Promotion, Tenure Timetable/Operating Procedure

IV-8. Promotion, Tenure Timetable/Operating Procedure

To provide further direction to law school faculty members who are anticipating promotion or tenure and to tenured faculty members and Deans participating as decision-makers in the promotion and tenure process, as well as triennial/third-year review, this document sets forth a timetable and operating procedures for actions to be taken by the candidate, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the Dean. This timetable and operating procedures must be interpreted in a manner consistent with Part IV-6 of the School of Law Policies.

I.    General Provisions

Spring Semester

Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committees Organized. Subject to the limitations in the next paragraph, during the spring semester, the tenured faculty in each department will elect a tenured faculty member in that department as Chair of the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee for the next academic year.

In cases of anticipated tenure applications, if there are fewer than three tenured faculty in a department, then the remainder of the Committee shall be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the tenured faculty in that department, if any, and the Committee then will elect its Chair. In cases of anticipated promotion applications, if there are fewer than three faculty in a department who have attained the rank for which a candidate will be applying, then the remainder of the Committee shall be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the faculty of that rank in that department, if any, and the Committee then will elect its Chair. In these circumstances, the Committee is encouraged but not required to elect the same person to chair both the tenure and promotion responsibilities of the Committee.

If there are more than five faculty in a department who are eligible to vote on tenure or promotion applications, the elected Chair of the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee will, in consultation with the Dean, select two or three other eligible faculty members to serve as the drafting subcommittee for the Committee’s reports on candidates for promotion or tenure.

Under the University’s Faculty Handbook, the Chair of a department or Director of a program may not participate in the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee meetings unless invited and may not vote at the meeting or be present for the vote.  However, for purposes of the University’s tenure and promotion process, “chair” or “director” is defined as “that person who will prepare a recommendation on a candidate” for promotion or tenure. In the law school, the Chairs/Directors of the departments do not prepare a separate recommendation on a candidate between the Committee’s report and the Dean’s recommendation.  Accordingly, in the law school, the faculty who serve as Chairs/Directors of the departments in other respects remain fully eligible to participate and vote on the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee.

Peer Review Panel Observes Teaching. In the spring semester of the academic year before the academic year in which a faculty member will be a candidate for promotion, tenure, or third-year review, the candidate’s teaching will be observed by a peer review panel of three faculty. See Sections IV-6.B.2.a, 3.a., and 4.a.

Summer

Appointment of Faculty Mentors. Before the beginning of classes for the first semester in August, the Chair of the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee shall appoint a tenured faculty member as mentor for each untenured faculty member in the Department.

 

II.   Triennial/Tenure Review Timetable and Operating Procedures

May 1 to September 15

Preparation of Candidate’s Portfolio. The Blackboard site is available for the candidate to upload documents. The candidate for third-year review or tenure completes the official application form located on the site and prepares a portfolio in support of his or her application, with particular attention given to preparing a personal statement or narrative. The appendix to this document provides further guidance on the contents of the portfolio.

Scholarship for External Review. By July 1, the candidate for tenure or third-year review shall provide the Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee copies of the scholarship to be submitted to external reviewers for independent review.

Candidate’s List of Acceptable/Unacceptable External Reviewers. By July 1, the candidate for tenure or third-year review shall submit a list of six experts who are acceptable to the candidate, from which two of the external reviewers will be selected. The candidate may also submit a list of up to three experts who would not be acceptable, and no expert on that list will be selected. See Sections IV-6.B.2(b)(iii) and 3(b)(iii).

Selection of External Reviewers. By July 8, the Promotion and Tenure Committee will select at least four external reviewers. As delegated such responsibility by the Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Dean will contact the selected external reviewers and arrange for preparation of an evaluation of the candidate’s designated scholarship, with the goal of receiving the evaluations by September 1 of the application year. Within a reasonable time after receipt, the Dean shall provide to the candidate copies of the evaluations by external reviewers, with identifying information redacted. See Sections IV-6.B.2(b)(iii) and 3(b)(iii).

