School of Communication & Journalism

CMJN Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

Promotion and Tenure Review

Candidates for promotion and tenure should carefully read the Promotion and Tenure policies found in the AU Faculty Handbook before applying. Should a candidate feel that she or he meets the requirements for tenure and promotion she or he should consult the timeline for the submission of materials, which is established each year by the Office of the Provost.

Regarding tenure, the AU Faculty Handbook states:

“Auburn University nurtures and defends the concept of academic tenure, which assures each faculty member the freedom, without jeopardy at the department, college or school, or University level, to criticize and advocate changes in existing theories, beliefs, programs, policies, and institutions and guarantees faculty members the right to support, without jeopardy, any colleague whose academic freedom is threatened. Tenure establishes an environment in which truth can be sought and expressed in one’s teaching, research/creative work, outreach work, and service. In addition to demonstrating quality in the areas of (1) teaching, (2) research/creative work, (3) outreach, and (4) service, as described above under Promotion Criteria Considerations (Section 3.6.1) and, where applicable, in approved departmental guidelines, the candidate for tenure must demonstrate that he or she contributes as a productive and collegial member of the academic unit in all relevant areas. Are the candidate’s professional abilities and relationships with colleagues compatible with the departmental mission and with its long-term goals? Has the candidate exhibited an ability and willingness to engage in shared academic and administrative tasks that a departmental group must often perform and to participate with some measure of reason and knowledge in discussions germane to departmental policies and programs? Does the candidate maintain high standards of professional integrity? Concerns respecting a candidate’s collegiality should be shared with the candidate as soon as they arise; they should certainly be addressed in the annual review and the third-year review. For tenure, the candidate must demonstrate that he or she contributes as a productive and collegial member of the academic unit in all relevant areas.”

Regarding promotion, the AU Faculty Handbook states:

“Promotion is based on merit. A candidate for promotion should have acceptable achievements in the areas of (1) teaching and/or outreach and (2) research/creative work. He or she is further expected to demonstrate over a sustained period distinctive achievement in one of these areas or achievement in both areas comparable to that of successful candidates in the discipline in the past five years. In addition, he or she is expected to have contributed service to the University. Candidates covered by provost-approved departmental promotion and tenure guidelines will be evaluated accordingly.  For candidates not covered by provost-approved departmental promotion and tenure guidelines, the criteria for teaching, research/creative work, and outreach described below shall be considered by the faculty in the evaluation of a candidate's performance and achievement. The candidate's employment conditions and academic assignments shall determine which criteria are most emphasized, and standards for promotion are based on the weights of each performance area as described in the letter of offer and subsequent annual evaluations. Credit shall also be given for contributions above and beyond specifically assigned duties.”

Equal Employment Opportunity

Decisions on appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or age.

Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor

The School of Communication and Journalism follows the general university guidelines for promotion to associate professor and tenure as outlined in the Faculty Handbook Section 3.6. In addition, the candidate should demonstrate achievements in the areas of research or creative work, teaching, service and outreach if applicable. Although faculty members are not required to perform outreach, it may count toward tenure and promotion to associate professor. The candidate is also expected to work in a collegial manner with other faculty to advance the research, creative work, teaching, and service missions of the School. Because the School is home to a wide-range of disciplines, the candidate must provide a description of the appropriate context in which her or his research or creative work is to be evaluated.

Discipline and Peer Standards for Measuring Significance of Research and Creative Works

Research and creative works will be considered according to the following criteria:

  1. It is the candidate’s responsibility to clearly and fully demonstrate the significance of her or his work in her or his field of research to the Committee.
  2. The scope of a publication or an exhibition influences how the work will be judged. National and international publications or exhibitions are considered more significant than regional or state publications or exhibitions.
  3. The acceptance rate of a publication or venue status of an exhibition, such as the reputation of the venue (festival, exhibition, publication etc.), acceptance standards, audience, reviews, awards, collections, acquisitions, competitions, gallery affiliations et al., influence how the work will be judged.
  4. The citations and recognitions of works, such as awards or reviews, influence how the work will be judged. Recognitions and awards will be judged in a similar manner to the scope of the work.
  5. The applicant’s contribution to a work or exhibition will impact how the work will be judged. If the work is not solo-authored or created, then percentage of contribution will be considered. For creative works, the length of time and labor involved, as well as the production and distribution costs will be considered.
  6. Juried or peer-reviewed works will weigh more significantly than invited works. However, invited works may suggest an established reputation in a particular field.
    • Should the candidate include journals in other academic fields or interdisciplinary journals, it is the candidate’s responsibility to demonstrate their relevance to the candidate’s field of expertise.
    • Should the candidate include articles from non-refereed journals, the candidate should include a justification of the review process, such as a board of peer editors, a special issue editor, etc.
    • Should the candidate include book chapters, invited or peer reviewed, the chapter must be original and previously unpublished (in whole or in part) research that makes a significant contribution to the body of knowledge in the candidate’s field of expertise.
  7. The extent and scope to which a candidate’s work has achieved a reputation will be considered.
  8. Grants, fellowships, research contracts provide indications of peer interest in the candidate’s research. The prestige of the granting agency, degree of competition and scarcity/availability of grants may also be considerations.
  9. Should an applicant include a book the reputation of the publishing house, type of audience, quality of reviews, and awards, as well as whether the book is the result of new research or the reworking of already published material. Vanity press and/or self-published books are not considered toward promotion.
  10. Textbooks will only be considered in extraordinary circumstances in which the text makes a significant and impactful contribution to a body of knowledge. In no cases will textbooks supplant the requirements for scholarly books, articles, or creative works to be considered toward tenure or promotion.

