School of STEM Guidelines for Promotion to Full Professor
This document expands upon the guidelines for promotion set forth in the School of STEM Public Statement on Promotion & Tenure (P&T), as well as the qualifications for tenure-track faculty specified in Section 24-34A and 24-32 of the UW Faculty Code.
The decision about promotion to the rank of Professor is based on the same three fundamental criteria that guide evaluations for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor: scholarship, teaching, and service in alignment with the School of STEM mission and core values. For promotion to Professor, the expectations of attainment in these three areas are higher than for promotion to Associate Professor; the focus is on sustained excellence, rather than trajectory. There are many different combinations of quantity, quality, and pace of a faculty member’s scholarship, teaching, and service that may be relevant in different disciplines. While the expectations of scholarship, teaching, and service will be described as distinct expectations of our faculty, work that integrates these activities is highly valued; as such, faculty should not feel that they need to explicitly classify their activities to fit within a single category. However, there are general principles that are applied as uniformly as possible across all cases in the School of STEM that are described below.
Unlike promotion to Associate Professor with its six-year tenure clock, promotion to Professor has no mandated time period. In accordance with the Faculty Code, every faculty member below the rank of Professor should be considered annually for possible promotion and has the right to request a promotion review. Associate Professors meet at least every two years with their chair to discuss progress toward promotion. It is important that the faculty member and chair candidly discuss progress toward promotion and the Division’s expectations for promotion. Associate professors considering promotion should also meet with the Dean to discuss their progress before declaring their intention to go up to discuss the School’s expectations.
The Role of Research at UW Bothell
UW Bothell is a primarily undergraduate institution where the student-faculty relationship is paramount. The School of STEM values faculty scholarship that enriches both students and faculty and that actively engages students in research in a way that contributes to a transformational educational experience. We believe our students at all levels benefit from faculty who:
- Are active participants in the national and international research community, publicly participating in and openly contributing to mathematical, scientific, technical or pedagogical advances in their field.
- Mentor undergraduate students as researchers by providing access to an active research program; mentor graduate students as appropriate to the division or the faculty member’s research agenda.
- Integrate the latest STEM knowledge and techniques into their course work.
The appointment, reappointment, or promotion of tenure-track faculty members requires active contributions to their current field, though the means of doing so may vary by discipline and in accordance with the specific goals of a faculty member’s research.
Our expectations regarding the independent scholarly record for promotion to Professor include consistent production and increased intellectual leadership. In general, quality is more important than quantity, although there must be sufficient quantity to provide evidence of a significant level of scholarly productivity and impact. For promotion to Professor, faculty members should have a well-established national or international reputation. At this stage the scholarly record will normally be larger and also reflect a more mature formulation and richer exploration of questions.
We recognize that scholarship and research include a diversity of contributions, including to the discovery, integration, and application of new knowledge. Thus, a variety of artifacts may be used to establish and evaluate a faculty member’s scholarly achievement. Scholarship must also result in measurable outcomes or products that are publicly available and subject to scrutiny by peers and the community. In most STEM fields, peer reviewed publications in journals are the established means of documenting and sharing the results of research, and journal publications will typically form a key element in evaluating a faculty member’s research. However, other products may be equally appropriate depending on a faculty member’s research and field of study, provided they provide a similar objective basis for evaluation, such as peer review and comprehensive documentation of methods and results.
We value faculty scholarly work that uses community-engaged approaches and methods, including activities that engage with the public, students, professional organizations and other activities. Included among these contributions are professional service activities that address the professional advancement of individuals from underrepresented groups in the faculty member’s field and other contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion. A wide variety of materials may be included for establishing the breadth of the candidate’s scholarly activities in these areas.
A faculty member’s entire scholarly career is evaluated, with emphasis placed on work developed since the time of promotion to Associate Professor.
The personal statement provided by the candidate is an important guide to the significance of each scholarly piece and their connections to each other. The statement should describe the intellectual agenda(s) that motivates the individual’s work and show how the various research products contribute to a growing trajectory of the research agenda. Specific points to consider in establishing an independent scholarly record and quality contributions include the following:
- As a primarily undergraduate institution, we emphasize research programs that engage undergraduate students.
