Proposed Revised Guidelines

 Seattle University ADVANCE

PI Jodi O’Brien, Co-PI Jean Jacoby

24 February 2020 

Proposed Revised Guidelines for Promotion to Full Professor 

Draft Presented to the SU Academic Assembly (AcA) by Kristi Lee, Jenny Loertscher, and Colette Taylor on behalf of the SU ADVANCE Task Force 


This draft represents the culmination of three and a half years of federally funded work by SU ADVANCE, using a Participatory Action Research methodology that includes 77 SU faculty interviews, engagement with an extensive range of SU faculty stakeholders, and research into promotion practices at 60 other U.S. universities. It is also the result of two years of discussion and research by the SU ADVANCE Task Force, a 20-person group of faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Science & Engineering, the Albers School of Business & Economics, the College of Nursing, and the College of Education. In addition to sharing this draft with the AcA, we will also seek input from SU faculty generally, via an online Qualtrics survey, at the end of Winter Quarter 2020.


 Guidelines Preamble


Seattle University seeks to deliver a transformative experience for students, based on education of the whole person, professional formation, and empowering leaders for a more just and humane world. This distinctive mission has implications for faculty as they consider their professional priorities and seek to engage meaningfully on campus and with the larger communities with which they engage. It also provides both the invitation and expectation that faculty life be imagined to encompass more than the roles and tasks traditionally associated with the professoriate. The guidelines constitute the basis for instructing faculty, faculty mentors, faculty administrators, and review committees in an integrated, holistic assessment of faculty careers and contributions that include a range of activities reflecting intentional faculty development and contribution in one or more of the general areas of (1) professional development and research/scholarly/creative practice within professional disciplines and as applied to communities/industries; (2) teaching, advising, mentoring, and curriculum and program development; and (3) university administrative leadership. The guidelines provide a framework to recognize that an array of talents and contributions among faculty are essential to the healthy functioning of the university. 

The guidelines re-envision the professoriate as a comprehensive and inclusive contributor to Jesuit Higher Education by recognizing and rewarding a wide range of faculty contributions that support a comprehensive, mission-focused university. The guidelines serve to instruct candidates and review committees in an integrated, holistic interpretation of faculty contributions. They are also flexible enough to account for discipline-based contexts and standards, especially with respect to evidence of impact, contribution, and dissemination. Specific College/School guidelines should build from these guidelines and may include additional expectations, based on discipline/program as explicitly written and approved by a specific College/School.  

The guidelines provide direction for faculty mentors in guiding faculty through holistic faculty formation, including intentional, integrated professional development, and in establishing a record of demonstrated contributions. In addition, the guidelines are sufficiently detailed to provide the basis for strong mentorship and faculty development toward the rank of Full Professor.



Promotion to Professor is based on a pattern of outstanding accomplishment reflecting career-long integration across the areas below, but with evidence of post-tenure emphasis on intentional professional development and contribution in one or more areas. A Full Professor at Seattle University must demonstrate a positive impact at SU and beyond, and provide evidence that their contributions have been recognized by the communities impacted. This means that positive recommendations may be based on evidence that a candidate has developed and applied their range and level of accomplishment in one or more of the dimensions of the faculty role: (1) research/scholarly/creative contributions in or across appropriate disciplines and/or as applied to relevant community, civic, and industry-related activities, and including extensive leadership in professional organizations; and/or (2) teaching and related instructional activity, including mentoring, curriculum and program development, and contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning; and/or (3) substantial administrative leadership and contributions across various levels of the university. Specifically: 

  • The guidelines recognize a wide and inclusive range of faculty activities that support a comprehensive, mission-focused university.
  • Faculty petitioning for promotion to Full Professor will have a record of faculty achievement that indicates intentional faculty development in one or more of the areas as listed and be able to demonstrate the contribution of these activities to the mission of the University and the impact on relevant professional and community partners.
  • The dossier will include a faculty statement that articulates a holistic professional faculty development plan since tenure and describes and provides evidence of contributions.
  • Evaluators will assess candidates for promotion in terms of an articulated holistic/integrated faculty development plan and demonstration of contributions. Consideration will be focused on the area(s) of development and contribution that the faculty member has indicated in their intentional faculty development statement and accompanying record.
  • External and internal evaluators will assess candidate’s evidence of contribution, impact, and dissemination/recognition by and/or among communities impacted.