Scholarship Criteria for Consideration of Tenure and Promotion
Decisions for Kenyon Chemistry Faculty
The Kenyon Department of Chemistry expects full participation in scholarly activity of all members of the chemistry faculty. Faculty members are expected to be active in his or her research field to provide not only self-enrichment and external recognition professionally, but also to develop and maintain top teaching standards in a discovery-based setting. Engaging in research is not only healthy for the faculty member and the Department, but also for the chemistry/biochemistry/molecular biology major -- teaching through research provides an invaluable learning experience for each chemistry/biochemistry/molecular biology student and prepares him or her for a career in the sciences as well as other endeavors in life after Kenyon. Being a part of a nationally ranked liberal arts college, the Department strives to educate and engage our students when working on original research projects. Our majors' interests are, after all, our immediate concern and responsibility. In regards to scholarship, we would simply not exist without the interest in and dedication to our discipline of our chemistry/biochemistry/molecular biology majors in the research laboratory.
Expectations for Scholarship:
The Department fully supports the "Research and Scholarship in the Natural Sciences Division" document finalized and unanimously approved by the Natural Sciences Division on September 29, 1999. We wish to stress the importance of "establishing a research program . . . [with] student involvement in research, that it must be considered a major criterion for successful completion of the reviews leading to and culminating in appointment without limit (tenure)." (Page 5, first paragraph). In addition, we wish to emphasize that "publishable research with students is exceptionally valuable to Kenyon and should also be rewarded in the evaluation process." (Page 4, first paragraph). Finally, the Department as well as "the [Natural Science] Division does not recommend a numerical minimum requirement for the number and types of publications necessary for successful appointment without limit (tenure) . . . However, [we] would consider the absence of peer-reviewed publication to be problematic, both for tenure and for further promotion." (Page 5, second paragraph).
Scholarship (laboratory work, data analysis, grant writing, article writing, and/or the preparation of presentations are examples of such activity) ideally should be continuous throughout the year, although, the bulk of productivity is likely to take place during the summer. Each member should participate in grant proposal writing (individual, departmental, and/or divisional) which is aimed to enhance the College's research programs. The Department wishes to emphasize that funded research grant proposals are indications of successful research programs, and the formative experience gained from submitting any grant proposal is beneficial to the faculty member. The Department views receipt of individual research grants as significant scholarly work. During the academic year, faculty members are expected to participate with available majors in Chemical Research (CHEM 375-376) and/or Honors (CHEM 497-498). In the case where students are not involved during the year (i.e. low numbers of majors enrolled), the faculty member is expected to be in the laboratory him/herself or working on other forms of scholarship (see the above examples of such activity). Given current resources, faculty members are expected to present their work to at least one (national or regional) meeting or give an invited seminar (at another college or university) per calendar year.
Infrastructure. As a field that is highly dependent on laboratory facilities and instrumentation, chemistry has requirements for infrastructure that are potentially different from other sciences. There are times when the level of productivity in chemistry research programs is beyond the control of the faculty member due to temporarily inoperable facilities and instrumentation. Faculty members should be creative and patient when problems with such infrastructure occur. Evaluators should be sensitive to the challenges faculty members face in maintaining an experimental chemistry laboratory.
Student Training. Chemistry is a field where research can require special precautions with regard to safety when working with both sensitive equipment and hazardous chemicals. Students often require a significant amount of training before they are able to fully contribute to a research program. This training can entail a major investment of time on the part of the faculty member. The Department values this type of mentoring, but also recognizes the limits it can place on productivity. Evaluators should take this balance into consideration.