New Media Department, University of Maine

Promotion and Tenure Guidelines

Addendum: Criteria by Category

Version 3.1. First published in conjunction with the article "New Criteria for New Media" in Leonardo (Cambridge) 42, no. 1 (Winter 2009), pp. 71-75. Free download.

Creative Commons LicenseReleased under a Creative Commons Attribution License: please distribute freely, with credit to original source.

ABSTRACT: This document provides concrete guidance for evaluating faculty in the University of Maine's New Media Department. The outline follows the official University of Maine template for promotion and tenure activity reports, citing examples of the kinds of new media accomplishments that qualify for each category. Because of the rapid pace of innovation in electronic formats, this list must remain partial, since it is impossible to predict what new recognition mechanisms may be relevant a few years from now.


New media pedagogy must be light on its feet to stay relevant. Below are some instructional activities that serve as important supplements to regular courses on the new media curriculum.

B. Other Teaching Activities:

1. Independent Study, directed research, etc. (list by course number)

Because new media's tools and topics proliferate too quickly to be captured by any one curriculum, faculty are encouraged to teach independent studies when students want to explore research areas not on a current syllabus.

In addition, New Media student and faculty projects often reach beyond the walls of the classroom into the real world. The new media program recognizes the value of directed research in which faculty involve students in outside collaborations for artistic or commercial purposes, as well as faculty members who facilitate students exposure to or participation in national and international exhibitions, conferences, and other venues.

C. Curriculum and Course Development:

1. Curriculum

During its building years, the new media program expects its faculty to contribute more to curriculum development than expected in other departments. This work may take the form of course proposals, curriculum proposals, or curriculum subcommittee membership.

2. Courses

Given the quick pace of new media evolution, the program recognizes exceptional value in developing courses that explore new pedagogies or emerging technologies.

It is understood that New Media faculty may spend a significant portion of their research or course preparation time learning an emerging technology, such as a new programming language, with the understanding that such knowledge may lay the groundwork for future research or new courses. This groundwork is not "brushing up on skills," but experimenting with promising yet unproven systems, codes, or devices.


Good collaborators are critical to thriving research ecosystems. Candidates are encouraged to list any collaborative roles they have played in publications and other activities, such as conceptual architect, approach designer, release engineer, or matchmaker (eg, introducing two other researchers whose collaboration results in a publication). Each new media department may choose to weight these various roles according to its own priorities.

A. Publications

1. Books/Monographs:

Networked or rich-media publications such as extended blogs, DVDs, or CD-ROMS should be included if they constitute a sustained investigation of a particular topic.

2. Refereed Journal Articles:

In a new media context, a "closed peer-review" article includes invited contributions to edited print journals and networked journals. The format of these contributions may go beyond the form of a written essay to include podcasts, videoblogs, and other forms of archival media.

An "open peer-review" article includes contributions to self-policing publication networks, where the quality or relevance of contributions are subject to community debate and evaluation.

3. Chapters of Books/Monographs (please indicate if invited or juried):

Essays or chapters in edited volumes are more important in new media than the sciences, for these edited volumes establish standards for discourse in emergent subdisciplines of new media.

This category should also include invited contributions to edited, single-issue networked publications.

4. Edited Volumes:

This category includes coordinating or managing a multi-user discussion list, whether accessible via email or Web.

This category also includes the conception, design, engineering, and/or editing of organized media collections, including film festivals , networked databases , and publications.

5. Technical Reports/Book Reviews:

This category includes networked reports and reviews.

6. Other Publications (e.g. editorials, working papers, etc.):

This category includes essays published to email lists, including all contributions to discussions sparked by the publication of that essay.

B. Creative Activities, Exhibitions, and Performance Related Activities (please indicate whether regional, international, national, solo, group, invited or juried):

1. Exhibitions:

This category includes networked exhibitions hosted by brick-and-mortar institutions or independent organizations , and can include online exhibitions as well as physical installations.

a Participating

b. Curated

2. Performance Related Activities:

This category includes political design, social software, and interactive performance.

3. Creative Writing and Poetry:

This category includes literature in all its forms, both analogue and digital, in print or online.

C. Professional Presentations and Posters (please indicate if regional, national, or international):

1. Conferences and Discussions organized

Researchers in new media at this point in its development are actively filling in gaps in the awareness of new media's own history, a critical vocabulary, and other intellectual frameworks already in place in other fields. The new media program recognizes the value that organizing private and public events have for the field as a whole and, when local, for our students.

2. Presentations

As studies of new media have argued, presenting research at prestigious conferences can be more important than publishing it.

While there is no substitute for in-person gatherings, teleconferences are gradually becoming an important venue for conference presentations, though they vary in degree of formality and organization.


A. Service to University

1. Department:

As a fledgling program with a high student-to-teacher ratio, the new media program requires an unusual amount of innovation and labor from its faculty, which should be taken into consideration when evaluating faculty contributions to other areas.

3. University:

Because new media promise to change the methods of many academic disciplines, faculty are encouraged to lend their voice to interdisciplinary committees and work with other departments to envision and develop programs that integrate new media into their own practices.

B. Service to the Public (e.g. Service on state commissions, public schools, civic groups, consulting, media interviews, public presentations):

New media can be especially effective in transforming local cultures as well as global ones. Faculty research in this area can be distinguished from traditional academic "service" by its innovative, activist, or performative character.


A. Press

Given the limitations of publishing new media research in academic journals, recognition from the press in the form of articles or interviews about a researcher's work can be a valuable indicator of influence.

1. Print and broadcast press

This category includes outside sources such as general-interest newspapers, radio or TV spots, and specialized journals or magazines.

2. Electronic press

This category includes articles in online journals as well as blogs.

B. Citations

Only general citations go here; citations to document the relevance and achievement of specific projects should accompany the entries on that research above.

1. Print citations

Although they are not as timely as electronic citations, citations in books on new media can suggest a measure of a researcher's influence and relevance to the field.

2. Electronic citations

One measure of influence in academia can be suggested by citations in other university syllabi. (See the breakdown in PART 3.)