Promotion Dossiers

UA tenure and continuing status committees evaluate approximately one hundred Dossiers for promotion each year. Every dossier is read by over twenty reviewers, including external reviewers, departmental and college committees, and heads and deans. To avoid 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, one of the most problems arise from using workload descriptions to praise contributions and enlisting collaborators to serve as reviewers.  

Conflict of Interest: Committee members or administrators who have coauthored substantial publications or grants with a candidate must recuse themselves to avoid raising concerns about their impartiality. Deans and delegated Associate Deans can appoint a surrogate outside of the department to conduct the review to mitigate any issues of mentoring, internal collaborations, or questions of maintaining a balanced review process.

When heads have coauthored with candidates, a surrogate head should be solicited, and the head should submit a collaborator letter. Questions about this matter should be directed to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.  Please consider this guidance from NIH,

Collaborators should not participate in any part of the process of suggestion or selection of the independent external reviewers. Rather than serving on review committees or in administrative roles, collaborators should provide a separate letter that describes the independent contributions of the candidate. Collaborator letters are placed immediately after outside review letters and have a comparable impact.

Candidates and departments/units are responsible for following procedures and submitting materials in a timely manner.  If a dean or college committee determines a dossier is missing essential elements, the evaluation process may 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.  While these steps may be taken when candidates have not provided the required information, candidates are responsible for submitting dossier materials by the deadline.

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 at each level of the review process.

The dossier materials should be in a searchable PDF format. Candidates can create or edit existing documents to a searchable PDF format using the Adobe Acrobat DC Pro (download with Net ID/password through Adobe Creative Campus, Department and unit coordinators or personnel can review the RPT Administrator Training slide presentation (see Promotion Workshops) for information on how to use Adobe Acrobat DC Pro to edit documents to searchable PDF format.

Section 1: Summary Data Sheet 

This sheet helps to ensure that reviews follow the appropriate procedures for the candidate's track. For example, with reviews for assistants, 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 time in rank, the changes should be specified. The workload of the candidate for each year on the table should equal 100%, even if the FTE is less than 1.00 for the position.  The percent indicated for the year helps external/internal reviewers to have a clear understanding of the candidate's workload expectation and percentage within the FTE of the position. The FTE of the candidate is included on the workload summary form, near the top.  If there were changes in FTE for the position, this should be explained.  Additional pages are allowed in this section.

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 the reasons for delays.

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 2A: Pandemic Impact Statement

This is a required two-page narrative completed by the candidate to document any changes to their workload or activities as a result of COVID-19 beginning in Spring 2020.  

  • Tips for candidates to consider is describing how the global pandemic has impacted any of their activities. It is open-ended so that candidates can best address their own unique situation to provide additional considerations on the impact of the pandemics. We recommend writing the impact of activities identified within your workload assignment. Information of relevance to reviewers that may provide additional understanding to review their curriculum vitae, teaching portfolio, or service portfolio. Additional information that may be useful to reviewers may include a slowdown in research due to lab access, data collection with human subjects, lack of access to work with collaborators impacted by the virus, abrupt changes in workload expectations, challenges with remote teaching, or abrupt changes in research topics or directions as a result of pandemics.

Section 3: Departmental and College Promotion and Tenure Guidelines 

Include a one-page summary following Appendix B format.

Section 4: Curriculum Vitae 

  • Publications should be listed in chronological order.
  • Place an asterisk (*) 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 publications that are not in English, please 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 awarded, submitted, pending, or un-funded grants during the period in rank.
  • Grants should be organized according to the source of funding (federal, industry, private/foundations).
  • Checklist of collaborators to ensure it is accurate.

Meaning of “Limit to period in current rank or last five years in current rank.”

If tenure-eligible, please include information limited to period in current rank. If tenured and in rank for more than five years, please include information from the last five years in current rank. (This statement is also in Section 6 (6A, 6B) and 7 (7A, 7B) dossier template instructions.)

Section 4A: List of Collaborators

Collaborators include all individuals with whom you have worked closely and directly within the last five years or 60 months preceding the submission of this dossier. Individuals who have co-authored books, articles, publications, reports, abstracts, papers, or awarded grant proposals and projects.

A template table is provided for input of information regarding close collaborators, which includes the Collaboration Description.  For example, if a collaborator is a co-author (for the collaboration type) a description detail is, but not limited to book, journal article, manuscript, volume, paper, chapter, or abstract.

Section 4B: Representative Publications, Scholarship and/or Creative Activities

Please follow the guidance from the college, department, or unit to upload the representative work accepted and/or published during the current rank. This can include but is not limited to articles, abstracts, chapters, manuscripts, publications, and recordings.

Section 5: Candidate Statement

Candidate Statements vary across disciplines and types of positions. Candidates should receive guidance from mentors and heads/chairs/directors on what is common in their field and how to prioritize content for the five pages that are available.

Section 6: Teaching Portfolio 

Candidates are responsible to provide information and supporting documentation on their teaching and advising for the time in current rank.

