Promotion Dossiers

UA tenure and continuing-status committees evaluate about one hundred dossiers each year. Every dossier is read by up to twenty reviewers, including external reviewers, departmental and college committees, and heads and deans. To avoid time-consuming problems, Promotion Dossiers must follow the Dossier Template and established procedures. Dossiers are returned to departments when required formats and procedures are not followed. As noted in the Most Common Problems section, most problems arise from using workload descriptions to praise contributions and enlisting collaborators to serve as reviewers. When heads have coauthored with candidates, a surrogate head should be solicited, and the head should submit a collaborator letter, which comes right after external reviews in dossiers and has a comparable impact on all subsequent reviews.

Candidates must follow procedures and submit materials in a timely manner. If a dean or college committee determines a dossier is missing essential elements, the evaluation process will be halted until materials are secured. In some circumstances, a dean may choose to re-initiate the department-level review. Likewise, if the University Advisory Committee finds that reviews have been affected by a poor dossier, the committee may request that materials be revised or added. This action re-initiates the review at the departmental level.

The Dossier Template provides checklists of requirements to divide the sections of Promotion Dossiers. The checklists note the items to be reviewed in each section, and thereby help to ensure consistency and completeness in Dossiers. The checklists also help to save time in each level of the review process. Download the full template for P&T or CS&P.

Section 1: Summary Data Sheet 
This sheet helps to ensure that reviews follow the appropriate procedures for the candidates track. For example, with reviews for assistant, committees cannot divide the decisions on promotion and tenure.

Section 2: Summary of Candidate's Workload Assignment 
This one-page form is filled out by heads to provide specifics on assigned duties. It should not praise contributions. It should specify what a figure such as “40% teaching” generally entails in the candidate’s unit.

If the candidate’s duties have changed over the time in rank, the changes should be specified. If there was a time clock delay (TCD) in the promotion process, indicate it with TCD in the appropriate Academic Year’s column, in the labeled row. To preserve candidates’ privacy rights, the dossier should not state reasons for delays. Simply specify the dates, for example by noting “Approved TCD 2009-10.”

Workload assignments should note shared appointments. Shared appointments are defined as those where candidates’ budget lines are split between two or more units. The Promotion Dossiers for split appointments should include the Checklist for Shared Appointments (Appendix A). This form helps to ensure that the heads of the units and the individuals all agree upon the terms of the appointment, including the teaching load, service expectations, and the constitution of the peer-review committee.  For candidates with shared appointments, department heads may collaborate on a single recommendation letter, or they may decide to submit separate recommendations.

Section 3: Departmental and College Promotion and Tenure Guidelines 
Include one-page summary following Appendix B format.

Section 4: Curriculum Vitae and List of Collaborators 
The List of Collaborators should include all individuals who have collaborated with the candidate within the sixty months preceding the submission of the dossier. Such collaborations include coauthoring books, articles, abstracts, papers, or grant proposals. If the candidate has not collaborated with anyone in the last five years, simply note that fact in the List.

  • Publications should be listed in chronological order.
  • Place an * to the left of the title of any publication substantially based on work done as a graduate student.
  • Page numbers and all other publication data should be included.
  • For foreign publications, provide English translations of titles.
  • Peer-reviewed publications should be distinguished from proceedings and other publications.
  • Scholarly presentations should be limited to period in rank.
  • Distinguish invited from submitted presentations.
  • List only pending or funded grants during the period in rank.
  • Grants should be organized according to source of funding (federal, industry, foundations).
  • Check list of collaborators to ensure it is accurate.

Section 5: Candidate Statement 
Candidate Statements vary among disciplines. Some reviewers will read the statement to assess the candidate’s research program, while others will also be interested in how the candidate’s teaching, and service connect with their research. Candidates should speak with their heads and committee chairs on such points.

Section 6: Teaching Portfolio 
Candidates are responsible to provide information and supporting documentation on their teaching and advising. Syllabi, assignments, and other supporting documentation are for reviews by departmental committees and heads. These instructional materials will not be forwarded for college or university reviews.

Section 7: Evaluation of Teaching and Teaching Portfolio
In addition to their recommendation on promotion, departmental committees should submit a separate memo with an assessment of the candidate’s Teaching Portfolio and an observation of the candidate’s teaching.  This memo may be prepared by someone not on the committee but should be a tenured faculty member.  To prepare the memo, reviewers should use the Peer Review of Teaching Protocol developed by Dr. Ingrid Novodvorsky, who is prepared to consult with candidates and committees on peer reviews ( The memo should also review the candidate’s Teacher-Course Evaluations or other student assessments with comparison groups.

Section 8: Service and Outreach Portfolio (Optional for P&T Reviews) 
This section should be used by candidates whose outreach and service duties are a major part of their assigned duties.  The Service and Outreach Portfolio has two parts: an Overview of the candidate’s service or outreach efforts and Supplementary Documentation that provides evidence and full assessments of the candidate’s impact.  The Overview is forwarded for reviews at the college and university levels, while the Supplementary Documentation is for departmental reviews and will not generally be forwarded for subsequent reviews.  Candidates who have significant service and outreach duties may request that external reviewers receive their portfolios.  Collaborator letters should be included (in Section 10) after external review letters.  

Section 9: Documentation for Interdisciplinary Candidates
Reviews of candidates who are active in Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs and other interdisciplinary units should follow the Guidelines of Acknowledgment and Evaluation of Faculty Participation in GIDPs and Other Interdisciplinary Units (Appendix C). Candidates may also choose to discuss their interdisciplinary contributions in their Candidate Statement.

Section 10: Letters from Outside Evaluators 
Dossiers are required to include three to eight signed letters from similar academic departments outside the University of Arizona.  All letters must be from independent, outside evaluators who are not collaborators of the candidate.  Collaborators are defined as individuals who have coauthored books, articles, abstracts, or grant proposals within the five years before the submission of a dossier.  Collaborators also include individuals who have been a candidate's dissertation advisor, supervisor, or close coworker in a lab, department, or residency program, even if this relationship occurred more than five years prior to the review.  To ensure the independence of outside reviews, candidate may not influence or attempt to influence the assessments of outside evaluators. 

All communications with external reviewers should be fully documented. A sample letter to external reviewers is included as Appendix D. Heads should deviate from the exact wording of the sample letter only with the permission of their dean, and substantive changes must be approved by the Office of the Provost. While candidates should suggest evaluators to their head, no more than half of the evaluators can come from the candidate. If the candidate suggests the same reviewer as the head or committee, the reviewer should be counted as being from the candidate.

Section 11: Recommendations for Promotion
Administrators and committee members should not have collaborated with the candidate in a substantial and ongoing way. In such occurrences, they should recuse themselves and, in the case of a department head, appoint a surrogate head. If recusing committee members is not feasible, for example because of the size of the department, the committee letters must address the concerns about the independence of the collaborators. If these concerns are not addressed, dossiers may be returned to departments to provide committees with the opportunity to do so. If the candidate is active in a GIDP, an evaluation from the GIDP Chair should be included in Section 8. The positive and negative comments of the outside reviewers should be fairly and fully represented in the letters of the departmental committee and/or department head.

Guide to the Promotion Process