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Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

Tenure and Promotion Guidelines - 1999

I. POLICY:

This document on tenure and promotion outlines procedures for implementing the tenure and promotion guidelines set forth in the university's Faculty Manual. The policy is designed to ensure continuity of process and reasonable and regular reward of merit. Nothing in this statement shall be construed as removing the procedural guarantees provided by the Faculty Manual concerning tenure and promotion. This statement of policy will be reviewed annually by the Tenure and Promotion Committee of the college.

II. PROCEDURE:

The mission of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications is not an easy one to define.  The school serves many constituencies, and its mission changes from level-to-level.  At the undergraduate level, the college seeks to prepare its students for careers in advertising, public relations, broadcasting and print journalism. At the master’s level, the school works with students who wish both to learn and add to professional skills and with those who wish to enter doctoral studies. 

Because it is one of only two accredited journalism program in South Carolina, the school has a special obligation to provide the highest quality professional preparation for its students.  It is for this reason that the college, as other accredited journalism programs, puts great emphasis on a faculty that is a blend of those with the terminal degree and those with significant professional experience in the mass media.  Faculty member sin either of these groups should have every reason to expect, given proper performance that they will be able to achieve tenure and, ultimately, the rank of full professor.  While the Faculty Manual indicates faculty members in professorial ranks preferably will have the earned doctorate, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications hires, tenures and promotes to full professor faculty members with significant professional media experience who do not hold a doctorate, just as do the other outstanding journalism units across the country. 

The school believes its mission as a unit within The University of South Carolina system is reflected in contributions of individual members of its faculty in three broad areas: (1) teaching students through professional direction in the classroom; (2) publication of the results of basic and applied research that extends the school’s academic and professional capabilities and articles that appear in the professional journals of the mass media industry and in the popular press; and (3) service to the university through student advising,  counseling and special assignments on school and university committees and to the constituencies the school serves through active participation in professional organizations and through leadership in professional development programs sponsored by the unit.

It is unreasonable to expect any individual to participate equally in all possible activities or for faculty members to share equally in all tasks.  The evaluation of any individual will be based on the candidate’s expertness and performance and the expectations and needs of the school.

Because of the unusual nature of its mission, which requires faculty members with the terminal degree as well as those with significant professional experience, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications has established two tracks – each of which leads to tenure and the full professor ship, but with slightly different emphases.  These will be discussed in detail in the section of these guidelines on “Evaluating Candidates for Tenure and Promotion.”

III. PROCEDURES

SCHOOL TENURE AND PROMOTION COMMITTEE  

The responsibility for formulation of practices and procedures for granting of tenure and/or promotion within the School of Journalism and Mass Communications shall be that of the school’s Tenure and Promotion Committee, which comprises the tenured faculty of the college.

The Select Committee of the school’s Tenure and Promotion Committee shall annually evaluate tenure track faculty, assist the Tenure and Promotion Committee chair in gathering material s for candidates’ files and perform other duties as assigned by the Tenure and Promotion Committee and/or requested by the chair.  The Select Committee, elected each spring semester from among the tenured faculty, shall be composed of four full professors and four associate professors, who will serve three-year terms.  At least three members shall be elected from the academic track and three from the professional track.  The chair of the school’s Tenure and Promotion Committee, elected from the Tenure and Promotion Committee membership, shall be a voting member and shall chair the Select Committee.

CONSIDERATION FOR TENURE AND/OR PROMOTION

The Tenure and Promotion Committee each year shall consider tenure and/or promotion for the following faculty:

A. For Tenure - All untenured full-time faculty members holding professorial rank. 

Faculty not wishing to be considered for tenure must notify the school’s Tenure and Promotion Committee in writing, and their names will be forwarded through normal channels.  Untenured full-time faculty members at the rank of assistant professor must be considered for tenure no later than their sixth year of tenure-track service.  Untenured full-time faculty members at the rank of associate professor or professor must be considered for tenure no later than their fifth year of tenure-track service.

B. For Promotion - All full-time assistant and associate professors except those requesting in writing that they not be considered, the names of whom will be forwarded through normal channels.

A recommendation for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor is normally considered only after the individual has served in the rank of assistant professor for six years.  A recommendation for promotion to the rank of professor is normally considered only after the individual has served in the rank of associate professor for five years.  The school may choose to include service at other institutions or at other ranks when computing the years of service.  Recommendations for promotion may be made with shorter terms or service when there is evidence of exceptional performance.

