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Department of Psychology Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Policies

Departmental guidelines and policies are subject to policies promulgated at the college and university levels. In the case of promotion and tenure, guidelines provided by the Office of the Provost form the basis of all promotion and tenure decisions. While a college or department may choose to implement more rigorous standards than those detailed in the university-level promotion and tenure guidelines, a college or department may not implement policies that result implicitly or explicitly in the application of less rigorous standards than detailed in the in the university-level promotion and tenure guidelines. It is the obligation of the chair of the department to make all new tenured or tenure-track faculty members aware in writing of not only the university-level promotion beyond tenure guidelines but also any college or departmental level policies or procedures that may impact their tenure and/or promotion.   

These guidelines for professional evaluation of tenured and tenure-track members of the University of Houston's Department of Psychology are prepared as a general document without reference to particular individuals or configurations of accomplishment. They do not prescribe a uniform roster of accomplishments that must be achieved by all candidates for tenure or promotion.  Rather, they suggest ways of evaluating accomplishments in research, teaching, and service by allowing flexibility in assigning relative weights to these three activities.

The Committee will assemble all relevant documents of the candidate's record, including:  (a) current curriculum vitae (CV); (b) statement of professional goals; (c) copies of publications and manuscripts; (d) letters from outside professional colleagues evaluating the quality and impact of the candidate's scholarly and professional work; and (e) evidence or teaching effectiveness through teacher evaluations and student letters. 

The assembled materials will be made available for examination by the Department of Psychology's tenured Associate and Full Professors (for promotion to full tenure, such materials are only available to tenured full professors).  The Committee will meet to review and discuss all relevant documents and credentials of the candidate in order to formulate a recommendation to the Department of Psychology's tenured faculty members.  Additional evaluations of the candidate's work can be obtained by telephone, e-mail, and in person through interviews with students, members of the faculty, and experts in the candidate's research area.

            The Committee will be guided by the following Departmental standards for award of tenure:  (a) a demonstrated record of scholarship of high quality, with promise of continued development and indication of national impact; (b) a demonstrated record of high quality teaching, including evidence of skill, imagination, and the ability to attract and excite students; (c) a record of professional service of high quality and recognized value within the University and the larger professional community; and (d) a record of high quality contributions to the Department and to the candidate's program area.

            For promotion to the rank of full professor, the Committee will be guided by the following departmental standards:  (a) a clearly demonstrated record of quality scholarship and indication of national recognition of the impact of the candidate's work; (b) a clearly demonstrated record of competence in teaching with evidence of skill and imagination along with a record of attracting and exciting students; (c) a record of professional service of high quality and recognized value within the University, in the professional community, and in the larger community; and (d) a record of meaningful contributions to departmental programming together with an appropriate fit between the candidate's interests and career plans and departmental goals.

            The Committee should recognize that (a) individual faculty members often have unequal strengths in these different areas; (b) differential patterns of strengths among different faculty members can add substantially to the pluralism and vitality of the department; (c) scholarly productivity and national reputation contribute most directly to the research mission and goals of excellence which should properly guide departmental actions; and (d) such accomplishments often must be achieved by individual faculty members without substantial departmental resources or programmatic support.