Department Policies

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, in which the chair andP the senior faculty of the department provide written assessments of the junior colleague's progress.

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 normally includes an active longterm research program that reflects one of the following three patterns:

  1. Research and publication of an authored book with a respected academic 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.

Adopted: Nov. 17, 2004