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The Department of Physics and Geosciences approved these tenure and promotion guidelines on 7 February 2019.  They were submitted with the chair’s approval to the dean’s office on 12 January 2019, and were approved by the dean on 2 April 2019 and submitted to the Provost for his review.

Physics and Geosciences Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

Tabbed

  • Standards and Procedures
    • Introduction and Overview

      The purpose of this document is to publish the Department of Physics and Geosciences Tenure and Promotion Standards and Procedures and to ensure understanding of both standards and procedures concerning tenure and promotion.  These standards and procedures are as follows:

      • To be eligible for promotion to Senior Instructor a faculty member must be considered “Outstanding” or “Excellent” in the evaluation category of Teaching as defined in the Annual Performance Evaluation for Faculty. Research and Creative Works and Professional Service are not required for promotion to Senior Instructor.  Faculty members with unsatisfactory Teaching evaluations during the last two years in the Instructor appointment shall not be considered eligible for promotion. 

      • To be eligible for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor a faculty member must be considered “Outstanding” or “Excellent” in the evaluation categories of Teaching, Research and Creative Works, and Professional Service as defined in the Annual Performance Evaluation for Faculty. Faculty members with unsatisfactory evaluations in any category of evaluation during the last two years in the tenure-track appointment shall not be considered eligible for promotion and/or tenure.

      • To be eligible for promotion to the rank of Professor a faculty member must have served a minimum of four years in rank of Associate Professor. The applicant must be considered “Outstanding” in at least one of the two evaluation categories of Teaching or Research and Creative Works, and “Excellent” in the other of these two categories and in the category of Professional Service as defined in the Annual Performance Evaluation for Faculty.  Faculty members with evaluations lower than “Excellent” in the appropriate categories of evaluation during the three years preceding their application for promotion shall not be considered eligible for promotion. 

      • A faculty member who has, or who has had during the review period, a part-time administrative, non-instructional assignment such as Vice Provost, Dean, Department Chair, program coordinator, or other non-instructional administrative appointment must meet the same standards for Teaching, Research and Creative Works, and Professional Service as any other candidate for promotion and/or tenure. Although administrative responsibilities can be taken into consideration, they are not a substitute for exemplary accomplishment in any faculty performance category.

      • Faculty signing a letter of appointment under these Tenure and Promotion Standards and Procedures are exempt from future changes to this document.

      Please see below for the definitions of Outstanding, Excellent, Satisfactory, and Unsatisfactory concerning Teaching, Research and Creative Works, and Professional Service.

    • Teaching

      Outstanding

      • Provides students with a syllabus that includes all of the tools the students’ needs to meet the student learning outcomes (complete schedule including lecture and exam dates, learning outcomes, office hours, telephone numbers, email address, and all other helpful or additional resources for the course)
      • Has planned for unexpected absences from class with a method of notification and assignments for the students to be done in the instructor’s absence
      • Communicates enthusiastically and knowledgeably with the students making the courses they teach stimulating, interesting, and applicable
      • Encourages students to come in during office hours or make appointments if the office hours are not compatible with their schedules, for help and/or advice, or maintains an ‘open door’ policy
      • Gives well organized, up-to-date lectures mixed with well integrated and effective teaching pedagogy including (but not limited to) videos, audio, electronic presentations, demonstrations, activities, etc.
      • Maintains awareness of and implements effective techniques for maintaining student interest and communication to a changing student body as appropriate for the subject being taught
      • Spends time with internal and/or external colleagues discussing and sharing teaching experiences
      • Studies IDEA evaluation results carefully to detect teaching deficiencies and compares them with previous evaluations to detect negative trends that need to be corrected and positive trends that need to be retained or enhanced
      • Looks to introduce courses that students need or have an interest in
      • Treats all students and faculty members with respect and courtesy

      Excellent

      • Provides students with a complete syllabus including dates of lectures and exams, student learning outcomes, grading procedures, and all other essential information for the course
      • Has planned for unexpected absences from class with a method of notification and assignments for the students to be done in the instructor’s absence
      • Gives well organized and up-to-date lectures intermixed with other teaching methods such as videos, electronic presentations, etc.
      • Shows enthusiasm for the subject by the way he or she answers all student questions and stimulates discussion by other students in the process
      • Has scheduled office hours and actively encourages students to attend
      • Actively researches or seeks out discussion with other colleagues about teaching techniques that could improve his or her teaching
      • Gives and studies the outcome of IDEA evaluations for hints as to how teaching can be improved
      • Treats all students and faculty with respect and courtesy

