The rank of Professor is the highest rank among academic faculty in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS). Like promotion to the rank of Associate Professor and the granting of tenure, promotion to the rank of Professor involves a thorough review process, including evaluation by external reviewers and the campus Promotion and Tenure Committee.
The rank of Professor is distinct from the rank of Associate Professor in that application to it is not mandated by Nevada State College. While all tenure-track faculty in Assistant Professor positions are required to apply for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, no such requirement exists related to the rank of Professor. Faculty members are able to apply for promotion to the rank of Professor, but are not required to do so; LAS fully expects that some faculty will remain at the rank of Associate Professor, and doing so will not negatively impact annual reviews or consideration for merit pay. Moreover, unlike applying for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, there is no timeline determining a year by which a faculty member must apply for promotion to the rank of Professor, aside from the requirement to wait a minimum of five years after receiving tenure, as noted in section 2.4 below. Finally, unlike applying for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, faculty may apply more than once for promotion to Professor. An unsuccessful application for promotion to the rank of Professor means the faculty member will remain at the rank of Associate Professor, but does not otherwise impact his or her position or tenure status.
Promotion to the rank of full professor is both a personal career achievement and an indication of sustained commitment to the mission and growth of Nevada State College. Attainment of this rank should not be viewed as a capstone accomplishment that is an end in itself, but rather as an emblem of continued dedication and a willingness to:
Standards of Academe within LAS are developed and revised by committees composed of faculty from each department, in conjunction with LAS administration. Adoption of new Standards of Academe, or revisions to existing Standards, requires a majority vote in support by faculty as well as final approval by the Provost. All tenure-track and tenured faculty with primary appointments in LAS are eligible to vote; the vote is managed by an individual outside of LAS, who provides the Dean of LAS with a final tally. The LAS Standards for Promotion to the Rank of Professor will go into effect immediately upon approval by LAS faculty and the Provost.
LAS encourages faculty to continue to improve, innovate, and serve as dynamic teachers, scholars, and leaders following promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. The rank of Professor recognizes sustained achievement and excellence in the core areas of teaching, service, and scholarship, with teaching prioritized as the primary area of emphasis.
In particular, the rank of Professor is awarded to those who demonstrate the following:
Cumulative achievements. The candidate should demonstrate cumulative achievements that have defined his or her career as a member of the faculty. These are typically endeavors or works that are undertaken over multiple years and stand out as exemplary accomplishments.
Advancement of the college. During NSC’s founding and early development, a small number of faculty and administrators worked diligently to establish the college with impassioned effort and fervent dedication. In the spirit of these forebears, the candidate should be able to demonstrate contributions to the college of similar magnitude.
Innovation and dedication in teaching. Candidates should demonstrate continued innovation that builds on the best pedagogical practices and the candidate’s own evolving methods. It is also expected that the candidate will share successful practices with other faculty and the teaching community through mentorship, presentations, and/or publications. Leadership in service. Faculty members at NSC perform numerous acts of service in the course of their careers; with the rank of Professor comes the expectation that the candidate will have not only fulfilled service obligations in a sustained manner, but that leadership roles will be a prominent part of that service.
Scholarly contributions. Candidates maintain disciplinary expertise, remain academically incisive, and bring prestige to the college through research and the production of knowledge. The candidate will demonstrate continued scholarly achievement, with emphasis on those accomplishments that translate to teaching efficacy or other benefits for students.
Annual reviews will continue post-tenure. Evaluation for the rank of Professor will utilize annual review
ratings as indicated in the sections below.
LAS sets the rating guidelines for assessing teaching, service, and scholarship on annual reviews or measurable accomplishments. Discipline-specific standards and constraints should be considered when evaluating the quality and quantity of a candidate’s contributions, and evaluators may adjust the ratings requirements accordingly. It is the responsibility of the candidate to justify flexibility in applying LAS ratings guidelines to their teaching, service, or scholarship contributions.
For the rank of Professor, there may be the additional consideration of time spent in a temporary administrative role, such as Department Chair. Serving in this capacity should ideally be neither help nor hindrance to the promotion process; however, the candidate should consider ways in which the application will be affected by serving in such a role, and offer explanations and justifications as needed in the applicable narrative portions. The candidate will not be exempt from the expectations set forth above and explicated below, but may be able to shift the balance of accomplishments in accordance with prescribed duties while demonstrating exemplary achievements.
The candidate must serve for at least five years beyond tenure, at least four of which must be at NSC. If a faculty member is granted a sabbatical, the sabbatical may count toward the five-year minimum waiting period. The standards for evaluating teaching, service, and scholarship are not reduced or adjusted due to a sabbatical during the waiting period. If the faculty member did not receive an annual review due to the sabbatical, he or she should submit the four most recent reviews and note the reason for the missing review in the application for promotion.
In contrast with the timeline for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, there is no set deadline for application for promotion to the rank of Professor. That is, once the minimal interval of five years has been met, the faculty member may apply the following August or any subsequent August of the faculty member’s choosing, but there is no year by which a faculty member must apply.
Regardless of when the faculty member applies, only the annual reviews for the four years preceding the evaluation will be considered. Faculty may reapply if promotion is not granted for the first or subsequent applications; however, candidates may only apply a maximum of three times during any five year period. When reapplying, faculty must submit a new portfolio.
The evaluation process for the rank of Professor is generally similar to that for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, with minimum requirements for annual reviews and scholarly achievements, narratives demonstrating accomplishments in teaching, service, and scholarship, and the inclusion of supporting evidence.
