Cal U Faculty Promotion
Frequently Asked Questions
Developed August 2011
The following information serves to remind Department Chairs, Department Promotion Committees, and Faculty of their responsibilities in the faculty promotions process at California University of Pennsylvania. This material is intended to summarize the responsibilities in the CBA (Article 16) as well as the CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA’S STATEMENT ON PROMOTION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES. Those two documents take precedence over any other statements including these FAQs. If there is anything in these FAQs that is unclear, please contact the Chair of the University Wide Promotion Committee as soon as possible.
What are the responsibilities of the Department Chair in the promotion process?
1) If the Department Chair is applying for promotion, he/she may not serve as chair for other members of the department who are applying for promotion and an appropriate proxy chair should be selected. (See FAQ #2 for additional clarification)
2) The Acting Chair serving as proxy for for promotion purposes will hold the election for one DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE of at least three faculty, and the names of the elected faculty to the Administration for approval.
- The Department Chair, or Acting Chair who is serving as proxy for promotion purposes, convenes the first meeting of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE and conducts the election of a DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE Chairperson.
- The Department Chair is not a member of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE.
- The Department Chair, regardless of whether or not there is an Acting Department Chair serving as proxy, will complete APPENDIX B2 for all faculty applying for promotion to attest to the faculty meeting the seven requirements of professional responsibilities, and return the completed form by November 1 to the candidate for inclusion in the promotion dossier. NOTE: failure to meet any of the seven requirements of professional responsibilities shall preclude a candidate’s promotion.
- The Department Chair, or Acting Chair serving as proxy for promotion purposes, will complete APPENDIX B1 attesting the receipt of the faculty member’s application for promotion along with supporting material and place it in the front pocket of Binder #1 of the faculty’s promotion dossier.
- Upon receipt of the application and the dossier, the Department Chairperson, or Acting Chair as proxy for promotion purposes, is required to immediately notify the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE and forward the names of the promotion candidates to the Dean or other appropriate management personnel.
- The Department Chair, or Acting Chair as proxy for promotion purposes, must independently evaluate the applicant’s dossier and write a recommendation. This promotion recommendation letter should be detailed and cite specific evidence used to make the recommendation. The recommendation must be submitted to the chair of the UWPC by February 1st *.
1) *Faculty applying for promotion has the right to know the contents of the Department Chair’s recommendation letter and meet with the Department Chair before the recommendation letter is submitted to the UWPC by the February 1st deadline. Therefore, Department Chairs are encourage to review the dossier and write the recommendation letter well before the due date to give the faculty applicant ample time to review and respond to the Department Chair.
- On or before February 1st, the Department Chair, or Acting Chair as proxy for promotion purposes, will forward his/her recommendation for promotion to the University Wide Promotion Committee Chairperson. NOTE: No copy of this recommendation should be placed in the candidate’s dossier. The UWPC Chair will place the recommendation in the dossier after it is received in the Manderino Library Documents Room.
- The Department Chairperson is responsible for ensuring that the candidate’s application and dossier are in the designated area in the library by February 1st.
Source: Refer to Section III.B. of the Promotion Policies and Procedures for a more comprehensive list of the chair’s responsibilities.
What happens if any or all of the department’s faculty and the chairperson intend to apply for promotion the same year?
- According to CBA 16 B 5 (p. 38), the Department Chair applying for promotion may not serve as chair for other members of the department applying for promotion and an appropriate proxy chair should be selected.
1) The department shall select another faculty member in the department acceptable to the department and management to substitute for the department chairperson.
2) If all members of the department are applying for promotion, the department will select another faculty member outside of the department who is acceptable to the department and management to substitute for the department chairperson.
- No member of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE can also be applying for promotion.
3) If less than three regular full time faculty are available from one department to serve on the Department Promotion Committee, the procedure identified in Article 12, Section C.1.a. of the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be utilized to form a DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE.
- If a faculty member from the department is selected to serve as proxy for the Department Chair for purposes of promotion, this faculty member cannot also serve as a member of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE.
Can there be more than one DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE in a department?
- If there is a sufficient number of regular full time faculty to serve, there should be one DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE to review all of the promotion candidates in one academic year.
- If the department has an insufficient number of regular full time faculty to serve on the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE the procedure identified in Article 12, Section C.1.a. of the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be utilized to form a DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE.
- The following excerpt from Article 12, Section C.1.a. applies:
“1. a. Each department shall select a committee to assist in the evaluation function. The department evaluation committee shall consist of at least three (3) members, and shall exclude the department chairperson. The manner of selection shall be determined by the FACULTY MEMBERS in each department. If necessary, or desirable, as determined by the department or President, individuals from the same or within related disciplines, mutually acceptable to the FACULTY MEMBER, department and University, who are from outside the department or the UNIVERSITIES may be used in any or all parts of the evaluation process. Where a mutually acceptable individual cannot be agreed upon, the President shall provide the FACULTY MEMBER and the department with a list containing the names of at least three (3) individuals who have the qualifications for the position held by the FACULTY MEMBER being evaluated. The FACULTY MEMBER shall have three (3) working days in which to select one individual from this list. If the FACULTY MEMBER fails to make a selection within the three (3) day period, the President, in consultation with the department chairperson and the department, shall designate one individual from this list to serve on the department evaluation committee.
