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Scholarship and Creative Activity Statements

Art Education Department

Statement on Scholarship and Creative Activity
(Revised 11/5/96)

Scholarly ability involves research, scholarship, and creative activity. The disciplines of art, art education, and art therapy are distinct disciplines and have different theories, standards for training and practice, research methodologies, outcomes, and creative activities. Housed at a teaching institution and committed to the professional training of art teachers, the department recognizes that scholarly and creative activity may be documented by contribution to the arts, publications, presentations, reputation among colleagues, applied research, etc. Research, scholarship, and creative activity may take many forms including but not restricted to:

1. Publications (books, articles, reviews, reports, electronic media, etc.).
2. Grants, Fellowships, etc.
3. Presentations at discipline and/or related discipline meetings.
4. Contributions to the subject matter field (presentations, exhibits, productions, research, editorships, model programs, curating exhibitions, etc.).
5. Invitations by professional or educational organizations to describe the discipline's theory, practice, and/or research.
6. Consultancies.
7. Works in progress.

It is our understanding that the above statement and the following evaluation guide will serve as a guide for the Department in evaluating the significance of items submitted by the faculty to meet the SUNY criteria for research, scholarship, and creative activity in the disciplines of art, art education, and art therapy. It is expected that the Department and its committees will evaluate the submitted information in accordance with each discipline's standards to develop recommendations for promotion, continuing appointment, contract renewals, and discretionary salary increases.


Following are some of the more significant activities, in rank order.

1. Book or monograph published by a nationally recognized publishing house.
2. Article published in a major national journal and/or a major presentation at a national conference, i.e., keynote address.
3. Book or monograph published by a regional publisher (limited distribution publisher).
4. National consultancies, committees, offices held.
5. State consultancies, committees, offices held.
6. Presentation at a national refereed conference.
7. a. Article in a regional publication or journal.
    b. Presentation at a regional conference.
    c. Regional consultancies.
8. a. Article in local newspapers or periodicals.
    b. Presentation at a local conference.
    c. Local consultancies.

Qualitative evaluation of the foregoing should not necessarily be the responsibility of the Department or its chair. The value that a book or article published, a presentation made, etc., should be determined by the quality of the venue. This represents a significant form of external, objective critical evaluation.

Some other examples of activities that at times might be considered scholarly pursuits might include: Book and/or article reviews, professional offices held, seats on Board of Directors, etc. However, these activities should be evaluated to determine if they are most suited to scholarship or service.

Following are some of the more significant activities, in rank order.

1. One person exhibition in a major museum or major educational institution gallery
2. One person exhibition in a major private gallery of national or international stature.
3. Acquisition of work by major museums and/or corporate collections.
4. One person exhibition in major regional museum.
5. One person exhibition in major regional private gallery.
6. Work in major invitational national exhibitions.
7. Grants, fellowships, and awards.
8. Inclusion in national juried exhibitions.
9. Reviews and articles (national).
10. Local juried exhibitions.
11. Reviews and articles (local).
12. Local group exhibitions.


1. Unpublished book: A commitment from a major, regional, or local publisher in descending order would seem appropriate.
2. Published excerpts of said book in national, regional, or local journals or newspapers.
3. A commission (visual arts, film, or video production) in progress. The act of commissioning would be deemed as an important criterion. Venue. (i.e., national, regional, local in descending order would define importance). Full acknowledgment would be cited upon completion.
4. Funded research projects (national, state, regional, local).
5. Unpublished books and articles, unexhibited works of art.

Work that is being done by faculty that has not been published and/or exhibited should be acknowledged. However, it would have more credibility if outside experts could lend their insights into these activities. (i.e., books, and/or articles that publishers and/or journals feel have merit but are not timely. Letters to that effect would be helpful in evaluation).

Works of art that for one reason or another have not been exhibited but have acknowledgment from experts as to quality. (i.e., letter from museum directors, curator, critics, and/or gallery directors).

Unpublished work and/or unexhibited works critically cited should receive peer acknowledgment. This acknowledgment however must, by its nature, not supersede those works that have been published and/or exhibited.

We as a department recognize creative possibilities always exist; it is incumbent upon us to always be flexible in our thinking and open to the unexpected.

