Policy Number: 201

Policy Suffix: C

Preface

This document is a companion to Rice University's policies on Faculty Appointments, Promotions and Tenure (Policy 201) and is intended to serve as a guide for candidates, department chairs, deans, other academic leaders, and members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee. Part I describes the third-year review process (“appointment renewal” or “reappointment” for assistant professors. The reappointment process does not usually engage external reviewers. Part II describes the review process for promotion of assistant professors to associate professor with tenure, and Part III describes the review process for promotion from the tenured rank of associate professor to (full) professor. Part IV provides a timeline for the processes associated with promotion, promotion to tenure, and reappointment, and Part V outlines the appeal process.

This document was prepared originally by the Promotion and Tenure Committee (herein “P&T Committee” or “Committee”) to provide guidance on procedures and has been revised and updated under the auspices of the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Senate. These procedures are fully consistent with Policy 201 and should be followed as closely as possible. However, in the event of any conflict between these Procedures and Policy 201, Policy 201 shall apply. Any actions that occur outside of these procedures should be approved by the relevant dean or provost prior to implementation.

Except for changes due to policy revisions, the procedures by which candidates are evaluated should remain consistent over time. Turnover occurs in the ranks of those who evaluate candidates for promotion and tenure; new members are elected and appointed to the P&T Committee; deans and department chairs change. This document provides continuity to the process, guidance for those who are new to the process, and a reference for those who have participated before.

As much as possible, it is also important that processes be applied uniformly to the many different disciplines at Rice. The provost, P&T Committee, and Faculty Senate recognize that both the nature of scholarship and the venues that are used to communicate this scholarship vary widely across disciplines. However, where similarities between disciplines do exist, the procedures for evaluations are expected to be similar.

Strict adherence to confidentiality is important at all stages of review processes. Except as specified in these procedures, all persons involved in a review must hold in strict confidence all discussions and materials related to the review, including but not limited to: the letters of both internal and external reviewers; the letters of collaborators, former advisors, and former supervisors; letters of recommendation from deans and department chairs; testimony to the P&T Committee by deans, department chairs, and internal reviewers; and all deliberations and discussions at the departmental, school, or P&T Committee levels. No person meeting with the P&T Committee should draw inferences about the process or disclose to the candidate or to others what takes place at a P&T Committee meeting at any time. The president and provost may share the P&T Committee's recommendations with the respective deans, but otherwise no one may disclose those recommendations either before or after the list of promotions has been published.

To both enhance usability and avoid inconsistencies, we have linked to university policies where applicable. In some cases, we have also quoted the relevant text at the time of writing. However, the reader is strongly encouraged to refer to the most current policy version and ensure that the quoted regulation remains unchanged. In the event of a discrepancy, the current university policy shall apply.

Part I. Reappointment of Assistant Professors

According to Policy 201 “Faculty appointments, promotions, and tenure” section 3.a.1., the employment of assistant professors at Rice is governed by two consecutive contracts, each of four years duration. The first contract is awarded at the time of employment and the reappointment is awarded following a successful review of work done during the first contract. This review will take place no later than the sixth semester of the candidate’s first contract (allowing for applicable leaves). (See Policy 201 [Section 3.a, Terms of appointment for tenure-track faculty ranks] for rules on when the tenure clock starts.)

I.A. The Review Process for Reappointment

The decision to award a second four-year contract to an assistant professor is a major commitment. Consequently, the review process must evaluate the candidate's performance in the same categories of scholarship, teaching, and service as are addressed when a candidate is reviewed for tenure. The review process must also respect the legitimate expectations of the candidate and reflect the informed judgment of his or her peers (normally the tenured members of the department). Since the period of evaluation is shorter—typically two and one-half years for a contract review versus six and one-half years for a tenure review—the evidentiary basis for judgment will be less than that required for tenure. The university well understands that creativity is not easily assessed and need not arrive on a fixed schedule. However, the same general standards and principles apply; the decisive criteria are the quality and impact of the work to date and that the candidate is making reasonable progress toward tenure.

The materials required for review of a tenure-track contract reappointment are thus of the same kind as for a tenure review and they should be assembled by following the same steps described in Part II. The only exception is that external reviewers are not required. There may, however, be cases where a department feels that the review would benefit from an external opinion. In such cases, the same guidelines for selecting and communicating with external reviewers as for a tenure review apply. The appointment of an internal reviewer is also optional.

The approvals and notification process for reappointments follows the same path as for promotion and tenure, except that the P&T Committee does not participate. The timeline for this process can be found in section IV.A.

I.B. The Junior Faculty Leave

According to Policy 201 “Faculty appointments, promotions, and tenure” section 3.a.1., an assistant professor who is reappointed is eligible for a one-semester junior faculty leave, which may be taken at any time following a successful reappointment but not later than the semester immediately prior to the one in which they will be reviewed for promotion to associate professor with tenure by the P&T Committee. Although not a requirement, it is strongly encouraged that every eligible assistant professor take a junior faculty leave. (See Policy 201, section 3.a.1. and Policy 208 “Sabbatical leaves of absence.”)

I.C. Non-renewals

According to Policy 201 “Faculty appointments, promotions, and tenure” section 3.a.1., an assistant professor who is not reappointed will be entitled to one full year of employment following the review (the fourth year of the initial contract). Candidates will be notified in writing of the decision regarding reappointment no later than one year prior to the termination of the contract. In case the faculty member is not reappointed, the person cannot be appointed to any other tenure-track faculty rank. A reappointment candidate who is not reappointed may petition the Appeals and Grievance Committee of the Faculty Senate for a review of the procedures that led to the decision. (Note: appeals are reviewed on procedural grounds only, not on issues of substance.)

Part II. Promotion and Tenure for Assistant Professors

Introduction: The Tenure Decision. To confer (or not to confer) tenure is the single most important decision a university can make with regard to a member of its faculty. From the individual's perspective, it is a decision of enormous magnitude—one that can have a major impact on the candidate's career. From the perspective of the university, it is a commitment to support an individual's program of scholarship and teaching throughout his or her career at Rice until retirement. Over time, these decisions have a profound influence on the character and quality of the university. Although reappointments and promotions that do not affect tenure are less consequential, they too have an important impact on both the individual and the institution. For these reasons, the processes leading up to these decisions require great care and attention. While keeping the goals and quality standards of the university in mind, those involved in the process must be scrupulously attentive to the process to ensure that all candidates receive a fair and thorough review.

Except in a mandatory year (normally the seventh year in the tenure-track faculty ranks for an assistant professor who has begun his or her Rice appointment at the entry-level, but possibly some other year owing to prior written agreement or adjustments for leaves), consideration of an individual for promotion and/or tenure is at the discretion of the department. However, in the mandatory year, the full deliberation, including solicitation of outside letters, is to be undertaken and the case submitted through the entire process of consideration up to and including the P&T Committee, unless the candidate withdraws at any point before the final decision.

II.A. The Promotion and Tenure Review Schedule

The promotion and tenure review process consists of a sequence of stages, beginning in the candidate's department and progressing through the level of the school, the university-wide P&T Committee, the president, and finally, to the Board of Trustees (hereinafter “the Board”). It is understood that in schools without a clearly defined departmental structure, the school is the candidate's principal home base. In such cases, the term “school” should be substituted for “department.” At each stage, the candidate's qualifications are reviewed and evaluated. The complexity and thoroughness of the process invariably require both time and dedication on the part of all those involved. For this reason, the schedule extends over approximately one year (an accelerated schedule is used for candidates from other institutions who are appointed to a tenured position at Rice—see section II.B.1).

The process typically begins in the spring of one year and concludes with the May meeting of the Rice University Board of Trustees the following year. Since assistant professors must be promoted no later than the seventh year in the tenure-track faculty ranks at Rice (including adjustments to the tenure clock as described in Policy 204 "Faculty Family, Primary Caregiver, Medical, and Professional Leaves"), the process must begin at the department level no later than the spring of the sixth year. A timeline for these reviews is given in Part IV.

II.B. Expedited and Early Promotion and Tenure Reviews

II.B.1. Expedited Tenure Reviews

When a candidate is hired at advanced standing, an interim review for tenure is usually necessary. To speed the recruitment process, these interim reviews are conducted on an ad hoc basis and may occur at any time of the year. The process for preparation of the case follows the same guidelines as for normal reviews. Once forwarded to the provost's office, the P&T Committee reviews each case and may choose to vote via email. If any one member of the Committee feels it is desirable or necessary to call a meeting of the P&T Committee, such a meeting will be called. Once the review is concluded, the provost will forward the dossier to the president along with his or her recommendation and the P&T Committee's vote.

II.B.2. Early Promotion and Tenure Reviews

Early reviews are encouraged only in cases where candidates are significantly accomplished and/or making unusually rapid progress. In particular, for junior faculty with substantial prior independent experience, demonstration of significant accomplishment may occur early resulting in the initiation of the promotion before the mandatory year at the discretion of the department and dean.§

There may be circumstances when a candidate approaches the department requesting to be put forward early. In this case, the department will examine the CV, teaching record, and any other materials the candidate wishes to present. The department should review the case and decide independently of the candidate’s wishes if the candidate should be put forward for promotion. Such cases are rare, and require the department, if it supports the early review request by a majority vote, to submit a proposal in writing to the dean, summarizing the reasons for the early review, prior to initiating the review process.

The dean may decide, after review of the departmental proposal, to support the early review of the candidate. The dean may also decide to ask the department to not initiate the review until the next review cycle. Should the dean and department decide that proceeding with an early tenure case is not warranted, the chair will explain verbally and in writing the reasons for this decision to the candidate.

The candidate may be put forward for consideration for promotion to tenure only once after external reviews are requested (i.e., the request for external reviews marks a point of no return in this process). Therefore, departments are encouraged to discuss with candidates the repercussions of a negative tenure review, especially in the case of early reviews, prior to initiating the review process. If the candidate chooses to withdraw from the process at any time after the request for external reviews is made, that process, even though not completed, will count as the candidate's single chance to be considered for tenure.

