- Cover Sheet (see Appendix C-1)
- Document Register (Appendix D)
To avoid controversy and contradictions concerning contents of the promotion and/or continuing appointment file, a document register must conform to the format established in the attached Appendix D. Each document should be recorded on the register as the document is received and placed in the dossier.
- The document register is started at the initial level of consideration.
- Each subsequent University officer having custody of the file is responsible for maintaining the register on a current basis.
- Confidential letters of recommendation will be listed on the document register only by a number, date, and type of document - for example, #1 Letter of Recommendation dated 7/1/02. Each such confidential document should be numbered in the upper right-hand corner to agree with the number reported on the document register.
- Summary of Action Form - (Appendix C-2, 3, as appropriate)
- Curriculum Vitae (Appendix E)
The curriculum vitae is a critical and essential element of the dossier. The candidate must be given an opportunity to update his/her vita before being considered by the initial unit. The completed vita must be dated and signed by the candidate. The exact form and content of the vita may vary; however, categories should be clear and should allow for recording relevant information describing the candidate's scholarly, teaching, and service performance.
A suggested format is attached as Appendix E. In documenting the publication record, do not include work submitted, work in progress, or working papers under the heading of published work. Documentation of papers accepted, invitations to revise and resubmit, and letters from publishers about book contracts or interest from a press should accompany the vita. Papers delivered (or abstracts of such papers) should be listed in a separate category from published work, as should doctoral dissertations and articles in intramural or strictly local publications (these last might more properly be listed under the general head of community or other service). Contributions in non-refereed journals should be identified. When preparing the vita, the candidate should be aware that in listing publications, art exhibitions, musical compositions, etc., complete references must be given. Full bibliographic information is required, including names of co-authors, number of pages, titles of journals in full on first mention, and dates. Where a substantial amount of the published work is co-authored, indication (perhaps in a separate document) must be given of the candidate's individual role and contribution; this indication may be supported by commentary from the candidate's collaborators. In addition, the vita should indicate clearly the order of co-authorship, together with relevant guidance regarding norms in the field about what first or last authorship means. Indications of external funding should specify the source, duration and amount of support. Finally, the candidate's doctoral mentor, thesis title, and, where applicable, postdoctoral mentor should be identified.
- Candidate's SUNY/Albany employment history and courseload.
The department will prepare a brief SUNY/Albany employment history and a table of courses taught for each semester at SUNY/Albany. Periods in which the candidate was not "on the tenure clock" should be identified and explained.
- Candidate's statements of major research themes and future plans, teaching philosophy, and service.
The candidate should provide a concise (i.e., 1-3 pages) statement summarizing the major research question and/or themes with which s/he is concerned. The candidate should also indicate the directions in which the research is likely to proceed in the future. The purpose here is to assist non-specialists reviewing the file in appreciating the organization and significance of the candidate's scholarship in relation to a major research issue confronting the discipline. The candidate should also describe his/her research collaborations.
The candidate is also expected to provide concise statements on teaching, including the candidate's strengths, educational objectives and pedagogical approach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, the statement should describe the involvement in and aspirations for curriculum development (e.g., in general education, as well as subjects in the candidate's specialty, multimedia, distance or extended learning). The statement on service should describe the candidate's objectives and involvement in the University and external communities, including the profession and, where it exists, in practicum settings (e.g., educational institutions, non-profit agencies, government, the private sector).
- Solicited letters from outside consultants (CONFIDENTIAL)
- Statement of the method used to select consultants
- Data on consultants (preferably attached to each evaluation letter)
- A sample letter of solicitation
- Letters from consultants
Solicited letter of evaluation - A solicited letter of evaluation is any letter, memorandum, statement, or report of recommendation solicited by an authorized University official from another individual (referred to as a consultant) in connection with the appointment, renewal of term appointment, promotion, or continuing appointment of any faculty or professional staff member. Solicited documents are confidential within the provision of Article 31 (Personnel Files) of the UUP Agreement. Solicited letters are an essential element in the review process. While such letters are most typically used to assess the visibility and impact of a candidate's professional attainments in scholarship, they may also be used as part of the documentation and evidence to support claims about a candidate's teaching or service performance. Individuals responsible for soliciting such letters should pay serious attention to the following:
- Number of Consultants - There is no minimum number of letters that must be solicited for teaching or service. In the case of reviews of the candidate's research and scholarship, to provide a full and fair basis for judgment, each file must contain at least four letters from qualified objective reviewers. Reviews cannot be from persons who have a close relationship to the candidate (i.e., recent colleagues, research collaborators, current or former students, mentors, thesis or postdoctoral advisors, co-authors, and the like must be avoided). Additional letters may be included, but the association with the candidate must be explicitly identified, and these letters are not to be counted in meeting the minimum requirement of four, independent, external reviews.
