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Breaking The Code – How To Get Your Et Faculty Tenure

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Issues for ET Administrators

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.269.1 - 10.269.6



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Paper Authors

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Jerry Samples

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2547

Breaking the Code – How to get your ET Faculty Tenure

Jerry W. Samples University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown


Just like hiring practices, there are variations in the tenure and promotion practices at every college and university. The leaders in Engineering Technology programs must understand the “practices” that apply to tenure and promotion, and be able to guide their faculty such that they are competitive when it is time for tenure and promotion. The “practices” and the rules that guide them are often obscure, leaving many tenure stream faculty members to guess what is required and how to navigate the process. Breaking the code (the rules for tenure and promotion and how they apply to ET faculty who consult) is the job of the leader. This paper will address the subject of being ready for the tenure when the time comes, and the steps necessary to prepare ET faculty for scrutiny by their peers.

The Problem

There is a code within the walls of the university and it must be broken to achieve tenure and promotion. New faculty, especially those from industry, need to break the code but they need help. In previous papers there have been discussions of mentoring and working with faculty, 1-3 but there was never an attempt to define what makes a new professor attractive to the rest of the university when it comes time for renewal and tenure. How good must teaching be? How do we convey the professional development and scholarship achievements associated with consulting to the promotion and tenure committee? How do we compare ET faculty (Ph.D. or M.S.) who are not performing research based activities with a professor in social science or humanities who is research oriented? What other things can be accomplished to make the ET faculty member look like other faculty on campus?

Rose4 states that: “Promotion and tenure of engineering technology (ET) faculty requires evaluation of an individual’s proficiency in teaching, scholarship and service. The importance of each of these may vary from one institution to another. For a new ET faculty member, understanding what is expected at their institution in these areas is important for putting together a strong plan leading to promotion and tenure.” Faculty interviews conducted in 1998, 1 resulted in two responses that further emphasize the need for help in defining expectations: “Keep me on the tenure track.” and “Guidance in finding the right stops along the tenure time-line, i.e., good committees, assistance with initial papers and other activities.” Sanders5 has noted that many talented young professionals have decided not to pursue careers in higher education because of the increasing expectations for tenure and promotion. Akinkuoye and Odesina6 state: “The supervisor is in a position to observe and assist the junior faculty member to maintain the level of motivation needed to succeed in the job. Mutual commitments between the employer and the faculty member need to be maintained by the supervisor to prevent demotivation of the faculty

Samples, J. (2005, June), Breaking The Code – How To Get Your Et Faculty Tenure Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14582

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