As a research university, Syracuse University expects that faculty members will be actively engaged in an intellectual and creative life that enhances the knowledge base and/or otherwise extends the boundaries in their chosen areas of concentration. The University also has a tradition of permitting various allocations of effort across research and teaching. Schools and Colleges are expected to provide guidance to all faculty regarding allocations of effort. In particular, Schools and Colleges must provide guidelines for those individuals whose teaching, research, and service do not sharply divide into distinct categories so that they can present integrated dossiers and accounts of activities.
Syracuse University recognizes success in teaching among its tenured faculty to be of vital importance and values innovation and intellectual pursuit embedded within teaching. Teaching involves the art and skill required for the diffusion of knowledge and guidance toward its effective and independent use. The successful teacher, among other things, instructs in consonance with the School/College mission, has knowledge of subject matter, skillfully communicates and contributes to student learning and development, acts professionally and ethically, and strives continuously to improve. Quality teaching includes providing substantive feedback to students, revising curriculum to reflect developments in the field, and mastering appropriate pedagogical approaches. In addition to the instruction of individual courses, activities under the heading of teaching may include supervising independent study projects; advising; arranging and supervising internships, clinical placements or student research; serving on graduate examination committees and thesis, dissertation, dossier, and portfolio review committees; providing professional development for teaching assistants; involving students in community engagement projects; and instructing non-SU students or community members in a variety of venues.
Faculty members belong to scholarly and professional communities and are expected to advance these communities by contributing to knowledge through research or other forms of creative work. The Syracuse University faculty is strong in part because it engages in scholarship that comprises a spectrum of excellence from disciplinary to cross-disciplinary, from theoretical to applied, and from critical to interpretive.
Scholarship means in-depth study, learning, inquiry and experimentation designed to make contributions to knowledge in specific fields or relevant disciplines. Scholarship, as measured by peer recognition of its originality, impact on, and importance to the development of the field(s) or relevant disciplines, is demonstrated most typically by refereed publications—in journals, books of high quality, or other influential venues. It can also be demonstrated by high quality publications in other non- refereed but influential journals. Scholarship and research accomplishments are also demonstrated by the design and execution of basic or applied research in the laboratory or in the field; through the presentation of papers at organized scholarly meetings, usually at the national or international level; through the attraction of external support or competitive fellowships and awards appropriate to the faculty member’s field(s) of study or relevant disciplines; through such activities as editing, translation, the acquisition of significant patents, the compilation of information, and the development of materials that make information more accessible to researchers, other scholars, practitioners, and the public; and lecturing in professional and other public forums.
The appointment of a faculty member in the creative or performing arts may permit the primary assessment of efforts to be on scholarship, on artistic accomplishment, or on a balance between the two that is appropriate to the artist/scholar’s appointment. For faculty members with such appointments, artistic accomplishment is most often demonstrated by dissemination of the artist’s work through performance, publication or exhibition in professionally recognized settings. The artist’s work will have an intrinsic value equal to scholarship and will be subject to equally rigorous evaluation.
Syracuse University is committed to longstanding traditions of scholarship as well as evolving perspectives on scholarship. Syracuse University recognizes that the role of academia is not static and that methodologies, topics of interest, and boundaries within and between disciplines change over time. The University will continue to support scholars in all of these traditions, including faculty who choose to participate in publicly engaged scholarship. Publicly engaged scholarship may involve partnerships of University knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, creative activity, and public knowledge; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address and help solve critical social problems; and contribute to the public good.
One can contribute to these goals in many ways —individually through each of teaching, service and scholarship or in an integrated form—all highly valued by Syracuse University. Such activity counts as scholarship, however, only when it makes a contribution to knowledge in specific field(s) or relevant disciplines. Such scholarship is to be evaluated with the same rigor and standards as all scholarship.
All scholarship will meet common expectations in terms of (1) ways of conducting the work (e.g., formulating problems, choosing topics of inquiry, framing questions, using systematic processes or methods, setting goals, making and carrying out plans, sustaining a scholarly agenda, observing ethical standards; (2) means of legitimating the work (e.g., providing theoretical foundations, making reasoned arguments, documenting the work, representing the work in various media, disseminating it to appropriate audiences and users, assessing outcomes or projects through review by appropriate evaluators); (3) connections to prior/current scholarship and to an intellectual community or communities (e.g., drawing on other scholars’ work, contributing to current work, building on a scholar’s previous work, placing work in an intellectual tradition); (4) qualities of the work (e.g., rigor, objectivity, caution, currency, originality, generativity, independence of thought, critical stance, commitment); and (5) significance (e.g., audiences addressed, importance of goals, relevance beyond immediate project, effect on field, contribution to the public good).
Syracuse University asserts the importance of faculty service for the vitality of its academic community, for the professions it represents, and for society at large. Significant accomplishment in the area of service alone is not sufficient for the attainment of tenure. However, significant accomplishment in service, when in conjunction with or integrated with high quality teaching or research, strengthens the candidate’s dossier. Service includes membership or leadership on committees at program, department, School/College, or University levels as appropriate to the faculty member’s rank, as well as administrative functions or other leadership roles. In addition to formal assignments of duties, faculty individually can prove valuable in efforts such as recruiting and mentoring students, faculty, and staff. Service also includes contributions to professional societies, governmental and academic institutions, and the community at large when these contributions reflect faculty members’ professional expertise or standing. The expectation regarding the quantity of service activities for faculty in the probationary period may vary by unit, according to its size and norms. All service activities should be of high quality.
Approved by the University Senate March 2009