What are the responsibilities of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE in the promotion process?
- By October 1st the Department Chair should have convened a department meeting and by democratic elections determined a DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE. This committee must have at least 3 people, and in the case of small departments or where many in the department are applying for promotion regular faculty from other departments may be used to form a department committee, [and] the procedure identified in Article 12, Section C.1.a.. of the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be utilized to form a department committee.
- The Department Chair also conducts the election of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE Chair.
- The DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE Chair will then determine a timeline for each member of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE to review the faculty dossiers according to the agreed upon criteria of the Promotion Policies and Procedures, found in APPENDIX E for Teaching Faculty and APPENDIX F for Non-Teaching Faculty, and provide feedback to the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE as a whole.
- By November 1st, the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE Chairperson will sign APPENDIX B1 attesting the receipt of the faculty member’s application for promotion along with supporting material and place it in the front pocket of Binder #1 of the faculty’s promotion dossier.
- One member of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE will draft a recommendation letter aggregating the reviews of an applicant’s dossier. This promotion recommendation letter must detailed citing specific evidence in the dossier.
- NOTE: The applicant has the right to be made aware of the contents of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE promotion recommendation letter and be given an opportunity to meet with the chair of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE before the submission of the recommendation to the UWPC chair on February 1st. Therefore, the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE is encouraged to review the dossier and write the recommendation letter well before the due date to give the faculty applicant ample time to review and respond to the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE.
- By February 1st, the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE Chair will forward the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE’s recommendation for promotion, signed by all members of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE, to the University Wide Promotion Committee Chairperson. NOTE: No copy of this recommendation should be placed in the candidate’s dossier. The UWPC Chair will place the recommendation in the dossier after it is received in the Manderino Library Documents Room.
Source: Refer to Section III.B. of the Promotion Policies and Procedures for a more comprehensive list of the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE
What are the responsibilities of individual faculty member in the promotion process?
- The faculty member applying for promotion must make sure promotion procedure is followed properly (Promotion Policies and Procedures III.A.1), and if the faculty member believes that the Department Chair and DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE is not fully aware of the proper procedure in handling the promotion, the faculty member needs to make them aware of those responsibilities.
- If the faculty member believes that procedural errors have been made in a discriminatory fashion, the faculty member should seek the appropriate bodies on campus for dealing with such issues.
- If the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE or the Department Chairperson fails to submit a recommendation to the University-Wide Promotion Committee by February 1st , the date set forth in the CBA, the candidate may submit the application and supporting material directly to the University-Wide Promotion Committee by February15th .
Does time worked as a full-time temporary faculty member count towards promotion?
- Yes, you need to have completed teaching full time a full 5-years before you are eligible to apply for promotion.
When and where do I send my application for promotion?
- The promotion application and the dossier must be submitted to the Department Chairperson no later than November 1st. The application and dossier must be accessible to the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE at that time and the faculty member applying for promotion cannot have access to the dossier after November 1st .
- A copy of the application must be sent to the Chair of the UWPC on or before November 1st.
- A candidate who fails to submit the application and the dossier to the department chairperson by November 1st will not be considered for promotion by the UWPC.
Should I schedule an interview with the University Wide Promotion Committee?
- All candidates for promotion have a right to appear before the University-Wide Promotion Committee before the UWPC makes its recommendations.
- In making a decision about whether or not to appear before the UWPC, candidates should keep in mind:
1) Appearing before the UWPC must have a purpose beyond restating that which is in the candidate’s dossier because each member of the UWPC thoroughly reviews the candidate’s dossier and assesses it using the agreed upon criteria (Appendix E or F of the Statement on Promotion Policies & Procedures).
2) Some reasons for appearing before the University Wide Promotions Committee are to refute or explain statements made in the Department Chair’s, DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE’S, and Dean’s letters of recommendation.
3) No new information related to teaching, scholarship, and service beyond that which was provided in the dossier may be presented at the interview unless this information is in response to refuting content in the Department Chair’s, DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE’s, and Dean’s recommendations.
4) Candidates may not restate that which is already in the dossier nor present handouts or other documents beyond that which is in the dossier, with the exception of refuting or explaining statements made in the Department Chair’s, DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE’S, and Dean’s letters of recommendation.
5) Due to the number of applicants for promotion climbing steadily the past few years, the candidate has five (5) minutes to state his/her case to the UWPC and the UWPC members have five minutes to seek clarification of the candidate’s statement.
What are some important tips when building my dossier?
- Your dossier is a vital part of the promotion process. Considerable time and effort is involved in building a good dossier. Your dossier should be an accurate reflection of your recent work and accomplishments. It is important to provide documentation that supports your promotion but care should be taken not to overwhelm the reviewer with too much unnecessary information. Organization and clarity are key factors.
