Guidelines for the Preparation and Evaluation of Tenure and Promotion Dossiers
(Starting in Fall 20201)
- Expectations for tenure and promotion
- Evaluating teaching, research/creative activities, service
- Deadlines for the tenure and promotion process
- Responsibilities of candidate, department chair, dean, tap committees, CDFPT
- Guidelines for candidates preparing their eDossier
Appendix 1: External Letters
Note: In these guidelines, the term “candidate” refers to the faculty member who is seeking either tenure or promotion or both. Also, since Pace has both schools and colleges, the term “school” refers to school or college
Pace University is a private university that values teaching, scholarship, and service. Therefore, we have developed a tenure and promotion process which has as its mission the goal of retaining and promoting those candidates who advance the university in these three critical areas.
Tenure and promotion are significant transitions in a faculty member’s career. It is critical that the accomplishments of a candidate be properly described in the tenure and promotion dossier. A well-prepared dossier is very helpful to dossier evaluators in order to make informed tenure and promotion decisions. These guidelines are intended to help faculty, chairs, and deans get a clear idea of their roles and responsibilities for the preparation of tenure and/or promotion dossiers. They describe the evaluation process and clarify general university-level expectations. These expectations are interpreted in each school and department using the markers of excellence in the department’s discipline.
While both tenure and promotion are based on performance commensurate with rank, promotion decisions are based on documentation of a body of scholarly work, teaching and service activities in rank, whereas tenure requires evidence of the promise of continued achievement with distinction in subsequent years. Most assistant professor tenure-track faculty members are considered for both tenure and promotion at the same time. However, in rare instances recommendations may be made separately. Generally, a decision to award tenure is made with simultaneous promotion in rank.
Promotion in the professorial ladder is recognition of achievement to date. As candidates compile records of sustained achievement in their respective fields of work, their accomplishments and level of expertise deserve recognition through promotion at key intervals. For tenure-track candidates, promotion to the associate level is normally sought toward the end of the probationary period in conjunction with the tenure decision. The university defines the general standards for each rank and each department and school interprets those standards in relation to the disciplinary culture.
Tenure is based on a documented record of high achievement, together with evidence and a plan that demonstrates that the current level of achievement is likely to continue and grow. Tenure emphasizes an implicit, long-term reciprocal commitment between tenured faculty members and the university. The university provides academic freedom and employment security; faculty members maintain high standards of excellence in all aspects of their work. Tenure is awarded at the university level. Tenured faculty are expected to contribute in demonstrable ways to the continued development of Pace as an academic community.
A high level of performance in all three areas of teaching, research/creative activities, and service (administrative, professional and public) are the standard, minimum, long-standing University criteria for tenure and promotion decisions. In all cases the candidate's total record is assessed by comprehensive and rigorous peer evaluation. A candidate for promotion in rank normally excels in at least one of the areas, while achieving a high level of performance in the others. Usually, the promotion to Associate Professor requires an emerging reputation in the candidate’s discipline and a record of widely-disseminated, peer-reviewed scholarship or comparable creative work. Promotion to the rank of full Professor requires a sustained scholarly and/or creative reputation as demonstrated by a well-established, cumulative body of work in current rank.
- In most instances, the work being assessed as the basis for tenure and promotion will have been completed since either the initial appointment or last promotion. In many cases, it is understood that the candidate’s reputation depends, in part, on foundational work that may have occurred earlier in the candidate’s career. For faculty, creative work or publications and presentations in rank at another institution prior to appointment at Pace will be considered as a part of the candidate’s record, but the emphasis will be on work done at Pace.
- While the probationary period for untenured faculty ordinarily is seven years (with the tenure review occurring in the sixth year), special conditions may warrant earlier than normal consideration.
- Except in exceptional circumstances, a minimum of ten years of full-time experience is required for promotion to full professor; most candidates will seek full rank four years after promotion to associate professor.
- Candidates who seek earlier than normal consideration must present evidence of achievements comparable to those who have served the full probationary period. Earlier-than-normal cases sometimes require special care to ensure equity of treatment.
- Some faculty may have a longer-than-normal probationary period by stopping the tenure clock. Because extensions are formally approved for important extraordinary reasons, such as illness, childbirth or unavoidable delays in research infrastructure, candidates should not be held to higher expectations because of a longer-than-normal probationary period.
This section contains a description of how the three areas of teaching, research and creative activities, and service are evaluated by various people and committees involved in the tenure and promotion process.
Evaluating Teaching: Providing high quality instruction is a key mission of any institution of higher education. Effective teaching involves many steps, including good subject content, effective delivery, student engagement, and ultimately excellent student learning outcomes. Many instructors develop new courses and programs, try innovative teaching techniques, use technological advances to improve pedagogy, conduct detailed studies of student achievement, and publish their findings in outlets devoted to the scholarship of teaching. Several of the items listed below are commonly used to demonstrate a high level of performance in teaching.
