Other Procedures & Considerations

Other Procedural Issues and Considerations

Rules and Procedures

The candidate may have access to the non-confidential material in the file, upon proper request after each level of review. To provide consistency and avoid misunderstanding, the following rules and procedures will apply:

  • The candidate shall be permitted to examine the document register upon specific request to the university officer who has temporary custody of the file (department Chair, Dean or Provost).
  • The candidate is permitted to examine, but not take custody of, the non-confidential material in the file by making a written request to the appropriate university officer (department Chair, Dean, Provost). That officer will secure the material and schedule an appointment for examination of the file as soon as possible but not later than five working days from the date of the request. The candidate has five business from the date of receiving the recommendation to submit a response if they wish. The response is then added to the file.
  • Article 31.6a of the UUP Agreement between United University Professions and the State of New York states that the candidate shall have access to all of the non-confidential portions of the file after all recommendations have been prepared for the President's review. The candidate should apply, in writing, to the Office of the Provost requesting to see the file before the President takes action. When the file is complete, the Office of the Provost will arrange the review. Pursuant to Article 31.6.c of the Agreement, “examination of the file and response to material contained therein to which the employee has access pursuant to subdivision 31.6(a) or subdivision 31.6(b) shall take place after the file has been submitted to the management administrative officer of the College, but prior to this officer’s consideration of its content.” Should an employee wish to review and respond to the material in their file prior to the management administrative officer’s (who is, in the case of UAlbany, the President), the candidate should make formal request in writing to the Provost’s Office upon receiving the Provost’s recommendation.
Adding Materials to the File

The candidate is allowed and encouraged to add materials to the file as follows:

  • The candidate, if they choose, is allowed to include a written response to each recommendation (including the department vote, Chair’s letter, school committee vote, Dean’s letter, etc.) during the review process. That response must be submitted within five business days of receiving the recommendation and must be added to the file.
  • The candidate is allowed to add materials to the file (for example: new manuscripts, published works, new teaching evaluations) during the course of the process. This is done by sending any new materials electronically or physically to the current custodian of the dossier (this custodian might be in the department, the Dean’s office, the Provost’s office or the President’s office, depending on stage of review.) The custodian will place the new documents in the file and update the Document Register.
Voting and Review Procedures
  • Promotion to Associate Professor (or Associate Librarian) and consideration for continuing appointment are concurrent activities as evidenced by a single vote. In no case will a recommendation for continuing appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor (or Assistant or Senior Assistant Librarian) be considered.
  • During the review process, discussion of the candidate's qualifications should focus on the applicable criteria and exclude references to matters that are not appropriate for consideration. Although designed for initial appointment interviews, this chart is equally applicable to reviews for promotion and continuing appointment and should serve to prevent any inadvertent references to inappropriate areas of discussion.
  • A faculty member is only allowed to vote on a particular case at one level. Therefore, when a member of the candidate’s department of primary appointment is also a member of the school or college’s personnel committee, or a member of the Council on Promotion and Continuing Appointment (CPCA), such individual will be excluded from the school or college personnel committee meetings, or from CPCA meetings, at which the candidate’s case is being considered.
Personal Presentations by the Candidate

Although personal presentations are rare, the candidate has the right to appear before the department, the school/college committee considering promotion and/or continuing appointment, and the Council on Promotion and Continuing Appointment (CPCA), if the candidate so desires. A candidate who wishes to make a personal presentation must make a written request prior to the meeting at which the case will be reviewed.

Reconsideration Requests

In accordance with Section VI of University Senate Bill No. 8990-28, when a member of the faculty has been considered for continuing appointment in the mandatory year and a negative decision has been rendered, this action should be considered final. Exceptional circumstances may cause a candidate to feel that substantial new evidence of productivity justifies reconsideration of their case. In such exceptional circumstances, the following procedures shall apply.

