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 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 the 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.


This is an optional one-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 on Section 2A: Candidates may consider using this section to describe or document how the global pandemic has impacted any of their activities. This one-page narrative section is optional.  It is open-ended so that candidates can best address their own unique situation to provide additional considerations on the impact of COVID-19. We recommend focusing on how the pandemic impacted any 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 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 COVID-19.

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.

Meaning of “Limit to period in current rank or last five years in current rank.”
If continuing or tenure-eligible, please include information limited to period in current rank. If continuing status or 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 and 8 dossier template instructions.)

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 for the time in current rank.  Please note syllabi, assignments, and other supporting documentation are for reviews by departmental committees and heads and will not be forwarded for college or university reviews. Please note that student course surveys were not conducted during Spring 2020 due to disruptions that resulted from COVID-19.

Section 7: Peer Observation and Nomination of 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 from the Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA). Please include the report and letter from the classroom 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.

Please note that this is not required for the Spring 2020 semester due to disruption of teaching and evaluation as a result of COVID-19.

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 8: Portfolio to Document Leadership in Service and Outreach
(optional for P&T, required for CS&P reviews)

This section should be used by candidates whose outreach and service duties are a major part of their assigned duties. The Leadership Portfolio has two parts: an overview of the candidate’s service or outreach efforts and Supplementary Documentation that provides evidence and 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 portfoliosCollaborator letters should be included after external review letters.  Candidates should consult our resource page on the scholarship of engagement.

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

Section 9: Membership in Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs

Reviews of candidates who are actively contributing 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 Independent External Evaluators and Collaborators

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. 

The University looks to external reviewers to provide an independent assessment, and their impartiality to paramount to maintaining the rigor of the external review process. Collaborators must not serve as external or internal reviewers. Questions about the independence of reviewers can lead to Dossiers being returned to departments and colleges.

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 can suggest evaluators to their head, 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 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