Purpose of the Contextual Statement
For tenure, reappointment, promotion to Associate Professor, and promotion to Professor, the candidate must use his or her Contextual Statement to clearly articulate the quality and the significance of work within the respective discipline(s) and/or related field(s). Candidates can demonstrate the quality and significance of their work based on a number of factors. However, several key elements must be included in the Contextual Statement:
1. Evidence of quality research, which may include statements pertaining, but not limited, to:
a. Line(s) of scholarly inquiry. The candidate should define each line of research clearly and demonstrate if and where similar lines of investigation interconnect.
b. Contribution to profession or field through community-engaged research (e.g., a collaborative research process between faculty and community partners);
c. Scholarly work that has implications for practice and/or implications for policy in the candidate’s profession/discipline or a relevant academic area;
d. Contribution to the profession or field (e.g., relevance, extension and refinement of existing research, generation of provocative ideas and/or innovative solutions). The candidate must demonstrate how his or her work connects to their specific discipline.
e. Publication metrics (e.g., peer-reviewed, impact factor factor and their meaning in the candidate’s discipline, h-index, i10-index, acceptance rate, prominence in the field/journal status, readership/circulation, indexing, affiliation with professional organization or agency). The candidate also should provide information as to his or her specific role on manuscripts (e.g., first author, lab author, senior author) so reviewers can understand the importance of the candidate’s involvement on manuscripts that consist of multiple authors.
f. Characteristics of grant funding source and application process (e.g., prominence of the agency or organization, affiliation with professional organization or federal agency, level of rigor of application process or scrutiny of application review). As was the case with publication characteristics, the candidate also should provide information as to his or her specific role on grants and the percentage of effort of involvement on each grant. Status of grant also is important (e.g., active, submitted/under review, completed, not funded).
2. Evidence of quality teaching, which should include statements pertaining, but not limited, to:
a. Discussion of the candidate’s teaching philosophy and how that philosophy is applied in teaching and mentorship endeavors.
b. Evaluations of teaching by students (i.e., student survey of instruction; SSI). Student evaluation ratings should be presented over time and should also include written statements by students. For documenting the effectiveness of online courses, the candidate should demonstrate how their course is aligned with Quality Matters Standards; and, as a peer who teachers online courses to complete a peer evaluation that includes review of both materials and delivery.
c. Evaluations of teaching received from peers, and/or others (i.e., peer reviews of teaching, summative evaluations for trainings and/or workshops provided at conferences and/or other venues). It is important that the candidate demonstrates consistent evaluations of their effectiveness as an instructor over time.
d. Demonstration of teaching efforts that are responsive to evaluations (e.g., methods to improve teaching, personal reflections, attending professional development offerings aimed at improving pedagogy). The candidate should indicate that they have reflected on their teaching and clearly indicate what changes were made as a result. In addition, the candidate should include any reflections/evidence of strategies to improve instructional effectiveness (i.e., teaching development workshops, teaching centered conferences).
e. Advisement/mentorship to students (e.g., quantity and quality of student advising, quantity and quality of mentorship). The candidate should describe their role on any thesis, dissertation, and/or undergraduate research project.
3. Evidence of quality service, which may include statements pertaining, but not limited, to:
a. Service to the Program, School, College, and/or University (e.g., serving as Program Coordinator, service to various ad hoc/standing committees); and
b. Service to the profession and community (e.g., serving as a reviewer and/or editor, appointment/service to professional and/or local organizations, appointment to an officiating role within a professional body).
4. The candidate’s response to any previous criticism or concerns, as well as recommendations, received in previous reviews for reappointment and/or promotion. Reflective statements should be provided that clearly articulate the previous criticism/concerns and methods/strategies/approaches that the candidate used to address stated concern(s) and the subsequent outcome(s).
5. Candidates are encouraged to describe their professional identity and articulate the clear connections between their research, teaching, and service in support of this identity.
6. Candidates are encouraged to limit the length of their contextual statement to six pages (excluding tables, figures, appendices). Candidates are welcome to use tables and appendices as part of their contextual statement.
7. In drafting their contextual statement, candidates should access content about reappointment, tenure, and promotion (as applicable) contained in this LDES School Handbook.
In addition to the candidate’s contextual statement, a current curriculum vitae (CV) should be prepared. The CV provides an at-a-glance summary of the candidate’s scholarly activity. At a minimum, the candidate’s CV should delineate publications according to: (a) Refereed Journal Articles, (b) Refereed Books and Book Chapters, (c) Published Abstracts, (d) Conference Proceedings, (e) Other Manuscripts/Monographs, (f) Manuscripts Under Review (including the stage of review), and (g) Manuscripts Under Preparation. Presentations should be listed according the the venue (e.g., international, national, state, regional, local) and status as invited or refereed. The candidate should delineate all grants/contracts using the following subheadings: (a) Active, (b) Submitted or Under Review, (c) Completed, and (d) Not Funded.