Department of Theater and Dance Handbook


Document TitleDepartment of Theater and Dance Handbook
Document Type
  • Bylaws
  • Policy Document
  • Procedures
  • Guidelines
  • Form
Document Owner
Contact Information
Office Name Phone Email

Approval Date

September 23, 2013

Approved byDean and Department faculty
Effective Date

September 23, 2013

Review Date/Schedule
Revision History



This handbook is a guide to the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance of the State University of New York as they pursue their careers as teachers and artists within the department. The handbook contains the policies and procedures for reappointment, continuing appointment and promotion, as well as the duties and obligations of faculty members within the department. Faculty should read this handbook carefully and be familiar with its contents.

This guide is written in conjunction with the policies and procedures found in the Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, the current Agreement Between the State of New York and the United University Professionals, the Faculty Handbook (1993), and the Handbook on Appointment, Reappointment, and Promotion (HARP) (2017).

Nothing in this handbook should be read as superseding any of these documents.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Department of Theatre and Dance to provide training for professional, community and academic theatres within the framework of a liberal arts education. The theatre and dance programs also  serve as one means of acquiring a liberal education.

Vision Statement

The Department of Theatre and Dance aspires to be a leader in the development, education and training of actors and dancers, both for the worlds of professional theatre, film and dance, and equally as important, for the arts community as a whole nationwide. The department recognizes that the professional world of performing arts and entertainment represents only a small segment of the diversity of arts opportunities available to students, and strives to offer programs that will give students choice and flexibility in planning for careers in theatre and dance. We believe that professional style training offered within the context of a liberal arts education makes this possible.

The department offers a general Bachelor of Arts degree for those students interested in pursuing a broad education in theatre and dance. Students in this program receive training in both the technical and performance aspects of theatre, and have the option of pursuing additional courses in dance. Students may choose to concentrate their studies in a particular area, thus allowing for a deeper experience. When combined with a minor or a second major, this degree allows students to achieve the flexibility necessary to work as an entrepreneur in the field of performing arts. Possible career choices include teaching artist, community theatre artist, drama therapy, arts in education, creative dramatics, arts administration, and a number of other choices.

The department also offers a number of Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs in several areas. These   include Acting, Dance, Technical Design and Production, and in cooperation with the School of Music, Musical Theatre. These degree programs are designed to provide a more intense experience and more concentrated training in their particular areas, and are for those students whose career goals are firmly dedicated to  careers in these areas.

The department is dedicated to producing for the university community as well as the general public theatrical and dance productions of the highest caliber. The department offers a number of theatrical and dance events of all sorts, ranging from the classical to the experimental. These productions offer students a living laboratory of performance, where they may have the opportunity to explore their art form to the  fullest and challenge themselves as performers within a guided framework of close mentoring by the faculty.

The faculty of the department consists of dedicated, resident full-­‐time professional artists who have chosen to devote their careers to the education and training of young artists. Their first and foremost obligation is to impart to their students the benefit of their own training and insights as practicing artists in the field. While the faculty continue to develop their own careers as working artists, they see as their primary responsibility their work in the classroom and in the productions produced by the department for the benefit of the students.

The department is not focused merely on the training and development of the young artist as an artist, but also on the young artist as a developing young person. The department believes in the training of the entire person, and strives to offer students skills in areas such as critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, cooperation, and other life skills that will allow a student to be successful regardless of their final chosen profession. Combined with the liberal arts education offered at SUNY Fredonia, the department strives to educate and train not only the finest young artists it can, but also the finest young people it can. We believe this is what will best serve the arts of theatre and dance now, and for generations to come.



Department Chair

The Department Chair is appointed to a three-year term, and serves as the chief executive officer of the Department of Theatre and Dance. In addition, the chair also serves as the Producing Artistic Director for the department’s season of mainstage shows. The Chair works with faculty and staff to articulate and implement departmental vision, goals and strategies and represent the best interests of the department within the university community. The Chair must also serve as a liaison between the department and the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts, representing the needs and expectations of both to the other.

Specific duties and responsibilities of the Chair include:

