Probationary or Retention Reviews are generally conducted in the third year. The scheduling may vary if you held a prior university position before coming here. The schedule of your Retention Review should be in your offer letter. The Retention Review serves as a dress rehearsal for your promotion review. You will use the same Dossier Template, and CV format as the Promotion Dossier. See UHAP 3.3.01.B for Tenure Eligible faculty and 4A.3.01 for Continuing Eligible professionals.
How to Prepare for Retention Reviews
You should begin preparing for your retention review in meetings on your annual reviews. You should follow up with a separate meeting to go over the parts of the Promotion Dossier. You should also attend the dossier workshops that are offered by the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs each spring. If you begin preparing your dossier in the spring after your annual review, you will have time over the summer to get feedback on your Candidate Statement, teaching materials, and other parts of the Dossier before it is due in the fall. See example checklist from SBS.
Procedures for Retention Reviews
The Retention Review follows some of the same steps as the promotion review. Most Retention Reviews conclude with a meeting with your head, though some departments also include the chair of the peer review committee. You should receive a written evaluation of any problems that are noted.
In some colleges, Retention Reviews are conducted at the department level, while in other colleges your dean and a college committee may also be part of the process. In a very few cases, a head may recommend that a candidate not be renewed. In such cases, the dossier must be forwarded from the department for college and university reviews. External reviews are not normally included but may be requested by the dean or Provost. The Provost may decide that a nonrenewal is appropriate when a candidate is not making timely progress toward promotion. In such cases, a candidate is given a terminal year appointment. In some cases another Retention Review may be scheduled in the fourth or fifth year. All steps in this process are detailed in the University Handbook for Appointed Personnel (UHAP).
Position Effectiveness is often a key criterion for continuing-status positions. Use annual and retention reviews to clarify how to demonstrate the impact of your contributions. Develop a formal assessment plan to build a well-documented program of work with clearly defined benchmarks.
Requesting Delays in the Promotion Process
The University Handbook for Appointed Personnel covers the policies and procedures for requesting delays in promotion reviews for tenure-track faculty in 3.3.01 and for continuing-status in 4A.3.01. Delays can be requested for the birth or adoption of a child, personal reasons such as a health problem for a candidate or family member, bereavement over the loss of a child or partner, adverse professional circumstances that are beyond a candidate’s control, or a prestigious external commitment that detracts from a candidate’s research.