Department Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure
Last Revised: June 2012
- Areas of Assessment
- Means of Assessment
- Criteria for Tenure and Promotion
- Procedure for Promotion and Tenure
- Amendments to the Guidelines
Candidates for promotion and tenure in the Department of English are assessed according to the procedures set forth in these guidelines for promotion and tenure, which are supplementary to the bylaws of the department. The bylaws and guidelines shall be posted on the Department’s website, and all members are assumed to be familiar with their provisions.
The authority to confer tenure and to approve promotion resides with the Senior Academic Officer. The Senior Academic Officer is advised by the University Committee on Rank and Tenure, which in turn receives recommendations from the CAS Rank and Tenure Committee, the Dean of the College, and the Department.
In the Department of English, the responsibility to make recommendations concerning promotion and tenure is shared among the appropriate voting members of the faculty, the appropriate elected council of the department who constitute an advisory body, and the chairperson. These guidelines are subject to the provisions of the faculty handbook, which will supersede the former in cases of apparent conflict. All revisions of the guidelines must be approved by the appropriate deans, the committees and the Senior Academic Officer.
Candidates for promotion and tenure in the Department of English are expected to have engaged in teaching, scholarship, and service to the department, to the university in its appropriate units and to the profession. Each of these activities is described below.
Teaching duties in the Department of English consist of regular meetings with groups of students as listed in the schedule of courses. Classes in English are scheduled in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School. On occasion, members of the faculty teach individual students in "Special Studies" or "Directed Readings" courses, so listed in the course schedules. They may also, on occasion, teach courses for other departments and programs in the university.
Teaching includes posting and maintaining regular office hours and otherwise making oneself available for individual consultation on matters pertaining to one's courses; advising students more generally on curricular and other pertinent matters; proposing new courses; creating course materials; participating in peer teaching evaluation groups; conducting independent studies; supervising graduate theses and dissertations; serving on thesis and dissertation committees; and serving on examination boards of the department.
Four sorts of activity are relevant: (1) published or publishable scholarly work in composition, language, and literature in such modes as literary-critical, cultural, historical, and textual studies (in print or digital media); (2) published or publishable creative writing—e.g., poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfictional prose; (3) published reviews of work in the two categories listed above; (4) presentation of papers, or participation in panels, at recognized professional meetings, or, by invitation, at other institutions.
In this category we include membership on departmental, college, and university committees; advising student groups or moderating student activities (e.g., publications and student clubs); internal presentations; organizing conferences; developing websites; administrative service in department, college, and university; offices held in professional organizations; journals edited; such professional service as reading manuscripts for journals or publishers and evaluating candidates for promotion and tenure within the department or at other universities; membership on college and university evaluation teams; and community service and other activities consistent with the mission of the department and its programs.
Teaching is assessed in several ways: (1) the chairperson or a delegate visits the classes of each untenured member at least once a year until the member is considered for tenure. The chairperson or delegate prepares a written report after each visit and discusses its contents in a conference with the teacher. The report is placed in the member's file in the department. (2) All courses taught in the department are evaluated by students using approved departmental forms; at the end of the semester the evaluations are read by the chairperson, who inserts a summary of them into the teacher's file and may rely on them in part when preparing the Annual Faculty Assessment. The forms are then passed to the faculty member; untenured faculty must keep their forms until tenure has been granted. (3) Other pertinent information concerning teaching may include results of surveys of graduates; service on dissertation and examination committees; development of new courses and teaching materials; interdisciplinary courses taught; participation in peer evaluation groups; and assessments conducted by programs and schools of Loyola.
Candidates for promotion and tenure are encouraged to submit a portfolio of materials related to their teaching. Such portfolios may include course syllabi, selected assignments and handouts, a statement outlining the candidate's teaching philosophy, materials documenting the development of new courses, or any other materials the candidate feels ought to be assessed.
Because information from chairperson's visits, student evaluations, and student surveys is part of the chairperson's files, it is the responsibility of the chairperson to assemble this material for the consideration of the members of the Department Council.