  • Serve as Chief Executive Officer of the department
  • Serve as the liaison between the department and the administration of the university.
  • Serve as Producing Artistic Director of the department’s season of public performances
  • ex officio member of all committees in the department
  • Planning and development of the curriculum and its assessment
  • Program review and assessment
  • Assuring the accreditation of the department, either nationally or within SUNY.
  • The recruitment of faculty
  • The preparation of course schedules and faculty teaching assignments
  • Evaluation and recommendation of faculty for reappointment, continuing appointment and promotion
  • Evaluation and recommendation for Merit/Equity (DSI), leaves and awards
  • Encouragement of the professional growth and development of faculty
  • Fostering good communication among departmental personnel
  • Recruitment and retention of students
  • Planning and administration of the departmental, production and foundation budgets
  • Participation in administrative meetings
  • Ensuring departmental policy compliance with HARP, the Policies of the Board of Trustees,  and UUP Agreements
  • General outreach activities
  • Cultivating relationships with alumni
  • Grant writing and fundraising
  • Supervision of departmental facilities and support personnel
  • Working with the Dean to advance concerns of the Department, the College and the University
  • Upholding standards of professional integrity and ethics
  • Overseeing and implementing the department mentoring program
  • Insuring the integrity and the quality of student academic advising
  • Evaluating transfer student transcripts for the awarding of proper credit
  • Review and approval of applications for graduation
  • Representing the Department to other universities, professional organizations, and community constituencies
  • Managing the allocation of space for departmental personnel and equipment
  • Performing other duties as observed by the Chair to be needed and/or assigned by the Dean

The Department Chair may delegate many of these duties, but it should be understood that he or she is ultimately accountable for all required departmental functions.

Department Chair Appointment Process

The following is the process by which the Department of Theatre and Dance will select their department chairperson upon the occasion of that position becoming open. Nothing in this policy shall supercede any written policies in the Faculty Handbook,the Policies of the Board of Trustees, or the Chair Selection Policy passed by University Senate 11/16/2016.

The Department Chair is appointed by the President of the University for a three-year term. A currently serving chair must go through the appointment process in order to be re-appointed for another three-year term. There is no limit as to how many terms a chair may serve.

By October 15th of the third year of their appointment, the chair will initiate the process of selecting a new chair. Only full-time tenured faculty are eligible to be appointed as chair. Tenured faculty wishing to be considered for the chair shall write to the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts  a letter indicating their intention. They shall provide in that letter the reasons why they wish to be considered for the chair and their qualifications. Accompanying the letter shall be a one-page statement of the vision and goals the candidate has for the department and their current curriculum vitae.

All members of the faculty and staff shall act as a “committee of the whole” in the selection process. The highest- ranking full-time faculty member who is not a candidate for the chair shall serve as the facilitator of the process. Once the candidates have submitted their name to the Dean, the department will interview each candidate and ask questions based on the stated goals and visions of the candidate.

After discussion amongst the members of the department, a vote by secret ballot shall be taken. The candidate winning a majority of the total votes cast shall be the candidate who will be recommended to the Dean. Voting faculty may choose to abstain. Should no candidate receive a majority of the votes on the first vote taken, the department may hold additional votes to achieve a majority for one candidate. The department will provide to the Dean the result of the vote as well as a short summary of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. After appropriate consultation with the department, the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts will forward the recommendation to the Provost/Vice-President for Academic Affairs..

Should the department find none of the candidates acceptable (i.e. no candidates receive any votes, or the department becomes stalemated among the candidates), the Dean will have the responsibility of recommending a chair from amongst the candidates. Should no eligible candidates within the department come forward for consideration, the department will consult with the Dean to determine a process by which a chair shall be selected.

Once a chair has been appointed by the President, he or she may organize the department in whatever manner they feel will best suit the needs of the department at that time. Given that the department consists of three distinct areas (performance, technical production and design, and dance), it is advisable that the chair organize the department in  a manner that is reflective of this reality, and provides a means of feedback and dialog across the department. Any re-organization plan is subject to approval by the Dean.

See HARP section III.

The Department Personnel Committee shall consist of all tenured faculty, not including the department chair,for the purpose of advising and guiding the reappointment, continued appointment and/or promotion process. The Committee is responsible for helping create the dossier for all candidates coming up for reappointment, continuing appointment, or promotion.  Committee members will select a DPC chair. The DPC chair is required to organize a consulting meeting among appropriate faculty and the Department Chair to discuss the materials of faculty members applying for reappointment, continued appointment and/or promotion in accordance with the HARP timeline.


The Curriculum Committee consists of three members of the Department appointed annually by the Department Chair. It includes a representative from each of the areas of the Department. The committee is formed by volunteers. The Chair of the Department selects the Chair of the committee from the volunteers. It is the responsibility of the Curriculum Committee to consider and prepare all departmental curricular action that is submitted for inclusion in  the SUNY Fredonia Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs. This committee is also charged with initiating discussions of curricular issues that may not be ready for action, but which may, nevertheless, affect academic programs and resource allocation within the department. The Department Chair or a Director may submit actions and/or issues to the committee for consideration. Issues may also originate within the Committee. The committee is expected to work closely with all appropriate parties including the faculty in programs under consideration and the Department Chair. Area directors should be aware of all curricular deadlines posted in the Academic Affairs work calendar.