II.C. The Role of the Department

The most important stage of the review process occurs in the department. It is here that the case originates, and it is here that the dossier is prepared. The faculty members in the department also have the most extensive knowledge of the candidate's work and the most relevant expertise to evaluate it. Ideally, if the departments execute their responsibilities fully and correctly, the vast majority of cases forwarded to the dean and to the P&T Committee with a positive recommendation will be approved. If a candidate does not qualify for promotion, it is best that a recommendation to not award promotion be made at the level of the department. Nonetheless, unless a candidate withdraws, the full process must be completed.

II.C.1. The Role of the Chair

The department chair (“chair”) is responsible for informing candidates about the promotion process, including the candidate's role in the review, and the typical schedule for each stage of the review. The chair should also make a reasonable effort to ensure that the candidate fully understands the process and that any potential confusion or misunderstanding has been resolved.

The chair should also explain clearly to the candidate the expectations for meeting university-wide and departmental/school standards of quality and productivity in scholarship, research, or other creative work, in teaching, and in professional service both within and outside the university. This information should be provided by the chair to the candidate at the time of employment, reiterated at each performance review (see Policy 214 “Faculty Performance Reviews”), and again communicated to the candidate prior to review for promotion or reappointment. At annual performance reviews, the chair should give assistant professors (and other non-tenured tenure-track faculty) feedback about their progress toward achieving tenure and suggest constructive measures that will help address any existing deficiencies.

It is the responsibility of the chair to appoint the internal reviewer (see II.F), with full consideration of suggestions made by the candidate, the faculty, and the dean. The chair is also responsible for the preparation of the candidate's dossier. Although he or she may delegate much of the work to others, the chair must oversee the process and ensure that the dossier is complete and complies with university guidelines. The chair (or designate) will acknowledge receipt to the writer of all letters, including unsolicited letters. At the beginning of all meetings concerning promotion, the chair should remind the faculty of the confidential nature of the entire review process.

II.C.2. The Department’s Review

Eligible candidates: Eligible candidates are those in the mandatory year for their promotion and tenure review and assistant professors requesting an early review or deemed by their department to be eligible for early review. Each year, the chair should determine which faculty members are eligible for promotion and tenure in the following year. This information should be obtained by a careful review of the department's records and should be confirmed with the dean. Special consideration is needed to account for the effect of leaves on the tenure clock (see Policy 201: Faculty Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure).

Decision to conduct a promotion review: The chair meets with the department’s tenured faculty to discuss and finalize which, if any, of their eligible faculty members they will review for promotion and tenure (all candidates in their mandatory year must be reviewed and put forward unless the candidate withdraws). The chair will then talk to each of the faculty members the department wishes to review. He or she will:

a. explain fully the review process and timeline to all eligible candidates,

b. secure his/her consent to proceed with the review,

c. request suggestions for external reviewers (see II.E),

d. request suggestions for the internal reviewer (see II.F), and

e. supervise the compilation of the dossier.

If the relevant faculty of the department formally decide by a majority not to conduct a non-mandatory promotional review, the eligible candidate will be so informed by the chair, given the reasons for the decision, told when a future review might be expected, and advised how best to prepare for it with expectations set for future considerations. The decision should be documented in the departmental record and the dean informed of this process and its results.

II.C.2.a. The Promotion Dossier and Its Abstract: The following information in order of presentation must be included in the promotion dossier.

1) An abstract summarizing the following key information about the candidate since Ph.D. Items a-i and k are reviewed by the candidate for accuracy. Item j is added following the candidate’s review.

a) The candidate's department, current rank, and proposed rank.

b) The candidate's education and professional history.

c) The candidate's teaching record at Rice, including a summary of courses taught in table format, student evaluations for each course, new courses implemented, courseware developed, department assessments of teaching, and any other relevant information.

d) A list of current and past graduate and postdoctoral students (where applicable), with a record of placement. Undergraduate students who have completed meaningful research under the direction of the candidate should also be included.

e) The candidate's record of scholarship and/or creative works, including refereed articles published in journals, articles in journals that are not refereed, books authored, book chapters authored, books edited, patents and licenses, and other relevant creative works.

i. The record should begin with a table summarizing the numbers for each item.

ii. NOTE: For each item included in the table, a full version of the article or publication or creative work must be provided, either in digital format or in hard copy in a separate binder. In fields for which published articles or books are not the primary mode for scholarship, photos, musical scores, recordings, drawings, and/or other representations of creative works by the candidate must be provided separately.

iii. Where appropriate, a record of citations (and the source of the citation) should be provided, including comparisons to other faculty in relevant areas of scholarship. The comparison to other faculty on the basis of citations should use the same number of years pre-promotion-review, which means that the citations may not match in chronological years, but should match in faculty development years (i.e., a candidate being reviewed in 2018 may have 10 years of citation data stretching from 2009-2018; in comparing to a faculty member promoted in 2014, for example, the relevant comparison citation years are 2005-2014).

f) A list of awards and prizes.

g) Where appropriate, a record of external support for research or creative works (e.g., commissions), giving the role of the candidate (e.g., PI, co-PI, leader), source of funding, title of the grant or contract, the total amount, the amount allocated to the candidate, and time period. University research grants should not be noted in this item but they should be noted in the curriculum vitae, which is item 2 of the dossier.

h) A list of any pending support (that is, support that has been awarded but not yet received) and submitted proposals, giving the source of funding, the title of the proposal, the time period, and the total amount requested.

i) A brief record of service both to Rice University and to the external professional community. Examples include the following: service on departmental and university committees; service in the colleges and in organizations sponsored by the university and its alumni association; educational outreach to the community; contributions to federal or private agencies, professional organizations, etc.

j) A list of the external letter writers (i.e. external reviewers, collaborators, former advisors, and former supervisors), indicating whether they were suggested by the department or the candidate or both. All external letter writers who were asked to review the candidate's case should be listed, whether they agreed to participate or not, and information on their relevant expertise and relative standing of their home department should be provided. Those who did not participate should be indicated and the reasons given. If an external letter writer has or has had a connection to the candidate, include a description of the relationship (e.g., collaborator) (see II.E).

k) A history of sabbatical or other leaves of absence. Include semester or year of the leave, type of leave, and if there was a revision to the tenure clock based on the leave.

The following items will be added to form the dossier. Items 2-6 are generated or reviewed by the candidate, whereas items 7-13 are added later in the process and are not reviewed by the candidate. Any changes to items 2-6 or to the parts of the abstract that are candidate-generated must be presented to the candidate to ensure accuracy.

2) Curriculum Vitae

3) Research Accomplishments and Objectives
A statement, of no more than three pages, in which the candidate expands upon the broader intellectual significance and contribution of his or her scholarship, research, or other creative work and indicates the direction of future work. A candidate may choose to submit two versions: one for the external letter writers and one for the internal process that provides a comprehensive and accessible statement for the non-expert; in the dossier, the latter document will be added to the more technical report sent to external letter writers. Each version is limited to three pages (font must be ≥11 point).

4) Educational and Teaching Philosophy, Objectives, and Accomplishments
A statement, of no more than three pages, in which the candidate reflects on the distinctive aspects of his or her teaching career and practice and describes his or her teaching philosophy; service courses taught, curricular innovations, role as mentor to graduate or undergraduate students, special efforts to help students with writing or oral presentations, integrating teaching and research, etc. This statement should go beyond a description of the content of courses taught.

5) Service and Leadership Philosophy and Approach
A statement of the faculty member’s engagement in service and leadership activities, of no more than two pages, which might include service on departmental and university committees; service in the colleges and in organizations sponsored by the university and its alumni association, educational outreach to the community; service to the profession. The report should note leadership positions held either in university committees or professional activities. This statement should go beyond a listing of service activities and include a discussion of how the set of activities constitute a philosophy and approach to service and leadership.

6) Publications

a) Structured, chronological list of all articles, books, reviews, reports and/or other creative works produced by the candidate. Note that the status of each should be clearly stated:

i. published (date) in (journal);

ii. accepted for publication (date) in (journal), with or without revisions required;

iii. submitted (date) to (journal);

iv. unpublished;

v. in preparation.

NOTE: In fields for which published articles or books are not the norm, photos, musical scores, recordings, drawings, and/or other representations of creative works by the candidate must be included.

b) For each item in the list, the candidate must provide the percent effort contributed to the creation of the item. [Note: For individuals who lead a large research/ scholarship group, the candidate’s research group can be considered as “candidate” for this attribution of percent effort.]

To these materials, the following will be added to complete the full dossier. Items 7-13 will be included prior to final consideration by the P&T Committee. Items 9-13 are added by the department prior to its review (and are not shared with the candidate). Items 7 and 8 are added following the respective review processes at the department and dean level.

7) Dean’s Letter
A confidential memorandum from the dean with his/her review of the candidate that includes his/her recommendation (see II.G).

8) Chair Letter
A confidential memorandum from the chair with a review of the candidate based on the department’s discussion (see II.C), as well as his/her recommendation. The chair should follow guidelines for chair’s letters provided by the Office of the Provost.

9) Internal Reviewer Letter
A letter from the internal reviewer with his/her review of the candidate (see II.F).

10) External Letters
Collectively the external reviewers, collaborators, former advisors and former supervisors are referred to herein as “external letter writers.” Even when collaborators, former advisors or former supervisors are affiliated with Rice University or the candidate’s department, their letters and the letters submitted by external reviewers are referred to herein as “external letters.”

A) External Reviewer Letters
External reviewers are reviewers that are without a conflict of interest as defined herein.

