Promotion Procedures and Forms List

  1. Reference Documents
    a.  General Personnel Policy, Board of Regents, State University and Community College System of Tennessee [TBR Policy Manual, 5:01:00:00]. http://www.tbr.state.tn.us/policies/default.aspx?id=1402
    b.  Guidelines for Faculty Promotion Recommendations [TBR Policy Manual, 5:02:02:20] http://www.tbr.state.tn.us/policies/default.aspx?id=1474
    c.  Policy on Faculty Promotion, Tennessee Technological University
    d.  Employment Procedures, Policies and Procedures Manual, Tennessee Technological University http://www.tntech.edu/adminpandp/employment.html
  2. Purpose
    The promotion forms are intended to facilitate and systematize promotion recommendation procedures on a university-wide basis. Although the departmental/unit promotion committee chairperson is the principal administrative agent who uses most of these forms, uniform procedural integrity cannot be achieved unless careful adherence to their contextual provisions is respected at all administrative levels. If non-substantive errors are made in the record-keeping portion of the procedures (such as failure to initial action taken, misreporting of the number of peers, etc.) or if further clarification is required, these errors may be corrected or clarifications made at any level of review without impacting the timeline for review.
  3. Guidelines for the Use of the Promotion Procedures and Forms on the Departmental/Unit Level
    These procedures are designed for normal use in an academic department/unit in the case of a candidate for promotion who is not the departmental/unit chairperson; however, if a departmental/unit chairperson is a candidate for promotion, he/she shall be omitted from the administrative chain, and the dean of the college shall perform all recommendation duties normally performed by the departmental/unit chairperson. In the latter case, all form letters would be sent, not from the departmental/unit office, but from the dean's office and in the name of the chairperson of the departmental/unit promotion committee. Likewise, in an academic division of the University designated by some name other than "department" or "unit," the director of that division shall fulfill the role of the departmental/unit chairperson as elaborated in these forms (and if the director is a candidate, then the role is assumed by the person to whom he/she reports at the next higher administrative level). The administrative head of the library shall likewise perform all responsibilities assigned to a departmental/unit chairperson and shall then submit the candidate's dossier directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

    Under these procedures, a consideration for promotion should progress as follows:
    a.  Beginning with the appointment of the faculty member to a full-time position, the departmental/unit chairperson shall generate or cause to be    generated copies of the following documents: Agreement on Responsibilities (Form P4-10) for each calendar year, Faculty Annual Reports (Form P5-05) for each year, student evaluations (using an approved University instrument) for at least one term each year (in all classes) for each of the previous four years or from initial appointment, whichever is the shorter period, and grade distributions (showing the course average against the students' average) for the terms in which the student evaluations submitted were conducted.
    b.  Early in the fall term, the departmental/unit chairperson shall determine whether any member of the department/unit will complete the requisite number of years of appropriate professional experience by the end of that academic year and wishes to be considered for promotion, utilizing Form P6-05. If so, the departmental/unit chairperson shall complete Form P2-05 and shall call a meeting no later than September 15 of all departmental/unit peers (as defined in the Policy on Academic Tenure, Section II. H.) who hold rank equal to or higher than that for which the faculty member is a candidate. The departmental/unit chairperson shall compile a list of departmental/unit peers qualified to vote and make this list available where appropriate. This body of departmental/unit peers shall vote to determine whether it wishes to act as a committee of the whole or to establish a departmental/unit promotion committee to conduct the promotion procedures. Whether consisting of all qualified departmental/unit peers, of a smaller number of qualified departmental/unit peers acting as a separate committee, or of qualified departmental/unit peers and others as provided in paragraph c. below, the promotion committee shall consist of no fewer than five persons, except in departments/units where the total number of full-time faculty members is five or fewer, or where there are no departmental/unit peers who hold rank equal to or higher than that for which the faculty member is a candidate, in which case the committee may consist of three persons.