Communication Department

Guidelines for Scholarship and Creative Activity

The parameters for defining research, scholarship and creative activity among members of the Communication Department faculty must be drawn relatively broadly since we represent a collection of disciplines, each with unique requirements. Thus, the department recognizes a duality of its faculty, for we are a blend of "academics" and "professionals." In some instances, where a research-oriented Ph.D. is expected for those teaching communication theory, issues or history, faculty are most comfortable in a traditional research-scholarship milieu. In other areas, where talented professionals are needed to teach applied skills such as writing, production, and other subject matter reflecting the pragmatic concerns of the communication industry, it is essential that faculty in the Communication Department pursue specialized activities making them of value to the department.

Because Buffalo State College emphasizes teaching, some of the importance of research, scholarship and creative activity should be measured in terms of its applicability to the classroom. In order to teach effectively, faculty must be aware of new trends and techniques in our specialized and rapidly changing disciplines. The department expects development of such awareness through some form of research, scholarship or creative activity appropriate to the discipline or individual professional skills.

The following list includes, but is not restricted to, endeavors which meet our expectations for research, scholarship and creative activity:

  • Research, scholarship and creative activity is prepared for publication in books, monographs, articles, papers or book reviews; papers are edited for journal publication, chapters are written for books, or other scholarly activity of an original and significant nature is carried out.
  • Lectures, papers, speeches or presentations delivered at professional meetings, conventions and conferences and at colleges and universities.
  • The production of a radio, television, audio-visual, or digital presentation of some specialized nature, including audio or video oral history interviews or the completion of some research project or documentary on audio or video tape.
  • Paid or unpaid consultancies in the faculty member's area of expertise that address new ideas or concepts in the discipline.
  • The development of grant proposals, the obtaining of grant monies, and/or the carrying out of some form of sponsored research.

There should be some sort of "product" which may be evaluated by one's peers within the college and by those outside campus when tenure or senior promotions are being considered. One should avoid narrowing the options by ranking either scholarship or professional activity higher or lower than the other, for scholars and professionals coexist on an equal level within the department.

Likewise, one should take care in ordering endeavors in terms of importance. As a general rule, greater weight will be given to books, monographs and book chapters than to articles, papers, editing activities or book reviews. Prestigious refereed publications are preferred to those which are not. However, professional faculty are encouraged to write for trade or industry publications which, while not refereed, require a high level of professional competence similar to demands made upon traditional scholars.  "Publication" above may be online or traditional, without prejudice.

In general, national conventions or conferences are given greater weight than regional or local ones, but care must be exercised in this regard, for the individual's contributions must be weighed, not only the reputation of the meeting. Competitive papers and invited lectures carry greater weight than those which are not, yet a faculty member's unscheduled participation in a professional meeting or debate can also be important and must not be overlooked.

In disciplines as diverse as those represented in the Communication Department, the widest range of scholarship and creative activity must be encouraged.

Design Department

Departmental Document on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity
May 6, 1997

The following criteria will be utilized in relationship to research, scholarship and creative activity for renewal, tenure, promotion and merit considerations as outlined in the following attached documents: "D.O.P.S. Policy #: VI:05:01: Policy Guidelines for Promotion"; the Dean of Arts and Humanities "Promotion, Tenure, and Renewal Recommendations " dated 1/30/97; and the office of Academic Affair's "Statement on Applied Research" dated 3/7/97. These are the documents and guidelines that the Personnel Committee and Chair of the Department will utilize when reviewing a candidate. This departmental document will serve as a supplement to the attached documents and the complete package will be given to any new faculty at the time of their hire.

Evaluation of the research, scholarship and creative activity will be based upon:

  • its contribution to the common body of knowledge within the discipline and/or public presentation, review and recognition.
  • importance of venue/presentation (qualitative).
  • quantitative evaluation.
  • meets the rigors of evaluatory peer review indicating significance to the discipline.
  • documentation provided by the candidate.

An individual may pursue research, scholarship and creative activity from any of a given number of discipline specific formats as described further in the Venues of Presentation section. It must be noted that the department wishes to remain open to the changing formats of presentation and will evaluate new or additional formats as they present themselves.

Evaluatory Peer Review
For renewal and promotion, peers may be colleagues within the college but more likely to be from the discipline as a whole and should not be limited to the college.

Venues of Presentation
It is incumbent upon the candidate to present thorough documentation of importance of venues.

