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College of Science Promotion and Tenure Committee Elections
Accepted Fall 2015; Updated Spring 2018
The College of Science Promotion and Tenure Committee shall be comprised of nine tenured Full Professors and two faculty at the Senior Instructor II rank; all must have a majority of their appointment in the College of Science. The members of the Committee are to be elected by faculty members with the majority of their appointment in the College of Science, and according to the rules in the faculty handbook. Retired faculty members are not eligible to serve; also not eligible to serve are Department Chairs/Heads except as noted below.
The nine professors will include one member from each department plus two members-at-large, and they will be elected for three year terms except as noted below. The two Senior Instructor II members will both be at-large and will be elected to a two year term (except to fill a vacancy); they will participate only in discussions and votes on cases involving promotion from Instructor to Senior Instructor I or from Senior Instructor I to Senior Instructor II . Three members at the Professor rank and one at the Senior Instructor II rank will be elected every year unless additional members are needed to fill a vacancy, such as may occur due to a resignation or a sabbatical or other leave.
Any vacant positions will also be filled during an election and the length of service for members elected to such positions will be derived from the position being filled. If departmental composition, sabbaticals or other exceptional circumstances occur that would result in a department not having a Full Professor serve on the Committee, the Department Chair/Head may be appointed for a one-year term.
Elections will be held every April for the committee service year starting September of the same year through August of the following year. The ballot will contain the names of all faculty members in the college eligible for election at the time of the vote. Excluded will be current committee members whose term is not yet expiring, current committee members who are completing a full regular three year term of service, as well as faculty members expected to be on sabbatical or other leave. Faculty members are expected to serve if elected. In unusual circumstances, a request not to serve after being elected may be submitted to the Dean of the College of Science, who will decide on the request. In the case positions in the committee are vacated before December of the current term, the next person on the April ballot list with the most votes counting for this vacant position will be elected to the committee. Vacancies created December through March result in a smaller committee for that period.
Every faculty member will cast five votes for Professor rank faculty and two votes for Senior Instructor II rank faculty. Votes will be counted by the Associate Deans. For the Professor rank positions, if a department is not represented in the set of faculty members continuing on the committee, the person with the highest number of votes in that department will be elected. For the at-large positions, the two members at the same rank must not be from the same department as each other. Depending on the number of vacancies to be filled, the one or two faculty in each rank elected will be those with the largest number of votes that also meet the condition that the at-large members at the same rank not be from the same department. In case of a tie, a decision will be made by the Associate Deans using a random draw. The chair of the College of Science Promotion and Tenure Committee will be the person on the committee with the largest number of years of service on the committee.
The College of Science Promotion and Tenure Committee will hold its deliberations from mid-December to mid-February, and committee members are expected to be available during that time period. The Committee may also be called on to meet and deliberate at other times to consider College Promotion & Tenure policies and norms, and any other matters as may be raised by either the Dean or by faculty.
Student Letter Guidelines
For candidates with ‘medium’ teaching assignments, ≥ 6 letters in total is required; for candidates with ‘large’ teaching assignments, ≥ 8 letters is required (all instructors need at least 8 student letters).
Letters from the students should discuss mentoring and advising. Student letter writers must have had the candidate in class or as an advisor. The student evaluators will be chosen by the Department P&T Committee – should be a combination of students the candidate suggested (not more than half), as well as other students that have been in class with (or been advised by) the faculty member. An attempt should be made to select students who have demonstrated evidence of maturity, unit identity or involvement, or student leadership. View a sample letter inviting students to evaluate faculty.
The student committee should be instructed to include in its summary the perspectives represented by all the student referee letters (e.g. not to integrate opinions into an intermediate position). All members of the committee sign the summary letter and present it to the unit P&T committee and unit supervisor. The summary letter and the names of the individuals on the student committee will be known to the candidate and P&T committee even if the candidate has signed a waiver of access. View sample letter inviting students to participate on the committee.
In the event that more than 12 letters are received, all letters are to be provided to the student committee. Consistent with university guidelines if there are only a few more. The Dept P&T Chair should give consistent guidance to each student committee reminding them to not give disproportionate weight to any one letter positive or negative. Copies of the letters are to be kept on file, but when sending to the Dept P&T Chair, names should be removed by Department P&T Admin support.
New Rules Spring 2018
For the promotion of instructors, the minimum number of student letters is 8. This is independent of the FTE of the instructor. The student committee letter (but not any individual student letter) has to be in the dossier before the candidate signs off on completeness and departmental promotion and tenure committee discussion can take place. Hence student letters are due a few weeks before that. A typical date could be October 10 if dossiers are due in the college early December.
External letters have to be from qualified reviewers. For instructor promotions, this requires that the letter writers should have had substantial (several courses per year) teaching experience in the recent past. If a reviewer does not have such qualifications, the dossier should contain a statement discussing the special qualities of this reviewer that justify inclusion. Letters from administrative personnel, like e-campus leaders, can be solicited, but should be included in the section with administrative letters.
The associate deans will check all dossiers for compliance within a few days after submission.