    c.  In the event that there be fewer than five individuals in the department/unit who meet the definition of departmental/unit peers who hold rank equal to or higher than that for which the faculty member is a candidate, the departmental/unit promotion committee must be expanded to include either individuals outside the department/unit who do meet the above criteria, or members of the department/unit who do not meet all those criteria, and who shall be considered peers for all purposes of this process. Members of the department/unit who do not meet the above criteria should normally be selected before individuals outside the department/unit. The selection of these additional members of the promotion committee shall be done by those members of the department/unit who do meet all stated criteria, in consultation with the departmental/ unit chairperson, at the meeting stipulated in paragraph b. above. In the event that there be no departmental/unit peers who hold rank equal to or higher than that for which the faculty member is a candidate, the departmental/unit chairperson, in consultation with the dean of the college, the candidate, and the entire departmental/unit faculty, shall select a promotion committee of no fewer than three appropriate members of the University faculty, including at least one-third of its members from the candidate's department/unit and at least one-third of its members from the University faculty who hold rank equal to or higher than that for which the faculty member is a candidate.
    d.  Even when there are five or more departmental/unit peers who meet all the required criteria for membership on the promotion committee, it may be desirable to incorporate into that committee either non-departmental/unit members or members of the department/unit who do not meet all required criteria. It may also be desirable to incorporate (using some objective criterion) into the plenum of peers voting at the meeting discussed in paragraph j. below, members of the department/unit who do not meet all required criteria. This flexibility shall be left to the professional judgment of those members of the department/unit who do meet all required criteria, acting in consultation with the departmental/unit chairperson. This decision shall be made at the meeting stipulated in paragraph b. above.
    e.  Once constituted, the promotion committee shall elect its own chairperson who shall not be the departmental/unit chairperson.
    f.  The departmental/unit chairperson shall not vote with the departmental/unit peers and shall not be counted in determining the plenum on which a majority is to be determined, but may submit material to the faculty member's promotion dossier in response to Form P8-05, and may participate in the meeting at which the recommendation of the peers is determined, as provided in paragraph j. below.
    g.  After the departmental/unit promotion committee has been established and its chairperson selected, responsibility for directing the process transfers to the chairperson of the departmental/unit promotion committee. This committee is an agent of the departmental/unit peers, gathering and summarizing information.
    h.  The chairperson of the departmental/unit promotion committee shall ensure that the candidate's promotion dossier is properly assembled and shall send the letters listed on Forms P7-05 through P13-05, as appropriate, enclosing copies of Forms P4-10 and P14-05, and ensure that responses to these letters are included in the dossier. (Forms P7-05, P8-05, P9-05, P10-05, P11-05, P12-05, and P13-05 may be sent via electronic mail; however, if electronic mail is used, recipients must be advised that their responses cannot be received by electronic mail but must be supplied on paper with original signature.) When all appropriate materials have been gathered into the dossier, the chairperson of the departmental/unit promotion committee, in consultation with the members of the committee, shall prepare a report synthesizing the materials in the dossier using the format supplied in Form P14-05. The consultation with the members of the committee may take place informally; a meeting is not required.
    i.  No evaluation and/or recommendation shall be submitted by peers (either within or without one's department/unit) or administrators who are members of the candidate's immediate family. ("Members of the family" is here defined as spouse, parent, grandparent, son, daughter, sibling, parent-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law.)
    j.  The chairperson of the promotion committee will then send the letters inviting the peers (Form P15-05) and the departmental/unit chairperson and other members of the department/unit to review the dossier, and scheduling a meeting for a discussion of the merits of the candidate and a secret ballot which will determine which type of recommendation the peers wish to make concerning the promotion of the candidate. (Form P15-05 and other notifications may be sent by electronic mail.) At the departmental/unit meeting, the qualifications of the candidate should be candidly and professionally discussed. The candidate will not be present at this meeting. The departmental/unit chairperson and all non-peer members of the department/unit may participate in the initial phases of this discussion, sharing with the peers their professional judgment concerning the materials submitted to the dossier. At an agreed upon point, the departmental/unit chairperson and non-peers shall withdraw from the meeting, after which discussion may continue. Then, the chairperson of the departmental/unit promotion committee shall conduct the vote by secret ballot, utilizing the ballot provided at the bottom of Form P16-05. In this vote, peers who, for compelling professional (such as leave-of-absence or attendance at professional meetings) or personal (such as hospitalization, being snow-bound) reasons cannot be physically present at the meeting may submit to the chairperson of the promotion committee an absentee vote. This privilege should not be lightly invoked, and shall not be extended to peers who are able to be physically present, inasmuch as participation in the discussion of the merits of the candidate is a significant element in the decision-making process. Should a peer who cannot be present at the meeting due to compelling professional or personal reasons believe that his/her absence destroys his/her ability to render a professional judgment, he/she may so inform the chairperson of the promotion committee in writing, in which case the absent peer shall not vote and shall not be counted in determining the plenum on which a majority is to be determined. Following the vote, each peer present shall complete an anonymous evaluation, utilizing the top portion of Form P16-05, giving reasons for his/her vote. Voting is not a choice, but an obligation. Failure to vote counts as a negative vote.
