Promotion Review Process for Faculty
There is a six-step review process for faculty promotion in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:
- Unit committee review
- Unit head review
- College committee review
- Review by the vice president and dean
- Review by UA Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure or University Continuing Status and Promotion Committee (omitted for career-track faculty)
- Final decision by the provost
P&T/CS&P candidates will receive decision letters from the provost during the last week of April. Career-track candidates can expect their decision letters no later than March 31.
Candidates, mentors, supporting staff and unit heads should always refer to:
- The most recent edition of the Faculty Affairs website for their Guide to the Promotion Process (for both tenure, continuing, career-track and professors of practice)
- CALS Guidelines and Criteria for specific requirements and recent changes before preparing a dossier.
Be sure to use the correct and current dossier template as provided for the cycle which you are planning to submit.
BE ADVISED THAT THERE HAVE BEEN SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE DOSSIER TEMPLATE FOR 2021-22. Read the directions provided in the template carefully.
- 3-year retention review candidates should use the template appropriate to their track (TE, CE)
- Professors of Practice and Research Professors should use the new Career Track Promotion template
If you wish to make changes to the template letter to outside evaluators please seek the approval of Dr. Andrea Romero, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, directly. A copy of the request and Dr. Romero's response MUST be sent to the Office of the Vice President and Dean.
Important CALS Deadlines for 2021-22 Review Cycle
BE ADVISED: The Office of the Vice President and Dean DOES NOT review dossiers before they are sent to outside evaluators or prior to being submitted for university-level review. It is the responsibility of all unit heads and the director of UA Cooperative Extension to ensure that all dossiers are complete and meet the latest university requirements. Mistakes caught early within the department can be amended; they cannot be corrected later in the process without initiating re-review at all levels.
Career Track Dossiers (Professors of Practice and Research Professors) and 3-year or other probationary reviews with recommendation for non-renewal are to be reviewed by the unit committee, the unit head, and moved forward for college-level review in the Review, Promotion and Tenure (RPT) system.
P&T, CS&P and promotion only dossiers are to be reviewed by the unit committee, the unit head, and moved forward for college-level review in the Review, Promotion and Tenure (RPT) system.
All 3-year or other probationary reviews with recommendation for renewal are to be reviewed by the unit committee, the unit head, and moved forward for dean review in the Review, Promotion and Tenure (RPT) system.
Faculty should consult their unit head for important unit deadlines.
Part I: Guide for New Faculty and Administrators
Agreement on the Task
CALS is a large, diverse organization with faculty appointments that include varying combinations of teaching, research and Extension activities. The position description is an important element in annual evaluations and is incorporated in the Summary of Candidate's Workload Assignment included in the promotion dossier. Each faculty position description reflects the relative responsibilities assigned to teaching, research, Extension and service.
- Faculty Affairs Guide to the Promotion Process
- CALS Guidelines and Criteria
- Faculty Affairs Dossier DOs & DON'Ts
- Advice on Preparing Dossiers, Resources, and Promotion Policies
Guidelines and Policies
CALS uses university, college and unit-specific criteria to guide promotion decisions. All candidates should be given a copy of the appropriate written guidelines and criteria for their department or school or for Cooperative Extension agents and specialists. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Guidelines and Criteria for Promotion and Tenure were last revised in February 2001. The CALS Guidelines and Criteria for Promotion and Continuing Status were further revised in March 2014 to include separate guidelines/criteria for specialists and for agents. The appendices to these guidelines provide examples of the broad range of activities that may be appropriate to various types of faculty appointments in the college. The Guidelines for the Appointment to and Promotion of Professors of Practice (Instruction) were ratified in April 2017 and an abstract was created in May 2018. All individual departments/schools and UA Cooperative Extension have written criteria as well.
Please refer to the resources below to answer many questions.
Faculty or staff needing clarifications may contact Sylvia Ramirez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part II: Designing a Strong Dossier
Dossiers are due to the Office of the Vice President and Dean on October 1 or November 1 (please see CALS Deadlines above for details). Because the three CALS committees also have deadlines to meet, it is critical that you observe the format, procedures, requirements and deadlines.
General Suggestions Per Section
The University of Arizona requires a standardized format for the dossier and provides a template each year. Since CALS college-level committees evaluate 15-20 dossiers a year and the university committees and senior administrators may read 80-100 or more, the use of a standardized format helps ensure a timely and efficient review of a candidate's accomplishments. Always be sure to use the correct dossier template as provided for the cycle for which you are planning to submit. This page will be updated with a link to the current template as soon as it is released from the provost's office.
Always refer to and follow the instructions provided on each section's cover page within the Dossier Template. A checklist is provided for your convenience.
Workshops and Training
It is highly recommended that candidates who plan to submit a dossier attend the workshops provided by the Faculty Affairs office. A schedule of workshops can be found on their website. It is also helpful to those who facilitate and support the process - unit heads, committee chairs, and staff - to attend applicable workshops.
Video recordings and documents from past workshops are available on the FA website: https://facultyaffairs.arizona.edu/content/promotion-workshops
Section 2. Summary of Candidate's Workload Assignment
- Many people will be involved in reviewing a promotion dossier. Once it progresses beyond the department level, some reviewers will be people outside the candidate's field. The Summary of Candidate's Workload Assignment states the candidate's assigned responsibilities in terms of percentages, but it also should provide an explanation of what these percentages mean for all faculty in the unit. The Provost's Office requires that all unit heads complete the Summary of Candidate's Workload Assignment (Section 2) for the purposes of promotion review. This form must be dated and signed by the candidate and unit head. Additional instructions are on the Section 2 template. The responsibilities of continuing-track faculty should be particularly well defined to ensure understanding by reviewers beyond the college level. Since the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is the only unit on campus that has Cooperative Extension, the nature of Extension appointments often is not clearly understood.
- The Summary of Candidate's Workload Assignment is not to contain "laudatory" language. Outside evaluators must not be sent dossiers containing a Summary of Candidate's Workload Assignment that also evaluates the candidate's contributions. This one-page form is filled out by unit heads to provide specifics on assigned duties. It should not praise contributions. If you have any questions about whether the language in your dossier could be considered laudatory, please contact Sylvia Ramirez (Office of the Vice President and Dean) or (Extension Administration, 520-621-7205) before sending your dossier out for review.
- Workload assignments should note shared appointments. Shared appointments are defined as those where candidates’ budget lines are split between two or more units in an academic role. Promotion dossiers for split appointments should include the Checklist for Shared Appointments (Appendix A).
- Always ensure that each columns' percentages add up to the full 100% workload.
- It is required that an official job description be provided with every continuing track candidate's dossier
Section 3. Departmental and College Promotion and Tenure Guidelines
- One-page abstracts of the appropriate college criteria specifically designed for the dossier are available online. If unit faculty voted to use college-level guidelines and criteria, the unit head should provide a statement in Section 3.
- The full version of the CALS Guidelines and Criteria and the appendix with examples of activities may be sent to outside evaluators to provide greater detail, but should be replaced with the abstract when the dossier is submitted to the college. College and university committees have access to the full version of the CALS Guidelines and Criteria.
Section 4. Curriculum Vitae and List of Collaborators
- Explain any method of listing work in the CV that is unique to the discipline (authorship listings, graduate students, page numbers, grant efforts, Extension publication number). Designate works in progress separately where indicated. Editors and collaborators on special issues and edited volumes are no longer considered collaborators. Editors and fellow contributors to special issues, conference proceedings, and edited collections often do not work closely with other contributors.
- The list of collaborators should include all individuals who have collaborated with the candidate within the sixty months preceding the submission of the dossier.
- Please see Section 4 for more details on collaborators: The list of collaborators should include all individuals who have collaborated with the candidate within the sixty months preceding the submission of the dossier. Such collaborations include coauthoring books, articles, abstracts, papers, or grant proposals.
Section 5. Candidate Statement
- Should consist of 3-5 pages of accomplishments and objectives, vital to outlining the impact of candidates' service, teaching, and research - it is the only opportunity to speak freely within the dossier template
- Especially important role in documenting the sorts of community-based scholarship, partnerships, and outreach that are highlighted in our Inclusive View of Scholarship.
- A signature must appear on the last page with the statement: Statements 4 and 5 are true and accurate statements of my activities and accomplishments. I understand that misrepresentation in securing [tenure and promotion] may lead to dismissal or suspension under ABOR Policy 6-201 J.
- Advice on Candidate Statements
- "Making a Statement" workshop VIDEO and PowerPoint presentation by Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Andrea Romero on the Candidate Statement
Section 6. Teaching Portfolio
- Candidates are responsible for providing information and supporting documentation on their teaching and advising but do not need to include TCE reports in the dossier.
- Continuing-track candidates who have responsibility for teaching one or more credit classes must complete this section.
- CALS requires that Section 6 (including selected syllabi, etc.) be sent to outside evaluators.
- Do not forward supporting instructional materials for college review. These items must be removed before submitting to the Office of the Vice President and Dean.
- Teaching Portfolios and Reviews
- "Teaching and Service Portfolios that Document Impact, Innovation and Leadership" workshop PowerPoint and video link
Section 7. Evaluation of Teaching and Recommendations for Provost Award
- It is preferred for a member of the departmental review committee to conduct at least one peer observation of teaching during the year before or semester of the promotion review. It will likely be REQUIRED for the 2021-22 cycle. Please plan accordingly.
- Observations of teaching will use the Classroom Observation Tool from the Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA)
- A separate department committee-level memo with a peer review of teaching is no longer required.
- Departmental committees are encouraged to write a memo to nominate candidates for the Provost Award for Innovations in Teaching for candidates who have made significant contributions to innovation in teaching
- Given the unexpected changes in teaching format this semester, the following recommendations have been provided by the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs:
- It is recommended that new peer observations and student course surveys (SCS) from this point forward in the semester are NOT necessary to collect and should NOT be used for evaluation purposes in the promotion review process, unless requested by the faculty member or previously planned for class that was originally conceptualized in the online format.
- Some faculty may request peer observation of their online format for their own professional development
Section 8. Portfolio to Document Leadership in Service and Outreach
- Optional for tenure and career-track candidates. Continuing-track candidates who have responsibility for a major Extension program must complete this section. A description of three or four major components of the candidate's program should be clearly stated. These efforts should coincide with the stated program in the position description. Include the purpose and objectives of the program, the target group, and expected results. Specify indicators by which objectives can be measured.
- The section on program implementation should summarize what was accomplished in relation to previously stated objectives, including activities, services, seminars, products, contacts, teaching hours, and grants. Do not list every event or activity separately.
- Program evaluation should utilize performance measures designed to document changes in knowledge, attitude, skills, behavior and/or aspiration which may have occurred in the target clientele as a result of the program. Program accomplishments should include outcomes or effects, changes that resulted and/or long-term impact of the program. "Impact" is the social, economic and/or environmental effect or consequence of the program. Outside evaluators, as well as college and university committee members, invariably comment on demonstrated impact or lack thereof in discussions of a candidate's programs.
- This section is an option for other promotion candidates whose outreach and service is integral to their programs of work. If service or outreach makes up a significant percentage of your workload assignment, take advantage of this section to describe your program and assess and document the program's impact.
- Supplementary documentation included in the Service and Outreach Portfolio is designed for unit reviews and will not generally be forwarded to the college committee. A candidate may also request that the unit head or committee chair include this supplementary documentation in the materials that are sent to external reviewers.
- Candidates are encouraged to consult the University's Inclusive View of Scholarship.
Section 10. Letters from External Evaluators and Collaborators
- There should be clear distinction between independent, external evaluator letters and collaborator letters. The collaborator letters should be placed after external evaluators and both should be properly listed using the worksheet materials provided in the template.
- 5-8 external evaluator letters are recommended; the minimum requirement is 3. This does not include collaborator letters which are encouraged but not required.
- Please follow all procedures and requirements as listed on the cover sheet for section 10, including signatures, letter copies, biographies, use of letterhead, etc.
Section 11. Recommendations for Promotion and/or Tenure/Continuing Status
- This section includes letters of evaluation and recommendation from the department or Cooperative Extension committee, unit head, college P&T, CS&P or CT committee, and the vice president and dean.
- Candidates should be evaluated against the unit's and college's written guidelines and criteria.
- The department or Cooperative Extension committee and unit head have the most knowledge of the candidate's discipline. Their letters should discuss the candidate's research, teaching, Extension and service in the context of their decision. The responsibility at this level is to clearly describe the nature and significance of the candidate's research for those outside the field and clarify any issues related to the culture or custom of the discipline such as issues of co-authorship and significance (or lack thereof) of first authorship. If the candidate has made significant efforts as part of a team, the unit head should be sure the extent of these efforts is clearly explained for reviewers beyond the unit level.
- University Handbook on Appointed Personnel (UHAP 3.3.02C) requires that candidates under review be notified of the administrator's recommendation at the end of the department and college level reviews. The notifications from the unit head/director and dean will not relay the reasons for the recommendation. This letter must also be included in the dossier moving forward from each level of review.
- Always take a moment to check for signatures and completeness before moving to the next level of review.
- As a reminder, the Office of the Vice President and Dean DOES NOT review dossiers before they are sent to outside evaluators or prior to being submitted for university-level review. It is the responsibility of all unit heads and the director of UA Cooperative Extension to ensure that all dossiers are complete and meet the latest university requirements. Mistakes caught early within the department can be amended; they cannot be corrected later in the process without initiating re-review at all levels.
Part III: The Evaluation Process for Promotion
Faculty Appointments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
- Although the tenure, continuing and career tracks have substantially similar status at The University of Arizona, they are covered under separate sections of the University Handbook for Appointed Personnel. The provost issues specific instructions for preparing each type of dossier and separate peer committees (P&T, CS&P, Promotion of POPs) are appointed to evaluate candidates for promotion and/or the award of tenure or continuing status.
- Members of the general faculty have teaching, research, Extension and service responsibilities and are provided professional and intellectual freedom. The tenure-track titles of assistant, associate and full professor - as well as the career-track (non-tenure) titles of assistant, associate and full professor of practice - reflect a focus on classroom teaching on campus. Faculty in the continuing track in CALS are professionals in Cooperative Extension (assistant, associate and full agents and specialists) or research professionals (assistant, associate and full research scientists). Faculty with Extension appointments are expected to perform scholarly activities that include non-formal, off-campus teaching and applied research.
- Small units may need to add outside faculty to a P&T or CS&P committee to provide the relevant expertise or representation; all additions to committees from outside the unit must be approved by the Assistant Dean for Faculty Advancement, Jean E. McLain.
Three-Year Review (Required) for Tenure- or Continuing-eligible Faculty
- All three-year reviews will be submitted no later than November 1 for review by:
- Vice president and dean
- CALS P&T or P&CA committee (if necessary) - Career Track faculty are not required to do three-year reviews.
- The formal three-year review for CALS faculty will follow the guidelines and instructions issued by the Office of the Provost for Retention Reviews. If it appears there will be a recommendation for non-retention following the three-year review, the dossier must be submitted to the Office of the Vice President and Dean by October 1 in order to meet the deadlines for full review at all levels as required by university policy.
- If the results of the three-year review are satisfactory but warrant an interim review prior to the sixth year, the unit head and/or college committee may request that the Vice President and Dean require an additional formalized fourth- or fifth-year review.
Role of Teaching, Research, Extension and Service
- Over the last decade, there has been a major change of emphasis on the importance of good teaching in the evaluation for promotion and tenure/continuing. A research superstar who is a poor teacher will not get tenure/continuing. The reverse is true as well; an excellent teacher must demonstrate research accomplishments to be promoted or awarded tenure/continuing. The relative weights in the candidate's Summary of Workload Assignment will be taken into account when performance in these areas is evaluated. The Office of Instruction and Assessment can provide a great deal of assistance in presenting the results of student evaluations as well as improving performance in weak areas. Units must provide peer evaluation of teaching as well.
- Extension specialists and agents also have two areas of focus: a specialized focus on applied research and outreach teaching activities directed to clientele in the state and region. Extension specialists often have a split appointment between Extension and research which is uncommon outside the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The actual split of the formal appointment among teaching, research, and extension should be stated in the Summary of Candidate's Workload Assignment (Section 2). Extension candidates should emphasize the creative methods of technology transfer used for educational outreach and identify activities in relation to the crucial role Cooperative Extension plays in the overall university continuum of teaching, research, and service. As they develop programs, they should identify ways to measure change or assess results so they will be able to show the impact of their work in the continuing status review.
- In an academic culture, it is easier for others to evaluate research than teaching and it is also easier to assess formal teaching than work in Extension. Extension specialists and agents should make a special effort to explain their activities, since many at the university level are still unfamiliar with the mission and responsibilities of Cooperative Extension.
Committees and Administrators
- Department/School/Cooperative Extension
- College: Promotion & Tenure, Continuing Status & Promotion, and Career Track
- Department Head/School Director/County Extension Director
- Vice President/Dean
The Role and Responsibilities of Review Committees and Reviewers
- Committees will include at least three tenured/continuing status faculty members.
- All committee members and all reviewers must have a rank equal or superior to the rank for which the candidate is being reviewed.
- The makeup of the unit committee is specified in UHAP 3.3.02 (tenure) or UHAP 4A.3.02 (continuing status). Provided there are sufficient numbers of faculty to warrant such a committee, each department should have a Standing Advisory Committee for continuing status and another for tenure to advise the immediate administrative head before recommendations on reviews for continuing status, tenure, promotion, and non-renewal are forwarded to higher levels. One, mixed committee is allowable if all other requirements are met. Per UHAP, department committees must include at least three continuing status faculty to review continuing track candidates AND at least three tenured faculty to review tenure track candidates. Likewise, two additional POPs should be included when reviewing the POP candidates (please see CALS POP Guidelines). A minimum of three eligible committee members must review and make a recommendation. Eligibility also requires that all reviewers must be of equal or higher rank for which the candidate is being reviewed (i.e. a full-rank, tenured professor is required to review an Associate Professor with Tenure who is requesting review for promotion to Full). All reviewers must also confirm that they do not have any conflict of interest with the candidate. If a department does not have sufficient eligible faculty to constitute such a committee, peers from other units may be invited to participate. The unit head must submit the names of these additional requested committee members along with the full committee roster to the Assistant Dean for Faculty Advancement to approval.
- The unit committee and unit head are in a better position to assess teaching than other committees or reviewers. The unit head should add relevant information as to how the candidate's accomplishments are integrated with the unit's mission, especially when the candidate is involved in team efforts. Since unit heads are familiar with the discipline, they can identify the most significant journals or other appropriate publications and clarify expectations and norms for the research field. The Cooperative Extension peer committee and county Extension director are also in a better position to assess Extension activities and publications than other committees or reviewers. Because the unit head letter is considered especially important in the evaluation process, the university recommends that new heads consult an experienced head for advice on preparing this letter.
- Unit heads and deans should not simply repeat statements from outside evaluators or committee letters, but should offer substantive comments. Any negative statements contained in outside letters should be addressed. If something happened to make the candidate's career progress atypical, this should be explained. Special qualities of the candidate that may not be obvious in reading a large dossier should also be highlighted. Because applied research in CALS is not as easily understood as basic research by university academic committees, additional clarification by the unit head and dean can be very helpful.
- See the Faculty Affairs website for more information on Review Committees.