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Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure

Guidelines for Faculty in the School of Liberal Arts

Contents

Section A: Introduction

Section B: Published Scholarship

Section C: Teaching

Section D: Service

Section E: Negative Recommendations

 

Section A: Introduction

 

Faculty status, including the granting of tenure, is primarily a faculty responsibility. The School of Liberal Arts (SLA) Promotion and Tenure Committee (P&T) represents the SLA faculty in matters of evaluation of cases of Third-Year Review, promotion to the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, and the granting of tenure. The Committee and its composition are described in the School of Liberal Arts Constitution. The Dean of the School of Liberal Arts is not a member of the Committee, but provides the provost with independent recommendations on cases decided by the committee.

Role of the Candidate

Tenure-track faculty members are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the requirements, timetable, and procedures for consideration for promotion and tenure.

The candidate for promotion to Associate Professor with tenure or for promotion to Full Professor must indicate his/her intent by the spring deadline established in the Faculty Action Timetable. Occasionally, in cases of illness, family crisis, or maternity leave, stoppage of the "tenure clock" may be negotiated with the Dean if supported by the candidate's department.

The candidate may provide the department with a short list of no more than 4 scholars who could provide a knowledgeable and objective evaluation of the candidate's dossier (none should be advisors, former professors, mentors, or close collaborators); the candidate may also provide a short list of 2-3 scholars who may not be able to provide a fair evaluation of scholarly/creative work presented. The candidate must provide the department with a CV and a one-paragraph overview of his/her research area(s) and orientation. The lists, CV, and overview shall be given to the department by the date set in the Faculty Action Timetable (approximately a month before the department's own deadline for securing evaluators).

Per the specified date in the Faculty Action Timetable, the candidate shall provide the department with a total of eleven copies of the research dossier (including CV, Five-year Plan, and publications/works numbered as on the CV). The candidate shall provide two hard copies in binder format (one for the department and one for the P&T Committee) and two copies in digital format (on CDs or DVDs, one for the department and one for the P&T Committee) for internal review and retention. The other seven copies are for external review as needed and will be apportioned as follows: four to the department, and three to the P&T Committee. Inasmuch as many if not most outside reviewers continue to prefer review material in hard copy, the remaining seven dossiers shall be in hard copy form, subject to the candidate’s consultation with the department and P&T Committee (via the SLA Assistant Dean) regarding reviewers’ stated preferences. Books and other materials not suitable for digitization should be submitted in nine copies (numbered as on the CV) - five for the department and four for the P&T Committee. It is advised that the candidate consult with the department in the preparation of these documents.

If a candidate's dissertation has been revised into a book, the candidate shall provide a copy of the dissertation.

The candidate should also submit two hard copies of the teaching and service parts of the dossier, in binder format for internal review (one for the department and one for the P&T Committee). These parts of the dossier, if they are not submitted with the research/creative part, are due on the date indicated in the Faculty Action Timetable. The candidate must also submit the teaching statement, and service statement (if any), as digital files on CDs or DVDs to the P&T Committee. It is advised that the candidate consult with the department in the preparation of these documents.

In the case of a joint appointment between an academic department and a program, candidates should solicit a letter of recommendation from the program faculty and director who, unlike the departmental members, do not vote on the case. They can submit a report including commentary on the same areas covered in the departmental letter within the context of the individual's participation in the program. This letter should go to the home department first and then, with the full dossier, to the P&T Committee.

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Role of the Departments

By the date on the Faculty Action Timetable, the chair of the department must inform the candidate in writing that he or she will undergo review for promotion to Associate Professor with tenure by the deadline indicated in the timetable, ask the candidate's consent to undertake such review, and obtain the candidate's written acknowledgement that such review is forthcoming. The chair of the department shall also ask eligible faculty members if they will be coming up or promotion to Full Professor. The chair shall forward this information to the SLA dean.

All tenured SLA department members with regular appointments at or above the rank for which a candidate is being considered are eligible to vote on the review cases in that department. If there are fewer than three departmental members eligible to vote, the Dean shall appoint an Ad Hoc committee to serve as the departmental body.

By the date on the Faculty Action Timetable, the department (or ad hoc committee) should solicit external evaluations from four experts in the candidate's field (see section on external evaluators, below). The department should not rely exclusively on the candidate's list. It is also expected that all the eligible departmental members participate in the identification of evaluators.

By the date on the Faculty Action Timetable the department must provide to the P&T Committee the candidate's CV, the candidate's one-paragraph overview of his/her research area(s) and orientation, the list of the four external evaluators it has solicited for reports on the candidate's scholarship, the names of any individuals whom it has contacted but who did not respond or have declined to review the materials, and the names (if any) of individuals who may not be able to provide a fair evaluation. The department may also submit a short list of suggested referees to the P&T Committee from which the committee may select no more than one or two, if any, for its list of external evaluators.  The department shall include the affiliated institutions of all such individuals solicited, suggested, or not suggested for the review.

Once the candidate's dossier, in multiple copies, has been received, and by the date on the Faculty Action Timetable, the department shall send to the external evaluators a copy of the candidate's CV, the Research/Creative part of the dossier, and the Five-year Plan.

After receipt of the external evaluations, the relevant members of the departmental faculty shall review the full dossier and letters, and meet to discuss thoroughly the three areas of scholarly/creative production, teaching, and service.

A letter of assessment from the department for all evaluations shall contain a summary of the discussion, including a full explanation of the reasons for the positive, any negative and especially, any equally split vote(s), and shall indicate the number of faculty supporting the recommendation, the number opposing, and the number abstaining (or unable to vote for reasons of absence, etc.). Absentee and mail-in votes are not allowed. Signatures of those faculty members voting or abstaining shall appear on the letter of nomination. The letter of assessment shall state, above the signatures, that the signers have read the letter and agree that the vote tabulation is correct. The original letter shall be submitted to the P&T Committee (via the Dean's Office) and is due with the candidate's full dossier by the specified date in the Faculty Action Timetable.

It is the obligation of the department to ensure that a candidate's dossier is complete, including a departmental letter containing the departmental vote and the reasons supporting that vote with attention given to scholarship, teaching and service; materials that evince the candidate's teaching performance; and, as appropriate to the case, copies of scholarly or creative material in the form of articles and/or books or works of artistic production.


An eligible department member who was unable to attend the department meeting may submit an independent letter to the committee giving his or her assessment of the candidate's qualifications.In extraordinary circumstances, a member who, though having attended the meeting and signed the department letter confirming the vote total, believes that the letter does not accurately reflect the opinions expressed, may submit an independent letter to the committee setting forth his or her views. Departments and ad hoc committees should strive to avoid this situation. Any independent letters submitted by department or ad hoc committee members must be made available to all other eligible members in the department or ad hoc committee. The P&T Committee will ensure that these procedures have been followed before accepting any such letters.

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Role of the Promotion and Tenure Committee

Faculty status, including the granting of tenure, is primarily a faculty responsibility. The School of Liberal Arts (SLA) Promotion and Tenure Committee (P&T) represents the SLA faculty in matters of evaluation of cases of Third-Year Review, promotion to the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, and the granting of tenure. The Committee and its composition are described in the School of Liberal Arts Constitution. The Dean of the School of Liberal Arts is not a member of the Committee, but provides the Provost with independent recommendations on cases decided by the committee.

The P&T Committee acts on cases forwarded to it by the department in which the candidate's appointment resides.

As soon as the P&T Committee receives the list of external evaluators from the department, it begins to solicit two external evaluations of its own; it should not draw exclusively on the departmental list (see External Evaluations, below).

Once the copies of the candidate's dossier have been received, and by the date on the Faculty Action Timetable, the P&T Committee shall send to the external evaluators a copy of the candidate's CV, the Research/Creative part of the dossier, and the Five-year Plan. The P&T Committee will also activate the CV from its administrative file of the candidate's Third Year Review for internal use only. 

After receipt of the full dossier from the department, including the departmental letter of assessment and the external evaluations it has received, the P&T committee meets to review and discuss thoroughly the three areas of scholarly/creative production, teaching, and service. (The P&T Committee will not consider letters written by anonymous sources, or from any person not having a role in the evaluative process explicitly defined in these guidelines.)

A letter of assessment from the P&T Committee shall contain a summary of the discussion, including a full explanation of the reasons for the positive, any negative and, especially, any equally split vote(s), and shall indicate the number of eligible committee members supporting the recommendation, the number opposing, and the number abstaining (or unable to vote for reasons of absence, etc.). Signatures of those committee members voting or abstaining shall appear on the letter of nomination. The letter of assessment shall state, above the signatures, that the signers have read the letter and agree that the vote tabulation is correct. The original letter shall be submitted to the Dean and is due with the candidate's full dossier by the specified date in the Faculty Action Timetable.

The Dean will then forward the committee's decision, his/her own comments and recommendation, the department's report, and the full dossier to the Provost for a final decision on the case.

In all evaluations, if the P&T Committee recommendation counters the departmental majority recommendation, the P&T Committee shall return the case to the department for reconsideration with a written enumeration of specific reservations or differences of opinion regarding the merits of the case. The appropriate departmental faculty members must meet to decide whether they wish to reconsider their decision on the case. If so, the department shall have two weeks to respond in writing to the committee's opinions. Reconsideration by the department requires that a new vote be taken among the appropriate members following the voting procedure followed for the initial consideration. Letters of departmental reconsideration should indicate the number of faculty supporting the recommendation, the number opposing, and the number abstaining (or unable to vote for reasons of absence, etc.). Signatures of those faculty members voting or abstaining shall appear on the letter of reconsideration. If the department does not wish to reconsider the case, then it should return the dossier to the committee with statement to that effect.

Schedules for submission of information of materials to the P&T Committee are listed on the School of Liberal Arts website.

Requirements for organization of information on the curriculum vitae are listed on the School of Liberal Arts website.

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External Evaluators

The home department will seek four and the Promotion and Tenure Committee will seek two external evaluators. (A minimum of two for each group is required; however, four each from the department and the committee are preferred for each case that is being evaluated.) These referees are selected because of their acknowledged expertise in the candidate’s area of research and are asked to comment on the quality of the scholarship and the productivity record of the candidate. External referees are chosen from among senior faculty at prominent research universities as well as appropriate experts at research laboratories, conservatories, and other institutions of renown. The original external letters shall be submitted to the Dean after the candidate’s dossier is due, per the specified date in the faculty action timetable.

The candidate may suggest names to the department, but the department will not rely exclusively on the names suggested by the candidate. Under no circumstances can a dissertation adviser, former professor, postdoctoral mentor, or close collaborative colleague serve as a referee for a candidate’s case. The candidate may provide a short list (2 or 3) of scholars supposed not able to provide a fair evaluation of the scholarly work presented. Both the home department and the P&T Committee will avoid those individuals in their lists of referees. The department must provide to the P&T Committee the list of evaluators provided by the candidate, the names of the four external evaluators it has solicited for reports on the candidate’s scholarship, and any names of individuals contacted but who declined to review the materials. The department may also submit a short list of other suggested referees to the P&T Committee from which the committee may select no more than one or two, if any, names for its list of external evaluators.

The identities of all outside referees should be regarded as confidential information to all but those voting on the recommendation. When soliciting the reference, the department and the P&T Committee must assure the referee that his/her letter will not be seen by the candidate under any circumstance.

To assure confidentiality, outside evaluations solicited by the P&T Committee will not be shown to members of the department or to the candidate. The committee will, however, provide the department with a summary of key points from the external letters if the committee recommendation differs from that of the department.

The originals of all letters of reference solicited and received by the department shall be forwarded to the dean.

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Section B: Published Scholarship

Criteria: Details

Candidates for review should be aware that priority is given to book-length studies, articles, and essays published in top-tier, peer-reviewed venues. Any piece of scholarship that is not peer-reviewed for publication is not generally as highly respected as those pieces that have undergone that intellectual process. For candidates for promotion to associate professor, the reports of external evaluators concerning quality, as well as the evaluation of the tenured faculty of the department, will be especially important in judging how much weight will be given to publications in edited volumes or other publications that have not been submitted to peer-review. Ultimately, the Promotion and Tenure Committee is interested in quality, and the judgments of the department members and the committee members will be important in evaluating all publications, whether or not they have been subject to peer-review.

Volumes edited by the candidate are not considered in the same category as single-authored critical studies. Unless a candidate’s position is one of creative writer, a candidate’s creative works are not to be in the same category of work considered in his/her scholarly production. In addition, journalistic pieces are in a separate category and not considered part of the scholarly body of a candidate’s record. All of these sorts of writing should be in different sections of the curriculum vitae.

Works in print or accepted for publication and accompanied by an editor’s letter to that effect are appropriate for inclusion in the scholarly dossier. Works that are still in progress or that have only been submitted should be included in manuscript form and listed on the curriculum vitae in a section designated as such. Co-authored works should also be included and listed on the curriculum vitae in an appropriately designated section. The departmental report must include evaluation of these pieces with regard to quality and contribution to the discipline.

Candidates are expected to participate in scholarly conferences and present papers in appropriate sessions and panels.

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Criteria: All Disciplines

A record of active and ongoing research and scholarly or creative productivity should consist of publications of articles and essays in top-tier, peer-reviewed journals and chapters in peer-reviewed edited volumes, when applicable. In appropriate disciplines, creative work presented in high-quality venues, both locally and nationally, is expected.

In evaluating research and scholarship, preference is given to published work that is peer-reviewed, but distinguished articles that appear in published collections and that are invited without further peer-review are also considered. It is the responsibility of the department to present a compelling argument about the high quality of all publications, but especially about those pieces, if any, that do not appear in peer-reviewed publications. It is also the responsibility of the department to make clear when an article in the latter category deserves to be treated with the weight comparable to peer review (e.g., when it is invited by a scholar of such distinction–not the candidate’s dissertation adviser – to appear in a collection with articles by other scholars of similar distinction, such that the invitation itself constitutes a signal honor for the young scholar).  Works that are in print or that are accepted for publication and accompanied by an editor’s letter to that effect are appropriate for inclusion in the scholarly dossier. Works that are still in progress or that have only been submitted should not be included in manuscript form, but rather listed on the curriculum vitae in the appropriately designated section. Works that have been submitted for publication but have not been accepted may, however, be submitted to the Promotion and Tenure Committee if the department has sent these manuscripts to its chosen external evaluators. The department should explicitly request its evaluators to provide a judgment of the quality of such works and provide their own assessment of such work to the committee.

Evidence of scholarly work accomplished since joining the Faculty of the School of Liberal Arts should be clearly presented, taking into account time since appointment, but likewise the work done prior to coming to Tulane should also be recognized.

Curriculum vitae must reflect clearly the categories and status of written work:

  • work that is in print or accepted and categorized on the curriculum vitae according to type (for example, research monograph, anthology)
  • work that has been accepted and will appear in print at a future date, with letter of acceptance accompanying draft of the forthcoming work
  • except in cases of faculty positions in creative writing, creative written work entered and labeled in a different category of the curriculum vitae than critical work
  • journalistic works published in news media entered and labeled in a different category on the curriculum vitae than critical work

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Criteria: The Humanities and Social Sciences

In appropriate disciplines, a single-authored, book-length scholarly study of a topic pertinent to the candidate’s field of expertise is expected. In disciplines or sub-disciplines in which a book-length study is not expected, the scholarly record must reveal an ongoing production of important articles, chapters, and essay-length works that make an impact on the field of study and are published in distinguished, peer-reviewed journals or peer-reviewed edited volumes.

While edited volumes are not considered in the same category as single-authored research monographs, candidates and their home departments can make appropriate arguments about the quality and disciplinary value of an edition of primary source material. External evaluators must be asked to comment carefully on the quality and value of the edition.

If the book originates in the dissertation, the candidate must provide descriptions and evidence of the changes and revisions entailed in conversion to a book-length study. Each candidate for promotion to associate professor must provide a copy of his/her dissertation.

The placement for publication of pieces of scholarship in well-respected vehicles of publication in the candidate’s field is extremely important in the presented dossier.

At minimum, the book-length project must be accepted and under contract by a prestigious press in the field. The contract, which states that the project is finished, with all substantial revisions completed and at or beyond the copy-edited stage, including all details of publication date, must be provided.

Readers’ reports for books in press and not yet published must also be provided. For books that have been published, book reviews are required. A newly published book may not yet have been reviewed, and in that case the press’s readers’ reports are necessary for the dossier.  However, these reports must not appear in the dossiers sent to the external reviewers.

Scholarship in addition to the book project is expected in the scholarly record.

Where appropriate, external funding awards to support research and scholarship are encouraged.

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Criteria: The Fine Arts

Documentation including but not limited to photographs, playbills, reviews, exhibit announcements of performances and exhibitions relying on the faculty member’s artistic creation (for instance, musical composition and arrangements, costume design, choreography, works of art, technology and artistic production) and evincing the recognition beyond the local area of the faculty artist’s reputation are appropriate for inclusion in the dossier.

Elements of the File

the five-year-plan

A five-year-plan for all disciplines must present:

  • a coherent plan for work to be accomplished in the designated time period of five years;
  • a clear explanation of what has been accomplished;
  • a full description of work that is the current focus of attention;
  • if dissertation has been converted into book, a full description of that process and the changes made;
  • a clear description of scholarship planned to be completed over next five years, including research steps needed for this completion and schedule for completion of the finished work

Candidates should explain the relationship of proposed research to existing scholarship, including its relationship to the dissertation and how he/she is moving beyond the dissertation in developing new areas of research.

