B. Internal Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

Please scroll down or click on the links below to read about this process.

(1)  Promotion Flowchart
(2)  Steps: Internal Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor
(3)  Dossier Checklist: Promotion to Associate Professor
(4)  Suggested Timeline for Standard Academic-Year Appointments: Departmental Review of Tenure-Track Faculty for Promotion to Associate Professor
(5)  Suggested Timeline for Calendar-Year Appointments: Departmental Review of Tenure-Track Faculty for Promotion to Associate Professor

Note: SEAS follows the same policies as the FAS divisions in reviews for promotion to associate professor. Because SEAS has its own organizational structure as a School within the FAS, the SEAS individuals who perform associate-review tasks differ at times from the individuals specified in the flow-chart below and in the processes outlined throughout Section 5B. Please see the “Note” following the “Steps” table in 5B2 for more information on SEAS process. You may also consult SEAS for further information.

(1)  Promotion Flowchart: Internal Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

 Promotion Flowchart Internal Promo to Associate Prof

 (2)  Steps: Internal Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

 

 

Step

Explanation

1

Each spring, department chairs receive from the divisional assistant dean a list of faculty scheduled for review for promotion to associate professor during the next academic or calendar year.

Note: Promotion reviews should ordinarily be completed by the end of the assistant professor’s penultimate year of appointment.

Note: With the significant disruptions to professional life resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, the FAS instituted in Spring 2020 a policy of extensions, allowing then-current tenure-track faculty the option of extending their appointment and postponing their promotion review for one semester or a year, depending on their eligibility. Similarly, FAS faculty whose appointments began in the fall term of 2020 were offered the option to extend their initial appointment by one year. In Spring 2021, recognizing the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the FAS encouraged any interested tenure-track faculty to contact their divisional dean/SEAS Dean if they wished to request an additional year of appointment and tenure-clock extension, for reasons of significant professional and/or personal disruption due to the pandemic.

In addition, the FAS will grant relief from teaching one course for any interested tenure-track colleagues (regardless of dependent-care circumstances) who were on the FAS tenure-track during the 2020-21 academic year and who teach in departments/areas that have a typical teaching load of two courses or more per year.  Please see 3.E.3, “Additional Leave and Teaching Relief,” for more information on this one-time teaching relief.

Internal and external evaluators in associate reviews should evaluate candidates by using the standard criteria for associate professor provided in Chapter 5 (the “Description” of associate professors). These criteria were in use before the COVID-19 pandemic and have remained unchanged. Evaluators should assess a faculty member’s aggregated scholarship, teaching and advising, and service without any penalty if the faculty member took an appointment extension and/or teaching relief as provided to eligible tenure-track faculty due to the pandemic. For example, if a candidate for promotion to associate professor was given a one-year clock extension and thus came up for associate promotion in the fifth (rather than the ordinary fourth) year after their initial appointment date, their body of work should be evaluated according to a standard of someone who has had four years to work towards associate promotion. All of the work the faculty member has done since they were initially appointed is evaluated as if they have done so on a clock unaffected by the pandemic. Every candidate who has had a pandemic-related extension would receive an adjustment of the type described here, taking into account the specific clock extension they received (e.g., one semester, one year, etc.). Teaching relief granted due to the pandemic works under the same principle. A tenure-track faculty member who was given one course of teaching relief should have their scholarship, teaching and advising, and service evaluated for associate promotion as if they had taught the course for which they received relief. These procedures imply that COVID-related clock extensions and/or teaching relief should not be counted against candidates in any way.

Note: Following completion of the steps below, departments submit promotion recommendations no later than March 15 (for “academic-year” appointments ending in June) or October 1 (for “calendar-year” appointments ending in December). If these dates fall on a weekend or a holiday, the deadline is the next business day.

Note: This “Steps” table shows suggested timing for tenure-track faculty whose appointments end in June. The “Suggested Timelines” at the end of this chapter also show timing for appointments that end in December

2 Proximate to July 1 (for academic-year appointments), the divisional assistant dean sends a letter to the candidate informing them of the official start of their review.

This letter, sent to the candidate close to July 1, informs the candidate that this is the year of their associate review, that July 1 constitutes the official start of their review process, that the next step is for the candidate to meet with their department chair to discuss the review process and necessary materials, that the candidate’s materials are due to the department by September 1 (for academic-year appointments), and that the steps of the entire review process are available in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.

