The Division of Education, Human Development and Social Sciences represents diverse disciplines and requires a balanced, flexible, and equitable promotion and tenure policy consistent with the directives and spirit of University Academic Policies AC21 and AC23. In broad terms, the policy is intended to ensure that the members of our Division are effective teachers, productive scholars, and responsible members of the university and professional communities. Reviews shall be conducted with due respect and confidentiality.
The Division Promotion and Tenure Review Committee, formed via the Altoona College Promotion and Tenure Review Procedures, will make its recommendations on the basis of careful review of all of the available evidence in relation to the following criteria:
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Effective teaching is critical for promotion or tenure. Although most teaching occurs in the classroom, teaching is understood in its broadest sense and may include a variety of contacts with students such as advising, independent studies, and engaged scholarship2. It is essential that the instructor communicates effectively, is fair and objective, and maintains sound academic standards in evaluation of students. Evaluation of teaching effectiveness will go beyond the administering of SRTEs. Peer evaluations will be conducted in accordance with the Division's Guidelines for Peer Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness and the Second Form of Student Evaluation.
The Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments
An active scholarly record is essential for promotion and tenure. While there must be some concrete evidence of accomplishments in this area, research and scholarship are not construed narrowly. In addition to the traditional publication record, we also acknowledge pedagogical materials, curriculum development, and textbooks as products of research. The Division’s statement on the Scholarship of Research and Creative
Accomplishments serves as the faculty member’s guide in this area. The Division encourages its faculty to seek external grants, present papers at professional meetings, develop new courses and programs, and engage in the full range of activities associated with this area. The Division fully supports the Altoona College statement encouraging innovative and interdisciplinary ways for faculty to realize professional growth and achievement.
Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession
The Division values service as part of a long-term professional trajectory for faculty. Service comes in many forms but primarily falls into four categories: service to the institution, community and civic engagement, community outreach, and service to the discipline or profession. The Division’s statement on Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession provides guidance. The scope (e.g., short-term or ongoing), the method of attainment (e.g., elected, invited, volunteered), the leadership potential (e.g., member or chair), and the impactful nature (e.g., robust participation versus mere attendance) are all considered in the evaluation of the faculty member’s service commitments. Ultimately, the Division does not view service as a series of disconnected actions or “add-ons” to a busy schedule. It is viewed as an essential part of a well-functioning academic unit, College and University.
Division Promotion and Tenure Review Committee Composition
As mandated by the Altoona College Promotion and Tenure Policy, the Division will form a Promotion and Tenure Review Committee by the second week in April. All eligible Division Faculty members will be asked to indicate if they would be willing or unable to serve, and from the willing faculty a committee will be elected within the following constraints:
- It will be composed of three members or the odd number greater than or equal to the number of different disciplines represented among the candidates for that year.
- The committee must include at least one member, eligible to vote, representing each candidate's discipline.
- The majority of the committee members must hold the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. All members of the committee must be tenured.
- For evaluation of candidates seeking promotion, only members of higher ranks may vote, and there must be at least three members eligible to vote.
- The Division Head will appoint committee members from outside the Division, if necessary, to meet these requirements or to replace elected members who are unable to serve.
- Only standing tenure-line faculty are eligible to vote.
- The candidate receiving the greatest number of votes will serve on the committee. In the event multiple seats are open, those receiving the next highest vote totals will also serve on the committee.
- In the event of a tie, a second vote by standing tenure-line faculty will select the candidate. Should a tie remain after this vote, the Division Head will select from the remaining candidates.
- Committee terms are for one promotion and tenure cycle.
Division Promotion and Tenure Review Committee Composition Guidelines
Revised and Approved April 2000
Revised and Approved November 2002 Revised and Approved February 2017 Revised and Approved May 2017
Revised and Approved February 8, 2018
1 For faculty resources specific to this process, see here for the Division policies and here for the College polices.
2 The University’s definition of engaged scholarship can be found here.