The committee performs the following duties for each curricular action:

  1. Initiate or receive review proposals for:
    1. All new courses, requirements or programs
    2. Changes in existing courses, requirements or programs
    3. Elimination of courses, requirements or programs
  2. Complete the required curricular change forms as required by Academic Affairs
  3. Present curricular proposals to the faculty for discussion and vote. A simple majority is required for a curricular proposal to be approved. If a proposal is not approved, the committee may take it back for revision and resubmission.
  4. If the proposal is approved by the faculty, it is then submitted to the Department Chair for endorsement and follows necessary steps required by Academic Affairs for endorsement.


This committee consists of volunteer members of the faculty, and is responsible for offering to the department a season of theatre and dance for consideration for the following academic year. The Chair shall select from among the members a chair of the committee. Members of the committee shall call for suggestion of plays from among the faculty. Any member of the faculty or staff can submit a play for consideration. No faculty director or designer   shall be bound to direct or design any production in which they have no interest. The season selection committee must find a director willing to direct any play that she or he has not submitted themselves. Selection of the musical(s) (if any are selected) shall be done in cooperation with the School of Music.

The selection of plays and/or dance material should show some consideration for the academic growth of the students as well as the financial needs of the box office. This can be a difficult balance to maintain. It is of primary concern to the educational needs of our students that they be exposed to as many varied forms of theatre and dance as possible within their four years. While no student will ever get the opportunity to be involved with everything, they should at the very least be able to see and experience as much as possible within the four years they attend the university. This educational mission of the production season should extend not only to our student majors, but to the student body as a whole.

The season selection committee should strive to make every effort to select the season by the end of the fall semester so as to provide adequate time for publicity and preparation. As Producing Artistic Director of the department, the Chair shall give final approval to the season. It shall be the responsibility of the chair to announce the season to the students and the general public. Season selection discussions, including titles of plays, shall be kept in the strictest confidence by the faculty until the chair announces the season.



Faculty shall meet all obligations concerning the teaching of their classes as assigned by the Department Chair. They shall also hold appropriate office hours connected to their classes and be generally available to students for discussion of their academic progress. A typical teaching load for a faculty member is 7 three-credit courses per academic year, and one assignment within the department’s performance program. Independent study, directed study, or additional labs are typically not counted towards a faculty member’s teaching load. Any adjustments to a faculty member’s teaching schedule are at the discretion of the Department Chair.


The season of plays, musicals and dance concerts is an integral aspect of the department’s academic mission. Faculty members are expected to fully participate in the production of the department’s performance program. Participation includes but is not necessarily limited to acting, directing, designing, choreographing, technical direction, or some other significant aspect of a production. An assignment within the performance program is generally considered as the equivalent of one three-credit course within a faculty member’s typical teaching load.


Course Selection and Registration

The Chair will assign each student in the department a faculty advisor. Students will be assigned to faculty based primarily on the student’s major, and then secondarily on the number of advisees each faculty has. The goal is to insure that no member of the faculty is overburdened with advisors while others have lighter advising loads.

Faculty should expect to have some advisees in the BA General Theatre program as well as some advisees outside their specific discipline. Faculty should be prepared to be knowledgeable in all the degree programs offered by the department.

The advisor is each student's primary source of information on course selection, progress toward a degree, and the exploration of possibilities given each student's unique attributes and abilities. Incoming freshman and transfer students are encouraged to meet their advisor during the first week of classes to become familiar with them and the advising process. Advisors will meet with their advisees during Advising Week (prior to course registration), whenever a student may need to discuss adding or dropping courses, change in majors or department review

procedures. Each student has an advising folder that should be securely located in the faculty member’s office. This file contains student transcripts, registration forms, review sheets, high school transcripts, transfer credit approval forms and advising check sheets. Students have a right to inspect their academic file at any time and to make copies of any information contained therein.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

All faculty shall adhere to the rules and regulations contained in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The following is re-printed from the University Catalog:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, sets forth requirements designed to protect the privacy of parents and students. The statute governs the access to records maintained by educational institutions, and the release of such records.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act permits current or former students to inspect and review their education records. Students are also accorded a right to a hearing in order to question the contents of their education records. Written consent from students may be required before personally identifiable information about them will be released from their education records, as provided by law.

Specifically, institutions are permitted to release directory information on students unless the students have notified the institution to withhold this information. Directory information is "public" information, which may be released     without the student's consent to persons making inquiry. Personally identifiable information designated as directory information includes: the student's name; local address and local telephone number; cell phone number; university- assigned e-mail address; student's home address and home telephone number; parent's name, address and telephone number; class schedule; date and place of birth; major field of study; class standing; participation in officially recognized sports and activities; weight and height (athletes); electronic images (photographs); dates of attendance at university; degrees and awards received; and the most recent previous educational institution attended.

