It is understood that all College and Departmental guidelines will adhere to Policy HR-23, the University's Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations.


By the end of the spring semester, all academic units in the College of Arts and Architecture will have established their own Promotion and Tenure Committee(s) for the following year.

Guidelines and procedures for establishment for these committees, approved by each departmental faculty will be on file in the Office of the Dean. The document will specify the composition of the committee(s), the term of membership, and the method of choosing a chair.

Academic units are charged with evaluating all candidates for promotion as well as reviewing the progress toward tenure of all tenure-track faculty during the 2nd, 4th, and 6th year of provisional service to the University.


Committees shall evaluate each candidate based on established criteria in each of the three areas of consideration. The descriptor used to assess the level of contribution (outstanding, very good, satisfactory, needs improvement, unsatisfactory) in each area shall be a consensus of the committee view, including any statement(s) of minority opinions. It is imperative to achieve a single, consensus descriptor, not just a record of individual opinions.  Only one evaluative statement letter is written and should contain the committee's singular overall vote for each promotion and/or tenure action.  The letter should not contain separate vote counts for each of the evaluative criteria.


Although consideration for the award of tenure will normally be made in the penultimate year, the award of early tenure may be recommended in clearly exceptional cases.  Reviews for promotion are normally initiated by the department head/director after consultation with key faculty members.


The preparation of the dossier is the responsibility of department heads and school directors, in consultation with the faculty member being reviewed. The preparation of the factual materials to be included in the dossier should take place over the summer months and be completed by the candidate no later than September 1.


External evaluators of the candidate's creative accomplishment and research are appointed by the dean. The candidate should suggest up to four outside evaluators to the department head or school director who will add up to four additional names not suggested by the candidate. This composite list should be forwarded to the dean no later than June 1. The dean may add additional names to the list and will begin the process of contacting potential external evaluators over the summer to secure their agreement to serve in the fall. Ultimately, five to seven external

evaluators will be selected (including a representative number of evaluators from both the candidate's and the department head's/school director's suggestions).


If a department or school chooses, a limited number of internal letters may be solicited by the department head or school director from faculty, who have direct knowledge of the teaching, creative work, scholarship, and/or service of the person being evaluated. Those signed letters must be included in the dossier as it moves forward within the appropriate categories, as possible. The department or school promotion and tenure committee should be apprised of these internal solicitations and may suggest that the head/director solicit additional letters.


The College Committee on Promotion and Tenure will be composed of seven members selected

as follows:

One member to be elected by the faculty of the Department of Architecture, the

Department of Art History, the Department of Integrative Arts, the Department of

Landscape Architecture, the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the

School of Visual Arts.  The term of membership will be two years and will be staggered, and all members must be elected by the end of the spring semester for service during the following academic year. The committee will elect its own chair. 


The duties of the committee include reviewing departmental/school recommendations for promotion and tenure in accordance with the guidelines set forth in HR-23.  When the committee has not reached a unanimous vote on a candidate, the evaluative statement shall include a discussion of the reasons for divergent opinions.  Only one evaluative statement letter is written and should contain the committee's singular overall vote for each promotion and/or tenure action.  The letter should not contain separate vote counts for each of the evaluative criteria.


When necessary, in order to provide majority representation of University College faculty, the Dean may appoint up to two additional members as prescribed by HR 23 to review the credentials of University College faculty for promotion and/or tenure.



In addition to the general criteria listed in HR-23, the College of Arts and Architecture is often

concerned with more specific values. The College regards the quality of teaching, the quality of

research or creative accomplishment, and the quality of outreach and public service all to be

important. The integration of these three elements is also highly valued. It is the department

head/school director's responsibility to determine on a faculty by faculty basis the appropriate

balance among these three elements. It is also the head/director's responsibility to make clear

to every faculty member what is expected in each of these areas and assure that this information

is present in the dossier.


Given the diversity of departments and schools within the College, individual schools and

departments may construct discipline-specific guidelines which, however, must be consonant

with these broad guidelines.


The College faculty and administrators have endorsed the use of five evaluation descriptors for

faculty performance. These descriptors are to be used at every internal level of review for

promotion and/or tenure applications.