Note: If September 1 falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline for the candidate to submit all of their dossier materials to the department is the next business day. In addition, September 1 (or the next business day, as appropriate) is the deadline for eligible candidates to notify their divisional assistant dean that, due to the pending birth or adoption of a child, they would like to receive the FAS’s automatic one-year appointment extension and review postponement that are granted to expecting parents. In particular, expecting parents whose birth- or adoption-date falls no later than one month after September 1 (or the next business day, as appropriate) must notify their divisional assistant dean by September 1 (or the next business day) that they wish to have this automatic appointment extension and review postponement. For more on this policy, please see Chapter 3.H.3. (“For Tenure-Track Faculty: Childcare Appointment Extension and Postponement of Review Policies”) in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.

3

In July of the candidate’s penultimate year as an assistant professor, the chair and the candidate meet to discuss the department’s review procedures and materials needed for the review. The chair reminds the candidate to provide all of their materials by September 1.

The candidate’s materials include:

  • Curriculum vitae, including a complete bibliography. Note: Candidates who opted in Spring 2020 and/or Spring 2021 for an extension of their associate review clock due to the COVID-19 pandemic may include the following language in their c.v.s, if they wish:  “Due to substantive disruptions to scholarship, teaching and advising, and service for all FAS tenure-track faculty, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard University delayed my associate review by [CHOOSE ONE: two years/one year/six months] [INCLUDE IF APPROPRIATE: and gave me one course of teaching relief].
  • Copies of all publications (including forthcoming) or other scholarly materials. In art-making fields, copies, as appropriate, of all creative works. In all cases, indicate which items the candidate would like sent to external reviewers.
  • Teaching and advising materials, including: teaching awards, a list of past and present undergraduate theses supervised, past and present graduate students for whom the candidate has or had primary responsibility, current and former postdoctoral advisees (as relevant, and including those who moved to another group), and representative course syllabi.
  • A teaching/advising statement that describes the candidate’s philosophy and practices related to undergraduate, graduate, and (as relevant) postdoctoral teaching and advising. In the statement, the candidate should reflect on aspects of their professional progression and on how they have addressed any areas of concern.
  • A research statement.
  • A statement addressing overlap in publications and joint authorship. This statement should make clear: 1) In book fields, in what specific instances the candidate’s publications are partial or significant reiterations of scholarship covered in others of the candidate’s publications (such as articles), and 2) In all fields, in jointly-authored publications, what the candidate’s unique scholarly contribution was. The purpose of this statement is to provide a clearer picture of the candidate’s body of work and, where applicable, the nature of their collaborations with others.
  • Other relevant materials, such as a list of experts in the field whom the department may wish to consult about the review or any experts the candidate feels should not be consulted, with an accompanying explanation. If the candidate prefers, the candidate may provide this explanatory information to the department chair. The candidate may also consult with the assistant dean.
  • The department chair should inform the candidate that the candidate should not solicit letters from students (or postdocs) for inclusion in these materials.

 

4

The chair requests divisional dean approval of a proposed review committee and, following this approval, appoints the committee

  • The committee consists of senior faculty who will evaluate the case. The request should name the committee chair and other review committee members. Former undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral advisors of the candidate should not chair the committee.
  • When there is an overlap in research interests, the chair should ask a representative of the appropriate center, institute, or initiative to serve on or consult with the review committee.
  • Chairs are also strongly encouraged to include a faculty member from any degree/curricular standing committees in which the candidate has at least a half-time appointment.
  • In addition, the review committee chair should seek an evaluation(s) from the chair(s) of the undergraduate and graduate degree/curricular standing committee(s) of which the candidate is a member. The evaluation(s) should be embedded verbatim into the case statement, accompanied by the review committee’s reflections on the evaluation(s).

5

The department compiles a summary teaching chart and gathers information on the candidate’s performance as an adviser of undergraduates and mentor of graduate students, and, as relevant, postdoctoral fellows

  • The summary teaching chart summarizes, in reverse chronological order, all courses the candidate has taught, including course titles, enrollments, and overall course scores and instructor scores. (Note: In the teaching chart, please indicate which, if any, courses were taught remotely, whether partially or in full, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
  • To gather advisee feedback on advising/mentoring, which should be summarized in the case statement, the department chair (or their designee) either speaks with or writes to the candidate’s current and former students (and, as relevant, postdoctoral fellows, including those who have moved to another group). If the feedback takes written form, the chair should make clear that the emails or letters will be kept confidential and advisees’ names will be redacted (as is also the case with oral feedback) before the emails or letters are shared with committee members (although the dean or her designee may request any information regarding the case if questions arise). The emails or letters should not be included in the dossier.
  • The chair or other designated members of the department are strongly encouraged to attend the candidate’s classes sometime during the candidate’s tenure-track appointment.