In essence, this means that a student’s educational records are their own, and must not be released to anyone who does not have written consent from the student to see that information. Of particular importance to faculty is the matter of grades and identification numbers. Faculty must take every precaution to insure that a student’s grade or ID number (particularly a SSN number) is not distributed in any manner that would allow any other person to see that grade. Posting of grades on bulletin boards, distribution of unsealed papers or grades to mailboxes, leaving graded assignments outside office doors are practices that are prohibited by FERPA.

Faculty must also use common sense when communicating with parents concerning a student’s academic process.   In general, faculty should not discuss a student’s academic progress with the student’s parents or anyone else unless the student has given written consent. Faculty should treat a parent’s concern for their children’s progress seriously, but faculty should remind parents that, under the law, they cannot discuss any aspect of a student’s academic record with the parent. Insistent parents should be referred to the department chair.

Student Groups

Faculty may serve as advisors to the departmental Student Organizations. The Student Association creates policy, and approves budgets for all student groups. All student events and organizations are funded by the Student Association. Faculty responsibility to the organizations is to provide assistance and sponsorship, not to administer policy, provide resources or allocate funding.

See HARP sections III, IV, and V.


The purpose of this section is to formulate a guide for teaching, research and service expectations for the Department of Theatre and Dance. The Department works within the requirements set forth in the Policies of the Board of Trustees (Articles X and XII), the Handbook on Appointment, Reappointment, and Promotion (HARP), and the current UUP Agreement. Nothing in this document shall be construed to supersede either the Policies of the Board of Trustees or HARP.

As stipulated in the documents above, faculty in the Department of Theatre and Dance shall be evaluated within the three criteria of teaching effectiveness, creative/scholarly activity, and professional service. Effective teaching of students is the most important area of a faculty member’s evaluation; however, the Department of Theatre and Dance believes that a faculty member’s effectiveness and growth are directly related to and enhanced by scholarly  or creative activity. Therefore, the Department expects that each faculty member be involved in scholarly research or creative activity. Service applies to the non-teaching needs of the department and the university, such as committee work, faculty mentoring and departmental or university assignments, as well as service to students, the community and/or to one’s professional field of endeavor.

By the end of the first year of employment, a faculty member must produce a reasonable, comprehensive and attainable plan consisting of goals and strategies for their teaching, creative and/or scholarly work, and service. By no means is this plan to be considered immutable or unchanging. Indeed, at the end of the third year a faculty member should assess their initial plan and make appropriate changes as their assessment indicates.

This work should be done in consultation with the Personnel Committee, their faculty mentor, and the department chair. The faculty member, the Department Personnel Committee, and the department chair must agree upon this plan. Any changes should be submitted with the faculty member’s dossier when they come up for reappointment. In this way, faculty members will not be held accountable to the department’s vision of what they should achieve – there is none. The department does not believe that a faculty member should be made to jump through a series of pre-set hoops or pre-defined goals, nor does it see as beneficial the counting of publications or performances for their own sake. In  the world of creative and artistic expression, such methods are counterproductive and not conducive to artistic expression, freedom or growth. Rather, a candidate will be measured and evaluated against his or her own criteria for professional growth, development and success in all three areas of teaching, creative/scholarly activity, and service.

The following criteria in the three categories shall apply to evaluations made at all phases of a faculty member’s career in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the State University of New York at Fredonia.



As Fredonia’s Vision Statement ,  makes clear, Fredonia aspires to transform our students, our region, and our world through experiential, intellectual and creative endeavors within the traditions of inclusive community and purposeful inquiry.  Theatre and Dance faculty members should have the desire, the knowledge, and the skills with which to improve teaching effectiveness. In order to encourage such professional growth and to evaluate progress, the department uses the following set of guidelines for tenure-track faculty and faculty seeking promotion.

General Criteria

The evaluation of teaching effectiveness utilizes a variety of information sources. Since teaching is best evaluated by its effect upon students, various measures of student change, academic achievement, critical thinking skills, attitudes, should be included. A significant component for evaluation will be the perceptions of students expressed in comments and ratings on course evaluation forms. It is important, however, that these perceptions be supplemented by input from other relevant sources. Each source of information – student, peer, administrator, self- assessment – offers important but limited insights. No single source is enough for tenure, promotion, or retention decisions.

Documenting teaching effectiveness can take many forms. In the Department of Theatre and Dance, the evaluation of teaching effectiveness will utilize the following sources of information:

  1. A teacher’s self-appraisal
  2. Products of Teaching/Student Learning
  3. Summaries of Student Evaluations
  4. Summaries of Peer Reviews
  5. A sample of course materials

Documentation of Teaching

Because teaching dossiers are highly personalized products, no two are exactly alike. Content and organization will differ from one faculty member to another. It is the prerogative of the candidate to organize the materials in a way that he/she determines to be the most effective means of documentation. Material must include, but is not limited to:

