Guidelines for Junior Faculty Tenure

A tenured faculty member carries a lifelong responsibility of excellence and leadership in teaching, research, and service. In return, the university rewards us with long-term employment and freedom to pursue our academic interests that is unmatched by any other career.

While there are variations by field in the metrics used for measuring excellence and leadership, a quantified expectation gives an untenured faculty member some guidance to measure their performance. Specific metrics, where stated, serve not as a requirement, but as a guideline. These criteria are based on the performance of current tenured faculty at UB and our peer institutions.

Each tenure and promotion case is evaluated individually within the context, constraints, and circumstances of the faculty member under consideration.

Teaching criteria:

  • Recognized by colleagues through observation, and by students through written comments as being effective and innovative
  • Taught at least one core (or high enrollment) undergraduate or graduate course in the discipline
  • Demonstrated the ability to teach effectively at both the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Achieved a majority of teaching evaluation scores in pedagogically related categories that are better than neutral

Research impact criteria:

  • Significant record of peer reviewed papers in leading journals and conferences commensurate with the discipline norms at AAU institutions
  • Unambiguously established academic independence from PhD and post-doctoral advisors
  • Established a track record of publishing with own graduate students
  • Delivery of presentations by the faculty member and advised students, at conferences appropriate to the discipline
  • Demonstrated technology transfer through invited / keynote presentations, coverage in the popular press, citation counts, patents or other tech transfer activities (may include anecdotal data)

Research funding criteria:

  • Secured sufficient funding to support a group of graduate students large enough to meet student supervision expectations
  • Demonstrated ability to obtain competitive research funding as the Principal Investigator (PI) through a peer reviewed process, although a portion of funding may also be from non-competitive sources
  • Demonstrated ability to secure funding from an array of sources

Service and engagement criteria:

  • Contributes proactively to the department, school, and university
  • Engages collegially and professionally with students, faculty colleagues and staff
  • Contributes visibly to leadership of professional organizations at national and international levels
  • Demonstrates engagement with industry and/or the education community including K-12

Student advising criteria:

  • Supervises sufficient graduate students such that he/she will be the primary advisor to 2 graduate students per year (sum of MS and PhD), and can be reasonably expected to graduate at minimum 1 PhD every two years, with an average time to graduation close to 5 years (from start of graduate work to completion of PhD)
  • Mentors advisees to produce high quality work, as measured by placement and awards, and by publications and presentations

Recognition criteria:

  • Recognized by external senior leaders in the field as a strong contributor to the scholarship of the relevant engineering and applied science discipline at the national (minimum) and international (preferred) level. This may be demonstrated through evidence of core competency and renown among peers in the defined research area, and must be confirmed by the external letters.

NOTE: The national average of research funding for engineering disciplines (Source ASEE) can be found on the Engineering website under the faculty tab. This funding includes credit when serving as a Co-PI on multi-investigator grants and contracts. 

Last Updated August, 2016