Sunday, April 10, 2011

Faculty retention, tenure and promotion (RTP) in the Internet era

Teaching, service and research are considered when evaluating university professors for retention, tenure and promotion (RTP).

RTP committees generally look at things like teaching evaluations by students at the end of a class, published journal articles and conference papers, and service on school committees.

Today's active, effective faculty do a lot of time-consuming work on the Internet -- things like:

Teaching: podcast lectures, develop online teaching material, help students via email, chat or VoIP, create a blog or Twitter stream relevant to a class.

Service: build a Web site or other application for a department or conference, build a Web site or other application for an organization in the community, offer mentoring or advising to students in feeder schools, offer tech training to colleagues, develop campus infrastructure.

Research: create a scholarly blog, publish in online journals, participate in online research communities, maintain an online database, make scholarly contributions to Wikipedia.

What would you add to these lists? Which of these activities would count toward RTP on your campus? Which should?

Auburn University recently considered significant contributions to Wikipedia in granting tenure to professor. Would your university have done so?