  • A statement of the faculty member’s personal teaching philosophy, strategies, objectives and methodologies
  • A self-appraisal by the faculty member that will reflect on teaching progress made since the last renewal and which will identify goals for the subsequent reappointment period
  • A listing of teaching responsibilities, including course titles, numbers and enrollments
  • Representative course syllabi detailing course content and objectives, readings, assignments, projects and quizzes
  • Representative student product illustrated through slides, CD/DVD or printouts or through writing samples
  • Student evaluation results
  • Description of curricular revisions, including new course projects, materials or assignments
  • Instructional innovations and their assessment
  • Description of steps taken to evaluate and improve one’s teaching, including changes resulting from self- evaluation, research or student feedback
  • Evaluations from members of the faculty who have observed the professor in the classroom

Optional material that can be included within the dossier:

  • Statements from colleagues who have reviewed the professor’s teaching materials, such as course syllabi, assignments, testing and grading practices
  • Honors or other recognition from colleagues, students or professional organizations
  • Statements by alumni on the quality of instruction
  • A record of students who succeed in advanced study in the field
  • Student performance or publication in the discipline
  • Information about the effect of the professor or their courses on student career choices, securing employment or graduate school acceptance
  • Unsolicited student letters
  • Letters from student internship supervisors or employers attesting to student competence
  • Any evidence attesting to student accomplishment relating to one’s course (for example, a student work produced in a course that is professionally presented or a student project that wins an award)
  • Student course or teaching evaluation data from sources outside SUNY Fredonia assessment procedures
  • Documentation of teaching development activities such as attending workshops, conferences or seminars

Peer Evaluation Process

Each area within the department shall establish for itself the criteria that make for successful teaching within its discipline. The Department Personnel Committee and the Department Chair shall review these criteria for appropriateness and subsequent approval. These criteria shall be clearly communicated to all members of the faculty.

Faculty members under consideration for reappointment or continuing appointment shall have a peer review session before each year’s dossier is to be reviewed by the Personnel Committee. It is the responsibility of the candidate to arrange for such a review. No less than two faculty members shall conduct a peer evaluation at any one time. Only tenured faculty members may conduct peer reviews of teaching. Any tenured faculty member may choose to do a peer evaluation of a candidate’s teaching, but under no circumstances is a faculty member to do so without another faculty member present. All peer reviews shall be arranged prior to any reviewer attending a class. No unannounced reviews are permitted under any circumstances.

At minimum, a member of the Department Personnel Committee and a tenured faculty member in their area or discipline must review the candidate. Candidates may invite particular members of the tenured faculty to evaluate their teaching.

Peer evaluations shall be completed by the reviewing faculty members in a timely fashion sufficient to allow the candidate to meet deadlines. Candidates shall be given copies of all reviews, and candidates shall have the right to offer observations and/or rebuttals of their evaluations.



The Department recognizes creative activity and scholarship as a key component of faculty responsibility. Scholarship and creative work has a complementary and overlapping relationship with teaching and service that establishes the underlying, driving force for creating a community of learners, a fundamental mission of the College. The nature of professional activity in which our faculty are engaged within the context of a comprehensive,   selective, diverse, residential institution demands a broad-based approach towards recognizing and categorizing scholarly and creative achievements.

General Criteria

A major focus of the Department is the preparation of individuals for a variety of future careers in theatre and dance disciplines. We believe that all faculty must be actively engaged in scholarly and/or creative activity to maintain  their own professional focus and growth, to provide examples for students, and to support the missions of the department and college. We realize that research and creative activity can take many forms and fully endorse the broadened conception of scholarly activity including the scholarships of discovery, integration and application, and teaching. The different forms of scholarship should not be viewed as hierarchical.

The department recognizes that the amount of time, energy and dedication needed to contribute to the theatrical season of productions within the department. This means that faculty may have less time to devote to artistic performances or publications outside the university. It is understood that the creative work done by the faculty in contribution to the department’s annual performance season is a legitimate and highly regarded form of scholarship and creative work as well as teaching, and shall be viewed as such in the evaluation of the candidate’s dossier.

However, such work cannot serve as a substitute for creative and scholarly activity outside the department. Faculty seeking reappointment, continuing appointment or promotion must also demonstrate a reasonable and appropriate record of creative or scholarly work that demonstrates their continuing engagement with the professional worlds of theatre or dance outside the university. Faculty members should prepare a reasonable research and/or creative plan for themselves that addresses this issue.

In the Department of Theatre and Dance, scholarship/research/creative activity can take many forms. Regardless of their specific nature or category, all substantial scholarly or creative activities should embody the following characteristics:

  • The activity requires a high level of discipline-related expertise.
  • The activity can be validated as a scholarly or creative contribution.
  • The activity and its results can be documented.
  • The activity and its results can be reviewed.
  • The activity has significance or impact within the intended community.

