaluators have enough time to inspect the dossier and compose the letter.

  4. Promotion colloquium: As with clinical-track candidates seeking promotion, instructors shall be encouraged to present their accomplishments to the entire SDC faculty and staff in a promotion colloquium, typically during August or September of the year prior to the promotion decision. At least one week prior to the colloquium, the candidate’s dossier should be made available to the higher-ranking faculty of the school. This colloquium should be limited to no more than twenty minutes, after which a question-and-answer period will take place. Following this, only faculty of a higher rank shall remain to discuss the candidate’s progress, and final promotion recommendations will be distributed to higher-ranking faculty per the guidelines in the Faculty Manual.

  5. Promotion recommendations: Higher-ranking faculty shall have one week following the colloquium to submit completed recommendations to the school’s administrative manager, who shall collect them for the director. All eligible faculty must fill out a recommendation to grant or defer promotion. Recommendations with more thoughtful and objective analyses of the candidate’s case will be taken more seriously than those with little rationale and little effort.

  6. Director’s assessment: The director must collect recommendations from higher-ranking faculty and decide whether to advance the case through a letter to the deans (typically due in the deans’ offices in August or September, depending upon the college). Should the director wish to move ahead with a recommendation to the deans, the letter should summarize faculty recommendations (as well as any discussion), but it should also provide an overall assessment from the director’s perspective.

  7. Deans’ and provost review: The candidate’s dossier, replete with the director’s assessment, faculty recommendations, external letters, and annual reviews, are to proceed to the dean of VCEA. The dean then advance his | her recommendation (to recommend or defer promotion), along with the dossier, to the provost.

C. Criteria for promotion to senior instructor

Criteria for advancement to senior instructor are generally the same as those for promotion of clinical faculty—at least in the realm of teaching (see IV.C.1, above). Instructors aspiring to promotion as senior instructors in the SDC are not expected to advance a research program or provide service (unless otherwise indicated in the contract), but accomplishments in research, scholarship, and/or creative activities; and/or service, should be taken into account in a promotion case. Such activities, however, cannot be used to substitute for excellence in teaching. Importantly, candidates for promotion to senior instructor will not ordinarily be granted to those faculty members who satisfy only minimal standards of the criteria listed in section IV. C. 1., above. Within that category of evaluation, all candidates must also demonstrate effective, respectful, and professional interaction with faculty, staff, and students. That interaction should not detract from the progress or advancement of others, but is not intended to restrict basic academic freedoms such as dissent or differences in opinion.

Promotion for instructors in the SDC will be evaluated as follows:

  1. Teaching

    The SDC expects teaching excellence for its candidates to senior instructor. Candidates should demonstrate, through annual teaching, syllabi, assignments, and their teaching portfolio, a clearly defined pedagogical narrative and philosophy. These materials ought also to demonstrate the basic skills of effective instruction, including command of subject matter, organizational skills, clarity of presentation, and the ability to stimulate intellectual curiosity. Furthermore, there should be evidence that candidates are imparting contemporary, updated concepts and/or teaching methods and perspectives to students. Faculty in the SDC are expected to continually assess their effectiveness in teaching and adjust their practices to improve student outcomes. College and/or university assessment tools should be employed to demonstrate excellence in teaching.

    Candidates also should strive to demonstrate that their teaching contributes to the core mission, vision, and values of the SDC: in particular, those that demonstrate integration between the disciplines. Beyond simply teaching classes with students from more than one discipline (this may be part of a candidate’s regular teaching assignment), those who make special efforts to adopt integrated methods of instruction; create innovations in integrated teaching; and/or who help bridge traditional borders between disciplines should be recognized. Those who can demonstrate success in this realm shall be provided special commendation, although the forms of “success” must be clearly spelled out in the dossier, and ideally substantiated by external factors (e.g., future collaborations, student evaluations).

    Evidence of teaching excellence for promotion consideration in the SDC should include at least three (3) items from Tier One (below), but also should include several items from Tier Two and Tier Three. Candidates should not, however, expect to stack accomplishments in Tier Two or Tier Three and expect to be assessed for excellence in teaching in the SDC. Candidates whose teaching contributions fall exclusively outside of Tier One are urged to communicate regularly with their mentoring committee and director to clarify their teaching contributions towards promotion. Excellent teaching in the SDC will be assessed based on the following criteria:

    Tier One

    • Consistently high student course evaluations (relative to program, school, or college averages).
    • Positive peer reviews of teaching performance.
    • Interdisciplinary course participation (e.g., SDC courses) with tangible results of success and/or collaboration between students and/or faculty.
    • Teaching awards or honors, within or beyond the SDC.
    • Regularly teaching required classes beyond a 2-2 teaching load.
    • Development of new courses (beyond or including initial appointment).
    • Development of innovative teaching methods, such as flipped classrooms.
    • Development of new course content, assignments, lectures, or other instructional activities within older courses.
    • Development of new (or old) courses for distance or online learning (typically in conjunction with WSU Global Campus).
    • Securing grants to support instruction and/or the publication efforts of students.
    • Positive student rapport, as substantiated by student evaluations.

    Tier Two

    • Voluntarily teaching classes beyond a 2-2 teaching load.
    • Chair of interdisciplinary Ph.D. committee (IIDP program).
    • Chair of graduate project with demonstrated teaching effort beyond regular course instruction.
    • Advisor of undergraduate thesis in the Honors College.
    • Evidence of substantial mentorship of SDC graduate thesis and non-thesis project work.
    • Evidence of improvements in instruction through assessment tools.
    • Teaching experience at varying levels of instruction in the SDC; for example, lower division undergraduate, upper division undergraduate, and graduate levels (unless no such opportunities exist or have been granted).
    • Instructional supervision or mentoring of independent and/or special student projects with demonstrable effort on the part of faculty (e.g. 499 courses).
    • Regular availability and effective feedback to students (through office hours, written evaluations, and/or online correspondence).

    Tier Three

    • Invited guest lectures, seminars, or workshops provided to other classes in the SDC and university.
    • Committee member (not chair) of masters-level graduate project or undergraduate thesis in the Honors College.
    • Consistent instruction in courses where total classroom contact hours, preparation time, enrollment, or grading significantly exceeds that of other courses in the program or school.
    • Development and/or updates of classroom instructional assignments or aids to improve learning and retention of course content.
    • Attendance at workshops, seminars, and related events focusing upon improvements or innovations in teaching.

[1] This document began in an SDC faculty committee in 2014-15 and was updated by SDC leadership team faculty in the summer of 2015 and winter and spring of 2016.  The document draws upon the links above as well as content in the original SDC Tenure and Promotion Guidelines (adopted by SDC faculty in the Fall of 2012); the “Instructor and Clinical Faculty Question and Answer Document (PDF)” (Office of the Provost: May 18, 2006);