Standards for the Evaluation of Scholarship and Creative/Professional Work for Promotion and Tenure 

This document is intended to supplement the guidelines in the Emerson College Faculty Handbook in the areas of Scholarship and Creative/Professional work for Visual and Media Arts faculty.

Section 8.2 Scholarship and Creative/Professional Work of the Emerson College Faculty Handbook states that:

  • A faculty member enriches the academic community by being a productive scholar, artist, or professional. The specific form of activity varies among academic departments due to differences among disciplines. Departmental standards, established in accordance with Subsection 8.2.2, specify the evidence of productivity.

Section 8.2.2 Standards for Interpreting Scholarship and Creative/Professional Work states that:

  • The tenured faculty members and the Chair of each Department define expectations for accomplishments appropriate to the discipline or disciplines of the Department. Prior to implementation, the Department Chair forwards the standards to the School Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs for approval. Once approved, these standards are available in the office of the Department Chair.

Accordingly, this document outlines the standards and practices employed by the Department of Visual and Media Arts (VMA) Development, Promotion and Tenure Committee (DPTC). It suggests ways for tenure-seeking VMA faculty to collect, prepare, and submit their material for tenure and promotion review. It is intended to develop consistency in the evaluation process and to support in-depth and candid evaluations.

For specific details of what documentation should be included and how it should be ordered please see section 10.2.5 Candidate’s Dossier in the Emerson College Faculty Handbook.

This guide also aims to help all parties understand how the Faculty Handbook's language concerning “nationally recognized research, scholarship, creative work and/or professional work" (11.1.2.) will be applied in the Department of Visual and Media Arts.

The Faculty Handbook states (8.2.1 Assessment of Scholarship and Creative/Professional Work) that the assessment of scholarly, creative or professional work:

  • …includes, but is not limited to, an inquiry as to whether the work ...
    • 1. Effectively communicates ...
    • 2. Is original and/or innovative ...
    • 3. Demonstrates breadth and depth ...
    • 4. Is externally validated through evidence of a juried or critical review process ... and
    • 5. Is recognized in and makes a significant contribution to the discipline.

The members of the Department of Visual and Media Arts engage in a wide variety of research, creative endeavors, and professional activities, which makes a single, uniform standard impossible to apply. However, almost all evaluating bodies within the College look for sustained productivity as well as distribution and dissemination in recognized forums. Candidates’ work must lead to scholarly and/or creative products that are validated by external indicators as important and significant in the field.

Work must also be germane to the faculty member’s principal area as defined in the Letter of Appointment. Given that many of the fields in which we practice are evolving, an individual may choose to embark on new but related areas of production and scholarship in consultation with the Chair, Dean and DPTC during the review process, chair meetings and mentoring.