Promotion Procedures, Office of Research
To provide guidelines for the Promotion review process as it pertains to faculty equivalent/academic staff who are hired through a university research center, institute, unit, or academic department.
Scientists, curators, specialist or research professors and may be held at the level of junior, assistant, associate, or senior level.
This document describes guidelines established by the Office of Research governing the Promotion review process. This document does not substitute for, or supersede, University policies relating to the promotion and tenure of faculty and academic staff articulated in Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, Article 6 or procedures specified as part of the Promotion and Tenure Form by the Provost’s Office.
The Office of Research has the responsibility to conduct an intermediate review of all promotion dossiers of faculty equivalent/academic staff who are hired through a university research center, institute, unit, or academic department. Unclassified, academic staff titles are: scientist, curator, specialist or research professor and may be held at the level of junior, assistant, associate, or senior.
Consideration and evaluation of a candidate’s record is a confidential personnel matter and it is essential that all individuals involved in the evaluation are fully informed of this fact to insure that all information gathered during the review period is treated as confidential.
The initial review process differs for candidates whose appointments are in a single unit from those that hold joint appointments in more than one unit. After outlining general procedures, issues specific to candidates holding joint appointments are addressed.
Promotion reviews will begin in the Spring Semester prior to the academic year in which they are to be submitted. Following a written notification by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research each April, university research centers, institutes, research units and academic departments are expected to submit a list of candidates who will be considered during the coming academic year no later than June 1.
Individuals who report directly to the Vice Chancellor of Research and who wish to be considered for promotion should communicate this fact to the Office of the Vice Chancellor no later than May 15.
Individuals who wish to self-nominate for consideration for promotion should do so no later than May 15. The initial and intermediate review of individuals who self-nominate shall follow the same procedures as those nominated by their units.
Preparation of Materials for Review
A recommendation for promotion should be based upon careful scrutiny of the candidate’s record of scholarship, professional performance, teaching (if applicable), and service. Careful preparation and organization of the promotion recommendation and supporting documentation is a shared responsibility of the unit and the candidate, but the primary responsibility falls on the unit to insure that all forms are completed appropriately and all relevant policies and procedures are followed.
Initial Review Process
The process by which initial reviews are conducted depends on whether the candidate holds an appointment in a University Research Center or State Survey, or reports directly to the Vice Chancellor for Research.
- If the candidate for promotion holds an appointment in a University Research Center or State Survey, the Promotion Committee of the hiring unit is responsible for providing an initial review for all prospective promotion requests submitted to the Office of Research.
Every unit conducting an initial review is expected to have current Promotion procedures on file with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. Procedures must comply with all relevant University rules and guidelines regarding the promotion process as spelled out in the Promotion and Tenure Form and associated instructions.
Unit procedures are also expected to be consistent with the guidelines established by the Office of Research and outlined in this document.
- If the candidate for promotion reports directly to the Office of Research, as is the case for directors of core service laboratories and other research support positions, the Vice Chancellor for Research will appoint an ad hoc committee of at least three individuals to conduct the initial review. Members of this committee must hold academic staff positions at a rank above that of the candidate for promotion, and should possess appropriate backgrounds to adequately assess the candidate’s scholarship, professional performance and service activities.
The ad hoc committee will be responsible for working with the candidate to prepare the promotion dossier and to conduct the initial level review in accordance with all relevant aspects of Article VI of the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, procedures articulated by the Provost’s Office, and the Promotion Guidelines for Academic Staff Positions established by the Office of Research.
After completion of the initial review the unit or ad hoc promotion committee is responsible for informing the candidate of its recommendation using the summary evaluation form provided in the promotion and tenure documents and for forwarding the candidate’s dossier to The Office of Research Committee on Promotions (ORCP). The Office of Research will determine annually a late October or early November deadline for submission of completed promotion recommendations by the units so as to ensure adequate time for review by the ORCP.
Candidate Response to Initial Review
When the initial review results in a negative recommendation or when the initial review committee reports a rating below “good” for teaching, scholarship, professional performance and/or service the candidate may submit a written response to the Office of Research Committee on Promotions for inclusion in the candidate’s dossier. This written response must be submitted to the Office of Research within one week of the due date of dossier at the Office of Research.
External Evaluation Letters
Letters from external evaluators are an extremely important component in the review process for promotion and tenure. It is the responsibility of the committee conducting the initial review to identify appropriate evaluators and request letters in a timely manner. Unit procedures related to the solicitation and handling of external evaluations may vary, but they must conform to the general Guidelines on External Evaluations established by the University Committee on Promotion and Tenure.
It is the policy of the Office of Research that letters solicited as part of the promotion review are treated as confidential by the University to the extent permitted by law. Letters soliciting external reviews should explicitly include language indicating this fact.
To ensure that external evaluation letters are solicited in a timely fashion and that the selection of reviewers follows the guidelines established by the Provost’s Office the list of suggested external evaluators proposed by the unit and by the candidate should be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Research no later than June 15. Once this list has been reviewed by the Vice Chancellor or his designate the unit may begin to contact external evaluators.
