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College of Arts & Sciences

Dean’s Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure

Committee’s Charge

The purpose of the Dean’s Advisory Committee is to support the dean’s evaluation of applications for promotion and tenure and to advise regarding the evaluation of each application.  Committee members assist the dean in assessing adherence to promotion and tenure review processes and procedures as articulated in departmental and College of Arts and Sciences promotion and tenure documents. The goal of the Advisory Committee is to assure that recommendations reflect proper deliberation, appropriately reference evidence only contained in the dossier, and are free from bias.  The primary responsibility for a comprehensive, expert assessment of the dossier rests with the departmental faculty and department chair.  It is not the role of the Dean’s Advisory Committee to offer an additional, independent, expert evaluation of the dossier.  However, in instances where a department chair’s recommendation conflicts with a departmental faculty recommendation, or when there is evidence of disagreement among the faculty, or external reviewers regarding a recommendation for promotion and/or tenure, the Advisory Committee provides advice to the Dean regarding recommendations for or against promotion and (as appropriate) tenure based on their best judgments about the merits of individual cases.

Committee Composition

The Dean’s Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure is composed of full time faculty appointed to one of four subcommittees.  Each subcommittee is composed of six faculty members (to the extent possible, two members from each of the three content areas within the college: humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences) an associate dean and the dean.  The subcommittees review applications for promotion and (as appropriate) tenure for:

  • Professor: Only professors serve on the subcommittee reviewing applications for promotion to professor.
  • Associate Professor: Both associate professors and professors may serve on the subcommittee reviewing applications for promotion to associate professor.
  • Senior Lecturer: The subcommittee evaluating applications for senior lecturer is composed primarily of senior lecturers and, if necessary, tenured faculty.
  • Associate Lecturer: The subcommittee evaluating applications for associate lecturer is composed primarily of senior and associate lecturers and, if necessary, tenured faculty.

To the greatest degree practicable, the composition of the subcommittees will be diverse with respect to disciplinary affiliation, gender, and ethnicity.  Subcommittee members will be appointed to avoid perceived conflicts of interest with applicants.  Examples of conflicts include research or teaching collaborators, romantic relationships, business relationships, family members or other situations that would call into question an advisory committee member’s ability to provide unbiased advice to the dean. Members will be expected to recuse themselves from deliberations when unanticipated conflicts come to light during the evaluation process, or are unavoidable due to practical constraints of committee composition.  When the number of applications for promotion is greater than six for any subcommittee, the number of faculty members (or sub-committees) will be expanded so that no faculty member is evaluating more than six dossiers.

Advisory Committee Procedures

Dossier Submission: An electronic (PDF) dossier will be available for all CAS committee members and college staff to review via a BOX directory. The associate dean of faculty will supply detailed instructions each academic year regarding where and when files should be uploaded and when they will become accessible to committee members.

Subcommittee Deliberations: Promotion and tenure cases typically will be considered at a single meeting of each sub-committee. Group-I deliberations will have a two-step process (Department Chair/Advocate hearing, followed by Final Deliberations). Group-II deliberations have a single-step process (no Chair/Advocate session).

Department Chair/Advocate Hearing: At the beginning of each session, department chairs will be permitted to make a brief statement updating the committee and answering any relevant questions. An advocate is encouraged to attend also, especially in the situation where the department chair may not be supportive of the application. The chair/advocate session should generally not last any longer than 10 minutes per candidate.

Final Deliberations: This portion of the meeting is where the sub-committee considers the substantive pieces of the dossier, on an applicant-by-applicant basis. Less time can be spent on those dossiers that have obviously met with due process and have unanimous support. More time can be spent on those where questions or concerns exist.  Deliberations about each case will conclude with an anonymous vote for or against promotion (and as appropriate, tenure).  The results of this vote will be included in the dean’s letter of evaluation.

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