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  1. Getting Tenure At Tulane: Guidelines and Advice from the SLA Dean’s Office Carole Haber, Dean Kevin Gotham, Assoc. Dean Jeremy Jernegan, Assoc. Dean Mary Clark, Interim Assoc. Dean 102 Newcomb Hall

  2. Presentation Topics • 1. Understand SLA and Departmental Expectations • 2. Master the Skills of Time Management and Information Management in Your Research • 3. Learn to Write Grants to Support Your Research and Teaching Activities • 4. Understand Teaching Expectations and Responsibilities • 5. Learn to Balance Research, Teaching, and Service • 6. Establish Collegial Relationships with Senior Colleagues • 7. Learn About Resources to Help With Teaching and Research • 8. Learn to Use Criticism to Your Benefit

  3. Presentation Topics • 9. Make a Five-Year Plan and Organize a Tenure File • 10. Criteria: All Disciplines • 11. Criteria: Humanities and Social Sciences • 12. Criteria: The Fine Arts • 13. Role of the Chair (before tenure year) • 14. Role of the Chair (during tenure year) • 15. Early Tenure Request • 16-17. Negative Recommendations • 18-20. Information about Third-Year Review • 21-22. Final Points • 23. Key Links

  4. 1. Understand SLA and Departmental Expectations • Thoroughly study the SLA website concerning tenure and promotion. Understand the following: • The role of the Promotion and Tenure (P&T) Committee • The role of departments • SLA procedures and criteria • Meet regularly with the chair and senior faculty in your department • Ask questions about research productivity, teaching expectations, and service duties

  5. 2. Master the Skills of Time and Information Management • Establish a clear agenda, a consistent schedule, and make steady progress toward achieving your research goals • Understand what published scholarly work and creative activity “counts” • Past publications and creative work? Books? Articles? Textbooks? Book reviews? Encyclopedia entries? Publishing dissertation as a book? Single-authored vs. multiple-authored publications? • Be aware that for your book to count for tenure it must be in production with all revisions completed

  6. 3. Learn to Write Grants to Support Research and Teaching Activities • Why does Tulane want you to write grants? • Overhead or indirect costs helps balance the university budget • Contributes to visibility, prestige, and national ranking of the university • Why do you want to write grants? • Summer salary, course release, reduced teaching load, travel, funds for equipment • Raises your research visibility, opens doors to consulting, collaborative research, new research agendas • New opportunities for writing, national and international presentations, and shaping public policy

  7. 4. Understand Teaching Expectations and Responsibilities • Understand what courses you are required to teach and how much student advising your department expects of you • Feel free to talk to your chair about courses you think would benefit the department • Look at other syllabi to see how your colleagues have organized their courses • Develop clear, rational, well organized syllabi that are SACs compliant • Investigate how service learning could add to your courses • Be aware that you will spend a great deal of time and effort the first time you teach a course • Do not spend huge amounts of time redesigning the same course each semester

  8. 5. Learn to Balance Research, Teaching, and Service • Newly hired assistant professors are neither required nor expected to serve on university or SLA committees • At the third year review, research productivity and creative activities, as well as teaching accomplishments are the most important criteria for successful evaluation • After you pass third-year review, it is assumed that you will serve on at least one university and/or SLA committee • Departments have different service expectations and you should find out what service work your department expects of you

  9. 6. Establish Collegial Relationships with Senior Colleagues • Recognize the influential people in your department • Understand that the senior professors in your department know all about the tenure review process and are eager to help and assist you if you ask • Request feedback on papers, grant proposals, and teaching; ask for suggestions for improvement • Ask colleagues if you may sit in on a class • Ask them if they would sit in on your class and offer feedback and comments on your teaching

  10. 7. Learn About Resources to Help With Teaching and Research • Investigate professional societies to find resources and guides to help junior faculty in teaching and research • Ask colleagues if they know of opportunities within the department and at Tulane to help with teaching strategies, grant writing, and other professional development issues • Familiarize yourself with the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT) and utilize their resources and guides to improve teaching

  11. 8. Learn to Use Criticism to Your Benefit • Get used to rejection and learn to face criticism and negative feedback on your teaching and writing • If your papers, book/grant proposals are not accepted, always revise and resubmit as soon as possible. Be persistent and tenacious • Ask senior members of your department for input and criticism on a book/grant proposal or paper you are writing • Take peer criticism seriously, especially at third-year review, and adjust your research plans and teaching accordingly

  12. 9. Make a Five-Year Plan and Organize a Tenure File • Start a “research file” a “teaching file” and a “service file” in which you place anything that you may later use to support your case for third-year review and tenure and promotion • Study SLA P&T guidelines: • organize your five-year plan • organize your teaching dossier • organize your CV in Tulane format and style • Keep careful records of your activities and update your CV as soon as something new occurs • Do not overstate your accomplishments, especially at 3rd year review

  13. 10. Criteria: All SLA Disciplines • High quality record of active, ongoing, continuous scholarship or creative productivity • Beware of multi-year gaps in productivity • Beware of the “tenure spurt” (burst of publications the year before coming up for tenure) • Beware of the “halo effect” (lots of publications in obscure, low-quality, and insignificant outlets) • Evidence of scholarly/creative work accomplished since joining SLA must be clearly presented. Work done prior to SLA should also be included • CV must reflect clearly the categories and status of written work and creative activities

  14. 11. Criteria: The Humanities and Social Sciences • Single-authored publications (books/articles) in peer reviewed outlets • If dissertation produces a book, candidate must state how the book is different and submit a copy of the dissertation to P&T • For books, understand the difference between “under contract” and “in production” • Scholarship in addition to the book is expected in the candidate’s record • Where appropriate, grants to support research are encouraged

