Arts & Sciences, Spring 2010, approved by College Council
The University of Washington Faculty Code specifies the following qualifications for appointment to Principal Lecturer: Principal Lecturer is an instructional title that may be conferred on persons whose excellence in instruction is recognized through appropriate awards, distinctions, or other major contributions to their field. [Section 24-34, B3]
The College follows 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 contributions “beyond the classroom,” 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 Principal Lecturer may vary widely depending on opportunities and expectations across units within the College. Given the nature of lecturer 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 lecturer’s home unit. In the context of diverse lecturer 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.
The University expects consistently high quality teaching from Senior Lecturers. This alone, however, is not sufficient for consideration for promotion to Principal Lecturer. The promotion case must provide evidence of the faculty member’s sustained excellence in instruction by the faculty member’s unit, College, University, and/or discipline. In general, quality and breadth of contributions are more important than quantity.
Some examples of evidence of recognition of teaching excellence may be:
- A departmental teaching award. A departmental teaching award distinguishes the faculty member in his/her own unit.
- A discipline-specific teaching award. A discipline-specific teaching award represents acknowledgement of the faculty member’s teaching by his/her scholarly community.
- A university teaching award (at the University of Washington, the relevant awards are the Distinguished Teaching Award and the James D. Clowes Award). A university-level teaching award demonstrates a recognized pattern of excellence in instruction at the university.
- Participation as a planner or facilitator in programs including, but not limited to, the Large Class Collegium, Faculty Fellows, Institute for Teaching Excellence, Provost’s Workshops, the TA Institute, Bridge programs, early start programs, OMA, and Athletic Academic Services. Involvement in these programs indicated the faculty member’s contributions to the University’s teaching community.
- Membership in or chairing of faculty councils related to teaching. Participation in faculty councils related to teaching indicates the faculty member’s involvement in University-level teaching issues.
- Participation in university-level advisory groups or selection committees related to teaching. Involvement in University-level groups or committees related to teaching demonstrates the faculty member’s engagement in the broader teaching mission of the University.
Service to the unit, College, University, and/or discipline can serve as evidence of a faculty member’s contribution to teaching “beyond the classroom.” Using the faculty code description of the Principal Lecturer position, these contributions are both “distinctions” (in the sense of distinctive contributions) and “major contributions” to the unit, University, or field. The key to service in the promotion to Principal Lecturer is a sustained record of contributions to the teaching mission of the University through University-wide teaching programs, central involvement in unit-level teaching issues, and/or engagement in discipline-level curriculum development. The promotion file should build a case for sustained, substantive contributions to teaching at the University, unit, and/or discipline or other 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 Large Class Collegium, Faculty Fellows, Institute for Teaching Excellence, Provost’s Workshops, the TA Institute, Bridge programs, early start programs, OMA, and Athletic Academic services
- Membership in or chairing of faculty councils related to teaching
- Membership in the faculty senate, specifically on instruction-related matters
- Participation in university-level advisory groups or selection committees related to teaching
- Outreach to the community beyond the University that is directly tied to the lecturer’s teaching expertise
Service that evidences contributions to teaching beyond the classroom at the unit level may focus on curriculum development, coordination, and/or oversight in the following ways:
- Serving as chair, associate chair, or assistant chair of the department
- Serving as chair, associate chair, or assistant chair for undergraduate or graduate studies or undergraduate or graduate curriculum
- Development of department-level learning goals
- Participation in department-level TA training and mentorship
- Directing undergraduate student theses
- Membership in interdisciplinary committees charged with curriculum development
- Serving as faculty advisor for student associations
- Development of student services related to teaching and learning (e.g., study centers, computing laboratories)
- Participation in academic advising and counseling
- Directing clinics or special academic training programs
Service that evidences contributions to teaching beyond the classroom at the discipline level may include:
- Serving as an editor of or reviewer for a scholarly journal related to teaching and pedagogy
- Membership in discipline-level scholarship of teaching and learning associations
- Receipt of grant funds to pursue research in the area of teaching and learning
Scholarship is not an explicit component of most lecturers’ positions. However, where scholarship is considered as part of the promotion case, it should be clearly connected to the faculty member’s contribution to teaching excellence. The scholarship most relevant to this position, then, is teaching oriented, and therefore influential in instruction beyond the faculty member’s individual classroom. Through this work, the faculty member makes contributions to the teaching in his/her unit or field. Some examples include:
- Published/presented research on pedagogy
- Published/presented research on the scholarship of teaching and learning
- Published/presented research on the content area of the faculty member’s teaching specialty