University of Memphis Department of Journalism and Strategic Media Tenure and Promotion Policy (Revised August 2017)
I. OVERVIEW AND DEFINITIONS OF CRITERIA
The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media adopts these guidelines, revised in August 2017, as unique criteria within the department when considering faculty for tenure and promotion under the provision of the University of Memphis Tenure and Promotion Policy. Meeting these guidelines means the faculty member is eligible to be considered for promotion or tenure; however, it does not guarantee it. The tenure and promotion process begins at the department level and requires an understanding of the objectives and aims, not only of the department, but also of the college and university. Departmental criteria are consistent with the policies of the University, but they have been tailored to the demands of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media to allow the department to maintain the degree of specialization in its faculty that the media professions require.
Effective teaching is an essential criterion for tenure, which will not be granted
without clear evidence that this candidate is an effective teacher. Evidence of teaching
excellence should include, but is not limited to, the following: command of subject
matter, ability to organize and present subject matter in a logical and meaningful
way; ability to motivate undergraduates; and ability to stimulate creativity and passion
in all students. The candidate should invite the department committee on tenure and
promotion, either singly or in a group, to visit his/her classes. The findings of
the committee members may be augmented by class visits by the department's chair.
The candidate should present to the department committee evidence that his/her classroom
methods and standards are effective.
Documentation of teaching should routinely include when available:
- Statement of teaching philosophy.
- Course materials.
- Systematic student evaluations for each course each semester, including the summer and the previous spring semester.
- Grade distributions plus any comments the faculty member chooses to make about the relationship between the grade distribution and the nature of the course.
- Evidence of supervision of student projects and other forms of student mentorship.
- Open-ended or other student input.
- Student projects.
- Teaching recognition.
- Teaching scholarship.
- Peer input.
- Evidence of professional development in teaching.
- Evidence of disciplinary or interdisciplinary program or curricular development.
- Alumni surveys and student exit interviews.
- Classroom performance that demonstrates effective teaching, which will be judged by colleagues in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media through classroom visits initiated by the candidate.
- Accomplishments of former students who have entered a media-related profession.
- Signed letters to the faculty member by past and present students, their parents or employers.
- Syllabi submitted by the candidate of his or her courses.
- Innovative teaching methods documented by the candidate in application support materials.
- Other supportive materials the candidate chooses to include in support of his or her application.
C. SCHOLARLY AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY
We are a professionally oriented department that places a strong emphasis on journalism and strategic media skills and applied research. These applied research activities are to be considered equally as important as traditional publications in scholarly journals; therefore, the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media faculty has tailored its definition of scholarship/creative activity to the demands of the discipline. The Department values and encourages a variety of approaches to scholarship, both theoretical and applied. Many Journalism and Strategic Media professors engage in community-based initiatives, also known as "engaged scholarship," which applies the skills and knowledge of journalism and strategic media to community concerns, often on behalf of community partners or clients. Journalism and Strategic Media professors also engage in more traditional research, which includes publication of refereed journal articles and books as well as presentations of research at refereed conferences. Still other Journalism and Strategic Media professors may engage in a third category of scholarship, which is consistent publication in non-refereed sources.
- Community-Based Scholarship, as defined by the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, includes significant projects that identify problems and offer solutions to these identified needs within the community. Journalism and Strategic Media faculty are engaged in community-based scholarly activities that involve obtaining grant or research funds, going out into the community to determine needs, using applied journalism and strategic media skills, conducting focus groups and surveys and ultimately devising on-going projects to meet those needs. This type of scholarship requires knowledge and application of research methods and a sizable commitment of faculty time and resources. These community-based research projects include, for example, Once More at the River: From MLK to BLM, a partnership between the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, the Department of History, and the National Civil Rights Museum to collect oral history interviews in Shelby County, Tennessee, and Electionland, a collaboration between the University of Memphis and ProPublica, Google and Facebook to provide real-time social-media monitoring on election day, November 2016. These community scholarship activities have also involved problem solving for community organizations such as Brooks Museum, Boys Club, Community Foundation for Greater Memphis and the University's Art Museum.
