Review of Faculty

1. Criteria of Evaluation for Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure (updated February 1, 2016)

The criteria listed below are used by the Committee on Teaching Staff and Tenure in making recommendations with regard to reappointment, promotion, and tenure. The evaluation of faculty members is based on four areas of performance: teaching, scholarship, research, and general value to the College. Among these criteria, excellence in teaching is the preeminent value; and scholarship, research, and general value to the College are each essential qualifications.

a. Excellence in teaching is essential. To meet this criterion, faculty members should be:

  • in command of their fields
  • capable of transmitting knowledge imaginatively
  • skilled in challenging students of various abilities and backgrounds to their best efforts
  • contributing to students’ development of the Graduate Qualities.

In assessing teaching, the Committee recognizes that effective teaching takes multiple forms, and can vary with the subject and the level at which one is teaching. Each faculty member should have the skill to use effectively several different approaches to teaching. Skillful teaching involves the continued improvement of teaching strategies and the application of innovative and/or experimental pedagogies. Whatever the approach, effective teaching should foster among students:

  • critical and creative processes of thought
  • clarity of expression
  • active engagement with the material
  • comprehension of the subject
  • enthusiasm for its pursuit

Essential in faculty members at all levels of teaching, from introductory courses (including First-Year Seminar) to Independent Study, are:

  • intellectual curiosity
  • breadth of learning
  • originality and interest

An essential component of excellent teaching is effective advising. Faculty members are expected to provide students with academic and general advising by:

  • being well informed regarding the College’s academic policies and regulations
  • assisting students in adjusting to college-level work in First-Year Seminar and other first-year classes
  • guiding students in appropriate choices of courses to meet the graduation requirements and in appropriate choices of majors and courses therein
  • directing students effectively in their completion of Junior and Senior Independent Study
  • assisting students in their vocational and career decisions

Wooster seeks to realize a high standard of student achievement in a fundamentally humane way. Faculty members are expected to support and encourage the quest for knowledge, understanding and self-discovery by:

  • being accessible to students
  • recognizing their dignity and integrity
  • being aware of student concerns
  • adhering to professional standards

b. Scholarship is also essential. How this criterion is met may vary, but it must include efforts to remain abreast of new developments in one's own discipline and may include efforts to expand one's intellectual interest beyond that discipline.

Particularly in making recommendations for reappointment for tenure, the College must estimate the likelihood of continued intellectual growth and thus welcomes opportunities to judge an individual's commitment to sustained learning. These opportunities may include, for example:

  • public lectures
  • conference presentations
  • seminar presentations and workshops
  • book reviews
  • encyclopedia entries, including online
  • manuscript reviews
  • participation in professional meetings
  • digital scholarship such as blogs, electronic essays or exhibits, web portals or gateways, or online bibliographies.

c. Research is an essential component of a faculty member's professional development. Furthermore, Independent Study depends upon faculty members who have an appreciation of the requirements of research, and its vitality depends directly upon the quality of the research of the faculty. Research is here defined as efforts to extend the bounds of knowledge or to produce creative works. These results are to be shared with the professional community at large as well as with colleagues at Wooster in ways and forms appropriate to a given discipline or across disciplines. Both collaborative and interdisciplinary research are recognized as valuable contributions.

It is essential that candidates for re-appointment, promotion, or tenure be capable of systematic exploration and discovery. To make a judgment in this matter, the Committee must have opportunities to evaluate specific examples of this capability. These may include, for example:

  • articles
  • book chapters
  • monographs
  • creative writing and composition
  • exhibitions, recitals, or other public performances
  • digital research projects

In addition, evaluations of the quality of such work by peers external to the College are helpful to the Committee in its assessment.

d. General value to the College is essential and complex in a residential institution. Participation in the intellectual and cultural life of the campus, promoting a culture of inclusivity and respect for diversity, effectiveness and cooperation in departmental and interdepartmental programs, and professionalism in dealing with colleagues and students are essential. The Committee recognizes contributions to the quality of student life, to faculty committees, to the realization of the College's ideal of linking a liberal education with service, and to the enhancement of the institution beyond the campus. These may include, for example:

  • service on departmental committees
  • service on college committees
  • advising of student groups
  • promotion of a climate where all students can thrive
  • support for admissions
  • mentoring of faculty colleagues
  • community service related to your discipline
  • service to your disciplinary organization
  • department and campus-wide presentations

Wooster takes pride in the versatility of its faculty. The Committee recognizes the values of a faculty that, by its inclusion of individuals of different cultural backgrounds, of minority status, or of special aptitudes and skills, will provide educational resources not otherwise available in a department or program.

Final recommendations for reappointment, promotion, and tenure are based on an evaluation of teaching, scholarship, research, and general value to the College and are neither made nor refused on the basis of age, sex, color, race, creed, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or political affiliation. In the President's decisions on reappointment, and recommendations of promotion and tenure to the Board of Trustees, these same criteria are employed. The Board of Trustees retains the final authority in making all promotions and tenure decisions.

NB: The revised criteria of evaluation will come into effect for the faculty members who begin their appointments at the institution on or after August 2016.

The Criteria of Evaluation may be revised from time to time. Normally pre-tenure faculty members are evaluated under the version of the Criteria which was in place in the year prior to the start of their tenure-track appointment—that is, the year in which they interviewed and signed their initial contract. However, such faculty may opt, through a notification letter to the Office of the Provost, to be evaluated under the current revision of the Criteria instead.

Criteria of Faculty Evaluation (for those hired before 2016)

Evaluation Forms for Chairs