  • The candidate must notify their department Chair of their request for reconsideration. This notification must be made no later than October 3 for candidates within the typical appointment cycle (Fall hires). For candidates who joined the University mid-year, or who, as a result of leaves or periods in unqualified rank, are on a “Spring hire” cycle, the notification must be made no later than March 1.
  • The candidate shall provide the department with the new evidence no later than October 15 or March 12 for the Spring cycle.
  • The faculty members of the department will meet to evaluate the new evidence. Only if the department concludes that the new evidence establishes a substantial change from the situation during the previous consideration will the case be reconsidered and votes taken as in an original consideration.
    • If the reconsideration results in a negative vote by the faculty and a negative recommendation by the Chair, the action is final; the request will not be forwarded for further consideration and the Dean, Provost and President will be notified.
    • If the reconsideration results in a positive recommendation by either the department or the Chair, the recommendation for continuing appointment will be transmitted to the school or college.
  • When a positive recommendation is forwarded by a department, each subsequent level of review shall determine to its own satisfaction whether there is substantial new evidence warranting reconsideration. This determination will involve a comparison between the total record on which the University decision in the mandatory year was based and the new evidence, available since that decision date, presented by the candidate.
  • A decision at the school or college level not to reconsider shall be transmitted to the Council on Promotion and Continuing Appointment (CPCA). The Council shall inform the Provost and President if it, in turn, declines to reconsider that case.
  • If the school or college, or the CPCA, concludes that there is substantial new evidence, it will then forward in the usual manner its vote for or against promotion and continuing appointment.
  • Final actions, including a department’s negative decision, will be communicated to the candidate by the President on or before November 17 of the reconsideration year, or April 14 for Spring hires.

Thus, all action on such requests must meet the following schedule:

For Fall HiresFor Spring HiresActions
October 3March 1An individual requesting reconsideration of a request for continuing appointment must notify their Department Chair of their request.
October 15March 12All material and new evidence must be provided by the candidate to the department for action by this date. All other steps for review will be followed and scheduled as needed.
November 17April 14The President will officially notify a candidate for reconsideration of approval or disapproval of that request.
Stopping the Tenure Clock

External circumstances sometimes preclude continuous progress towards tenure. These circumstances can include, but are not limited to, medical, child-care or elder-care issues, or the opportunity for a significant assignment away from tenure activities.

Tenure-track faculty may be placed in status that provides a temporary suspension of their tenure clock. In such cases, the faculty member is appointed to a qualified academic title (usually Visiting Assistant Professor) during which time the faculty member still has a full-time obligation to their department or other assignment, but they do not accrue time toward tenure.

To request a qualified academic title, the faculty member should talk to their department Chair. The department Chair should prepare a written request and rational, then submit this to the Dean. This statement should not reveal information of a private and/or confidential nature. The Dean should add their recommendation and forward the request to the Provost. Documentation of the Provost's decision will be sent to the Dean, department Chair and faculty member.

There are various other forms of paid and unpaid leave as well, some of which are described in the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees and the UUP’s Agreement between United University Professions and the State of New York. Any paid or unpaid leave, or any time spent in a qualified rank, does not count toward time to tenure.

The UUP Agreement typically contains provisions for the Nuala McGann Drescher Diversity and Inclusion Leaves, which may provide an opportunity for research leave for some faculty. As this is part of the UUP Agreement, it is not a permanent or consistent source of support for UAlbany faculty. However, information about the Drescher Leave and its availability can be obtained from the Joint Labor Management Committees (JLMC). Recipients of Drescher Leaves should be aware that while the tenure clock can be stopped during the leave period, receipt of a Drescher does NOT automatically stop the clock. A separate request to be placed in qualified rank during a Drescher Leave period is necessary for the suspension of the tenure clock to occur.


Procedures for Early Consideration for Tenure

Early consideration for tenure is possible and must be initiated by a candidate's special request. While it is not a routine occurrence, early consideration most commonly occurs when a candidate brings prior experience to their UAlbany faculty appointment. 

The decision to begin the tenure review process before the mandatory deadline should be made in consultation with the department Chair and Dean, and should only be made when there is consensus within the department and among the Chair/Dean that the case has a strong likelihood of success. 

