Advisory Committee Policy on the Presentation of Cases for Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion

[As amended through May 23, 2018]

This statement is intended to clarify questions that frequently arise from bylaws, guidelines, and legislation of the Academic Council and to increase the uniformity of presentations of information to departments and to the Advisory Committee.

1. Proper Format for Vita

1a. Publications. The publication status of every vita entry should be completely clear to the reader. An item should be listed as a publication only if the work has either been published or is definitely forthcoming. A publication is literally that: a book, article, or chapter in completed published form. A forthcoming work is a final, completed draft of a manuscript that has been irrevocably accepted by a press or journal. A book under advanced contract or a manuscript submitted for review to a publisher or journal should not be listed as forthcoming unless it meets this test.

1b. Unpublished Works. Works submitted for review, works in progress, works under advanced contract, and conference papers should either be listed in separate sections or grouped under appropriately titled sections that clearly distinguish them from published and forthcoming works. Faculty in the visual and performing arts should provide comparably clear designations regarding performances, exhibitions, and other types of professional work. 1c. Publication Status. Candidates are responsible for providing the department with accurate and complete information about the status of unpublished manuscripts listed in the vita. They must immediately report to the department chair any changes, favorable or unfavorable, in the publication status. Upon receipt of this information, the chair must then (1) immediately forward the updates to departmental faculty reviewing the case and (2)include this information in the recommendation sent to the Office of Academic Affairs. 1d. In the Case of Promotion not Conferring Tenure. The vita must make clear materials that were included in the dossier for tenure, and list in a separate section all “published materials since tenure.”

1e. Academic Affairs Approval of Vita. Prior to sending the candidate’s vita to outside reviewers, the department/program/college chair will submit the vita to the Associate Provost for review.

2. Candidate’s Rights with Regard to Materials to be Evaluated

2a. Materials Sent to Referees. Candidates have the right to specify items to be distributed to referees (e.g. publications, preprints, manuscripts, and documentation of exhibitions and performances). Materials so designated must be sent to referees for evaluation and must be provided to the Advisory Committee.

2b. Performances or Nonpermanent Exhibitions. Where part or all of a candidate’s professional work consists of performances or nonpermanent exhibitions, the candidate and the department should cooperate to insure that either a record or an evaluation of the work is created at the time it occurs. Where a candidate feels that it is in his/her interest to have events reviewed live, the candidate should request the department to have one or more external referees or department members present at the event so that its quality can be evaluated at the time it occurs.

2c. Approved Understandings About Performance Evaluation. The Guidelines for the Evaluation of Candidates for Promotion Conferring Tenure (and other, parallel guidelines on reappointment and promotion) include the following statement: “Departments in which publication is not ordinarily expected should arrive at separate and clear understandings with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Advisory Committee as to what constitutes the usual evidence of performance and promise in that field.” In departments with an approved understanding that includes understandings on the evaluation of performances or nonpermanent exhibitions, the approved understanding takes precedence over any statement in section 2 above with which it is inconsistent.

3. Statements on Research and Teaching

Candidates for promotion or tenure should write statements on their teaching and their research. These statements are intended primarily to inform the department and the Advisory Committee. A candidate may request that the research statement be included in the dossier sent to external reviewers.The research and teaching statements will not be in the dossier distributed to the Review and Appeals Board.

3a. The Research Statement. The research statement should explain the candidate’s research interests and identify themes that run through the scholarship included in the dossier. This is especially helpful when the scholarship takes the form of a collection of publications or works in the visual or performing arts. The research statement should also highlight the interrelationships between a candidate’s completed projects and work in progress and projected work.

3b. The Teaching Statement. The teaching statement should address the primary educational goals of a candidate’s courses and the pedagogical approaches he or she has found most productive in achieving those goals. To supplement this statement, the candidate is encouraged to provide the department and the Advisory Committee with examples of course syllabi, examinations, or other information about teaching that illustrate the pedagogical approach.

