External Funding and Tenure at Texas State University-San Marcos
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Purpose: This research describes how well the newly implemented college and departmental tenure and promotion policies encourage faculty efforts to seek and secure external funding at Texas State University-San Marcos (Texas State). Specifically, the research describes college and departmental expectations for external funding within the context of Boyer’s (1990) broadened definition of scholarship. External funding was selected because it is a priority at Texas State that cuts across Boyer’s four domains of scholarship and was identified in the literature as an alternative to publication for fulfilling the scholarship requirement for tenure. Methodology: A content analysis of seven college and forty-one department policies was used to measure the extent to which Texas State’s tenure and promotion policies encourage faculty to seek and secure external funding. The descriptive categories used to analyze the policies are Boyer’s four domains of scholarship (discovery, integration, application, and teaching) and the level of involvement (proposal submissions and grant awards). Results: Overall, Texas State policies encourage external funding activities. The scholarships of discovery and teaching are more prevalent in the policies than the scholarships of integration and application. The lack of incentive for integration and application can hinder multidisciplinary and commercial research efforts at Texas State. Grant awards receive credit equal to publication at a much higher rate than proposal submissions in all domains at both the college and department level. To avoid sending mixed messages to new faculty about the value of seeking external funding, academic heads are urged to recognize and reward proposal submissions in the policies.