Faculty Affairs

Promotions Conferring Tenure

Reviews for promotions conferring tenure can be initiated by a department at any time but at  least by the dates listed in the "Deadlines" section of the Provost's procedures.  

The Provost's procedures as well as the Faculty Handbook cite the criteria for promotion with tenure. Generally if a candidate's tenure dossier is forwarded by the academic unit, APT will consider the candidate only once. Thus, a faculty member whose tenure review is undertaken by APT prior to the appointment's penultimate year and who is not granted tenure shall be allowed to complete the term of the original appointment, but the tenure-track appointment shall not be renewed or extended. 

Initiation of the process

The Chair informs the faculty member when the review begins, requests the candidate's synopsis of research interests described in the Provost’s procedures and, attaching a copy of the synopsis, nominates a review committee for the Dean's approval. If extra- departmental faculty must serve on the committee, the Dean will consult with the Provost. Chairs should not serve on review committees. However, in small departments where the review committee comprises all department members entitled to vote, the Chair should be present for all discussions so that the Chair's letter to the Dean is fully informed by the committee discussions, which also double as departmental discussions. When the Dean has approved the committee, the Chair informs the candidate of its membership.

Review Committee Responsibility

The committee: 

  • assures that the dossier contains all those items required by the Provost's procedures; 
  • for candidates who hold secondary/joint appointments or participate in interdisciplinary activities beyond the primary department, the committee should request from the non- primary unit a statement about the level and quality of the candidate's contributions there. The candidate may communicate relevant interdisciplinary concerns directly to the Dean; 
  • using the appropriate sample letter provided by the Provost's procedures, solicits at least six evaluations of the candidate's work and publications from appropriate scholars external to the University. The "notes" in section 3 of the Provost's procedures clarify the meaning of "appropriate." Although it is recommended that the candidate suggest no more than three evaluators, the candidate may identify potential evaluators not to be contacted. The committee sends all evaluators a current curriculum vitae, the candidate's intellectual development statement, if necessary a significant sample of publications and work in progress, and a copy of the University's confidentiality policy. Contacts with evaluators should be initiated by letter rather than by telephone. If the contact is by telephone, the conversation should be limited to the person's willingness to be a reviewer. Departments may initiate contact by email, using the templates provided by the Provost's procedures; 
  • places in the file copies of all electronic correspondence and a full log of all telephone conversations; 
  • includes letters from committee members and other colleagues in the department; and 
  • after thoroughly examining all the evidence, prepares a full recommendation to the department. The report should attend to all the items required by the Provost's procedures. 

Department Action

The department discusses in confidence the report of the review committee and votes on it by secret ballot at a meeting of the appropriate members of the department. The Chair does not vote except in a tie. (In small departments where the review committee comprises all faculty eligible to vote, the vote of the review committee on the recommendation should be by secret ballot, with the Chair in attendance but not voting.) The numerical vote is to remain confidential among those faculty present at the meeting where the vote was taken, except as revealed in the Chair's transmittal letter to the Dean; elsewhere it should be reported only as positive or negative and its nature (split or unanimous) should not be revealed. Department bylaws should contain a definition of the department's voting policy. It must respect the University's Confidentiality Policy, which limits access to the file more rigorously for internal promotions than for external appointments. For promotions conferring tenure "the voting membership of those passing on [a] candidate's credentials will number at least five" (Faculty Handbook, p. 3/3). They must also hold the rank of tenured Associate or Full Professor.

Response to Department Action

If the department's recommendation is negative, the Chair informs the candidate, using the sample letter provided by the Provost's procedures. This letter invites the candidate to appeal the department's recommendation to the Dean and Provost. The Chair transmits a copy of the letter to the Dean, with one copy of the complete dossier, which will include the Chair's letter addressing the items required by the Provost's procedures. (Note: Beginning with the 2009/10 academic year, this copy must be submitted on a CD rather than on paper.) The numerical vote is to remain confidential to those faculty present at the meeting where the vote was taken, except as revealed in the Chair's transmittal letter to the Dean; elsewhere it should be reported as only positive or negative and its nature (split or unanimous) should not be revealed. The Dean informs the Provost of the department's recommendation. The Provost may review the file.  

If the department's recommendation is favorable, the Chair forwards to the Dean three copies of the complete dossier, all on CD, assuring that the Chair's transmittal letter addresses the items required by the Provost's procedures. The paper copy should be contained in ring binder(s) labeled on the spine with the candidate's name, and the CDs should be clearly labeled. The department should retain a copy of the file. The Chair also conveys in writing the Department's recommendation to the candidate, using the sample letter provided by the Provost's procedures.  

Department members who so wish may write directly to the Dean.  

After receiving the department's full written recommendation as part of the complete dossier, the Dean reviews them and checks for procedural completeness. The Dean may seek supplementary information to inform his or her recommendation, which will address those items required by the Provost’s procedures. All such requests and the resulting information shall be added to the dossier and kept confidential. The Dean forwards the file (and any late additions) to APT. 
APT evaluates the dossier forwarded to the Provost, consistent with the standards enunciated by the Faculty Handbook. In its review, the committee may supplement specific portions of the dossier by consulting with individual experts and by requesting, through the Dean, additional information from the originating department. Information gathered by APT is confidential to the Committee and to those to whom it reports, except in the case of additional external evaluations, which are shared with the Dean only.  

APT may feel it is necessary to invite an ad hoc panel of experts to provide additional advice. The identity and opinions of members of an ad hoc panel are kept in the strictest confidence by the committee. 
After its scrutiny, APT makes a recommendation to the Provost. The Provost examines the record and APT's recommendation, considers departmental needs and university priorities, consults with the Dean and other administrative officers, and informs the Dean of the decision reached. The Dean transmits the Provost's decision to the Chair. 
If, after receiving the advice of APT, the Provost reaches an unfavorable decision, the actions described in the Provost's procedures under REQUESTS FOR REVIEW are followed. If the Provost's final decision is negative, the Dean informs the Chair and the candidate in writing, including a Dean's summary of the APT recommendation to the Provost. If the Provost's decision is favorable, the Dean sends the candidate a report of that decision, including a summary of the APT recommendation to the Provost.