As stated in D.O.P.S., the pursuit of the venues of presentation should be national in scope.

The following categories (in bold) list possible venues for pursuing research, scholarship and creative activity. The categories are not ranked. Decreasing importance is given to the format for presentation: international, national, regional, and local. These designations will need to be clearly identified and documented for each category.

Applied Research

Client Work

Curating, Jurying or Judging
(See forums in exhibition.)

Electronic Media Productions:
Software Development
Virtual Galleries

Small Group
Establishment with Gallery or Dealer
Forums: Major Museums
Galleries in Major Institutions
Highly Regarded Private Galleries
Major Institutional, Corporate or Private Installations
Highly Regarded Corporate, Institutional or Private Collections
Regional Museums
Regional Galleries
Local Museums
Local Galleries

Grants, Fellowships, Awards, Honors, Etc.:
Major Awards: Fulbrights, Guggenheims or N.E.A., N.E.H, etc.
Exhibition Prizes or Awards
Purchase Awards

Processes or Products Invented or Patented

Professional Consultancy

Public Presentations at Professional Discipline Related Forums:
Professional Papers, Lectures Delivered
Invitations by Professional/Educational Organizations resulting in Presentation
Symposia, Workshops Held

Published Works/Writings:
Planning and Building Projects

Interior Design

The following Criteria for Evaluation is supplied by the IDEC (Interior Design Educators Council), 1993 document on "Appointment, Tenure and Promotion": Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship includes the discovery and dissemination or application of knowledge and the creation and performance or production of works of art and design. Research and creative scholarship that extend across disciplinary boundaries display scholarship of integration. Scholarship of application emphasizes the significance of applied research as well as methods that link practical, real-life activity to theory, including major societal issues. Research and creative scholarship have equivalent contributions to make with respect to the expansion and application of knowledge, the quality of the instructional program, and the growth and professionalism of interior design.

Research may focus upon physical, aesthetic, socio-cultural and psychological issues concerned with the interface between humans and the built environment, as well as design education in all its facets. Such activity should be empirical and based upon experimental, theoretical, and/or historical investigation. Scholarly inquiry in the form of evaluation of innovative teaching techniques, critiques of built environment or significant interiors, philosophical papers, and critical literature reviews can legitimately contribute to the common body of knowledge.

Creative scholarship is defined as original creative activity including studio arts, product design, and interior design practice. Creative work may be the design and production of visual art objects, furnishings, accessories, textiles, etc., or contemporary spaces and/or re-creation of historic spaces. Interior design practice is concerned with improvement of the interior environment and thus the enrichment of the quality of human life. Innovative conceptual design and/or design solutions developed through a problem-solving approach (which may involve constraints imposed by complex client, economic and environmental conditions) may make important contributions towards achieving this goal.

Evaluation of Research and Creative Scholarship, regardless of its nature, should be based on:

1) Its contribution to the expansion or application of the common body of knowledge of interior design.
2) Meeting the rigors of peer review indicating significance to the discipline.
3) Its dissemination in a format that can be cited and retrieved.
A major criterion and the ultimate evaluation of one's scholarship is whether it has been judged by peers to be an addition of knowledge (new knowledge or innovative application of existing knowledge). Thus, some form of evidence is necessary as an indication of peer review or referee. This may include publication in design/research journals, papers delivered at conferences, exhibition in juried shows, competitions and reviews/critiques of design installations by recognized peers and practitioners.

English Department

Definition of Scholarship, Research, And Creative Activity

(In this statement, scholarship refers to scholarly achievement and does not refer to scholarship in the sense of mastery of subject matter. This distinction between scholarly achievement and subject matter follows the distinction made in the Trustees Policies, Article XXI, Paragraphs 4a and 4c).

By scholarship and research, the English Department means contributions to the areas which either traditionally comprise the discipline or which comprise the subject matter and teaching responsibilities in the English Department. At present, contributions to the following areas are appropriate: language (linguistics), literature and culture, rhetoric and composition, secondary English education and educational studies, film, and folklore.

For the most part, scholarly work which reaches and is acknowledged by a reputable national and/or international audience, will be considered of most significance, with regional and local work, respectively, weighted accordingly. This means that in the process of evaluating a scholar's contribution, greatest weight will normally be given to books published by non-vanity presses, and to articles and reviews in refereed journals. Such published scholarship will gain in significance if it receives critical praise from reputable scholars in the field. Articles and reviews in non-refereed journals, though normally of less significance, should not be discounted, but judged according to their clarity, cogency, originality, and significance to the discipline.