The standards and expectations for tenure and promotion remain the same whether the case is presented early or in the mandatory year. The decision to advance a file early should not be made lightly because, once it is initiated, the review process typically cannot be stopped (see next section).


Stopping the Review Process after Initiation

Except in very rare and unusual circumstances, it is expected that — once started — the mandatory tenure review process will be completed in a timely manner and cannot be stopped. In rare cases, where unusual circumstances warrant a temporary suspension of the process, written documentation of the circumstances is required and become part of the candidate's file. A candidate has the right to stop the review process at any time and resign from their faculty position.

For cases involving a request for promotion to full professor, the review process can be put on hold temporarily at any level of review. If it is stopped for lack of sufficient evidence warranting promotion, the dossier can be sealed, or the dossier can be held until new evidence appears, and then acted upon or resubmitted to the Council on Promotion and Continuing Appointment (CPCA) for review at the Provost’s discretion. In no case will documents contained in the file be removed.

Procedures for Library Faculty

The Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York defines librarians as academic faculty. The criteria for the evaluation of faculty include scholarship, teaching and service. The corresponding performance criteria for University Libraries faculty are effectiveness in librarianship, scholarship and service.

The procedures for library faculty differ slightly from those outlined in online. Learn more by reading Procedures for Promotion and Continuing Appointment for Library Academic Faculty.


Procedures for Joint Appointment

Joint Appointment

joint appointment exists when a faculty member is appointed to one department but has an appointment to another department as well. In such cases, a primary department is designated at the point of initial employment and has responsibility for all personnel actions related to that individual, including term renewals, leaves, discretionary salary awards and the tenure review process.

The nature of such joint appointments varies, and the degree of involvement and participation in research, teaching and service in the secondary department will differ by department and candidate. For example, a jointly appointed faculty member might be invited to department meetings, be involved in curricular discussions, offer cross-listed courses and have voting rights in the secondary department. The Dean and the two department Chairs should sign a letter of agreement that clarifies the candidate’s responsibilities to each department.

The Chair of the secondary department should be asked to provide input for every evaluation of a jointly appointed faculty member. In the case of tenure review, the secondary department Chair should be asked to provide a letter describing the nature and extent of the candidate’s involvement in, and contribution to, the secondary department. The secondary department might choose to meet and vote on a candidate’s tenure and promotion request but it is not essential to do so and any such vote would not be official. Rather, that vote would inform the secondary department Chair’s letter about the candidate.

In the dossier, it is important to document how the candidate’s time is being spent, and their contributions to each department need to be clearly documented.

Affiliated or Courtesy Appointment

In some instances, a faculty member may be affiliated or have a courtesy appointment in another department. These arrangements represent more loose affiliations and are made because a faculty member has some reason to be affiliated (for example: due to their disciplinary expertise or teaching). However, in these cases, the faculty member may or may not have voting rights in the affiliated department, and their contributions may be more minimal. These arrangements must be described in a tenure and promotion dossier but whether a letter is requested from the Chair of the affiliated department depends on the extent of the candidate’s expected involvement in that department.

Dual Appointment

dual appointment exists when a faculty member’s effort is distributed across two units. Typically this means the faculty member is appointed in equal budget increments to two different departments or colleges. Although one of these departments is designated as the primary department, there is a set distribution of time, effort and full-time equivalency across the two departments.

These arrangements are rare and, when they exist, care must be taken to create a statement regarding the faculty member’s division of responsibility that is appropriate for that faculty member’s dual appointment arrangement. The relevant Chairs and Deans should create such a statement, in writing, early in the faculty member’s employment, which should then be approved by the Provost.

In cases of dual appointment, both departments should have a formal role, and vote, in the tenure review process, so that the candidate gets due consideration of all contributions they have made across both departments. The statement described above, which delineates the faculty member’s responsibility to each department, should also clearly delineate how the tenure review process will proceed. This statement should describe, for example, whether each department will form an ad hoc committee to oversee the case or whether a joint committee comprised of faculty members from each department will be formed. The statement should also describe who will vote on the case and the timing of how the voting process will be carried out across the two units.