    k.  The chairperson of the promotion committee shall then summarize the discussion held at the meeting and compile the results of the evaluations on the upper portions of Form P16-05. Under the direction of the chairperson of the promotion committee, and with no person other than he/she and the typist having access to the forms, all the written comments on the upper portions of Form P16-05 shall be typed on another sheet of paper and included as part of this compilation. The forms containing handwritten comments shall then be detached from the ballots on the lower part of Form P16-05 and shall be destroyed. Copies of this summary and compilation shall be sent to the candidate with Form P17-05, and shall be included with the ballots and the results of the vote in the promotion dossier. The chairperson of the promotion committee shall then initiate Form P18-05 and transmit the entire dossier to the departmental/unit chairperson by November 21.
    l.  When the departmental/unit chairperson receives the promotion dossier with the recommendation (as expressed in their vote) of the departmental/unit peers from the departmental/unit promotion committee, he/she shall record his/her recommendation on Form P18-05. If his/her recommendation agrees with the recommendation as expressed in the vote of the departmental/unit peers, he/she shall transmit the complete promotion dossier to the dean. If his/her recommendation disagrees with the recommendation as expressed in the vote of the departmental/unit peers, he/she shall write a letter to the departmental/unit peers explaining why he/she disagrees with their vote, transmit a copy of the letter to the faculty member being considered for promotion and to the administrator to whom the faculty member immediately reports, if other than the departmental/unit chairperson, add a copy of the letter to the promotion dossier, and transmit the complete promotion dossier to the dean by January 10.
    m.  When the Board has taken action, the departmental/unit chairperson shall return to the candidate the portion of the promotion dossier which can be reassembled, such as publications, computer programs, and slides. The departmental/unit chairperson shall file the remainder of the dossier in the departmental/unit files and retain it for a period of five years from the time of Board action.
  4. List of Forms Used in the Promotion Process
    a.  Form P1-05 word, PROCEDURES FOR PROMOTION RECOMMENDATION: FLOW AND CHECK-OFF LIST: This form serves as a check-off list, assuring uniform procedural integrity at all levels of evaluation. It is initiated by the departmental/unit chairperson. The person responsible for any given step should, in the spaces provided, initial and date that step at its completion.
    b. Form P2-05, PROMOTION CONSIDERATION CHECK-OFF LIST: This form will be completed by the departmental/unit chairperson early in the fall term for all faculty members eligible for consideration. Space is provided at the end for the departmental/ unit chairperson's signature and the date on which the check-off list is completed.
    c.  Form P3-05 pdf_icon_sm, PROMOTION DATA SHEET: This form ensures considerable uniformity in the gathering of information. The uniformity in format enables the departmental/unit peers, the departmental/unit chairperson, the dean of the college and the Vice President for Academic Affairs to focus on specific factors when comparison of two or more faculty members is necessary. It is suggested that the departmental/unit chairperson as a routine matter have such a form completed for everyone in the department/unit who is a potential candidate for promotion, and that the departmental/ unit chairperson and the faculty member review this form each year as part of each faculty member's annual evaluation when he/she brings up to date the Agreement on Responsibilities (Form P4-05).
    d.  Form P4-10 word, AGREEMENT ON RESPONSIBILITIES: This form outlines the various responsibilities of the faculty member as mutually agreed upon by the faculty member and administrator to whom he/she immediately reports. Since this form sets forth those areas in which the faculty member expects to be evaluated, the relative weights must be taken into account by the departmental/unit peers, the departmental/unit chairperson, the dean of the college, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Faculty members truly outstanding in one area but less active or successful in other areas may well be contributing more to the University than those adequate in all areas but outstanding in none.