- Selection of Consultants - Candidates cannot be shown a list of potential consultants. Prior to the selection of consultants, the candidate may identify potential referees who for personal reasons ought not be consulted; otherwise, the candidate must not be involved in selecting external reviewers. Citation indices should not be used as the sole source of names of prospective consultants. If a candidate's area of research is so specialized that it is not possible to obtain a complete set of reviews from persons without prior ties to the candidate, then at a least a majority should be from the general discipline and without prior ties to the candidate. Prior effort should also be made by telephone or e-mail to confirm that a proposed consultant does not have a prior association with the candidate that would compromise his/her ability to give an objective review. The department (or school) must certify the independence of each reviewer - i.e., the basis for the judgement that s/he is detached from the candidate and in a position to deliver an objective review.
The file should contain a detailed statement that describes how the consultants were selected and why they were selected. Please identify consultants who have written an evaluation letter for a previous personnel action on behalf of the candidate. For evaluation of the candidate's research, each consultant's standing in the field should be documented in an accompanying vita or extended biography. It is also strongly urged that academic consultants hold an appropriate rank, be currently active in research, be selected from among the leaders in the candidate's area of specialization, be associated with academic programs of high quality, and be familiar with the performance standards and norms for promotion in U.S. academic institutions. In certain areas, it may be appropriate to include letters from some consultants who are professional practitioners (e.g., government officials) in a position to evaluate the quality and impact of a candidate's contributions in other settings. These consultants should be carefully selected with a view towards their special knowledge of the context and information needs of non-academic institutions and practitioners.
- Solicitation of Letters - Letters in the file which state that the consultant is out of the country or knows nothing of the candidate's work and, therefore, cannot comment, are of no service to anyone. It is suggested, therefore, that deans or department chairs make initial contact with potential consultants by telephone and secure their consent to serve before an official letter of solicitation is sent. This also provides an opportunity to confirm that the consultant does not have a prior professional association with the candidate that would compromise his/her ability to provide an independent assessment. A vita and copies of the research work that will be used to make the case should accompany the solicitation letter. Explicit mention should be made of what materials have been sent to each reviewer. In composing the letter soliciting an evaluation, the writer must take extreme care to avoid biased or leading statements in the request.
- Consultants should be informed exactly of the candidate's situation (i.e., a candidate for continuing appointment and promotion from assistant professor to associate professor, or from associate professor to professor). It should also be made clear that "continuing appointment" is equivalent to what is usually called "tenure." Additional information and directions regarding solicited letters is provided in Appendix F.
- A complete set of solicited letters should be available at the time of the initial level of review. All letters solicited and received must be included in the file with clear notation documenting when they were solicited and received. Solicitation from consultants should be undertaken at the earliest possible time. Transcripts of telephone conversations with consultants are not satisfactory substitutes for letters.
- Solicited letters should be current and should be solicited for the specific action under consideration.
- In instances where a candidate is being reconsidered for promotion or tenure, a list of all consultants contacted in prior years for the candidate's promotion to the same level should also be provided, together with prior solicited letters obtained from these consultants (if the letters were solicited for action within the past two academic years).
- Unsolicited letters of evaluation (if appropriate)
Unsolicited letters and statements, or letters and statement obtained by persons other than an authorized University official, do not have confidential status and are available to the candidate. Before placing such letters in the file, a letter should be sent to persons who have submitted unsolicited letters of evaluation advising the writer that the recommendation is not confidential and will be made available to the candidate as well as to colleagues and administrative officials. The sender should then be given the opportunity to withdraw the letter or affirm his/her intention that the letter not be confidential. There must be an approval for each unsolicited letter (please see attached sample letter in Appendix G). Anonymous statements or letters should not be placed in the file.
- Description of procedures used to present required peer and student evaluation of teaching.
- Peer Evaluation of Teaching - University policy mandates both peer evaluation and student evaluation as components in the assessment of a faculty member's contribution as an instructor (see Appendix H). In the case of peer review, a summary of the methods used, a description of the material examined and the overall assessment of the outcome should be included, together with a copy of the department/school's policy and procedures for peer evaluation. Several first-hand peer evaluations of the candidate's classroom performance are useful. The record of the peer evaluation must include a representative sample of the candidate's course syllabi, reading lists, examinations, and grade distributions. For candidates involved in doctoral education, the peer evaluation should discuss the faculty member's role in teaching required courses, in serving on doctoral committees, and in mentoring graduate students. The peer review should also serve as the site to indicate and evaluate the candidate's involvement in the University's curricular and pedagogical initiatives, such as the formulation and teaching of General Education courses, the teaching of writing-intensive courses, the mentoring of students at risk, the teaching of courses on the internet, etc. The findings of the peer review committee should be summarized in a detailed statement prepared by a member of the teaching faculty other than the department chair. Such a discussion need not be lengthy but should give a clear indication of the candidate's strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. Passing mention of a candidate's teaching performance in an administrative recommendation will not meet the requirement for a peer evaluation.
