Criteria for Tenure Evaluation: Academic Advising

The St. John Fisher University Faculty Statutes govern the rank and tenure process. Academic advising is one area in which candidates for rank and tenure must demonstrate effectiveness.

The statutory guidelines for academic advising are articulated in section of the Faculty Statutes and all candidates for tenure and/or promotion should adhere closely to these guidelines.

The faculty member's responsibilities as an academic advisor may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Academic advising and/or tutoring of one's own students, designated advisees, and other students when appropriate;
  • Participation in academic enrichment activities, including advising student groups.

Documentation of effective advising may include, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Self-evaluation;
  • Evaluation by department chair, the school dean (where applicable), and/or provost;
  • Peer evaluations;
  • Systematic gathering of student opinion.

Questions to Consider

You are not required to answer these questions. They are intended as guiding questions only.

  • What are your views about advising and how is it important to your professional practice?
  • What are your advising responsibilities and how do they demonstrate that you are meeting the evaluative criteria set forth in the Faculty Statutes? Who do you advise? How many do you advise?
  • Is there anything about advising in your school/department that someone from outside your school/department might need to know in order to better understand your role and responsibilities as an advisor?
  • Is there anything about your advising process that might demonstrate your commitment to quality advising?
  • How do you know you are an effective advisor?

Reflections on Advising

The notes and suggestions below are offered by the members of the rank and tenure committee and are grounded in the sections of the Faculty Statutes that govern the rank and tenure process.

  • When writing about and documenting your efforts and effectiveness at academic advising, please note the first sentence of section 3.9.6 of the Faculty Statutes, "The major commitment of the faculty of St. John Fisher University is excellence in teaching, with an emphasis on close interaction with students." Along with teaching, academic advising is an important way to show your interaction with students.
  • As with other evaluation criteria, the process of showing your effectiveness as an academic adviser asks you to discuss and document your ideas and practices. Your "detailed and reflective letter of application …that establishes a compelling case for …tenure based on the Criteria for Evaluation (section 3.9.6) while providing an articulate narrative and rationale for all documentation included in the dossier (section 3.10.4) is where you discuss your advising ideas and practices and your dossier for tenure (section 3.10.4) is where you provide evidence that demonstrates those ideas and practices.
  • When preparing your letter and dossier to best showcase your academic advising effectiveness, keep in mind that the committee on rank and tenure is made up of people from different schools and departments across campus. Discuss and document your efforts in ways that most people can understand and appreciate, especially if your department, school, or discipline/profession uses ideas and practices that may differ from other departments, schools, or disciplines/professions.
  • Discuss and demonstrate how academic advising is an integral, planned part of your professional practice. Share any goals, principles, important practices that guide your advising activities. Such a discussion might also include evidence of how you evaluate and improve upon your efforts. This makes for a more articulate and compelling case than a bullet point list.
  • Be specific about the number of students you advise, the time you spend in advising activities, as well as the nature of these activities and other advising projects. Please note that academic advising might also include "tutoring" activities (section and advising "student groups" (section There is no definitive list of specific advising and/or tutoring activities. It is therefore up to each candidate for tenure and/or promotion to identify and make a case for the activities and projects that align with the statutes.
  • When it comes to documenting your effectiveness as an adviser, the statutes include items that you "may include (section," but this is not intended to be a definitive list. The evidence you choose to present should, however, be "organized to support the letter of application and demonstrate" your best efforts and effectiveness as an academic adviser.

Academic Advising Resources

  • Center for Career and Academic Planning
    Every semester, just prior to the advising and registration period, the Center for Career and Academic Planning sends out The Academic Advisor newsletter. It includes commonly asked but easily forgotten advising questions.
  • Registrar's Office
  • The American Association of University Professors
  • National Academic Advising Association
    The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) is an organization for professional advisors, counselors, faculty, administrators, and students whose responsibilities include academic advising. NACADA maintains a website listing of vacancies in academic advising that are organized by geographical regions.
  • The National Association of Advisors for the Health Care Professions
    The National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions is an organization of over 900 health professions advisors at colleges and universities throughout the United States which serves as a resource for the professional development of health professions advisors. NAAHP has four regional associations — Central (CAAHP), Northeast (NEAAHP), Southeast (SAAHP), and West (WAAHP).