US: Tenure in a digital era

Among the 'horror stories' Rosemary Feal has heard: assistant professors who work in digital media and whose tenure review panels insist on evaluating them by printing out selected pages of their work. "It's like evaluating an Academy Award entry based on 20 film stills," said Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed. Even as the use of electronic media has become common across fields for research and teaching, what is taken for granted among young scholars is still foreign to many of those who sit on tenure and promotion committees.

In an effort to confront this problem, the MLA and a consortium called the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) have decided to find new ways to help departments evaluate the kinds of digital scholarship being produced today. The MLA ran a programme for department chairs last year in which they were given digital scholarship to evaluate, and that will take place again this year. MLA and HASTAC are also preparing guides for departments on approaches used by various colleges to evaluate digital scholarship, resources available to scholars wanting to get a take on some project, and policies that could be adopted to assure the fair treatment of those coming up for tenure, continues the Inside Higher Ed report.
Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site