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Third-Year Review

Guidelines for Faculty in the School of Liberal Arts

Contents

Section A: Introduction

Section B: Published Scholarship for All Disciplines

Section C: Teaching for All Disciplines

Section D: Negative Recommendations

Section A: Introduction

Faculty status, including the granting of tenure, is primarily a faculty responsibility. The School of Liberal Arts (SLA) Promotion and Tenure Committee (P&T) represents the SLA faculty in matters of evaluation of cases of Third-Year Review, promotion to the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, and the granting of tenure. The Committee and its composition are described in the School of Liberal Arts Constitution. The Dean of the School of Liberal Arts is not a member of the Committee, but provides the provost with independent recommendations on cases decided by the committee.

Role of the Candidate

Tenure-track faculty members are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the requirements, timetable, and procedures for consideration for Third-year Review.

The candidate must indicate his/her intent to come up for Third-year Review by the spring deadline established in the Faculty Action Timetable. Occasionally, in cases of illness, family crisis, or maternity leave, stoppage of the "tenure clock" may be negotiated with the dean if supported by the candidate's department.

Per the specified date in the Faculty Action Timetable, the candidate shall provide the department with two hard copies of the research dossier (including CV, Five-year Plan, and publications/works numbered as on the CV) and of the teaching and service parts of the dossier. The dossiers should be in binder format. The candidate must also submit the CV, Five-year plan, publications/works numbered as on the CV, teaching statement, and service statement (if any) as digital files (on CDs or DVDs). The department shall provide the P&T Committee with the digital files and one hard copy of the research, teaching, and service parts of the dossier and shall retain one hard copy of the dossier (research/teaching/service).It is advised that the candidate consult with the department in the preparation of these documents.

In the case of a joint appointment between an academic department and a program, candidates should solicit a letter of recommendation from the program faculty and director who, unlike the departmental members, do not vote on the case. They can submit a report including commentary on the same areas covered in the departmental letter within the context of the individual's participation in the program. This letter should go to the home department first and then, with the full dossier, to the P&T Committee.

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Role of the Departments

By the date on the Faculty Action Timetable, the chair of the department must inform the candidate in writing that he or she will undergo third-year review by the deadline indicated in the timetable, ask the candidate's consent to undertake such review, and obtain the candidate's written acknowledgment that such review is forthcoming. The chair shall forward this information to the SLA dean.

All tenured SLA department members with regular appointments at or above the rank for which a candidate is being considered are eligible to vote on the review cases in that department.

After receipt of the candidate's dossier (as per the Faculty Action Timetable) the tenured members of the departmental faculty review the dossier and meet to discuss thoroughly the three areas of scholarly/creative production, teaching, and service, with emphasis on the first two. For Third-year Review, it is not expected that the candidate have service responsibilities outside the department.

A letter of assessment from the department for all evaluations shall contain a summary of the discussion, including a full explanation of the reasons for the positive, any negative and, especially, an equally split vote(s), and shall indicate the number of faculty supporting the recommendation, the number opposing, and the number abstaining (or unable to vote for reasons of absence, etc.). Absentee and mail-in votes are not allowed. Signatures of those faculty members voting or abstaining shall appear on the letter of nomination. The letter of assessment shall state, above the signatures, that the signers have read the letter and agree that the vote tabulation is correct. The original letter shall be submitted to the P&T Committee (via the Dean's Office) and is due with the candidate's full dossier by the specified date in the Faculty Action Timetable.

It is the obligation of the department to ensure that a candidate's dossier is complete, including a departmental letter containing the departmental vote and the reasons supporting that vote with attention given to scholarship, teaching and service; materials that evince the candidate's teaching performance; and, as appropriate to the case, copies of scholarly or creative material in the form of articles and/or books or works of artistic production.

An eligible department member who was unable to attend the department meeting may submit an independent letter to the committee giving his or her assessment of the candidate's qualifications. In extraordinary circumstances, a member who, though having attended the meeting and signed the department letter confirming the vote total, believes that the letter does not accurately reflect the opinions expressed, may submit an independent letter to the committee setting forth his or her views. Departments and ad hoc committees should strive to avoid this situation. Any independent letters submitted by department or ad hoc committee members must be made available to all other eligible members in the department or ad hoc committee. The P&T Committee will ensure that these procedures have been followed before accepting any such letters.

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Role of the Promotion and Tenure Committee

The P&T Committee acts on cases forwarded to it by the department in which the candidate's appointment resides.

After receipt of the full dossier from the department, the P&T committee meets to review and discuss thoroughly the three areas of scholarly/creative production, teaching, and service. (The P&T Committee will not consider letters written by anonymous sources, or from any person not having a role in the evaluative process explicitly defined in these guidelines.)