Academic Research

A candidate for tenure and promotion to associate professor should demonstrate an emerging regional or national reputation in her or his field of research by means of a sustained record of publication. In this area the candidate will be judged by two standards.

The first standard for tenure and promotion to associate professor is research production, either A) refereed articles or B) academic books.

A) Refereed articles should meet the following criteria:

  1. The candidate should have published a minimum number of refereed articles in her or his field of research as indicated in this manual.
    • If the candidate’s area of is qualitative in nature, she or he should either have published a minimum of five to seven journal articles.
    • If the candidate’s area is quantitative in nature, she or he should either have published a minimum of 10 to 12 peer-reviewed articles.
  2. The articles should be published in regional, national, and internationally recognized academic journals.
  3. The acceptance rate for the journals should not exceed 20%. In the case of a higher acceptance rate, it is incumbent on the candidate to justify its inclusion.
  4. In the case of an article that has been accepted for publication, but not yet been published, the candidate should demonstrate that the manuscript is in the publication schedule of the press. A letter of intent does not fulfill the requirement.

B) Academic books should meet the following criteria:

  1. The candidate should publish at least one academic book.
  2. The book must be published by a reputable university or academic commercial press. Vanity press or self-published books will not be considered.
  3. In the case of a book that has been accepted for publication, but not yet been published, it is incumbent on the candidate to provide clear evidence from the editor that the book was accepted for publication and is scheduled for a specific publication date. A contract does not fill the requirement.

Should the candidate’s field of research have other established measures of academic success it is incumbent on the candidate to fully explain those requirements and justify her or his work in light of those criteria. Additionally the external review letters will play a significant role in determining if the candidate has met the standards of her or his field of research.

The second standard in research for tenure and promotion to associate professor is the candidate’s scholarly record beyond such publications, including other externally reviewed scholarly published or presented works for consideration, such as book chapters in edited volumes, edited volumes or books, book reviews, essays, encyclopedia entries, presentations of research papers at scholarly conferences, and/or invited lectures. All of these professional activities strengthen an application, but do not replace the central criteria of refereed journal articles or books. External awards, grants, fellowships, and other research accomplishments also strengthen an application, but do not replace the central criteria for refereed articles or books. Publications that are extraneous to the candidate’s scholarly field and inconsistent with the candidate’s assignment will not be counted toward qualifications for professor.

In addition to articles and books, a candidate’s scholarly record should offer other externally reviewed scholarly published or presented works for consideration, including book chapters in edited volumes, book reviews, essays, encyclopedia entries, presentations of research papers at scholarly conferences, and invited lectures. All of these professional activities strengthen an application, but do not replace the central criteria of refereed journal articles or books. In the case of non-scholarly publications, such as essays in professional or popular outlets, the burden falls on the candidate to demonstrate the essay’s scholarly significance. External awards, grants, fellowships, and other research accomplishments also strengthen an application but do not replace the central criteria for refereed articles or books.

Creative Work

A candidate for tenure and promotion to associate professor should demonstrate an emerging national reputation in her or his given field by means of a sustained record of high-quality juried exhibitions. Awards, grants, commissions, reviews, catalogue reproductions, and articles and books addressing the candidate’s work, may also be considered evidence of an emerging national reputation. Invited exhibitions are a mark of distinction and should be weighted as such. The expected number of exhibitions will vary greatly depending on the candidate’s medium, the scale and complexity of her or his work or design, as well as costs involved in production, distribution, and exhibition. Nevertheless, as very general guidelines, an artist might be expected to have exhibited four to five works in juried, respected, national or international venues; a designer might be expected to exhibit eight to 10 projects in juried, respected, national or international venues. While collaborative creative work count towards promotion and tenure, single-authored work should be given considerably greater weight.