Types of Scholarly or Creative Activity

A given activity may fall into one or more scholarly categories. It is the prerogative of the candidate to indicate how he/she feels the activity should be categorized to determine the most effective means of documentation, which   might include catalogues, brochures, copies of publications, copies of reviews, etc.

The Scholarship of Discovery is basic research or creative work. The Scholarship of Discovery is an essential element of the Department’s mission and a valued contribution by any candidate. Activities that fall under the category of scholarship of discovery may include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating and presenting and/or exhibiting original works of theatrical or dance expression which may take place within various venues such as university/college theatres, professional theatres, professional publications, film, alternative and virtual spaces (i.e. web-based performances or publications)
  • Publishing scholarly monographs or books that advance understanding of the discipline
  • Original research findings published in scholarly journals or professional publications
  • Presentations of creative endeavor or original research findings in written or oral form within appropriate venues
  • Organizing a panel, conference session or symposium
  • Successful grant applications, fellowships, awards, residencies and commissions which represent recognition for creative/research activity

The Scholarship of Integration is defined as “making connections across the disciplines, placing special ties in larger context, illuminating data in a revealing way, often educating non-specialists.” The Scholarship of Application is defined as “the use of one’s own discipline to solve consequential social problems beyond what would ordinarily be called ‘service’” and is supported with “the rigor – and the accountability – traditionally associated with research activities.” The Scholarship of Integration and the Scholarship of Application are essential elements of the Department’s mission to promote creative and professional activities in theatre and dance and to contribute to the overall mission of the College. Activities that fall under the category of scholarship of application/integration may include, but are not limited to:

  • Citations, reviews for publication, critical writing, textbooks, peer reviewed scholarship of teaching, developing curriculum guidelines or framework in an interdisciplinary context
  • Published biographies in a book, anthology or catalogue
  • Published critical reviews of interdisciplinary creative or scholarly projects
  • Published interdisciplinary curricular materials
  • Organization and direction of theatrical or dance works as a public service
  • Serving as a Visiting Artist or Artist/Scholar-in-Residence
  • Grant applications for applied research and performances
  • Producing a commissioned work for performance and/or publication
  • Presentation of integrated or applied research in written or oral form within appropriate venues
  • Developing professional resources to be used by other artists or professionals
  • Serving on a task force and or steering committee
  • Lending professional expertise to professional organizations, serving as an adjudicator or peer-review panelist, consulting or serving as an outside evaluator
  • Chairing or serving in program or curricular reviews and/or participating on an accreditation team evaluating other educational entities

The Scholarship of Teaching is defined as a scholarly approach to teaching. The Scholarship of Teaching, like other scholarship, must find an audience beyond the individual faculty member’s classroom and provide evidence that the pedagogy has been researched in relation to the particular subject matter. The Scholarship of Teaching is recognized as an essential element of the Department’s mission and an essential element of every teaching candidate’s performance. Activities that fall under the category of scholarship of teaching may include, but are not limited to:

  • Publishing a textbook
  • Peer reviewed curriculum development
  • Improving the effectiveness of one’s own teaching through peer review
  • Assessing effectiveness of new learning technologies
  • Facilitating student performances or presentations outside of the University (documented by review)
  • Grants applications for developing and refining pedagogy
  • Developing educational resources to be used by other educators
  • Writing reviews of books and textbooks in area(s) of expertise
  • Presentation in written, oral or electronic form within appropriate venues related to pedagogy

Documentation of Scholarly and Creative Activity

In briefest terms, a way of providing evidence of accomplishments is a listing of scholarly and creative activities in a curriculum vita. The full vitae should list all scholarly and creative activities with representative evidence provided in the professional portfolio. The Department does not expect a copy of every activity to be included as evidence, but does expect the candidate to use good judgment in selecting the evidence presented. Quantity is not the criteria, but the quality of the activities and the accomplishments they document. If the Personnel Committee wishes to review something not included in the portfolio, members of the committee can ask the candidate for that evidence.

Documentation for scholarly and creative activities must include, but is not limited to:

  • A statement on research activity and its significance
  • A current and up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
  • An artist statement or research philosophy
  • A description of performances, , publications (whenever possible with a description of the selection process), presentations and creative projects as appropriate to the field or type of scholarly activity
  • Examples of selected pieces (i.e., documentation of current creative work, copies of manuscripts, copies of published work, CDs or DVDs of professional projects, external reviews of creative or professional work)
  • Letters of acceptance for publication, exhibition or presentation
  • Description of scholarly activities in progress



The acquiring of experience and knowledge through teaching and research is of little value if it cannot be shared. Service is of several kinds. It includes serving productively on various committees from the department to the college level, participating in professional organizations and public bodies and providing professional expertise to business, industry, schools, organizations and colleagues. Therefore, faculty members are expected to serve the larger community, both within the university structure of shared governance, and within the Fredonia/Dunkirk community. As practitioners in their respective fields, faculty members are also expected to offer service at a national level to their learned society or professional organization.