- Development of new courses and/or significant revision of existing courses.
- Academic program development.
- Teaching awards.
- Peer reviews.
- Student evaluations.
- Documented student learning outcomes.
- Publications about pedagogy and the scholarship of teaching.
- Awards of external grants for teaching and laboratory equipment.
- Instructional innovations.
- Breadth and range of courses taught at all levels.
- Mentoring and advising students.
- Developing special class notes and other instructional material, e.g., study guides, laboratory manuals, laboratory equipment.
- Writing and publication of a text book.
- Internationalization of curricula and courses.
- Teaching honors courses or recruiting and mentoring honors students.
- Teaching courses supportive of University objectives (e.g. learning communities, writing-enhanced courses and civic engagement courses)
Evaluating Research: The criteria used for evaluating research and creative activities vary considerably depending on the candidate’s discipline; the research may also be interdisciplinary in nature. Although some general criteria are given below, not all of them are applicable to every discipline. In fact, each department has a list of the markers of excellence in their discipline, which can be made available to all committees evaluating a candidate’s dossier. They will also provide good guidelines for tenure-track faculty to gauge their progress. Although specific criteria are important, the main outcome one is looking for is whether the candidate’s scholarly pursuits have had an impact on the discipline(s). Some of the criteria often looked at to evaluate research and creative activities are:
- Publications and quality of journals: For excellence in research, candidates should demonstrate their ability to publish their work in reputable journals, scholarly anthologies or collections, and conference proceedings. Refereed publications, and/or peer-reviewed journals, with a high impact factor carry special weight. For books and monographs, the quality of the press is important. Similarly, creative activities at recognized venues are highly regarded. Patents and software copyrights also count highly for demonstrating research creativity. Both single author and multiple author publications/creative works will be considered.
- Conference presentations: Invited talks at national/international conferences are markers of recognition and impact. Although talks presented at technical conferences and papers published in conference proceedings are useful for establishing a professional reputation, they are not a substitute for refereed papers in quality journals. Talks accepted by abstract only and poster presentations, while both significant, are less strong evidence.
- Funding: In some fields, grant funding is not only a marker of achievement, but also a necessary ingredient for staying on a productive research trajectory; this is discipline-specific, and thus grants and contracts in some fields are more difficult to obtain than in other fields. External grants in such disciplines are important both for the department and for the professional reputation of the faculty member who receives a grant. One of the best ways of establishing a professional reputation is via research grants. Grants and contracts in some fields are more difficult to obtain than in other fields. However, in many fields, there are opportunities, not only from the federal government, but from industry and from foundations as well. One of the important requirements for obtaining outside support is perseverance. The value of writing grant proposals should not be underestimated, even if the proposal is not funded. The exercise of organizing one's thoughts and explaining what one wants to do in a grant proposal is very worthwhile. Obtaining internal university grants is creditable, but this does not carry the same weight as external funding.
- Citations/reviews: Citation indices are often a marker that the candidate’s work has triggered research interest from others in the field. Similarly, reviews by performance critics are valuable for assessing the quality of creative activities.
- Graduate/undergraduate students: Supervision of doctoral students, master’s thesis students and undergraduate research students are all valuable contributions in demonstrating activity in research and creative activities. The outcome is often a co-authored publication or conference presentation.
- External evaluation letters provide important evidence for evaluation committees from knowledgeable disciplinary experts. The process of obtaining external letters is described in detail in Appendix 1.
Evaluating Service: Service contributions are expected of all faculty. This includes administrative service, professional service and external outreach service.
- Administrative service: These activities represent the essential participation of faculty in the administration of the university. This is internal university service which helps the smooth running of the department, school and university. Each faculty member must carry a fair share of service. This will typically include participation in department, school, and university-wide committees, student advising and recruiting, administrative responsibility for a department program or special event, advising student organizations, participation in professional and educational accreditation reviews, etc. Adequate documentation of all these activities will be the basis for evaluating administrative service. Candidates’ service dossiers should include a note regarding any service roles that carried released time compensation. Although committee memberships are important, membership in and of itself is not sufficient evidence of service – hence the request for documentation.
- Professional service: In order to remain current and establish national recognition, candidates should engage in some professional association activity related to their discipline. This may include working in a major professional organization, curating artistic performances, exhibitions, or other works; being the member of an editorial board; editing, reviewing, or refereeing journal or academic press submissions; organizing and participating in a conference/symposium, public talks on policy issues, etc.