Successful grant writing and publicly-recognized applied research are also valid evidence of scholarship.

Though less weighty than published scholarship of national/international importance, presentations at professional conferences, symposia, and colloquia (international, national, regional, community, and campus-wide) are also appropriate and valid forms of scholarly activity, with--as above--greater weight being given to those activities most widely recognized by reputable scholars.

Creative writing and translation are also authentic and valued activities in the English Department. Given appropriate tests of judgment and publication or performance similar to said criteria for scholarship, they represent valid alternatives to traditional scholarly activity. Documentation similar to that required for other scholarship and research should be supplied.

Less weighty than the type of work described above, but nonetheless worthy of professional recognition, are those activities which enhance the college as a community of scholarship and creativity: for example, lecturing or giving readings to campus groups, student and/or faculty; and organizing and convening scholarly/creative events such as poetry readings, conferences, colloquia, etc. These activities should also be judged according to their substance and value to the discipline, and to the scholarly/creative enrichment of the campus community.

March, 1997

Modern and Classical Languages Department

This document constitutes the working definition of "scholarship ability" as aqreed upon by the Foreign Language faculty and endorsed at their meeting on December 10, 1985. It was revised updated and approved on November 5, 1996.


In the Modern and Classical Languages Department, scholarship is understood to be the search for truth and the advancement of knowledge. These ends can be approached by means of the activities listed on page 3.

For the purpose of evaluating the work of a colleague according to the SUNY Board of Trustees' third criterion for the evaluation of personnel ("scholarly ability"), a basic hierarchy of scholarly activities is observed. The rationale for the ranking of the three groups is implicit in the three categories of "scholarly" activity that are distinguished.

While the placing of the items in groups 1 and 3 at the top and bottom respectively of the overall ranking is firm, the order and relative value of items in group 2 is to remain flexible. Furthermore, some scholarly activities will always be best classified as a combination of types 1, 2, and 3.

We assign relative weight to activities within each category primarily in accordance with the order in which they are presented in the listing on page 3; publication carries more weight than oral presentation, national conferences are considered more prestigious than local meetings, etc. We realize, however, that no single categorization can cover every eventuality: the prioritizing on page 4 is used as the normal basis for evaluating a colleague's scholarly activity, and we appreciate breadth as well as depth in scholarly pursuits.

We recognize the need to evaluate a colleague's scholarly ability sensitively in terms of three overlapping parameters:

What has been produced? -Is it learned? -is it original? -is it significant?

What is its quality? -is it clear? -is it cogent? -is it precise?

What has been its reception?
-what reputation does it place of publication or presentation have?
-what kind of citations have been made of it?
-what opinions of its significance have been expressed by qualified peers within the field?

We believe that the questions concerning the "product" are best answered by professionally qualified peers, namely, other scholar-teachers who have themselves been in the habit of submitting scholarly research to the scrutiny of colleagues. These "peers'' need not necessarily be colleagues in the same department or institution.

In the case of junior faculty, "peer" may inevitably be a misnomer. In the case of all faculty, it may sometimes be appropriate and necessary to solicit the written opinions of formally chosen evaluators from outside the college. We appreciate the value of allowing the candidate to submit the names of three to six persons who are qualified to serve as outside evaluators, with the members of the Personnel and Promotions committee having the right to solicit comments from two of those persons. [This procedure was initially endorsed by the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in its document concerning basic personnel evaluation procedures at SUCB (September 1981).]

We maintain that the questions concerning "quality" may be answered not only by professional peers with direct knowledge of the field, but also by any scholar-teacher who has demonstrated the ability to write or speak with clarity, cogency and precision on a topic of professional interest.

We take carefully into consideration the fact that the reputation of a place of publication or presentation may not always be self-evident. We also recognize that there may often be no immediate or substantial professional response to or citation of a colleague's scholarly contribution: this should not necessarily prompt a negative evaluation of any faculty member's scholarly ability, and especially not that of a junior colleague. As long as refereed selection preceded the publication or presentation, we consider the dissemination of learning itself to be of foremost value; any subsequent critical response is an added bonus to be given full and careful evaluation.