At the time of consideration for tenure or promotion, the candidate shall submit published and unpublished work for consideration by the members who are eligible to vote (see section V). Where unpublished material is submitted, the candidate shall also provide whatever documentation may be available that would assist in assessing its scholarly value (e.g. readers' reports, publishers' letters, advice from highly reputed scholars in the field). Candidates may also submit evidence of their recognition as scholars or writers in their fields, such as reviews of their work, awards, citations by other scholars, election to membership on boards of professional organizations, appointments as editor of scholarly or literary journals, and invitations as keynote (or similar) speakers.
The chairperson shall request written evaluations of the candidate's scholarship. These shall total four, one written by a senior member of the department and three written by external evaluators. The chairperson shall ask the candidate to submit at least five names of qualified external reviewers in his or her field of expertise. Candidates may also submit up to two names of persons who should not be invited to serve as reviewers. The chairperson shall select at least one external reviewer from among those suggested by the candidate and at least one on the basis of consultation with the Department Council and members of the department in the candidate's field. None of the outside reviewers should have any vested interest in the candidate’s career; for example, dissertation directors or co-authors might be considered to have a conflict of interest. Both internal and external evaluations shall be submitted for the consideration of the eligible members of the department and the Department Council.
Ordinarily a candidate's services to the department, the university and the profession are matters of public record. It may be necessary for the chairperson to ask those acquainted with the candidate's service (e.g., chairs and members of committees) to estimate the quality of it.
A Note Regarding Annual Faculty Assessment
Annual Faculty Assessment forms and subsequent interviews with the chairperson enable members of the department to gauge their own progress towards promotion or tenure on a regular basis. However, the assessment forms play no formal part in the process of consideration for promotion or tenure.
To devise an exact formula of qualifications for any member to be recommended for tenure or promotion would be harmfully restrictive and misleading, both for a candidate and for those members of the department who participate in making these recommendations. Individual candidates present their own "mix" of qualities. In all cases, the department seeks to retain and promote good teachers and good scholars who will comfortably surpass any set of minimal standards. At each level—untenured and tenured—and at each rank, members of the faculty are expected to maintain an appropriate balance among the activities of teaching, scholarship, and service.
It is necessary to emphasize in particular that no specific quantity of published material can guarantee a favorable or trigger an unfavorable recommendation for tenure or promotion. The department seeks evidence that a candidate has produced scholarly, critical, or creative work that has merited positive recognition in the profession through acceptance and/or publication. Departmental evaluation of the quality of this work is an essential component of the recommending process, and is recognized as such in the bylaws.
Nevertheless, in most cases four or five articles or a book would be required. Professional and scholarly work in digital or other media may also be presented. If the faculty member is at work on a long-term project (e.g., a monograph, edition, or bibliography), he or she may submit the incomplete or unpublished manuscript for consideration. In all cases, the department values the quality of scholarly work (as judged by the departmental and external evaluators) above the quantity of such work.
A. Criteria for Tenure
In decisions of promotion and tenure, the Department of English at Loyola places emphasis on a member's teaching and on his or her scholarship; service and the willingness to serve and perform administrative tasks are important but cannot substitute for success in teaching and scholarship. Candidates for tenure, like other members of the department, are expected to maintain appropriate professional relations with other members of the university community.
Teaching and Service to Students
The department recognizes that styles of teaching vary according to the personal attributes of each individual teacher. We seek evidence of the faculty member’s dedication to teaching and effectiveness in achieving the objectives of each course.
Quality of published research will be assessed according to such criteria as soundness of argumentation, originality, quality of presentation, and importance of the published material to the candidate's field; reputation of the journals and/or presses publishing it; reception by the profession, as evidenced by published reviews or citations of the candidate's work; and promise of future productivity.
Tenure is normally granted only to faculty members whose performance gives evidence of scholarship and productivity which, if sustained, would merit eventual promotion to the rank of professor.
Unpublished material may also be presented for consideration. This material will be evaluated according to such standards as perceived likelihood of publication and significance to the candidate’s field.