4. Selection of Referees and Solicitation of Letters

4a. Standard Letter. The Advisory Committee has adopted two standard letters to be sent to all referees evaluating a candidate’s dossier. Also,see Standard Letter to Potential Referees to Ask if Willing to Write and Standard Letter to Referees After they Agreed to Write for the text of the letters. All referees should receive the same dossier, except when a referee states that he or she already owns a book or other material that would otherwise be included.

4b. Contacting Actual or Potential Referees. All inquiries to actual or potential referees should be made by the department chair or his or her designee, who should keep a record of all such contacts. Inquiries to invite a referee to review a dossier should only be made by letter or by electronic mail. Telephone contacts are permissible only to ascertain information such as the address to which a referee would like a dossier mailed or the expected date when the evaluation will be returned.

With regard to referees selected by the candidate, Section 102 (b).1.b. of the Guidelines of the Academic Council for the Evaluation of Candidates for Promotion Conferring Tenure states, “The candidate may name additionally up to three such authorities and request the chair to consult them.” Section 102 (b).1.b. of the Guidelines of the Academic Council for the Evaluation of Candidates for Promotion to the Rank of Professor states, “The candidate may name additionally one or two such authorities.” The candidate should not communicate with potential referees to ascertain their willingness to serve. A referee should not know whether he or she has been nominated by the department or the candidate.

4c. Exclusion of Potential Referees. A department may ask a candidate whether there are persons who should not be asked to be among the department’s referees on grounds that personal considerations would make it difficult for the referee to write an unbiased evaluation. The department is the judge of the reasonableness of a request to exclude a potential referee. Exclusion of whole classes of referees is not allowed.

The department should not consult the candidate on the referees the department is considering. That is, the candidate should not review either the names of specific referees or a larger list from which the departmental selections will be made. The names of department referees must remain confidential throughout the entire process.

4d. Potential Referees with Close Associations with the Candidate. The department should make a good faith effort to avoid selecting referees who have had close professional or personal associations with the candidate, including, for example, persons who have served as Ph.D. advisor or mentor or as coauthor or co-investigator on research projects. Such referees, if selected, should be chosen by the candidate. Neither should persons who have had close associations with the candidate be asked for their recommendations about other persons who might serve as external referees.

In an appendix to its written statement, the department will inform the Advisory Committee which referees were selected by the candidate and which by the department. The department must provide information about the qualifications of all referees from whom evaluations were received and a list of those who failed to respond or who declined to provide letters, as well as, in the case of the latter group, any reasons given.

5. Quality of Journals and Presses.

The department’s presentation should include information on the quality of the journals and presses in which a candidate’s work has been published and whether the publications have been refereed.

6. Evidence with Regard to the Quality of Teaching.

The Advisory Committee appreciates having information from the department about teaching quality that goes beyond a recitation of statistics from student evaluations. It especially values comments from colleagues who have co-taught with the candidate, who have observed his or her teaching first hand, or who have had a significant opportunity to observe the products of a candidate’s courses. Information about the range of a candidate’s teaching is useful, as is an indication of any special aspects of the types of courses that have been taught (e.g., service or introductory courses as opposed to upper-level courses in the area of specialization). If the candidate wishes the department to solicit letters from specific students on the candidate’s teaching, the department is required to do so and to forward these letters to the Committee.

7. Negative Votes in a Positive Departmental Recommendation.

The Advisory Committee expects a full explanation of negative votes within the department. The clearest statements usually come directly from the individuals themselves at the meeting with Advisory. If they are disinclined to present their reasons for negative votes in this forum, dissenting members should do so clearly in the written material that is presented to the Committee.

8. Negative Departmental Decision on Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion.

8a. Tenure-Track Reappointments and Cases Conferring Tenure. Decisions on tenure and on the initial reappointment of tenure-track faculty require a formal departmental vote at a designated time. Negative decisions result in the termination of appointment. These decisions must be reported to the Advisory Committee for review, as described in Section 404 of the “ByLaws of the Academic Council.”