- Traditional research in refereed journals is also considered a reliable indication of scholarly ability. Professional scholarly papers presented at international, national, or regional meetings are appropriate. Books published by reputable firms and articles in refereed journals, reviewed by recognized scholars, are more significant than those that are not subjected to such rigorous examination. It should be emphasized that quality is more important than quantity. Titles include, but are not limited to, the following: Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism and Mass Communication Monographs, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Journalism History, American Journalism, Journal of Media Economics, Journal of Communication, Journal of Communication Management, Public Relations Review, Journal of Public Relations Research, Journal of Public Relations Education, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Newspaper Research Journal, Journal of Advertising, Mass Communication and Society, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Journal of Global Mass Media, International Communication Gazette, Visual Communication Quarterly, and numerous other refereed publications in the field. In addition, editing and judging the research of other scholars in the field by serving as an editor of a national refereed journal should be considered the same as having published in refereed journals.
- Additionally, the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media places importance on consistent publishing in non-refereed sources, such as trade magazines including Advertising Age, Broadcasting Magazine, Columbia Journalism Review, Editor & Publisher, Educational Broadcasting Review, Folio, Photography, Publishers' Auxiliary, Radio-TV News Directors Association Communicator, The Quill, Quill and Scroll, The Writer, Writers' Digest and a number of other non-refereed publications in the field. Beyond these, professional association pamphlets, newsletters and magazines also publish articles and essays that are considered scholarly activity in the field. A few of these include Associated Press Managing Editors' publications, Presstime and dozens of other worthy publications. Examples of electronic publications include television documentaries, participation in television programs such as Meet the Press, Issues and Answers, including local productions of similar content, and mass media website development projects. Because Department of Journalism and Strategic Media teaches professionally oriented programs, practicing and contributing to the advancement of professional journalism and strategic media are considered worthy activities for a scholar in the field.
D. PROFESSIONAL, INSTITUTIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
Service is a term encompassing a faculty member's activities in one of three areas: outreach or public service, institutional service, and professional service. Evaluation of service will encompass both the extensiveness and the effectiveness of the service. It will include service to the profession, service to the institution (the university, college, and department), and service to the community.
E. OUTREACH OR PUBLIC SERVICE
The outreach or public service function of The University of Memphis is the University's outreach to the community and society at large, with major emphasis on the application of knowledge for the solution of problems with which society is confronted. Outreach primarily involves sharing professional expertise and should directly support the goals and mission of the University. A vital component of the University's mission, public service must be performed at the same high levels of quality that characterize the teaching and research programs. Service to the community will include membership, offices and special contributions to civic and community organizations to the degree that such roles involve academic specialties. Examples would include extensive outreach by teaching journalism to high school students; op-ed writing and editorial commentaries; formulating an advertising/public relations campaign for the Brooks Arts Museum and moderator for public service programming aired on WKNO-TV. Consideration will be given to the nature of the organization and the scope of responsibility taken on local, regional and national levels.
F. INSTITUTIONAL SERVICE
Institutional service refers to work other than teaching and scholarship done at the department, college, or university level. A certain amount of such service is expected of every faculty member; indeed, the University could hardly function without conscientious faculty who perform committee work and other administrative responsibilities. Institutional service includes, but is not limited to, serving on department committees, advising students, and participating in college and university committees. Some faculty members may accept more extensive citizenship functions, such as a leadership role in the Faculty Senate, membership on a specially appointed task force, adviser to a university-wide student organization, and membership on a university search committee.
Institutional service may be departmental, inter-departmental, college or university levels. It may be administrative or committee work or all-campus faculty activities. Not only will the nature and scope of the responsibility undertaken be a factor, but also how it was performed, its demand on the individual's resources, and its effectiveness will be considered. Service to students will be included—advising, sponsoring student organizations, directing publications, and finding, evaluating and placing students in paid and unpaid internships within the profession both locally and nationally.
G. PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
Professional service refers to the work done for organizations related to one's discipline or to the teaching profession generally. Service to the profession includes, but is not limited to, association leadership, journal editorships, article and grant proposal review, guest lecturing on other campuses, and other appropriate activities. Although it is impossible to define the exact nature of significant professional service, clearly more is required than organizational membership and attendance; examples of significant service would be that done by an officer of a professional organization or a member of the editorial staff of a journal.
