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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Lecturer Promotion

The CAS Lecturer Promotion process is part of a continuing effort to maintain high-quality academic programs by supporting and rewarding sustained excellence in teaching and other professional accomplishments of full-time Lecturers.

Full-time Lecturers who by August 31 of their review year will have held full-time Lecturer appointments at Boston University for five years including at least eight academic-year semesters of full-time teaching are eligible for promotion to Senior Lecturer. Senior Lecturers who by August 31 of their review year will have held full-time Senior Lecturer appointments at Boston University for five years including at least eight academic-year semesters of full-time teaching are eligible for promotion to Senior Lecturer – Master Level.

A candidate who has been turned down for promotion to Senior Lecturer or Senior Lecturer – Master Level by the Lecturer Promotion Committee or Dean first becomes eligible to apply again for promotion in the second academic year following the unsuccessful application.

Demonstrated excellence in teaching is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite for promotion to Senior Lecturer and for further promotion to Senior Lecturer – Master Level. Other relevant professional accomplishments are also necessary for the distinction of promotion. Promotion is in no case based simply on experience or years in rank. Promotion responds to past accomplishments, but its purpose is oriented toward the future. It is based on expectations about the candidate’s future accomplishments and impact. Thus, it is an investment in the future.

Promotion to Senior Lecturer: Among the criteria beyond excellence in teaching that build a case for promotion to Senior Lecturer are noteworthy academic leadership, especially in curriculum development, planning, and oversight; mentoring and/or training of other professionals in the field; professional service; sustained participation in programs for professional development; and scholarship, as demonstrated in public presentations and publication insofar as they are directly relevant to the candidate’s work as a Lecturer. This academic leadership should have been exercised over a period of years that provides a sufficient basis for evaluating impact to date, as well as the candidate’s potential for enhanced leadership if promoted to the rank of Senior Lecturer.

Promotion to Senior Lecturer–Master Level: Candidates for promotion to Senior Lecturer–Master Level will be considered under the same criteria, but must meet appropriately higher expectations in terms of the scope, range, or impact of professional activities, in addition to demonstrating ongoing growth as excellent teachers. Pedagogical initiatives that are informed by developments in the field, reach beyond individual classrooms, and materially advance student program learning outcomes and/or other strategic planning priorities of the department, College, or university will weigh heavily. Evidence of effective leadership, e.g., in curriculum design or mentoring of more junior teachers, is also important. While not required, excellence in publications or scholarly work, especially as relevant to the teaching mission, is regarded favorably. Review for promotion to Senior Lecturer–Master Level will focus primarily on the candidate’s accomplishments in the years since appointment at the rank of Senior Lecturer, with attention also paid to specific plans for the next phase of his/her career trajectory.

Units may nominate any number of eligible Lecturers or Senior Lecturers for promotion, but they must be sure to develop appropriately high standards for promotion and use these standards in a clear and fair process of nomination. Because the criteria for promotion are stringent, departments and programs should refrain from nominating candidates who do not have a demonstrable and sustained record of outstanding teaching as well as other professional excellence as outlined above.  Candidates may request to be considered for promotion by their department.

Each fall the Office of Faculty Actions will forward to department chairs/directors a list of Lecturers and Senior Lecturers who are eligible for promotion according to length of service.  Chairs/directors should notify eligible Lecturers about the opportunity, deadlines, and procedures for promotion within one week of receiving the list.

Each department/program should establish a transparent and fair process for reviewing eligible candidates who wish to be considered for promotion. Whether or not a departmental subcommittee is used for initial review and presentation of candidates’ materials, that process must include a discussion and vote on promotion by all eligible members of the department/program: tenure-track, tenured, and “of the practice” faculty, as well as faculty in the Lecturer track at a rank higher than those under consideration. In preparation for the departmental discussion, all eligible voters should have access to materials including, at a minimum, the candidate’s CV, statement, and student and peer teaching evaluations, as detailed under “Nomination Dossier” below. When a department/program decides to forward a nominee for consideration at the College level, the chair’s/director’s report details the results of the departmental vote on promotion, including an acknowledgement and explanation of any concerns that resulted in negative votes.

Units should work with candidates to ensure that the best possible case is presented.

Chairs and Directors are responsible for sharing information on the nomination process and dossier with the candidates, and for ensuring that the candidates understands how to present the best possible case for their promotion.

Departments/programs will submit one complete dossier for each nominee to a password-protected server located here. Only the Chair/Director and administrator from each unit can be given access to the server.

