Psychology Home at The University of West Georgia

Teaching/Research Track Guidelines

The Department of Psychology understands research and scholarship broadly with regard to an enhanced research track. More specifically, the Department wishes to promote research and scholarship which:

Furthers depth of understanding in the field that by definition will enhance teaching and promote opportunities for student research and collegial collaboration.

  • Advances the knowledge base, extends theoretical breadth, enhances the professional influence of its faculty, and introduces innovation at regional, national and international levels in such areas of inquiry as humanistic/transpersonal psychologies and other post-positivistic paradigms.
  • Provides intellectual leadership rather than simply generating additional information. 
  • Contributes to the positive transformation of surrounding communities and augments the knowledge and research base that addresses social problems. We understand this form of scholarship as an applied one, but one referring back to and based in a faculty member's current intellectual interests and areas of professional expertise. Fields of intervention may include educational, clinical, community and organizational contexts.

The above constitutes the broad-based conception of scholarship that defines the enhanced research track for Psychology Department faculty.

Faculty in the Psychology Department may choose whether to be on the Enhanced Research Track or on the Teaching Track(see departmental mission statement on teaching). Consistent with departmental culture, faculty members will have the opportunity to choose whether or not to participate in the Enhanced Research Track on an individual basis. Newly hired faculty may choose their emphasis at the time of hiring. Faculty opting for the latter track must fulfill university guidelines for tenure and promotion  (as outlined in the Faculty Handbook) but will not be held to the same standards of research productivity as faculty on the Enhanced Research Track. 

Faculty opting for a teaching emphasis will be held to a 12 hour teaching load while those opting for the research track will be re-assigned to 3 hours of research in place of teaching each semester. The faculty member assigned to duties of "Coordinator of Therapeutic Services" will be reassigned 3 hours as part of his or her teaching load. These duties include but are not limited to: onsite intern supervision, campus supervision, continued revision and updating licensing rules and procedures, preparing students for licensing exam, and clinical curriculum development. The clinical coordinator is expected to routinely attend meetings of the State Licensing Board when issues are in the interests of the psychology department and licensing requirements. Further, the Coordinator of Therapeutic Services will inform the department chair of major licensing issues that may affect the departments curriculum. Faculty will be evaluated in terms of these emphases at the time of merit pay evaluations, at the time of third year review, and during tenure and promotion reviews. A separate evaluation, based on annual reviews and each faculty member’s Curriculum Vita will occur every three to five years after a faculty member is tenured, either in conjunction with post-tenure review or not. It will be the responsibility of the Department Chair’s to evaluate each faculty member in the Department in terms of his or her continued placement in one emphasis or another, but the Department Chair may form an ad hoc committee with departmental faculty to make such a determination.

Faculty members who choose the Enhanced Research Track option will be expected to make  a minimum of three significant scholarly contributions from the first tier listed below within a five year period, or offer an equivalent body of scholarship from other tiers within the same period of time.

Enhanced Research Track Agenda

I. Contributions in this tier include significant, innovative, and possibly interdisciplinary scholarship consistent with our academic orientation and mission. 
Examples include:

  • authored and edited books published by a commercial or university press (note that this might count as two significant contributions)
  • chapters in reviewed books published by commercial or university presses
  • peer-reviewed journal articles or monographs,
  • participatory action research portfolios (e.g., description of project, supporting letters, peer reviewed community impact assessment)
  • invited address at national or international level, 
  • externally funded and completed grants (may count as two)
  • editorship of journal
  • review essay of book or articles

II. Contributions in this tier include:

  • presentations at national and international conferences,
  • grant applications (not funded),
  • program chair responsibilities for a national or international meeting,
  • internally funded grants
  • non-refereed journal articles with wide professional circulation
  • workshop presentations (national or international level)
  • chapters in editor-only reviewed book

III. Contributions in this tier include:

  • invited manuscript review
  • annotated bibliography in a book or journal
  • obituary in a journal
  • comment, theoretical note, or brief book review in a journal
  • submitted book proposal (not accepted),
  • symposium chair or discussant responsibilities
  • workshop presentation (regional level).
  • honorary or other academic appointments representing a recognition of research contributions
  • membership in editorial board or holding office in a professional association
     

***Please note that the above does not necessarily encompass all of the contributions considered in merit pay and in tenure and promotion under the heading of Professional Development. This is a departmental document related to the distribution of responsibilities within a tenure track faculty member’s workload.