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Promotion to 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 guidelines for appointment and promotion to the rank of 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 Professor

The standards and criteria for promotions within the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics (henceforth designated “the Department”) are consistent with the qualifications for specific ranks and titles set forth in section 24-34.A of the University of Washington Faculty Code. The qualifications cited for the ranks of Professor, as described in item 3 of that section are as follows:

Section 23-34 Qualification for Appointment at Specific Ranks and Titles

A. Qualifications for Appointment at Specific Ranks

  1. N/A
  2. N/A
  3. Appointment to the rank of professor requires outstanding, mature scholarship as evidenced by accomplishments in teaching, and/or accomplishments in research as evaluated in terms of national or international recognition. For tenured, tenure-eligible, or WOT appointments, both of these shall be required.

B. Qualifications for Appointments with Specific Titles N/A

Section 24-32 Scholarly and Professional Qualifications of Faculty Members

The University faculty is committed to the full range of academic responsibilities: scholarship and research, teaching, and service. Individual faculty will, in the ordinary course of their development, determine the weight of these various commitments, and adjust them from time to time during their careers, in response to their individual, professional development and the changing needs of their profession, their programs, departments, schools and colleges, and the University. Such versatility and flexibility are hallmarks of respected institutions of higher education because they are conducive to establishing and maintaining the excellence of a university and to fulfilling the educational and social role of the institution. In accord with the University's expressed commitment to excellence and equity, any contributions in scholarship and research, teaching, and service that address diversity and equal opportunity shall be included and considered among the professional and scholarly qualifications for appointment and promotion outlined below.

A. Scholarship, the essence of effective teaching and research, is the obligation of all members of the faculty. The scholarship of faculty members may be judged by the character of their advanced degrees and by their contribution to knowledge in the form of publication and instruction; it is reflected not only in their reputation among other scholars and professionals but in the performance of their students.

B. The creative function of a university requires faculty devoted to inquiry and research, whose attainment may be in the realm of scholarly investigation, in constructive contributions in professional fields, or in the creative arts, such as musical composition, creative writing, or original design in engineering or architecture. While numbers (publications, grant dollars, students) provide some measure of such accomplishment, more important is the quality of the faculty member's published or other creative work.

Important elements in evaluating the scholarly ability and attainments of faculty members include the range and variety of their intellectual interests; the receipt of grants, awards, and fellowships; the professional and/or public impact of their work; and their success in directing productive work by advanced students and in training graduate and professional students in scholarly methods. Other important elements of scholarly achievement include involvement in and contributions to interdisciplinary research and teaching; participation and leadership in professional associations and in the editing of professional journals; the judgment of professional colleagues; and membership on boards and committees.

C. The scope of faculty teaching is broader than conventional classroom instruction; it comprises a variety of teaching formats and media, including undergraduate and graduate instruction for matriculated students, and special training or continuing education. The educational function of a university requires faculty who can teach effectively. Instruction must be judged according to its essential purposes and the conditions which they impose. Some elements in assessing effective teaching include:

  • The ability to organize and conduct a course of study appropriate to the level of instruction and the nature of the subject matter;
  • The consistency with which the teacher brings to the students the latest research findings and professional debates within the discipline;
  • The ability to stimulate intellectual inquiry so that students develop the skills to examine and evaluate ideas and arguments;
  • The extent to which the teacher encourages discussion and debate which enables the students to articulate the ideas they are exploring;
  • The degree to which teaching strategies that encourage the educational advancement of students from all backgrounds and life experiences are utilized; • The availability of the teacher to the student beyond the classroom environment; and
  • The regularity with which the teacher examines or reexamines the organization and readings for a course of study and explores new approaches to effective educational methods.

A major activity related to teaching is the instructor's participation in academic advising and counseling, whether this takes the form of assisting students to select courses or discussing the students' long- range goals. The assessment of teaching effectiveness shall include student and faculty evaluation. Where possible, measures of student achievements in terms of their academic and professional careers, life skills, and citizenship should be considered.

D. Contributions to a profession through published discussion of methods or through public demonstration of an achieved skill should be recognized as furthering the University's educational function. Included among these contributions are professional service activities that address the professional advancement of individuals from underrepresented groups from the faculty member's field.

E. The University encourages faculty participation in public service. Such professional and scholarly service to schools, business and industry, and local, state, national, and international organizations is an integral part of the University's mission. Of similar importance to the University is faculty participation in University committee work and other administrative tasks and clinical duties, including the faculty member's involvement in the recruitment, retention, and mentoring of scholars and students in an effort to promote diversity and equal opportunity. Both types of service make an important contribution and should be included in the individual faculty profile.

F. Competence in professional service to the University and the public should be considered in judging a faculty member's qualifications, but except in unusual circumstances skill in instruction and research should be deemed of greater importance.