Professional service will include activities that contribute to advancing the journalism and strategic media professions. These activities include:
- Membership and offices held in professional organizations and service on their committees.
- Directing or teaching workshops, conferences, and seminars that relate to the faculty member's professional expertise.
- Consulting with organizations on topics related to the candidate's expertise.
- Other documented contributions to the profession, including speeches and appearances in the media.
II. ANNUAL REVIEWS/EVALUATIONS
The chair of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media will conduct an annual review and evaluation of each faculty member individually and will schedule a personal meeting to discuss that review and evaluation. During this same meeting, the faculty member and the chair will also discuss the faculty member's plans for the coming year. After the chair has completed and signed the annual faculty evaluation report, he/she will give the form to the faculty member. The faculty member will be given an opportunity to read, sign, and/or offer a written response. The chair also may respond to the faculty member's written comments. A copy of the Faculty Evaluation and Planning report, along with any comments from the faculty member and chair, will be forwarded to the dean of the College. Evaluations may be considered in determining whether to renew a faculty member's tenure-track appointment. The department chair may use the annual evaluation and review process as an opportunity to counsel tenure-track faculty during their probationary period. The mid-tenure review, discussed below, provides an additional opportunity for counseling tenure-track faculty regarding any areas of concern and becomes a part of the faculty member's application for tenure. Because a faculty member's annual evaluations and mid-tenure review are a core part of the materials considered for the faculty member's tenure and promotion review, copies of these evaluations and review should be included in the tenure and promotion file of all tenure-track faculty.
III. MID-TENURE REVIEW
The purpose of the mid-tenure review is to provide meaningful feedback and direction to the faculty member to assist him/her in planning and organizing subsequent work activities. The procedure for the mid-tenure review will be the same as for tenure and promotion review and will occur in the spring of the faculty member's midpoint in the tenure process. For example, for an individual required to serve a six-year period prior to going up for tenure, that would occur in the spring semester of the third year. See CCFA Mid-Tenure Dossier Instructions for details and timeline. The dossier should include documentation of the quality of instruction, scholarly activity as defined in one of the three areas as well as outreach/service. Each candidate's accomplishments will be evaluated with respect to quality as well as quantity. In addition to the University's traditional missions of instruction, scholarship and outreach/service, the candidate should have also demonstrated a willingness to work with colleagues in supporting the goals and missions of the Department, College, and University. The committee chair will prepare a written report that addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member's accomplishments in instruction, scholarship, and outreach/service and submit the report to the department chair. The department chair will prepare a written report that addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member's accomplishments in instruction, scholarship, and outreach/service. A copy of the two reports will be presented to the faculty member. After the department chair meets with the candidate to discuss the reports, the committee will do the same to offer additional feedback to the candidate. The candidate has the opportunity to provide a written response to the review, which will then be forwarded with the review to the dean of the college. The candidate may request a personal meeting, and/or file an appeal of the committee and chair's decisions, with the dean of the college.
See College of Communication and Fine Arts Mid-Tenure Dossier Instructions:
IV. CRITERIA FOR TENURE AND PROMOTION TO ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
A faculty member on a tenure-track appointment must serve in a faculty position at the University during a probationary period prior to eligibility for application for tenure. The standard probationary period is six years, unless otherwise prescribed in writing and approved by the dean, provost, and president. The actual process begins in the spring of the fifth year, for a person on a standard six-year tenure calendar, when the candidate is required to notify the chair of the department that he/she will submit an application for tenure. Absent an approved exception, formal application for tenure must be submitted in the fall semester of the beginning of the sixth academic year. Exceptions that may affect the length of the probationary period are addressed in the University of Memphis Faculty Handbook.
- Documented evidence of ability in instruction and/or public service and/or research.
- Earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area plus at least five years appropriate professional experience (excluding experience concurrent with and in the same institution where studies were taken for an advanced degree) in the instructional discipline or related area.
- Documented evidence of high-quality professional productivity, which is leading to national recognition in the academic discipline.