Section 6A: Information on Teaching and Advising

This area is designated for course descriptions, the list of classes for teaching history for the time in rank, student evaluations, peer observations not conducted for promotion review, and the teaching philosophy. This documentation is forwarded for college or university reviews.

Section 6B: Supporting Documentation

Syllabi, assignments, and other supporting documentation are for review by departmental committees and heads.  These instructional materials will not be forwarded for college or university reviews.

Section 7: Portfolio to Document Leadership, Extension, Service, and Innovation

This section should be used by candidates whose duties are outside the scope of traditional appointments for continuing or tenure track faculty. The Leadership Portfolio has two parts:

Section 7A: Overview and Assessment

Description and assessment of the service, position effectiveness, innovation, or administrative leadership efforts.

Section 7B:  Supplementary Documentation

This subsection is for evidence 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.

New letters from collaborators should be solicited by the department head or director and included in Section 10B Collaborator or Other Letters. If the candidate would like to submit archived letters received during the time in rank from stakeholders, these can be included in Section 7B Supplementary Documentation.

For guidance on preparing these portfolios, candidates should consult our resource page on the scholarship of engagement:

Section 8: Membership in Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs

Reviews of candidates who are actively contributing in Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs and other interdisciplinary units should follow the Guidelines for Acknowledgment and Evaluation of Faculty Participation in GIDPS and Other Interdisciplinary Units (Appendix C).  Candidates should discuss their interdisciplinary contributions in their Candidate Statement.

Section 8A: Graduate or Other Interdisciplinary Program Evaluation

This is an internal review of the candidate's contributions to a GIDP program or interdisciplinary program. This section includes evaluations from the GIDP or interdisciplinary program Chair and the department or unit promotion review committee.

Section 9: Peer Observation and Nomination for Provost Award

It is preferred for a member of the departmental review committee to conduct at least one peer observation of teaching during the year before or semester of the promotion review. Observations of teaching for candidates undergoing a promotion review will use the Classroom Observation Tool or the Online Course Review Tool from the Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA). Please include the report and letter from the classroom or online class observation conducted for promotion review in this section. For assistance with peer observations, please contact Dr. Ingrid Novodvorsky in the Office of Instruction and Assessment: It is recommended that units choose 10 items (out of the 82 possible) to guide the observation; the unit may choose the items based on the specific course or overall unit teaching philosophy. A pre-observation meeting can be conducted with the candidate.  There is no need to meet with the candidate after completing the observation for the promotion review.

Nomination memos should use the Criteria for Peer Reviews of Teaching for recommending candidates for the Provost Awards for Innovations in Teaching. These criteria are to be used for assessing candidates’ teaching and deciding whether to nominate them for the awards that former Interim Provost Goldberg established to provide special recognition to candidates with outstanding records of teaching.  Decisions on these awards will be based on the nominations of peer review committees.

Section 10: Letters from Independent External Evaluators and Collaborators

Committee members or administrators who have co-authored substantial publications or grants with a candidate should recuse themselves to avoid raising concerns about their impartiality.  Rather than serving on review committees or in administrative roles, collaborators should provide a separate letter that describes the independent contributions of the candidate. Questions about this matter should be directed to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.  

Please pay special attention to potential conflicts of interest at this stage. Supervisors who have collaborated with the candidate in the last five years must recuse themselves from the selection process of external reviewers and the promotion review. Please also confirm that all external reviewers do not have a conflict of interest, for more information see here. As with the provisions used by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other groups to ensure the impartiality of reviews, collaborators are defined as individuals who have co-authored books, articles, abstracts, or grant proposals within the last five years. Collaborators also include individuals who have been a candidate's dissertation advisor, mentor, supervisor, co-instructor, or close coworker in a lab, department, or residency program, even if this relationship occurred more than five years prior to the review.

All communications with external reviewers should be fully documented.  A sample letter to external reviewers is included as Appendix DHeads should not 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 heads, no more than half of the evaluators can come from these suggestions.  If the candidate suggests the same reviewer as the head or committee, the reviewer should be counted as being from the candidate.

Section 10A: Independent External Letters

Place solicited letters from independent external reviewers in this subsection. Use the required template letter in Appendix D to solicit letters,  Appendix D Template Letter

Three to eight (minimum of three, however, five are strongly encouraged) letters signed and printed on letterhead from independent, external reviewers who are NOT collaborators of the candidate.

Letters that may be identified as coming from collaborators, as defined below, will not be considered among independent external letters. They will be placed in the section for collaborator letters. Letters must be solicited and received during the current promotion cycle.

Section 10B: Collaborator and Other Letters

Solicited letters signed and printed on letterhead from collaborators. Sample letters in Appendix E are used for solicitation, Appendix E Letter Template

Section 11: Recommendations for Promotion

Administrators and committee members should not have collaborated with the candidate in a substantial and ongoing way. Please see the Most Common Problems section of this guide to review the complete recommendations about how to distinguish collaborators.  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 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.

View The Guide To The Promotion Process