- Three 3-ring binders no more than 4 inches wide (one for each area of Teaching, Scholarship & Service, refer to Appendix E or F of the STATEMENT ONPROMOTION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES)
- Use good quality binders that have sturdy metal rings
- Put a title on the front AND spine of each binder that identifies the contents of the binder and has your name clearly visible
- A separate fourth (4th) binder may be used for your last 3 years of student evaluations. This must also be labeled and have your name both on the front AND spine.
- Use dividers with a tab to separate each binder section that relates to the numbered items in the
- Include a summary page listing the contents at the beginning of each section
- Do not place each item in the dossier in a plastic sleeve
- Do not overfill binders
- Do not duplicate documentation that is relevant for more than one section. Refer to the location of the document in a different section or binder.
Part I: Effective Teaching and Fulfillment of Professional Responsibilities
- Student evaluations should be recent (since the last promotion or hiring date, whichever is most recent).
- May provide a brief summary of the evaluations at the beginning of each set of evaluations to help the reviewers to interpret the student evaluations.
- Do not provide syllabi for every course you teach, just a representative sample.
- Provide a representative sample of tests and other methods of assessment from various courses.
- Appendix B2 must be present in the dossier and signed by the Department Chairperson. All Yes responses are required. Appendix B2 can be used as supportive documentation for items 6-12 in this section. You may also provide other supportive documentation.
Part II: Continuing Scholarly Growth
- Graduate work beyond minimum qualifications includes any post-doctoral work or other graduate work completed beyond that required at the time of hire.
- Provide a summary of workshops, publications, and papers delivered, not just a collection of brochures and pamphlets. Photocopy relevant portions of brochures and pamphlets, vs. inserting the entire document in the binder. Include an explanation of the professional significance of attending or presenting at the conferences or publishing in a particular journal. If in a music or art discipline, explain the professional significance of participating in a performance, show, etc.
- Provide testimony of experts within or outside of the university who interact with you at a level related to your discipline (not just an individual who has served on a committee with you).
- Consultantships should be related to your discipline and should reflect some level of professional importance.
- Professional organizations related to your disciplines should be included. Indicate what, if any, leadership role that you hold in the organizations.
- Development of a course or significant revision of an existing course should be included.
Part III: Contributions to the University and/or Community
- Provide documentation of participation in university committees. Leadership positions on committees should be highlighted. Do not include minutes of meetings. A supporting letter or email from the chair of the committee could be included.
- Special individual assignments can include significant undertakings that extend beyond your daily responsibilities (may involve accreditation, development of a new degree or program, redesigning a lab, etc.).
- Significant contributions to student organizations includes faculty advisor to a group, chaperoning students at professional conferences, etc.
- Proposals that benefit the university can be varied depending upon your discipline but should have a fairly high level of significance or benefit to the university.
What are my rights if I receive a negative or incomprehensive recommendation for promotion?
- If you receive a negative recommendation for promotion by your Department Chair or your DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE you should have received the recommendation letter well before February 1st and had ample opportunity to prepare a response to and meet with your Department Chair and DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE to discuss the recommendation letter before it was submitted to the UWPC on February 1st.
- If you believe specific details in the Department Chair and DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE recommendation letters are in error and meeting with the Department Chair and the DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE does not convince them to make changes, your next recourse is to challenge these points during your interview with the University Wide Promotion Committee. Action or inaction made by your Department Chair and DEPARTMENT PROMOTION COMMITTEE with regard to promotions shall not be grievable, because they are members of the bargaining units (CBA Section 16.B.12).
- If you receive a negative promotion recommendation by a Dean or by the Provost (if the Provost is not acting as President’s designee), you may write a rebuttal letter and submit the rebuttal letter to the chair of the UWPC and this will be included in your dossier. In the case of the Dean’s promotion recommendation letter, the deadline for your rebuttal letter is February 15th, and for the Provost’s promotion recommendation (if the Provost is not acting as President’s designee), the deadline for your rebuttal letter is March 1st. You may also to challenge these points during your interview with the University Wide Promotion Committee.
- If you are not approved for promotion by the Provost who is acting as President’s designee or by the President, and you disagree with this decision, you are encouraged to speak with the Provost and the President to learn why the decision was made.
- If you believe that a procedural error was made, an individual FACULTY MEMBER shall have the right to grieve, in accordance with Article 5, GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE AND ARBITRATION, promotion decisions only as to himself/herself and then only with respect to failure by management to observe the procedures set forth above [in Article 16] or insofar as other provisions of this Agreement [APSCUF Collective Bargaining Agreement] may have been violated. (CBA Section 16.B.12).
Should I receive a letter of recommendation from the Provost?
The Provost only makes a recommendation if he/she is not chosen as the Presidents designee. If that is the case then the Provost’s recommendation must be made by February21st.
If, however, the Provost is acting as the designee of the University President, then no recommendation letter from the Provost is required.
The UWPC will try to make sure this information gets to applicants before the relevant deadline.
What should I do if my question isn't answered by the FAQ?
The goal of this FAQ is to answer some common questions and points of confusion about the promotion process. However, if you don’t see your question here, please submit it to the chair of the UWPC since many others may have a similar question, thus improving the FAQ on this website.