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A&S Guidelines for Group I Faculty Promotion Dossier

Preparing the Dossier

The department should normally appoint an internal advocate to help the candidate through the promotion and tenure process. The advocate should not normally be the department chair, except in very small departments. (If the department uses a mentor system, the candidate's mentor may serve in this role.)

The candidate should be responsible for preparing and arranging Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, with the help of the advocate. The candidate should write these sections in the first person. Any other authorship of these sections should be explicitly noted. The associate dean for faculty, graduate studies and research also is available for consultation.

The department chair should normally prepare and arrange Sections 1, and 3. However, the chairperson of the Promotion and Tenure committee may assist in preparing Section 1.

All participants in the process should have access to college policies concerning: Initial Hire at Associate Professor or Professor Ranks; Normative Minimal Criteria for Promotion and Tenure; Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committees; Early Tenure; and Special Cases for Promotion.

The final dossier must be submitted to the dean's office no later than the first day of the spring semester.

PLEASE NOTE: The department chair will check dossiers to see that all format and guideline criteria are met and will ensure that the dossier is submitted on time. The chair will sign the dossier, attesting to its completeness.

External Letters of Reference

External letters of reference are required for all cases of promotion or promotion and tenure. Six external letters are sufficient for most cases. The referees should be highly qualified scholars able to assess the candidate's contribution to the field. Normally, the referees should be of the same rank as that to which the candidate aspires. Referees may also be of a higher rank. If referees of a lower rank are chosen for reasons of special expertise in the field, the choice should be explained. Neither doctoral advisers nor co-authors should serve as referees. The candidate may suggest a list of possible referees. However, the department chair makes the final choice. The department chair should inform the candidate and the promotion and tenure committee of the final list of referees.

The department chair writes to the referees requesting an assessment of the quality of the candidate's scholarly work. The college strongly recommends using the boilerplate for such letters that is available in the dean's office. The dossier must contain a copy of this letter and an indication of how the final list was determined.

Referees should be provided with a copy of the candidate's CV, copies of key publications, and the candidate's statement of future research plans. All referees should receive the same package of materials.

Make certain that all external letters are available for review by the department promotion and tenure committee.

Preceding each letter, in the candidate's final dossier, provide a brief one-paragraph biography or description of the referee's scholarly attainments or professional standing (full CV not needed). Clearly indicate the referee's relationship to the candidate, if any. Include all letters solicited and received.

Departmental Processes

Following the Faculty Handbook, all awards of tenure and all promotions in rank must originate in a positive recommendation by the appropriate department committee.

Consideration for tenure and promotion from assistant to associate professor normally occurs in the penultimate year of the probationary period. As detailed in the Policy on Early Tenure, a department should recommend promotion and tenure before the penultimate year only for a candidate for whom a clear and compelling case can be made.

If a candidate was appointed with credit to tenure, the entire record, including teaching, research, and service done elsewhere, should be considered.

The award of tenure and promotion from assistant to associate professor will constitute a single recommendation. Therefore, the department committee should take a single vote for both tenure and promotion to associate professor.

In line with Faculty Senate recommendations, the college strongly recommends that only tenured faculty members vote on matters of promotion and tenure. In the case of promotion to full professor, only faculty with the rank of full professor vote. Thus tenured assistant professors and untenured associate and full professors should not vote on full professor cases.

Also following Faculty Senate guidelines, faculty with administrative appointments greater than 50 percent should not vote.

Department chairs may participate in the discussion but normally should not vote.