This section includes:

- copies of letters or the template of letters sent by the chair to the reviewers

- letters received from external reviewers, with the name and affiliation of the external reviewer and any connection between the reviewer and the candidate, as well as who recommended the reviewer (department, candidate, or both) indicated on the first page of each letter (see II.E)

- a brief biography of the reviewers

- a brief but cogent statement of the reason for his/her selection including information on the expertise of the proposed external reviewer; must not be a complete CV or unedited web material

- if an external reviewer declined to write a review, the letter or email from that external reviewer

B) Collaborator Letters

This section is optional at the discretion of the candidate and includes:

- copies of letters or the template of letters sent by the chair to the collaborators

- letters received from collaborators, with the name and affiliation of the reviewer and the connection between the reviewer and the candidate (e.g., co-author, co-PI)

- a brief biography of the collaborators

- a brief but cogent statement of the reason for his/her selection including information on the expertise of the collaborator; must not be a complete CV or unedited web material

- if a collaborator declined to write a review, the letter or email from that collaborator

C) Former Advisor and Supervisor Letters

This section is optional at the discretion of the candidate and includes:

- copies of letters or the template of letters sent by the chair to former advisors and supervisors

- letters received from former advisors and supervisors, with the name and affiliation of the reviewer and the connection between the reviewer and the candidate

- a brief biography of the former advisors and supervisors

- if a former advisor or supervisor declined to write a review, the letter or email from that reviewer

11) Other Letters/Information

a) Reviews written by others about a book or article or creative work produced by the candidate.

b) Any supporting information about the status of works listed in Publications (see 6 above) that have not yet been published, such as copies of correspondence accepting publication of a book or article submitted, copies of the official contracts from publishers, etc.

c) Any letters or reviews regarding the candidate. These might include letters from people affiliated or unaffiliated with Rice University attesting to service to professional organizations, university and department committees, and/or community outreach. To be considered in the review process, letters in this category must be received by the department at least four days prior to the department discussion and vote on the case and must be discussed during the departmental review. Information on the letter writers, if available, should be provided, as well as whether a letter was solicited or not.

d) Any disciplinary information or documentation concerning the candidate of which the candidate has been made aware in the past, including materials in the files of the department, the dean or the provost. If the candidate submitted a response to the disciplinary materials at the time, the candidate’s response shall be included as well. In cases where such disclosure may violate express confidentiality obligations to the candidate or others, the Office of General Counsel shall be consulted and materials reviewed by the relevant dean with the department chair prior to including such materials in the dossier. Only disciplinary information that is included in the dossier should be considered when evaluating the candidate.

Note: The candidate may seek a preliminary assessment of the tenure case, in which case the department will examine the CV, teaching record, and any other materials the candidate wishes to present (see II.B.2). Regardless of the department's judgment, however, the promotion process will proceed in a mandatory year unless the candidate decides to withdraw. On the basis of its internal dossier (consisting of items 1-6), the department may deem that the awarding of tenure is unlikely. If so, it will inform both the candidate and the dean. After consultation with the dean, the candidate may withdraw from the process, which will then continue no further. However, if the candidate does not withdraw, the department will request external letters and bring the process to completion.

It is important that the candidate provide the necessary material to the department in a timely manner. Invariably, some material will change over the period of the review. A letter may be received from an editor indicating that a book manuscript has been accepted for publication, or notification may be received that a grant has been awarded by a foundation or government agency. “Late” materials such as these shall be included in the candidate's dossier by forwarding them through the chair, dean, and provost, to the P&T Committee. The P&T Committee will decide at its discretion when to cut off the inclusion of updated materials. This decision will be communicated to the candidate through the dean and chair.

II.C.2.b. The Department’s Review Criteria: When the promotion dossier has been compiled (with the exception of the chair’s letter and dean’s letter, but including the external letters and the internal reviewer’s letter), the chair convenes the tenured departmental faculty to review the case for promotion. (Note: For promotion of assistant professors, all tenured faculty in the department will be given the opportunity to be engaged in this decision, including casting a vote, unless a faculty member was the doctoral or postdoctoral advisor for the candidate. **)

When considering a candidate for promotion, the following questions should be addressed:

  1. What is the quality and impact of the candidate's scholarship or creative work? Is the work original and innovative? Are the questions addressed in the research important and has the candidate made substantive contributions to answering them?
  2. How has the candidate influenced the understanding or practice of his or her discipline(s)? How has the work of the candidate been recognized in the profession? Has the candidate established a national or an international reputation in his or her chosen field(s) of research or creative work?
  3. Has the individual been involved in leadership activities and service in professional organizations in his or her field(s)? What has been the candidate's impact within the external professional communities, nationally and internationally?
  4. How does the candidate compare with others in the field, both at Rice and at other institutions, at a similar stage in their careers?
  5. What has been the individual's teaching performance, and what is the potential for improvement? This evaluation should, among others, be based on the following: student teaching evaluations, departmental evaluations, letters regarding teaching, prizes and awards for teaching, record in mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, implementation of new courses, novel deployment of information technology for teaching, and curriculum development.
  6. Has the candidate made useful contributions to service in the Rice community?
  7. Does the candidate strengthen the department, the school, and the university and if so, how? Have there been documented performance or behavior deficiencies that are countervailing factors?
  8. What is the reason for believing that, if promoted, the candidate will continue to be a creative and productive scholar, an effective teacher, and an interactive member of the Rice community? It is useful to remember that promotion and tenure are not granted as a reward for past achievements. They are given with the anticipation that the promise suggested by the record of scholarship, teaching, and service to date will be fulfilled many times over in the future.
  9. The increasing prevalence of multi-authored publications and scholarly works presents a special challenge in assessing candidates for tenure and/or promotion. In preparing a dossier, the department should pay particular attention to ascertaining and documenting the specific quantitative and qualitative contributions of the candidate to multi-authored works. Documentation of the individual's contributions can (and probably should) include several approaches, including a specific statement from the candidate addressed to this question. In soliciting outside letters of reference, specific questions should be raised about identifying the candidate's creative and conceptual contributions to collaborative work. In the interest of obtaining a penetrating assessment of the candidate's contributions to collaborative work, it may be appropriate to request some references from collaborators and co-authors to be included in Section 10A of the dossier. In an effort to assure unbiased reviews, the candidate’s previous advisors and supervisors are prohibited from serving as external reviewers; however, letters can be requested from these individuals to be included in Section 10C of the dossier.

Once the discussion is complete, the chair may call for a straw vote on the promotion. At this point, the chair should make a clear distinction between a straw vote to evaluate the candidate and the final promotion vote to be forwarded to the dean. After discussing the straw vote evaluation, the department will hold a final vote on its support of the promotion. All mandatory tenure cases must be forwarded to the dean, even if negative at the department level, as promotion-to-tenure cases move forward unless the candidate withdraws.

NOTE: Requested external letters received following the departmental discussion and vote may be included in the dossier and sent to the department for discussion and comment in a revised chair letter; see II.C.2.a.11.c regarding unsolicited letters.

II.C.2.c. Reporting the Department’s Decision:

Once the faculty has voted, the chair promptly informs the candidate of the decision based on the faculty vote. However, under no circumstances may the chair or anyone in the department communicate the specific vote, including whether or not the vote was unanimous or mixed, or the votes of any individual department members to anyone except those involved in the subsequent review of the dossier. The chair should also review the procedures that will be followed with the candidate. If the department's decision is negative, the chair should summarize the reasons for the decision and explain that the process will continue unless the candidate withdraws. The chair may explain at this point the ultimate consequences should the same decision be reached by the P&T Committee and president, and inform the candidate of the right to an appeal only on procedural grounds should the final decision at the end of this process be negative (see Part V for information on appeals).

Next, the chair writes a confidential memorandum to the dean in which he or she:

  1. summarizes the department's deliberations, including the vote;
  2. describes the reasons why the department feels the promotion is merited, or not;
  3. if the decision is positive, describes how the proposed promotion will strengthen the department;
  4. includes comments by the department faculty on service and teaching, including contributions to reforming curricula and mentoring students;
  5. explicitly addresses both the procedures followed in reaching the departmental recommendation and the quality of the candidate's scholarship, teaching, and service; and,
  6. summarizes his or her own individual evaluation of the candidate's qualifications for promotion.

The chair includes this memo in the dossier and forwards it to the dean. More specific guidelines for this memo are available from the Office of the Provost and are available to the candidates (see Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Guidebook).

II.D. The Role of the Candidate

Once the chair has informed the candidate of the department's intention to conduct a review for promotion, and he or she consents, the candidate is responsible for providing the following information in support of the review:

  1. The names of individuals who might serve as an internal reviewer.
  2. The names of individuals without a personal or professional conflict of interest who might be considered as possible external reviewers. The candidate’s list is subsequently merged with the department’s list and shared by the chair with the dean to generate a final set of external reviewers with whom the dossier will be shared.
  3. The names of collaborators (e.g. co-authors, co-investigators, co-researchers, etc.), and former advisors and supervisors from whom letters may be requested.
  4. The names of individuals in the university or elsewhere who should be asked for letters concerning the candidate's service to the university, the community, and the profession.
  5. All other necessary material for the dossier (see section II.C.2.a).

Candidates can request confirmation that the dossier has been fully assembled. However, the identity of the external reviewers remains confidential. If, during an on-going tenure or promotion process, the candidate reasonably believes a situation has occurred, or is likely to occur, that would constitute adequate grounds for a future appeal as defined in this section, he or she should immediately notify the Convenor of Appeals and Grievances by sending him or her a written statement setting forth such concerns (see Faculty Senate Rules for Appeals and Grievances). In addition, the candidate, or any other individual who believes a situation has occurred or is likely to occur that would constitute grounds for an appeal, may communicate directly with the provost regarding his or her concerns.

II.E. Obtaining the Input of the External Letter Writers

Once the department has decided to proceed with a review and has informed the candidate and received consent, the chair gathers two lists of potential external reviewers. The first list is developed in consultation with the department. The second list is compiled by the candidate. Neither the chair nor the department should see the candidate's list until they have completed their own list. The chair will consult with the dean to discuss the final selection of the external reviewers. Selections will be drawn from the lists made independently by the department and the candidate and ensure balance between the number of department-specified and candidate-specified reviewers. There are occasions when a candidate feels that a particular reviewer may not provide an unbiased review of the candidate’s scholarly activities. The candidate has the option to provide the dean with up to two names of potential reviewers who should not be contacted and the reason for the exclusion. The dean should coordinate with the chair as necessary to avoid requests being sent to these scholars, should the dean agree with the candidate’s concerns.

