Demystifying Promotion to Professor

University-level Policies and Programs

               Faculty guide for RTP@MSU

               RTP Toolkit (from ADAPP-ADVANCE)

               “Survive and Thrive in the MSU Tenure System”

               From Associate Professor to Professor: Productive Decision-making at Mid-Career

Review by the CANR RTP Committee

              RTP Annual Schedule

              Members

              Principles for Faculty Evaluation

                 Elements of a Strong RTP Package

                 CANR-Faculty Statement on Scholarly Activities, Scholarship, and Impact

Years In Rank: Promotion from Associate Professor to Professor

Review at the Dean’s Level

             Strengthening Scholarship across the Mission

             What is a Professor?

             External Letters Policy at MSU

Faculty Mentoring: MSU

Faculty Mentoring: CANR

Reflective Essay

             Reflective Essay: Perspectives and Guidelines

             Reflective Essay Example: Evangelyn C. Alocilja

             Reflective Essay Example: Sieglinde Snapp

 

 

 

RTP Annual Schedule

DEPARTMENT-SCHOOL LEVEL

 

RTP discussions with chair and department-school review committee

Spring-Summer

Organizing RTP dossiers

Summer-early Fall

Solicitation of external reviews (only for 2nd reappt and prof reviews)

Summer-early Fall

Department-and school-level review of RTP candidates

Middle-late Fall

Submission of RTP dossiers to College

2nd Fri in December

 

COLLEGE LEVEL

 

(To go into effect Fall 2011: Preliminary presentation of RTP candidates by CANR chairs and directors to Dean and Directors, Early Fall)

 

CANR RTP Committee reviews

Very early January

College-level Dean and Director reviews

Late Jan-early Feb

***Initial feedback to candidates re status from chairs-directors to candidates

Early -mid Feb

Revision of dossiers, if needed, with resubmission to College

Mid-late Feb

Submission of dossiers, including Dean’s recommendation, to University Committee (Gray, Youatt, Curry)

Late Fe

 UNIVERSITY LEVEL

 

Dean’s meeting with University Committee to review dossiers

Mar-Apr

***Preliminary decision from Univ review communicated to candidates by chairs-directors

Mar-Apr

Review of Univ-Ievel decisions by provost, then, president

Apr-mid May

*’*Final decision communicated to candidates by chairs-directors

late May-early June

Tenure actions taken by MSU Board of Directors

June board meeting

 

 (RTP decisions go into effect July 1 of that year; declinations of first and second reappointments result in position terminations on August 15 of the following year)

 

Members of the CANR RTP Committee

 

(Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion)

2015-16

Member/Department/Term Expires

 

Mark Skidmore/AFRE/2018

Richard Pursley/ANS/2017

Ajit Srivastava/BAE/2018

Dan Clay/CSUS/2016

Larry Gut (Chair)/ENT/2016

Pat Sorrano/FW/2017

Won Song/FSHN/2016

Karen Potter-Witter/FOR/2018

Daniel Keathley/HRT/2017

Laurent Matuana/PKG/2017

James Kelly/PSM/2016

Eric Strauss/SPDC/2018

Principles for Faculty Evaluation

CANR Promotion and Tenure Committee

1. To effectively evaluate a faculty member, the Committee must consider and evaluate three major categories for excellence:

a. an assessment of the faculty member’s performance of assigned duties;

b. an assessment of the person’s scholarly achievements; and

c, an assessment of the person’s service activities.

In conducting assessments, the Committee operates on the premise that faculty excellence is a matter to be judged, not measured.

2. Assigned duties for a faculty member can include research, teaching, extension/outreach and/or administration. Because the college is a collaborative effort, contributions to collaborative works are included in the assessment of performance of assigned duties. Furthermore, it is expected that a faculty member will demonstrate a commitment to standards of intellectual and professional integrity in all aspects of faculty responsibilities. The Committee acknowledges that some faculty positions will be more disciplinary oriented with few additional responsibilities, whereas others may have extensive assigned duties in teaching, extension/outreach, advising) or administration. However, some scholarly activities are expected of all tenure-track faculty members regardless of assigned duties. The Committee assesses performance according toassigned duties,not in relation to the budgetary appointment.

3. In order to evaluate a faculty member, the Committee – following Boyer (1990) and Weiser (1999) defines scholarly achievements as a creative work that is peer-reviewed and publicly disseminated.

As such there are six forms of scholarship:

a)      discovery of knowledge;

b)      multidisciplinary integration of knowledge;

c)       development of new technologies, methods, materials or uses;

d)      application of knowledge to problems;

e)      dissemination of knowledge; and,

f)       interpretation in the arts.