- Student Evaluations of Teaching - A comprehensive report and analysis of all student evaluations during the candidate's employment at SUNYA must be submitted with each request. Both qualitative and quantitative data are expected. A presentation of raw data alone will not meet this requirement. The statement should briefly describe the procedures used to collect more recent evaluations. In preparing the summary, all the actual evaluations and questions used should be tabulated or graphed in a way that reveals individual strengths and weaknesses that are obscured by averages. The report should include course-by-course information on the number of students in the class, the number of students responding and the percentage of responses. As a frame of reference, an explanation of the evaluation results and some comparison with others teaching the same or similar courses within the department is essential. For quantitative student evaluations the following information should be provided dating back at least five years: (1) departmental average rating; (2) average rating of instructors teaching the same or similar course; (3) the average number of students enrolled in the same or similar course. For qualitative student evaluations that are in a language other than English, a translation should be provided. Testimony from current students should not be solicited.
- Copy of Student Evaluation Form - A copy of the student evaluation form should be included in the dossier. The student evaluations themselves should not be forwarded with the promotion/continuing appointment file. However, the evaluations should be kept available in the department for use by any or all subsequent reviewers.
- Primary Teaching Documents - Primary teaching documents such as course outlines, reading lists, working papers, tests, etc. should be included in an appendix to the dossier.
- Description of procedures used to solicit service contributions and summary of results.
A separate section should contain a peer presentation of evidence documenting the quality and quantity of the candidate's service to the department, school, college, university, profession, and community. It is normally expected that candidates for promotion to the rank of associate professor will be able to demonstrate the capacity for effective service in appropriate contexts. Service to the profession includes activities such as journal editorships, leadership of conferences, invited presentations, and production of texts, other publications and media products which are widely used tools that contribute to a profession's collective effort aimed at research and education. Service to the community includes activities such as consultantships (both paid and pro bono), presentation of testimony, and leadership involvement for community groups whose interests are related to the candidate's field of expertise. Service on campus and professional committees should be carefully described in this section, especially if it is not detailed in the candidate's vita. For committee work, each committee should be identified by name and period of the candidate's appointment. The file should contain letters solicited from the Chairs of significant committees and councils describing the scope and significance of the candidate's contributions as a member. As solicited statements, these letters may be confidential, at the discretion of the reviewer (see Note to Appendix F, Confidential Letters). This section should also include statements solicited from consultants in a position to describe and evaluate the particularly distinctive ways in which the individual has changed the institution or the profession or in other ways made a contribution that is uniquely innovative and substantial. Service to the department (or school) may also include distinctive contributions on behalf of core functional areas - e.g., statistics, mentoring special student groups, etc.
- Summary of faculty composition (number of faculty at each rank with continuing appointment and without continuing appointment).
- Listing of major scholarly journals in the candidate's field, (a ranking or evaluation of those journals in which the candidate has published, and an indication of whether each of the journals is refereed). This listing should be provided by the department and not the candidate.
- Letters of transmittal and recommendations from reviewing officials These documents, prepared in the normal course of evaluation by chairs, deans, the Provost, and first and second level academic review committees are non-confidential and must be provided to the candidate.
- Initial Academic Review Committee - The department/school should consider the candidate in accordance with departmental/school by-laws. The department/school discussion and vote should be scheduled at a time when it is possible for faculty to attend. It is expected that the discussion will be fact-based and related to the applicable criteria for promotion. The vote of eligible department/school members, including any student vote, must be recorded and reported with a summary of major issues discussed. Specific information should be included to explain concerns reflected in the departmental vote.
The summary of the departmental/school meeting must be prepared by a member of the teaching faculty or professional staff other than the department chair or dean and approved by the department/school as a whole. The summary should indicate the date on which the minute was approved. The summary must be a separate document in the file (i.e., reports of department/school personnel committees or recommendations from a department chair or dean are not satisfactory substitutes). The Chair or Dean may be present for the discussion of the case but may not vote. The vote of only the academic full-time employees of the department/school constitutes the recommendation of the "Initial Academic Review Committee." Visiting faculty are not eligible to vote. Voting should be carried out only among those who have reviewed the dossier and who are present for the departmental/school discussion. A faculty member unable to be present for the departmental/school discussion and vote may provide a letter to the Chair or Dean indicating his/her position on the case, which should be read at the departmental/school meeting and accounted for in the summary of the departmental discussion. Letters from faculty members unable to be present for the departmental/school discussion which are not available at the time of the departmental/school discussion and vote, shall be treated as unsolicited letters (see #8 above) and their weight judged accordingly.
