The criteria listed below are used by the Committee on Teaching Staff and Tenure in making recommendations with regard to reappointment, promotion, and tenure.
The evaluation of faculty members is based on four areas of performance: teaching ability; scholarship; research; and general value to the College. Among these criteria, excellence in teaching is the preeminent value; scholarship, research, and general value to the College are each essential qualifications of merit.
1. Excellence in teaching is essential. To meet this criterion, faculty members should be
- in command of their fields;
- capable of transmitting knowledge imaginatively; and
- skilled in challenging students of various abilities and backgrounds to their best efforts.
In assessing teaching ability, the Committee recognizes no single method of teaching as superior to another, given that these may vary with the subject and the level at which one is teaching, but believes that each faculty member should have the skill to use effectively several different approaches to teaching. Whatever the approach, effective teaching should foster
- critical processes of thought;
- clarity of expression;
- comprehension of the subject; and
- enthusiasm for its pursuit.
Essential in faculty members at all levels of teaching, from introductory courses (including First-Year Seminar) to Independent Study, are
- quality of mind;
- breadth of learning; and
- originality and interest.
An essential component of excellent teaching is effective advising. Faculty members are expected to provide students with academic and general advising by
- being well informed regarding the College’s academic policies and regulations;
- assisting students in adjusting to college-level work in First-Year Seminar and other first-year classes;
- guiding students in appropriate choices of courses to meet the graduation requirements and in appropriate choices of majors and courses therein;
- directing students effectively in their completion of Junior and Senior Independent Study; and
- assisting students in their vocational and career decisions.
Wooster seeks to realize a high standard of student achievement in a fundamentally humane way. Faculty members are expected to support and encourage the quest for knowledge, understanding, and self-discovery by
- being accessible to students;
- recognizing their dignity and integrity;
- being aware of student concerns; and
- adhering to professional standards.
2. Scholarship is also essential. How this criterion is met may vary from one faculty member to another, but it must include efforts to remain abreast of new developments in one’s own discipline and may include efforts to expand one’s intellectual interests beyond that discipline.
Particularly in making recommendations for reappointments with tenure, the College must estimate the likelihood of continued intellectual growth and thus welcomes opportunities to judge an individual’s quality of mind and commitment to sustained learning. These opportunities may include, for example,
- public lectures;
- seminar presentations;
- review articles; d. participation in professional meetings; and
- exhibitions, recitals, or other public performances.
3. Research is an essential component of a faculty member’s professional development. Research is here defined as efforts to extend the bounds of knowledge and to share the results both with the professional community at large, as well as with colleagues at Wooster in ways and forms appropriate to a given discipline. Independent Study depends on faculty members who have an appreciation of the requirements of research, and in some departments its vitality depends directly on the quality of the research of the faculty. It is essential that candidates for reappointment, promotion, or tenure be capable of systematic exploration and discovery. In order to make a judgment in this matter, the Committee must have opportunities to evaluate specific examples of this capability. These may include, for example,
- creative writing and composition; and
- exhibitions, recitals, or other public performances.
In addition, evaluations of the quality of such work by peers external to the College may be helpful to the Committee in its assessment.
4. General value to the College is essential and complex in a residential institution.
- Participation in the intellectual and cultural life of the campus, effectiveness and cooperation in departmental and interdepartmental programs, and professionalism in dealings with colleagues and students are essential. The Committee also is prepared to recognize contributions to the quality of student life, to faculty committees, to the realization of the College’s ideal of linking the arts and sciences with service, and to the enhancement of the institution beyond the campus.
- Wooster takes pride in the versatility of its faculty. The Committee recognizes the values of a faculty which, by its inclusion of individuals of different cultural backgrounds, of minority status, or of special aptitudes and skills, will provide educational resources not otherwise available in a department or program and which may be judged to be desirable in a student body of both sexes, various races, nationalities and religions, and a range of academic interests and talents.
Final recommendations for reappointment, promotion, and tenure are based on an evaluation of teaching ability, scholarship, research, and general value to the College and are neither made nor refused on the basis of age, sex, color, race, creed, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or political affiliation. In the President’s recommendations to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, these same criteria are employed. The Board of Trustees, of course, retains the final authority in making all reappointments, promotions, and tenure decisions.