We insist on full and proper documentation of the scholarly contributions under evaluation; we read a candidate's publications and expect to be able to examine some printed form of acknowledgment of other kinds of scholarly activity (conference programs, letters of invitation or evaluation, etc.).

We acknowledge the need to distinguish carefully between the legitimate spur to scholarship that friendship often is and any illegitimate exercise of favorably biased friendship to masquerade as objective professional criticism.

We operate under the conviction that all reviews of scholarship should be put in writing, and that careful evaluation of the distinct area(s) and topic(s) of a colleague's scholarly activity will render less likely any inappropriate judgment of its quality that is based solely on the criterion of quantity.

Lastly, we shall continue our practice of requiring a full mention of all scholarship performed to date, but shall usually put special emphasis upon more recent scholarly activities.

(as defined by the Modern and Classical Languages Department)

1. Scholarly Research

Published* research in any area of language, linguistics, literature, culture or foreign language methodology

Presentation# of a paper of professional interest at an international, national, regional or local meeting of a professional association, or at a comparable conference organized by an ad hoc committee

Published* creative writing

2. Scholarly Service

Translation from a foreign language into English, from English into a foreign language or from one foreign language into another of material for publication or for presentation or at a professional meeting

Editorship or membership on the editorial board of a professional publication

Consultancy in the professional area

Published* reviews of textbooks and works of fiction and non-fiction of professional interest

Organization and direction of a workshop or symposium on a matter of professional concern

3. Scholarly Development

Published* research or oral presentation of research in a field which may be only indirectly related to the area of one's primary professional activity, but which enhances the professional reputation of the individual and the College

Development of materials which serve as the basis of instruction for an approved or experimental course at the College or at a similar institution

Applied research as defined by the Office of Academic Affairs in the Statement on Applied Research dated 6/18/96 (attached), especially examples 5, 6, and 8 on page 5.
(*) "Published" includes "accepted for publication"
(#) "Presentation" includes "accepted for presentation"

Philosophy and Religious Studies Department

Definition of Scholarship

By scholarship the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies means the presentation of one's research and philosophical reflections, in written or oral form, to an audience for philosophical dialogue and assessment. Research by itself is not scholarship. Research, to qualify as scholarship must be presented in a public form open to potential philosophical assessment. "Philosophical" in this definition is not to be construed narrowly. It is understood within the context of the rich and diverse subject-matter of philosophy and religious studies, its history, problems, aspirations, its philosophers and scholars, its methods of exegesis, analysis, argumentation, and assessment, and includes challenges to and departures from its traditions.

Examples of evidence of scholarship include, but are not restricted to, published books, journal articles, and book reviews. Written work need not be published in order to qualify as scholarship. Work that is presented to one's colleagues for assessment, at BSC or elsewhere, can also meet the definition. Oral presentations at professional meetings, at conferences, and public lectures are also evidence of scholarship.

Criteria for assessing the quality of scholarship include, but are not restricted to: its originality, significance, erudition, precision, clarity, thoroughness, cogency; the reputation of its locus of publication or presentation, opinions and citations of other philosophers. Evaluation of scholarship, for the purpose of College personnel actions, rests upon the informed and responsible assessment of duly elected Department members. The Chairperson has the responsibility to insure the integrity of the review process. (See attached document [below])

Chairperson's Responsibilities for Scholarly Review

To insure the integrity of departmental reviews of scholarly activity the chairperson should:
1. Give timely notice to each faculty member undergoing review, which includes:

a. Requesting the submission of scholarly activity i.e., publications and presentation records
b. Informing of the option to submit a list of experts qualified to evaluate her scholarly activity or letters of testimony from experts
c. Informing of the profiles of scholarly activity deemed worthy for promotion for each rank and for tenure
d. Giving the complete criteria for assessing scholarly activities.
2. Give instructions to the review (personnel) committee, which includes:
a. Insure that they are duly elected
b. Test for bias
c. Review the history of department's promotions and tenure decisions
d. Insist on confidentiality
e. Review meaning of criteria
f. Direct committee to:
- check documentation 
- make judgments based on evidence with respect to criteria, and focus on criteria singly and in total;
g. Give directions for an effectively written recommendation
h. Remind them of the option of a minority judgment
i. Check the independence of judgment of each committee member, after they have reached their decision.

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School of Arts and Humanities

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