Guidelines for Joint Appointments have been established by the Provost’s Office and will govern the interaction between Office of Research initial and intermediate level reviews and those conducted by the other unit in which appointment is held.
Each unit (either within the Office of Research, or in the Office of Research and a College or School) in which the candidate holds appointment conducts its own initial review and makes an independent recommendation regarding promotion (or promotion and tenure). However, the various units in which a candidate holds appointment must consult closely about the review since only one set of promotion and tenure materials will be prepared and one set of external evaluations be solicited.
The primary unit as designated at the time of appointment is responsible for initiating the consultation, soliciting external evaluations, and sharing the evaluations with the other unit(s). (Note that for candidates who hold both an academic staff appointment and an appointment in an academic department, the academic department will always be the primary unit.)
After both units complete the initial review, the primary department/unit is responsible for forwarding the candidate’s dossier to each of the appropriate intermediate level review committee(s).
The Office of Research Committee on Promotions (ORCP) is charged by the Vice Chancellor for Research to provide the intermediate review for all promotion dossier packages for individuals holding faculty equivalent/academic staff positions. The ORCP conducts an independent evaluation of each candidate’s record of performance and makes an independent recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Composition of Research Committee on Promotion
The ORCP consists of three members that represent different research and/or academic disciplines. At all times the membership should include one Director of a University Research Center or State Survey or one person holding an appointment at the Senior Scientist level or equivalent position in a unit within the Office of Research, one additional person holding an academic staff appointment in a unit within the Office of Research, and one regular faculty member. All members should hold the rank of Associate Professor or its academic staff equivalent or higher. Committee members serve a three-year term. Nominations for committee membership are solicited by the Vice Chancellor for Research when one or more positions on the committee must be filled.
No person should participate in any aspect of the promotion or tenure process concerning a candidate when such participation would create a clear conflict of interest or compromise the impartiality of an evaluation or recommendation. In the event any member of the ORCP has a conflict of interest or a determination is made that participating in the committee’s deliberations would compromise the impartiality of an evaluation or recommendation, he/she will be replaced for that year by another person with an appointment in the same category.
If a candidate believes that a conflict of interest may exist, he or she may make a request for the recusal of the committee member having a conflict of interest. It will be the responsibility of the Vice Chancellor for Research to determine whether the request is warranted.
Communication of Decisions and Participation of Candidate
Upon completion of the intermediate level review, the candidate shall be provided with the summary evaluation section of the Promotion and Tenure Form informing him/her of the recommendation of the ORCP and the concurrence or non-concurrence of the Vice Chancellor for Research with the recommendation.
If additional material beyond that required in the evaluation sections of the Promotion and Tenure Form is requested by the ORCP, candidates must be given a copy of any request for information letter and provided with the opportunity to assist in the response or to submit their own response. If any information is added to the dossier as a part of a request for information procedure, the candidate must be informed of the type of subject matter, approximate date, and category of the source of the material.
In the case of candidates holding joint appointments where the primary unit is outside of the Office of Research, the Vice Chancellor for Research is responsible for forwarding the candidate’s dossier along with the Vice Chancellor’s letter of evaluation to the Dean of the primary unit. The Dean of the primary unit is responsible for ensuring that the candidate’s dossier is forwarded to the Provost’s Office for review by UCPT.
Favorable recommendations by the ORCP will be forwarded to the Provost for consideration by the University Committee on Promotion and Tenure (UCPT). Negative recommendations resulting from an intermediate review shall go forward for UCPT review only if it is the candidate’s mandatory review year or if the candidate requests it.
When the ORCP makes a negative recommendation, or the ORCP reports a rating below “good” for teaching, scholarship, professional performance and/or service, the candidate and/or the unit may respond in writing, and will be so informed. This response must be communicated to the Provost for consideration by UCPT according to the schedule established by the UCPT.
Requests for Additional Information Made by UCPT
When UCPT requests additional information regarding a candidate for promotion, this request will be forwarded immediately to the candidate, the head of the candidate’s administrative unit, the chair of the ORCP and the chair of the initial review committee. The candidate will be afforded the opportunity to participate in the preparation of a response to any such request and/or to submit his or her own documentation or comment to UCPT.
April: Office of Research initiates promotion process with letter to units and individuals reporting directly to the Vice Chancellor of Research
May 15: Self-nominations or requests for promotion from individuals reporting directly to Vice Chancellor of Research.
May 31: Units to provide list of candidates for promotion
June 20: Units provide list of external evaluators for each candidate; once reviewed by Vice Chancellor of Research, units may begin contacting evaluators.
Late October to early November (date to be determined on an annual basis): Promotion dossiers due at the Office of Research.
Dr. Rodolfo H. Torres
Associate Vice Chancellor
Office of Research
10/20/2015: Key Dates modified; technical edits.
09/15/2015: Added missing link
08/21/2015: Modified Key Dates and updated Office Name to Office of Research
4/12/2013: Modified Composition of RPC and Key Dates
9/10/2012: Edited contact information
04/28/2011: Approved by: Joshua L. Rosenbloom, Associate Vice Chancellor
Additional information on the procedures for intermediate review was added.