- External outreach service: This promotes the university’s community engagement and public service goals, and often increases opportunities for student real-life experiences. Examples of such activities include professional work or consulting for government and industry that does not interfere with academic responsibilities, participation in economic development efforts, presentations to schools, industries and other community organizations, media interviews, consultation with other educational institutions; participation in accreditation committee visits, establishing international connections, developing or mentoring internships, and participating in service learning projects. Some faculty will expand these external activities to a much higher academic level, conduct in depth studies, and publish their findings. This scholarship of engagement is a serious contribution to the dossier.
- There are other forms of service which need to be included, even if they do not fit in neatly in the three categories mentioned above. For instance, Pace is committed to providing, nurturing and enhancing a diverse community of learners and scholars in an environment of equity and inclusion. Faculty work that contributes towards this goal is highly valued and should be described.
There are three main levels of evaluation in any tenure and/or promotion (TAP) process – the department level, the school level, and the university level. The evaluation committees at the three levels are called the Department TAP Committee, the School TAP Committee and the CDFPT (Council of Deans and Faculty on Promotion and Tenure). The full process takes approximately one year to complete. An overall description of the process can be found in Section D 9 of the 2013 Faculty Handbook.
The CDFPT application material must be submitted to the system used to review tenure and/or promotion according to the deadline schedule given below. In most cases, the candidates for tenure and/or promotion are nominated to go to CDFPT by the department and school TAP committees, but faculty not nominated by these committees can choose to nominate themselves by submitting a letter to the CDFPT and the dean of their school.
The CDFPT receives the candidate’s dossier for evaluation. This dossier contains several items. The list of items in the candidate’s tenure and/or promotion dossier are:
- Faculty Dossier Packet. All materials included in this packet are considered public information and are not confidential. This packet is prepared by the candidate. It includes a curriculum vitae; executive summary; teaching portfolio; scholarship/research portfolio; service portfolio; professional/practicum portfolio (optional); and appendices. Should new material relevant to tenure and/or promotion become available, the candidate may choose to add it to the Dossier packet at specific times.
- Fact Sheet. This form, completed by the candidate and signed by the Dean’s office, summarizes the candidate’s educational background, teaching experience and relevant professional activities.
- Evaluation of Tenure and/or Promotion Forms: These forms are confidential and are completed by: (1) the department TAP committee; (2) the department chair; (3) the school TAP committee; and (4) the school dean. These forms are filled and included in the dossier as successive evaluations take place. (If the candidate is a department chair, the department chair recommendation form will be completed by an Associate Dean or other senior faculty member in the school chosen by the dean.)
- Confidential External Letters. These letters are solicited in the manner described in Appendix 1.
The deadlines for various process steps are given below as approximate calendar dates and are annually updated by the Provost’s office and the Faculty Councils:
February: Candidates intending to apply for tenure and/or promotion that year need to attend the annual Tenure and/or Promotion Workshop where guidelines, policies, and timeline/deadlines will be address. Also, CDFPT and TAP Committee members from the previous year will present on tips and suggestions.
April week 1: Candidates for tenure and/or promotion should notify the department chair that it is necessary to develop a list of external evaluators.
April week 3: Candidates for tenure and/or promotion attend a training session on the system that is used for TAP review. This training is provided by the Faculty Center.
May week 1: All candidates for tenure and/or promotion should send a brief letter of intent to the school dean with a copy to the Office of the Provost. Candidate submits completed Fact Sheet to the school dean’s office to be verified and signed. The signed FACT Sheet is then uploaded by the candidate to their case in the system.
May week 3: Candidates submit their Dossier materials to their department chair. The minimal dossier components sent for evaluators will include the curriculum vitae, Reaching, Research, and Service Statements, and scholarship materials. Candidate is encouraged to submit sections related to teaching and service.
June week 2: Scholarly work that will be evaluated by external evaluators plus any additional materials for external evaluators as described in Appendix 1 must be submitted to the system by this date. Work submitted after this deadline is not sent to be considered by external evaluators.
August week 3: External assessment letters should be received by this date. Requests for external letters are sent in early summer, so that the evaluators get adequate time to respond.
August week 4: Candidate submits complete Dossier (Teaching, Research/Scholarship/Service) to be reviewed by the Department Chair and Department TAP Committee. (Candidates who are in Schools that do not have a department would only submit to the Department Chair.)
*Please note below: The Evaluation of Tenure and/or Promotion Recommendation Forms submitted per candidate to the dossier are confidential and are not shared with the candidate.
September week 4: Candidates that have Department TAP committees - Department TAP Committee deliberates and votes after reviewing the candidate’s dossier. The Department TAP Committee completes an Evaluation of Tenure and/or Promotion Recommendation Form, (including the vote) and puts it in the dossier. The Department Chair gives an independent written recommendation on an Evaluation of Tenure and/or Promotion Recommendation Form and includes it in the dossier. The department chair informs the candidate in writing, giving the department TAP committee’s vote and the Yes/No recommendation.