A letter of assessment from the P&T Committee shall contain a summary of the discussion, including a full explanation of the reasons for the positive, any negative and, especially, any equally split vote(s), and shall indicate the number of eligible committee members supporting the recommendation, the number opposing, and the number abstaining (or unable to vote for reasons of absence, etc.). Signatures of those committee members voting or abstaining shall appear on the letter of nomination. The letter of assessment shall state, above the signatures, that the signers have read the letter and agree that the vote tabulation is correct. The original letter shall be submitted to the Dean and is due with the candidate's full dossier by the specified date in the Faculty Action Timetable.

The Dean will forward the committee's decision, his/her own comments and recommendation, the department's report, and the full dossier to the Provost for a final decision on the case.

In all evaluations, if the P&T Committee recommendation counters the departmental majority recommendation, the P&T Committee shall return the case to the department for reconsideration with a written enumeration of specific reservations or differences of opinion regarding the merits of the case. The appropriate departmental faculty members must meet to decide whether they wish to reconsider their decision on the case. If so, the department shall have two weeks to respond in writing to the committee's opinions. Reconsideration by the department requires that a new vote be taken among the appropriate members following the voting procedure followed for the initial consideration. Letters of departmental reconsideration should indicate the number of faculty supporting the recommendation, the number opposing, and the number abstaining (or unable to vote for reasons of absence, etc.). Signatures of those faculty members voting or abstaining shall appear on the letter of reconsideration. If the department does not wish to reconsider the case, then it should return the dossier to the committee with statement to that effect.

Schedules for submission of information of materials to the P&T Committee are listed on the School of Liberal Arts website.

Requirements for organization of information on the curriculum vitae are listed on the School of Liberal Arts website.

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Procedures and Criteria

The purpose of the third-year review is to obtain a “mid-course” judgment on the candidate's progress toward tenure. It is a rigorous review of scholarly works published and in progress, and/or, creative works exhibited, performed or in progress, plus a five-year plan, and teaching performance. In some cases, the department and/or the Promotion and Tenure Committee may find that the evidence does not indicate that the candidate is likely to develop a scholarly or creative record or teaching strength deserving of tenure at the end of the probationary period, and will recommend termination.

The candidate's home department will submit to the P&T Committee an extensive report that includes the numerical vote both in favor and opposed to recommending a successful review and explanatory discussion of the reasons for the votes (without reference to specific individuals who participated in the discussion).

For third-year review, the department report will focus upon scholarship and teaching. No university service activity is expected of faculty members at this stage of their careers beyond normal departmental service.

The third-year review will take place at the beginning of the candidate's third year in a tenure-track appointment. If the “tenure clock” has been stopped for an appropriate reason, the review will take place after completion of two years of full-time teaching and research. Such suspension of the tenure clock will be negotiated with the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. Exceptions to the timing of the third-year review may also include negotiated probationary periods decided upon by the home department, the candidate, and the dean at the point of hiring.

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Section B: Published Scholarship for all Disciplines

Candidates for review should be aware that priority is given to book-length studies, articles, and essays published in top-tier, peer-reviewed venues. Any piece of scholarship that is not peer-reviewed for publication is not generally as highly respected as those pieces that have undergone that intellectual process. For third-year review candidates, the report of departmental faculty concerning quality will be especially important in judging how much weight will be given to publications that have not been submitted to peer-review. Ultimately, the Promotion and Tenure Committee is interested in quality, and the judgments of the department members and the committee members will be important in evaluating all publications, whether or not they have been subject to peer-review.
 

Volumes edited by the candidate are not considered in the same category as single-authored critical studies. Unless a candidate's position is one of creative writer, a candidate's creative works are not to be in the same category of work considered in his/her scholarly production. In addition, journalistic pieces are in a separate category and not considered part of the scholarly body of a candidate's record. All of these sorts of writing should be in different sections of the curriculum vitae.

Works in print or accepted for publication and accompanied by an editor's letter to that effect are appropriate for inclusion in the scholarly dossier. Works that are still in progress or that have only been submitted should be included in manuscript form and listed on the curriculum vitae in a section designated as such. Co-authored works should also be included and listed on the curriculum vitae in an appropriately designated section. The departmental report must include evaluation of these pieces with regard to quality and contribution to the discipline.

Candidates are expected to participate in scholarly conferences and present papers in appropriate sessions and panels.

Third-year review candidates are expected to present a record of strength of research/scholarship through evidence of publication and/or formal acceptance of written work or creative work (in Fine Arts) in peer-reviewed publications or exhibitions, demonstrating a well-defined trajectory indicative of promise of an upcoming successful evaluation for promotion to associate professor with tenure.

