Workshop on Tenure & Promotion Practices in Games & Interactive Media

An Exploration of the Role and Function of Faculty Review in a Multi-Disciplinary Context

August 26, 2019: San Luis Obispo, California, USA.

The issues surrounding tenure and promotion in games-related programs, departments, centers, and colleges are complex. The interwoven fields of games studies, game design, game art, and game development are increasingly overlapping. Meanwhile the number of individual programs, degrees, certificates, research centers, and courses have exploded in higher education in the last 10 years. In their early history, programs had little guidance and formalism, generally relying on the discipline and department from which a given effort emerged. Many years later, there is an increasing need to share best practices, knowledge, and expectations across these groups as the subjects, knowledge, and focus of their work are increasingly interwoven.
While the many problems of evaluating scholarly work in a multi-disciplinary context are not new (and have been substantially debated in other disciplines), and are not specifically unique to games and interactive media, it is an issue that effects any and every program in the field that employs tenure or promotion standards, and is one that can radically shape a program or effort at a given institution. Research and practice in games is currently some of the highest profile academic work crossing multiple disciplinary boundaries and is often cited as a case example of success for multi-disciplinary work.
This workshop is intended specifically to bring together senior faculty, chairs, directors, administrators, researchers serving in multidisciplinary centers, and other relevant constituencies to discuss current practice and propose improvements and recommendations in a documented forum.  We invite submissions from those who have the experience of earning their own tenure and promotion, those who are often called to serve as reviewers and external evaluators, as well as those who are currently engaged with these processes in any and every capacity.  It is only by coming together and openly and transparently discussing these topics that effective change and continued advocacy can be effective.

Formats and Submission Types:

The organizers of the Workshop on Tenure & Promotion Practices in Games & Interactive Media invite the submissions of both workshop papers and abstracts, as noted below.

Workshop Papers:

We strongly encourage the submission of papers of 5-7 pages (excluding references) in the ACM format.  Based on the quality of the submission, these papers will not only be presented and discussed at the workshop, but also archived in the ACM Digital Library with the FDG conference proceedings.  Note that ONLY paper submissions (not the abstracts below) will be featured in the proceedings, and thus we strongly encourage papers as a citable resource for the future.  Specifically, we encourage position papers, that examine the past, present and future of promotion and tenure in these areas, with a specific interest in examinations that consider the following:

All workshop attendees are required to register for the Foundations of Digital Games(FDG) Conference. The workshop will take place on Monday and Tuesday, August 26th and/or August 27th depending on number of submissions and final conference program.

  • Global, regional, and institution considerations for promotion and tenure
  • Proposals for guidelines and critique of existing criteria
  • Analysis and report of mistakes and opportunities
  • Historical and comparative analysis and critique
  • Recommendations and warnings
  • Anecdotes, observations and aspirations for the fields
  • Other work as appropriate


Dates for Workshop Papers:

Deadline for submissions of the papers is May 1, 2019, 23:59 / 11:59 pm EST
Deadline for camera ready copy is June 7, 2019, 23:59 / 11:59 pm EST

Submit here

All papers must be in the ACM Format used by the FDG Conference. The template is available here
All papers will be blindly reviewed by a panel of peers organized through the workshop directly.

Workshop Abstracts:

The organizers also anticipate additional participants to the workshop that may want to attend for whom the authorship of a paper is not feasible.  Thus we also invite the submission of abstracts of up to one page on the subjects above.  Such abstracts should clearly articulate the position(s) and/or critique(s) the participant is prepared to discuss, their experiences with these processes to date, and their goals and objectives in being included in the workshop. 

Submit here

Workshop abstracts are due no later than May 1, 2019, 23:59 / 11:59 pm EST

Concluding Remarks
The goal of the workshop is to help draft an experientially informed document on the subject to be used by tenure candidate reviewers and to be considered by institution’s drafting, revising or renewing tenure and promotion guidelines and governance.  Through both the call for workshop papers and the critical discussion, review, and collaboration at the workshop itself, we believe this event is an important and critical step in continuing to understand the ways and means that programs are currently operating, to critically reflect on the expansion, growth, and practice of the field, and to suggest next steps for us all to critically examine.