The external reviewers should be chosen from among the recognized leading scholars in the candidate's field. They should normally be from programs or departments that are at least of comparable quality to Rice and, where chosen for their particular expertise, a summary of the selection basis should be provided. In cases where a candidate's work involves more than one sub-field or discipline, it is critical that the reviewers be selected to provide a range of expertise that matches the candidate’s. This diversity in external reviewers is especially important for individuals whose work contains significant interdisciplinary content, so that the reviewers are not only conversant with the developments in such fields but also are aware of the complexities of starting and maintaining a meaningful interdisciplinary program. The external reviewers without a potential for a conflict of interest (personal or professional) should be people that provide a balanced representation of the field(s) in which the candidate works. If it is necessary to utilize individuals with a potential conflict of interest as external reviewers, the department shall identify any relationship and explain why it is beneficial or necessary to use those persons.

A minimum of six complete external reviewer letters is required, of which at least four should be from persons suggested by the department. Letters from collaborators, former advisors, and former supervisors do not count towards this minimum requirement. Since some of the external reviewers may decline to write, at least twice this number of requests will be needed. Note that all contact with external letter writers with regard to the evaluation of the candidate should be conducted by the chair, dean, provost, or president and be confined to discussion of the willingness to write a letter, with no discussion of the candidate or the content of the letter. The department should compile its list first, without any knowledge of the candidate's list of external reviewers. Once complete, the department will then request a list of potential reviewers from the candidate. Any names that overlap should be designated: "department, also candidate" and will count toward the minimum number of four letters from reviewers that are suggested by the department.

Although collaborators and former advisors and supervisors have an inherent conflict of interest in the promotion and tenure process, these individuals may offer important relevant information about the candidate that can inform the decision process. Therefore, six names may be submitted by the candidate from individuals in this group. Up to six names of collaborators and the names of up to three former advisors and supervisors may be submitted, but the total number of names submitted is not to exceed six. Letters will be solicited from the list of all individuals in this group (up to six) generated by the candidate. The letters will be placed in the dossier (items 10B and 10C).

The final list of external reviewers must be approved by the dean. Once the dean and chair agree on the selection of external reviewers, the chair will write to all the external letter writers asking them to write a confidential assessment of the candidate's qualifications for promotion. In making this request, the chair will use a standard letter approved by the dean and the provost. Although the specific language in this letter may vary from school to school to account for the different nature of the work and modes for communicating it, all departments will use the same letter within their school. The letter may request a CV or biographical information from the external reviewer. Modifications of this standard letter must be approved by the dean. This letter will consist of the following elements:

  1. a statement of the candidate's department, current rank, and proposed rank;
  2. a request to evaluate the impact of the candidate's work to date and potential for future contributions
  3. a request that the writer describe any prior or existing relationship with candidate;
  4. a request for comparisons with other scholars in the same field(s);
  5. a question whether the candidate would qualify for promotion at the reviewer's institution;
  6. a pledge of confidentiality to the reviewer; and
  7. a statement of appreciation coupled with an acknowledgment of the time and attention needed to make such assessments. The external reviewers should be asked to respond directly to the dean.

To enable the evaluation by external letter writers, the chair or the dean, depending on the school, will send or utilize a secure website to make available to the letter writers all necessary materials, including a summary of expectations for promotion. The necessary materials are (1) a complete CV that contains the candidate’s education and positions, a list of publications/creative works, a list of grants or other competitive support received and under consideration, a list of awards and prizes, and a record of teaching and service; (2) selected publications/creative works; and (3) the candidate’s statement of research accomplishments and objectives. The materials provided to the external letter writers may also include the following items delineated in section II.C.2.a.: abstract (items 1.a-i), education and teaching objectives (item 4), service and leadership summary (item 5), and, where relevant, reviews written by others about a book/article/creative work produced by the candidate (item 11.a). Each school should be consistent in the documents that are sent to external letter writer. In some cases, the chair or the dean may wish to secure external letter writers' availability to write a letter before sending them the full package of materials. All offices involved in the process should act in a timely manner (see timeline) to ensure effective and fair review of each case.

Informal contact (phone, email, personal) with the external letter writers should be avoided to the extent possible and, when unavoidable, should be neutral in tone and should not prejudice or bias the reviewer. When substantive informal discussions do occur, the date and summary of the conversation should be recorded and reported in the candidate's dossier.

II.F. The Role of the Internal Reviewer

The principal function of the internal reviewer is to write an informed evaluation of the candidate's scholarship and/or creative professional work. For this reason, he or she—or, on occasion, a group of faculty with one faculty member assigned the role of lead internal reviewer—will most often be from the candidate's department. However, when the candidate's work has significant interdisciplinary content or overlaps with other departments, consideration should be given to appointing an internal reviewer from another department. In special cases, the internal reviewer may be from another institution. This may arise, for example, when no one at Rice has the expertise to prepare an informed evaluation of the candidate's work. If the internal reviewer also is knowledgeable about the candidate's teaching and service, the internal reviewer may address those aspects of the candidate's work.

All materials about the candidate's scholarship, including letters from outside reviewers, will be available to the internal reviewer when preparing the written evaluation. (Note: in the exceptional circumstance when the “internal reviewer” is from another institution, the letters from external reviewers will not be made available to the internal reviewer to protect confidentiality.) The internal reviewer is bound by rules of confidentiality and may not discuss the case except in his or her official capacity. He or she must be especially circumspect in avoiding any conversations about the review with the candidate during this period.

Prior to the department's review, the internal reviewer should review the dossier, write an evaluation of the candidate's qualifications for promotion, and submit it to the chair for inclusion in the dossier. During its deliberations, the P&T Committee, at its discretion, may ask the internal reviewer to appear before it for further consultation.

II.G. The Role of the Dean

Once a case has been reviewed by a department and forwarded to the school, the dean will evaluate the candidate's qualifications for promotion. At his or her discretion, the dean may draw on the opinion of other faculty in the school by, for example, appointing a school-wide review committee. As for all personnel involved in the review process, the members of this committee should be fair and impartial in their review, and the committee members should participate or vote in either their department or in the school review process for a candidate but not both. Similarly, the members of the P&T Committee may vote either in their department or in the Committee but not both; see section II.H. regarding recusals of P&T Committee members.

Should letters be received by the dean from others (excluding external reviewers), whether solicited or not, copies of such letters will be sent by the dean to the department. These letters will be included in the dossier under “other letters” if received no later than four days prior to the department’s decision process.

Upon completion of the review, the dean will write a confidential memorandum to the P&T Committee. This memo will describe his or her evaluation of the candidate and will assess the potential impact of the promotion on the long-range goals of the school and the university. It will be added to the dossier and sent to the provost's office for review by the P&T Committee.

Occasionally, a dean may disagree with the recommendation of the department. In all cases, the dean will forward the dossier to the P&T Committee along with the dean’s confidential memorandum. In such cases, the dean (and chair) will be asked to elaborate on his/her recommendations.

II.H. The Role of the Promotion and Tenure Committe

The principal responsibility of the P&T Committee is to advise the president on all proposals for promotion and tenure that have been forwarded to the provost's office for review. During its deliberations, the Committee may invite the dean and the chair individually or together to discuss their recommendations. The Committee may also call internal reviewers or other Rice employees that it feels may provide information considered vital to a fair and thorough review.

In the event of disagreement between the decisions of the department, school, or the P&T Committee, the Committee shall meet with the dean, the department chair, and the internal reviewer (or lead internal reviewer) to better understand the variety of views articulated. The committee is exempted from meeting with the internal reviewer if the internal reviewer is not a member of the Rice University faculty.

All members of the P&T Committee are expected to read each dossier. A quorum of six of the eight members of the P&T Committee is required for deliberation of cases. Current practice is that one member of the P&T Committee is picked by the provost close to the time of the meeting to “present the case,” that is, to provide a summary of the contents of the dossier. Deliberations then begin, and every committee member comments on the case. Further evidence is requested, as needed, to address open questions that arise during these deliberations. After deliberations are concluded, a vote of the P&T Committee is taken.

For each case, following the vote, an executive summary of the committee deliberations is prepared. The draft will be reviewed by a member of the P&T Committee, typically by the person who presented the case, and by the provost, before approval of the final draft by the entire P&T Committee. The final version of the executive summary, including a record of each vote without the name of the specific P&T Committee member attached to it is then added to the dossier.

The provost may convene the P&T Committee and participate as a member in terms of discussion and voting. In this case, the provost shall not provide a separate letter to the president. Alternatively, the provost may convene the P&T Committee and neutrally facilitate the discussion. In this case, the provost shall provide a separate letter to the president in addition to the executive summary of the P&T Committee’s discussion and vote.

Under certain conditions, specific members of the P&T Committee will be recused from considering all or part of a specific case:

  1. A member of the P&T Committee who is in the candidate’s department may not vote both in the department and in the P&T review process and must be recused in one vote or the other. At the P&T Committee’s discretion, a member who voted in the department may be asked questions during deliberation but cannot vote.
  2. A member of the P&T Committee who is the candidate’s department chair has already made his/her recommendation, contained in the dossier, and therefore must be recused from the deliberations and abstain from voting in the Committee (i.e., not be present during the deliberations), but may —as for other chairs—be called to answer Committee members’ questions as needed.
  3. A member of the P&T Committee who has a conflict of interest, such as having served as the candidate’s doctoral or postdoctoral advisor, been a co-author on publications or presentations, or any other co-activity that engages close interactions, or who feels he or she may not be able objectively to evaluate the candidate has the responsibility to disclose the nature of the conflict to the provost or General Counsel prior to deliberations and, if deemed appropriate, will be recused from deliberations and voting.

The membership of the P&T Committee will be available to all candidates (currently, it is posted on the Faculty Senate website) before the provost forwards the dossier to the P&T Committee. If a candidate believes there is a potential conflict of interest or asserts an improper bias involving a member of the P&T Committee, the candidate must raise it prior to deliberations on the case so that the P&T can evaluate the claim and act appropriately.

II.I. The Roles of the Provost and President

After the P&T Committee completes its review, the provost, as chair, communicates the Committee's recommendations to the president. If the provost chose not to be a voting member of the P&T Committee (see section II.H), then he or she also provides a separate recommendation letter to the president.

In making a decision, the president may call on other persons who might provide information considered vital to a fair and thorough review and may meet with the P&T Committee. The president then communicates his or her decision to the Board for its final approval.