6

The committee considers all the gathered materials and decides whether to proceed with the case

If the committee recommends not proceeding with the review, the department must discuss and affirm this decision by a recorded vote. The department chair then sends to the divisional dean the current dossier, including a record of the department vote, and a draft of the letter to the candidate.  After divisional dean approval, the department gives the letter to the candidate.

Note: When a candidate opts, at any stage in the process, to withdraw his/her/their case from consideration, a departmental vote does not occur.  Candidates wishing to withdraw their case should state this in a letter to the department chair, which the chair shares with the divisional dean.

7

If the case proceeds, the department requests authorization from the divisional dean to solicit external evaluation letters. With the request, the department should submit a draft of the review letter and the recipient list (see Sample Table).

Note: This information should ordinarily be submitted to the divisional dean in October.

The review letter (see the Sample Letters section of this handbook) should include:

  • A broad description of the candidate’s field. Care should be taken to define the field with sufficient breadth that the candidate’s contributions can be understood within an appropriately broad context. The field should not be defined as a narrow subfield specific to the candidate’s interests.
  • Identification of the candidate for promotion.
  • The criteria for appointment to an associate professor position at Harvard.
  • A request for a recommendation of whether the candidate merits promotion to associate professor within the FAS at Harvard.
  • A request to compare the candidate with leading scholars in the candidate’s cohort, as identified by the recipient (ordinarily, unlike in tenure reviews, the letter soliciting external evaluations does not include a comparison list).
  • An indication that the University will make every effort possible to keep the response confidential and will make it available only to the senior members of the department and others directly involved in the formal review process.
  • The deadline for receipt of responses and contact information. (Note: The department should give letter writers at least six weeks to prepare their letters—dating from the mailing of the promotion review letter—depending on the volume of materials under review.)

The recipient list:

  • The recipient list should include tenured scholars who represent a range of views from a variety of peer institutions. The recipient list should reflect an appropriately broad definition of the field.
  • It is expected that the list will be diverse, including gender and racial/ethnic diversity.
  • The list (see Sample Table) should be in alphabetical order and include title/current rank, home institution, year of doctorate (if available), a link to the scholar’s website, email address, whether the scholar has been the candidate's Ph.D. advisor, postdoctoral advisor, or co-author, and the rationale for including each scholar on the list.

8

In early November, the chair sends the review letter and candidate materials to the scholars on the recipient list. The chair requests receipt of external letters by January

  • With the promotion review letter, the department should include the candidate’s CV, teaching/advising statement, research statement, statement on overlap and joint authorship in publications, and a sample of the candidate’s recent or unpublished scholarship or, in art-making fields, creative work.
  • The department writes to a number of scholars sufficient to elicit three to five responses for inclusion in the final dossier. These letters are in addition to any letters the department might solicit from past advisors.
  • The names of outside scholars declining to write an evaluation should be noted in the case statement. Any explanatory emails/letters from these scholars should be included with the other external evaluations.

9

After discussing the external letters, the review committee reports to the department

After reviewing the candidate’s materials (including external letters), the committee reports to the department either that the case is sufficiently strong for the department to vote on promotion or that it does not recommend promotion.

10

The senior members of the department review all materials, discuss the case, and vote (February to early March)

  • In discussing the case, senior members of the department should assess whether the candidate meets the criteria for associate professor, the candidate’s potential for eventual tenure promotion within the FAS, and concrete suggestions regarding research, teaching and advising, citizenship, and continuing professional development. This discussion should be in-depth and rigorous.
  • A favorable vote does not have to be unanimous but must comprise affirmative votes by a significant majority of the tenured faculty in the department. If an assistant professor is not recommended for promotion to associate professor, the department chair sends to the divisional dean the current dossier, including a record of the department vote, and a draft of the letter to the candidate. After divisional dean approval, the department gives the letter to the candidate. For SEAS cases in which an assistant professor will not be put forward for promotion, the SEAS area chair writes to notify the candidate

11

After a favorable vote, the case statement is finalized by the department chair

The finalized case statement, prepared and signed by the department chair and the chair of the review committee, should include the following sections:

  • A one-paragraph summary of the candidate’s contributions and the department’s recommendation.
  • Background and context: A description of the candidate’s area and how it fits into the department’s academic plan. Include information about how this appointment would relate to FAS/SEAS faculty working in similar or adjacent intellectual fields. Describe the teaching needs that the appointment would address.
  • Summary of the review process.
    • List key dates, such as and not limited to:
      • The date that the department chair/SEAS Dean met with the candidate to discuss the review process and materials that the candidate should submit by the September 1 (for academic-year appointments) or March 1 (for calendar-year appointments) deadline.
      • The dates of review committee meetings and departmental meetings about the case.
      • The date that the department sent requests for external letters.
  • External letter writers:
    • Describe the logic underlying the composition of the external letter writer group, especially in cases where the candidate is multidisciplinary.
    • Describe how many letters were solicited, how many requests were declined, how many letters were received, and any inferences from the pattern of responses.
  • The intellectual case for the candidate:
    • A summary of the candidate’s work and an assessment of whether it meets the criteria for an associate professor appointment.
    • An assessment of how the candidate compares with leading scholars in his/her/their cohort, relative to both the comparands identified in external letters and others identified by departmental faculty. Short quotes from the letters may be included but should not substitute for robust analysis of the letter contents and their relation to the department’s deliberations. Please directly address any letters that provide negative evaluations of the candidate.
  • Teaching, advising, and service:
    • An evaluation of teaching and advising effectiveness in a variety of settings with both undergraduate and graduate students (and postdocs, as relevant), including a summary of advisee feedback from current and former advisees, solicited by the department chair. You may include quotes from the advisee feedback as long as the quotes do not reveal the identity of the advisee.
    • Please describe how many undergraduates, graduate students, and (as relevant) postdoctoral fellows the department contacted for feedback, how many in each category declined to respond, and how many sent feedback.
    • Please describe the candidate’s service to the department and broader academic community.
    • As mentioned in Step 4, please include any verbatim evaluation(s) from the chair(s) of the undergraduate and graduate degree/curricular standing committee(s) of which the candidate is a member, accompanied by the review committee’s reflections on the evaluation(s).
  • A summary of the department’s discussions of the case.
  • Strengths and weakness: A discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate’s case as noted in the external evaluations and the internal conversations of both the review committee and the department. This analysis of strengths and weaknesses should reflect in-depth and rigorous committee and departmental deliberations of the candidate’s entire dossier.
  • An assessment of the candidate’s potential for eventual tenure promotion within the FAS.
  • Departmental vote: A record of the department vote, by name, with an “as of” date for the vote tally.
  • Signatures: An indication of the primary author of the statement

Note:  The finalized case statement should be made available to the faculty in the department involved in the review.

12

The candidate’s dossier is prepared by the department and sent, with a draft letter for the candidate, to the assistant dean for the division (by March 15)

  • Please send one electronic copy of the dossier, including a draft of the letter for the candidate, to the assistant dean via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu).
  • Please send the student teaching evaluations and the candidate’s publications (or, in art-making fields, copies, as appropriate, of the candidate’s creative works) as two separate PDF files to the assistant dean via Accellion Kiteworks.
  • For evaluations prior to Fall 2019, please go to https://q.fas.harvard.edu/qguide.htm. Click on “Results Before 2019-20” and log in. Select “Print Full Reports” tab and download for each course:
    • “Course Evaluation and Instructor/TF Summary” (Printable Version (PDF)
    • Student Comments: go to “View Comments by Question” and select “Show Questions.” Print out “Whole Course” option.
  • For evaluations from Fall 2019 onward, please go to https://q.fas.harvard.edu/qguide.htm. Click on “Results 2019-20 and later” and log in. Download for each course:
    • Select “View the {term} Individual Report – Comments included report” and click on the course from the listing. Download the report.

For a full checklist of what the dossier should include, please see the dossier checklist.

  • The letter for the candidate should state whether the faculty member has been promoted, indicating whether the faculty member has met the criteria for associate promotion. In the case of promotion, the letter should provide constructive feedback and impart useful insights and suggestions from the departmental discussion and external letters (anonymously quoting passages of the letters as appropriate). Furthermore, the letter should provide an indication of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses with regard to the individual’s potential for eventual tenure within the FAS. The letter should offer advice regarding research, teaching and advising, citizenship, and continuing professional development, including a reminder of mentoring arrangements that have been established within the department for the candidate. In addition, in setting forth the dates of the candidate’s term as an associate professor, the letter should note that if the candidate undergoes a review for promotion to tenure at an earlier time than in the ordinary timetable for tenure reviews, and if that early review is unsuccessful, the candidate’s tenure-track appointment will end one year after the review occurred, superseding the original end-date of the tenure-track appointment.