    Any faculty member whose duties require an unusual amount of professional activity not adequately covered in Form P4-10, or librarians who are judged on performance of professional responsibilities, should prepare a document which will describe the expected performance to allow clear evaluation in relation to assigned and expected responsibilities. This form (P4-10) provides useful supportive data, and copies of all such forms for the last four years or from the date of initial employment, whichever is the shorter period, must be part of the faculty member's dossier.
    e.  Form P5-05 word, FACULTY ANNUAL REPORT: This report is to be compiled for each academic year. The Promotion Data Sheet (Form P3-05) requires that this report for the four preceding years or from the date of initial employment be included in the candidate's dossier. The required format of the Faculty Annual Report is defined by each academic unit. Every faculty member is expected to prepare and file a Faculty Annual Report each term he/she is employed at this University.
    f.  Form P6-05 word, FORM LETTER TO FACULTY MEMBER ELIGIBLE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR PROMOTION: This is the first step taken by the departmental/ unit chairperson after determining that a faculty member meets the requirements to be considered for promotion. It requests the compilation of the faculty member's promotion dossier which subsequently will be available to his/her departmental/unit peers for reference. The promotion dossier for each faculty member will include a Data Sheet (Form P3-05), Agreements on Responsibilities (Form P4-10) for the past four years or from the date of initial employment, whichever is the shorter period, Faculty Annual Reports (Form P5-05) for the past four years or from the date of initial employment, whichever is the shorter period, student evaluations (using an approved University instrument) for at least one term each year (in all classes) for each of the previous four years or since initial appointment, whichever is the shorter period, and grade distributions (showing the course average against the students' average) for the terms in which the submitted student evaluations are conducted. The faculty member is also invited to submit a list of individuals from outside the department/unit who will be solicited for evaluations to be added to his/her dossier (use Forms P10-05 to P13-05 as appropriate). The promotion dossier may include other relevant materials supplied by the faculty member.
    g.  Form P7-05 word, FORM LETTER TO PEER EVALUATOR REQUESTING INFORMATION FOR A FACULTY MEMBER'S PROMOTION DOSSIER: This form requests information which may be added to the dossier and must be sent to each departmental/unit peer.
    h.  Form P8-05 word, FORM LETTER TO THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE DEPARTMENT/ UNIT: This form requests that the departmental/unit chairperson submit relevant information that may be available at the department/unit or college level that may be significant to the promotion decision of the peers. It requests information only, not evaluation.
    i.  Form P9-05 word, FORM LETTER TO THE ADMINISTRATOR TO WHOM THE FACULTY MEMBER IMMEDIATELY REPORTS: Since some faculty members report immediately to an administrator, such as a Director of a Center of Excellence, other than their departmental/unit chairperson, this form is to be used to request submissions to the promotion dossier from that administrator.
    j.  Form P10-05 word, FORM LETTER TO A NON-PEER EVALUATOR REQUESTING INFORMATION FOR A FACULTY MEMBER'S PROMOTION DOSSIER: This form is included for the convenience of the chairperson of the promotion committee in soliciting material from evaluators suggested by the candidate. It may be used for non-peer departmental/unit faculty members and non-departmental/unit evaluators (except for the off-campus evaluators required for promotion to the rank of full professor). Use of these evaluators is not explicitly required by the Policy. For off-campus evaluators required for the rank of full professor, use Form P11-05.
    k.  Form P11-05 word, FORM LETTER TO OFF-CAMPUS EVALUATOR OF CANDIDATE FOR PROMOTION TO RANK OF FULL PROFESSOR: This form letter will be used only for the faculty member being considered for the rank of full professor. It is sent to evaluators at universities or appropriate institutions other than Tennessee Technological University, these evaluators to be mutually agreed upon by the faculty member and the departmental/unit chairperson. At least three such evaluations must be included in the dossier. (It may be helpful to submit more than the three required evaluations.)
