Division of Business, Engineering, and Information Sciences and Technology Promotion Policy for Non-tenure-line Faculty
Definition of Academic Ranks (AC21) is The Pennsylvania State University’s policy governing the promotion of non-tenure-line faculty members. AC21 is informed by AC23, Penn State’s long-standing Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations. Penn State Altoona adopted two sets of guidelines to provide a process for promotion to recognize the cumulative accomplishments and contributions of full-time, fixed-term or standing non-tenure-line faculty members: (1) Guidelines for Promotion of Fixed-Term Faculty to The Second Rank and (2) Guidelines for Promotion of Fixed-Term Faculty to The Third Rank.
The purpose of this document is to delineate the expectations and standards for the promotion of non-tenure-line faculty members holding appointments in the Division of Business, Engineering and Information Sciences & Technology (the Division). This document should be read in the context of the broader procedures and standards of the University and the Altoona College. The Division Head should convey a general knowledge about the expectations and standards contained in this document to faculty members under promotion review, especially to faculty members eligible for promotion to the second rank. The criteria presented in this document are widely applicable to the variety of disciplines represented by the faculty in the Division.
The promotion policies of the Division should contribute to academic excellence and should also be consistent with the missions of the University, the Altoona College and the Division of providing a high-quality education for its students; fostering professional growth, scholarship, and/or mastery of subject matter; and enhancing the intellectual, cultural, and economic lives of the community.
In the Altoona College, the first, second and third ranks for non-tenure-line faculty without a terminal degree are typically: (1) Instructor, (2) Assistant Teaching Professor, and (3) Associate Teaching Professor; the first, second and third ranks for non-tenure-line faculty holding a terminal degree are typically: (1) Assistant Teaching Professor, (2) Associate Teaching Professor, and (3) Teaching Professor.
Penn State’s Policy AC21 states, “positions above the first rank are designed to be promotion opportunities.” … “Fixed-Term and Standing non-tenure-line faculty should become eligible for promotion to the second rank after five years in rank and would be permitted to compile their promotion dossiers in their fifth year. There should be no fixed time period for promotion to the third rank. Reviews for promotions should be conducted solely with regard to the merit of the candidate.”
Division Level Review
The initial review of a candidate for tenure and/or promotion within the Altoona College takes place at the academic Division level. There are two reviews at the Division level. The Division’s Fixed-Term Promotion Review Committee conducts the first review. The Division Head conducts the second.
Three Basic Criteria for Promotion to the Second Rank
- Teaching. In accordance with our mission, the Division highly values the teaching and advising roles of its faculty. Faculty members must possess an ongoing commitment to teaching and learning and in particular must demonstrate success in communicating their specialized knowledge to students. Teaching and learning processes can take place in the classroom or out of the classroom; they include but are not limited to advising students engaged in research, acculturing students to professional life, and other forms of student mentoring. This commitment and communication are essential to the educational process. Evidence of performance in this area shall include SRTEs, a second form of student evaluations (a summary of written student evaluations), and peer evaluations. Other documentation that will attest to the candidate’s performance in teaching and advising, includes but is not limited to, advising evaluations, a record of supervision of internships, supervision of clinical experience, supervision of undergraduate research assistants, contributions to the development of curriculum, and pedagogical improvements.
- Efforts to remain current in the discipline(s) being taught. The vitality of the faculty, both collectively and individually, depends upon lifelong learning in the faculty member’s discipline. Evidence of performance in this area may include, but is not limited to, continuing education, creative accomplishments, professional publications, participation in professional meetings and symposia, obtaining grants, outreach activities utilizing the candidate’s expertise, and the development of new courses and academic programs.
- Service to the College, University, public, and the profession. The Division views a record of service as evidence of the candidate’s commitment to furthering the missions of the Division, the College and the University. Evidence of performance in service may include, but is not limited to, service on Division, College, and University committees, professional service to the local community, organizing workshops or programs for the College and local community, administrative support work, and service to student groups.
Based on a 4-point scale (4 = excellent; 3 = very good; 2 = satisfactory; and 1 = unsatisfactory), candidate for promotion to the Second Rank is expected to demonstrate level-4 performance in teaching and at least level-2 performance in the remaining two categories; or, he or she must demonstrate level-3 performance in teaching and in one additional category, and demonstrate no less than level-2 performance in the remaining category.
Three Basic Criteria for Promotion to the Third Rank
- Teaching. Evidence of performance in this area shall include SRTEs, a second form of student evaluations (a summary of written student evaluations), and peer evaluations. The distinction in teaching necessary to attain the third rank may also be supported through documentation indicating exceptional performance in the supervision of internships, supervision of clinical experience, supervision of undergraduate research and creative activity, contributions to the development of curriculum as well as development and implementation of new courses, study abroad and study away courses, and making significant pedagogical improvements through unique collaborations, interdisciplinary course projects, multi-semester or linked courses, and/or program assessment activities. Distinction may also be characterized by contributions to the pedagogical improvements of other faculty members (especially junior faculty), providing mentoring or training new faculty advisers, creating programming aimed at tracking, evaluating or improving academic advising at Penn State Altoona, efforts aimed at student retention, or developing other unique programs associated with student engagement
- Efforts to remain current in the discipline(s) being taught. Evidence of high-quality performance in this area required for promotion may include, but is not limited to, significant continuing education, new or unique creative accomplishments, professional publications in one’s discipline, participation in professional meetings and symposia, garnering individual research and/or institutional grant proposals, developing new courses, or participating collaboratively in the research or grant writing process with students, campus faculty members, or faculty members from another institution within or outside of Penn State. Also supporting high-quality performance are relevant outreach activities that utilize the candidate’s professional expertise, and evidence of leadership roles in community, regional, state, or national organizations.
- Service to the College, University, public, and the profession. Evidence of high- quality performance in service shall reflect division-wide, college-wide, and/or University-wide reputation for meaningful activity aimed at improving the overall academic or professional experience of students, faculty colleagues, and/or staff. These activities may include, but are not limited to, leadership or significant active participation in service on Division, College, and/or University committees, professional service to the local community, organizing workshops or programs for the College and local community, administrative support work, and service to student groups.
A candidate for promotion to the third rank is expected to demonstrate continued effectiveness as a teacher while in the second rank; and must show evidence of professional growth, scholarship, and/or mastery of subject matter at a level of distinction beyond the level presented at the time of promotion to the second rank. More specifically, the candidate must meet the criteria described below in the areas of teaching, efforts to remain current in the discipline(s) being taught, and service. Based on a 4-point scale (4 = excellent; 3 = very good; 2 = satisfactory; and 1 = unsatisfactory), the faculty member is expected to demonstrate level-4 performance in teaching and at least level-3 performance in both of the remaining categories.