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Sample Letter of Expectations





RE:  Letter of Expectations

The College conducts its personnel evaluations in accordance with the Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York. Personnel actions require a statement from the candidate and evaluations by the department personnel committee, department chair, dean and provost with respect to three categories:  teaching effectiveness, scholarship and creative activity, and service.

As a tenure track faculty member, your first review will occur in <date> and you will be eligible for a two-year renewal of your term contract, which will expire <date>. Subsequent personnel reviews would normally occur in the <date> and the <date> semester.  In accordance with UUP guidelines, you will be reviewed for tenure during the <date> semester and you will be notified of the tenure decision by <date>.

This schedule is based on an anticipated tenure date of <date>. If you have applied for prior service credit, and it is granted; or if you take an unpaid leave of absence during this time, your anticipated tenure date will change accordingly. You are responsible for working with the department personnel committee to meet the department's and the college's deadlines for each review.


The normal teaching load in the Department of <department name> is three courses per semester. The position that you were hired to fill requires that you teach <specifics of teaching load>. You were hired with the expectation that you contribute to Buffalo State’s Intellectual Foundations offerings as well, particularly BSC101, Foundations of Inquiry, a college-wide course that introduces the Buffalo State College liberal arts curriculum and lays a foundation of critical thinking and basic research skills. Please feel free to express an interest in any course currently on the books or in developing new courses as your interests shift and grow, keeping in mind that new course proposals and course revisions of existing courses should ultimately strengthen the <department> program. Teaching assignments are ultimately determined by the chair, as well as by student demand and program commitment.

You are encouraged to update the methodology and techniques of your coursework to reflect current research findings.

In addition to scheduled classes, all faculty are required to maintain from three to five scheduled office hours per week, generally for student advisement and assistance. You will also be asked to assist with advisement during orientation and registration periods. Once you are well acquainted with the regulations and requirements of the department and of the college, you will be asked to serve as advisor to approximately <advising load> majors.

The department uses both student and peer evaluations to measure performance in the classroom. You should plan for administration of student evaluation surveys in each of your courses, every semester. Pertinent instructions and forms will be provided to you.

As part of the evaluation of the teaching process, members of the Personnel and Promotions Committee and/or the department chair will observe your classes. <Put your department’s process here>. You may also invite any full-time colleague(s) to visit a class and submit an observation report to the department chair as part of the renewal dossier.

Good teaching may also be demonstrated by other means, such as leadership of workshops, preparation of study materials, innovative methodology, and use of new technologies for teaching and learning. You are advised to consult the 1989 Policy Statement on documenting teaching effectiveness.


The College places a high priority on quality instruction for our students and believes there is a close correlation between quality research/creative activity and quality teaching. The department has high expectations for research and publication. You have been provided with copies of the department’s statement for evaluation of scholarship and creative activity and of the college criteria for promotion.

The department distinguishes between scholarly accomplishment (a published book or article, for example) and scholarly service such as serving a professional organization or journal in some capacity. The record of past and present members of the department has included more of the first than of the second, but both are valued. (<change to reflect your department’s criteria>)

By the time of your first review (<date>), it is expected that you will produce at least one article in a refereed journal or one presentation on the national or regional level. By the time of your pre-tenure review in <date>, it is expected that you will continue your research with at least three publications, two of which will be in nationally recognized peer-reviewed journals or edited books and one of which may be in regional journals or conference proceedings. <replace details in this paragraph with those specific to department>. The Personnel Committee makes a thorough review of your entire dossier before making a decision, and you will be receiving feedback on your plans and progress at various points along the way.

Where, appropriate, you are also encouraged to seek grants in your field. This is a highly valued activity.

Strong scholarship and creative activity may also be demonstrated by other means. You are advised to consult your department’s statement on scholarship and creative activity, as well as the college’s criteria.


Although you may have only limited time available for service activities during your first year here, you will eventually be expected to serve on committees both within and beyond the department and generally to contribute to the welfare of the institution. Service assumes a variety of forms and is defined for each individual both by the college’s needs and by the individual’s abilities.

The department bylaws permit, promote and restrict service on committees. The bylaws permit faculty to serve on the <put details consistent with department bylaws here>. You are also encouraged to volunteer for ad-hoc committees.

Service on committees of the School of Arts and Humanities and of the college provides opportunities to make contributions beyond the department level, to gain greater understanding of the broader issues in higher education and to get acquainted with colleagues college-wide. You are urged to take advantage of these and other professional opportunities as they arise and as circumstances permit. Be sure, as you engage in service activities, you obtain letters of recognition describing your specific contributions to the committee efforts. The letters should be included in your reappointment file.

Community service is encouraged for the development of a professional relationship with the urban/metropolitan community.  Professional service enhances the reputation of the College on a national and international level.

Please feel free to meet with me at any time if you feel unsure about the value that would be placed on different endeavors, or if you want to make major changes in this letter of expectations.  The faculty and I are happy to serve as advisors and mentors to you as you work toward promotion and tenure.

It should be noted that this letter of expectations is a “living” document, designed to provide guidance but not to restrict growth and development of new interests. You can request changes in the details of the document; any such changes are subject to faculty and department approval, as well as approval of the dean.


<Candidate name> 


<Personnel committee chair name> <department>


<Dept. Chair name>


Benjamin C. Christy,
Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities

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School of Arts and Humanities

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Rockwell Hall 222
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-6326 •  Fax: (716) 878-6914