3.4 Guidelines for Promotion to Professor

Promotion to professor requires the establishment of a national reputation and a developing international reputation in the discipline.

  1. To achieve promotion to professor the Department of Communication expects that associate professors will:
    1. Engage in quality scholarly research resulting in publication.
      1. The Department particularly values publication in national, refereed, scholarly journals.
      2. In some areas of our field, it may also be important to publish a scholarly monograph with an academic press.
      3. Faculty may also demonstrate their national and international reputation by receiving awards or external funding for their research. 
      4. Our expectation is that faculty will have produced at least 120% of the baseline tenure expectation outlined in policy 3.31 in the period following promotion to associate professor and prior to seeking promotion to professor.
      5. Whereas promotion to associate professor is delimited by a specific period of time, promotion from associate professor will be determined by the record of work, not the time since promotion. There are therefore many timelines that are appropriate for promotion to professor.
        1. Some faculty will exceed typical expectations for scholarly productivity by rapidly generating a scholarly record commensurate with a national and international reputation. These faculty will have established a high-performing research program that is meritorious of promotion. Faculty can seek promotion from associate professor as soon as they have established a record of scholarly productivity commensurate with the expectations articulated above.
        2. Other faculty may take longer, as some faculty embark upon a path of reflection and innovation as part of their journey toward a national and international reputation. This process of intellectual renewal can generate impactful scholarship and innovations in the field. For faculty who have exhibited a period (or periods) of low productivity, there is an expectation of sustained scholarly output prior to promotion to professor. That is, at least 50% of a faculty member’s productivity that is counted to meet the expectations outlined above (iv) should occur within a continuous five year period immediately prior to seeking promotion to professor.
    2. Demonstrate effective classroom teaching.  
      1. Faculty should provide at least two peer assessments of teaching from members of the department faculty, faculty from other departments on campus, and/or the Missouri Teaching for Learning Center staff.
      2. Faculty should provide quantitative student evaluation data. We recognize that quantitative teaching evaluations are problematic indicators of teaching effectiveness and that context is critical to our understanding of these scores. For example, we recognize that online teaching suffers from non-response bias and that various facets of an instructor’s ascribed identity can influence how students evaluate them. 
      3. Faculty should provide a reflective statement of their teaching philosophy and practice that demonstrates their commitment to pedagogical excellence and inclusivity in the classroom. This statement should explain the candidate’s primary objectives for student learning, demonstrate how pedagogical strategies and assessments pursue these objectives, and reflect on successes, challenges, and goals for teaching and learning.
      4. By the time a candidate seeks promotion to professor they should have successfully advised at least two graduate students through their doctoral programs. They should also demonstrate a commitment to graduate education by serving on graduate student committees.
      5. Faculty can demonstrate teaching excellence by receiving awards or other recognition for teaching and advising. Faculty can also demonstrate a commitment to teaching excellence by participating in teaching renewal and improvement activities. 
      6. Faculty are typically expected to teach a 2/2 teaching load. However, this load can be modified when a member of the faculty has a course bought out with external funding, when faculty receive research leave, and when a course load reduction is negotiated during hiring or in a counter-offer. The regular teaching load may also be altered when significant service is added to the appointment as is the case with the department chair or when faculty become editor of a significant journal. Finally, faculty may receive a course reduction when they manage large classes with multiple teaching assistants (e.g., the public speaking course, the large media and society course).   
    3. Perform service to the discipline. In particular, disciplinary service should serve to aid in the establishment of a national and international reputation. Evidence of this may include:
      1. Acting as a reviewer for journals and/or state, federal, and foundation grants;
      2. Serving in elected roles at national, international, regional, and/or area specific organizations;  
      3. Serving as an editor or on editorial boards for prominent journals;
      4. Being invited to present work at other universities or organizations;
      5. Receiving recognition (e.g., awards) for exemplary service.
    4. Perform service to the campus community through such activities as:
      1. Serving on university or college level committees, assisting with campus events, or serving the campus community in some other way;
      2. Annually serving on multiple department level committees and regularly attending faculty meetings and other departmental functions;  
      3. Although not a formal requirement, the department will consider service to the community in line with our flagship mission to bring our scholarly expertise to the state and beyond.
  2. Preliminary Reviews and Advice:
    In the third year of appointment at the rank of associate professor, a faculty member may request that the Communication Department Chair appoint an advisory committee to review progress toward promotion to professor and offer guidance on promotion. The faculty member may also request this review occur at a later point in his or her career. A written evaluation will be given to the chair and to the faculty member being evaluated. Associate professors may also request a less formal evaluation by the Department Chair in other years.
  3. Promotion to Professor Process:
    1. The Department Chair will appoint a Department Promotion Committee (DPC).
    2. The DPC will be composed of five tenured professors in the Department of Communication.
    3. If there are not an adequate number of tenured professors in the Department of Communication to form a committee, tenured professors from a closely related department, or tenured professors from a closely related department on other UM campuses, may serve on the committee in accordance with CRR Section 320.035.A.1.d.
    4. The candidate will notify the Chair of the desire to seek promotion by the end of the spring semester the academic year prior applying for promotion.
    5. The Department Chair will solicit external letters of review. The candidate will submit a brief list of suggested outside reviewers. The final list of outside reviewers will include names recommended by the candidate and the DPC.
    6. The candidate will provide a dossier to the DPC at the start of the fall semester of the academic year in which they apply for promotion.
    7. Prior to the deliberations of the DPC, all tenured members of that department holding the same rank as or higher rank than that of the candidate shall be given the opportunity to provide written and signed comments to the DPC regarding the candidate being considered.
    8. The DPC will review the candidate's dossier and the external letters early in the subsequent fall. It will vote by secret ballot on a promotion recommendation and submit a letter with its recommendation to the department chair. The DPC chair, in consultation with the committee, will write a letter to accompany the recommendation.
    9. If there are dissenting or minority views, a member of the committee can be selected to draft a letter expressing these views to be included with the recommendation.
    10. The Department Chair will convey the results of the DPC vote to the Dean, along with a separate letter of evaluation from the Department Chair about the candidate's suitability for promotion.


Approved by faculty April 15, 2020