OUTSTANDING – An exceptional level of accomplishment where excellence has clearly

been achieved.

VERY GOOD – A very positive level of accomplishment that is clearly above basic

expectations but has not yet attained true excellence.

ACCEPTABLE –Meets basic performance expectations, but improvement is encouraged.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT –Does not meet basic performance expectations and

improvement in the future is clearly necessary.

UNACCEPTABLE – Performance that clearly does not meet the standards of Penn State

and cannot be continued.

1. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The College is dedicated to maintaining rigorous academic standards with an awareness of

the particular needs and aims of its individual departments and schools. Thus, the faculty

member is responsible for the recognition of a student's talents and abilities and for

fostering them not only by means of effective teaching but also by setting an example in

creativity, performance, exhibition activity or scholarship, as may be appropriate to the

discipline. In addition to inculcating a mastery of subject matter, instruction is to be directed

toward developing the student's ability to communicate.

In graduate programs, teaching is considered to include the supervision of theses or

graduate projects and the guiding of advanced students toward professional careers.

Advising and counseling are part of the teaching process. The College requires all sections

of all courses be evaluated by the SRTE every time it is taught, except when there are fewer

than five students in the class, whereby the students' anonymity might be compromised.

The results from each of these evaluations must be included in the dossier. In some

divisions of the College, a great deal of teaching is extended beyond the classroom.

Therefore, in evaluating teaching in such areas, one must also judge the conduct of

rehearsals, workshops and critiques. In areas where the normal operation of the

department/school requires working closely with other faculty and students, it is expected

that the candidate will interact with those individuals in an effective and productive manner.


2. The Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments

Creative or interpretive contributions in the fields of Architecture, Art, Art History,

Landscape Architecture, Music, Theatre, and Integrative Arts are of special importance in the

College of Arts and Architecture. Artistic creation and scholarly research are equally

valued. Accomplishments are expected to be of high quality and of artistic, scholarly and/or

professional significance. Contributions may include: new works of art; design

(architectural, landscape, graphic, theatre); musical or theatrical performance; scholarly

publication; preparation of and participation in exhibitions; commissioned and professional

work; other comparable artistic and scholarly achievements. The College expects its faculty

to be professional role models for students through an active commitment to research and/or

creative activity.


There should be evidence of a thorough understanding of the faculty member's particular

discipline through attendance, participation, and presentation at scholarly and professional

meetings. There should also be evidence of a recognized reputation in the subject matter

field as shown by invitations to lecture, to serve on panels, or to be a visiting artist, architect,

scholar, judge, juror, or referee. The development of new courses and the refinement of

existing courses in the faculty member's discipline can also be cited as evidence of scholarship and mastery of subject matter.


3. Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession

The dossier should contain evidence of the faculty member's contributions to departmental,

college, and university committees and programs, and to the public through the extension of

specialized knowledge and service to local, state, and national service and professional






The promotion and tenure forms are available only in GURU's General Forms Usage Guide at which allow the user to

download the forms electronically. The dossier dividers can be ordered by using Systems and

Procedures' Paper Form Order System, available in GURU at


       Promotion and Tenure Form (Revised 07-01-06)

       Biographical Data for Promotion/Tenure Review (Revised 07-01-97)

       Budget Assignment (Revised 07-01-09)

       The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Revised 07-01-09)

       The Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments (Revised 07-01-05)

       Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession

      (Revised 07-01-09)

       External Letters of Assessment (For Promotion and Final Tenure Reviews)

      (Revised 07-01-04)

       Log of External Letters

       Statements of Evaluation of the Candidate by Review Committees and Administrators

      (Revised 07-01-08)


Amended and Approved by the Faculty: Apr. 18, 2000

Titles of the criteria revised to reflect Senate legislation from March 26, 2002

Modified by the College Executive Council: Nov. 2001, Oct. 2003, May 2004

Revised and Approved by the Faculty: Oct. 6, 2004

Editorial changes made to reflect recent campus restructuring of the University: July 19, 2005

Reviewed: August 6, 2009