At the discretion of the president and provost, an unofficial communication to the candidates may be made following the president's decision and preceding the Board’s decision.

After the Board meeting, candidates whose reviews have been completed, whether successful or unsuccessful, will be officially notified by the president or the provost of the decision. Candidates whose cases are still under review by the P&T Committee will be notified of such status at that time.

Unsuccessful candidates will be informed by the president or the provost of his/her right to an appeal (see Part V).

After Board approval, the president and provost issue the official promotion and tenure letter.

Part III. Promotion of Tenured Associate Professors to (Full) Professor

Introduction: Many elements of the promotion process for associate professors to (full) professor are identical to those for the promotion to associate professor with tenure. However, multiple distinctions in details of these two processes can be confusing, which motivates separating their descriptions. In a case where the chair is an associate professor, a (full) professor, either within the department or outside the department, assumes the role of the chair in this process.

III.A. The Review Schedule

The promotion review process consists of a sequence of stages, beginning in the candidate's department and progressing through the level of the school, the P&T Committee, the president, and finally, to the Board. It is understood that in schools without a clearly defined departmental structure, the school is the candidate's principal home base. In such cases the term “school” should be substituted for “department.” At each stage the candidate's qualifications are reviewed and evaluated. The complexity and thoroughness of the process invariably requires both time and dedication on the part of all those involved. For this reason, the schedule extends over many months (an accelerated schedule is used for candidates from other institutions who are initially appointed to a tenured position at Rice — see section II.B.1 above). The usual process typically begins in the spring of one calendar year and concludes with the May meeting of the Rice University Board of Trustees the following calendar year.

III.B. Timing

Each year, the chair (or substitute if the chair is an associate professor—see Policy 214 “Faculty Performance Reviews” for who can be a substitute when the chair is an associate professor and due for promotion evaluation) confers with the (full) professors in the department to determine which associate professors should be considered for promotion to (full) professor. This information should be obtained by a careful review of the department’s records and should be confirmed with the dean and provost. Once the decision is reached, the chair will talk to the faculty member(s) the department wishes to review.

In cases where a candidate approaches the department requesting to be put forward for promotion, the department reviews the case and decides independently of the candidate’s wishes if the candidate should be put forward for promotion. The dean is consulted as an integral part of this process. A negative decision at any level of review does not have implications for future consideration.

NOTE: Every three years thereafter, the regular three-year reviews for these associate professors will be reviewed by the provost with the relevant deans until such time that promotion may occur. See Policy 214 “Faculty Performance Reviews” for instances warranting more frequent reviews. Generally, a promotion to (full) professor that has sought external letters and that has been denied should not be resubmitted again for three years.

III.C. The Role of the Department

The most important stage of the review process occurs in the department. It is here that the case originates, and it is here that the dossier is prepared. The faculty members in the department also have the most extensive knowledge of the candidate's work and the most relevant expertise to evaluate it. Ideally, if the departments execute their responsibilities fully and correctly, the vast majority of cases forwarded to the dean and to the P&T Committee with a positive recommendation will be approved. If a candidate does not qualify for promotion, it is preferable that a recommendation not to award promotion be made at the level of the dean and department.

III.C.1. The Role of the Chair

The department chair (“chair”) is responsible for informing candidates about the promotion process, including the candidate's role in the review, and the typical schedule for each stage of the review. The chair should also make a reasonable effort to ensure that the candidate fully understands the process and that any potential confusion or misunderstanding has been resolved.

The chair should also explain clearly to the candidate the expectations for meeting university-wide and departmental/school standards of quality and productivity in scholarship, research, or other creative work, in teaching, and in professional service both within and outside the university for this promotion. At performance reviews (see Policy 214 “Faculty Performance Reviews” for schedule), the chair should give associate professors feedback about their progress toward promotion and suggest constructive measures that will help address any existing deficiencies.

It is the responsibility of the chair to appoint the internal reviewer (see III.F), with full consideration of suggestions made by the candidate, the faculty, and the dean. The chair is also responsible for the preparation of the candidate's dossier. Although he or she may delegate much of the work to others, the chair must oversee the process and ensure that the dossier is complete and complies with university guidelines. The chair (or designate) will acknowledge receipt to the writer of all letters, including unsolicited letters. At the beginning of all meetings concerning promotion, the chair should remind the faculty of the confidential nature of the entire review process.

III.C.2. The Department’s Review

Eligible candidates: Each year, the chair should manage a process to determine which associate professors should be considered for promotion to professor in the following year. This information should be obtained by a careful review of the department's records and should be confirmed with the dean.

Decision to conduct a promotion review: The department chair meets with the appropriate departmental faculty, generally only (full) professors, to discuss and finalize which, if any, of the associate professors they will review for promotion. The dean may on occasion request that the department initiate the review process and prepare a dossier. In either case, the chair will then talk to each faculty member the department wishes to review. He or she will:

a. explain fully the review process and timeline to all eligible candidates,
b. secure his/her consent to proceed with the review,
c. request suggestions for external reviewers (see III.E),
d. request suggestions for the internal reviewer (see III.F), and
e. supervise the compilation of the dossier.

If the relevant faculty of the department review the dossier, including external letters, and decide not to move forward with the promotion process, the eligible candidate will be so informed by the chair, given the reasons for the decision, told when a future review might be expected, and advised how best to prepare for it with expectations set for future considerations. The decision should be documented in the departmental record and the dean informed of this process and its results. If the dean disagrees, the dean may request that the full process proceed.

III.C.2.a. The Promotion Dossier and Its Abstract

The following information in order of presentation must be included in the promotion dossier.

1) An abstract summarizing the following key information about the candidate since promotion to associate professor (or tenure). Items a-i and k are reviewed by the candidate for accuracy. Item j is added following the candidate’s review.

a) The candidate's department, current, and proposed rank.

b) The candidate's education and professional history.

c) The candidate's teaching record at Rice, including a summary of courses taught in table form, student evaluations for each course, new courses implemented, courseware developed, department assessments of teaching, and any other relevant information.

d) A list of current and past graduate and postdoctoral students (where applicable), with a record of placement. Undergraduate students who have completed meaningful research under the direction of the candidate should also be included.

e) The candidate's record of scholarship, including refereed articles published in journals, articles in journals that are not refereed, books authored, book chapters authored, books edited, patents and licenses, and other relevant creative works.

i. The record should begin with a table summarizing the numbers for each item.

ii. NOTE: For each item included in the table, a full version of the article or publication or creative work must be provided, either in digital format or in hard copy in a separate binder. In fields for which published articles or books are not the primary mode for scholarship, photos, musical scores, recordings, drawings, and/or other representations of creative works by the candidate must be provided separately.

iii. Where appropriate, a record of citations (and the source of the citation) should be provided, including comparisons to other faculty in relevant areas of scholarship. The comparison to other faculty on citations should use the same number of years pre-promotion-review, which means that the citations may not match in chronological years, but should match in faculty development years (i.e., a candidate being reviewed in 2018 may have 10 years of citation data stretching from 2009-2018; in comparing to a faculty member promoted in 2014, for example, the relevant comparison citation years are 2005-2014.

If the candidate has been previously promoted at Rice, the department shall provide a copy of the previous promotion abstract (or CV if tenure did not occur at Rice) and specifically identify items listed as accepted or submitted in the previous abstract (or CV) or taken into account by internal and external reviewers at the time promotion was awarded.

f) A list of awards and prizes.

g) Where appropriate, a record of external support for research or creative works (e.g., commissions), giving the role of the candidate (e.g., PI or co-PI, leader), source of funding, title of the grant or contract, the total amount, the amount allocated to the candidate, and time period. University research grants should not be noted in this item but they should be noted in the curriculum vitae, which is item 3 of the dossier.

h) A list of any pending support (that is, support that has been awarded but not yet received) and submitted proposals, giving the source of funding, the title of the proposal, the time period, and the total amount requested.

i) A brief record of service both to Rice University and to the external professional community. Examples include the following: service on departmental and university committees; service in the colleges and in organizations sponsored by the university and its Alumni Association; educational outreach to the community; contributions to federal or private agencies, professional organizations, etc.

j) A list of the external letter writers (i.e. external reviewers, collaborators, former advisors and former supervisors), indicating whether they were suggested by the department or the candidate or both. All external letter writers who were asked to review the candidate's case should be listed, whether they agreed to participate or not, and information on their relevant expertise should be provided. Those who did not participate should be indicated and the reasons given. If an external letter writer has or has had a connection to the candidate, include a description of the relationship (e.g., collaborator) (see III.E).

k) A history of sabbatical or other leaves of absence. Include semester or year of the leave, type of leave, and if there was a revision to the tenure clock based on the leave.

The following items will be added to form the dossier. Items 3-7 are generated or reviewed by the candidate, whereas items 2 and 8-14 are added later in the process and are not reviewed by the candidate. Any changes to items 3-7 or to the parts of the abstract that are candidate-generated must be presented to the candidate to ensure accuracy.

2) Previous Abstract

If the candidate has been previously promoted at Rice, the department provides a copy of the previous promotion abstract.

3) Curriculum Vitae

4) Research Accomplishments and Objectives

A statement, of no more than three pages, in which the candidate expands upon the broader intellectual significance and contribution of his or her scholarship, research, or other creative work and indicates the direction of future work. A candidate may choose to submit two versions, one for the external letter writers and one for the internal process that provides a comprehensive and accessible statement for the non-expert; in the dossier, the latter document will be added to the more technical report sent to external letter writers. Each version is limited to three pages (font must be ≥11 point).

5) Educational and Teaching Philosophy, Objectives and Accomplishments

A statement, of no more than three pages, in which the candidate reflects on the distinctive aspects of her or her teaching career and practice and describes his or her teaching philosophy; service courses taught, curricular innovations, role as mentor to graduate or undergraduate students, special efforts to help students with writing or oral presentations, integrating teaching and research, etc. This statement should go beyond a description of the content of courses taught.