Service to the profession, as officer in national or regional organizations, as editor of a professional journal, as manuscript reader, or the like, is considered important evidence of professional standing. Service to the department and to the university is critical to faculty governance. Everyone is expected to contribute in meaningful ways.
B. Promotion to Associate Professor
Ordinarily a candidate will be recommended for promotion to the rank of associate professor when recommended for tenure, but in some cases a faculty member may be promoted to associate professor earlier. A recommendation for early promotion to associate professor implies that a candidate has, in a time briefer than will permit a judgment for tenure, demonstrated his or her teaching ability and his or her scholarly, critical, or creative accomplishment by means of publications or work in other media that in their number, scope, depth or significance constitute clear evidence of maturity in the profession. Such publication constitutes one, but not the only, criterion for tenure, which is a more comprehensive estimate of the faculty member's capabilities together with department needs.
C. Promotion to Professor
For promotion to the rank of professor, a candidate must have continued to make significant contributions to the department, the university and the profession in the areas of teaching and service. The most important requirement for promotion to the highest academic rank is, however, distinguished scholarly, critical, or creative achievement since the time of promotion to the rank of associate professor. Ordinarily this achievement takes the form of a monograph, a scholarly edition, or a number of substantial articles. As with tenure and the promotion to the associate professorship, but at a higher level, the exact quantity of published material is not the sole determinant; there must be unmistakable evidence that the candidate has made, and continues to make, important contributions to his or her field of knowledge.
Requests for promotion are initiated by the faculty member.. Ordinarily tenure review is determined by years of service.
Each candidate for tenure, or for the rank of professor or associate professor, is asked by the chairperson to submit a letter describing the candidate’s scholarship, teaching and service; curriculum vitae; and any other supporting materials on the basis of which the candidate is to be considered. The letter, curriculum vitae, and supporting materials, including the chairperson's statement quoting student opinions of the candidate's teaching, as well as four evaluations of the candidate's scholarship or creative work by three external and one internal evaluator particularly qualified in the candidate's area, are distributed to all the eligible voting members of the department, as defined below. Offprints and copies of other scholarly or creative work by the candidate, as well as student evaluations, are made available in the offices of the department for the inspection of the eligible voting members. All eligible voting members are expected to review these materials.
The chairperson calls a meeting of all eligible voting members (see below), the purpose of which is to discuss the candidate's teaching, scholarship or creative work, service, and any other matters relevant to the application. No voting takes place at this meeting. Proceedings of this meeting are strictly confidential. The chairperson calls for a written vote of the eligible voting members to be received soon after the meeting.
Eligibility is determined in this manner: among the members of the department who have inspected the candidate’s materials made available by the chair, the tenured members are polled on a candidate for tenure; the professors and associate professors are polled on a candidate for promotion to associate professor; the professors are polled on a candidate for promotion to professor. They are asked to vote in favor of the candidate's application or not in favor. They may add to their votes letters explaining their reasons, and are in fact urged to do so. All letters, which are to be signed, are treated with strict confidentiality by the Department Council.
The Department Council now reviews the written poll of the eligible voting members, the evaluations of scholarship, and whatever other evidence can be gathered. No member of the council of a rank equal with, or lower than, that of the candidate will take part in the discussion of, or voting on, that case. On the basis of all this information, the council makes a recommendation to the chairperson.. The chairperson attaches to the recommendation of the Department Council his or her own recommendation, the result of the poll of the faculty, and the evaluation of scholarship. The results are submitted to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Dean of the Graduate School.
The chairperson shall keep the candidate informed of this process within the department. A faculty member may voluntarily withdraw from the promotion or tenure review process at any time, in accordance with the provisions of the faculty handbook. Effective dates of promotion and tenure, and all rights of appeal from these decisions, are also described in the faculty handbook.
Amendments to the guidelines may be proposed in writing at any time by any tenured or tenure-track voting member. The entire document shall in any case be reviewed every five years beginning in 1997/98. Changes become effective when approved by two thirds of the tenured and tenure-track members of the Department, and when ratified by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the appropriate committees and the Senior Academic Officer.
Revised June 25, 2012