Mid-November: Faculty Councils elect the CDFPT and Appeals Committee representatives and alternates in a timely fashion and submit this information to the provost. The 2013 Pace Handbook describes the CDFPT and the Appeals Committee in Section 8e.
November week 2: School TAP committee deliberates and votes after reviewing the candidate’s dossier. The School TAP committee completes an Evaluation of Tenure and/or Promotion Recommendation Form (including the vote) and puts it in the dossier. The School Dean gives a written recommendation on an Evaluation of Tenure and/or Promotion Recommendation Form and includes it in the dossier. The School Dean informs the candidate in writing, giving the school TAP committee’s vote and the Yes/No recommendation.
November week 4: For candidates that were not recommended by the School TAP Committee, submit self-nominations.
Early December: Organizational meeting of CDFPT; chairperson elected.
December week 2: Candidate dossiers containing all Evaluation of Tenure and/or Promotion Recommendation Forms are due for CDFPT review. Also, final deadline for candidates to make changes to the Dossier.
January week 4: The CDFPT deliberates and votes. The council chair completes an Evaluation of Tenure and/or Promotion Recommendation Form (including the vote) and puts it in the dossier.
February week 1: The president, the provost, the Dean, the Department Chair and the location councils are simultaneously notified. The Deans will notify the candidates who were recommended by the CDFPT. The Provost will contact other candidates not recommended by the CDFPT to inform them of the Appeal process.
At the February or March Location Council Meetings: Location councils vote upon CDFPT recommendations and forward results to the president.
March: Deadline for candidates to appeal decisions to the president through the Office of the Provost. For a description of the appeals process, see the 2013 Faculty Handbook Section 8e.
May: Appeals committee reviews appeals; submits recommendations to the president.
Mid-May: President/provost review dossiers, taking into account the recommendations at all previous levels of consideration. The president makes a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees considers and votes on the president’s recommendations, usually at the next board meeting. Successful candidates are officially notified.
In order to navigate the tenure and promotion process smoothly, candidates need to be aware of the expectations in their discipline and responsibly plan their work at Pace accordingly. Department chairs and school deans need to monitor faculty progress and give constructive feedback. They also have specific responsibilities in preparing and evaluating the candidate’s tenure and promotion dossier. Similarly, the three evaluation committees (department TAP, school TAP and CDFPT) involved in the evaluation process have specific responsibilities. These are now described.
It is helpful for all candidates for tenure and/or promotion to be aware of the process and prepare accordingly. Preparation for tenure and promotion begins in the first year you join Pace. The responsibilities outlined below are for new tenure-track appointments, but many of the points made are applicable to all faculty.
Years 1, 2:
- Create a collection system for evidence of activities in teaching, research and creative activity, and service. Collect and organize everything, ranging from syllabi to grant applications (whether successful or not) to results of committee work. In addition to being useful for annual reports, these early materials provide a baseline from which to analyze improvement.
- Preferably with the advice of the department chair, identify an experienced faculty mentor who can guide you through the processes leading to tenure and promotion.
- Collect, summarize, and analyze student evaluations every year. Areas where students indicate a problem provide excellent opportunities to document improvement from one semester to the next.
- Arrange peer reviews of your teaching. Problems identified in the review provide excellent opportunities to document improvement from one peer review to the next.
- Be sure you know the expectations of your department and school related to scholarly excellence. If you are in a field where grant/contract funding is expected, make sure that your work falls within those guidelines. The Office of the Associate Provost for Research provides helpful workshops and other research support for faculty.
- Scholarly output and dissemination of your work is required to document excellence.
- Take full advantage of the wide range of support and campus resources available to faculty in The Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching and Professional Development.
- Year 2: Be sure to attend the Faculty Center Academic Portfolio Workshop held in January and June.
- The three-year review provides an opportunity for departments and schools to take stock of a tenure-track candidate’s progress and provide constructive feedback.
- Continue all the above activities while you begin to analyze and document progress on your work in terms of improvement and achievement.
- Your personal statement for the three-year review also provides an opportunity to reflect not only on your work, but also on the focus that is emerging in your work. This focus will provide the coherence to your work that should shape your efforts between now and the time for tenure and promotion.
- Analyze teaching evaluations and peer reviews to identify key themes and how they point to teaching achievements or areas for further attention.
- Analyze your grant and the dissemination record (the impact among your peers) of your scholarly or creative work.
- You will receive feedback on your three-year review from your department chair and your dean. Follow the advice you are given.
- Be sure to attend the Faculty Center Academic Portfolio Workshop held in January and June. It is recommended for faculty to attend this workshop two times (to work on two different sections of their dossier) before applying for tenure and/or promotion.
- This is the year to ensure that you are on track with grants and sufficient dissemination of your scholarship or creative work as defined by your department.