In addition to works and designs, a candidate’s creative record may include other invited or juried activities, including visiting-artist lectures, artist residencies, papers or lectures presented at conferences, curatorial projects, refereed publications, and consultancies. All such professional activities strengthen a candidate’s case, but do not replace the standard or juried exhibitions at the national or international level. In the case of commercially commissioned work, the burden falls on the candidate to demonstrate the piece’s creative significance by juried publication or exhibition at a juried design competition.

Teaching

A candidate for tenure and promotion to associate professor must submit documentation of teaching effectiveness that establishes a solid record of teaching. Such materials may include course syllabi, description of new courses offered, peer- and self-assessment, student evaluations, the use of scholarship or creative work in courses, grade distributions, teaching awards, graduate student committee membership, teaching publications, and any other relevant material.

Service

A candidate for tenure and promotion to associate professor is expected to establish a solid record of service to the University and discipline including participating in School, College and University governance and committee work; assisting in the recruitment of new faculty; and developing and assisting in the implementation of new academic programs. The candidate should highlight contributions to University life, including service to the candidate’s profession, such as offices held and committee assignments performed for professional associations and learned societies, service on exhibition juries, grant panels, and editorships, and the refereeing of manuscripts.

Outreach (if applicable)

If part of a candidate’s workload, a candidate for tenure and promotion to associate professor is expected to demonstrate how research conducted has directly benefitted external audiences in support of School, College, and University missions. While outreach may be sponsored by a unit other than the faculty member’s School, both the faculty member and the sponsoring unit must recognize the activity as outreach. The candidate should explain how the application of her or his professional expertise worked to elucidate and alleviate societal problems, issues, and concerns. Outreach should demonstrate the professional development of the faculty member, the expected public benefits of the outreach activities, and the mission of the School and/or other supporting units. The Director should request any material necessary from the candidate to facilitate faculty assessment of the type, quality, and effectiveness of the candidate’s involvement in extension activities and evaluation of any resulting publications. Demands for quality in outreach are the same as in teaching and research/creative work; however, outreach activities are different in nature from other activities and must be evaluated accordingly. Please refer to the AU Outreach Office for resources concerning faculty participation in Outreach Scholarship.

Collegiality

A candidate for tenure and promotion to associate professor is expected to be a good citizen of the School, College, and University. The candidate should contribute as a productive and collegial member of the School in all relevant areas. The candidate’s professional abilities and relationships with colleagues should be compatible with the School’s mission and long-term goals. The candidate should exhibit an ability and willingness to engage in shared academic and administrative tasks that faculty must often perform and participate with some measure of reason and knowledge in discussions germane to School policies and programs. The candidate should maintain high standards of professional integrity. Concerns respecting a candidate’s collegiality should be shared with the candidate as soon as they arise. Should concerns arise they will be addressed in the Faculty Annual Review and the yearly tenure and promotion review.

Guidelines for Promotion to Professor

The School of Communication and Journalism follows the general university guidelines for promotion to professor as outlined in the Faculty Handbook Section 3.3.4. In addition, the candidate should demonstrate achievements in the areas of research or creative work, teaching, service and outreach if applicable, beyond the standards for promotion to associate professor. Although faculty members are not required to perform outreach, it may count towards promotion to professor. The candidate is also expected to work in a collegial manner with other faculty to advance the research, creative work, teaching, and service missions of the School beyond the standards for promotion to associate professor. Because the School is home to a wide-range of disciplines, the candidate must provide a description of the appropriate context in which her or his research or creative work is to be evaluated. In all cases, the candidate has the burden of proving that her or his record of accomplishment is worthy of promotion to full professor. Except in extraordinary cases, a candidate should not pursue promotion to full professor until at least four academic years have passed since attaining associate professor.