The candidate’s request for promotion to Professor will only be considered (unless the candidate is appealing for flexibility in the evaluation) if the candidate’s four most recent annual evaluations meet the criteria for teaching, service, and scholarship as laid out in the following sections. Requirements for each of these ratings are similar, but not identical, to those for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor.
The application shall include the following:
Summary narrative. The candidate should summarily indicate in an introductory narrative how the first two objectives delineated in Section 2.1 (cumulative achievements and contributions to the advancement of the college) have been fulfilled. It is in this narrative that the candidate may highlight achievements made prior to advancement to the rank of Associate Professor. The narrative should not exceed two pages.
Evaluators should take into consideration the accumulated accomplishments as demonstrative of exemplary achievement. However, the bulk of the evaluation (that is, all of the measures in the following sections) will focus solely on contributions made since the faculty member applied for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor.
Annual reviews. Annual review ratings will be used to demonstrate that the candidate has met minimum standards for consideration, as measured according to the criteria outlined in the following sections. Evaluators should also consider those instances in which candidates exceed minimum standards; such instances may be highlighted by candidates in the respective narratives.
Narratives, evidence, and additional requirements. Through narratives and evidence, the candidate will demonstrate accomplishments in teaching, service, and scholarship since advancement to the rank of Associate Professor. Even though only the annual reviews for the four years prior to application for Full Professor are mandatory for inclusion, the candidate may highlight and include evidence of achievements prior to the four year period (but following advancement to the rank of Associate Professor).
At the end of the Teaching, Service, and Scholarship sections are subsections that include additional requirements. These requirements must be fulfilled in addition to fulfilling the minimum requirements for teaching, service, and scholarship. There is no rating system applied to the additional requirements. Successful completion of the additional requirements shall be demonstrated in the narratives for each section, respectively, with evidence appended as appropriate.
Candidates applying for promotion to the rank of Professor shall provide a brief narrative and accompanying evidence of their teaching accomplishments since advancement to the rank of Assistant Professor.
For the category of Teaching, the candidate must have ratings of Commendable or Excellent in each of the last four years; in at least two of the four years, the rating must be Excellent. The minimum requirements for ratings of Commendable or Excellent are listed in the LAS Standards of Academe.
For promotion to the rank of Professor, the faculty member must show evidence of consistent, sustained activities or contributions that go beyond what is expected for annual reviews. The candidate must demonstrate ways in which he or she has benefitted other faculty and/or the academic community through mentorship and/ or the dissemination of innovative methodologies or effective practices.
Efforts in this regard should be sustained and far-reaching. That is, while individual mentorship, for example, is highly valued, a few brief instances of such have a shorter reach than conducting workshops for many or presenting or publishing on pedagogical research and methods. Evaluators should affirm that the contributions are significant and broadly beneficial.
Potential examples of activities that may contribute toward meeting the Additional Requirements for Teaching include, but are not limited to:
Candidates applying for promotion to the rank of Professor shall provide a brief narrative and accompanying evidence of their service accomplishments since advancement to the rank of Assistant Professor.
For the category of Service, the candidate must have annual review ratings of Commendable or higher in the past four years, including at least one annual review rating of Excellent. The minimum requirements for ratings of Commendable or Excellent are listed in the LAS Standards of Academe.
For promotion to the rank of Professor, the faculty member must show evidence of consistent, sustained activities or contributions that go beyond what is expected for annual reviews. The candidate must demonstrate how he or she has served in leadership capacities benefitting the college, profession, and community in significant ways, with particular emphasis given to service benefitting the college. Service to the profession and/or community are not sufficient to satisfy the Additional Requirements in the absence of significant campus service contributions.
Activities that contribute toward meeting the Additional Requirements for Service include, but are not limited to, those that accomplish one or more of the following:
Candidates applying for promotion to the rank of Professor shall provide a brief narrative and accompanying evidence of their achievements in scholarship since advancement to the rank of Assistant Professor.
Accomplishments such as those listed in Sections 3.3 and 3.4 of the Standards of Academe are most valuable for consideration of promotion to the rank of Professor, as are significant or major works developing a faculty member’s original contributions to the discipline.
While work on a publication or other scholarly endeavor may have been started before advancement to the rank of Associate Professor, the work must be accepted or presented following advancement. Also, the minimum standard must be met while serving on the faculty at NSC.
For the category of Scholarship, the candidate must have annual review ratings of Satisfactory or higher for each of the last four years. Scholarly work exceeding the minimum requirements should be considered by evaluators as strengthening the application.
For promotion to the rank of Professor, the candidate must show significant scholarly production in the post-tenure period. Most often, this will be measured by the faculty member having at least one published peer-reviewed journal article, or a peer-reviewed or editor-reviewed discipline-specific equivalent that reflects original research and thought; this publication must be accepted and appear after the candidate received tenure. All publications since advancement to the rank of Associate Professor will be considered, not only those from the four years preceding the application for promotion to the rank of Professor. Those in the arts may substitute an equivalent course of production that includes substantial creative work recognized through peer-reviewed venues.
The committee may consider a successful application for a significant external research grant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that the grant should be legitimately considered equivalent to a peer-reviewed publication in terms of quality and the time and effort involved.
In addition, the candidate must demonstrate that the scholarly achievements have enriched his or her teaching in a meaningful way or otherwise directly benefitted and/or involved students.
Standards were approved by a majority of the eligible faculty. Voted concluded March 1, 2015. Eligible voters: all tenure-track or tenured faculty with primary appointments in LAS.
Approved by Dr. Andy Kuniyuki, LAS Dean, March 2, 2015.
Approved by Dr. Erika Beck, Provost, March 4, 2015.