Criteria for Tenure and Promotion

The Ad Hoc RTP Committee shall consider the following areas of Faculty performance when making recommendations on tenure and promotion.  The tables and text below are designed to facilitate assessment of performance of those candidates who are being evaluated for tenure and promotion.  During the probationary period, these tools should be used for developmental assistance and projection of future success in achieving tenure and promotion.

Tables 2, 3 and 4 provide guidelines for the assessment of a Faculty member’s performance in scholarship, teaching and service. For promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor the Faculty member must meet the criteria for an acceptable rating in scholarship, teaching and service. These same categories and assessment tools apply for tenure decisions.

A candidate for promotion to Professor must meet the criteria for exceptional scholarship as evidenced by excellence in one or more of the following: publications, grant activity or presentations.  Additionally, teaching and service must be acceptable.  


Scholarship is an essential and critical component of University activity. The originality, quality, impact and value of the work must be assessed.  To assist this process, the candidate shall submit the names of at least five (5) experts in her/his field who are considered capable of judging the candidate's work.  Moreover, the candidate must provide the Ad Hoc RTP Committee with ample descriptive evidence of his/her scholarly activity.  A Faculty member's specific area of specialization may be a factor in the number and size of grants received and in the scope and time required for research and the resulting publications. 

In addition to funded research and scholarly publications, other scholarly activities including but not limited to serving on national grant review bodies, presenting at refereed professional meetings, chairing society committees, and presenting papers before learned societies should be considered. 

Standards for the Evaluation of Scholarship:  

From Soc Handbook: Measures of  Performance:  Scholarship

1.         Recognition in one's major field may be offered as evidence of scholarly activity.  This recognition may be in the form of:

a.         Professionally publications and papers presented.

b.         Awards, prizes and lectureships.

c.         Extramural grant activity.

2.          A minimum of three letters of reference from scholars outside the University attesting to the candidate's scholarly reputation are required for promotion to any rank.


All Faculty of the Department are expected to seek excellence in scholarly activity.  Indicators on which the assessment of the quality of scholarly activity is based are provided in Tables 2.

Indicators of the quality of a Faculty member’s research record include the quality and quantity of published work as well as the Faculty member’s extramural grant activity.  All Faculty members in the Department are expected to produce records of scholarship that reflect their disciplinary focus and the attributes of an individual Faculty member’s scholarly activity will vary across disciplines.

To achieve “excellent” in the category of the scholarship at the time a Faculty member stands for tenure and promotion, she/he should have established a research program which demonstrates an impact upon his/her discipline.

Within this context, during annual reappointment reviews, each Faculty member who will seek tenure or promotion is obligated to provide evidence supporting his/her scholarly record.  This obligation will be met by providing specific information about article and journal quality and impact, extramural grant activity, and description in the Faculty member’s supplementary materials of any other evidence of scholarship that the Faculty member deems appropriate.  In turn, the members of the Department’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee and the Chair shall evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the Department’s expectations for a successful tenure decision.    

Table 2. Tenure and Promotion: Research1




Demonstrated record of publications1 in top tier journals or publishers, extramural grants funded, and presentations at national meetings. 


Demonstrated record of publications and extramural grant activity, and presentations at regional and national meetings.


Promising record of publications and presentations.


Limited record of publications and presentations

1Publications include peer-reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters, and other scholarly publications.  Evaluation of publication record will include assessment of  quality and impact on the field (e.g., journal impact factor, quality of publisher, citations, etc.). 

2.  Teaching

Criteria for the evaluation of teaching are listed in Table 3.  Course revision is defined as making a substantial modification to a course such as the addition of distance learning options.

Other information such as written comments from students, colleagues within and beyond the Department, College or University administrators shall be considered when available.  Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (including all student comments) will be included as part of a candidate’s file for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  Copies of representative syllabi, examinations, and other relevant teaching material should also be available for review.  Documentation related to working with students should be included and provided by a candidate for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  Faculty members are expected to mentor graduate students.

Table 3. Tenure and Promotion: Teaching




Outstanding student and peer evaluation, recipient of teaching award(s), and successfully mentoring and chairing graduate student committees.


Excellent student and peer evaluations, and successfully mentoring and chairing graduate student committees and/or undergraduate students in research.


Good student and peer evaluations and working with students.


Poor student evaluations significantly below Department means.

3.  Service

Being an active and useful citizen of the Department, Campus, College and University is expected and valued.  Expectations in service for promotion to Professor are higher than for promotion to Associate Professor. There are two aspects to the service mission:  service which is essential to the functioning of the Department and University, and service to the discipline of sociology and criminology.  The latter is typically done outside the University (e.g., professional associations, the community, etc.).  Service to the discipline includes such activities as the following: editor/reviewer of journal; manuscript/grant reviewer; major office/assignment in professional association.  Other components of service are also considered (including public outreach and public and professional service) in reappointment, tenure and promotion decisions and may differ in their importance among Faculty members depending on each Faculty member’s duties and responsibilities within the Department. 

Table 4. Tenure and Promotion: Service




Participates in Department, College, and University and/ or Professional organizations as evidenced by productive service on committees, active participation in significant events, effectively chairing committees, specific administrative assignments, meaningful professional engagement.


Regularly serves on Department level committees.


Does not regularly participate in service activities.