6) Service and Leadership Philosophy and Approach

A statement of the faculty member’s engagement in service and leadership activities, of no more than two pages, which might include service on departmental and university committees; service in the colleges and in organizations sponsored by the university and its alumni association, educational outreach to the community; service to the profession. The report should note leadership positions held either in university committees or professional activities. This statement should go beyond a listing of service activities and include a discussion of how the set of activities constitute a philosophy and approach to service and leadership.

7) Publications

a) Structured, chronological list of all articles, books, reviews, reports and/or other creative works produced by the candidate. Note that the status of each should be clearly stated:

i. published (date) in (journal);

ii. accepted for publication (date) in (journal), with or without revisions required;

iii. submitted (date) to (journal);

iv. unpublished;

v.in preparation.

NOTE: In fields for which published articles are books are not the norm, photos, musical scores, recordings, drawings, and/or other representations of creative works by the candidate should be included.
b )For each item in the list, the candidate must provide the percent effort contributed to the creation of the item. [Note: For individuals who lead a large research/scholarship group, the candidate’s research group can be considered “candidate” for this attribution of percent effort.]

b) To these materials, the following will be added to complete the full dossier. Items 8-14 will be included prior to final consideration by the P&T Committee. Items 10-14 are added by the department prior to its review (and are not shared with the candidate). Items 8 and 9 are added following the respective review processes at the department and dean level.

8) Dean’s Letter

A confidential memorandum from the dean noting his/her review of the candidate and recommendation (see III.G).

9) Chair Letter

A confidential memorandum from the chair with a review of the candidate based on the department’s discussion (see III.C), as well as his/her recommendation. The chair should follow guidelines for chair’s letters provided by the Office of the Provost.

10) Internal Reviewer Letter

A letter from the internal reviewer noting his/her review of the candidate. (See III.F).

11) External Letters

Collectively the external reviewers, collaborators, former advisor and former supervisor are referred to herein as “external letter writers.” Even when collaborators, former advisors or former supervisors are affiliated with Rice University or the candidate’s department, their letters and the letters submitted by external reviewers are referred to herein as “external letters."

A) External Reviewer Letters

External reviewers are reviewers that are without a conflict of interest as defined herein.

This section includes:

  • copies of letters or the template of letters sent by the chair to the reviewers
  • letters received from external reviewers, with the name and affiliation of the external reviewer and any connection between the reviewer and the candidate, as well as who recommended the reviewer (department, candidate, or both) indicated on the first page of each letter (see III.E)
  • a brief biography of the reviewers
  • a brief but cogent statement of the reason for his/her selection including information on the expertise of the proposed external reviewer; must not be a complete CV or unedited web material
  • if an external reviewer declined to write a review, the letter or email from that external reviewer

B) Collaborator Letters

This section is optional at the discretion of the candidate and includes:

  • copies of letters or the template of letters sent by the chair to the collaborators
  • letters received from collaborators, with the name and affiliation of the reviewer and the connection between the reviewer and the candidate (e.g., co-author, co-PI)
  • a brief biography of the collaborators
  • a brief but cogent statement of the reason for his/her selection including information on the expertise of the collaborator; must not be a complete CV or unedited web material
  • if a collaborator declined to write a review, the letter or email from that collaborator

C) Former Advisor and Supervisor Letters

This section is optional at the discretion of the candidate and includes:

  • copies of letters or the template of letters sent by the chair to the former advisors and supervisors
  • letters received from former advisors and supervisors, with the name and affiliation of the reviewer and the connection between the reviewer and the candidate
  • a brief biography of the former advisors and supervisors
  • if a former advisor or supervisor declined to write a review, the letter or email from that reviewer

12) Other Letters/Information

a) Reviews written by others about a book or article or creative work produced by the candidate.

b) Any supporting information about the status of works listed in Publications (see 7 above) that have not yet been published, such as copies of correspondence accepting publication of a book or article submitted, copies of the official contracts from publishers, etc.

c) Any letters or reviews regarding the candidate. These might include letters from people affiliated or unaffiliated with Rice University attesting to service to professional organizations, university and department committees, and/or community outreach. To be considered in the review process, letters in this category must be received by the department at least four days prior to the department discussion and vote on the case and must be discussed during the departmental review. Information on the letter writers, if available, should be provided, as well as whether a letter was solicited or not.

d) Any disciplinary information or documentation concerning the candidate of which the candidate has been made aware in the past, including materials in the files of the department, the dean or the provost. If the candidate submitted a response to the disciplinary materials at the time, the candidate’s response shall be included as well. In cases where such disclosure may violate express confidentiality obligations to the candidate or others, the Office of General Counsel shall be consulted and materials reviewed by the relevant dean with the department chair prior to including such materials in the dossier. Only disciplinary information that is included in the dossier should be considered when evaluating the candidate.

Note: The candidate may seek a preliminary assessment of the case for promotion, in which case the department will examine the CV, teaching record, and any other materials the candidate wishes to present. On the basis of the internal dossier (consisting of all of the above items 1-7), the department may deem that a decision to promote is unlikely. If so, it will inform both the candidate and the dean.

It is important that the candidate provide the necessary material to the department in a timely manner. Invariably, some material will change over the period of the review. A letter may be received from an editor indicating that a book manuscript or publication has been accepted for publication, or notification may be received that a grant has been awarded by a foundation or government agency. “Late” materials such as these shall be included in the candidate's dossier by forwarding them through the chair, dean, and provost, to the P&T Committee. The P&T Committee will decide at its discretion when to cut off the inclusion of updated materials. This decision will be communicated to the candidate through the dean and chair. Dossiers of candidates for promotion from associate professor rank should emphasize work done since the last promotion.

III.C.2.b. The Department’s Review Criteria: When the dossier has been compiled (with the exception of the chair’s letter and dean’s letter, but including the external letters and the internal reviewer’s letter), the chair convenes the department’s (full) professors to review the case for promotion. (Note: For promotion of associate professors, all (full) professors in the department will be given the opportunity to be engaged in this decision, including casting a vote, unless a faculty member was the Ph.D. or postdoctoral advisor for the candidate.††)

When considering a candidate for promotion the following questions should be addressed. These questions are considered for all promotions, but the level of accomplishing these

standards is higher for promotion to (full) professor rank and may be balanced differently than the promotion to associate professor rank. These questions should focus on the interval of time from promotion to associate professor with tenure.

1) What is the quality and impact of the candidate's scholarship or creative work? Is the work original and innovative? Are the questions addressed in the research important and has the candidate made substantive contributions to answering them?

2) How has the candidate influenced the understanding or practice of his or her discipline(s)? How has the work of the candidate been recognized in the profession? Has the candidate established a national or an international reputation in his or her chosen field(s) of research or creative work?

3) Has the individual been involved in leadership activities and service in professional organizations in his or her field(s)? What has been the candidate's impact within the external professional communities, nationally and internationally?

4) How does the candidate compare with others in the field, both at Rice and at other institutions, at a similar stage in their careers?

5) What has been the individual's teaching performance, and what is the potential for improvement? This evaluation should, among others, be based on the following: student teaching evaluations, departmental evaluations, letters regarding teaching, prizes and awards for teaching, record in mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, implementation of new courses, novel deployment of information technology for teaching, and curriculum development.

6) Has the candidate made useful contributions to service in the Rice community?

7) Does the candidate strengthen the department, the school, and the university and if so, how? Have there been documented performance or behavior deficiencies that are countervailing factors?

8) What is the reason for believing that, if promoted, the candidate will continue to be a creative and productive scholar, a proficient teacher, and an interactive member of the Rice community? It is useful to remember that promotion is not granted as a reward for past achievements. Promotion is given with the anticipation that the promise suggested by the record of scholarship, teaching, and service to date will be fulfilled many times over in the future.

9) The increasing prevalence of multi-authored publications and scholarly works presents a special challenge in assessing candidates for tenure and/or promotion. In preparing a dossier, the department should pay particular attention to ascertaining and documenting the specific quantitative and qualitative contributions of the candidate to multi-authored works. Documentation of the individual's contributions can (and probably should) include several approaches, including a specific statement from the candidate addressed to this question. In soliciting outside letters of reference, specific questions should be raised about identifying the candidate's creative and conceptual contributions to collaborative work. In the interest of obtaining a penetrating assessment of the candidate's contributions to collaborative work, it may be appropriate to request some references from collaborators and co-authors to be included in Section 11B of the dossier. In an effort to assure unbiased reviews, the candidate’s previous advisors and supervisors are prohibited from serving as external reviewers; however, letters can be requested from these individuals to be included in Section 11C of the dossier.

Once the discussion is complete, the chair may call for a straw vote on the promotion. At this point, the chair should make a clear distinction between a straw vote to evaluate the candidate and the final promotion vote to be forwarded to the dean. After discussing the straw vote evaluation, the department will hold a final vote on its support of the promotion. If negative, the chair will report the final vote to the dean, and the process will usually go no further. Note that a negative decision has no implications for future consideration.

NOTE: Requested external letters received following the departmental discussion and vote may be included in the dossier and sent to the department for discussion and comment in a revised chair letter; see III.C.2.a.12.c regarding unsolicited letters.

III.C.2.c. Reporting the Department’s Decision:

Once the (full) professors have voted, the chair (or substitute; see III.B) promptly informs the candidate of the decision based on the faculty vote. However, under no circumstances may the chair or anyone in the department communicate the specific vote, including whether or not the vote was unanimous or mixed, or the votes of any individual department members to anyone except those involved in the subsequent review of the dossier. The chair should also review the procedures that will be followed with the candidate.

Next, the chair writes a confidential memorandum to the dean in which he or she:

  1. summarizes the department's deliberations, including the vote;
  2. describes the reasons why the department feels the promotion is merited, or not;
  3. if the decision is positive, describes how the proposed promotion will strengthen the department;
  4. includes comments by the department faculty on service and teaching, including contributions to reforming curricula and mentoring students;
  5. explicitly addresses both the procedures followed in reaching the departmental recommendation and the quality of the candidate's scholarship, teaching, and service; and,
  6. summarizes his or her own individual evaluation of the candidate's qualifications for promotion.

The chair includes this memo in the dossier and forwards it to the dean. More specific guidelines for this memo are available from the Office of the Provost and are available to the candidates.

