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Faculty & Staff Resources

Responsibilities of the Chair Regarding P&T Dossiers

The department chair is responsible for ensuring that the following items are included in a promotion or tenure dossier:

  1. A letter giving the department chair's recommendation.
  2. Copy of department guidelines on tenure and promotion (if required).
  3. A departmental faculty roster indicating name and rank of all faculty.
  4. Evaluative letters from appropriate faculty members in the department and not just simple "yes" or "no" ballots. Every letter must state clearly whether the writer supports, does not support, or abstains on the recommendation for tenure and promotion.
  5. At least six letters of evaluation from qualified persons outside the University.
  6. Statement of credentials of outside evaluators (including CV's if available).
  7. Copies of the two-page chair's rating sheet from each of the candidate's faculty merit reviews.
  8. Copies of the Distribution of Effort agreements since the person was hired.
  9. Copies of the review summaries from the second (if conducted), third, and fourth-year progress reviews (in tenure cases).
  10. Written evidence of consultation with the appropriate undergraduate student advisory group and graduate or professional student group. Any written judgments or related materials submitted by student groups must be included in the materials submitted in the dossiers.
  11. A description of special title series position and the criteria for tenure evaluation.
  12. If the choice of an appropriate Area Committee to review the file is either not obvious or different from that specified in the Administrative Regulations, your recommendation of the appropriate Area Committee and the candidate's written consent to be considered by this committee.
  13. Procedural steps for conducting tenure or promotion review

The letters should be sought from individuals selected in part from and in part independent of persons suggested by the candidate. It is required that at least four of the outside letters should be chosen by the department independent of the candidate's nominees. It is the chair's responsibility to solicit all letters, regardless of who suggests the evaluator.

All letters of evaluation that are received must be included in the dossier and be accompanied by a document stating which external reviewers were chosen by the candidate and which were chosen by the chair/department.   The ARs state that, these letters of evaluation shall be made available to consulted faculty members prior to their providing individual written judgments to the department chairman.
The following suggestions are from the Provost’s Office:

The outside letters should address the quality of the candidate's work. It is not particularly helpful to learn that the reviewer likes the candidate personally. Even statements that the candidate's work is good will not convince the Area Committee without some analysis of what is good about it.

Letters from the candidate's major professor, research advisor, or close friend carry little weight and are to be unvoided; it would be unusual if individuals with a personal interest did not write letters of strong support.

The chair should include a brief statement of the qualifications of each external reviewer. A committee is likely to be influenced by a letter from a scholar or pedagogue acknowledged to be a leader in the field. In the absence of specific knowledge of the credentials of the letter writers, committees are apt to draw inferences of quality from the reputations of their institutions; letters from prestigious universities are, therefore, more likely to sway a committee than letters from weaker universities, non-research institutions, or non-academic institutions. If the most qualified reviewers are not at top-flight schools, or perhaps not even at educational institutions, a note of explanation will help the committee to understand.  Considerations of this sort may vary between regualr and special ttile series dossiers. 

The College requires a standard format for dossiers. See Format and Checklist for the Tenure Dossier for more information.

Tenure and promotion dossiers are due in the dean's office no later than , November 1.