Regarding promotion to professor the AU Faculty Handbook states:

“Professor is a rank requiring professional peer recognition of the individual as an authority in his or her field of specialization. A candidate must be recognized by associates as a capable teacher, scholar or artist, or outreach specialist. It is therefore expected that peers within and outside the University will attest to the candidate’s high professional standing. A candidate should hold the appropriate terminal degree (usually a doctorate) or the equivalent. Normally, a candidate must serve at least four complete years on full-time appointment at the associate professor level before he or she may be nominated for promotion to professor. Only in exceptional and well-documented cases in which a faculty member has met requirements for promotion to professor in a shorter time should he or she be recommended for early promotion by the department head/chair, with majority support of the faculty members who hold rank superior to that of the candidate. A candidate for professor should have demonstrated significant involvement in the teaching, research/creative work, or outreach functions of the University. He or she should also have participated in professional life and have been actively involved in departmental, college or school, and University affairs. For this rank it is essential that the candidate should have demonstrated a marked degree of scholarship appropriate to his or her assignment through work, typically publication or creative endeavor, subjected to peer review. By means of such activity, a candidate for the University’s highest academic rank should have a respected national reputation.” (http://www.auburn.edu/academic/provost/facultyHandbook/chapter%203-personnel_policies.html#academicranks, accessed 10/16/2014)

Discipline and Peer Standards for Measuring Significance of Research and Creative Works

Promotion to the rank of professor is based primarily on the attainment of high professional standing as demonstrated by national or international recognition in the candidate’s academic or creative field, as determined by peers within the candidate’s discipline.  The successful candidate for promotion must demonstrate regular, consistent, and sustained original scholarship or creative production, and an outstanding body of works, scholarly or creative, beyond those required for promotion to associate professor. A promotion to full professor cannot be achieved through conference presentations, guest lectures, textbooks or administrative service alone. Although faculty are expected to maintain an excellent record of teaching and service to the School, College, University, and discipline, the rank of professor cannot be attained through excellence in service, outreach, or teaching. Academic research and creative works will be judged by the same discipline and peer standards for measuring significance of research and creative works used in promotion to associate professor. In the case of promotion to professor the following additional standards will be applied.

  1. It is the candidate’s responsibility to clearly and fully demonstrate the significance of her or his work in her or his field of research to the Committee.
  2. It is expected that the candidate’s work will be subject to peer or juried review at national and international levels, and will demonstrate high standards of relevance, continuity, accomplishment, and significance.
  3. There should be an identification of intellectual focus, a clear research or creative agenda, and evidence of growth and consistency of effort in that area.
  4. There should be a significant increase in productivity from the associate professor level, with an emphasis on both quality and quantity, and consistent output during the time period being assessed.
  5. The effort associated with the research or creative works will be considered as part of the work’s overall merit (i.e., complex studies, time-consuming techniques, collection of large amounts of data, etc.)
  6. The research should reflect the advancement of knowledge or art and the actual or potential influence of the research or creative output in the candidate’s field during the period assessed.

Academic Research

A candidate for promotion to professor should demonstrate a national or international reputation in her or his given field by means of a sustained record of publication. Sole authorship is expected, as it is evidence that the candidate is engaged in independent research that makes significant contributions to the body of knowledge in the candidate’s area of expertise. In the case of collaborative research, a majority of the publications must be first-authored. First authorship is evidence that the candidate is the driving force in the collaborative work. The candidate must specify the level of contribution of each author. Should the candidate’s field of research have other established measures of academic success it is incumbent on the candidate to fully explain those requirements and justify her or his work in light of those criteria. Additionally the external review letters will play a significant role in determining if the candidate has met the standards of her or his field of research.

The first standard for promotion to professor is research production, either A) refereed articles or B) academic books.

A) Refereed articles should meet the following criteria:

  1. The candidate should have published two-thirds or greater the number of articles required for promotion to associate professor in her or his field of research as indicated in this manual.
    • If the candidate’s area of is qualitative in nature, she or he should either have published a minimum of three to five journal articles.
    • If the candidate’s area is quantitative in nature, she or he should either have published a minimum of six to eight peer-reviewed articles.
  2. The articles should be published in national and international academic journals.
  3. The acceptance rate for the journals should not exceed 20%. In the case of a higher acceptance rate it is incumbent on the candidate to justify its inclusion.
  4. In the case of an article that has been accepted for publication, but not yet been published, the candidate should demonstrate that the manuscript is in the publication schedule of the press. A letter of intent does not fulfill the requirement.

B) Academic books should meet the following criteria:

  1. The candidate should publish at least one academic book.
  2. The book must be published by a reputable university or academic commercial press. Vanity press or self-published books will not be considered.
  3. In the case of a book that has been accepted for publication, but not yet been published, it is incumbent on the candidate to provide clear evidence from the editor that the book was accepted for publication and is scheduled for a specific publication date. A contract does not fill the requirement.

The second standard in research for promotion to professor is the candidate’s scholarly record beyond such publications, including other externally reviewed scholarly published or presented works for consideration, such as book chapters in edited volumes, edited volumes or books, book reviews, essays, encyclopedia entries, presentations of research papers at scholarly conferences, and/or invited lectures. All of these professional activities strengthen an application, but do not replace the central criteria of refereed journal articles or books. External awards, grants, fellowships, and other research accomplishments also strengthen an application, but do not replace the central criteria for refereed articles or books. Publications that are extraneous to the candidate’s scholarly field and inconsistent with the candidate’s assignment will not be counted toward qualifications for professor.