 

13

The divisional dean, with a CAP subcommittee, reviews the dossier, and the divisional dean decides whether to approve the appointment

In some cases, the full Committee on Appointments and Promotions may be asked to review individual promotion dossiers. The divisional dean may wish to meet with the department chair to discuss the dossier and the draft letter to the candidate, if necessary. At the conclusion of the review, the divisional dean communicates feedback regarding the case to the chair, making suggestions about additional information that should be conveyed to the candidate, both formally and informally.

14

The department issues the final approved letter to the candidate

Following revisions, when necessary, and final approval by the divisional dean, the department issues the letter to the candidate.

Should the department later recommend the candidate’s promotion to tenure, a copy of the letter and the materials gathered in this review may be considered by the Committee on Appointments and Promotions, in addition to the tenure dossier.

15

If the promotion is approved, the appointment is processed in the Aurora system by the appointing department

  • Please send 1 electronic PDF copy of the final letter for the candidate, signed by the department chair, to the divisional dean, cc’ing the assistant dean for the division, via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu).
  • The department submits to the Appointments Office in the Office for Faculty Affairs the final dossier, including the signed offer letter, via Aurora.

Note: As mentioned at the start of Section 5B, some of the tasks in associate reviews are performed by different individuals in, respectively, SEAS and the FAS divisions. Specifically:

  • In SEAS, the John A. Paulson Dean of SEAS solicits materials from the candidate for the dossier and appoints the review committee (see Steps 3 and 4 in the “Steps” table above).
  • The SEAS review committee chair determines how to handle candidate concerns about potential external letter-writers (see Step 3).
  • At points in the process when members of the FAS department vote, the SEAS voting cluster votes (see Steps 6 and 10). (SEAS voting clusters are subsets of the full SEAS faculty, organized by research discipline, that consider and vote on appointments, promotions, and reappointments at the School level.)
  • The SEAS review committee chair prepares and signs the final case statement (Step 11).

Please consult SEAS for more details on SEAS procedures.

(3)  Dossier Checklist: Promotion to Associate Professor

Please send an electronic copy of the dossier, including a draft of the letter to the candidate, to the assistant dean for the division (AD) via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu). Please send the student teaching evaluations and the candidate’s publications (or, in art-making fields, copies, as appropriate, of creative works) as two separate PDF files to the assistant dean via Accellion Kiteworks. To facilitate storing and sharing of files, please name the dossier file as follows: a) alpha-numeric characters only (no dashes, commas, slashes, etc.)  b) [Last Name] [First Name] [Department Name] tenure track dossier [numerical Month, Date, and Year of dossier submission: XX YY ZZ].  E.g., Smith John Psychology tenure track dossier 1 4 15.  c) If a dossier is revised and resubmitted, please repeat the original title, followed by “rev” and [Month of resubmission] [Date of resubmission] [Year of resubmission].  E.g., Smith John Psychology tenure track dossier 1 4 15 rev 1 15 15. Please follow the same naming conventions in titling the PDF of teaching evaluations and the PDF of the candidate’s publications (or creative works).

After the offer is finalized, please send 1 electronic PDF copy of the final dossier to the Appointments Office in the Office for Faculty Affairs via Aurora. Please use the naming convention outlined above.

Departments should retain documents according to practices recommended by Harvard Archives at https://grs.harvard.edu/ (please log in). 

______1.   Divisional assistant dean’s letter notifying the department of the candidate’s upcoming review for promotion.

______2.   Divisional assistant dean’s letter notifying the candidate of the official start to their review for promotion.

______3.  Case statement (including department vote by name). See description in Step 11 above.

______4.   Candidate’s curriculum vitae, including a bibliography. Note: Candidates who opted in Spring 2020 and/or Spring 2021 for an extension of their associate review clock due to the COVID-19 pandemic may include the following language in their c.v.s, if they wish:  Due to substantive disruptions to scholarship, teaching and advising, and service for all FAS tenure-track faculty, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard University delayed my associate review by [CHOOSE ONE: two years/one year/six months] [INCLUDE IF APPROPRIATE: and gave me one course of teaching relief].

