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College of Arts & Sciences

Promotion & Tenure Best Practices

Beginning with the 2016-17AY, we would like to standardize some practices across departments. We recognize that departmental guidelines may place some of these practices at variance with college procedure, which is acceptable, but those deviations should be explained by the Chair in his/her letter accompanying each dossier.

Departmental Voting

  • Ordinarily, only members of the departmental Promotion & Tenure Committee (PTC) should vote (i.e., not the department Chair). Small departments may not be able to meet this standard, and that should be so indicated.
  • The department Chair is encouraged to be part of the PTC discussion to inform his/her independent evaluation and assessment of the dossier.
  • Only members of PTC who (a) participated in the deliberations (in person or electronically via Skype or equivalent) and (b) examined the dossier, should be permitted to vote (i.e., absentee votes are not acceptable).
  • Ordinarily, votes to “abstain” are unacceptable. If a committee member has a conflict of interest or conflict of commitment (e.g., business or familial relationship), they should not be present to discuss or vote in the first place. If abstention votes are made, there must be some commentary or explanation of these votes in the letter from the PTC.  

Role of the Departmental Promotion & Tenure Committee

  • The Chair of the PTC should convene the meeting, conduct the vote, and report the results.
  • Most importantly, the PTC is expected to provide a full-length detailed synopsis of the strengths and weaknesses of the case with respect to Teaching, Research, and Service of the candidate as assessed by the committee.
  • In those instances where there is not a unanimous vote, it is incumbent upon the PTC to provide an explanation of basis for both positive and negative votes.  If the discussion of the committee members prior to the vote provides no basis for explaining the vote, this should be so stated (e.g., negative votes accompanied by no negative discussion).

Role of the Department Chair

  • The department Chair is responsible for providing a separate and independent analysis of the merits of the dossier. A detailed assessment of Teaching, Research, and Service is required.
  • Any deviation from college normative practices should be explained.
  • The department Chair, by signing the cover page, is assuming the responsibility that s/he has examined the dossier and that it is complete and meets an acceptable standard of quality. Dossiers that are incomplete or of low quality will be returned.

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College of Arts & Sciences