- Arrange for another peer review of your teaching.
- Address any issues identified in the three-year review.
- Be sure to attend the Faculty Center Academic Portfolio Workshop held in January and June. It is recommended for faculty to attend this workshop two times (to work on two different sections of their dossier) before applying for tenure and/or promotion.
- Begin to assemble your Dossier. If you have kept records from the start of your academic career, you should be in excellent shape to analyze your progress and present your case.
- Be sure to attend the Faculty Center Academic Portfolio Workshop held in January. It is recommended for faculty to attend this workshop two times (to work on two different sections of their dossier) before applying for tenure and/or promotion. Your perceptions and understanding will be different from what they were during your first year at Pace, and your needs more focused, so you will probably get much more immediately useful information at these workshops.
- Be sure that your Dossier makes your case for a high level of performance in teaching, research, and service. Submit the Dossier materials to your department chair by the end of May, and make sure that your materials include the full body of scholarly work that you want external evaluators to evaluate for your tenure committees in the letters they will write over the summer.
- Take a breather, and then begin the next phase of scholarly work.
- Candidates are not to contact external evaluators. The specific evaluators solicited for an evaluation letter, as well as the letter itself, will be kept confidential from the candidate.
- You will be notified at each stage of the evaluation process.
- Be familiar with your options if you have concerns about the evaluation of your dossier at any stage.
Department Chair Responsibilities
While candidates are responsible for documenting that they have met the standards and expectations for tenure and promotion, the chair is responsible for a providing support and guidance throughout the process and for administrative and procedural tasks.
As part of their general supervision, chairs need to:
- Ensure the most current written description of the department’s expectations for excellence is available. Provide new faculty members with a copy of the departmental expectations.
- Develop a system of departmental peer review of teaching that ensures each candidate has at least two opportunities for peer review prior to their candidacy for tenure and/or promotion.
For each candidate, chairs need to:
- Prepare in consultation with the new hire and the Dean a letter outlining the general expectations for the first three years in teaching, service, and scholarship or creative work.
- During year 1 of candidate appointment, ensure that they have a discipline-appropriate mentor, who is at a rank higher than the candidate.
- Encourage attendance at campus or school-level tenure and promotion workshops.
- Encourage faculty to become acquainted with the services provided by The Faculty Center and the Associate Provost for Research.
- Provide guidance for faculty annual reporting procedures.
- Provide constructive criticism and advice throughout the probationary period.
- Provide a written annual review that addresses the faculty member’s strengths and weaknesses, with suggestions about how to address the weaknesses.
- During Year 3 of candidate appointment, carry out a thorough three-year review, including review of the candidate by department and/or school TAP committees. Ensure that the three-year review is on file.
- Ensure that candidates being reviewed receive a written assessment of their progress, with specific guidance about any issues or concerns that require attention.
- In Year 5 of candidate appointment, develop a list of external evaluators for each candidate in accordance with Appendix 1 in these guidelines. The chair will also receive a list of recommended external evaluators from the candidate. The chair will consult with the Department TAP committee and may consult other experts in the field if they are unable to judge the adequacy of the TAP candidate's scholarship. The chair will pay special attention to identifying external evaluators who can assess the impact of a candidate’s scholarly or creative activities, (see Appendix 1), and the academic rank of the evaluator since full professors are preferred. The chair will develop a sufficiently large list of external evaluators such that no fewer than five letters may be requested.
- Provide the list of external evaluators to the Dean’s office, which has the responsibility for soliciting the evaluation letters. Provide to the Dean’s office a brief statement addressing the expertise of each external evaluator which will be placed in the dossier with the external letters.
- Provide the Dean’s office with the appropriate materials for the evaluators to make informed judgments. While school or department policies may detail particular kinds of evidence that should be sent (often the curriculum vitae, candidate’s statement, and selected publications), the basic goal is to match evidence to criteria.
- Provide an assessment of the dissemination outlets in the candidate's area of scholarship work, such as the quality of journals, peer-reviewed conferences, and venues of presentations or performance, including the quality of electronic publications. This assessment is required. The quality and stature detailed in the assessment may be reflected by acceptance rates, the nature of peer review, the quality of the reviewing agency/organization, or other measures; whenever possible, these indices should be cited.
- After the review and vote by the Department TAP committee, compose a letter of evaluation of the candidate’s case and recommendation for action and include this in the dossier. The letter of evaluation from the chairperson is a required document; thus, the chairperson may not participate in any other evaluation process of the candidate other than to provide specified materials.
- Send a letter to the candidate giving the vote and recommendations which you and the department TAP committee have made.
- Soliciting and obtaining all external evaluation and recommendation letters.
- After the review and vote by the school TAP committee, write your letter of evaluation of the candidate’s case and recommendation for action. Include this in the candidate’s dossier.