______5.   A summary teaching chart, teaching awards, a list of undergraduate and graduate theses supervised, postdoctoral advisees (as relevant), representative course syllabi, and one set of all available student evaluations of the candidate’s teaching.

______6.   Teaching/advising statement describing teaching philosophy and practices related to undergraduate, graduate, and (as relevant) postdoctoral teaching and advising, and reflecting on aspects of their professional progression and on how they have addressed any areas of concern.

______7.   Research statement.

______8.   Statement on publications overlap and joint authorship

______9.   All publications, including forthcoming (or in art-making fields, copies, as appropriate, of all creative works).

______10.  A copy of the review letter soliciting external evaluations and a list (see Sample Table) of all people to whom the letter was sent, indicating who did and did not reply.

______11.  Evaluations from at least three to five external scholars, with English translations of any written in a foreign language, typed copies of any handwritten letters, and any emails/letters from scholars who declined to participate in the review.

______12. (If solicited, in addition to #11) Any additional letters of reference from graduate or postdoctoral advisors.

_____  13. A draft of the department chair’s letter to the candidate, informing the candidate of the outcome of the review, providing constructive feedback, and assessing the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses with regard to the candidate's potential for eventual tenure within the FAS.

Please send 1 electronic PDF copy of the final signed letter for the candidate to the divisional dean, cc’ing the AD, via Accellion Kiteworks.

Note: The candidate should not solicit student (or postdoc) letters, and any unsolicited student (or postdoc) letters will not be included in the dossier.

(4)  Suggested Timeline for Standard Academic-Year Appointments: Departmental Review of Tenure-Track Faculty for Promotion to Associate Professor[19]

Note: Reviews for promotion should ordinarily be completed by the end of the penultimate year of appointment.

Note: With the significant disruptions to professional life resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, the FAS instituted in Spring 2020 a policy of extensions, allowing then-current tenure-track faculty the option of extending their appointment and postponing their promotion review for one semester or a year, depending on their eligibility. Similarly, FAS faculty whose appointments began in the fall term of 2020 were offered the option to extend their initial appointment by one year. In Spring 2021, recognizing the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the FAS encouraged any interested tenure-track faculty to contact their divisional dean/SEAS Dean if they wished to request an additional year of appointment and tenure-clock extension, for reasons of significant professional and/or personal disruption due to the pandemic.

In addition, the FAS will grant relief from teaching one course for any interested tenure-track colleagues (regardless of dependent-care circumstances) who were on the FAS tenure-track during the 2020-21 academic year and who teach in departments/areas that have a typical teaching load of two courses or more per year. Please see 3.E.3, “Additional Leave and Teaching Relief,” for more information on this one-time teaching relief.

Internal and external evaluators in associate reviews should evaluate candidates by using the standard criteria for associate professor provided in Chapter 5 (the “Description” of associate professors). These criteria were in use before the COVID-19 pandemic and have remained unchanged. Evaluators should assess a faculty member’s aggregated scholarship, teaching and advising, and service without any penalty if the faculty member took an appointment extension and/or teaching relief as provided to eligible tenure-track faculty due to the pandemic. For example, if a candidate for promotion to associate professor was given a one-year clock extension and thus came up for associate promotion in the fifth (rather than the ordinary fourth) year after their initial appointment date, their body of work should be evaluated according to a standard of someone who has had four years to work towards associate promotion. All of the work the faculty member has done since they were initially appointed is evaluated as if they have done so on a clock unaffected by the pandemic. Every candidate who has had a pandemic-related extension would receive an adjustment of the type described here, taking into account the specific clock extension they received (e.g., one semester, one year, etc.). Teaching relief granted due to the pandemic works under the same principle. A tenure-track faculty member who was given one course of teaching relief should have their scholarship, teaching and advising, and service evaluated for associate promotion as if they had taught the course for which they received relief. These procedures imply that COVID-related clock extensions and/or teaching relief should not be counted against candidates in any way.

Note: In SEAS, the John A. Paulson Dean of SEAS solicits materials from the candidate for the dossier and appoints the review committee. At points in the process when members of the FAS department vote, the SEAS voting clusters are subsets of the full SEAS faculty, organized by research discipline, that consider and vote on appointments, promotions, and reappointments at the School level.) The SEAS review committee chair prepares and signs the final case statement. Please consult SEAS for more details on SEAS procedures.