8b. Promotion Not Newly Conferring Tenure. Decisions on the promotion of associate professor to professor do not have to be made at a mandated time, and do not lead to the termination of appointments. We therefore establish the following procedures with regard to negative actions at this stage:

(a) If the department completes a full review and takes a formal vote on the case, this must be reported to the Advisory Committee for review, as described in Section 404 of the “By-Laws of the Academic Council.”

(b) If the department completes a full review, and as a result feels that it would be inadvisable to proceed with the case, it may inform the candidate before a formal vote is taken. If the candidate agrees with the department that the case should not be carried further, the department may refrain from taking a formal vote. In this situation, the department need only inform the Advisory Committee that it and the candidate have agreed that the case will not be completed, and there will be no Advisory review. If the candidate still wants the department to vote, the department must do so; and forward the case to the Advisory Committee for review.

c) If Advisory after reviewing the case feels that it would be inadvisable to proceed, it may inform the department before a formal vote is taken. The department will then inform the candidate. If the candidate agrees with Advisory, the case is withdrawn and Advisory takes no further action.

(d) The guidelines for promotion to the rank of professor (Section 101a) state that when a candidate requests consideration for promotion, the department may, after preliminary consideration, inform the candidate that it thinks a full review is inadvisable at that time. If the candidate concurs, the result need not be reported to the Advisory Committee. If the candidate exercises his/her right to a full review, either paragraph A or B above pertains.

(e) If a department completes a review of a case that is not forwarded to Advisory with a favorable recommendation or is not forwarded to it at all, it must keep the letters that have been provided by the external referees on file. When the case is considered again in a subsequent year, the department may choose either an entirely new set of referees, or it may supplement the letters it received previously with some new letters. If it uses any of the previous letters when the case is reconsidered, it must use all of them. If the department contacts any of the previous referees for a new opinion, it must contact all of them. If the department chooses to get an entirely new set of referees, the Advisory Committee may still request to see the earlier set. The department should consult with the Advisory Committee before selecting and contacting external referees when a promotion case is considered for a second time.

8c. Adjunct Faculty Reappointments. Departmental decisions not to reappoint instructional adjunct faculty with renewable, multiyear contracts must be reported to the Advisory Committee for review. Departmental decisions not to promote such faculty should be treated by the principles defined in section 8b above for the promotion of tenured faculty to the rank of Professor.

9. Preserving the Anonymity of Referees in Departmental Letters.

Department letters should not refer to referees by name. If it is necessary to make reference to the views of a specific referee, the person should be referred to as “Referee number one” with the letter so numbered.

10. Submission of Dossiers to the Office of Academic Affairs.

The department should submit electronic copies of the following materials:

  1. Department letter.
  2. Updated curriculum vitae of the candidate.
  3. Candidate’s research and teaching statements.
  4. List of referees, indicating the candidate’s and department’s choices.
  5. Assessment of the quality of journals and presses.
  6. Sample invitation letter to referees and sample follow-up letter.
  7. Referee’s letters.
  8. List of materials sent to referees.
  9. In cases where materials that have been subjects of evaluation were not electronic (such as artwork or hard copies of books), the chair should arrange with the Office of Academic Affairs to make appropriate copies available.

11. The following deadlines apply in cases to be evaluated for promotion conferring tenure scheduled for review in the spring.

(a) By September 15 the chair will inform the Office of Academic Affairs of the deadline set by the department for the submission to it of the candidate's current curriculum vitae and the body of scholarly and/or creative work to be evaluated.

(b) By December 15 of the canonical year, the chair will inform the Office of Academic Affairs of the anticipated time for the completion of the departments' evaluation.

(c) February 15 is the deadline for the submission to the Advisory Committee of all materials to be evaluated.