The Center for Teaching & Faculty Development (CTFD) supports career advancement at UMass Amherst through our mentoring programs, consultations with deans and department chairs, and participation in committees across campus. We also offer the following programs and resources to promote the careers of faculty on campus.
Leadership Enhancement for Academic Departments Program (LEAD)
The LEAD program fosters a culture of leadership development on campus by gathering new department chairs, heads, and directors for a year-long community of practice focused on the effective management of academic units. LEAD seminars are tailored to the specific needs of each yearâ€™s cohort of participants, but generally cover such topics as: initial advice from a panel of experienced chairs, practical budgeting, conflict management (featuring a panel of key arbiters on campus), mentoring for personnel decisions (with the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs/Dean of the Faculty), time management tips for campus leaders, campus priorities (with the Chancellor), and best practices shared across disciplines and departments. Please refer all questions to .
The follow are helpful resources the LEAD Program has gathered for new chairs/heads/directors:
- The Biology Department maintains an organizational chart of departmental committees on their website to ensure clarity about service commitments.
- Upon becoming Chair of the Biology Department, Rolf Karlstrom invited all Biology faculty members to Faculty Coffees, using the attached outlines for assistant, and full professors to discuss career planning, departmental issues, committee assignments, and more. The form for assistant professors is currently being used for yearly meetings.
- The Communication Department has created a form that helps faculty plan for speaker visits.
- The HR department maintains a list of union contracts as well as a professional staff evaluation form. For further resources or information, contact Nick Marshall in HR.
- In The Department Chair, Juston C. Pate lists â€śTen Tough Realities of Academic Administration.â€ť
- In Tomorrowâ€™s Professor, Robert E. Cipriano discusses â€śThe Chairâ€™s Role in Facilitating a Collegial Department.â€ť
- To support faculty members who are denied tenure, please see "Good Practice in Tenure Evaluation," a booklet by the American Council on Education, the American Association of University Professors, and United Educators that features a section on "Caring for Unsuccessful Candidates"
Periodic Multi Year Review (PMYR) Grants for Professional Development in Teaching
PMYR Grants are designed to support the teaching development goals of tenured faculty. After the successful completion of the PMYR process, faculty members are invited to submit a proposal to the CTFD for a project to enhance their teaching. In the past, faculty projects have included incorporating instructional technology into their teaching, redesigning courses to include more active learning techniques, and attending conferences or purchasing resources to benefit from the latest content knowledge and pedagogy in their discipline. The CTFD welcomes a wide range of teaching development activities.
Proposals for 2013-14 PMYR Grants for Professional Development in Teaching (for faculty who completed their departmental PMYRs in 2012-2013) are currently being accepted. The due date is 5:00 PM on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
For a detailed description of the program as well as proposal guidelines, please see here. For sample proposals by topic, please see: course redesign, technology, or other. For more information, please contact
Tenure Preparation Workshops
In recognition that faculty are interested in the most relevant â€ślocalâ€ť information possible about tenure, the CTFD works directly with schools and colleges to design custom tenure preparation workshops at the school/college level. For a list of workshops offered this year, please visit our calendar.
Prior to attending a tenure preparation workshop, faculty may find it helpful to consult the following documents in order to familiarize themselves with the schedule and process of tenure at UMass Amherst, as well as to learn general strategies for achieving tenure:
Some suggestions to keep in mind as faculty navigate the tenure track at UMass Amherst:
The â€śmini-tenureâ€ť or â€ś4.2â€ť review typically takes place during the second semester of a faculty memberâ€™s third or fourth year. During mini-tenure, faculty are usually expected to prepare and assemble a complete tenure file, with the exception of soliciting external letters of support. However, schedules and expectations vary by department and school/college, so it is critical that you initiate early conversations about mini-tenure and tenure with your chair. Your senior colleagues, recently tenured peers and fellow early-career faculty will also be invaluable sources of information and advice on this subject.
Early-career faculty often report that one of the most helpful ways to start a tenure file is seeing how other faculty members from the same school/college prepared theirs. Ask if your department or school/college keeps examples of successful tenure files for review. If yours does not, contact the CTFD â€“ we may be able to connect you with a mentoring partner from your school/college who has volunteered to talk with early-career faculty about tenure.
All faculty are required to complete and submit an Annual Faculty Report (â€śAFRâ€ť) to detail individual accomplishments and contributions in teaching, research, and service during the prior academic year. Ask your chair how this report will be used to evaluate your performance, and if he/she or any of your departmental colleagues can offer tips on using the information from the AFR to help prepare your tenure file.
Thereâ€™s no universal list of how many articles published or classes taught will be â€śenoughâ€ť to get tenure. That being said, chairs and former Personnel Committee members are excellent sources of information and insight about how tenure files are evaluated at the departmental level, and â€śwhat mattersâ€ť in the evaluation process. If an opportunity arises, you may also wish to consider serving on a Personnel Committee yourself.
- Finally, remember that tenure may be a stressful process, but you were hired at UMass Amherst for a reason. Search Committees rarely waste their time, energy, and/or resources to hire a candidate who is unlikely to achieve tenure. That means that someone â€“ or most likely, a whole room of â€śsomeonesâ€ť â€“ believed in you from the very beginning. Keep the lines of communication open with your Chair about schedules, expectations, and processes; consult regularly with your colleagues (pre-tenure and tenured, inside and outside of your department) about their experiences and advice; and write and seek feedback on all of your file components well in advance. In other words, build a Mutual Mentoring network of people who want to support your success in achieving tenure, and work closely with them throughout the process.
In addition, Geosciences Head and Professor Mark Leckie, along with colleague Kristen St. John (James Madison University) have written comprehensive resources on preparing for tenure and the tenure package that faculty in other disciplines may find very helpful. The Science Education Recourse Center at Carleton College and the On the Cutting Edge project also maintain a list of professional development resources relevant to the tenure process.