Cherry Blossoms

A guide to the documentation

Checklist for promotion (& tenure) recommendation.

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This checklist is required for all promotions, regardless of title.  It summarizes the information required in a promotion recommendation and must be included as the first page of the documentation. Mark with a each item being submitted. The Promotion and Tenure Checklist is found on the AHR website

Curriculum vitae.

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The curriculum vitae should contain all of the following items. Additional pages may be added to the curriculum vitae to supply any missing data.

  • Education including institutions, degrees granted, dates
  • Ph.D. dissertation title
  • Employment including institutions (including UW), positions, dates
  • UW committees and other duties
  • Research projects, grants, contracts including funding agencies, dates, amounts of funding, individual's role (PI, co-PI, other)
  • Professional offices and awards, including dates
  • Talks, papers, or presentations including dates, type of presentation (invited, contributed, and/or refereed)
  • The amount or percentage of shared grants that went to the faculty member under review (or unit)


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The candidate's complete bibliography should be submitted, with entries listed in full bibliographic format, including range of page numbers or number of pages. In addition, the following items should be clearly indicated or distinguished:

  • The type of each publication (article, book, review, monograph, technical report, etc.)
  • The principal author(s) on multi-authored publications
  • Those publications which have had outside peer review before acceptance for publication
  • A labeling of nonpublished material as "in press" or "accepted for publication," "submitted," or "work in progress" (note that "forthcoming" is ambiguous and should not be used)
  • Details about degree of contributions to co-authored papers or co-edited books

The performing and visual arts represent a special category with respect to a bibliography, where performance, recording, and exhibition largely take the place of publications and oral presentations. In these fields, files should clearly separate solo from group efforts and efforts with national or international impact from those with regional impact.

Candidate's personal statement.

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The personal statement provides the candidate with an opportunity to describe his or her scholarly or creative work, teaching experience, and service contributions, including an overview of what has been done, as well as a look ahead. The intended audience is the Dean and the College Council, who find the statement very helpful in their review of a promotion/tenure file.

Normally, a candidate for promotion to Associate Professor would emphasize work done since appointment as Assistant Professor, and a candidate for promotion to Professor would emphasize work done since appointment to Associate Professor. The statement should not be longer than three to five pages.

In the discussion of research or scholarship, a short essay is more effective than an annotated list of works. The candidate's research contributions might be described in the broader context of the discipline as a whole, explaining how his or her research agenda fits into the discipline and then how particular scholarly or creative contributions fit into this agenda. The essay should also include the candidate's statement of future directions and how these connect to previous and current work, in order to give a sense of the trajectory of the work.

The personal statement should also contain a discussion of the candidate's teaching experience including an overview of the candidate's goals, a review of successes and failures, reflections on these experiences, and thoughts of what lies ahead. Lastly, the candidate should describe any significant service contributions.

Letter of recommendation from chair.

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The letter should report the results of the departmental faculty vote, stating:

  • the number of faculty eligible to vote (including the chair if eligible)
  • the number of affirmative votes
  • the number of negative votes
  • the number of abstentions
  • the number of faculty absent or not participating
  • whether the chair's vote is included in the count of votes

The chair should summarize, insofar as possible, the basis or reasoning for the affirmative and the negative faculty votes.

The letter should contain a statement in which the chair makes his/her own independent recommendation.

A description and critical evaluation should be given of the candidate's teaching, research, and service. This statement should address not only the significance and quality of the candidate's scholarship and teaching but also the importance of the role which he/she is expected to play in the department and the College in the future. If published work is derived from the candidate's dissertation, the chair should explain clearly how it differs from the dissertation.

The chair should explain specific items in the record that might be unfamiliar to persons outside the field. Examples include: (1) significance and availability of outlets for publication; (2) significance of specific journals, presses, edited books, etc.; (3) significance and availability of specific galleries, exhibition venues, theatres, concert halls, etc.; (4) significance of invited and contributed oral presentations; (5) significance of the order of authors listed on multi-authored publications.

If a previous recommendation for promotion to the same rank has been postponed or denied, a summary of the changes in the candidate's qualifications since that time should be made.

Third year review documentation

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. A copy of the committee report and/or chair letter for Assistant Professors that was produced at the time of their reappointment for a second three year term.

Departmental review committee report.

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A report from a departmental review committee, separate from the chair's evaluation, is desirable as part of the documentation.

Summaries of departmental deliberations and candidate's responses.

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If a departmental committee is established to review a candidate's qualifications for promotion/tenure, the committee must produce a written report. The department chair must provide the candidate with a written summary of the committee's report and recommendation (names should be omitted, and the Dean's Office strongly recommends that vote counts be omitted). The candidate may respond in writing within seven days. The candidate's response, if any, and the committee report are forwarded together to the voting faculty, who meet to discuss and vote on the recommendation. Then the chair again must provide the candidate with a written summary of the voting faculty's deliberations, and the candidate may respond in writing within seven days. If the candidate does not wish to provide a written response to the first or second summary, he/she must provide, at minimum, an acknowledgment that each summary was received.

Include the following items in the documentation sent to the Dean’s Office:

  • The committee report summary that was provided to the candidate (if a review committee report was produced)
  • The candidate's response to the report summary (an acknowledgment is required even if no response is made)
  • The summary of departmental deliberations that was provided to the candidate (required)
  • The candidate's response to the deliberations summary (an acknowledgment is required even if no response is made).

The summaries and responses are not required for promotions in the affiliate and clinical ranks.

Joint appointment letter.

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When a candidate holds a joint appointment in another unit (either within the College or in another college or school of the University), the vote of that faculty and the chair's recommendation must be reported in a separate letter by the chair of the secondary unit. The primary department initiating the recommendation for promotion/tenure is responsible for assuring that this letter is included. If other pertinent materials are available from the secondary unit (such as a departmental review committee report, teaching evaluations, etc.), they should also be included.

When a candidate holds an adjunct appointment in another academic unit, a statement should be solicited from the chair which comments on the candidate's role in that unit. No faculty vote is required from an adjunct department.

Documentation of teaching effectiveness.

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For all promotions, the Provost’s Office requires student and peer evaluations from the year leading up to the promotion.  Please use the Course Evaluation Matrix template when submitting the promotion file for Dean's Office review.  Both student and collegial evaluations of teaching effectiveness are required in a promotion/tenure recommendation (except for research faculty).  This documentation should include five items:

  • A list of all courses taught at the UW, with dates 
  • A list of graduate students supervised, with student name, thesis topic, degree, dates, and the faculty member's committee role (chair or member)
  • Student assessment of teaching (use Course Evaluation Matrix)
  • Collegial assessment of teaching
  • An analysis of the complete teaching record by the chair and, if possible, a departmental committee

The Course Evaluation Matrix should list courses taught, median student ratings for those that were evaluated, and a notation for any courses that were collegially evaluated. A chair's or committee's statement of departmental standards for teaching performance is helpful in evaluating the data for an individual, as is a comparison with other instructors of the same rank in the department.

Student assessment of teaching should be based on student opinion surveys from both undergraduate and graduate courses, using Educational Assessment Center survey forms or departmental student opinion forms. (Copies of the student assessment forms are acceptable, so that originals may be retained in the departmental files.) The title of the course should be written on each evaluation form. All available assessment forms—but not individual student comments—should be included in the documentation. Several satisfactory student evaluations since the last promotion are expected as a minimum qualification for further promotion. (Letters or comments from individual students are not considered reliable as an index of teaching effectiveness and should not be included in the documentation. Similarly, written comments from mid-term evaluations by CIDR should not be included, since their purpose is assistance rather than evaluation.)

Collegial assessment may be based on classroom teaching (following attendance at classes by other faculty members), teaching materials prepared by the candidate, supervision of independent study or thesis research, curriculum planning, or accomplishments and placements of students. See the guidelines on Collegial evaluation of teaching.