- Evidence of outstanding potential in instruction, public service, and research, or a combination of these.
- Documented evidence of high-quality productivity in one of the three defined areas of scholarly activity: community-based or engaged scholarship, publication in traditional refereed ventures, consistent publishing in non-refereed sources, plus quality teaching, outreach to the community and potential for national recognition in the academic discipline.
- Evidence of good character, mature attitude, professional integrity, and collegiality.
V. CRITERIA FOR PROMOTION TO FULL PROFESSOR
- Documented evidence of ability in instruction and/or public service and/or research.
- Earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area plus at least ten years appropriate professional experience (excluding experience concurrent with and in the same institution where studies were taken for an advanced degree) in the instructional discipline or related area.
- Documented evidence of sustained high-quality productivity in one of the three defined areas of scholarly activity: community-based or engaged scholarship, publication in traditional refereed ventures, consistent publishing in non-refereed sources, plus quality teaching, outreach to the community.
- Documented evidence of national recognition in the academic discipline.
- Evidence of good character, mature attitude, professional integrity, a high degree of academic maturity and responsibility, and collegiality.
- The absence of teaching excellence and superior contributions to student development or the absence of scholarly or creative activity may prevent advancement to full professor. Because there is no higher rank, promotion to professor is taken with great care and requires a level of achievement substantively beyond that required for associate professor. This rank is not a reward for long service; rather it is recognition of superior achievement within the discipline with every expectation of continuing contributions to the university and the larger academic community.
VI. APPLICATION PROCESS AND PROCEDURES
Candidates for tenure and/or promotion should submit their applications and supporting materials following the College of Communication and Fine Arts Guidelines, linked below. The department's tenure and promotion committee and the department chair will review the documents. This committee will evaluate the candidate's accomplishments, applying to them all relevant criteria. The department committee will submit its recommendations and reasons for those recommendations to the department chair. The department committee on tenure and promotion will examine the material submitted by the candidate and decide upon a recommendation favoring or rejecting the request. The committee's recommendation will be submitted in writing to the department chair. The department chair will inform the candidate in writing of the outcome of the vote. The department chair will submit the committee's recommendation along with his or her own recommendation to the tenure and promotion committee of the College of Communication and Fine Arts.
See CCFA TENURE AND PROMOTION GUIDELINES:
VII. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION
The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media chair and faculty will establish a tenure and promotion committee to evaluate and make recommendations on individuals eligible for tenure and/or promotion. Because the committee advises the department chair, the department chair will not serve on the committee.
According to university policy, "the tenure and promotion committee of the department consists of all tenured associate professors and professors. For promotion to professor, the subcommittee of tenured professors will make the recommendations."
- Non-tenured faculty may not serve on the tenure and promotion committee.
- The department chair will appoint the committee and designate a chair.
- Three members, including the chair, will be the minimum size of the committee.
- In the case of promotion applications to full professor, if additional members need to be added to attain the minimum size because too few full professors are available within the department, the chair will appoint members from the next lower academic rank (associate professor). This unique departmental requirement is in accordance with university policy that stipulates, "for small departments, some alternative process may be needed" to the university requirement stipulated above that the promotion committee for full professor should be comprised of full professors. Such appointment, or any other committee composition adjustment necessary because of extraordinary circumstances, will be subject to approval of the Dean of the College of Communication & Fine Arts.
- Secret ballots will be used.
- The committee chair will complete the paperwork, including the supporting documents, and submit them to the department chair.
- The department chair's recommendation is independent of the Tenure and Promotion Committee recommendation.
- If the department chair applies for tenure or promotion, the dossier goes directly from the department committee to the college.
- The department chair notifies applicant of the progress of the application.
VIII. MODIFICATIONS OF TENURE AND PROMOTION GUIDELINES
These guidelines will be reviewed every five years or as needed.
See College of Communication and Fine Arts Tenure and Promotion Calendar
CCFA Mid-Tenure Dossier Instructions
Mid-tenure dossiers are to be uploaded by applicants in UMdrive by January 15, 2019 (11:59 PM CST).
See College of Communication and Fine Arts Mid-Tenure Dossier Instructions