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ERIC Number: EJ934508
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0142-6001
Evaluation in Tenure and Promotion Letters: Constructing Faculty as Communicators, Stars, and Workers
Hyon, Sunny
Applied Linguistics, v32 n4 p389-407 Sep 2011
This article examines a little-studied review genre of academe: letters written for faculty retention, promotion, and tenure (RPT). Given their centrally evaluative nature, these documents have potential to illuminate academic community values, particularly those related to faculty work. Of specific interest in this study is the evaluative language that RPT letter writers use to review three core areas of faculty performance: teaching, research and service. To this end, the author examined positive evaluative lexis in 95 RPT letters written for 11 faculty members from 8 US universities. The analysis revealed that letter writers assessed faculty in terms of seven key dimensions of their work (presentation, expertise, conscientiousness, affect, prestige, uniqueness, and productivity) and that these dimensions clustered in different ways across the three work areas. What emerged were three distinct ideals of faculty performance, which both promote and obscure realities of faculty work. In addition, while negative evaluation was sometimes expressed directly, it was typically mitigated, pointing to community concerns with politeness when evaluating colleagues.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A