September 15 to October 31

Review of Candidate’s File and Recommendation of the Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee. The candidate no longer has access to the Blackboard site. Access is given to the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee.

Draft Promotion or Tenure Report. By approximately October 15, the members of the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee or its drafting subcommittee shall complete a draft tenure or promotion report. Prior to completing that report the Committee will invite untenured faculty and faculty from other departments to share their evaluations of the candidate with the Committee by e-mail, memo, or conversation with Committee members. Unless otherwise agreed, all such contributions shall be confidential. In the interest of fairness, the Committee will not include a negative factor arising from this faculty input process in its final report and recommendation without allowing the candidate to respond, whether or not the source of the negative evaluation is revealed.

The report of the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee should, at a minimum, discuss whether and how the candidate has met the criteria for promotion or tenure that are set out in Parts IV-6 and IV-7.

Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee’s Meeting and Vote on the Candidate’s Application for Promotion or Tenure. By approximately October 22, the appropriate departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee shall meet to discuss the draft report and vote on the candidate’s application for promotion to associate professor or for tenure. The draft report may be revised by the Committee before approval by a majority.

Faculty members who have not reviewed the candidate’s portfolio shall not vote on that candidate’s promotion or tenure.

The decision on promotion or tenure may be recorded in a secret ballot. The Committee Chair will immediately count the votes and communicate the results to the Committee.

If the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee votes against recommending promotion or tenure, the report should include, at a minimum, the specific criteria the Committee believes the candidate has not met. If there are minority views with respect to the candidate’s fitness for promotion or tenure, these must be reflected in the report, either by acknowledgement in the main report that summarizes those minority views or, at the option of the minority, by a dissenting minority opinion that is attached to the main report. No separate statement of views, by either faculty in the majority or in the minority, may be submitted separate from the committee report.

The report must include the vote tally and be signed by the Committee Chair.

When the report has been approved by the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee, one copy is sent to the candidate and another copy is placed in the candidate’s portfolio.

The departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee’s deliberations shall be confidential. (The Dean may attend the departmental Promotion and Tenure meeting as an observer but may not participate in the discussion or vote.)

November 1 to November 30

Access to the Blackboard site is not available to the candidate or the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee.

December 1 to January 15

Dean’s Recommendation on Candidate for Tenure. By January 15, the Dean shall write a report and recommendation on the candidate for tenure and shall provide a copy to the candidate. The Dean shall forward to the Executive Vice President and Provost the following: the candidate’s portfolio, the Dean’s report and recommendation, the Promotion and Tenure Committee’s report and recommendation, and the vote of the tenured faculty in the Department.

January 16 to February 28

University’s Promotion and Tenure Committee’s Recommendation and President’s Decision on Candidate for Tenure. Access to the Blackboard site is not available to the candidate, departmental Tenure and Promotion Committee, and the Dean. Members of the University’s Tenure and Promotion Committee have access to the candidate’s portfolio during this period. At the meeting of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, the Dean and the Executive Vice President and Provost review the candidate’s portfolio with members of the Committee. The Tenure and Promotion Committee may call in the candidate for discussion. After due consideration of the application of the candidates for tenure, the Tenure and Promotion Committee will make a recommendation to the President of the University for his or her consideration. The President makes the final tenure and promotion decision after considering this advice.

March 1 to September 30

Executive Vice President and Provost’s Evaluation and Meeting with Candidate for Promotion/Review. Between March 1 and September 30, the Executive Vice President and Provost shall meet with the candidate for third-year-review and then prepare an evaluation narrative, which is added to the portfolio and the candidate’s personnel file, a copy of which shall be given to the candidate.

 

III.  Promotion Timetable and Operating Procedures

The timetables below provide dates for fall and spring consideration for promotion to full professor.

By September 1
By February 1

Preparation of Candidate Portfolio. The candidate for promotion completes the official application form located on the Blackboard site and prepares a portfolio in support of his or her application, with particular attention given to preparing a personal statement or narrative. The appendix to this document provides further guidance on the contents of the portfolio.

Scholarship for External Review. By June 15/November 15, the candidate for promotion shall provide the Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee copies of the scholarship to be submitted to external reviewers for independent review.

