General Criteria and Standards

Before preparing a request for promotion and/or continuing appointment, the Chair and members of the department should have a clear understanding of the general criteria and campus-wide standards applied to each request. The Office of the Provost, with recommendations from the Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointments, and consistent with the policies of the SUNY Board of Trustees, provides the following general statement of criteria and standards:

  1. In the review process, primary emphasis will be placed upon the major areas of scholarship, teaching, and service. For this purpose scholarship is broadly defined as original scholarly contributions or artistic works which constitute significant advances or major contributions to the individual's discipline, to interdisciplinary or cross disciplinary work, or to practice in a field, and which serve as a basis for major professional awards or distinctions.
  2. Recommendations shall be based primarily upon a careful deliberation concerning the effectiveness of the candidate within each of the three following categories as appropriate to the position of the candidate within the University.
    1. Scholarship as documented by publication of significant research work in the field, by development of educational and research materials or software, or by creative contributions in the arts. Also included is mastery of subject matter as demonstrated by advanced degrees, licenses, honors, grants, awards, reputation in the field, and continuing professional growth.
    2. Teaching as documented by such evidence as student and peer evaluations, development of teaching materials or new courses, student advisement, thesis supervision, and evidence of lasting contribution to students' intellectual growth.
    3. Service appropriate to the rank as demonstrated by participation in departmental, college, and university duties and governance, professional service activities, and such public and community service as is related to the candidate's scholarly qualifications.
  3. At a research university, candidates for promotion are expected to demonstrate excellence primarily in research and teaching, together with evidence of substantive contributions in service.

For promotion to associate professor, candidates are expected to have achieved independence as scholars, to be recognized and respected by their peers as outstanding scholars who have made a substantive contribution to the state of knowledge in their discipline or disciplines, and to be on a trajectory to continue to build a significant body of scholarship that will advance their discipline(s). In other words, candidates are expected to have established a clear, important line of research, one with indicators of quality, impact and prospective continuation. “Independence as a scholar” does not preclude scholarly collaborations, but rather requires candidates to have made their own significant contributions even when working in disciplinary or interdisciplinary teams. In addition, faculty candidates are expected to demonstrate a strong commitment to the educational mission of the university, and to be effective and committed teachers and mentors. Candidates are also expected to be engaged in service in relevant contexts (i.e. various levels of the institution, the profession, the public and the community).

For promotion to full professor, candidates are expected to present evidence that they have made continued major contributions in scholarship, and that they have further developed a body of scholarship that is recognized as making a substantial contribution to one or more disciplines and is the basis for a respected national or international reputation among professional peers. Furthermore, candidates are expected to be making major contributions in teaching and mentoring, and to be engaged in significant service roles in the university and profession. In summary, candidates for full professor are expected to demonstrate that they have achieved professional maturity and have moved into leadership roles as fully committed scholars, teachers, and institutional and professional citizens.