Faculty Roles and Expectations

MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY

FACULTY ROLES AND EXPECTATIONS

 

The University recognizes three broad areas of faculty endeavor--teaching, scholarship, and service--and expects that faculty members will be active in each of these areas. 

TEACHING

Teaching is a core activity of the university and all faculty members are expected to achieve excellence in this role.  Teaching includes not only traditional classroom, laboratory and studio instruction, but service-learning courses designed to enable student engagement in the community, evolving forms of technology-enhanced instruction such as hybrid and distance learning courses, and other non-classroom instruction such as independent study, the supervision of interns/co-op students, and the supervision of student teachers.  The University recognizes the importance of the General Education Requirement to the development of our students, and, therefore, it values the faculty participation in the program, particularly in the interdisciplinary, team-taught core course program.  All faculty members are expected to teach at least one standard course that contributes to the instructional load of her or his program each semester.  Mentoring is an important component of teaching and includes activities such as the supervision of student research and advisement regarding career options.  Additionally, all faculty members are expected to engage in academic advisement of students.  Finally, all faculty members are expected to engage regularly in activities designed to enhance the effectiveness of their own teaching. 

SCHOLARSHIP

Scholarship is a core activity of the university, and all faculty members are expected to be productive scholar/artists.  The University’s definition of scholarship:

discipline-based, formal inquiry or creative expression that expands, enhances, or applies knowledge, which knowledge, after rigorous review, is shared in significant and accepted national and/or international scholarly or artistic venues,

is intentionally broad to allow faculty to engage in a variety of both traditional and innovative activities that generate new knowledge and understanding.  Included are the scholarships of:

  • Discovery:  scholarship that adds to the field of knowledge of a particular discipline or combination of disciplines;
  • Pedagogy:  scholarship that adds to the knowledge and understanding of teaching;
  • Integration: scholarship that makes connections among existing ideas within and/or across disciplines to provide new understandings;
  • Application: scholarship that applies knowledge to issues of contemporary social concern in a manner that generates new intellectual understandings;
  • Engagement: scholarship that applies knowledge and skills to elucidate the relationship between theory and practice in order to address significant local, national, and global issues; and
  • Aesthetic Creation:  the production of works of art in any medium, including the performing, visual, and literary arts.

SERVICE

Faculty service is the foundation upon which effective shared governance is nurtured at the University.  All faculty members are expected to engage in activities at the department, college/school, and university levels that contribute in a substantial manner to the important work of the institution.  Additionally, faculty members are expected to contribute their disciplinary expertise to address issues of importance in the region, state, and nation.  Of particular importance are activities in regional, state or national organizations relevant to their field of scholarship, providing professional expertise in their area of scholarship to the community beyond the University, and to deliberations about important regional, state and national issues.  The University expects that faculty members will become increasingly active in service, assuming increased responsibilities over the course of their careers at the University.  Conversely, it is essential that non-tenured faculty members focus on establishing their programs of teaching and scholarship, and that service activities should be carefully selected.

While most service activities are considered to be part of a faculty member’s normal responsibilities, there are times she or he might be asked to assume a mission critical responsibility that is beyond what would normally be expected of a faculty member.  In these cases the faculty member may receive reassigned instructional time to perform her or his responsibilities.

ASSESSING FACULTY ACTIVITY

Assessing Teaching

Montclair State University is committed to excellence in teaching.  Faculty members are expected to be engaged, over time, with a broad cross-section of students in a variety of different learning circumstances and to continue to make substantial contributions to the instructional program of the University.  Questions such as the following will provide a framework for the assessment of faculty teaching.

  • Clear Goals:  Is there congruence between the candidate’s espoused goals and values in teaching, as found in the Statement on Teaching, and her/his enacted goals and values in teaching? Has the candidate set rigorous and appropriate, course-specific learning goals and measurable outcomes?  Are the teaching activities appropriate to the achievement of the established learning goals and objectives? Are the learning outcomes clearly communicated to students (e.g., in the syllabus)? Does the candidate choose course assignments, learning activities and assessments that enable students to meet the course’s stated learning outcomes?
  • Adequate Preparation:  Does the Statement on Teaching provide evidence of an intellectual understanding of, and engagement in, the continual process of reflection on, and improvement of, teaching?    Does course content reflect current scholarship in the field?  Are course syllabi, outlines, and/or any other materials for course use well constructed, detailed, and informative and are they reviewed and revised regularly?
  • Appropriate Methods:  Does the candidate demonstrate a broad repertoire of pedagogical strategies and show evidence of knowing when and how to use different strategies?  Does the candidate use appropriate and various pedagogical and instructional techniques to maximize student learning?  Does the candidate employ innovative and interesting pedagogical approaches?  Does the candidate use appropriate methodologies to measure student performance?  Does the candidate take differences in learning styles into account?    In what ways has the candidate used instructional technology to enhance course content and assignments?  Does the candidate provide timely and helpful feedback to students?  Is there evidence that the candidate is responsive to the needs of students? 
  • Significant Results:  Does the candidate demonstrate that she/he understands how to evaluate student learning in multiple, reliable and valid ways?  What evidence is provided that student learning has occurred in a course? 
  • Reflective Critique:  Does the candidate regularly seek feedback from students and colleagues on the effectiveness of her or his teaching?  What evidence is presented that this feedback has been used to improve her or his teaching? Have appropriate learning assessment techniques been applied and is there evidence that results of these assessments have been used to inform course refinements and improve student outcomes in the future?
  • Effective Mentoring:  What services has the candidate provided to students outside the instructional context – academic or career advising, for example?  What evidence is provided about the effectiveness of these services?
  • Enhancement of Teaching:  Does the candidate have clear goals for the ongoing development of her/his teaching expertise?  Does the candidate actively engage in conversations about teaching and learning?   Does the candidate engage in activities designed to enhance the effectiveness of her or his teaching?   