Candidate’s List of Acceptable/Unacceptable External Reviewers. By June 15/November 15, the candidate for promotion shall submit a list of six experts who are acceptable to the candidate, from which two of the external reviewers will be selected. The candidate may also submit a list of up to three experts who would not be acceptable, and no expert on that list will be selected. See Part IV-6.B.4(b)(iii).

Selection of External Reviewers. By June 22/November 23, the Promotion and Tenure Committee will select at least four external reviewers. As delegated such responsibility by the Chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Dean will contact the selected external reviewers and arrange for preparation of an evaluation of the candidate’s designated scholarship, with the goal of receiving the evaluations by August 18/January 18 of the application year. Within a reasonable time after receipt, the Dean shall provide to the candidate copies of the evaluations by external reviewers, with identifying information redacted. See Part IV-6.B.4(b)(iii).

September 1 to October 6
February 1 to March 8

Draft Promotion Report. By approximately September 22/February 22 in cases of promotion to full professor, the members of the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee or its drafting subcommittee shall complete a draft promotion report. Prior to completing that report the Committee will invite untenured faculty and faculty from other departments to share their evaluations of the candidate with the Committee by e-mail, memo, or conversation with Committee members. Unless otherwise agreed, all such contributions shall be confidential. In the interest of fairness, the Committee will not include a negative factor arising from this faculty input process in its final report and recommendation without allowing the candidate to respond, whether or not the source of the negative evaluation is revealed.

The report of the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee should, at a minimum, discuss whether and how the candidate has met the criteria for promotion that are set out in Parts IV-6 and IV-7.

Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee’s Meeting and Vote on the Candidate’s Application for Promotion. By approximately September 29/February 28 those faculty of the pertinent department who hold the rank of full professor shall meet to discuss and vote on the candidate’s application for promotion to full professor. The draft report may be revised by the Committee before approval by a majority.

Faculty members who have not reviewed the candidate’s portfolio shall not vote on that candidate’s promotion.

The decision on promotion may be recorded in a secret ballot. The Committee Chair will immediately count the votes and communicate the results to the Committee.

If the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee votes against recommending promotion, the report should include, at a minimum, the specific criteria the Committee believes the candidate has not met. If there are minority views with respect to the candidate’s fitness for promotion, these must be reflected in the report, either by acknowledgement in the main report that summarizes those minority views or, at the option of the minority, by a dissenting minority opinion that is attached to the main report. No separate statement of views, by either faculty in the majority or in the minority, may be submitted separate from the committee report.

The report must include the vote tally and be signed by the Committee Chair.

When the report has been approved by the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee, one copy is sent to the candidate and another copy is placed in the candidate’s portfolio.

The departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee’s deliberations shall be confidential. (The Dean may attend the departmental Promotion and Tenure meeting as an observer but may not participate in the discussion or vote.)

October 7 to November 2
March 9 to April 1

Access to the Blackboard site is not available to the candidate or the departmental Promotion and Tenure committee.

November 3 to December 1
April 1 to April 22

Dean’s Recommendation on Candidate for Promotion. No later than December 1/April 22, the Dean shall write a report and recommendation on the candidate for promotion and shall provide a copy to the candidate. The Dean shall forward to the Executive Vice President and Provost the following: the candidate’s portfolio, the Dean’s report and recommendation, and the Promotion and Tenure Committee’s report and recommendation.

December 1 to 20
April 23 to May 25

University’s Tenure and Promotion Committee’s Recommendation and President’s Decision on Candidate for Promotion. Access to the Blackboard site is not available to the candidate, departmental Tenure and Promotion Committee, and the Dean. Members of the University’s Tenure and Promotion Committee have access to the candidate’s portfolio during this period. At the meeting of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, the Dean and the Executive Vice President and Provost review the candidate’s portfolio with members of the Committee. The Tenure and Promotion Committee may call in the candidate for discussion. After due consideration of the application of the candidates for tenure and promotion, the Tenure and Promotion Committee will make a recommendation to the President of the University for his or her consideration. The President makes the final promotion decision after considering this advice. 