This definition can be applied to teaching, research, extension/outreach, service and administration duties. The Committee is interested not only in how faculty invest their time, the activities ill which they participate, and who they reach, but also in the short, medium and long term results and impacts of the faculty’s scholarly efforts.

4.       Service activities are implicit in the appointment of all faculty members. A faculty member is expected to demonstrate excellence in service through a continuing commitment to academic professional and public service activities.

5.       A faculty member is expected to demonstrate continual involvement in his or her intellectual and performance capabilities by improving his or her effectiveness in teaching, research, extension/outreach) service and/or administration. A faculty member also is expected to make contributions to the collegial environment of his or her academic unit.

 

References

Boyer, Ernest L. 1990 Scholarship Reconsidered – Priorities of the Professorate. Princeton: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion. Michigan State University) East Lansing, Mich. November 2, 1995.

Committee of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Faculty Evaluation Principles,

Scholarly Activity Definition, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, October 25,

2004.

Department of Agricultural Economics, Bylaws Annex II: Guidelines for Performance Evaluation of New Tenure System Faculty for Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion, (Approved December 6, 1993; Effective July 1, 1994.) Michigan State University. East Lansing, Mich.

Glassick, Charles E., Mary Taylor Hubers, and Gene L Maeroff. 1997. Scholarship Assessed-

Evaluation of the Professorate. San Francisco; Josey-Bass Publishers.

Weiser, Conrad J. 1999. Final Report to the Kellogg Foundation,October 1998. Oregon State University Workshop. Scholarship Unbound: Reframing Faculty Evaluation and Rewards. Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

 

 

 

Elements of a Strong RTP Package

Guidelines were prepared by Professor Doug Landis, CANR RTP Committee, Entomology.

These recommendations have been adopted by the CANR RTP Committee

and are used in portfolio reviews.

Promotion to Professor

Bottom line: clear evidence that the candidate has established a prolonged program of excellence in the area(s) of major appointment and has at minimum good performance in area(s) of minor appointment.

Generally this will include:

  • Evidence of national and international recognition from solicited letters or other sources
  • Reguarly invited to present at peer universities, national and international meetings
  • In Research
    • Obtains consistent funding and has maintained a strong program over an extended period
    • Obtains funding from diverse sources, including competitive national sources(USDA, NSF, NIH etc.)
    • Consistently attracts, graduates and places high-quality students/post-docs
    • Has an extended record of publication in the best journals available for the particular discipline as measured by impact factors and within-discipline journal rankings
    • Is achieving strong citation rates
  • In Teaching
    • Is recognized as an excellent teacher by colleagues and students
    • Shows passion/innovation
    • Consistently obtains excellent SIRS summary scores (primarily 1’s)
    • Shows sustained evidence of scholarship in teaching and learning
  • In Outreach
    • Obtains consistent funding to maintain a strong program over an extended period
    • Is recognized by clientele and colleagues as excellent in outreach
    • Shows passion/innovation
    • Shows sustained evidence of scholarship in outreach
  • In Service
    • Strong contributor to Departmental activities
    • Contributes to University level activities
    • Consistent contributor at national/international level
      • Sought out as journal peer reviewer, potentially editorships
      • Sits on national (USDA, NSF, NIH) grant review panels
      • Leadership in national/international committees
      • Organizes national/international symposia, meetings, and workshops

 

 

 

YEARS IN RANK:

PROMOTION FROM ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR TO PROFESSOR

MSU-CANR for the years 1974-2007

Study undertaken by Associate Dean R. Brandenburg

 

Year

AVE YRS FROM ASSOC TO FULL PROF

Standard Deviation

Minus Outlier> =10

FIVE YEAR AVERAGE

beginning

ending

 

1974

4.0

 

 

 

1976

4.0

 

 

 

1978

5.0

 

 

 

1981

4.8

 

 

 

1982

8.0

 

 

 

1983

5.9

0.1

 

 

 

1984

5.6

1.4

 

 

 

1985

5.6

1.8

 

 

 

1986

6.4

1.6

 

1982

1986

6.0

1987

6.2

0.8

 

1983

1987

6.0

1988

5.7

0.5

 