  15. 12. Criteria: The Fine Arts • Overall - Professionally document the finished work, work and exhibition productivity, visibility, status of venues, reviews and response received • Document the number and scale of the works completed – e.g.: solo vs. group exhibition, theatrical / musical performance director vs. crew member, solo vs. ensemble performance, etc. • Invitational exhibits or performances speak to reputation, but juried exhibitions demonstrate selectivity and “peer review” • Be specific and be sure the chair and committee understands the actual nature of the work and venue

  16. 12. Criteria: The Fine Arts • The significance of the venue needs to be noted – commercial gallery in urban / cultural center, non-profit gallery, museum or workshop or music venue, symphony, alternative theater, etc. - as well as the documented reputation based on past shows and events • The range of possibilities is often great: • A group show in a prestigious urban gallery may be more important and influential than a solo show in a rural art center • A solo show of all new work is more important than a second or third venue showing the same body of work, though multiple shows document visibility and broad positive response

  17. 12. Criteria: The Fine Arts • Web based exhibition and performance requires thorough explanation of the significance of the site, likely audience and status • The scale of the venue and attending audience is important, e.g.: international / national , regional, local etc. • Evidence of the impact and recognition of faculty member’s work and reputation documented through published reviews and articles

  18. 13. Role of the Chair (before tenure year) • Oversee all promotion and tenure cases in your department • Provide guidance to junior faculty in matters of teaching, service, and research and their progress toward promotion and tenure • Meet with the candidate and go over “the duties of the candidate” that can be found on the SLA P&T website • Communicate deadlines and the review schedule to the candidate • Make sure the candidate has a mentor • Consider appointing senior faculty to visit the candidate’s class to provide evaluations of teaching effectiveness

  19. 14. Role of the Chair (during tenure year) • Make sure the candidate’s dossier sent to the Dean’s office is complete • Review the various sections of the file, checking that each has the correct information • Make sure that no more than half of the referees come from the candidate’s list • Provide detailed and conscientious letters to P&T • Explain the quality of the candidate’s publications • Explain selection of referees • Explain incomplete or negative external evaluations from referees • Explain choice of the press/publishers for the book • If publications are in a foreign language, explain impact on the field • Do not pay referees for their reviews

  20. 15. Early Tenure Request • An assistant professor may be considered for promotion and tenure in any year before the sixth year of the probationary period • Early consideration requires evidence of truly outstanding accomplishments and extraordinary potential • Individuals are advised to consult with senior faculty and take their advice seriously • Candidates who receive a negative tenure decision can ask for reconsideration the next year following the SLA process • A reconsideration may be considered on the basis of significant new evidence of excellence • The tenure clock, however, does not revert to its original timetable

  21. 16. Negative Recommendations • Candidates who receive a negative decision for tenure may be granted a subsequent consideration by P&T • This consideration is only on the basis of significant new evidence of scholarly, teaching, or service 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 • Letter should only address new material, it should not rehearse the old case. This is a reconsideration not an appeal • 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, the case begins over. The new dossier will be forwarded to the home department for evaluation, then P&T, and so on

  22. 17. Negative Recommendations • In instances of new evidence for scholarship, both the department and P&T will obtain new letters from external reviewers • 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 • In cases of a scant record of service, evidence must be presented that the record has measurably improved • The departmental report and vote will be submitted to the P&T committee as usual, and the P&T committee’s report and vote along with the dean’s recommendation will be submitted in normal fashion to the provost

  23. 18. Third-Year Review: Guidelines for Faculty • Purpose of third-year review is to obtain a “mid-course” judgment on the candidate's progress toward tenure • Candidates must demonstrate “a well-defined trajectory indicative of promise of an upcoming successful evaluation for promotion to associate professor with tenure" • Rigorous review of scholarship and teaching: • Published work and/or creative works performed or in progress • Five-Year Plan • Teaching performance

  24. 19. Third-Year Review: Procedures • Third-year review is an evaluation of the candidate’s first two years at Tulane. It takes place at beginning of candidate's third year • Tenured members of the home department review the candidate's scholarship and teaching • No outside or external evaluations are required • No university service is expected of faculty at this stage beyond normal department service

  25. 20. Third-Year Review: Expectations • Candidates must show evidence that they have begun independent work that is not co-authored with dissertation chair • Candidates must provide evidence that they have produced scholarly and/or creative works since joining SLA • Candidates are expected to participate in scholarly meetings and present papers at conferences • Where appropriate, candidates should show evidence of applying for grants and pursuing external funding • Candidates should not overstate their accomplishments; they will be compared to the tenure file

  26. 21.Final Points • Take charge and be responsible for educating yourself about what SLA and your department expect from you • Don't wait until the end of the first semester or first year to ask questions about tenure and promotion • Be sure to let senior colleagues know when you publish • Ask for advice and take advantage of opportunities and resources

  27. 22. Final Points • Prepare to spend much time and effort getting your dossier ready for Third-Year Review and Promotion and Tenure Review • Part of being responsible is putting together your own dossier (do not ask your department secretary) • The following tasks will take time: • Organizing your CV according to Tulane format and guidelines • Photocopying and labeling your publications • Writing your five-year plan • Organizing your Teaching Dossier

  28. 23. Key Links • Your CV must be in correct format for submission with Third-Year Review and Promotion and Tenure Dossier ( • Promotion and Tenure Guidelines for the School of Liberal Arts (SLA) ( • General guidelines on promotion and tenure policies for all schools at Tulane from the Provost's website: