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Promotion to Associate Professor

Summary of the review process

Our Department conducts annual merit reviews of all faculty, following the guidelines specified in the University of Washington Faculty Code. Our own guidelines for appointment and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor are included here. Because we are a small department, we do not have a separate Promotion & Tenure review committee (thus, there is no separate review committee report). In the case of a faculty appointment, all eligible faculty act as the review body.

Criteria for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor

The standards and criteria for promotions used in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AA) are the same as those contained in section 24-34.A of the University of Washington Faculty Code and Governance. The qualifications cited for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor are described in item 2 of that section:

2. Appointment to the rank of associate professor requires a record of substantial success in teaching and/or research. For tenured, tenure-eligible, or WOT appointments, both of these shall be required, except that in unusual cases an outstanding record in one of these activities may be considered sufficient.

Activities under the categories of teaching, research, and service are interpreted by A&A in accordance with section 24-32, 24-54 and 24-57 of the UW Faculty Code. The application of the University criteria by the department is described below for promotions to the rank of Associate Professor.

Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

Candidates for promotion to Associate Professor are expected to demonstrate a considerable record of achievement in research and teaching. In addition, the candidates must demonstrate service activity at a level commensurate with their rank and length of time in the department. The candidate’s research record must show evidence of significant scholarship, impact on his/her fields of specialization, and national recognition. The candidate’s teaching record must show evidence of excellence in the classroom, effectiveness in individual instruction, and contributions to the improvement and/or development of the department’s curriculum. Within each of these categories the specific expectations are as follows:

1. Teaching

  • A principal measure of teaching effectiveness is performance in the classroom. Candidates for promotion to Associate Professor should have a record of effective classroom teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as evidenced by student and peer evaluations. The record should include courses central to the undergraduate program as well as subject matter unique to his/her specific qualifications (typically graduate courses).

  • Individual instruction is recognized as an important aspect of the overall teaching responsibilities of a faculty member. Consequently, an evaluation of the teaching record of a candidate for promotion to Associate Professor should include a measure of his/her effectiveness in the areas of academic advising, career counseling and the mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students. The candidate must have demonstrated effectiveness in mentoring and supervising the research of graduate students at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels.
  • The evaluation of teaching performance may also include contributions to the program in the form of new courses, innovative teaching methods, writing textbooks, development of teaching materials and curriculum development.

2. Research

  • A substantial record of research in the form of publications in leading peer-reviewed archival journals, conference proceedings, and professional reports prepared for research sponsors is required. Also expected are technical presentations at national conferences, and seminars and/or short courses at other institutions.

  • The development of a vigorous, independent research program involving the participation of graduate students must be demonstrated. If the research involves collaboration with senior faculty members in the department or elsewhere at the University, or with faculty at other universities, the role of the Assistant Professor should be significant to demonstrate leadership and originality and his/her contributions and areas of responsibility must be clearly defined and documented.
  • A demonstrated ability to originate and develop innovative research ideas, and effectiveness in supervising the work of graduate students at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels is required. Candidates for promotion are expected to have on-going research activities involving graduate students and are expected to have supervised several completed M.S. and/or Ph.D. dissertations.
  • The ability to secure support for research, in the form of grants or contracts from external funding agencies and organizations must be demonstrated. Effectiveness in preparing research proposals and the success of these efforts is an important parameter in measuring the candidate’s research performance.

3. Service

  • Although excellence in research and teaching is of primary importance in evaluating candidates for promotion to Associate Professor, contributions in the area of service are also expected. Candidates should show evidence of increasing service activity at the department and University, as well as at state and national levels.

  • Service activities within the University typically involve participation in committees at the department, College, and University levels. Other important activities include serving as a reviewer for the best archival journals in the candidate’s areas of interest, participation in professional and technical society activities – in ways such as technical presentations at conferences, committee memberships, and the organization of conferences and/or special programs. Participation in proposal review or other review panels at funding agencies is also expected.