Department Policies

Policy on Promotion to Associate Professor and Tenure

Policy on Promotion to Associate Professor and Tenure

The Department of Religious Studies places a high priority on faculty development. This begins with the hiring process, when we evaluate candidates carefully in order to find the right colleague for our institutional setting. After hiring, each member of the department is given an annual review in writing to monitor progress toward tenure. The most significant milestone in this process is the third-year review. The chair and the senior faculty of the department provide written assessments of the junior colleague's progress toward tenure based on research, teaching, and service.

Near the end of a faculty member's fifth year, the senior faculty of the department begin building the colleague's promotion and tenure dossier. The fifth-year faculty member provides a CV, publications, and documentation regarding teaching. The senior faculty meet and vote on the case; a two-thirds majority is necessary to recommend promotion and tenure. The senior faculty then select and contact a list of external evaluators. The dossier is normally completed in the fall of the faculty member's sixth year.

In promotion and tenure deliberations, the Department of Religious Studies considers the research, teaching, and service of the faculty member, with a stronger emphasis on research and teaching. Junior faculty are expected to undertake some administrative duties but major service responsibilities should be executed by the senior faculty. We expect excellent teaching from all faculty members, irrespective of rank. The normal load is two courses per semester, with occasional advising of individual readings courses, senior projects, and masters theses.

The College of Arts & Science guidelines state that, "The ranks of associate professor and professor principally represent degrees of scholarly maturity and recognition. Promotion to associate professor (and the awarding of tenure) reflects a demonstrated potential for developing a national reputation in the discipline." 

In our discipline, this potential for developing a national reputation is assessed based on: 1) publication of scholarly monographs or edited volumes, 2) publication of peer-reviewed journal articles (print or on-line) or chapters in edited volumes, 3) publication of scholarly translations or editions, 4) documentaries, digital humanities projects, curated exhibits, archaeological field reports, or other forms of significant scholarly work, 5) external research grants (which are rare in Religious Studies), 6) internal research grants.

A great deal of scholarship in our field depends on reliable scholarly translations and editions of original texts. The Department of Religious Studies therefore recognizes a translation and/or edition of a text published with a scholarly press and including a scholarly introduction as the equivalent of a monograph. 

Interdisciplinary research is highly valued by the College of Arts and Sciences and by the Department of Religious Studies. Publications in journals and edited volumes from other disciplines are acceptable provided there is still a demonstrable Religious Studies component to the faculty member’s work. 

While publication of single-authored monographs and articles have historically been the norm in Religious Studies, the department also accepts co-authored and multi-authored books, chapters, and articles. In this case, the faculty member should provide an explanation for the percentage of the work for which they are responsible. 

A junior faculty member’s research program will normally follow one of the following three patterns, although the department recognizes that other constellations are possible:

1.     Research and publication of a peer-reviewed  monograph with a respected scholarly  press (a dissertation that has gone through complete reformulation and/or extensive expansion is considered the equivalent of an authored book); or,

2.     A significant number of peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters (approximately 6-8, depending on topic, significance, length, and venue); or,

3.     A moderately revised dissertation and 3-4 peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters.

4.   A scholarly edition and/or translation of an original text and 3-4 peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters.

Adopted: October 8, 2018