Faculty Research Expectations

  • The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (State System) and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) indicates that faculty are responsible for continuing scholarly growth. Article 12, Section B2 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement provides a list of the types of scholarly work which can be used to provide evidence of continuing scholarly growth. The CBA, however, provides no benchmarks regarding what constitutes sufficient quality or quantity of scholarly output. That determination is left to those involved in the evaluation, tenure, and promotion processes.

    The benchmark for what constitutes satisfactory scholarly growth in the Eberly College is influenced substantially by the expectations of AACSB International. Both the State System and this institution have expressed continued commitment to maintenance of accreditation by AACSB. AACSB indicates that there should be clear evidence of currency in a faculty member’s discipline in order for an institution to assign a faculty member to teach in an accredited program. Evidence of currency would include a portfolio of scholarly work for the previous five years which includes refereed journal publications. Accreditation review teams look at the overall portfolio (for the college as a whole and for each discipline offering a major) as well as each individual faculty member’s research portfolio. 

    Faculty are given credit for coauthored work, but there is a clear expectation that the faculty member should have contributed significantly to the production of a given article. It is always a judgment call, but faculty clearly should have their own research agenda, not simply make minor contributions to somebody else’s work.

    It should be noted that research on instructional pedagogy is quite appropriate. It should be noted further, however, that it should not be a total substitute for discipline-related research. Faculty members should focus substantial attention on discipline related research to complement their commitment to classroom instruction. It is true that this institution has a strong commitment to classroom instruction. For that reason, it might be ideal if faculty devote a significant amount of attention to pedagogy to complement discipline-related work.

    As noted above, each faculty member should have his or her own research agenda, and that research agenda should be connected to what that faculty member does in the classroom. Faculty members who do not have such a research agenda are simply not meeting their responsibility to the college. Because of the institutional commitment to AACSB accreditation, the management of this university is committed to an interpretation of scholarly growth consistent with the standards of AACSB International. The expectation by AACSB review teams is that an individual faculty member will have a research portfolio which includes refereed journal publications in the most recent five-year period in order to be considered academically qualified.

    At one time, the IUP University-wide Tenure and Promotion Committees would tenure and promote selected faculty members with nominal records of scholarly growth. In recent years, however, that has not been the case. In fact, the expectations of the University-wide Tenure and Promotions Committees would appear to be consistent with the expectations of AACSB International accreditation review teams. Individual departmental evaluation committees and departmental chairpersons are given wide latitude in passing judgment on the scholarly work of their peers. In order to enhance the tenure and promotion prospects of those peers, however, committees and chairperson evaluations should be consistent with the expectations outlined above.

    Faculty members on tenure track and those subject to five-year review should be cognizant of the need to have a consistent, ongoing record of scholarly output. Review committees will not likely look favorably on a spurt of activity just prior to a tenure or promotion decision.

    The Eberly College of Business and Information Technology has continued to work to support releases for faculty research. It is neither possible nor reasonable, however, to support such releases without evidence of results.

    Acceptance Date Governs RR Eligibility

    Only the date of acceptance (and not the publication date), as stated in the official Journal Acceptance Letter (not a conditional acceptance letter) will be considered for determining eligibility for Research Releases. The rationale for this change: a) the authors’ work on the article ends at the time of acceptance, and b) the lag time between the acceptance and the actual publication varies significantly from journal to journal.

    RR Eligibility: Authorship

    The dean and the chairpersons have agreed that in order to continue to support a research release, there must have been refereed publication(s) as described below:

    RR or Research Alternate Workload Eligibility: Authorship
    Effective Spring 2013

    Final acceptance for a peer-reviewed journal publication during the period January 1 to August 31 of a year (e.g., 2012) will make the author(s) eligible for research alternate workload (AWL) from the following Spring semester (e.g., Spring 2013) as follows:

    First author: Four semesters of AWLs
    Second author: Three semesters of AWLs
    Third author: Two semesters of AWLs
    Fourth author: One semester of AWL

    RR or ResearchAlternate Workload Eligibility: Authorship
    Effective Fall 2013

    Final acceptance for a peer-reviewed journal publication during the period September 1 to December 31 of a year (e.g., 2012) will make the author(s) eligible for research alternate workload (AWL) from the following Fall semester (e.g., Fall 2013) as follows:

    First author: Four semesters of AWLs
    Second author: Three semesters of AWLs
    Third author: Two semesters of AWLs
    Fourth author: One semester of AWL


    • Acceptance dates will continue to govern RR eligibility.
    • Non-IUP coauthor(s) will be considered in determining an IUP faculty’s authorship ranking on an article.
    • Only acceptance letters on official journal letterhead will be accepted. E-mail and other forms of acceptances will not be considered.
    • Acceptance letters need to be documented on Sedona.
    • A faculty member cannot bank a Research Release unless the person is away full-time on an approved CBA-allowed leave and such banking has been approved by the Dean.

    Presentation to Peers

    Furthermore, those being awarded research releases may be required to present their work to their peers here in the college in an organized research colloquium.

    September 2006

    Revised October 2010

    Revised November 2011