A dossier should consist of the following items:

  • A statement from the department outlining the departmental promotion process and the criteria the department/program uses to define and measure excellence in teaching and other achievements when considering candidates for promotion. Each department/program should have distinct criteria for promotion to Senior Lecturer versus promotion to Senior Lecturer – Master Level. This statement should be identical in the dossiers of all nominees for promotion to the same rank within a department/program (max. 500 words, apportioned between the two ranks of senior lecturer and senior lecturer-master level).
  • The nominee’s up-to-date CV, following standard academic format (i.e. education, positions held, awards, publications, talks and presentations, professional service, academic service, courses taught, etc.) with the relevant dates clearly indicated. (Submitted by the candidate to the department)
  • A statement by the nominee about his/her professional accomplishments and plans for the future that are relevant to consideration for promotion (max. 1,000 words). (Submitted by the candidate to the department)
  • A detailed departmental report including the faculty’s vote on promotion and discussing the nominee’s strengths and weaknesses in light of the criteria for excellence defined by the department and with specific reference to the nominee’s record (max. 1,000 words). The report should describe in full those elements of the nominee’s dossier that may not be self-evident to committee members from other fields (e.g., departmental service assignments and tasks). The report should also provide a departmental perspective on the nominee’s future professional development and expected post-promotion contributions.
  • Supporting materials related specifically to teaching, advising, and curricular accomplishments including syllabi, letters from former students, and other relevant materials (max. 35 pages).
  • Student teaching evaluations from the most recent two years of teaching, including statistical summaries (department/program responsibility).
  • Peer teaching evaluations from the most recent two years of teaching (min. of two, and max. of three evaluations; it is the department/program’s responsibility to conduct these evaluations). Peer teaching evaluations should not be a minute accounting of the class visit, but rather a deeper assessment of all aspects of the teaching in terms familiar to faculty in other disciplines.
  • Other relevant supporting materials documenting professional accomplishments, including representative publications, if appropriate (max. 35 pages, except books).

Please note: No external letters of evaluation or support for Lecturer Promotion nominees will be solicited by the College or Committee, and the Lecturer Promotion Committee does not conduct classroom visits.

The department/program, through the Chair/Director, is responsible for the quality of the nomination dossier. It is important to be sure that the dossier includes all necessary information and documentation in as clear and accurate a manner as possible.

If a candidate was previously considered for promotion but was turned down by the Lecturer Promotion Committee or Dean, the promotion dossier should address the main concerns raised by the Dean or previous Lecturer Promotion Committee.

Each candidate should seek guidance on constructing and compiling the parts of the dossier for which he/she is responsible, and should consult directly either with the Chair/Director of the unit, or with an appropriate senior member of the faculty who can act as a mentor and assist in the compilation of a sound dossier.

CV:

Candidates should consider tailoring the CV to the lecturer promotion process, specifically outlining the timeline of their development as a Lecturer, and accurately listing when service contributions took place. An article on structuring a professional CV can be found here.

Personal Statement:

Candidates should keep the CAS and department/program criteria for promotion in mind as they write their personal statement. It should not simply be a summary of candidates’ teaching, service, research and professional experience over the last few years because much of this is listed on the CV. The personal statement is an opportunity for candidates to discuss their philosophy and approach to teaching and education, the strategies they have used for success and professional development; their unique skills and contributions; and their professional aspirations and strategies for the future.

Other Documents:

Candidates should give careful thought to what other documents to submit in connection with their consideration for promotion. Each document should contribute significantly to demonstrating professional accomplishment and reputation.

The CAS Lecturer Promotion Committee will advise the Dean of CAS, who will make the final decisions about promotions in each round. The CAS Lecturer Promotion Committee will consist of nine members chosen from among CAS professorial faculty and Senior Lecturer – Master Level faculty. Committee members will be recused from reviews of members of their own department. Alex Lundsted from the office of Faculty Actions will provide staff support for the lecturer promotion process.

In the event of a negative report, candidates are encouraged to speak to their department Chair/Director. In the event that further information is still required, candidates should schedule a meeting with the appropriate Associate Dean: Nancy Ammerman (Social Sciences), Susan Jackson (Core Curriculum, Writing Program), Gene Jarrett (Humanities), Stan Sclaroff (Mathematical & Computational Sciences), and Mike Sorenson (Natural Sciences).

If you have a question about the process, please contact Alex Lundsted (lundsted@bu.edu).

  2015/16 Lecturer Promotion Cycle

December 18, 2015 Department confirms candidates to be nominated with Faculty Actions
January 29, 2016 Nomination dossiers from all departments due to Faculty Actions
February-March Lecturer Promotion Committee Meetings
April 1, 2016 Lecturer Promotion Committee’s recommendations due to Faculty Actions
April 29, 2016 The Dean’s final recommendations submitted for Provost’s approval
July 1, 2016 Effective date of promotions to new rank
September 1, 2016 Effective date of salary increases

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