1984

1988

5.9

1989

5.8

0.8

5.8

1985

1989

5.9

1990

5.5

1.2

5.5

1986

1990

5.8

1991

5.3

1.9

5.3

1987

1991

5.6

1992

5.5

0.5

3.3

1988

1992

5.6

1993

6.4

0.9

6.4

1989

1993

5.7

1994

5.3

2.3

5.3

1990

1994

5.7

1995

6.9

1.3

6.9

1991

1995

6.1

1996

8.3

4.6

6.3

1992

1996

6.8

1997

7.6

0.4

7.6

1993

1997

7.0

1998

8.3

4.5

6.4

1994

1998

7.7

1999

7.0

1.0

7.0

1995

1999

8.3

2000

7.3

2.0

6.6

1996

2000

8.1

2001

6.9

4.6

6.2

1997

2001

8.1

2002

6.1

1.6

6.1

1998

2002

7.6

2003

6.6

3.7

5.0

1999

2003

7.1

2004

8.3

3.3

6.0

2000

2004

7.2

2005

9.0

3.6

4.0

2001

2005

7.4

2006

7.4

3.6

5.8

2002

2006

7.1

2007

7.3

1.8

6.3

2003

2007

7.6

TOT AVE

6.6

2.7

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

CANR Initiative: Strengthening faculty scholarship across the mission 1/25/08 (revised)

Background

During Fall Semester 2007 there was a robust discussion of scholarship – what it is and how it might be evaluated – in our College. This discussion was prompted by a call from the Dean’s Office: the need to sharpen our ability to fulfill mission-related obligations as we do a better of job of acknowledging and rewarding faculty for the work they do.

While faculty at MSU and CANR are expected to make contributions through research that move the frontiers of knowledge in their respective fields, they also undertake a variety of other work –undergraduate education, graduate education, and an array of Extension outreach and ­engagement responsibilities, on campus, around the state, across the nation, and all over the world – that often falls outside of the conventional way that we acknowledge and reward faculty for work in the research domain. It appears to some that research has become (or is becoming) the primary frame of reference for evaluating and rewarding faculty work. At issue, then, is how do we judge the quality of work undertaken across the mission (not just in research)? And, what does scholarship look like when it is expressed outside of research?

While these are important questions, it became apparent quickly that there are differences of opinion about what scholarship is and how it might be evaluated across the mission. For example, some saw virtually any work undertaken by faculty members – when that work is prepared and deployed thoughtfully (e.g., teaching an undergraduate class) – as scholarship. Others saw teaching classes as an important scholarly activity, but not as scholarship, which they saw as creating something new for a body of knowledge through peer-validation.

In addition, two primary concerns were expressed about the discussion of scholarship, generally. First, there were concerns that these discussions might lead to “one size fits all” metrics across CANR –applied to everyone, everywhere irrespective of potential differences in the work they do (e.g., teaching a study abroad course vis-a-vis involving students in an engagement experience overseas). In other words, while there is not likely to one answer to any core question (e.g., What is quality of Extension work), there probably are multiple answers to any question, with each answer fitting the nature of the work undertaken and/or the academic context in which it is being exercised. Second, concerns were expressed that emphasizing scholarship across the mission might diminish the value of work associated with teaching classes, doing Extension, and undertaking other non-research roles. If we were to emphasize work associated with scholarship in teaching, for instance, would that emphasis diminish the value of teaching classes? If so, then it might be better 110tto have these discussions at all.

Points of Agreement

Interestingly, while no consensus emerged about how to frame the discussion, including how to define basic terms, there was general agreement about a framework— advanced in first form in September that stayed intact as the semester-long discussion unfolded: 1) for evaluating the quality and impact of teaching, research, and Extension-outreach-engagement activities; and 2) for defining and evaluating the quality and impact of scholarship associated with teaching, research, and Extension-outreach-engagement. Both outcomes seemed to be worthy in intent and outcome. The dual focus is expressed in the text that follows.

In all activities associated with teaching, research and Extension-outreach-engagement, faculty members undertake work that is informed by an academically recognized boyd of knowledge, undertaken in a scholarly manner, and evaluated as having quality with impact.

Scholarship across the mission – irrespective of whether it is associated with teaching, research or Extension-outreach-engagement – involves creating something new and valuable (that is, makes a contribution) in a disciplinary, professional, multidisciplinary, or interdisciplinary field; having the work validated such as by peers; and making the work “public,” that is, is available in an academically legitimate location for use in teaching, research, or Extension-outreach-engagement work.

Undergirding this two-pronged framework-again without much disagreement, although with interpretive differences— were statements authored at various times by faculty committees at the University and CANR levels, respectively.

From MSU policy:

http://www.hr.msu.edu/documents/facacadhandbooks/facultyhandbook/index.htm.

