Faculty Promotion Policy

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Guidelines for Ladder (Tenure-Track) Faculty

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Department of Psychology

Expectations for being granted tenure (i.e., Associate rank) in the Department of Psychology:

  • Clear evidence of an active research program while at the University at Buffalo that productively addresses questions of significance. Productively is indexed by the number of high quality publications in top-ranked, peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • The candidate’s research must be of the highest quality methodologically and highly regarded by peers as indicated by:
  • Publication in top-ranked, peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Positive evaluations from scholars considered to be leaders in the relevant field of study
  • Evidence the research has an impact on psychology and perhaps other disciplines. Such evidence may include citations of candidate’s research and documented examples of the candidate’s research being used by other scientists to inform their work
  • The candidate must make credible and sustained efforts to obtain major external research funding. Securing major funding can strengthen the candidate’s case for tenure.
  • The candidate should demonstrate the potential for future growth and contribution to the discipline.
  • Promotion to tenure requires solid evidence of teaching effectiveness.
  • Evidence of committee and administrative service within the Department of Psychology and the University. In addition, evidence of professional service as indexed by involvement in scientific organizations, organization of conferences and symposia, and participation on editorial boards.

Expectations for being promoted to Full Professor in the Department of Psychology:

  • The candidate’s research must be evaluated by peers as nationally and internationally visible, clearly influential, and of the highest quality. The candidate must be viewed as a leader in his or her area of study.
  • Clear evidence of a sustained, active research program that productively addresses questions of significance to the field of psychology. Productively is indexed by the number of high quality publications in top-ranked, peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • The candidate should show the ability to secure major external funding for his or her research. The applicability of this criterion is evaluated in light of the availability of funding for research in the candidate’s area of study.
  • Solid evidence of teaching effectiveness.
  • Evidence of committee and administrative service within the Department of Psychology and the University. In addition, evidence of professional service as indexed by involvement in scientific organizations, organization of conferences and symposia, leadership positions within scientific organizations, and participation on editorial boards.

Guidelines for Clinical Faculty

Department of Psychology University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Expectations for being promoted to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology:

Faculty being considered for promotion to this rank must demonstrate professional growth and achievement commensurate with this rank. Typically, clinical assistant professors should have been in rank a minimum of six years before they are considered for promotion. Comparable service at the University at Buffalo or another institution can be counted as part of the six years of time in rank. Promotion criteria include expectations for performance in both teaching and service. Contributions in research are valued by the Department and can be considered as part of the overall evaluation of the candidate, but such contributions will not be viewed as substitutes for excellence in teaching and service. Research on teaching done as a service to the Department and/or University can, however, be evaluated as evidence of service excellence.

  • The candidate must show clear and sustained evidence of highly effective teaching. Relevant evidence could include ratings collected from students on teaching effectiveness, samples of work from students, formal assessments of student performance, statements from former students regarding the professional and personal impact of the faculty member, and teaching awards and recognitions. In the case of teacher effectiveness ratings from students, the sample should be collected from a reasonable proportion of the course enrollment, which would be at or above the average participation rate for the Department of Psychology.
  • With regard to service, clinical faculty should contribute service to the Department, University, and/or to the profession, which may include (but is not limited to): the development of innovative teaching methods and pedagogical tools; curriculum development; leadership responsibilities for a particular educational program in the Department; participation in professional meetings or panels involving teaching and learning; service learning contributions to the Department, the University, and the community; committee service in the Department, College, and/or University; advisement of individual students and student groups; representation of the Department, College, and/or University in student outreach or events; and specific administrative activities that assist the Department, College, or University in meeting educational or program goals.
  • A candidate should have displayed a commitment to, and philosophy of, education compatible with the goals and educational mission of the Department and University.
  • The candidate should demonstrate the potential for future growth as an educator.

Expectations for being promoted to the rank of Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychology:

Faculty being considered for promotion to this rank must have achieved a sustained level of excellence commensurate with this rank. Typically, clinical associate professors should have been in rank a minimum of five years to be considered for promotion.

Basic criteria for appointment as a Clinical Professor are the same as for the Clinical Associate Professor. In addition, candidates should have a documented record as an accomplished educator and clear evidence of leadership in the areas in which they teach.

  • Candidates for promotion to the rank of Clinical Professor should demonstrate continued excellence in teaching. Relevant additional evidence could include (but is not limited to) substantial course development or refinement, or work with students individually and in groups, that is effective with commitment to outcomes-based learning and assessment. Candidates for promotion to the rank of Clinical Professor should demonstrate outstanding expertise in one or more aspects of scholarship that focuses on (1) teaching or education, and/or (2) involves students.
  • Candidates should exhibit leadership in service responsibilities within the Department, the College, and/or the University.

Materials to be Submitted by the Candidate

  • A full CV
  • Teaching portfolio, which includes a teaching statement (three to five pages describing teaching philosophy, experiences, and contributions), a statement of plans for future teaching development, and any relevant appendix materials
  • A brief statement describing Professional/Public Service, Department/College/University Service, and Community Service
  • Publications (if any; maximum of 10)
  • Summary of the numerical teaching ratings and one copy of actual evaluations
  • The names and contact information of former students (undergraduate, graduate, independent study, and honors) who can be asked for letters of evaluation

Materials Solicited by the Chair

  • Three internal evaluation letters will be solicited from departmental colleagues who are in a position to provide an informed assessment of the clinical faculty member's contribution to the academic mission of the department.
  • Three external evaluator letters will be solicited from individuals from outside UB whose positions would enable a credible and authoritative perspective on the candidate's performance and who would be sufficiently informed about the candidate so as to render a convincing evaluation. These may be faculty at other institutions, including AAU universities, and may include clinical faculty (or equivalent positions) at other institutions. The letters should be solicited from individuals who are at or above the rank being considered for the candidate.
  • Letters of evaluation will be solicited from former students identified by the candidate.

Voting Eligibility

Along with ladder faculty of appropriate rank, clinical faculty shall vote on promotion cases of other clinical faculty in the same way that ladder faculty vote within their ranks (i.e., ladder Full Professors and Clinical Full Professors shall vote on promotion to Clinical Full Professor; ladder and Clinical Full Professors and ladder and Clinical Associate Professors shall vote on promotion to Clinical Associate Professor).

Role of Faculty Review Committee

The materials submitted by the candidate along with all letters of evaluation will be reviewed by the Personnel Committee of the Department. The Committee will fully discuss the case and vote on their recommendation for promotion (by secret ballot). The results of that discussion and ballot will be reported to the members of the Department eligible to vote on the case at a meeting of those faculty.

Procedures for Faculty Vote

The materials submitted by the candidate along with all letters of evaluation will be distributed to the members of the Department eligible to vote on the case at least one week prior to a meeting of that group. During the meeting, the recommendation of the Personnel Committee will be discussed, and the faculty will vote on their recommendation for promotion (by secret ballot). If that vote is positive, the Chair will prepare a letter to the Dean detailing the case for the promotion (including the faculty discussion and votes) and providing a recommendation regarding promotion.