Types of Service Activities

Service activities would include, but are not limited to:
Membership on departmental, college, or university committees
Maintaining and/or supervising a departmental lab or work space
Grant writing for departmental benefit
Departmental, College, or university fund-raising
Student placement in internships
Advising Student Organizations
Scheduling and/or sponsoring an on-campus student exhibition or event
Assisting departmental committees without serving as an active member
Departmental, college, or university-level administrative work
Membership in a professional organization
Holding a board or administrative position in a professional organization
Organizing or supervising a program or event for a professional organization without pay
Pro Bono work

Documentation of Service Activity

  • A statement by the faculty member describing the service activity, its significance, and how the activity affected the College
  • List of relevant service activities including duties and position (if held)
  • Description of significant service activities, particularly with documented results
  • Materials developed as a result of service activities (e.g., policy manuals, by-laws, public art work)
  • Technical reports and/or publications


Fredonia's faculty will continue to be dedicated teachers and also practicing scholars and performers/artists whose continuous learning animates their teaching. The University both requires and will foster their research, creativity, and other professional service as members of our learning community. It is expected that all Theatre and Dance faculty will be actively involved within various creative/professional activities and that the levels of peer review as described in HARP will be used as a means for making evaluations relative to reappointment, tenure and promotion. Within evaluations for promotion, the level of expectations of peer review necessary for advancement will increase through the ranks. Further details are in HARP sections III and IV, and Appendix D.

Reappointment and Continuing Appointment

The department will adhere to all policies for re-appointment and continuing appointment as specified in the Faculty Handbook, as well as all timelines for such appointments as determined by the Office of the Provost/Vice    President of Academic Affairs. By September 15, all full-time tenure track members of the theatre and dance faculty shall receive a list and timeline of all non-tenured faculty members eligible for reappointment, together with an indication of their years of service to SUNY Fredonia and the number of years remaining before their continuing appointment decision. It is the responsibility of the Department Chair to provide this list

Faculty seeking renewal of term appointment or applying for continuing appointment shall prepare a dossier in accordance with the departmental policies well as the Personnel Policies as printed in the Faculty Handbook. They may do so with or without the assistance of their mentor. The dossier shall be submitted to the appropriate persons or committee according to the established timeline. There will be different dates for these meetings as non-tenured faculty members eligible for reappointment have different deadlines determined by their years of service to SUNY Fredonia.

Members of the Personnel Committee will first review dossiers. Candidates must hand in their complete dossier to the committee on the date specified in their reappointment timeline. During this time the committee members will review the dossier and consult with the candidate to make recommendations for changes or to request further information. This review will be conducted within the department only; no contact will be made to external references cited in the submitted material during this initial review. Candidates will then submit their dossiers to the department chair for consideration by all tenured faculty in the department on the date established in the Academic Calendar. After the candidate’s dossier is submitted for faculty reappointment, each tenured faculty members must review the materials presented by the individual applying for reappointment. Faculty who have questions about any of the material contained in the dossier must first consult with the candidate to request clarification or further explanation. If after this consultation validation of information is still required, concerned parties will contact the Department Chair who may then contact external references listed in the material and inform concerned parties of the results.

Upon completion of the review process, the tenured faculty will meet for discussion and evaluation of all non- tenured faculty members eligible for reappointment at least three weeks prior to the departmental deadline concerning continued appointment and continued appointment decisions as determined by the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. At these meetings, consideration will be given to an individual’s progress towards continued appointment, with special emphasis placed on those individuals who are in the year prior to the last year  in which tenure proceedings may be instituted. Each tenured faculty member must review the materials presented by the individual applying for reappointment. Each tenured faculty member will communicate to the Department Chair his/her recommendations. Based on these recommendations, the application and substantiating data, the Department Chair will write a letter of recommendation to the Dean of Arts and Sciences. The candidate under review will be given a copy of the recommendation as it is forwarded to the Dean. The terms of reappointment shall reflect the consideration of the individual’s progress towards tenure by granting one of the following: a continuing appointment, a reappointment with reservations or a reappointment without reservations. The process will go forward as stipulated in the academic calendar produced by the Office of the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs and according to the Policies of the Board of Trustees.


The Department of Theatre and Dance recognizes the further elaboration of the standards of promotion in academic ranks as outlined in the Policies of the Board of Trustees and SUNY Fredonia Faculty Handbook. All promotional deliberations will include an evaluation according to the general criteria specified by the Policies of the Board of Trustees and SUNY Fredonia Faculty Handbook, which becomes increasingly rigorous with each subsequent rank as outlined below. Faculty seeking promotion must adhere to the times and dates as issued in the Academic Affairs calendar for each academic year. Prior to applying for a promotion, faculty members should seek consultation with the Department Chair to inform him or her of their intention to apply for promotion. Particular attention should be paid to the criteria for promotion established in the Faculty Handbook. A faculty member seeking promotion may ask for a mentor at his or her discretion. Faculty should notify the Department Chair of their intent to apply for promotion by November 1. The Department Chair will then notify the chair of the Department Personnel Committee, which will be charged with developing a timeline for the applicant for review within the department.

The department review for promotion will follow the same guidelines as department review for continuing appointment. Applicants for promotion must formally submit their dossier to the department for review by the date indicated in the Academic Affairs calendar (usually mid-January). Only tenured faculty from the ranks above those of the applicants for promotion will meet to discuss the materials submitted for application and communicate their recommendations to the Department Chair. Based on these recommendations, the application and substantiating data, the Department Chair will write a letter of recommendation to the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

Criteria for promotion is as follows:

Promotion from Instructor to Assistant Professor: The candidate must complete the terminal degree in the field or  its professional or educational equivalent. For studio artists with the M.F.A. and historian/theorists with a Ph.D, the initial appointment should be at the Assistant Professor level. Promotion to Assistant Professor shall be granted   only to individuals whose job performance is satisfactory according to the General Criteria as described in the Policies of the Board of Trustees and SUNY Fredonia Faculty Handbook. This promotion has no direct influence or bearing upon any subsequent decision for continued appointment.

For Reappointment: the candidate will provide evidence that he/she is engaged in creative/professional activity in which the level of selection and/or recognition encompasses are view process at a local and regional level outside the university. This is the expected level of creative/professional activity required of all departmental faculty. By pre-tenure review the candidate should broaden the level and/or recognition of creative/professional activity to a wide regional or national level.

Promotion to Associate Professor: requires a demonstration of continued effectiveness in teaching combined with a significant level of creative/professional activity while an Assistant Professor through a combination of wide regional, national or international exhibitions, performances, presentations, refereed publications and/or other forms of broadly defined recognized scholarly activity. Bases for promotional decisions to the rank of Associate Professor are described in the Policies of the Board of Trustees and SUNY Fredonia Faculty Handbook

Continuing Appointment: typically is based on the same expectations as promotion to Associate Professor but recommendations for Continuing Appointment and/or promotion to a rank may or may not be concurrent.

Promotion to Full Professor: both the cumulative record and work done while an Associate Professor are considered. Promotion to Full Professor for the candidate requires a significant demonstration of continued effectiveness in teaching and substantial evidence of creative/professional activity. The substantial level of creative/professional activity required of all departmental faculty is a sustained, cumulative record of peer-reviewed creative/professional activities at the national or international level. Bases for promotional decisions to the rank of Professor are described in the Policies of the Board of Trustees and SUNY Fredonia Faculty Handbook.


In the first year, all tenure-track faculty will be mentored by the Department Chair. The Chair will assist first-year faculty with understanding the policies of procedures associated with the Department and University tenure and promotion process as well as acclimatize recent hires to the Fredonia environment. After the first year, the Department Personnel Committee will serve in a mentoring capacity. The committee will be involved in the junior faculty member’s tenure and promotion process as an initial reader of their tenure and promotion dossier as well as  speaking on behalf of the junior faculty during the department’s reappointment and tenure decision meetings. Upon request a junior faculty member may be provided with an individual mentor who is not necessarily a member of the Personnel Committee. A faculty member may also select to have a mentor outside the department. In this case a junior faculty member is encouraged to seek a mentor through the Professional Development Center, which runs a mentoring program. A faculty member may choose to change mentors at any time.

Becoming a faculty mentor is voluntary and requires working with the assigned junior faculty member for all of the years leading to the junior faculty member’s tenure decision. Faculty mentors may be asked to participate in classroom observations as well as identify areas for improvement.

Sample Dossier Compilation: See HARP Appendix D


The creation of excellence in the arts is always a difficult and time-consuming process. The performing arts of theatre and dance are no exception to that reality. Faculty within these two artistic disciplines work in real time, create “in the moment,” spend countless (and, for the most part, unaccounted) hours in rehearsal rooms, dance studios, and performance spaces. They work in close contact with their colleagues and with student majors on a daily basis throughout the academic year. This process creates a relationship between colleagues and between faculty and student majors that is unique in the academic community. This element of the work and life of a faculty member within Theatre and Dance is critical, and should not be taken lightly or be easily dismissed. Care should be undertaken by everyone concerned that faculty members do not “burn themselves out” in an attempt to do more  than is required by these policies. A delicate balance must always be maintained among a faculty member’s academic, professional and personal life. Seeking to achieve the appropriate balance is the goal of this document, and should be the goal of those responsible for implementing the policies contained herein. Only by creating this healthy balance can we ensure that the mission and vision of the Department of Theatre and Dance can be successfully achieved.


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