 

Appendix: Contents of Portfolio for Seeking Promotion and Tenure

Faculty who are anticipating promotion or tenure in the next several years understandably have requested guidance on what items should be included in the “portfolio” that is submitted by the candidate and will eventually be passed along to the central administration. The following is intended as general guidance, and is not exhaustive (that is, the candidate should feel free to submit other documentation of teaching, scholarship, and service beyond that listed here):

1.    Personal Statement. As perhaps the most important element of the candidate’s submission, the central administration expects each candidate to present a narrative case for promotion or tenure. To make the most effective and persuasive case for promotion or tenure, the candidate should forthrightly address difficulties or challenges, along with steps taken toward improvement, as well as strengths. With the substantive standards and expectations in mind (as set out in the law school’s standards), this Personal Statement should explain how the candidate has met the expectations in each of four areas:

Teaching (explaining one’s educational philosophy and how it has been implemented in instruction including any innovations),

Engaging the Profession/Scholarship (explaining how one is engaging the profession through scholarship, the intellectual substance and significance of each work, how scholarship has been received by the pertinent professional audience, and the candidate’s continuing scholarly agenda),

Service (describing service to the University, School of Law, profession, and community, including areas of particular interest or emphasis in service), and

Commitment to Mission (describing the candidate’s commitment to the mission and vision of the School of Law as set forth in Part IV-6 of the School of Law Policies).

Although the Personal Statement need not be unduly lengthy, neither should it be terse and abbreviated. For promotion (or third-year review), the narrative may be relatively brief, only four or five single-spaced pages. For tenure, a more substantial description and argument is appropriate, likely somewhere between 8 and 15 single-spaced pages.

2.    Updated Curriculum Vitae. This should be included in the portfolio immediately after the Personal Statement.

3.    Copies of Annual Faculty Reports and Performance Reviews. The Dean’s office should be responsible for ensuring that copies of these documents are prepared for submission in the portfolio.

4.    Copy of Triennial Review (for those later seeking tenure or promotion to full professor. The Dean’s office again should be responsible for ensuring that a copy of this document is prepared for submission in the portfolio.

5.    Copy of Initial Appointment Letter (and any later modifications), with salary redacted. The Dean’s office again should be responsible for ensuring that a copy of this document is prepared for submission in the portfolio.

6.    Documentation of Teaching. Copies of syllabi for each course taught (which the Dean’s office has been collecting)

Copies of annual written reports of teaching (the Dean’s office again should be responsible for ensuring that copies of these documents are prepared for submission in the portfolio)

Copies of student questionnaires for each class taught (the Dean’s office again should be responsible for ensuring that copies of these documents are prepared for submission in the portfolio)

Any other materials the candidate may wish to submit that reflect curricular or teaching innovation

7.    Documentation of Engaging the Profession/Scholarship. A copy of the law school’s document that describes requirements for professional engagement above university-wide minimum standards and the definition (to the greatest degree possible) of “substantive” for the law school.

Copies of all articles published or accepted for publication

Copies of articles in progress if a completed draft or completed draft section is available

Copies of presentations made at conferences

Copies of other significant presentations or publications (i.e., continuing legal education materials, general periodical articles, opinion-editorial pieces, etc.)

Copies of scholarly commentary on articles, books, or conference/symposia presentations (e.g., citations in other scholar’s works, letters regarding an article, comments on an article by commentators at conferences or symposia)

8.    Documentation of University, Law School, Professional, or Community Service. Itemization of all university and law school committees on which candidate served, including brief description of committee’s nature and work performed on committee

Letters from chairs of university and law school committees documenting candidate’s service

Description of service as advisor to student organizations

Description of other service to university or law school

Description of professional service or leadership, preferably supported by letters from those in a position to evaluate that service or leadership

Description of community service or leadership, preferably supported by letters from those in a position to evaluate that service or leadership

 

Adopted by Promotion and Tenure Committee, January 2004
Revised by the Law Faculty, January 2007
Revised by the Law Faculty, December 16, 2013

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