Through its faculty, MSU will create knowledge and find new and innovative ways to extend its applications, to serve Michigan, the nation, and the international community. The faculty must infuse cutting-edge scholarship into the full range of our teaching programs. At MSU, faculty are expected to be both active scholars and student-focused, demons/rating substantial scholarship and ability to promote learning through our on-campus and off-campus education and research programs. The essence of scholarship is the thoughtful discovery, transmission, and application of knowledge, including creative activities, that is based in the ideas and methods of recognized disciplines, professions, and interdisciplinary fields. What qualifies an activity as scholarship is that it be deeply informed by the most recent knowledge in the field, that the knowledge is skillfully interpreted and deployed, and that the activity is carried out with intelligent openness to new information, debate and criticism.

From CANR Promotion and Tenure Committee Policy:

In order to evaluate a faculty member, the Committee defines scholarly achievements as a creative work that is peer reviewed and publicly disseminated. As such there are six forms of scholarship: discovery of knowledge; multidisciplinary integration of knowledge,’ development a/flew technologies, methods, materials or uses; application of knowledge to problems; dissemination of knowledge; and interpretation in the arts. This definition can be applied to teaching, research, extension/outreach, service and administration duties. The Committee is interested not only in how faculty invest their time, the activities in which they participate, and who they reach, but also in the short, medium and long term results and impacts of the faculty ‘s scholarly efforts.

 

 

 

What is a Professor?

(specific reference to MSU—

­a research-intensive, Land Grant institution, with international obligations)

 

1                A professor has an established reputation at the national and/or international level(s) in her or his field(s) of study*. The reputation has been earned through years of sustained success and includes a verifiable record of accomplishment.

2                The professor has a reputation of being at the leading-edge of thinking and, often, practicing. True to the definition of scholarship, the professor creates or generates new knowledge, which is peer-reviewed and/or affirmed, and (then) used by others in their work. This approach translates into having a record of securing grants and contracts; of advancing knowledge through publication in high-end publications; and being cited by peers and practitioners as a source for their work.

3                A professor has presence, as a leader, at MSU and beyond (e.g., professional societies, national-level and/or international organizations). She or he “leaves a mark” because Initiatives and programs exist because of a professor’s engagement. In light of a professor’s standing, she or he is invited to speak at conferences; earns awards and honors from professional, civic, and industry organizations; is invited to serve on review panels; and is, generally, a “go to” person on topics associated with her or his expertise.

4                There is a longstanding and consistent track record of quality of performance with impact of activities in (at least) one dimension of the academic mission (e.g., research), and frequently in multiple dimensions, across the mission. The professor takes pride in doing work well, whether that work involves teaching an undergraduate class, chairing a task force, or writing a research proposal. Others provide testimony to the quality and impact of a professor’s work.

5                A professor mentors well, giving time and attention to the importance of guiding the next generation of scholars—from undergraduate students, to graduate students, to post-docs, and to junior faculty members. A professor often has a successful track record in graduate education; and strives to involve undergraduate students in innovative and career-influencing ways. A professor also serves as a faculty mentor­-informally and formally-and she or he often has a presence in academic governance at the department, college, or university levels.

 

*When submitting dossiers for promotion to professor there is documentation of evidence and alignment of commentary-from what the candidate says about himself or herself; to what the unit administrator and MSU peers say about the candidate’s work; to what is written about the candidate by nationally-internationally recognized scholars from MSU peer institutions.

 

 

MSU Faculty Mentoring Policy

This policy was issued by the Office a/the Provost on March 1, 2011 (to be effective Fall semester 2011); it reflects advice by the Faculty Council and the University Committee all  Faculty Affairs

Academic Human Resources Policy

Each college shall implement a formal menta ring program by August 16,2011. As a part of the college program, colleges may also require that each department or school develop its own unit level· mentoring program. Effective mentoring is important to enhancing academic excellence and building a progressively stronger faculty composed of members who meet continuously higher standards and are competitive nationally and internationally. Mentoring programs will help the University achieve its goals for a high·quality faculty, diversity, inclusive excellence, and a respectful, positive work environment in which all members of the University community can thrive. While the responsibility for career development and success is ultimately that of the individual faculty member, opportunity, mentoring and the degree of environmental support that is available can affect success.

There are many forms of mentoring programs and no single model will meet the needs of all units or individuals. Each college (and/or unit) should develop a program that is most relevant to its needs based upon evidence based best practices. The practices and procedures in colleges may vary; however, all college mentoring programs must incorporate, at a minimum, the principles included below.

Principles

1                    For faculty members with joint appointments, there should be one mentoring plan for the faculty member, coordinated among the units, with leadership from the faculty member’s lead unit.

2                    Faculty members need different kinds of mentoring at different stages of their career. Initially, at minimum, colleges are expected to provide a mentoring program for pre·tenure, tenure system faculty, and build upon the program as capacity allows. This might include, for example, the addition of associate professors, HP faculty, or fixed term faculty for whom there is a long·term commitment.