Several other elements that are important in the process of considering the files of those seeking tenure and/or promotion are:

A. Timetable: This school will adhere to the tenure and promotion schedule published each academic year by the Provost’s office.  However, the first notice will to eligible faculty members no later than the end of the preceding spring term.  Additional notices will be given to eligible faculty members by the school’s Tenure and Promotion Committee chair at least 30 days prior to the committee’s review date.  Such reviews will also take place so that the dean can be notified at least 30 days prior to the time when he or she will be required to take action on the committee’s recommendation.  Candidates will be invited to submit materials along with their request for tenure and/or promotion.  Certain materials, as listed in the University Committee on Tenure and Promotion’s “A Guide to USC-Columbia Tenure and Promotion Procedures,” may be added to files upon request by the candidate during the initial review process or during any subsequent appeal of a committee action.

B. Balloting: Tenure recommendations will be made by tenured faculty of equal or higher rank held by the candidate.  Promotion recommendations will be made tenured faculty of higher rank.  Voting will be done by secret ballot.

A candidate receives an affirmative vote from the Tenure and Promotion Committee by garnering one more than half the total “yes” and “no” votes cast by the committee members eligible to vote on the particular candidate.  Abstention votes are valid, but will not affect the determination of a positive or negative vote.  All votes, including abstentions, must be justified in writing, and all files will contain the number of “yes,” “no,” and “abstain” votes.  Members of the tenured faculty who are eligible to vote on a particular candidate but who are on leave shall be invited in writing to participate in the tenure and promotion process.

Candidates receiving an affirmative vote will have their files forwarded through the school to the university administration and the University Committee on Tenure and Promotion for consideration.  Candidates not recommended for tenure and/or promotion will have their names forwarded without files.

A negative committee vote does not prejudice a candidate for further review.

C. Appeals: Candidates receiving a negative vote will be notified by the Tenure and Promotion Committee chair within five working days of the vote and, upon request by the candidate, be given a summary of the reasons for the denial and in indication of the strength of the vote of the college committee.

The time within which an appeal must be made will be determined by reference to the schedule of deadlines for tenure and promotion decisions promulgated each year by the provost.  Normally, it should not be less than ten days after notification of the candidate by the dean.  The dean will notify the tenured faculty of the appeal and invite letters regarding the appeal.  The appeal material shall become a part of the candidate’s file.  The file shall then be forwarded through normal channels. 

PREPARATION OF TENURE AND/OR PROMOTION FILE

The provost’s office annually issues a university-wide and promotion application packet.  Because a candidate’s file will be reviewed by faculty from outside the journalism discipline, it is strongly suggested the candidate follow the format outlined in the form.  The candidate may submit as much documentation as he or she wishes in support of the tenure and/or promotion application.  As a minimum, the candidate’s file should include, but is not limited to, the following:

A. Vita to include education, pertinent work experience in journalism and mass communications, teaching experience, honors, lists of papers with titles and presentation details, committee and administrative assignments, scholarly research and artistic work in progress, consulting (paid and unpaid), evidence of recent professional growth, relevant public service, participation in professional societies and other supporting data.

B. Exhibits of publications, artistic works, professional productions, etc., cited in the vita. 

C. Statement from the candidate.

D. Names of up to five persons, chosen by the candidate, who can comment on the candidate’s qualifications.  These might include persons teaching at other colleges and universities or working in the field of mass communications. These letters of recommendation will be solicited by the school’s Tenure and Promotion Committee.

E. Names of up to five former students who are qualified to comment on the candidate’s qualifications.  These students will be contacted by the Tenure and Promotion Committee.  

F. Evaluations by students enrolled in present and past semesters in the candidate’s classes.  A summary of these student evaluations will be written by either the Tenure and Promotion chair by the associate dean for academics.

G. Evaluations by the candidate’s administrative superiors.

H. Evaluations of the candidate by colleagues in the school.  These will be solicited by the Tenure and Promotion Committee.

Once the file has been submitted by the candidate’s scholarship, service record and/or other professional accomplishments, all responses from such referees will become part of the candidate’s file, and each file will include no fewer than three outside referees.

Selection of outside referees:  The selection of outside referees will be the sole responsibility of the college’s Tenure and Promotion Committee.  A minimum of three outside referees will be selected, at least one from the list supplied by the candidate and at least two selected independently by the college’s committee. These referees will normally be selected from the candidate’s area of expertise (i.e., advertising, broadcasting, news editorial, research, etc.) from academic programs similar in scope to this school.

