Cherry Blossoms

Promotion from Associate Teaching Professor to Teaching Professor

Approved by the Arts and Sciences College Council, November 2020.  This statement replaces an earlier document approved in 2010.

The University of Washington Faculty Code specifies the following qualifications for appointment to Teaching Professor:  Appointment with the title of teaching professor requires a record of excellence in instruction, which may be demonstrated by exemplary success in curricular design and implementation, student mentoring, and service and leadership to the department, school/college, University, and field.  [Section 24-34.B.3.c)

The College is guided by the faculty code in assessing whether candidates’ cases provide evidence of broad and sustained contributions to instruction beyond the classroom and beyond the department.  This document elaborates on the scope and meaning of “exemplary” contributions, while recognizing that there is no single scale that can be used to judge the quantity, quality, and trajectory evidenced in promotion cases.  The particular portfolios of candidates for promotion to Teaching Professor may vary widely depending on opportunities and expectations across units within the College.  Given the nature of Teaching Professor positions, it is important to note that the activities described below are assumed to be grounded in a sustained record of teaching excellence within the individual’s home unit.  In the context of diverse Teaching Professor profiles and experiences, the general principles detailed here are applied as uniformly as possible across all promotion cases by the College Council and the Dean.  In keeping with the traditional functions of all faculty, we use the categories of “Teaching,” “Service,” and “Scholarship” to structure the general principles below.


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      The University expects consistently high-quality classroom teaching from Associate Teaching Professors.  This alone, however, is not sufficient for consideration for promotion to Teaching Professor.  The promotion case for promotion to teaching professor must provide evidence not only of the faculty member’s sustained excellence in instruction in their unit, but also at the College, University, and/or field level.

      Some examples of evidence of recognition of teaching excellence include:

      • Sustained excellence in student and collegial teaching evaluations
      • A departmental or unit-based teaching award
      • A field-specific teaching award from a regional or national association
      • A university teaching award
      • Leadership in curricular or pedagogical innovations beyond the faculty member’s own department
      • Commendations or awards for excellence in mentorship
      • Demonstrated success in promoting diversity, equity, access and inclusion in student instruction
      • Success in securing national grants to support instructional excellence

      Service to the unit, College, University, and/or field can also serve as evidence of a faculty member’s contributions to exemplary teaching.  The key to service in the promotion to Teaching Professor is a sustained record of contributions to the teaching mission of the University through university-wide teaching programs, central leadership in unit-level teaching issues, and/or engagement in discipline- or field-level curriculum development. The promotion file should build a case for sustained, substantive contributions to teaching through service at the University, unit and/or field, regional or national level.

      Service that indicates contributions to teaching at the University level may include:

      • Participation as a planner or facilitator in programs including, but not limited to, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Faculty Fellows, Teaching Assistant training workshops, UW Advance, teaching workshops for faculty, and bridge/enrichment programs for students.
      • Membership in or chairing of faculty councils related to teaching.
      • Participation in university-level advisory groups or selection committees related to teaching.
      • Outreach activities to the community beyond the University that is directly tied to the faculty member’s teaching expertise.
      • Service on unit-, college-, and/or university-level committees that foster diversity, equity, access, and inclusion of students, faculty, and/or staff.

      Service that evidences contributions to teaching at the unit level may focus on curriculum development, coordination, and/or oversight in the following ways:

      • Serving as chair, associate or assistant chair of the department or unit
      • Serving as director of undergraduate or graduate studies
      • Leadership in formulating departmental or unit-level learning goals
      • Membership in interdisciplinary committees charged with curriculum development
      • Serving as faculty advisor for student associations
      • Directing clinics, organizing experiential learning opportunities, or special academic training programs where these are not a regular element in the faculty member’s duties

      Service that evidences contributions to teaching at the field level may include:

      • Service to scholarly journals related to teaching and learning
      • Membership in professional associations that focus on teaching and learning
      • Receipt of grant funds to pursue research in the scholarship of teaching and learning


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      The Faculty Code states that “Scholarship, the essence of effective teaching and research, is the obligation of all members of the faculty.” [Section 24-32.A]  With respect to teaching faculty of all ranks, the Code further states that teaching faculty “may demonstrate their scholarship in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:  introduction of new knowledge or methods into course content; creation or use of innovative pedagogical methods; development of new courses, curricula, or course materials; participation in professional conferences; evidence of excellent student performance; receipt of grants or awards; contributions to interdisciplinary teaching; participation and leadership in professional associations; or significant outreach to professionals at other educational institutions.  While they may choose to do so through publication, such publication shall not be required.” [Section 24-34.B.4]

      Published scholarship is thus not an explicit component of most Teaching Professor positions, nor is it a requirement for promotion to the rank of Teaching Professor.  However, where published scholarship is considered as part of the promotion case, such scholarship should directly enhance the faculty member’s teaching excellence.  Through this work, the faculty member makes contributions to the teaching in their field or discipline.  Some examples might include:

      • Research on pedagogy, either published or presented at scholarly conferences
      • Research on the scholarship of teaching and learning, either published or presented at scholarly conferences
      • Research on the content area of the faculty member’s teaching specialty, either published or presented at scholarly conferences.