Consultation with the dean may result in agreement or disagreement. In either case, the dossier will be forwarded to the dean, for the dean to determine whether to move the process to the next step.

III.D. The Role of the Candidate

Once the chair has informed the candidate of the department's intention to conduct a review for promotion, and he or she consents, the candidate is responsible for providing the following information in support of the review:

1. The names of individuals who might serve as an internal reviewer.

2. The names of individuals without a personal or professional conflict of interest who might be considered as possible external reviewers. The candidate’s list is subsequently merged with the department’s list and shared by the chair with the dean to generate a final set of external reviewers with whom the dossier will be shared.

3. The names of collaborators (e.g. co-authors, co-investigators, co-researchers, etc.), and former advisors and supervisors from whom letters may be requested.

4. The names of individuals in the university or elsewhere who should be asked for letters concerning the candidate's service to the university, the community, and the profession.

5. All necessary material for the dossier (see III.C.2.a).

Candidates can request confirmation that the dossier has been fully assembled. However, the identity of the external reviewers remains confidential. If, during an on-going tenure or promotion process, the candidate reasonably believes a situation has occurred, or is likely to occur, that would constitute adequate grounds for a future appeal as defined in this section, he or she should immediately notify the Convenor of Appeals and Grievances by sending him or her a written

statement setting forth such concerns (see Faculty Senate Rules for Appeals and Grievances). In addition, the candidate, or any other individual who believes a situation has occurred or is likely to occur that would constitute grounds for an appeal, may communicate directly with the provost regarding his or her concerns.

III.E. Obtaining the Input of the External Letter Writers

Once the department has decided to proceed with a review and has informed the candidate and received consent, the chair gathers two lists of potential external reviewers. The first list is developed in consultation with the department. The second list is compiled by the candidate. Neither the chair nor the department should see the candidate's list until they have completed their own list. The chair will consult with the dean to discuss the final selection of the external reviewers. Selections will be drawn from the lists made independently by the department and the candidate and ensure balance between the number of department-specified and candidate-specified reviewers. There are occasions when a candidate feels that a particular reviewer may not provide an unbiased review of the candidate’s scholarly activities. The candidate has the option to provide the dean with up to two names of potential reviewers who should not be contacted and the reason for the exclusion. The dean should coordinate with the chair as necessary to avoid requests being sent to these scholars, should the dean agree with the candidate’s concerns.

The external reviewers should be chosen from among the recognized leading scholars in the candidate's field. They should normally be from programs or departments that are at least of comparable quality to Rice and, where chosen for their particular expertise, a summary of the selection basis should be provided. In cases where a candidate's work involves more than one sub-field or discipline, it is critical that the reviewers be selected to provide a range of expertise that matches the candidate’s. This diversity in external reviewers is especially important for individuals whose work contains significant interdisciplinary content, so that the reviewers are not only conversant with the developments in such fields but also are aware of the complexities of starting and maintaining a meaningful interdisciplinary program. The external reviewers without a potential for a conflict of interest (personal or professional) should be people that provide a balanced representation of the field(s) in which the candidate works. If it is necessary to utilize individuals with a potential conflict of interest as external reviewers, the department shall identify any relationship and explain why it is beneficial or necessary to use those persons.

A minimum of six complete external review letters is required, of which at least four should be from persons suggested by the department. Letters from collaborators, former advisors, and former supervisors do not count towards this minimum requirement. Since some of the external reviewers may decline to write, at least twice this number of requests will be needed. Note that all contact with external letter writers with regard to the evaluation of the candidate should be conducted by the chair, dean, provost, or president and be confined to discussion of the willingness to write a letter, with no discussion of the candidate or the content of the letter. The department should compile its list first, without any knowledge of the candidate's list of external reviewers. Once complete, the department will then request a list of potential reviewers from the candidate. Any names that overlap should be designated: "department, also candidate" and will count toward the minimum number of four letters from reviewers that are suggested by the department.

Although collaborators and former advisors and supervisors have an inherent conflict of interest in the promotion and tenure process, these individuals may offer important relevant information about the candidate that can inform the decision process. Therefore, six names may be submitted by the candidate from individuals in this group. Up to six names of collaborators and the names of up to three former advisors and supervisors may be submitted, but the total number of names submitted is not to exceed six. Letters will be solicited from the list of all individuals in this group (up to six) generated by the candidate. The letters will be placed in the dossier (items 11B and 11C).

The final list of external reviewers must be approved by the dean. Once the dean and chair agree on the selection of external reviewers, the chair will write to all of the external letter writers asking them to write a confidential assessment of the candidate's qualifications for promotion. In making this request, the chair will use a standard letter approved by the dean and the provost. Although the specific language in this letter may vary from school to school to account for the different nature of the work and modes for communicating it, all departments will use the same letter within their school. The letter may request a CV or biographical information from the external reviewer. Modifications of this standard letter must be approved by the dean. This letter will consist of the following elements:

  1. a statement of the candidate's department, current rank, and proposed rank;
  2. a request to evaluate the impact of the candidate's work to date and potential for future contributions
  3. a request that the writer describe any prior or existing relationship with candidate;
  4. a request for comparisons with other scholars in the same field(s);
  5. a question whether the candidate would qualify for promotion at the reviewer's institution;
  6. a pledge of confidentiality; and
  7. a statement of appreciation coupled with an acknowledgment of the time and attention needed to make such assessments. The external reviewers should be asked to respond directly to the dean.

To enable the evaluation by external letter writers, the chair or the dean, depending on the school, will send or utilize a secure website to make available to the letter writers all necessary materials, including a summary of expectations for promotion. The necessary materials are (1) a complete CV that contains the candidate’s education and positions, a list of publications/creative works, a list of grants or other competitive support received and under consideration, a list of awards and prizes, and a record of teaching and service; (2) selected publications/creative works; and (3) the candidate’s statement of research accomplishments and objectives. The materials provided to the external letter writers may also include the following items delineated in section III.C.2.a.: abstract (items 1.a-i), education and teaching objectives (item 5), service and leadership summary (item 6), and, where relevant, reviews written by others about a book/article/creative work produced by the candidate (item 12.a). Each school should be consistent in the documents that are sent to external letter writers. In some cases, the department may wish to secure external letter writers' availability to write a letter before sending them the full package of materials. All offices involved in the process should act in a timely manner (see timeline) to ensure effective and fair review of each case.

Informal contact by phone, email, or in person with the external letter writers should be avoided to the extent possible and, when unavoidable, should be neutral in tone and should not prejudice or bias the reviewer. When substantive informal discussions do occur, the date and summary of the conversation should be recorded and reported in the candidate's dossier.

III.F. The Role of the Internal Reviewer

The principal function of the internal reviewer is to write an informed evaluation of the candidate's scholarship and/or creative professional work. For this reason, he or she—or, on occasion, a group of faculty with one faculty member assigned the role of lead internal reviewer —will most often be from the candidate's department. However, when the candidate's work has significant interdisciplinary content or overlaps with other departments, consideration should be given to appointing an internal reviewer from another department. In special cases, the internal reviewer may be from another institution. This may arise, for example, when no one at Rice has the expertise to prepare an informed evaluation of the candidate's work. If the internal reviewer also is knowledgeable about the candidate's teaching and service, the internal reviewer may address those aspects of the candidate's work.

All materials about the candidate's scholarship, including letters from outside reviewers, will be available to the internal reviewer when preparing the written evaluation. (Note: In exceptional circumstances when the "internal reviewer" is from another institution, the letters from outside reviewers will not be made available to the internal reviewer to protect confidentiality.) The internal reviewer is bound by rules of confidentiality and may not discuss the case except in his or her official capacity. He or she must be especially circumspect in avoiding any conversations about the review with the candidate during this period.

Prior to the department's review, the internal reviewer should review the dossier, write an evaluation of the candidate's qualifications for promotion, and submit it to the chair for inclusion in the dossier. During its deliberations, the P&T Committee, at its discretion, may ask the internal reviewer to appear before it for further consultation.

III.G. The Role of the Dean

Once a case has been reviewed by a department and forwarded to the school, the dean will evaluate the candidate's qualifications for promotion. At his or her discretion, the dean may draw on the opinion of other faculty in the school by, for example, appointing a school-wide review committee. As for all personnel involved in the review process, the members of this committee should be fair and impartial in their review, and the committee members should participate or vote in either their department or in the school review process for a candidate but not both. Similarly, the members of the P&T Committee may vote either in their department or in the Committee but not both; see section III.H. regarding recusals of P&T Committee members.

Should letters be received by the dean from others (excluding external reviewers), whether solicited or not, copies of such letters will be sent by the dean to the department. These letters will be included in the dossier under “other letters” if received no later than four days prior to the department’s decision process.

Upon completion of the review, the dean will write a confidential memorandum to the P&T Committee. This memo will describe his or her evaluation of the candidate and will assess the potential impact of the promotion on the long-range goals of the school and the university. It will be added to the dossier and sent to the provost's office for review by the P&T Committee.

Occasionally, a dean may disagree with the recommendation of the department. This may occur when a dean feels that a candidate whom the department supports is not qualified for promotion; or conversely, a dean may feel that a candidate should be reviewed by the P&T Committee when the department feels otherwise. In these circumstances, the dean may choose to forward the dossier to the P&T Committee along with a confidential memorandum. In the event of a difference of opinion, the P&T Committee usually consults with both the chair and the dean. In such cases, the dean (and chair) will be asked to elaborate on his/her recommendations for the P&T Committee.

III.H. The Role of the Promotion and Tenure Committee

The principal responsibility of the P&T Committee is to advise the president on all proposals for promotion that have been forwarded to the provost's office for review. During its deliberations, the Committee may invite the dean and chair individually or together to discuss their recommendations. The Committee may also call internal reviewers or other Rice employees that it feels may provide information considered vital to a fair and thorough review.

In the event of disagreement between the decisions of the department, school, or the P&T Committee, the Committee shall meet with the dean, the department chair, and the internal reviewer (or lead internal reviewer) to better understand the variety of views articulated.