Creative Work

A candidate for promotion to professor should demonstrate a national reputation in her or his given field by means of a sustained record of high-quality juried exhibitions beyond the standards required for promotion to associate professor. The expected number of exhibitions will vary depending on the candidate’s medium, the scale and complexity of her or his work or design, as well as costs involved in production, distribution, and exhibition. In general terms, an artist may be expected to have exhibited four to five works and a designer eight to ten projects all in juried, respected national or international venues.

In addition to works and designs, a candidate’s creative record may include other invited or juried activities, including visiting-artist lectures, artist residencies, papers or lectures presented at conferences, curatorial projects, refereed publications, and consultancies. Awards, grants, commissions, reviews, catalogue reproductions, and articles and books addressing the candidate’s work, may also be considered evidence of an emerging national reputation. Invited exhibitions are a mark of distinction and should be weighted as such.

In addition to works and designs, a candidate’s creative record may include other invited or juried activities, including visiting-artist lectures, artist residencies, papers or lectures presented at conferences, curatorial projects, refereed publications, and consultancies. In the case of commercially commissioned work, the burden falls on the candidate to demonstrate the piece’s creative significance by juried publication or exhibition at a juried design competition. All such professional activities strengthen a candidate’s case, but do not replace the standard or juried exhibitions at the national or international level. In the case of commercially commissioned work, the burden falls on the candidate to demonstrate the piece’s creative significance by juried publication or exhibition at a juried design competition. While collaborative creative work count towards promotion and tenure, single-authored work should be given considerably greater weight.

Teaching

A candidate for promotion to professor must submit documentation that establishes a solid record of teaching beyond the standards for promotion to associate professor. Such materials may include course syllabi, description of new courses offered, peer- and self-assessment, student evaluations, the use of scholarship or creative work in courses, grade distributions, teaching awards, graduate student committee membership, teaching publications, and any other relevant material. While candidates for full professor are expected to be excellent teachers, promotion cannot be achieved through excellent teaching alone.

Service

A candidate for promotion to professor is expected to maintain a solid record of service to the University and discipline including participating in School, College and University governance and committee work; assisting in the recruitment of new faculty; and developing and assisting in the implementation of new academic programs. The candidate should detail particularly distinctive contributions to University life, including service to the School, College, and University through governance and committee work, assisting the School with the recruitment of new faculty, service to the candidate’s profession, such as offices held and committee assignments performed for professional associations and learned societies, service on exhibition juries, grant panels, and editorships, and the refereeing of manuscripts. Excellent service is expected of candidates for full professor, but the rank cannot be achieved through excellent service alone.

Outreach (if applicable)

If part of a candidate’s workload, a candidate for promotion to professor is expected to demonstrate how research conducted has directly and distinctively benefitted external audiences in support of School, College, and University missions. While outreach may be sponsored by a unit other than the faculty member’s School, both the faculty member and the sponsoring unit must recognize the activity as outreach. The candidate should explain how the application of her or his professional expertise worked to elucidate and alleviate societal problems, issues, and concerns. Outreach should demonstrate the professional development of the faculty member, the expected public benefits of the outreach activities, and the mission of the School and/or other supporting units. The Director should request any material necessary from the candidate to facilitate faculty assessment of the type, quality, and effectiveness of the candidate’s involvement in extension activities and evaluation of any resulting publications. Demands for quality in outreach are the same as in teaching and research/creative work; however, outreach activities are different in nature from other activities and must be evaluated accordingly. Please refer to the AU Outreach Office for resources concerning faculty participation in Outreach Scholarship.

Collegiality

A candidate for and promotion to professor is expected to be an exemplary citizen of the School, College, and University. The candidate should contribute as a productive and collegial member of the School in all relevant areas beyond those expected for promotion to associate professor. The candidate’s professional abilities and relationships with colleagues should be compatible with the School’s mission and long-term goals. The candidate should exhibit a willingness to engage in shared academic and administrative tasks that faculty must often perform and participate with some measure of reason and knowledge in discussions germane to School policies and programs. The candidate should maintain high standards of professional integrity. Concerns respecting a candidate’s collegiality should be shared with the candidate as soon as they arise. Should concerns arise they will be addressed in the Faculty Annual Review and the yearly tenure and promotion review.

Last Updated: October 06, 2016