IV. EVALUATING CANDIDATES FOR TENURE AND PROMOTION

Because faculty members have varied backgrounds and strengths, they may choose, unless specified in their letter of appointment, either the academic or professional tracks on which to be evaluated for tenure and/or promotion.  The primary difference between the tracks is the emphasis placed on research/publication and service.

Faculty members who have the earned doctorate, whether conferred before or after the time of appointment to the faculty of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, will ordinarily be evaluated on the basis of academic track criteria.  Faculty members without the earned doctorate are ordinarily evaluated on the basis of professional track criteria.  Faculty members without the earned doctorate may wish to be evaluated on the basis of academic track criteria, just as those with the doctorate may wish to be evaluated on the basis of professional track criteria.  Exceptions to this policy may be made by the dean in consultation with the chairman of the school’s Tenure and Promotion Committee and will be based on primarily on the needs and best interests of the school and secondarily on the preference of the individual faculty member.

Those who are already on faculty at the time of the implementation of these guidelines will have the option of continuing under the guidelines in effect at the time of their hiring or of placing themselves under these new guidelines.  If they select the new guidelines, they must so notify the dean with a copy to the chair of the school’s Tenure and Promotion Committee, in a signed and dated statement.

All faculty members, whether in the academic track or the professional track, will be judged on teaching effectiveness using the following guidelines.

TEACHING – ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL TRACKS

A principal consideration in awarding tenure or promotion is the candidate’s teaching performance.  The school prides itself on the quality of its teaching and places a high priority on it.

An important documentation of teaching quality is the school’s required course evaluations.  The results of the evaluations are quantifiable and are reported with an explanation of the faculty member’s teaching performance over time.  Subjective evaluations obtained in interviews with students and alumni or in letters solicited from them may be included if appropriate.  Evaluations from unit colleagues also may be included.

Other evidence of achievement and professional growth in teaching might also include:

  • Receipt of teaching awards.
  • Receipt of faculty development grants to support innovations in teaching.
  • Publication of teaching materials, whether in printed form or for computer-based instruction, regardless of the medium of presentation.
  • Work in professional positions in the mass communications industry during summers or leave time or, with the approval of the dean, part-time during regular term.
  • Development and management of seminars and workshops for colleagues who want to enhance or improve their teaching skills.
  • Appointment/election to leadership roles in teaching – related activities of professional associations.
  • Development/enrichment of new courses or programs.
  • Being asked to instruct seminar sessions for academic or professional associations.
  • Being asked to serve as a visiting teacher at another institution.

In evaluating teaching, the following ratings will be used:

Superior: Candidate’s teaching is consistently rated among the best in the unit.

Excellent:  Candidate’s teaching is consistently rated above the average for the unit.

Good: Candidate’s teaching is consistently rated near the average for the unit.

Fair: Candidate’s teaching is consistently rated lower than the average for the unit.

Unsatisfactory: Candidate’s teaching is consistently rated well below the average for the unit.

RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION -- ACADEMIC TRACK

Academic track faculty are expected to contribute to the knowledge base from which they teach, and their research must be disseminated in order to have impact.  Academic track faculty member’s research and publications contributions will be the other principal criterion, along with teaching, in all tenure and promotion decisions.  Documentation of research and publication productivity includes, but is not limited to:

  • Reprints and copies or work published, in press, or under review in refereed scholarly and professional journals, monographs or books.
  • Copies of presentations given at academic or professional meetings.
  • Copies of research grants submitted; funded research grants will receive greater weight.
  • Copies of proprietary research reports completed in the faculty member’s role of consultant.
  • Awards and honors for research.
  • Editorial positions on scholarly and professional journals.
  • “Expert witness” testimony in court cases or before governmental committees.
  • Electronic publication of research results.

The following general criteria influence the assessment of published scholarship:

  • Quality and quantity are considered, but there should be a minimum average of one publication per year.
  • General books rank higher than textbooks, which carry more weight than monographs, which are perceived as more significant than articles in recognized refereed scholarly journals, which exceed work published in other journals or in mimeographed or duplicated reports.
  • Published research more important than papers presented at scholarly meetings. 
  • Jointly authored publications and presentations are considered, but the candidate should balance these with single-author contributions.
  • Research contributions should be regular, continuous and focused.
  • Research contributions should be perceived as significant in the field.
  • Research contributions should be based on appropriate literature and theory.
  • Research contributions should be based on sound methodology, and the conclusions should be appropriate.
  • Research contributions should be written in language appropriate for the intended audience.

  In evaluating research and publication, the following ranking will be used:

Superior: Candidate’s research and publication ranks in quality/quantity with that of the best colleagues of the same rank in the same discipline at like universities.