All members of the P&T Committee are expected to read each dossier. A quorum of six of the eight members of the P&T Committee is required for deliberation of cases. Current practice is that one member of the P&T Committee is picked by the provost close to the time of the meeting to “present the case,” that is, to provide a summary of the contents of the dossier. Deliberations then begin, and every committee member comments on the case. Further evidence is requested, as needed, to address open questions that arise during these deliberations. After deliberations are concluded, a vote of the P&T Committee is taken.

For each case, following the vote, an executive summary of the committee deliberations is prepared. The draft will be reviewed by a member of the P&T Committee, typically by the person who presented the case, and by the provost, before approval of the final draft by the entire P&T Committee. The final version of the executive summary, including a record of each vote without the name of the specific P&T Committee member attached to it is then added to the dossier.

The provost may convene the P&T Committee and participate as a member in terms of discussion and voting. In this case, the provost shall not provide a separate letter to the president. Alternatively, the provost may convene the P&T Committee and neutrally facilitate the discussion. In this case, the provost shall provide a separate letter to the president in addition to the executive summary of the P&T Committee’s discussion and vote.

Under certain conditions, specific members of the P&T Committee should be recused from considering all or part of a specific case:

  1. A member of the P&T Committee who is in the candidate’s department may not vote both in the department and in the P&T review process and must be recused in one vote or the other. At the P&T Committee’s discretion, a member who voted in the department may be asked questions during deliberation but cannot vote.
  2. A member of the P&T Committee who is the candidate’s department chair has already made his/her recommendation, contained in the dossier, and therefore must be recused from the deliberations and abstain from voting in the Committee (i.e., not be present during the deliberations), but may answer Committee members’ questions as needed.
  3. A member of the P&T Committee who has a conflict of interest, such as having served as the candidate’s doctoral or postdoctoral advisor, been a co-author on publications or presentations, or any other co-activity that engages close interactions, or who feels he or she may not be able objectively to evaluate the candidate has the responsibility to disclose the nature of the conflict to the provost or General Counsel prior to deliberations and, if deemed appropriate, will be recused from deliberations and voting.

The membership of the P&T Committee will be available to all candidates (currently, it is posted on the Faculty Senate website) before the provost forwards the dossier to the P&T Committee. If a candidate believes there is a potential conflict of interest or asserts an improper bias involving a member of the P&T Committee, the candidate must raise it prior to deliberations on the case so that the P&T can evaluate the claim and act appropriately.

III.I. The Roles of the Provost and President

After the P&T Committee completes its review, the provost, as chair, communicates the Committee's recommendations to the president. If the provost chose not to be a voting member of the P&T Committee (see section III.H), then he or she also provides a separate recommendation letter to the president.

In addition to the duties described above, the provost also discusses with each dean those individuals in his/her school who are eligible for promotion in the current year but are not being reviewed (the "promotables"). These are all associate professors with tenure who have been in that rank for a total of nine years or nine years plus multiples of three years (i.e., 9 years, 12 years, 15 years, etc.). Should a faculty member believe that consideration for promotion has been delayed indiscriminately or capriciously, the faculty member may file a grievance as specified in section 2.A of the Faculty Senate Rules for Appeals and Grievances.

In making a decision, the president may call on other persons who might provide information considered vital to a fair and thorough review and may meet with the P&T Committee as needed. The president then communicates his or her decision to the Board for its final approval.

At the discretion of the president and provost, an unofficial communication to the candidates may be made following the president's decision and preceding the Board’s decision.

After the Board meeting, candidates whose reviews have been completed, whether successful or unsuccessful, will be officially notified by the president or the provost of the decision. Candidates whose cases are still under review by the P&T Committee will be notified of such status at that time.

Unsuccessful candidates will be informed by the president or the provost of his/her right to an appeal (see Part V).

After Board approval, the president and provost issue the official promotion letter.

Part IV. Timelines for Reappointment and Promotion

The following timelines summarize the important dates involved in the review process for both promotion and tenure decisions. Except for the dates shown in bold related to the submission of dossiers to the provost's office for the review by the P&T Committee, these should be regarded as approximate and will vary from school to school. Each department and each school is encouraged to establish its own timelines that will lead to expeditious processing of the reviews but if such timelines vary from the ones set out below, the department or school should be sure they are consistently followed and that candidates are made aware of the timelines. The tables below summarize this process.

IV.A. Timeline for the Reappointment of Assistant Professors

Fall semester of the 3rd academic year:

Candidate works with department administrator to gather materials demonstrating progress in research, publication, teaching, and service. (See section I.A)

Spring semester of the 3rd academic year:

Timeline Date
More-detailed performance evaluation conducted and communicated to the faculty member. See Policy 214
“end of the first month of the sixth semester”
Candidate compiles internal dossier. March 1
Internal dossier complete. March 15
Department reviews internal dossier, deliberates, and notifies the dean. April 1
Dean reviews dossier, adds recommendation, and forwards full dossier to the provost. April 15
Provost notifies candidate of decision. no later than June 30

IV.B. Timeline for the Promotion Reviews of Assistant and Associate Professors

Spring semester prior to the review:

Timeline Date
Candidate compiles internal dossier (see details for asst. professor; for assoc. professor). March 1
Internal dossier complete (see asst., items 1-6; assoc., items 1-7). March 25
Department deliberates and notifies the dean of outcome (see asst./assoc.). April 5
Chair solicits names for external reviewers separately from candidate and from eligible department faculty (see asst./assoc.). April 15
Chair chooses an internal reviewer after consulting with candidate and dean (see asst./assoc.). May 1
Chair sends out preliminary requests to external reviewers (see asst./assoc.). Note that these dates are the earliest these contacts are made; in some areas, later dates are more appropriate, and the calendar is left to the discretion of the dean and chair. May 1 - May 15
Departments send letter and materials to external reviewers (see asst./assoc.). (see note above) June 15

Fall semester of the review:

Timeline Date
Deadline for external reviewers' responses. October 1
Dossier with external reviews complete. October 15
Internal reviewer’s report available for faculty (see asst./assoc.). October 15
Eligible faculty vote. Chair forwards full dossier for promotion to tenure to dean (dossier for promotion to professor does not have to be forwarded if the department vote is negative, but the dean is informed) (see asst./assoc.). November 1
Dean asks school committee to review dossier (when applicable) (see asst./assoc.). November 15
Dean reviews dossier, adds recommendation, and forwards full dossier to the provost (see asst./assoc.). December 1
Provost forwards the dossier to P&T Committee (see asst./assoc.). December 15

Spring semester of the review:

Timeline Date
P&T Committee reviews the dossier and votes (see asst./assoc.). January 15 - March 1
President makes decision (see asst./assoc.). April 1
President/provost informally notifies the relevant dean (see asst./assoc.). April 5
Dean notifies candidate. April 10
Provost submits recommendations for Board approval (see asst./assoc.). May Board Meeting
President/provost issue promotion or promotion and tenure letter (see asst./assoc.). no later than June 30

IV.C. Notification to Candidate about Outcome of Review

All candidates reviewed by the P&T Committee, whether successful or unsuccessful, will be notified in writing of the decision by the president or provost. However, notification may be released at different times due to circumstances that may arise.

For unsuccessful candidates for tenure, the appointment will end on June 30 of the final contract year (generally at the end of one academic year after the decision is reached). Unsuccessful candidates will be informed by the president or provost of their right to an appeal based only on procedural grounds. (See Part V for specifics of the appeal process.)

Part V. Grievances and Appeals

The promotions and tenure procedures described in this document are subject to the Faculty Senate Rules for Appeals and Grievances. Should a candidate feel that any administrative action taken during the process before the case is considered by the Promotion and Tenure Committee is not in accordance with established university policy, that was made in a way that violates established university procedures, that was otherwise made in an arbitrary or capricious manner, or that represents an abuse of the discretion afforded to the relevant administrator(s) by the president, a grievance may be filed. In such a case, the candidate must file the grievance and all supporting material within 60 calendar days of the act or omission that gives rise to the grievance or the date of the final disposition of any internal appeal. Any decision on promotion and tenure that has been formally considered by the Promotion and Tenure Committee may only be appealed as described below.

Candidates may appeal a decision about promotion that has been considered by the P&T Committee (see Faculty Senate Rules for Appeals and Grievances). This review examines procedural issues only and does not assess substantive issues having to do with the candidate's qualifications for promotion. The candidate must notify the Convenor of the Faculty Senate in writing of his/her intention to file an appeal no later than the 30th calendar day after receiving the president’s letter that officially notifies him/her that tenure or a promotion has not been awarded. The candidate must then file an appeal document with the Convenor of the Faculty Senate within 60 calendar days of the original notification regarding the intention to file an appeal. Once the review is complete, the Convenor of the Faculty Senate files a written report of the findings and recommendations of the Convenor or the appeal panel to the president, who subsequently decides whether to grant the appeal.

If the appeal regarding a tenure decision is denied, the candidate’s appointment will end on June 30 of the final contract year (generally at the end of one academic year after the decision is reached). If the appeal results in a reconsideration process that extends past October 31 of the final contract year and the final decision denies tenure, the candidate may petition the president for extension of his/her contract to June 30 of the academic year following the academic year in which the final decision is reached.


* Throughout this document, “reappointment” and “appointment renewal” are used interchangeably.

† In Parts I-II, for simplicity, we refer to candidates for promotion and tenure (P&T) as assistant professors, as this is usually the tenure-track rank before tenure is achieved. For the rare cases where an associate professor or professor is hired without tenure, the process in Part II on P&T would apply to that untenured individual.

‡ In Parts I-II, for simplicity, we refer to candidates for promotion and tenure (P&T) as assistant professors, as this is usually the tenure-track rank before tenure is achieved. However, there are rare cases in which an associate professor or professor is hired without tenure. In such cases, the process in Part II on P&T would apply to the untenured associate professor or professor.

§ A candidate who is denied early tenure will have employment until the end of their current contract or June 30 of the next academic year, whichever is later.

†† Recognizing that advisors have a lifetime conflict of interest with their former graduate students and postdocs, former advisors are not allowed to participate in the hiring, performance review, or promotion of former graduate students and postdocs, in faculty meetings where the case is discussed. However, the advisor at the request of the department may include a letter in the dossier in the section 11C as described in section III.E.