- Obtaining outside funding of research can be viewed as a significant part of the scholarly record. Research proposals and their reviews are appropriate materials to include in the portfolio in helping to illustrate the candidates research agenda and trajectory.
- The quality of scholarship can be established on the merits of individual publications and other products and how they contribute to the larger research agenda. The impact of scholarship can be assessed by multiple measures (e.g., the value of scholarship to impacted communities) in addition to traditional metrics (e.g., the number of citations, the prestige of journals where articles are published).
- It is important to establish a record of sustained national and international contributions to scholarship. Invitations to talk at other universities and community events, participating in professional societies, presenting at conferences or workshops, designing or organizing public events or seminars, and sitting on community boards in the field of research all add to the scholarly record as they establish the candidate’s reputation and engagement with the larger community.
- We highly value collaborative work. The personal statement should identify the contributions of the candidate to such projects and identify products to which the candidate has made significant contributions.
Each Division in the School of STEM may provide additional guidelines and criteria with respect to how scholarship is defined and evaluated in their specific domains.
All faculty must provide evidence of effective teaching. Teaching effectiveness is critical to the core values of the institution and the School of STEM. Evidence of teaching effectiveness can be demonstrated in a multitude of ways, including, but not limited to, peer evaluations, curriculum development, personal reflections, engagement in activities focused on teaching effectiveness, mentoring of students, teaching awards, and student evaluations. Relative to promotion to Associate Professor, which focuses on a trajectory of improvement, promotion to Professor is based on a sustained record of quality teaching and mentorship.
Teaching activities that may be included materials for promotion review include:
- Effective use of activities/practices through which students explore course material and STEM learning goals;
- Effective use of strategies that encourage participation and inclusion of students from all backgrounds and life experiences;
- Revisions in course organization, reading and assignments, or any exploration of new approaches to educational methods that respond to student feedback and learning outcomes;
- Stewardship at program level to evolve the curriculum including addressing student feedback, community needs, updates to learning outcomes, and new educational methods;
- Incorporating use of high-impact practices (HIPs) in teaching and learning.
- Participation in division, school, campus, university, or off-campus forums to improve teaching and learning;
- Constructive engagement with feedback about teaching, including student evaluations and peer observations, to improve pedagogical practices;
- Active mentorship of students in research and other activities.
The School of STEM may provide additional guidelines and criteria to evaluate teaching effectiveness in other policies.
The School of STEM values service to our evolving institution, engagement with the community, and contributions to the profession. Thus, we expect that candidates for promotion will have been involved in the life of their department, and, ideally, in the life of the University and in their national associations. Whereas junior faculty commit less of their time to service, tenured faculty members are expected to play a greater role in this area, including taking on leadership responsibilities. Engagement with the broader public is one of our institutional goals and we encourage service that enhances community-engaged scholarship. It is desirable to show evidence of contributions to or engagement with the broader community and in some cases may be part of the job expectations.
Diversity Equity and Inclusion
Faculty are encouraged to address contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion in each of the three areas of evaluation. Any contributions that address diversity and equal opportunity shall be included and considered among the professional and scholarly qualifications for appointment and promotion. Below, we detail some examples of work for each of the areas that a candidate might wish to include. These examples do not explain all of the ways in which a candidate might document their work in diversity, equity and inclusion.
Scholarship and Research
- Increasing the participation and mentoring of underrepresented groups of students in research and graduate training (e.g., writing grants for REUs);
- Helping expand pipeline in recruiting, training, and retaining underrepresented students in the field of study;
- Disseminating research in best practices for teaching and/or mentoring underrepresented students.
- Disseminating best practices to support a diverse and inclusive classroom environment;
- Mentoring faculty in the use of current, evidence-based best practices for creating an inclusive classroom environment and/or curriculum.
- Leading division, school, or campus DEI committees and documenting outcomes;
- Engaging in diversity community activities;
- Participating in the recruitment, retention, and mentoring of underrepresented students, faculty, and/or staff;
- Faculty leadership in diverse student and/or professional clubs/chapters.
Version v.1 was approved by the School of STEM Faculty Council on February 16, 2022.
Version v.2 was approved by the School of STEM Faculty Council on March 14, 2022.
Version v.3 was approved by the School of STEM Faculty Council on May 5, 2022.
Ratified by the faculty of all divisions of the School of STEM on June 1, 2022.