June: Prior to the beginning of candidates’ penultimate year of appointment, chairs receive letters from the assistant dean for the division indicating which tenure-track faculty (both calendar-year and academic-year appointees) are eligible for review.

July 1:  July 1 is the official start of the associate review process. Proximate to July 1, the divisional assistant dean sends a letter to the candidate informing them that this is the year of their associate review, that July 1 constitutes the official start of their review process, that the next step is for the candidate to meet with their department chair to discuss the review process and necessary materials, that the candidate’s materials are due to the department by September 1, and that the steps of the entire review process are available in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.

Note: If September 1 falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline for the candidate to submit all of their dossier materials to the department is the next business day. In addition, September 1 (or the next business day, as appropriate) is the deadline for candidates whose birth- or adoption-date falls no later than October 1 (or the next business day) to notify their divisional assistant dean that they would like to have the automatic appointment extension and review postponement that the FAS grants to expecting parents.

In July:  The chair and candidate meet to discuss the review process and the materials needed for the review. The chair reminds the candidate to submit all of their materials by September 1.

September 1 (or the next business day, if September 1 is a weekend or a holiday):  Deadline for candidates to submit all of their materials to departments, and deadline for eligible candidates to notify their assistant dean that they would like the automatic appointment extension and review postponement that the FAS grants to expecting parents.

By early September:

  • Department chairs request approval of review committee membership from divisional deans. After approval, the chairs appoint the review committees.
  • Departments compile summary teaching charts and gather materials on the candidates’ performance as advisors of undergraduates and mentors of graduate students and, as relevant, postdoctoral fellows.

September to early November

  • Review committees consider the candidates’ materials and decide which cases should move forward. If the committee recommends that a case not move forward, the department must discuss and affirm this decision.
  • If a case moves forward, the chair requests divisional dean authorization to collect external evaluation letters, submitting for divisional dean approval a draft of the review letter and proposed recipient list.
  • Departments send approved letters to approved recipient lists. The department should give letter writers at least six weeks to prepare their letters (dating from the mailing of the review letter), depending on the volume of materials under review.

January: Expected date of replies from external scholars.

February to early March:

  • Tenured members of departments review dossiers and vote on whether to recommend promotions. A favorable vote does not have to be unanimous but must comprise affirmative votes by a significant majority of the tenured faculty in the department.
  • If the recommendations are positive, departments finalize dossiers for submission to Faculty Affairs. The chairs draft a letter to the candidate for inclusion in the dossier.

March 15: Deadline for submission of promotion dossiers to Faculty Affairs.

March–June: Review, as appropriate, by divisional deans and the Committee on Appointments and Promotions, followed by notification to candidates about the outcomes.

(5)  Suggested Timeline for Calendar-Year Appointments: Departmental Review of Tenure-Track Faculty for Promotion to Associate Professor[20]

Note: Reviews for promotion should ordinarily be completed by the end of the penultimate year of appointment.

Note: With the significant disruptions to professional life resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, the FAS instituted in Spring 2020 a policy of extensions, allowing then-current tenure-track faculty the option of extending their appointment and postponing their promotion review for one semester or a year, depending on their eligibility. Similarly, FAS faculty whose appointments began in the fall term of 2020 were offered the option to extend their initial appointment by one year. In Spring 2021, recognizing the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the FAS encouraged any interested tenure-track faculty to contact their divisional dean/SEAS Dean if they wished to request an additional year of appointment and tenure-clock extension, for reasons of significant professional and/or personal disruption due to the pandemic.

In addition, the FAS will grant relief from teaching one course for any interested tenure-track colleagues (regardless of dependent-care circumstances) who were on the FAS tenure-track during the 2020-21 academic year and who teach in departments/areas that have a typical teaching load of two courses or more per year. Please see 3.E.3, “Additional Leave and Teaching Relief,” for more information on this one-time teaching relief.