      Satisfactory

      • Provides students with a syllabus that contains most of the essential elements pertaining to the course with only a few errors
      • If he or she misses classes alternative plans are rarely given
      • Gives lectures that are organized and contain current information that meets the expected student outcomes for the course
      • Student questions are answered in an understandable and respectful manner
      • Gives exams and other assessments that are appropriate for the course
      • Discusses teaching techniques with colleagues
      • Gives and reads results of IDEA evaluations with the intent to implement anything that might improve future evaluations
      • Treats all students and faculty with respect and courtesy

      Unsatisfactory

      • Provides students with a syllabus that is lacking some essential material and contains errors
      • Occasionally misses lectures with no explanation or notification
      • Lectures are hard to follow, presentations are hard to see and/or hear, and some of the material is out of date
      • Gives assessments that are marginally appropriate or inappropriate for the course
      • Disregards suggestions or opportunities for course improvement
      • No office hours are posted, does not show up to posted office hours, or students can only see instructor if they have made an appointment
      • Gives IDEA evaluations but fails to read the results or acknowledge any benefit gained from them, or does not use the results to improve their courses
      • Actively discourages interaction with students and faculty
      • Is disrespectful of students and faculty
    • Research and Creative Works

      Outstanding

      • Has regular scientific/scholarly research leading to peer-reviewed publication.
      • Is successful in securing internal and external funds to support their
      • Successfully funds multiple student research projects.
      • Successfully directs multiple students in undergraduate research with completed projects.
      • Attends and takes students to meetings where they present their research.
      • Regularly participates in extracurricular activities such as editor, moderator, reviewer, and consultant.
      • Develops scholarly curriculum, manuals, and/or guides with improved learning outcomes.
      • Collaborates with peers and expresses appreciation for others accomplishment.

      Excellent

      • Has regular scientific/scholarly research leading to publication or abstracts.
      • Is active in applying for internal and external funds to support their research.
      • Procures funds to support student projects.
      • Successfully directs students in completed undergraduate research projects.
      • Attends and presents research at meetings.
      • Occasionally participates in extracurricular activities such as editor, moderator, reviewer, and consultant.
      • Develops curriculum, manuals, and/or guides.
      • Seeks to collaborate with peers and appreciates others accomplishment.

      Satisfactory

      • Has occasional scientific/scholarly research that leads to publication or abstracts.
      • Has applied for funds to support their research.
      • Has applied for funds for student projects.
      • Directed students in undergraduate research.
      • Attends scientific meetings when funds are available.
      • Occasionally participates in extracurricular activities such as moderator, reviewer, and consultant.
      • Attempts to modify current curriculum.
      • Participates in scholarly discussions and appreciates the intellectual accomplishment of others.

      Unsatisfactory

      • Participates in scientific/scholarly research that rarely leads toward publication of any form.
      • Rarely seeks research funds.
      • Rarely seeks student project funds.
      • Rarely directs student research.
      • Rarely attends scientific meetings.
      • Does not participate in scientific/scholarly extracurricular activities.
      • Does not contribute to scholarly curriculum development.
      • Does not participates in discussions or appreciate the intellectual accomplishment of others.
    • Professional Service

      Outstanding

      • Meets the standard for “Excellence” as described below
      • One or more external grants to support outreach or community engagement activities
      • Documented evidence of significant outreach programs or community engagement through professional venues
      • Takes the lead in organizing trips to national meetings and in developing innovative approaches to involving students in meetings.
      • Serves as Chair on one or more University committees
      • Makes a significant improvement in a major department program that benefits students.
      • Serves in an elected office of a regional or national scientific organization
      • Makes a service contribution to the University, region, or state.
      • Receives a Faculty Excellence in Service Award.