The candidate's entire teaching record should be appraised in a thoughtful report from the chair and, if possible, from a faculty committee. It is not sufficient simply to note that the faculty member is a "good" teacher or to provide materials or data without analysis.

If the candidate has been teaching at the UW for only one or two years but has evidence of teaching effectiveness from another institution, the unit should provide those assessments as well as the UW teaching assessments.

Teaching documentation is not required for promotion within the research ranks.

External evaluations.

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Evaluations of the candidate's scholarly or creative work by external experts in the discipline must be included in the documentation; these should be letters from individuals that are solicited by the unit chair. A recommendation for promotion and/or tenure must include evaluations of the candidate's scholarly or creative work by external experts in the field. These should be in the form of letters solicited by the unit chair.

The external evaluations should be available at the faculty meetings when the candidate's record is discussed and the final vote on the promotion/tenure recommendation is taken. It is not necessary to obtain external evaluations for preliminary stages (such as the annual consideration for possible promotion of faculty members below the rank of Professor).

Three to five external letters are required, with a minimum of four letters strongly recommended. All letters received by the unit must be forwarded with the recommendation.  (In soliciting external evaluations for promotion from associate to full, at least three of the letters should be from reviewers who did not write for the promotion from assistant professor to associate professor (at UW).)

The evaluators should be chosen by the departmental chair and faculty. All evaluators should be recognized contributors to their field, as indicated, for example, by tenure at a major research university, frequent citation of their work, or major awards. When selecting evaluators, their relationship to the candidate must be considered. At least three of the reviews should be from persons who have no substantial personal connection or professional collaboration with the candidate. The Divisional Deans are available for advice on the choice of reviewers, and they may in exceptional cases waive the three-letter minimum for non-collaborating reviewers. The unit may ask the Divisional Dean to review the evaluation letters to be sure that appropriate and adequate evaluations have been made.

If a tenure recommendation has been postponed for one year, new external review letters should be obtained for the following year's consideration. If desired, the original review letters (labeled as such) may also be included in the documentation materials.

The solicitation letter should be signed by and should request return to the unit chair. It should state that the unit is considering the candidate for possible promotion and request the following information: (1) how and for how long the referee has known the candidate; (2) the significance, independence, influence, and promise of the candidate's scholarship or creative work (particularly that done since coming to the University of Washington) and the degree of national/international recognition; and (3) a comparison of the candidate's accomplishments with leading scholars or artists at a similar career stage in the same or related fields. Each evaluator should be provided with the same representative set of the candidate's scholarly or artistic materials.

The solicitation letter should not request support for a recommendation of promotion; the evaluator should not be asked to assess whether the candidate should be promoted (an evaluator may, of course, volunteer such an opinion). The outside evaluation usually focuses on scholarly or artistic achievements, and promotion depends on more than these factors.

When the promotion recommendation is submitted to the Dean's Office, include one sample of the solicitation letter and a statement describing the qualifications of the evaluators, their relationship (if any) with the candidate, the manner in which they were chosen, and the reasons for the choices.

Published reviews of the candidate's work may be submitted as additional evidence of external evaluation (but external letters, as described above, are still required). The reviews should be from scholars, artists, or critics of recognized authority in the field. Reviews carrying the greatest weight are those published in leading scholarly journals or critical organs. They should provide evidence about the significance, independence, influence, and promise of the candidate's scholarship or artistic work; the candidate's degree of national or international recognition; and the candidate's accomplishments compared to leading scholars or artists in the field who are at a similar stage of their careers.

Copies of candidate's publications or evidence of achievement.

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One copy each of the candidate's publications or comparable evidence of professional growth and achievement should be submitted. All publications and similar creative work will be returned to the department when the College Council meetings are finished.

Additional supporting data.

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Supporting data may be submitted if they are substantive materials which will be helpful in evaluating a candidate's record. Especially helpful are materials providing clear evidence of national or international reputation. Examples of additional data are election to office or committee status in national or international scholarly or professional organizations; appointments to consultantships or editorships; invitations to review or evaluate the work of others; selection for grants, fellowships, or awards; achievements of former students; and significant service to the state or to the nation.