Excellent: Candidate’s research and publication is recognizably higher in quality/quantity that most colleagues of the same rank in the same discipline at like universities.

Good: Candidate’s research and publication compares favorably in quality/quantity with that of most colleagues of the same rank in the same discipline at like universities.

SERVICE – ACADEMIC TRACK

A principal expectation of all faculty members is that they make meaningful contributions to the wide range of constituencies of concern to the college.  For faculty following the academic track, such service contributions will include, but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing manuscripts for academic or professional journals.
  • Reviewing manuscripts for academic or professional conferences.
  • Professional contributions through services as an officer, committee chair or other organizations.
  • Development of programs or activities that contribute significantly to the interests of the college’s professional or academic constituencies, such as: development and management of seminars and workshops for professional journalists entailing teaching professional skills and practice.
  • Active participation in the appropriate academic or professional organizations.
  • Receipt of service grants, honors and awards.
  • Consulting with other schools or mass communications businesses.
  • Service to the college and university in the form of committee or administrative assignments, directing or workshops and conferences, and participation in promotional activities.
  • Community service within the disciplines encompassed by the college.  Professional achievement in the graphics- visual arts area and in other professional fields represented by journalism and mass communications faculty.
  • A high level of academic advising and professional counseling of students.
  • Supporting evidence, which may be solicited by the dean or the unit Tenure and Promotion Committee as well as provided by the candidate, might include:
  • Written statements from the constituent organizations for which the services have been performed that comment on the quality of the services.
  • Written evaluations of advising by a sample of advisees. Graduate students should also be included in this sample and their assessments of the quality of thesis/project advising may be solicited.
  • Written evaluations of graduate advisors by a sample of graduate advisees who have recently completed their theses or projects.
  • Written evaluations of advising by the faculty member’s sequence chair and/or dean.

In evaluating service contributions, the following rankings will be used:

Superior: Candidate’s record or service in quality/quantity is recognizably among the best in the unit.

Excellent: Candidate’s record or service in quality/quantity is well above the unit’s average.

Good: Candidate’s record or service in quality/quantity compares well with the unit’s average.

Fair:  Candidate’s record of service in quality/quantity is recognizably below the unit’s average.

Unsatisfactory:  Candidate’s record or service is consistently rated well below the unit’s average.

In reviewing academic track candidates for promotion and/or tenure, the School’s Tenure and Promotion committee will use the following evaluation standards for each academic rank:

Assistant Professor (Academic Track):
Tenure:
           Teaching: Minimum rating – Good.
           Research and Publication:  Minimum rating – Good.
           Service: Minimum rating – Fair.
 
Associate Professor (Academic Track):
Tenure:  (Note: The candidate must have an excellent rating in one area and a minimum rating of good in the other two areas.)
            Teaching: Minimum rating – Good.
            Research and Publications:  Minimum rating – Good.
            Service:  Minimum rating – Good.
 
Promotion: (Note: The candidate must have an excellent rating in one area and a minimum rating of good in the other two areas.)
            Teaching: Minimum rating – Good.
            Research and Publications:  Minimum rating – Good.
            Service: Minimum rating – Good.
 
Professor (Academic Track):
Tenure:
            Teaching: Minimum rating – Excellent.
            Research and Publications: Minimum rating – Excellent.
            Service: Minimum rating – Good.
 
Promotion:
            Teaching: Minimum rating – Excellent.
            Research and Publications:  Minimum rating – Excellent.
            Service: Minimum rating – Good.

SERVICE PROFESSIONAL TRACK

A principal expectation of all faculty on the professional track is that they make meaningful contributions to the wide range of constituencies of concern to the college. Faculty members following the professional track are expected to actively participate in professional organizations and/or to conduct workshops and seminars.  For faculty following the professional track, service will be the other principal criterion, along with teaching, in all tenure and promotion decisions, The criteria for judging service contributions will include, but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing manuscripts for professional or academic journals.
  • Reviewing manuscripts for professional or academic conferences.
  • Professional contributions through services as an officer, committee chair or other administrative responsibility in appropriate scholarly and/or professional organizations.
  • Development of programs or activities that contribute significantly to the interests of the college’s professional or academic constituencies, such as:  development and management of seminars and workshops for professional journalists entailing teaching professional skills and practice.
  • Active participation in the appropriate academic or professional organizations.
  • Receipt of service grants, honors and awards.
  • Consulting with other schools or mass communications businesses.
  • Service to the college and university in the form of committee or administrative assignments, directing of workshops and conferences, and participation in promotional activities.
  • Community service within the disciplines encompasses b the college.
  • Professional achievement in the graphics-visual arts area and in other professional fields represented by journalism and mass communications faculties.
  • A high level of academic advising and professional counseling of students.  Supporting evidence, which may be solicited by the dean or the unit Tenure and Promotion Committee, as well as provided by the candidate, might include:
  • Written statements from the constituent organizations for which the services have been performed that comment on the quality of the services.
  • Written evaluations of advising by a sample of advisees.  Graduate students should also be included in this sample and their assessments of the quality of advising including thesis/project advising may be assessed.
  • Written evaluations of graduate advisors by a sample of graduate advisees who have recently completed their theses or projects.
  • Written evaluations of student club advisors by members of student organizations.
  • Written evaluations of advising by the faculty member’s sequence chair and/or dean.