      Excellent

      • Takes a leadership role in one or two department and program responsibilities
      • Advises many students each semester and researches changes in course numbers, core curriculum, and course rotations, and degree requirements so that they can offer the best advice
      • Takes a leadership role as an advisor to a student organization. Involved in encouraging, planning and implementing meetings and activities
      • Pursues external funding for outreach or community engagement
      • Serves in a major role on a department, college or University committee
      • Actively encourages students to apply for scholarships and grants that require faculty recommendations
      • Leads and organizes science outreach activities
      • Actively recruits and guides students into submitting abstracts, writing travel grants, and making preparations to attend professional meetings.
      • Responds graciously to almost every request from students and the community for advice and aid
      • Nominated for a Faculty Excellence in Service Award
      • Recognized by community organizations for their assistance

      Satisfactory

      • Assists in basic department and program responsibilities
      • Serves on committees as assigned by the chair, dean, provost, or president
      • Advises a small number of students each semester
      • Writes some recommendations for students
      • Participates in science outreach activities per year
      • Attends a professional meeting where students are mentored/advised
      • Responds to requests for science-related advice or aid every semester

      Unsatisfactory

      • Does not assist in basic department and program responsibilities.
      • Does not serve on committees as assigned by the chair, dean, provost, or president
      • Does not advise students or advises students with bad information.
      • Does not write recommendations for students
      • Does not participate in science outreach activities
      • Does not attend professional meetings with students or professional meeting attendance interferes with basic teaching responsibilities
      • Does not respond to requests from students and the community for science-related advice or aid

  • Development Schedule for Tenure-Track Faculty
    • Year One

      Portfolio Development

      Each faculty member should begin creating a professional portfolio including all aspects of the faculty member’s professional life and development while in a tenure-track position.

      Teaching

      Teaching is the most important task. Teaching includes developing courses, attending to departmental standards, and following OP 06.14 for duties and responsibilities.  First-year faculty are expected to

        • Increase mastery of subject matter in teaching fields,
        • Cultivate ability to communicate with students,
        • Create a classroom environment conducive to learning,
        • Evaluate student work fairly and promptly,
        • Undertake a limited amount of department duty, and
        • Begin to mentor and advise students.

      Research and Creative Works

      Scholarly work should be initiated in the first year and includes research, development of scholarly and creative interests, and professional contributions as a scholar.

      Professional Service

      Not much is expected in the first year, but whatever is accomplished in this category should be generously evaluated.

      Evaluation

      Faculty will be evaluated annually using procedures adopted by the department and the University as defined in OP 06.28.  These evaluations will include departmental peer review and evaluation by the Department Chair.  The Department Chair will submit the results of this review to the academic dean.

    • Year Two

      Teaching

      • Standards above continue to apply
      • Quality of teaching should improve
      • Mentoring and advising duties should increase

      Research and Creative Works

      • First-year projects continue
      • University grants become available to second-year faculty.

      Professional Service

      • Department Head should begin to assign other responsibilities and committee work.

      Evaluation

      • Annual evaluation as described above must be completed.
    • Year Three

      Teaching

      • Standards of year one continue to apply
      • Full component of mentoring and advising begins
      • Participation in departmental course development begins

      Research and Creative Works

      • Early projects continue
      • Some external evaluation of work (scholarly submissions, conference participation) should be evident.

      Professional Service

      • Active involvement in college/school and university level committee work should begin

      Evaluation

      • Annual evaluation as described above must be completed
      • An intensive self-evaluation should take place and a peer evaluation will take place at the end of the third year. The purpose of these evaluations in to identify significant strengths and weaknesses in order to enhance the former and eliminate the latter.  Third year faculty members should be given a thorough appraisal of their work and in light of this review a candid departmental judgment, given current performance, of the feasibility of continuing to seek tenure.
    • Year Four

      Teaching

      • Faculty member should demonstrate growing mastery of the subject matter and ability to present it effectively in the classroom.
      • Faculty member should begin to create courses within special areas of expertise

      Research and Creative Works

      • Becomes more important in years four and five
      • Shows evidence of external recognition (grants, conference participation, manuscripts written, manuscripts accepted for publication)

      Professional Service

      • Active role on University committees begins
      • Active role in professional organizations initiated or continued.

      Evaluation

      • Annual evaluation as described above must be completed
      • Faculty member and department should work closely to ensure that requirements for attaining promotion and tenure are achieved.
    • Year Five

      Development in the areas of Teaching, Research and Creative Works, and Professional Service must continue. Annual evaluation as described above must be completed. Faculty member will begin preparation of a formal tenure application portfolio. At the end of the fifth year those faculty members who meet the qualifications for tenure will be noted in writing by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    • Year Six

      Development in the areas of Teaching, Research and Creative Works, and Professional Service must continue.  Annual evaluation as described above must be completed.  A faculty member seeking tenure and promotion to associate professor will apply in the beginning of the sixth year of appointment following procedures defined by OP 06.24.  Applicants for tenure will be notified after the decision is made by the Board of Regents.

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