University at Albany
 

Procedures for Promotion and Tenure Review

Definitions of Key Terms


Academic review committee – This is the faculty body that is charged with evaluating and voting on a case at each level of review.  For cases arising from the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Schools of Business, Education and Public Health, the first level academic review committee is the department faculty, the second level academic review committee is the school/college promotion and tenure committee, and the third level academic review committee is the Council on Promotion and Continuing Appointment (CPCA).  For cases arising from the College of Computing and Information Sciences and the Rockefeller College, the first level academic review committee is the department faculty and the second level academic review committee is the CPCA (with a Dean’s  review in between).  For cases arising from schools/colleges without separate departments (SCJ, SSW, University Libraries), the first level academic review committee is the school/college faculty and the second level review committee is CPCA. 

Administrative officer – For the purposes of promotion and tenure, an administrative officer is a department Chair and/or Dean who has responsibility for the administrative review of a candidate at the department or school/college level, and the Provost who has responsibility for the administrative review at the University level.

Citation analysis – A citation analysis for the promotion dossier is a presentation of the citation counts of the candidate’s published works.

Continuing appointment – Continuing appointment is the official term for “tenure” in the State University of New York system.

Council on Promotion and Continuing Appointment (CPCA) – The CPCA is the UAlbany Faculty Senate Council that serves as the university-level academic review body for all promotion and/or continuing appointment cases.

Employment history – The candidate’s employment history is a document provided to the department upon request by Human Resources showing the employment record and dates (time periods of qualified rank, leaves, etc.) for a particular candidate for tenure or promotion.  

Levels of review – Levels of review refers to the steps in the review process, and can include department, school/college, and university levels.  Every case goes through at least two levels of review (school/college and university) and for schools and colleges that contain separate departments, cases go through a departmental level of review as well.  Every review level has two parts: a faculty, or academic, evaluation and vote (department, school/college committee, CPCA) and an administrative recommendation from each level (department Chair, Dean, Provost). Each step is advisory to the next (i.e., the review process doesn’t stop after a negative outcome at one level but proceeds to the next, unless the faculty candidate withdraws the file from consideration).

Promotion – Promotion refers to any advancement in academic rank for professors and librarians, from assistant to associate, and from associate to full.

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 reviewer) in connection with the promotion and/or continuing appointment of a faculty member. Such letters are required to assess a candidate's scholarship, but they may also be used as part of the documentation and evidence about a candidate's teaching or service. These letters are subject to the rules of confidentiality described in these procedures (see Contents of the File).

Summary of Action Form – The Summary of Action Form records the progress of the tenure/promotion review, including the results of the faculty and committee votes, and the signature of the administrative officer, at each review level. (A blank Summary of Action Form is provided in the Appendix G.) 

Unsolicited letter of evaluation – An unsolicited letter refers to any letter or memorandum that pertains to the promotion and/or continuing appointment of a faculty member that is received, but that has not been explicitly solicited by an authorized university official. Such letters become part of the candidate’s dossier and are available to the candidate to read.