Note: Departmental review of the five-year plan should precede placement of plan into the final dossier

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Section C: Teaching

 

The Teaching Dossier

A teaching dossier must be submitted and must include:

  • Print outs of student evaluations (statistical sheets together with student comments for each course taught). Consideration will be given to number of students in each course, number of hours of work reported by the students on a weekly basis; percentage of students in the course who submitted evaluations; number of times course has been taught; and variety of courses taught.

  • A departmental evaluation of teaching effectiveness; The P&T Committee prefers peer reports based on classroom visitation and observation, but other methods of evaluation are permissible.
  • Departmental comments about the range of courses and their importance to the major and/or graduate program. This information may be incorporated instead into the department’s letter.
  • A record of teaching at different levels of the curriculum, substantiated by commentary in the departmental report (or letter) that explains the range, type, and difficulty of courses taught
  • A clear statement of curricular plans, written by the candidate, with information such as: how does her/his approach to teaching the various courses prepared and offered facilitate the learning process for the undergraduate students and (where appropriate) graduate students; how does the candidate contribute to the teaching mission of the home department and the School of Liberal Arts; what are the elements the candidate considers essential to an effective learning environment in his/her discipline

The dossier may include additional materials, such as:

  • Descriptions of new courses developed in the candidate’s department and/or program
  • Evaluations or statements from peers about teaching effectiveness and classroom management
  • Sample graded papers (examinations, essays, etc.), with students’ names removed, that demonstrate the candidate’s efforts to guide and teach through commentary and feedback to the students
  • Letters from students solicited by the candidate’s home department, with information in the departmental report that indicates the process that produced this source
  • Where appropriate, an explanation of innovations in the teaching/learning experience, information on the effective use of information technology in teaching, and descriptions of service learning courses, internships, externships, and practicum experiences for the students
  • An explanation of how the candidate may have included opportunities for research under his/her direction for undergraduate and graduate students
  • From all courses taught to the point of the evaluation, sample evidence drawn from syllabi, handouts developed, teaching and learning modules, review materials, problem-based learning cases, computer- or network-based materials, and any other supplemental materials produced for the students in her/his classes

  • GPA information provided each semester by the Registrar’s Office

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Section D: Service

 

The candidate's Curriculum Vitae

The candidate’s curriculum vitae must be included and should show:

  • demonstrated service (commensurate with rank) through participation in School of Liberal Arts and university committees, through both elected and/or appointed membership
  • demonstrated longer term participation in departmental activities, such as curriculum revision committees, search committees, etc.
  • demonstrated service (commensurate with rank) to the discipline (e.g. journal reviewer, conference session organizer, etc.)

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Section E: Negative Recommendations for Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure

 

Negative Decisions

Candidates who receive a negative decision for promotion to associate professor with tenure may be granted a subsequent consideration by the Promotion and Tenure Committee on the basis of significant new evidence of scholarly or teaching excellence. The new material and a letter from the candidate requesting the subsequent consideration must be submitted no later than the last day of the penultimate semester in the candidate’s final probationary year. If the P&T Committee decides not to accept the case, then it goes no further in a review process. If, however, a majority of the P&T Committee decides to accept the case for consideration, it will forward the new dossier to the home department for evaluation.

At that point, the department and the committee will proceed through the same steps followed for a new case. In instances of the presentation of new evidence for scholarship, both the department and the committee will obtain new outside letters from external reviewers. All pieces of scholarship in the newly presented dossier must be accompanied by a letter provided by the editor of the press or journal by which it has been accepted for publication and establishing the date of acceptance of the piece in question. In cases of an unsatisfactory teaching record, new evidence of significant improvement in that record must be submitted. In cases of a scant record of service, evidence must be presented that the record has measurably improved. The departmental report and vote will be submitted to the committee as usual, and the committee’s report and vote along with the dean’s recommendation will be submitted in normal fashion to the provost.

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Confidentiality

The promotion process, including the deliberations of departments and of the SLA P&T Committee, is confidential. No department, ad hoc committee, or SLA P&T committee member may share with either the candidate or any outside party other than those identified in these guidelines information concerning the deliberations. The only exception is that the department chair may share with the candidate guidance and advice resulting from the review and, at his or her discretion, may inform the candidate whether the department’s vote was positive or negative. In no case shall a candidate be told the vote tally.

Tulane University, School of Liberal Arts, 102 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA  70118, (504) 865-5225, liberalarts@tulane.edu