- Send a letter to the candidate giving the vote and recommendations which you and the school TAP committee have made.
- Include archive of excluded evaluators and communications with external evaluators with the candidate’s dossier as a part of the dossier kept confidential from the candidate.
Committee Responsibilities (Department TAP, School TAP, CDFPT, and CDFPT Appeals)
- Voting members must fully participate in committee deliberations. There can be no proxy voting on tenure and/or promotion cases at any level.
- Faculty members and administrators who participate in the tenure and promotion evaluation process have full access to all materials in the candidate’s dossier, including assessments at all previous levels of review. The only exception is that the archived process information from the external evaluator letter request process is available only to the CDFPT and CDFPT Appeals committees.
- Each faculty member and administrator (including the department chairperson) who participates in the tenure and/or promotion process votes only once on any particular case. The committee member may decide at which level to vote if they serve on more than one level of review and will recuse themselves in all other levels.
- Depending on the school’s bylaws, the administrative heads may be present during deliberations of TAP committees and may seek clarification of issues related to the case, but they may not influence the outcomes of TAP committee votes.
- Committee members voting for a promotion must at least hold the rank being sought by the candidate and must not hold a lower rank than the candidate currently holds. If committee members at lower rank than the candidate are members of a department or school TAP committee, they may be present for the discussion and participate up to the point of vote.
- Committee members voting for tenure must hold tenure.
- The report from the chair of each TAP committee should account for negative votes based on committee discussions. The report should be written with sufficient detail to fully review the candidate’s qualifications and the reasons for the recommendation such that each subsequent reviewing body, officer, or candidate is informed on the basis for their conclusions.
The purpose of the Dossier is to represent both your academic and professional qualifications and your performance as a faculty member. The dossier presents the evidence upon which tenure and promotion decisions are to be made. Therefore, it is important that it be as representative, complete and clear as possible. Since many dossiers are submitted each year, a concise and relatively uniform presentation aids in the evaluation process. Carelessly presented dossiers can hinder effective evaluation. In addition, department and school TAP and CDFPT members must read many candidates’ materials. That is why you must keep within the page limit for each section.
It is highly recommended that faculty applying for tenure and/or promotion attend two of the Academic Portfolio Workshops offered twice in each academic year.
The suggestions below are an effort to share advice from department TAP, school TAP, and CDFPT members as well as faculty who have themselves been successful candidates. You may also find it helpful to ask colleagues who have recently been through the process to let you review their dossiers. Find a supportive colleague to discuss dossier preparation in general, to offer suggestions for your dossier, and to read it before you turn it in.
Section 1: Curriculum Vitae – Length ≤ 15 pages
The curriculum vitae is a factual summary of your career.
Section 2: An Executive Summary – Length ≤ 2 pages
The executive summary highlights your accomplishments and expertise in the areas of teaching, scholarship/research/creative work, professional/practicum (optional), and service.
Section 3: Teaching Portfolio - Length ≤ 10 pages
This section should include objective and subjective evidence of your abilities and effectiveness as a teacher. Some suggested sub-headings for this section include:
- Teaching Philosophy
- Teaching Responsibilities - Include any courses you developed.
- Teaching Evaluations
- Future Teaching Goals
Section 4: Scholarship/Research - Length ≤ 10 pages
This section should include objective evidence of your abilities and effectiveness as a scholar/researcher or creative artist. Some suggested sub-headings for this section include:
- Introduction – A description of your area of research or creative work.
- Scholarship/Research/Creative Work – A description of your scholarship/research or creative work and its impact, influence, importance in your discipline. In addition to the published work highlighted in this section, work in progress with anticipated completion dates and grants, applied for and received, or approved and not funded (substantiated by documents), is appropriate. Other means used to share research findings, knowledge, creative or artistic work and thinking, such as presentations at professional meetings, seminars, exhibitions, performances, or public forums. Please specify dates, sponsoring organizations, locations, and nature of participation (e.g., coordinator, presenter, or panelist; titles of sessions/papers, etc.).
- Future Scholarship/Research/Creative Goals - Where do you see your scholarship/research or creative work moving?
Section 5: Service - Length ≤ 10 pages
This section highlights your contributions to your department, school, and university (internal service) and at the community level (external service). Specify the organizations, groups, and events in which you have actively participated, citing particular accomplishments. You may wish to submit letters from knowledgeable and qualified individuals attesting to your involvement. Some suggested sub-headings for this section include:
- Internal Service – A list of your internal service at the department, school, and/or university levels; this list can be bulleted.
- External Service – A list of your external service that is relevant at the community, local, national, and/or international, professional levels; this list can be bulleted.
- Professional Development – A list of conferences, courses, symposiums, continuing education courses that you participated and/or attended; this list can be bulleted.
