- UFVA Policy StatementEvaluation of Creative Activities for Tenure and/or Promotion
this document is intended to assist chairs, deans, and program or division heads who oversee creative media production areas and may be unfamiliar with such work or who are otherwise seeking guidance in evaluating such work as part of tenure and/or promotion packages. Here the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) attempts to provide a framework for appraising a broad range of creative activities in areas such as cinema, audio, sound design, digital video, screenwriting, and multimedia and interactive media, as well as new and emerging technologies including (but not limited to) virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), video games, and creative coding. In this document, we will hereinafter refer to all such faculty output as creative production work.
Consideration for academic promotion and tenure traditionally involves an evaluation of a faculty member's contribution in three general areas: teaching, scholarly research and/or creative activity, and service to the institution and the profession. Since the procedures and standards for evaluation of scholarly research, teaching, and service are generally well-established at most institutions, this statement focuses on the procedures and standards for evaluation of creative activity in media arts.
NOTE: Although this policy statement does not address diversity, equity, and inclusion in creative fields in the academy, the UFVA recognizes the vital importance of this issue. Much effort has been undertaken by the organization and its membership to support faculty members who are minorities within the academy and industry. A separate statement has been prepared to address this issue directly. We encourage you to consult that document for more information on this crucial subject.
It is assumed that unit leadership (chairs, deans, etc.) will clearly communicate the workload expectations for media arts faculty, often expressed in percentages that vary based on the college or university's mission (e.g., 40 percent teaching, 40 percent scholarship and/or creative activities, 20 percent service). It is also assumed that creative and professional media arts work will be fully accepted as part of the tenure and/or promotion evaluation process when such work is appropriate to faculty specialization, expertise, and teaching responsibilities. Just as the primary professional contributions of a faculty member teaching media criticism, theory, and history might be expected to be in the form of published scholarship, the primary professional contributions of a faculty member specializing in a creative area should be expected to be in one or more categories of creative production. This document outlines how creative activities can be evaluated and counted toward tenure and/or promotion for faculty.
Traditional fine arts disciplines have clearly established a precedent for consideration of creative work as part of the evaluation process for tenure and/or promotion. The same is true of creative production work by faculty members in media-based disciplines. A key factor [End Page 47] in all of these fields is the importance of peer review of published or exhibited work (through film festivals, telecasts, webcasts, screenings, competitions, distribution, galleries, etc.), as well as awards and recognition and the professional stature of the production. In addition to juried venues, curated and invited exhibitions also play a role in the dissemination of creative media productions, and those should be evaluated according to the scope of distribution (e.g., international, national, regional, or local), the status of the project as a solo or group exhibition (taking into account the stature of the other artists, if any), and the exhibition's impact and prestige, typically verified by outside referee letters during the review process (see the section on curation activities).
Additionally, this document acknowledges the growth of new media as an artistic and academic endeavor. The December 2006 report of the MLA Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion states:
In evaluating scholarship for tenure and promotion, committees and administrators must take responsibility for becoming fully aware both of the mechanisms of oversight and assessment that already govern the production of a great deal of digital scholarship and of the well-established role of new media in humanities research. It is of course convenient when electronic scholarly editing and writing are clearly analogous to their...