Internal and external evaluators in associate reviews should evaluate candidates by using the standard criteria for associate professor provided in Chapter 5 (the “Description” of associate professors). These criteria were in use before the COVID-19 pandemic and have remained unchanged. Evaluators should assess a faculty member’s aggregated scholarship, teaching and advising, and service without any penalty if the faculty member took an appointment extension and/or teaching relief as provided to eligible tenure-track faculty due to the pandemic. For example, if a candidate for promotion to associate professor was given a one-year clock extension and thus came up for associate promotion in the fifth (rather than the ordinary fourth) year after their initial appointment date, their body of work should be evaluated according to a standard of someone who has had four years to work towards associate promotion. All of the work the faculty member has done since they were initially appointed is evaluated as if they have done so on a clock unaffected by the pandemic. Every candidate who has had a pandemic-related extension would receive an adjustment of the type described here, taking into account the specific clock extension they received (e.g., one semester, one year, etc.). Teaching relief granted due to the pandemic works under the same principle. A tenure-track faculty member who was given one course of teaching relief should have their scholarship, teaching and advising, and service evaluated for associate promotion as if they had taught the course for which they received relief. These procedures imply that COVID-related clock extensions and/or teaching relief should not be counted against candidates in any way.

Note: In SEAS, the John A. Paulson Dean of SEAS solicits materials from the candidate for the dossier and appoints the review committee. At points in the process when members of the FAS department vote, the SEAS voting cluster votes. (SEAS voting clusters are subsets of the full SEAS faculty, organized by research discipline, that consider and vote on appointments, promotions, and reappointments at the School level.) The SEAS review committee chair prepares and signs the final case statement. Please consult SEAS for more details on SEAS procedures.

June: Prior to the beginning of candidates’ penultimate year of appointment, chairs receive letters from the assistant dean for the division indicating which tenure-track faculty (both calendar-year and academic-year appointees) are eligible for review.

January 1:  January 1 is the official start of the associate review process. Proximate to January 1, the divisional assistant dean sends a letter to the candidate informing them that this is the year of their associate review, that January 1 constitutes the official start of their review process, that the next step is for the candidate to meet with their department chair to discuss the review process and necessary materials, that the candidate’s materials are due to the department by March 1, and that the steps of the entire review process are available in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.

Note: If March 1 falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline for the candidate to submit all of their dossier materials to the department is the next business day. In addition, March 1 (or the next business day, as appropriate) is the deadline for candidates whose birth- or adoption-date falls no later than April 1 (or the next business day) to notify their divisional assistant dean that they would like to have the automatic appointment extension and review postponement that the FAS grants to expecting parents.

In January:  The chair and candidate meet to discuss the review process and the materials needed for the review. The chair reminds the candidate to submit all of their materials by March 1.

March 1 (or the next business day, if March 1 is a weekend or a holiday):  Deadline for candidates to submit all of their materials to departments, and deadline for eligible candidates to notify their assistant dean that they would like the automatic appointment extension and review postponement that the FAS grants to expecting parents.

By early March:

  • Department chairs request approval of review committee membership from divisional deans. After approval, the chairs appoint the review committees.
  • Departments compile summary teaching charts and gather materials on the candidates’ performance as advisors of undergraduates and mentors of graduate students and, as relevant, postdoctoral fellows.

March to early May:

  • Review committees consider the candidates’ materials and decide which cases should move forward. If the committee recommends that a case not move forward, the department must discuss and affirm this decision.
  • If a case moves forward, the chair requests divisional dean authorization to collect external evaluation letters, submitting for divisional dean approval a draft of the review letter and proposed recipient list.
  • Departments send approved letters to approved recipient lists. The department should give letter writers at least six weeks to prepare their letters (dating from the mailing of the review letter), depending on the volume of materials under review.

August: Expected date of replies from external scholars.

September:

  • Tenured members of departments review dossiers and vote on whether to recommend promotions. A favorable vote does not have to be unanimous but must comprise affirmative votes by a significant majority of the tenured faculty in the department.
  • If the recommendations are positive, departments finalize dossiers for submission to Faculty Affairs. The chairs draft a letter to the candidate for inclusion in the dossier.

October 1: Deadline for submission of promotion dossiers to Faculty Affairs.

October-December: Review, as appropriate, by divisional deans and the Committee on Appointments and Promotions, followed by notification to candidates about the outcomes.

[19] This timeline applies to those assistant professors whose appointments will end on June 30. Departments may complete the process in a more compressed timeframe, if they prefer, as long as their accelerated timetable allows all parties the full measure of time for completing their tasks and all promotion dossiers are submitted to Faculty Affairs by March 15.
 
[20] This timeline applies to those assistant professors whose appointments will end on December 31 in a future year.  Departments may complete the process in a more compressed timeframe, if they prefer, as long as their accelerated timetable allows all parties the full measure of time for completing their tasks and all promotion dossiers are submitted to Faculty Affairs by October 1.