3                    Colleges, units and mentors should demonstrate sensitivity to potentially different challenges faced by diverse faculty induding women, persons of color, and other facets of identity.

4                    Conflicts of interest should be minimized, confidentiality protected, and all faculty members provided an environment in which they can address concerns without fear of retribution.

5                    A faculty member may choose not to have a mentor.

6                    Mentoring policies should be clearly communicated to all faculty members, and efforts must be made to ensure that there is clarity of both expectations and roles for all parties.

 

 

 

CANR Faculty Mentoring

Introduction

CANR is committed to the professional development and successful advancement of its faculty members. Toward that end, steps need to be taken to ensure that faculty reviews are conducted annually at the unit level (to include written assessments given to faculty members) and that faculty members are informed about the measures and indicators that will be used to evaluate their performance.

In addition, the College believes that effective faculty mentoring is an important component that contributes to successful professional development. Effective mentoring involves activities undertaken at the university, college, and unit levels. University policy requires that all colleges have a formal and substantive mentoring program for pre-tenure, tenure-stream faculty.

Department/School Obligations

CANR recognizes the central role that academic units play in enabling faculty development and it also respects the variation in disciplines-professions and missions across academic units in the College. With those points in mind, academic units will play the primary role in establishing formal and substantive mentoring for pre-tenure, tenure stream faculty members; and this mentoring will continue through the time of advancement to the rank of professor. Mentoring will also be available to fixed-term faculty members who hold the ranks of assistant professor and associate professor; and academic specialists who are appointed in the Continuing System, but who have not as yet earned Continuing Status.   

The goals of department/school mentoring may vary by academic unit, but at a minimum should: 

  • Support faculty excellence across the mission by helping faculty establish and sustain a leading research program; effective teaching and engagement of undergraduate and graduate students; and an effective and high-impact extension, outreach, and engagement program.
  • Encourage faculty involvement in professional activities, nationally and internationally.
  • Help faculty strengthen their institutional and disciplinary-professional leadership skills.

The mentoring approach may vary among academic units, but must include the following elements:

  1. There will be a written document incorporated into the unit bylaws and actively implemented, which identifies and communicates policies, goals, and expectations for mentor(s) and those being mentored.
    1. There will be a description of the process to select mentors and a mechanism allowing for changes in assignment of mentors as appropriate for the junior faculty member’s needs, and an alternative provision for faculty members to choose not to have mentors. One or more senior faculty members (not the including the academic unit administrator) should be assigned as mentors. Selection of mentors is not limited to the academic home of the junior faculty member.
    2. For faculty members with joint appointments, there will be a single mentoring plan coordinated across units—with leadership provided by the lead unit.
    3. There will be a description of expected mentoring activities with elements addressing research, teaching, extension and outreach, engagement, and leadership development.
    4. There will be clarity regarding the roles of mentor(s) and the faculty member being mentored; expectations for confidentiality; the role of mentor(s), if any, in the annual evaluation and RPT process; and who (including the mentee) does/does not see written mentoring reports, if such reports are prepared.
    5. There will be a description of how mentoring activities will be reported and evaluated as a portion of an individual’s service to the unit.
  1. There will be support and leadership from the chair/director in integrating mentoring into departmental activities.  Recognition of mentoring as a formal component of faculty service to the department and college should be incorporated into annual faculty evaluations for individuals who serve as mentors.        
    1. There will be sensitivity in the academic units and mentors to potentially different challenges faced by diverse faculty.

College Obligations

Support for mentoring CANR faculty members will be provided under the leadership and direction of the CANR Director of Faculty Development (DFD), who will also be responsible for the development and regular review of the policy. The DFD will also have responsibility for ensuring that all faculty members are informed about faculty development programs in CANR and at MSU. This support will include:

  1. Provision of sources of information/link to available university resources concerning good mentoring practices and information about CANR unit policies;
  2. Organization of workshops and faculty development programs(either by the College or in conjunction with the university, through such units as the Office of Faculty and Organizational Development);
  3. Assistance for units (through the respective chair’s or director’s office) to create and maintain a central repository for information about mentoring policies; and
  4. Provision of information to prepare new faculty (e.g., resources, expectations) as part of annual college orientation;

The DFD will also serve as a confidential source available to all CANR faculty members —to serve as a resource (by identifying appropriate individuals with relevant expertise for advice/consultation for professional development) and/or by discussing sensitive issues with CANR faculty members at the faculty members’ invitation. 

Review and Evaluation

The effectiveness of the college and unit mentoring programs will be assessed at an interval not to exceed 5 years.