Section 6: Professional/Practicum (Optional) – Length ≤ 10 pages
This section is optional and does not apply to the majority of disciplines. Faculty in nursing and in some areas of business may find this section appropriate - your chair or dean can guide you.
Appendices – There is no limit to the length; however, not all TAP and CDFPT members devote the same amount of importance or time to this section. Each appendix should be in one document.
Some suggested subheadings for appendices include:
- Course Syllabi. Rather than providing a syllabus for each class you may want to provide two from the same course; one early in your teaching and one later to show growth or change.
- Examples of Assessments and Evaluations. Some possible examples include rubrics and assessment matrices, assignments, projects, review guides and exams.
- Assignments and Exams: Some possible examples include use of ePortfolios, projects, papers, summaries, abstracts, presentations, and exams.
- Student Evaluations.
- Teaching Evaluations by Peers and/or Other Professionals. These evaluations are strongly encouraged and are conducted by tenured, senior colleagues at Pace and/or other universities. These may be either formal classroom evaluations or letters attesting to effective teaching. Include professional colleague evaluations of teaching performance in non-academic settings, e.g., professional groups or public seminars if you feel these may be helpful.
- Publications. The manuscript or links to your work is recommended.
- Presentations, Exhibitions, Performances. Provide a list that includes the date of the presentation/exhibition/performance, the title of your work or role you played, name of conference or organization, and location.
- Impact Factor and Citation Reports. Include citation of your work, (e.g. by other authors or speakers), impact factor and acceptance rate of journals your work appears.
- Letters of Support. The majority of the letters of support regarding your teaching, creative work or scholarship/research, and service are mailed directly to your dean’s office. You may have, however, some letters attesting to your abilities that were unsolicited (e.g. an email from an appreciative student) that you wish to include.
Appendix 1: EXTERNAL LETTERS
External evaluation letters are required for all tenure and/or promotion cases. They provide the Pace committees an objective and impartial evaluation of the value and impact of the candidate’s work within the discipline. The external letters help to establish whether each candidate for associate professor has achieved an emerging reputation and that each candidate for full professor has achieved a sustained professional reputation as demonstrated by a well-established and cumulative body of work in rank.
To provide each candidate maximal opportunity for success, at least five letters are required for either tenure and/or promotion from assistant to associate professor, or promotion from associate to full professor.
For an assistant professor applying for tenure and promotion:
a) 3 of the 5 letters will come from a list of external evaluators identified by the candidate; and
b) 2 of the 5 letters will be drawn from a list of external evaluators identified by the departmental chairperson and TAP committee.
For an associate professor applying for promotion:
a) 2 of the 5 letters should come from a list of external evaluators identified by the candidate; and
b) 3 of the 5 letters should be drawn from a list of external evaluators identified by the departmental chairperson and TAP committee.
- Will determine the dossier components to be sent to the external evaluators for review, and is encouraged to submit sections related to teaching, scholarship and service. The minimal dossier components sent for review will include the curriculum vitae, candidate’s statements, and scholarship materials.
- Will be permitted to provide a short list of individuals which they would definitely not want to serve as an external evaluator, which will be communicated to the Dean.
- Will be permitted to preemptively exclude up to 1/3 of the potential evaluators identified by the departmental chairperson and/or departmental TAP committee, which will be communicated to the Dean.
- May add additional solicited letters to the dossier, which will be clearly designated as such by the Dean.
The departmental chairperson and departmental TAP committee:
- Will prepare a list of external evaluators who are in academia on the basis of their ability to comment on the candidate's professional accomplishments, and who are expected to hold at least the rank for which the candidate is being considered, recognizing that the value of external evaluation letters is greatly enhanced by the objectivity and credibility of the author. Evaluators do not have to be scholars in the identical sub-specialty as the candidate, however their specialty should be broadly related to the candidate’s sub-specialty and they must have the ability to assess the impact of a candidate’s scholarly or creative activities. Letters from full professors are preferred.
- May seek additional guidance to identify potential external evaluators from the departmental TAP committee and may consult with (for example) chairs of similar departments in other universities, from senior faculty in the department in the same or related specialty, or from the scholars quoted in the candidate’s publications.
- Will select the external evaluators such that they satisfy an “arms-length” relationship, i.e. should be as independent as possible from the candidate. These “arms-length” external evaluators should have no or very limited personal, professional or academic relationships with the candidate that would cause them to be invested in the candidate’s promotion. Specific examples of “arms-length” evaluators to avoid when recruiting these external evaluators include former or current dissertation advisors, mentors or employers, and students, co-authors or scholarly collaborators in the last five years. Every precaution should be taken to ensure that evaluators are objective and credible.
- Should choose possible external evaluators from faculty at our peer and aspirant-level institutions.
