Tenure and Promotion Guidelines
Computer Science Department
Promotion to Associate Professor with TenureExcellence in both teaching and scholarship is required for tenure in the Computer Science Department. Service activities within the College community as well as within the CS department are also highly valued.
The candidate will have taught classes at all levels of the curriculum.
Assessment of the quality of teaching will be based on letters from students,
peer evaluation of colleagues based on repeated regular classroom
observations, and pedagogical and
curricular contributions that may include new course offerings, syllabi,
reading lists, lab assignments, teaching innovations, and contributions
to the department's curricular design.
The candidate will have established an active research program that extends beyond their dissertation work. Peer-reviewed conference or journal publications are an important component of the candidate's research portfolio. We recognize CS conferences as being the typical premier peer-reviewed publication venue for CS research. However, we also recognize that there exists variation across sub-disciplines of computer science in publication venue norms, publication rates, and in other artifacts of scholarly output.
In preparing tenure dossiers, the department submits the following CRA article to the the Swarthmore Committee on Tenure and Promotion to aid in their evaluation of candidates scholarly work, in particular to help describe what conference publication is in our field, and how conference publications should be evaluated in CS: Evaluating Computer Scientists and Engineers For Promotion and Tenure, by David Patterson (University of California, Berkeley), Lawrence Snyder (University of Washington), Jeffrey Ullman (Stanford University). Published by Computer Research Association (cra.org).
Because we are a liberal arts college, the rate of scholarly production
is necessarily conditioned by the responsibility that teaching is of the
We also note that expected publication rates in different sub-fields of
computer science vary greatly.
Assessment of the candidate's scholarly work is based on letters from
external reviewers who are experts in the candidate's sub-field. We
sometimes also rely on the expertise of colleagues within
the department. Evidence of expertise within a field (or more than one
field if applicable), and the potential for future growth and development
as an active scholar is important. Evidence of providing Swarthmore
students with research experiences, including providing summer research
experiences and involving students in one's scholarly activities is also
highly valued. Additionally, we recognize
the importance of Computer Science Education Research as supported by
the following CRA's report:
Why CS Departments Should Embrace Computing Education Research. Scholarly
endeavors in CS Education are highly regarded by the CS department and
help to support a candidate's broader CS scholarly work portfolio. However,
currently CS Education scholarship alone is not sufficient for tenure and
promotion to associate professor at Swarthmore college.
Service to the Department and the College is expected.
Assessment of the
candidate's service will be based on letters from members of the
College community both within and outside the Computer Science
Department. Evidence of engagement with and contribution to both
the CS Department and the College community are important.