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    How, specifically, did we change our TP&R guidelines to incorporate language for evaluating computer-related activity?

    Our departmental TP&R guidelines for evaluating traditional activities in Research, Teaching, and Service are extremely detailed and explicit, providing many examples of specific kinds of publications, presentations, development activities, etc., and how they are to be weighted relative to each other in the tenure and promotion processes. In trying to create language for evaluating computer-related activity, the committee quickly realized that we were not prepared to draft such detailed criteria for computer-related work for three reasons:

    1. drafting such language would require a complete revision of our TP&R guidelines, and we simply did not have the time (please see the section on "the particular circumstances that drove us to revise our guidelines now");

    2. we do not yet have enough experience with computer-related work in our department to know how to define categories of activities or criteria for evaluating activities within those categories; and,

    3. as has become a commonplace in discussions of evaluating computer-related work, many activities clearly bridge the traditional categories: e.g. if one researches and develops a multimedia package that is used by several faculty members in a general education literature course, is this a publication? Is it course development (i.e. teaching)? Or is it service to the campus community? Similarly, Janet Cross and Kristian Fuglevik discuss their unpaid labors as MOO administrators: certainly their work is a service to the academy; but isn't it also indicative of what our current TP&R document refers to as the `tenure candidate's efforts to develop and improve teaching performance'?

      Given these practical limitations on what we could do in revising our guidelines, we decided to do two things:

      1. we added language to our TP&R document to make it clear that, for all categories of activity, computer-related activities are to be evaluated along with traditional activities--though the burden of explanation falls on the candidate; and
      2. we appended the Modern Language Association's Guidelines on Evaluating Computer-Related Work to our previous guidelines, and made reference to the MLA "Guidelines" where appropriate in our existing document.

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      Last revised February 22, 1997