Assessing Scholarship

Faculty members engaging in any form of scholarship are expected to share their experiences with the wider academic community.  The projects in which they engage should reach a level of excellence sufficient to yield materials which, following rigorous external peer review, are selected for dissemination through published articles and books, juried shows and recitals and other national/international venues accepted as equivalent to these within the faculty member’s discipline.  Faculty members are also expected to participate regularly in conferences and colloquia where they share their scholarship with their colleague scholars.  Questions such as the following will provide a framework for the assessment of faculty scholarship.

  • Clear Goals: Does the scholar or artist state the basic purposes of his or her work clearly? Does the scholar/artist define objectives that are realistic and achievable? Does the scholar/artist identify significant questions in the field?
  • Adequate Preparation: Does the scholar/artist show an understanding of existing scholarship in the field? Does the scholar/artist bring the necessary skills to his or her work? Is she or he proactive in acquiring sufficient resources necessary to move the project forward?
  • Appropriate Methods or Techniques: Does the scholar/artist use methods or techniques appropriate to the goals of the discipline or disciplines in which s/he is working? Does the scholar or artist apply them effectively? Do the methods or techniques of the scholar or artist have the potential to enhance or expand the discipline or disciplines?
  • Collaborations:  Where appropriate, does the scholar/artist collaborate with other scholars or professionals and participate with strong research teams, both within and beyond the University?
  • Significant Results: Does the scholar/artist achieve the goals? Does the scholar's or artist’s work add consequentially to the field and/or to learning and teaching in the field? Does the work open additional areas for further exploration?
  • Evidence of Impact on the Field:  Does the work result in peer-reviewed publications, professional presentations, and/or peer-reviewed exhibitions and performances, external grants or commissions, invited lectures, invitations to review manuscripts and/or tenure and promotion applications at other institutions, the award of fellowships, the production of letters, reviews and other forms of validation by qualified experts, and/or major professional recognition?  Are the publications cited by other scholars?
  • Reflective Critique: Does the scholar or artist critically evaluate his or her own work and demonstrate progress in depth and impact of her or his scholarship or aesthetic creation? Does the scholar bring an appropriate breadth of evidence to his or her critique?

Assessing Service

All service activities should be carefully evaluated by assessing the impact of the service and by comparing the stated objectives with the achieved outcomes.  Questions such as the following will provide a framework for the assessment of faculty service.

  • Clear Goals:  Do the activities of the candidate show evidence of a clear understanding of, and commitment to, service to the University, the profession and the larger community?
  • Appropriate Methods:  Does the candidate exercise academic leadership and responsibility at the department, college/school, and University levels that is appropriate for her/his rank, experience and expertise?  Has the candidate been responsible for developing and implementing any major academic initiatives?  Does the candidate exercise academic leadership in her/his discipline or field at the regional, national, and international level that is appropriate for her/his rank, experience and expertise?

Does the candidate provide services directly related to her/his academic expertise to external agencies, schools, organizations, communities, and similar groups?

  • Scholarly Service beyond the Campus:  Does the candidate exercise academic leadership in her/his discipline or field at the regional, national, and international level that is appropriate for her/his rank, experience and expertise? 
  • Significant Results:  To what extent were the goals of the service achieved?  What tangible products have resulted from the service provided?  What impact have the service activities had?  Has the candidate been called upon by governmental agencies, community organizations, schools, and/or scholarly or professional organizations to contribute her/his expertise?
  • Evolving Engagement:  Does the candidate, over time, assume increasing responsibility for providing academic leadership within the University, or at the regional, national and international level?

EMPHASIS ON ACTIVITIES

Tenure decisions will be based on a weighting scheme of teaching: 40%, scholarship: 40%, and service: 20%.