    l.  Form P12-05 word, FORM LETTER TO FORMER STUDENT: This is not explicitly required by the Policy for candidates for promotion.
    m.  Form P13-05 word, FORM LETTER TO ADVISEE: Candidates for promotion must submit a list of advisees who will be invited by the chair of the promotion committee to submit letters to be included in the candidate's dossier.
    n.  Form P14-05 word, AREAS AND CRITERIA TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN EVALUATING A PEER FOR PROMOTION: This form summarizes the areas and criteria to be considered when making a promotion recommendation. A copy is to be included with all letters to all evaluators.
    o.  Form P15-05 word, FORM LETTER TO DEPARTMENTAL/UNIT PEER EVALUATOR SCHEDULING A VOTE: The vote is to be conducted by secret ballot. The entire contents of the promotion dossier are available for inspection by the departmental/unit peers. Since the Policy on Faculty Promotion, Tennessee Technological University, states "Recommendations for ... promotion ... shall devolve from the professional judgment of the peers in the academic department/unit," this step may be the most significant one in the procedures for promotion recommendation. The chairperson of the promotion committee will send this form letter to all departmental/unit peers.
    p.  Form P16-05 pdf_icon_sm, PEER EVALUATION OF FACULTY FOR PROMOTION CONSIDERATION.
    q.  Form P17-05 word, FORM LETTER TRANSMITTING THE REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENTAL/UNIT PROMOTION COMMITTEE AND THE VOTE OF THE DEPARTMENTAL/UNIT PEERS TO THE FACULTY MEMBER WHO IS BEING CONSIDERED FOR PROMOTION
    r.  Form P18-05 pdf_icon_sm, PROMOTION COVER SHEET: The chairperson of the promotion committee initiates this form after the departmental/unit peers have voted. Form P18-05 should be the first document in the faculty member's dossier and should be dated and initialed at each step. The chairperson of the promotion committee places this form in the promotion dossier and transmits the entire promotion dossier to the departmental/unit chairperson.
  5. Guidelines for the Use of the Promotion Procedures and Forms by the Dean of the College
    a.  The dean shall review the dossier (see Form P1-05, Item 4) and make a recommendation on the Promotion Cover Sheet (Form P18-05, Item 3). Committees at the college level are not authorized by these procedures.
    b.  If the dean disagrees with the recommendation as expressed in the vote of the departmental/unit peers, he/she shall write a letter to the departmental/unit peers explaining the reason(s) for his/her disagreement. He/she shall also forward a copy of the letter to the candidate for promotion, to the departmental/unit chairperson, and to the administrator to whom the faculty member immediately reports if this is not the chairperson, and he/she shall include a copy of the letter in the promotion dossier.
    c.  The dean shall forward the unabridged dossier to the Vice President for Academic Affairs by February 15 (see Form P1-05, Item 4).
    d.  The dean shall perform all promotion recommendation duties normally performed by the departmental/unit chairperson if the chairperson is a candidate for promotion. (See the description of procedures given in Item 3, above.)
  6. Guidelines for the Use of the Promotion Procedures and Forms by the Vice President for Academic Affairs
    a.  The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall review the dossier (see Form P1-05, Item 5) and make a recommendation on the Promotion Cover Sheet (Form P18-05, Item 3). Committees at the university level are not authorized by these procedures.
    b.  If the Vice President for Academic Affairs disagrees with the recommendation as expressed in the vote of the departmental/unit peers, he/she shall write a letter to the departmental/unit peers explaining the reason(s) for his/her disagreement. He/she shall also forward a copy of the letter to the candidate for promotion, to the departmental/unit chairperson, to the administrator to whom the faculty member immediately reports, if this is not the chairperson, and to the dean, and he/she shall include a copy of the letter in the promotion dossier.
    c.  The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall forward the complete dossier with his/her recommendation to the President by March 15 (see Form P1-05, Item 5).

[Approved by the General Faculty Fall 1997; approved by the TBR Summer 2001. Editorially revised by the University Assembly April 25, 2001; Approved by the University Faculty April 27, 2005]