- Will provide a brief statement of professional qualifications for each external evaluator. Note that a few sentences will suffice for each of these statements.
- Will solicit all evaluation letters from the lists prepared by the candidate and Department Chair.
- Will select the evaluators from the names remaining in the pool of potential external evaluators after all of the names excluded by the candidate have been removed.
- Will conduct all communications to and from solicited external evaluators (including emails) in written form.
- Will include all information and communication involved in the evaluator solicitation including the solicitation letters and any additional communications between the Dean’s office and the external evaluator that offer any reflection, positive or negative, on the candidate’s qualifications for tenure and/or promotion in a confidential section of the dossier. This information will be included in the dossier whether or not the evaluator agrees to write a full evaluation. The names of all evaluators excluded by the applicant will also be included in this confidential section of the dossier.
- Will inform external evaluators, when their evaluations are solicited, that a record of all communications will be confidentially included in a confidential section of the candidate’s dossier.
- Will not solicit any letter from an individual in a familial relationship with the candidate, or who served as their dissertation advisors, or who are or have been employees of Pace University.
- Will make available to external evaluators the dossier materials selected by the candidates, including at least the curriculum vitae, candidate’s statements, and scholarship materials.
- Will include a note in the letters sent to external evaluators that contextualizes the candidate’s scholarship work against the backdrop of their broader teaching and service responsibilities, e.g. a discussion of their teaching load.
- Will clearly designate letters solicited by the candidate and inserted in the dossier as such.
- Will collect all external evaluation letters and include them in the candidate’s dossier.
- Will insert in the dossier a brief statement of professional qualifications for each external evaluator providing an evaluation letter.
Guidelines for all evaluation letters (a sample letter is included at the end of this section) include:
- Special considerations must be given to evaluating creative work (especially when performances or exhibitions occur for a short period of time). The same degree of objectivity should be maintained in evaluating creative works as in evaluating research.
- Letters of evaluation must be sent electronically, signed, dated and on letterhead.
- Non-academic external evaluators may be included when a clear explanation of the relevance of such an evaluation is presented. It is always in the best interest of the candidate for the most knowledgeable pool of external evaluators possible to be selected.
- If a candidate is reapplying for promotion within three years of a previous dossier submission (whether as a result of denial of promotion or withdrawal of the case prior to final decision), five additional new letters should be sought at the time of resubmission.
- The identities of the final external evaluators, the letters of recommendation, and archive of communications will be kept confidential from the applicant, but will be available to Department TAP committee, School TAP committee, CDFPT and CDFPT Appeals committees. In CDFPT Appeals, the archive of communication will be automatically reviewed by the Appeals committee if an appeal is filed to verify the integrity of the independent external evaluator process.
Sample Letter to Request an External Evaluation
(Schools may develop their own letters, but they should use the same general content).
Dear Prof. Evaluator:
Prof. Candidate is being considered for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace University. We would be particularly grateful for your comments on the depth and significance of Prof. Candidate’s work and its impact in your field.
To assist in this evaluation, we are providing a packet of relevant materials including a curriculum vitae, personal statement, copies of selected recent publications and teaching materials. Please comment on Prof. Candidate’s research as well as other scholarly work. We would appreciate your evaluation of the quality of the publications and journals that have been listed. Comments on teaching might include your evaluations of the included teaching materials, and publications on teaching. We would also appreciate any comments you might care to make concerning his contributions to professional organizations or to his discipline through professional service activities or publications. Please focus your review on the quality and impact of the candidate’s work. We are not asking you to recommend for or against tenure or promotion, nor are we asking if the candidate might receive promotion or tenure at your institution. [Here, the sample letter should insert the note mentioned above that contextualizes the candidate’s scholarship/creative work against the backdrop of the candidate’s teaching and service responsibilities.]
The Pace Tenure and Promotion Guidelines require that evaluations come from individuals with no close connections to the candidate (i.e., former or current mentors, students, co-authors, research partners, current or previous employees of Pace). Therefore, if such a conflict exists, please let us know as soon as possible that you will not be able to serve as an evaluator in this case.
Please include a copy of your curriculum vitae to provide reviewers at all campus levels with a context for your comments. Also describe your previous professional connections or collaboration with the candidate.
We hope you understand how much we appreciate your assistance as we consider Prof. Candidate’s dossier. It is important for us to understand their contributions from a perspective beyond our campus. We are aware of the time a review such as this takes and understand it can be a difficult commitment to make, but we assure you that your help with this process is invaluable.
Please send your letter (signed, dated and on letterhead) by August 12, 2020. I do hope you will be able to assist us. Thank you.
1The first application of this policy to the tenure and promotion process will occur in Fall 2020. However, certain actions, (examples include the 3rd year review of the applicants, and the collection of possible reviewer names), will need to commence earlier.