In evaluating service contributions, the following rankings will be used:

Superior: Candidate’s record of service in quality/quantity is recognizably among the best in the unit.

Excellent: Candidate’s record of service in quality/quantity is well above the unit’s average.

Good: Candidate’s record of service in quality/quantity compares well with the unit’s average.

Fair:  Candidate’s record of service in quality/quantity is recognizably below the unit’s average.

Unsatisfactory: Candidate’s record of service is consistently rated well below the unit’s average.

RESEARCH AND/OR PUBLICATION – PROFESSIONAL TRACK

For faculty choosing to follow the professional track, some research and/or publication is expected, but because greater emphasis is placed on their service contributions, research and/or publication will be the tertiary criterion in all tenure and promotion decisions.

Documentation of research and/or publication productivity includes:

  • Reprints and copies or work published, in press, or under review in refereed scholarly and professional journals, monographs, or books.
  • Copies or presentations given at academic or professional meetings.
  • Copies of research grants submitted and copies of proprietary research reports completed in the faculty member’s role of consultant.  Grants that are funded will be given more weight than those that are not funded
  • Awards and honors for research.
  • Editorial positions on scholarly and professional journals.
  • “Expert witness” testimony in court cases or before governmental committees.

Faculty following the professional track are expected to make meaningful contributions in the areas of research and/or publications.  The forms of acceptable publication include:

  • A paper presented at a professional meeting.
  • An article in the trade or popular press.
  • An electronic media presentation.
  • A journal article.
  • Textbooks that in the opinion of the unit make a significant contribution to the literature of journalism.  These textbooks carry twice the weight of papers and articles. Additional weight is given to those textbooks that have been adopted by other institutions.
  • Creative projects or publications that demonstrate innovative ideas or techniques and contribute to professional growth in the field.

In evaluating research and/or publication, the following rankings will be used:

Superior: Candidate’s research and/or publication ranks in quality/quantity with that of the best colleagues of the same rank and the same discipline at like universities.

Excellent: Candidate’s research and/or publication is recognizably higher in quality/quantity than most colleagues of the same rank in the same discipline at like universities.

Good: Candidate’s research and/or publication compares favorably in quality/quantity with that of most colleagues of the same rank in the same discipline at like universities.

Fair: Candidates’ research and/or publication is recognizably less in quality/quantity than that of most colleagues of the same rank in the same discipline at like universities.

Unsatisfactory: Candidate’s research and/or publication ranks well below the quality/quantity of most colleagues of the same rank in the same discipline at like universities.

In reviewing professional-track candidates for promotion and/or tenure, the school’s Tenure and Promotion Committee will use the following evaluation standards for each academic rank:

Assistant Professor (Professional Track):
Tenure:
            Teaching: Minimum rating – Good.
            Research and/or Publication: Minimum rating – Fair.
            Service: Minimum rating – Good.

Associate Professor (Professional Track):
Tenure:
            Teaching:  Minimum rating - Good.
            Research and/or Publication: Minimum rating – Good.
            Service: Minimum rating – Good.
 
Promotion: (Note: The candidate must have an excellent rating in one area and a minimum rating of good in the other tow areas.)
            Teaching: Minimum rating – Good.
            Research and/or Publication: Minimum rating – Good.
            Service: Minimum rating – Good.
 
Professor (Professional Track):
Tenure:
            Teaching: Minimum rating – Excellent.
            Research and/or Publication: Minimum rating – Good.
            Service: Minimum rating – Good.
           
Promotion:
            Teaching: Minimum rating – Excellent.
            Research and/or Publication: Minimum rating – Good.
            Service: Minimum rating – Excellent.

Supercedes Tenure and Promotion Guidelines of 1983           

Amended March 26, 1999