|II. Scholarship and Professional Activity|
|Instructions for Promotion Application|
Present evidence of accomplishment in teaching such as: pedagogical materials, including course syllabi and lecture outlines; unique and innovative approaches to teaching; results of anonymous student evaluations taken in class; letters of citation from colleagues or supervisors who have visited your classes, observed your teaching in other ways, or taught the same students in subsequent courses; and the record of success of former students in graduate and professional schools and in subject-related careers. Briefly describe your role in advising activities, including number of advisees and procedures you used. List teaching honors, grants, and awards.
Present evidence of scholarly activities such as: completed graduate or post-doctoral programs; research activities in defined areas leading to participation in and publication of books, articles, reviews, and professional papers; creative works of literature, art, or invention which result in publications, exhibits, and patents; and/or the receipt of professional honors, grants, and awards. List completed scholarly attainments in proper form. If in progress, include planned completion dates.
B. Professional Activity
Present evidence of membership, committee service, and offices held in professional organizations and experience in organizing, assisting, and presenting conferences, workshops, and seminars in your discipline. Professional consultation and practice, travel related to your field of teaching and research, and recognition of achievements to your peers through professional certification, honors, grants, and awards should also be provided. Voluntary and philanthropic activities related to your discipline or area of expertise may be included as may evidence of personal developments signifying professional growth and participation in organized professional activities in your academic field.
A. University Service
Provide evidence of service to the university in such capacities as faculty governance, department, school, and University-level committees, administrative assignments, sponsorship of student organizations, and other University-related activities.
B. Community Service
Provide evidence of service to groups, agencies, and institutions “external” to the University. In general, community service should result in promotion of University objectives through public service to individuals, groups, or agencies through public speeches, lectures, consulting, and other participation.
State any special conditions or circumstances which should be given consideration in this evaluation.
Application for promotion is not an activity that an individual pursues with regularity. It is helpful in filling out the form to have guidance in knowing what the expectations of the faculty committees and administrators are with respect to form, content, and supportive materials that you, the applicant, must provide. These instructions have been provided to help give you that guidance. However, they should not be construed as an official document or as an extension of the Handbook.
It may be that you will apply for promotion only two or three times in your entire teaching career; therefore, take the precaution of starting on the application well ahead of the published deadline for submission. Don’t expect to complete the application satisfactorily during the semester break and year-end holidays. A full semester of lead time is more appropriate and a full calendar year is not too long to work on the application, particularly if extensive support material needs to be gathered.
Type the final version of your application. You wouldn’t submit a handwritten resume, thesis, or dissertation; don’t expect a handwritten application for promotion to be viewed as acceptable by those who must evaluate it. If you don’t type yourself and don’t trust your school’s secretarial help to honor the confidential nature of this information, then hire the typing done by a disinterested party. Above all, have the final copy proofread by an individual other than the person who types it so that misspellings and typographic errors may be corrected. Remember, you are trying to present yourself at your best.
The first page of the form and the narrative are your responsibility. Fill them out as completely as possible. Don’t try to be evasive or assume that the people who are evaluating your application know all about you. Your professional activities and course responsibilities may be “old hat” to you, but everything needs to be clearly explained in your application for promotion so that the individuals reading it can accurately judge the significance of your contribution to the academic community.
Page 1 – This section of the form is quantitative information, which is a matter of record. Supportive documentation is rarely needed for this page with the possible exception of the definition of the accepted terminal degree. In the case of unusual disciplines, supportive evidence favoring a degree other than the doctorate would be helpful.
Narrative – Teaching. List courses that you have taught and/or administered at USI. Follow the criteria defined in Section III of the handbook and outlined in the activity form. Supportive material for this section should include course syllabi and other documentation that may be relevant in assessing your teaching abilities. The results of student and/or colleague evaluations should be included, particularly for high enrollment courses that are your responsibility. If you choose to use an evaluation other than the Cafeteria System, explain the system fully, including form, context, and method of administration. A self-assessment of your teaching is not required, but may be helpful because it can provide insight into what you consider as meaningful in your teaching activities.
Narrative – Scholarship & Professional Activity. For some disciplines these two topics have considerable overlap; in others they do not. Much depends on whether your scholarship and research activities are independent or are linked with activity and membership in appropriate professional organizations. Include a complete chronological synopsis of the activities carried out in both categories. Distinctly note which items are complete and which are in-process. Supportive evidence should include a single copy of the book or periodical containing published work and programs or annual reports which verify professional responsibilities you have assumed or to which you have been elected. The type of supportive evidence that you present should reflect relevance to your teaching discipline. For some, publications in the field are most appropriate; for others, consulting contracts, research proposals, creative works placed in juried shows, or a number of other activities may be most appropriate. Regardless of the activities that you may present in this section of the form, it is helpful (to the point of being necessary) that you provide some form of evaluation of your endeavors with respect to their relevance and importance to the discipline. For additional information, review the criteria for promotion in Section III of the handbook.
Narrative – Service. For most faculty, the areas of university and community service relate to non-teaching discipline activities which you pursue either by appointment, election, or voluntarily. In some rare instances, university service may be part of your contract with the university, but normally this activity will only encompass committee assignments to which you have been appointed or elected. For some socially-oriented disciplines, there may be some overlap between “community service” and “professional activity.” Generally, a distinction should be made between the two. In other words, you shouldn’t consider the same activity under more than one category. So far as possible, supportive evidence is encouraged.
Narrative – Supplementary Information. The purpose of this section is to allow you to insert or place before the individuals evaluating your application any information pertinent to your position at USI or to the background of your teaching career that you want them to know and consider during the evaluation process. Many faculty members leave this section blank; others provide lengthy discourses on their teaching philosophy, their personal and professional goals, etc. It is your prerogative to use this section if you feel there is additional information that should be considered which could not be included elsewhere in the form.
Supportive evidence has traditionally been supplied by applicants for promotion at USI as a means of not only verifying the statements made within the form, but also of providing the evaluators of your application with additional information of a positive nature. This body of documents serves as an appendix to your application form. It is passed on through the departmental and/or school promotion committee(s) and dean to the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs where it resides until he makes his recommendation to the president. It is imperative that the documents contained in this file be clearly and permanently identified so that they do not become disorganized during the evaluation process. Besides the particular items that have been referenced earlier in these instructions, there are a number of other items which can be included in this file, such as; letters of commendation and appreciation from faculty colleagues (either from USI or from other institutions), students, community leaders, etc.; photographs of creative works; copies of funded research proposals, and so forth. Depending on the amount of this material that is presented, different methods of keeping it organized may be appropriate. For small amounts, a loose-leaf binder with dividers may be appropriate. For more copious documentation, a box or portable file drawer may be necessary with the file folders for the various documents. Keep in mind that the supportive evidence is a part of your formal application for promotion and as such it should be organized and identified. It should not be just a collection of loose papers off the top of your desk!
The application form and supportive evidence must be submitted to your dean or appropriate administrator for evaluation in your school by the first day of classes of the spring semester if you wish action to be pursued on it during the current academic year. This means that, if your school has departmental committees, your promotion application must be submitted at an earlier date set by your school to ensure that sufficient time is available for your departmental evaluation to take place. You will be notified of the decisions regarding it as they occur (see promotion procedures in Section III of the handbook.) If a negative decision ensues at any point in the promotion process, this is usually an indication that you should remove your application from further consideration for the current year. This removal is not automatic. You may leave your application in consideration by the subsequent offices and committees if you so desire. You must specifically request that your application be withdrawn if that is your intention.
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