In addition, there must be evidence that the candidate has begun independent work that is not co-authored with a doctoral advisor or postdoctoral mentor and thus contributes to the establishment of an independent program of research. Such a program indicates the maturity of the scholar who can conduct work on his/her own. In the case of collaborations with other scholars, there should be no doubt that the candidate for evaluation is providing the intellectual force behind a significant portion of the work.

There must also be in evidence scholarly work accomplished since joining the School of Liberal Arts faculty, taking into account time since appointment but likewise with recognition of the work done prior to coming to Tulane.

Evidence of plans and application process for external funding in appropriate fields is also most important.

 

Elements of the File

five-year plan

 

The Five-Year Plan of candidates from all disciplines must present:

  • a coherent plan for work to be accomplished in the designated time period of five years;
  • a clear explanation of what has been accomplished;
  • a full description of work that is the current focus of attention;
  • if dissertation is being converted into book, a full description of that process and the changes being made;
  • a clear description of scholarship planned to be completed by time of evaluation for promotion to associate professor with tenure, including research steps needed for this completion and schedule for completion of the finished work

Note: Departmental review of the five-year plan should precede placement of plan into the final dossier

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Section C: Teaching for All Disciplines

The Teaching Dossier

 

A teaching dossier must be submitted and must include:

  • Print outs of student evaluations (statistical sheets together with student comments for each course taught). Consideration will be given to number of students in each course, number of hours of work reported by the students on a weekly basis; percentage of students in the course who submitted evaluations; number of times course has been taught; and variety of courses taught
  • A departmental evaluation of teaching effectiveness; The P&T Committee prefers peer reports based on classroom visitation and observation, but other methods of evaluation are permissible.
  • Departmental comments about the range of courses and their importance to the major and/or graduate program.This information may be incorporated instead into the department's letter.
  • A record of teaching at different levels of the curriculum, substantiated by commentary in the departmental report (or letter) that explains the range, type, and difficulty of courses taught
  • A clear statement of curricular plans, written by the candidate, with information such as:
    how does her/his approach to teaching the various courses prepared and offered facilitate the learning process for the undergraduate students and (where appropriate) graduate students; how does the candidate contribute to the teaching mission of the home department and the School of Liberal Arts; what are the elements the candidate considers essential to an effective learning environment in his/her discipline

The dossier may include additional materials such as:

  • Descriptions of new courses developed in candidate's department and/or program
  • Sample graded papers (examinations, essays, etc.), with students' names removed, that demonstrate the candidate's efforts to guide and teach through commentary and feedback to the students
  • Letters from students solicited by the candidate's home department, with information in the department's report that indicates the process that produced this source
  • Where appropriate, an explanation of innovations in the teaching/learning experience, information on the effective use of information technology in teaching, and descriptions of service learning courses, internships, externships, and practicum experiences for the students
  • An explanation of how the candidate may have included opportunities for research under his/her direction for undergraduate and graduate students
  • From all courses taught to the point of the evaluation, sample evidence drawn from syllabi, handouts developed, teaching and learning modules, review materials, problem-based learning cases, computer-or network-based materials, and any other supplemental materials produced for the students in his/her classes

  • GPA Information provided each semester by the Registrar's Office

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Section D: Negative Recommendations for Third-Year Review

Negative Decisions

Candidates who receive a negative decision for third-year review may be granted a subsequent consideration by the Promotion and Tenure Committee on the basis of significant new evidence of scholarly or teaching excellence. The new material and a letter from the candidate requesting the subsequent consideration must be submitted no later than the last day of the penultimate semester in the candidate's final probationary year. If the P&T Committee decides not to accept the case, then it goes no further in a review process. If, however, a majority of the P&T Committee decides to accept the case for consideration, it will forward the new dossier to the home department for evaluation.

At that point, the department and the committee will proceed through the same steps followed for a new case. All pieces of scholarship in the newly presented dossier must be accompanied by a letter provided by the editor of the press or journal by which it has been accepted for publication and establishing the date of acceptance of the piece in question. In cases of an unsatisfactory teaching record, new evidence of significant improvement in that record must be submitted. The department's report and vote will be submitted to the committee as usual, and the committee's report and vote along with the dean's recommendation will be submitted in normal fashion to the provost.

Confidentiality

The third-year review process, including the deliberations of departments and of the SLA P&T Committee, is confidential. No department, ad hoc committee, or SLA P&T committee member may share with either the candidate or any outside party other than those identified in these guidelines information concerning the deliberations. The only exception is that the department chair may share with the candidate guidance and advice resulting from the review and, at his or her discretion, may inform the candidate whether the department's vote was positive or negative. In no case shall a candidate be told the vote tally.

Tulane University, School of Liberal Arts, 102 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA  70118, (504) 865-5225, liberalarts@tulane.edu