Approved by the Provost, December 2017

Departmental Standards for Interpreting Scholarship, Creative, and Professional Work for Tenure and Promotion

The Emerson College Faculty Handbook outlines standards for assessing scholarly, creative, and/or professional work that include, but are not limited to, the expectation that the work “effectively original and/or innovative...demonstrates breadth and externally validated through evidence of a juried or critical review process...and is recognized in or makes a significant contribution to the discipline” (7.2.1). The Handbook requests that each academic department to “define expectations for [scholarly, creative and/or professional] accomplishments appropriate to the discipline or disciplines of the Department” (7.2.2).

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders proposes the following guidelines for evaluating the scholarly, creative, and/or professional record of faculty seeking tenure and/or promotion.

Promotion with Tenure from Assistant to Associate Professor

Excellence in scholarship can be interpreted as the candidate clearly delineating and following a focused program of research.

To be promoted to the level of Associate Professor, a candidate is expected to demonstrate independent intellectual and scholarly development in addition to their dissertation data and publication(s). The candidate’s scholarly agenda should demonstrate a systematic program of work with a reasoned rationale and an evident trajectory. Scholarly impact should entail national presence rather than regional focus.

Demonstration of Scholarship

Scholarly publications consisting of peer-reviewed journal articles in recognized academic or professional journals remain the most important standard for scholarly achievement in our fields. Tenure seeking faculty are expected to produce approximately one peer-reviewed journal article in highly regarded publication outlets per year for every year on the tenure clock after arriving at Emerson.

Both single-authored and collaborative articles are acceptable publication forms. In the latter case, candidates should clearly delineate their contribution to the scholarship, as it relates to leadership or collaborative role in the program of study and resulting publications. The candidate should include information about the acceptance rate and
other pertinent characteristics of the particular publication outlets.

Other demonstrations of scholarship can include:

External Funding

Success in securing external funding through foundations and notable agencies, while not a requirement for promotion and tenure, add value to a candidate’s record and will be considered similarly to peer-reviewed publications. The scope, size of the grant, and the candidate’s role within the grant will be evaluated to determine the appropriate equivalency of publication it merits. Proposal bids that were not funded also can add value to the candidate's record, especially if accompanied by persuasive evidence of favorable peer reviews; however, unfunded proposal bids are not analogous with peer-reviewed articles.

Other Publications

Other publications that are outgrowths of the faculty member’s scholarship are also valued and could be considered similarly to peer-reviewed publication. Such other publication types could include books and book chapters in edited volumes. Their value depends on many factors, such as the content, quality, publisher, the candidate’s contribution to the publication, prestige of contributors, impact on the field, reviews received and other variables.

Other Scholarly Activities

Scholarly activities other than publications may support a candidate’s record of scholarship, although they do not substitute for publications. For instance, invitations to serve as an editor or reviewer often derive from scholarly achievements and recognition. Supportive scholarly activities include:

  • Demonstrating innovation in the field (e.g., wide adoption of methodologies
  • developed by the candidate)
  • Editing of journals and books
  • Obtaining internal funding
  • Unfunded grant proposals
  • Participating in relevant and appropriate review boards and committees (e.g., conference program committees)
  • Conference presentations
  • Providing grant reviews for funding agencies
  • Providing manuscript reviews for scholarly journals
  • Receiving academic honors and awards
  • Speaking invitations

Civic Engagement

Civic engagement of the research program should be clearly articulated in the dossier and refers to activities that relate the candidate’s research agenda with a stakeholder community. Examples of civic engagement include but are not limited to:

  • Reciprocal interactions with stakeholder communities to report on research findings and refine research questions based on community feedback.
  • Providing access to research facilities on campus to members of stakeholder communities. This could include bringing in research participants from the community, providing internship or shadowing opportunities, educational field trips, or information sessions for stakeholder communities.
  • Participation in panels or discussion groups on how best to bridge the gap between research and clinical application.
  • Creating on-line resources to communicate up-to-date research findings to stakeholders that could benefit from the information. 
  • Establishing collaborative research relationships with local stakeholder and educational communities.

External Letters

External letters attesting to the quality and level of impact of the scholarship will be solicited by the College. Promotion to Associate Professor requires positive letters from more senior (typically tenured) reviewers in the field who have no personal or scholarly relationship with the candidate. Scholarly relationship is defined as having collaborated in a significant way by coauthoring either a manuscript or a proposal for external funding.

Promotion from Associate to Full Professor

All of the content above remains relevant and helpful in evaluating a scholar’s accomplishments since the time of tenure that would warrant promotion to the level of Full Professor. In addition to continued productivity using those items above, senior academics are expected to maintain a national/international reputation. As in the pre-tenure period, the candidate should publish approximately one peer-reviewed journal article for every year since achieving tenure, or for the five years preceding application for promotion to Professor. Scholarship can also be demonstrated by publications and activities, as described in the “Other demonstrations of scholarship” section above, that attest to the scholar’s leadership in the field. Scholars at this stage of their career may dedicate more of their time to longer-term projects, such as books, which could be weighted similarly to peer-reviewed publications, depending on their rigor, the candidate’s level of contribution, demonstrated impact on the field, and other criteria, as described in the “Other Publications” section above. Concrete evidence of this could be gleaned from such activities as journal editorship, service on boards of academic organizations, grant review panels, funding applications and awards, and other ways of demonstrating of stature and/or innovation in the field.

As with promotion to Associate, promotion to Professor requires that the College solicit external letters from Full Professors in the field, who have no personal or scholarly relationship (as defined above) with the candidate, attesting to the excellent quality and level of impact of the scholarship.