The goal of Communication Science (CS) is to understand how communication works using an array of empirical methods for gathering evidence. Within CS candidates might specialize in or combine our three major approaches:
- social science, which generally relies on empirical research to examine the nature, uses, and influences of media;
- law and policy, which focuses on the creation, implementation, and modification of public policies related to communication in domestic and international forums, and generally relies on assessment of governance systems—including legal institutions and relevant governmental or non-governmental organizations—the laws, rules or policies of such institutions and organizations, and the interplay among participants attempting to influence such governance systems, laws, rules or policies;
- interpretative/historical, which focuses on how media develop and rely on the historical record for insight about past, present, and emerging communication technologies.
Research expectations for tenure
Tenure candidates in CS are expected to demonstrate an excellent record of consistent, ongoing, programmatic research that points toward future leadership in their area of inquiry.
Research that is excellent: Indicators of excellent research are diverse, vary by candidate, and evolve over time. Candidates will be evaluated in the context of their particular area(s) and focus/foci. It remains the case that articles in influential scholarly journals and books published by prestigious presses are the most common indicators of research excellence. However, and consistent with Media School policies, Communication Science recognizes alternative venues for scholarship continue to develop. If a candidate distributes their scholarship through such outlets, it will be up to them to provide evidence that the scholarship is rigorous and impactful.
Research that is consistent and ongoing: Research consistency is typically evidenced by the upward, though possibly asynchronous, growth of a candidate’s publication record. Evidence of an ongoing research record is typically evidenced by a candidate having projects at multiple stages of development during much of the probationary period.
Research that is programmatic: Programmatic research represents a coherent body of scholarship addressing a set of thematically-related questions or problems within the candidate’s area.Research that points toward future leadership:
Examples of evidence that a research program points toward future leadership in a candidate’s area include: sole and first-authored publications, publications independent of graduate school advisors, invited chapters, grant applications, invited presentations, citations from other scholars, and editorial board memberships
Candidate work will be assessed using the following standards as appropriate for their focus or foci.
- Social science: For those in the social science area tenure will most often be documented by research activities aimed at the academic community. Peer-reviewed journal articles and/or books from prestigious publishers provide the strongest evidence, followed by other forms of scholarly communication such as book chapters. Quality is paramount, but there must be sufficient quantity to evidence a high degree of productivity. Papers presented at conferences, colloquia, and meetings may be considered as research, teaching, or service, depending on discussions between the candidate and Unit Director. Research activities resulting in reports to granting agencies, governments, community organizations, and businesses may also be introduced as evidence.
- Law and policy: For those in the law and policy area tenure can be documented both by research activities aimed at a scholarly audience and research activities designed to change actual policy based on empirical and theoretical research. In the first case, peer-reviewed articles, law review articles, book chapters and books would make up the bulk of the evidence. In the second case, while those three works of scholarship would also be valuable, evidence of research papers, expert testimony, ex parte presentations or filings prepared for legal institutions in the process of evaluating or deciding matters of policy related to communication may also be introduced as evidence of research.
- Interpretative/historical: For those whose work is historiographical in nature, the tenure case would be based on a major book and evidence of a successful second book in the making, as is the case in history departments. For those who do not do historiographical work themselves but draw on historiographical scholarship for policy analysis and other purposes, the tenure case would vary according to the domain in which they make a contribution. For example, in the case of policy researchers, the tenure case could be based on a string of programmatic journal articles, a major book, or a compelling combination. For other areas that draw on historiographical scholarship, the measures would be based on area norms.
Teaching expectations for tenure
At the end of the probationary period, faculty in CS must be viewed as effective teachers. Evidence of teaching effectiveness includes (but is not limited to) peer and student evaluations of teaching, peer assessments of course objectives, methods, and materials (e.g. syllabi, assignments) designed by the candidate, evidence of student mentorship, and solicited and unsolicited letters from students. Evidence of impact beyond IU is not required. However, contributions to teaching that extend beyond the candidate’s courses also will be taken into consideration. This includes published textbooks and other course materials, new courses and programs that are influential internally and externally, and invited talks and participation on panels focusing on pedagogy.
Numerical ratings lower than unit average and open-ended student comments seemingly critical of the faculty member are not necessarily contrary to effective teaching.
Service expectations for tenure
Service is an essential component of the University’s mission. Candidates must provide evidence of a satisfactory service record at the time of tenure. Services to Communication Science, the Media School, the College, and Indiana University; services to academic and professional associations; and services to governments, community organizations, and industries related to the candidate’s areas of expertise and the University’s mission may all be counted toward the service record.
(Adopted May 4, 2016)