The summary of discussion and the departmental/school vote must be given to the candidate before the case is forwarded to the next level of review. The summary should indicate the number of faculty members in the department/school who did not attend the meeting and, where known, the reasons for lack of attendance. For faculty who are appointed in equal budget increments to more than one academic department/school, the initial review will be led and conducted by a designated unit of primary appointment. In cases where a faculty member is appointed in unequal budget increments, is jointly appointed, or otherwise contributes substantially to another program without formal appointment, some documentation of the quality of that contribution should be included in the dossier.
- Initial Administrative Recommendation - After the departmental meeting, the Chair or Dean shall prepare a written recommendation and evaluation of the candidate. The evaluation shall include references to the criteria set forth in the Administrative Procedures and should discuss both the positive and negative aspects of the case. This report shall represent the Chair's or Dean's individual evaluation and recommendation (either positive or negative) on the issue. A copy of the Chair's or Dean's report must be provided to the candidate and should also be available to the department/school faculty.
For faculty appointed to the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, the Dean of the College shall provide a written recommendation following an initial administrative recommendation to be provided by the faculty member's Department Chair.
If it has not been provided in a prior document, the initial administrative recommendation should present a detailed synthesis of evidence obtained from internal and external sources on behalf of the requested personnel action. The statement must address in detail each of the three criteria for promotion and/or continuing appointment. For each criterion, the statement should provide a context within which to evaluate evidence in the file; for example, the performance should be compared with productivity norms and expectations for the candidate's academic discipline. The Chair or Dean should also provide an interpretation of the significance of the candidate's scholarly contributions, as well as a discussion of the role and effectiveness of the candidate as a faculty member in the department or school.
Typically, there is considerable evidence in the file concerning the candidate's reputation among scholarly peers and effectiveness and skill as a teacher. Chairs or Deans should also be careful to address seriously the criterion of service by including a separate section that discusses both the quantity and quality of the candidate's contributions and performance in this area. Just as claims concerning the candidate's scholarly attainments and teaching effectiveness are expected to be supported by external evaluations and student and peer assessments, the candidate's service contributions should also be fully documented (e.g., with statements from chairs of committees or representatives of organizations with which the candidate has been involved). Finally, the initial administrative recommendation should offer an explanation, if possible, of any negative votes at the initial academic review level. If it is not already recorded, the statement should indicate the number of faculty members who did not attend the initial academic review meeting and where known, the reasons for their absence.
- Subsequent Academic Review Committee - The "Subsequent Academic Review" under the UUP Agreement shall be the formal action of the a "committee of academic employees" as follows:
- For faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, the committee will be the College's Personnel Committee.
- For faculty of the School of Business, the committee will be the School's Personnel Committee.
- For faculty of the School of Education, the committee will be that School's Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee.
- For faculty of the School of Public Health, the committee will be the School of Public Health Council.
- For faculty of the Schools of Criminal Justice, Information Science and Policy, Social Welfare, of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and of the University Libraries, the committee will be the University Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointment.
The subsequent academic review committee shall report its vote to the Dean or Provost (where applicable) and the candidate. The committee shall also provide a brief statement explaining the reasons for the committee's recommendation. The statement should also explain any dissenting votes and describe, where applicable, any reservations about the case. The committee's vote and report must be included in the dossier. A copy of the report must be provided to the candidate.
- Dean's Recommendation - The Dean shall review the file for completeness and adherence to procedural rules. The Dean may comment on procedural or substantive issues as appropriate. A copy of the Dean's comments and recommendations must be provided to the candidate. The original file (clearly marked "original") with the required documentation should be forwarded by the Dean to the Office of Academic Affairs with thirteen (13) copies. All copies should be collated, carefully organized, and inserted in individual file folders so as to assist a careful and thorough review.
The Dean's statement should include a detailed review of the candidate's qualifications in each of the criteria. In addition, the Dean should describe special circumstances and distinctive values and contributions that the candidate brings to the School or College. The Dean should take steps to confirm that all external evaluations were properly obtained, that evidence supporting the required peer and student review of teaching is included, and that the dossier includes evidence which helps to illustrate the quantity and quality of the candidate's service. Finally, the Dean's statement should provide, if possible, an explanation of negative votes at the second level review.
- Recommendation by the Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointments - The Council's staff assistant shall review the file for completeness and will then forward the material to the Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointment for review. The Council will review the case first as to form, for conformance with these administrative procedures. The review will also include an assessment of the merits of the case, looking especially for evidence in the file that justifies the conclusions reached at prior review levels. A copy of the recommendation of the Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointment must be provided to the candidate.
- Recommendation by the Provost - After the Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointment has completed its deliberations, the Provost will review the case and prepare a letter of transmittal to the President with a recommendation. A copy of this recommendation will be provided to the candidate.
- Copies of Publications