This document should be included in the candidate’s dossier. In addition, the Chair’s letter should describe the nature of the candidate’s appointment across the two departments.

Procedures for Transferring Faculty Across Academic Units

Typically, a faculty member's academic career starts in the academic unit of the discipline that they are trained in. The recommendations of experts in their discipline are also important in tenure and promotion decisions. Nonetheless, it should be recognized that disciplinary boundaries shift over a faculty member's working career and that their training, research and teaching interests may also change.

It's more common today for funding agencies — particularly the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health — to support projects that address issues from multidisciplinary perspectives. The interdisciplinary nature of academic life is both recognized and valued at the University at Albany.

Moreover, the conception that academic pursuits and disciplinary interests are static and unchanging is increasingly being challenged. These changes are reflected in requests from faculty to move from one academic unit to another — sometimes temporarily and other times permanently.


The objective of this policy is to facilitate innovative research and teaching that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries and involves multiple academic units. University policy in this matter seeks to assist the deployment of faculty to strengthen the academic program and respond to changes in disciplinary boundaries and interests of faculty.

Any move of faculty resources across departments must be based on academically sound arguments. At present, decisions to move faculty from one academic unit to another are dealt with on an ad hoc basis, and there is a need to codify and delineate policies and procedures that serve to standardize past practice.


It would normally be expected that faculty must already have a joint appointment or other affiliation with the receiving department prior to initiating a request for change. Joint appointments serve as evidence that a faculty member is engaged in research and/or teaching that is potentially interdisciplinary and involves multiple academic units. Additional evidence can be found in faculty publications that are of interest to scholars from various disciplines, as well as co-authorship involving faculty from different disciplines. It is not uncommon for faculty at the University at Albany to hold these multiple departmental affiliations.

These multiple affiliations often require an allocation of specific teaching obligations to individual units. In some cases, an affiliation may involve adjunct or courtesy status with one or more departments. This is often the case of part-time lecturers. In other cases, a more formal arrangement may exist wherein faculty time is specifically allocated to various units. For example, one such arrangement is for a faculty member to teach 75% of the time in one academic unit and 25% of the time in another unit.

Nonetheless, every faculty member — no matter how many academic units they participate in — designates one particular academic unit as "primary" or "home." The home academic unit is the one that takes the lead and has the responsibility in all personnel actions, such as leave and sabbatical requests, tenure and promotion reviews, and salary (merit) recommendations. The home department is also responsible for providing office space and other general resources to the faculty member.

Moreover, only one department can be designated "home" and, when so designated, serves as the departmental appointment of record, even during periods of financial exigency. It should be pointed out that these policies only affect those faculty members that have an explicit joint appointment (often found in the faculty member's appointment letter, official University title or designated percentage distribution of time serving multiple academic units) and do not affect faculty with adjunct or courtesy status.

The decision to move a faculty member from one academic unit to another must be approved by the University President, based on recommendations from the Provost and Academic Vice President and the dean(s) of the affected unit(s). All affected departments must be consulted and the results of that consultation must be made clear in a recommendation from the respective department chairs. Each case will be judged independently and uniquely, with uppermost consideration given to the academic mission of the institution and the resource implications of any change.


A faculty member interested in moving their primary appointment must first petition the chairs of the affected departments and the dean(s) of the school(s) or college(s). The petition must describe the intended change with written justification for the move.

The chair of the proposed incoming department shall consult with the faculty and recommend to the Dean whether the request should be accepted or rejected. The chair of the outgoing department must consult the faculty and submit a recommendation to the dean(s).

In the event that the faculty member making the request also holds the administrative position of chair, the dean(s) of the college(s) or school(s) must designate a member of the appropriate department to assume the role of departmental representative.

The dean(s) of the college(s) or school(s) involved must review the recommendations and provide input in the matter in correspondence to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs must then make a recommendation to the University President for a final determination in the matter.