Guidelines for Departmental RTP Standards
||This document is an update to the Guidelines for Department Retention, Tenure and
Promotion (RTP) standards for faculty which was originally approved by the Academic
Senate on May 6, 2009. This updated document was approved by the Academic Senate on
December 3, 2014.
||(Guidelines only – in relation to the collective bargaining agreement between The
California State University and the California Faculty Association.)
||Guidelines for RTP Process – affecting faculty unit employees of CSU San Marcos.
||View Guidelines for Departmental RTP Standards Policy
I. "DEPARTMENTAL RTP STANDARDS"
A) A “standard” is a reference point or formalized expectation against which progress
can be measured for retention, tenure, and promotion.
B) Faculty have a right to clearly articulated performance expectations. Departmental
RTP standards provide consistency in guiding tenure-track faculty in the preparation
of their WPAFs.
C) “Department” refers to units that are departments or an equivalent unit.
D) Department RTP Standards educate others outside of the discipline, including deans,
university committees, and the provost about the practice and standards of a particular
E) Departments must respect the intellectual freedom of their faculty by avoiding
standards that are too prescriptive. Department standards should be as brief as possible
with emphasis on the unique nature of the department.
F) Department or equivalent unit standards shall not conflict with law, CBA or University
G) The “Department RTP Standards” document shall contain the elements of the department
RTP standards described below and shall not repeat the CBA, University and/or College
H) Approval Process for Department RTP Standards:
Standards shall be approved by a simple majority of all tenure-track faculty within
a department and then approved by the college/school/library and the Academic Senate
before any use in the RTP decisions.
II. ELEMENTS OF THE "DEPARTMENT RTP STANDARDS" DOCUMENT
- Include a Table of Contents at the beginning of the document that lists each section
- In section headers, refer to three areas of evaluation in the terms used in the University
- Teaching (or Professional Performance)
- Research/Creative Activity
B) Introduction Section
Department RTP Standards shall:
- Briefly explain the department’s philosophy with respect to RTP.
- Explain how the department’s RTP expectations relate to the college and University
- Explain how the department views the distribution or value of the three required areas:
teaching, research/creative activity and service.
- Explain how the department supports faculty development through the processes for
retention and promotion, including both evaluative and development aspects.
- Identify any applicable accrediting body and explain how accreditation pertains to
the RTP process.
- Explain how the department recognizes distinctive disciplinary practices, innovation,
and exceptional contributions.
C) Main Section
Department RTP Standards shall:
- Address activities that fall under the categories of Teaching or Professional Performance,
Scholarly/Creative Activity and Service.
- Describe the standards used to judge the quality of performance.
- Describe the criteria employed in making recommendations for retention, tenure, and
- Address the different developmental periods (either in a separate section or as a
part of the three sections):
(a) Periodic Evaluation
(b) Performance/Retention Review
(c) Tenure and/or Promotion to Associate Professor
(d) Promotion to Professor
(e) Periodic Evaluation of Tenured Faculty
D) These guidelines include multiple examples of topics to which a department may
want to write a discipline specific standard. Only the most relevant or important
topics should be addressed in the department standards. Departments may consider topics
(a) Describe department priorities and values in teaching and learning.
(b) List the most important department priorities in terms of teaching. In addition
to discussion of what is valued in teaching, include a statement about expectations
emphasized in or unique to the department with respect to teaching. Such expectations
may include, but are not limited to, descriptions of:
Types of courses included in a typical semester faculty assignment
- Classroom teaching
- Laboratory teaching
- Studio teaching
- Clinical teaching
- Seminar courses
- Undergraduate versus graduate courses
- Supervision of field work, independent research, graduate research and theses,
and library research
- Teaching modality, e.g. on-campus, off-site, on-line, distance learning
- Training and supervision of teaching and graduate assistants
- Pedagogical tools typically used or expected in the department
- Independent study students/courses
(c) Describe the types of evidence used to examine teaching performance. Include
specific expectations, citing the College document if necessary, rather than repeating
the list. At a minimum, include expectations with respect to the following:
- Student evaluations: How many are required and how are they evaluated?
- Syllabi: Are there unique department expectations for syllabi?
(d) Describe the difference in teaching expectations for undergraduate versus graduate
courses, if applicable.
(e) Describe the value the department places on participation in curriculum development
(e.g., course, program, etc.).
(f) Describe department approaches to support development and achievement in teaching
- Professional Performance (For Faculty with Non-Teaching Assignments, such as Librarians,
(a) Describe department priorities and values in professional performance
(b) List the most important department priorities in terms of professional performance.
In addition to discussing what is valued in professional performance, include a statement
about expectations emphasized in or that are unique to the department with respect
to professional performance. Such expectations may include, but are not limited to,
- Workload in terms of assignment of responsibility
- Types of professional duties included in a typical faculty assignment
- Supervision of staff and/or student assistants
- Pedagogical tools typically used in the department
(c) Describe the types of evidence used to examine professional performance. Include
specific expectations, citing the Library/SSPAR document if necessary, rather than
repeating the list.
(d) Describe the value the department places on participation in program development.
(e) Describe the value the department places on contributions to student learning
across the curriculum.
(f) Describe departmental approaches to support development and achievement in professional
- Research/Creative Activity
(a) Describe department priorities and values in research/creative activity.
(b) Describe the department’s research/creative activity standards within the context
of the discipline (i.e., regionally, nationally, and globally).
(c) List the most important department priorities in terms of research/creative activity.
Describe the specific types of research which are most valued in the department and/or
the field. Cite the lists in the College RTP document, if necessary, rather than repeating
the entire lists.
(d) How should the faculty member describe the contributions of research when multiple
authors are present? Are there expectations with regard to lead authorship?
(e) Does the department expect research to be integrated into teaching? If yes,
(f) What are the major challenges that faculty face in terms of their research/creative
activity in your department? Are there limitations that may be relevant for the faculty’s
progress in research in this discipline.
(a) Describe the department priorities and values in service contributions to the
Department, College and University.
(b) List the most important department priorities in terms of service. In addition
to discussing what is valued in service, include a statement about expectations emphasized
in or unique to the department with respect to service. Such expectations may include,
but are not limited to:
Internal service activities—Department, College, University.
- Membership or offices held on committees or task forces
- Leadership or administrative activities- Special assignments, initiatives
External service activities
- Service to profession/professional organizations
- Membership, offices held, organizing events or programs, special assignments
- Professional consulting (gratis only)
Service awards and special recognition
(c) Does the Department have specific expectations in terms of documentation of service
other than accurate listing in the comprehensive CV? (Please note that submitting
letters from committee chairs is not considered best practice.)