Promotion to Higher Rank

For a tenured assistant or associate professor whose promotion to higher rank has not been considered by an Academic Area Advisory Committee for a period of six years, this provides an opportunity for such a consideration if requested by the faculty member by September 1 of the seventh or a subsequent academic year. If such a request is initiated by a qualified faculty member, the procedure outlined in the above paragraph shall be followed. A copy of the faculty member's request shall be attached to the dossier, as we must be aware if the review has been initiated under this rule. It is your responsibility to notify faculty members who qualify for this right before September 1st. Refer to AR2:1.1.

Promotion Dossier Contents

The deadline for receipt of promotion dossiers in the dean's office is Tuesday, November 1, 2011.

The College requires a standard format for dossiers. Anyone who plans to submit a dossier should contact the dean's office for guidelines on how the dossier should be prepared. See Standard Format of Promotion (to Full Professor) Dossier for more information.

The procedures to be followed in assembling promotion dossiers are delineated in the Administrative Regulations AR2:1.1. As a reminder, dossiers must include the following:

  1. A letter giving the department chairperson's recommendation.
  2. An explanation of the procedural steps followed in conducting the promotion review.
  3. A complete up-to-date vita (provided by the candidate).
  4. A personal statement by the candidate. This statement should identify what the candidate considers to be his or her one or two most significant research or creative contributions and an explanation why. This statement may also include an overview of the candidate's research objectives and plans. Ordinarily, this statement should be no longer than 3-5 pages.
  5. At least six letters of evaluation from qualified persons outside the University. The letters should be sought from individuals selected in part from and in part independent of persons suggested by the individual being considered. It is critical that at least four of the outside letters should come from independent sources. It is the chair's responsibility to solicit these letters, regardless of who suggests the evaluator.

All letters of evaluation received must be included in the dossier and be accompanied by a written statement by the department chairperson indicating for each letter whether or not the name of the respondent had been suggested by the individual under consideration and, if known, whether or not the respondent had been a previous faculty colleague of the individual. The ARs provide that on request, these letters of evaluation shall be made available to consulted faculty members prior to their providing individual written judgments to the department chairperson. The Dean suggests these letters be made available to all consulted faculty as a matter of course.

The following suggestions are from the Provost’s Office:

The outside letters should address the quality of the candidate's work. It is not particularly helpful to learn that the reviewer likes the candidate personally. Even statements that the candidate's work is good will not convince the Area Committee without some analysis of what is good about it.

Letters from the candidate's major professor, research advisor, or close friend carry little weight; it would be unusual if individuals with a personal interest did not write letters of strong support.

You should include a brief statement of the qualifications of the external reviewers. A committee is likely to be influenced by a letter from a scholar acknowledged to be one of the world's leaders in the field. In the absence of specific knowledge of the credentials of the letter writers, committees are apt to draw inferences of quality from the reputations of their institutions; letters from prestigious universities are, therefore, more likely to sway a committee than letters from weaker universities, from non-research institutions, or from non-academic institutions. If the most qualified reviewers are not from top-flight schools, or perhaps not even from educational institutions, a note of explanation will help the committee to understand.

  • Evaluative letters from appropriate faculty members in the department rather than simple "yes" or "no" ballots. Every letter must state clearly whether the writer supports, does not support, or abstains on the   recommendation for tenure and promotion. See Matrix of Written Judgments for further information.
  • Copies of the two-page chair's rating sheets from each of the candidateís faculty merit reviews since the last promotion review.
  • Copies of the Distribution of Effort agreements since the candidateís last promotion review.
  • Written evidence of consultation with the appropriate undergraduate student advisory group and graduate or professional student group. Any written judgments or related materials submitted by student groups must be included in the materials submitted in the dossiers.
  • A copy of the candidate's current teaching portfolio.
  • A list, together with representative samples, of the individual's research publications, patents, writings, or other creative or professional productivity (manuscripts accepted for publication but not yet published, and reviewed by external and internal referees, may be included; the reviews by external and internal referees should be included in the dossier).


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