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

 Chapter 5B Flowchart Internal Promotion

 (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 January 2022, given the continuing impact of the pandemic, the FAS provided the option of a third appointment extension, for any interested tenure-track faculty who have not yet had their review for promotion to tenure and who feel that an extension would help them to address Covid-related impacts on their professional lives.

In addition, the FAS stated in Spring 2021 that it 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. These eligible tenure-track faculty can take this course relief any time before they come up for tenure. 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). Evaluators should assess a faculty member’s aggregated scholarship, teaching, advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship without any penalty if the faculty member received teaching relief and/or appointment extension(s) due to the pandemic and/or parental leave. 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 and/or parental leave. Every candidate who has had an 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, advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship evaluated for associate promotion as if they had taught the course for which they received relief. These procedures imply that COVID-related and parental 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.

As a general principle in promotion reviews for tenure-track faculty, there is no formula at the FAS for the relative weights of research, teaching, advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship in promotion decisions. The FAS is looking for high-impact contributions in each of these areas, and “impact” can take many forms.

The candidate’s materials include:

  • Curriculum vitae, including a complete bibliography. Note: Candidates who opted in Spring 2020, Spring 2021, and/or Spring 2022 for an extension of their associate review clock due to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or parental leave may include the following language in their c.v.s, if they wish: “Due to [CHOOSE ONE OR BOTH: substantive disruptions to scholarship, teaching. advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship for all FAS tenure-track faculty, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic [and due to parental leave], Harvard University delayed my associate review by [INSERT NUMBER OF YEARS OR, IF LESS THAN ONE YEAR, NUMBER OF 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, advising, and mentoring:
    • Teaching, advising, and mentoring are distinct categories of activity and assessment. In particular:
      • Teaching: refers to classroom teaching of undergraduates and graduate students.
      • Advising: refers to the many ways that faculty provide intellectual guidance to undergraduates and graduate students outside of the classroom, and to postdocs. This includes, and is not limited to, such things as (for undergraduates) senior thesis advising or concentration advising and (for graduate students) dissertation advising, advising on Ph.D. oral exams, etc.
      • Mentoring:  in contrast to the intellectual advising described above, refers to faculty efforts to support the professional development and career development of undergraduate students, graduate students, TFs, and postdoctoral fellows.
    • The FAS endorses a developmental view of the candidate’s teaching, advising, and mentoring—that these activities are learned over time, and as important as “achievements” in these areas are the effort, thoughtfulness, and willingness to improve that a faculty member demonstrates. The FAS encourages departments to take an expansive view of all the different ways that people can contribute to the teaching, advising, and mentoring missions. Faculty have different strengths and inclinations and contribute to these missions in different ways.
    • The candidate should submit:
      • A teaching/advising/mentoring statement:

      Just as the summary teaching chart provides a summary of the candidate’s teaching portfolio (see Step 5), similarly the candidate should, in the teaching/advising/mentoring statement, provide a summary description of the advising and mentoring work they did with the undergraduate and graduate students, TFs, and postdoctoral fellows.

      The candidate should not just describe, but also assess and reflect on their efforts in teaching, advising, and mentoring. Because the FAS takes a developmental view of teaching, advising, and mentoring, the candidate should reflect on aspects of their professional progression and on how they have addressed any areas of concern. In the statement, they may discuss:

      • their philosophy/approach to teaching, advising, and mentoring
      • how the candidate defines effectiveness in each of these areas, and the methods and approaches they use to achieve these
      • their reasoning and process in forming their teaching portfolio
      • how they engage with students, advisees, and mentees at various levels (e.g., first-years, concentrators, graduate students, TFs, postdoctoral fellows)
      • any challenges the candidate faced and any modifications made to courses, teaching, advising, and mentoring in response to feedback
      • any ways the candidate has actively worked to improve their teaching, advising, or mentoring 

      Given the often interconnected nature of teaching, advising, and mentoring individuals, the candidate is not obligated to discuss these three topics in rigid separation from, and in sequence with, each other. However, regardless of how the candidate organizes their statement, their discussion should still clearly maintain the distinctions between these activities, as noted in the definitions above.

      • Teaching, advising, and mentoring materials

      This includes teaching awards, representative course syllabi, and a list of past and present undergraduate, graduate, and (as relevant) postdoctoral advisees and mentees (including those who have moved to another research group). The candidate may include informal advisees and mentees.

  • A research statement which succinctly summarizes the work the candidate has accomplished, articulates the impact they have had on their field, and lays out their future research goals.
  • A service/citizenship statement that reflects on the candidate’s committee work and administrative work, as appropriate, as well as how the candidate has contributed to diversity, inclusion, and belonging in all areas of their professional life, both to date and with regard to their future plans.
  • 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.
  • As applicable, a list of current and pending funding
  • 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.      
  • The committee should include a tenured faculty member from another department/SEAS area.
  • 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.
  • Ordinarily, chairs should also include on the committee 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 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 and mentor of undergraduates, graduate students, and, as relevant, postdoctoral fellows

  • The summary teaching chart summarizes, in reverse chronological order, the candidate’s teaching portfolio, i.e., 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 and mentee feedback on advising and mentoring, the department chair (or their designee) solicits feedback from the candidate’s current and former undergraduates, graduate students, and, as relevant, postdoctoral fellows, including those who have moved to another research group. This list may include informal advisees/mentees designated by the candidate. This feedback is solicited using a Qualtrics survey. The survey questions and accompanying email can be found here [Advisee/Mentee Feedback Email and Questionnaire]. Advisee/mentee responses will be kept confidential and advisee/mentee names will be redacted (although the dean or her designee may request any information regarding the case if questions arise). The review committee, which receives the redacted advisee and mentee responses, should include a summary of the advisee and mentee feedback in the case statement. The advisee and mentee responses, with the names redacted, are shared in their entirety with the divisional/SEAS office and the Office for Faculty Affairs. These responses 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 the department decides whether to proceed with the case

If, after preliminary review of the candidate’s materials (and before sending the case to the department for initial review), the review committee wishes to seek clarification from the candidate on aspects of the candidate’s materials, the department chair is permitted to send written questions to the candidate on behalf of the review committee, with a date by which the candidate should send written answers back to the department chair. Questions should be limited to matters that the review committee deems essential to clarify. The review committee’s questions and the candidate’s response will become part of the final dossier.

The review committee is under no obligation to seek clarification from the candidate on their materials.

In addition to the materials described in the steps above, the committee should review the feedback letter that the candidate received after their second-year review as an assistant professor. This letter provides a fuller context for understanding how the candidate has developed and also sheds some light on the mentoring they received.

After reviewing all the candidate’s materials (including any clarifications, as necessary), the committee discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the case and recommends to the department whether the case warrants further review. The department discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the case and decides whether it warrants further review. Departmental discussions of the case should be robust.

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.

7a

If the case proceeds, the department requests authorization from the divisional dean to request 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. Please see Step 11 for more information on the field definition.
  • 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 dossier must contain a minimum of five arm’s length letters. “Arm’s length” means that the evaluator is not a past or present advisor, mentor, collaborator, co-teacher, or other role in close relationship to the candidate, as assessed by the divisional dean/SEAS Dean’s office.
  • The recipient list should include active scholars within the field (or fields, in interdisciplinary cases). 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.
  • All letter writers must be tenured, but all are not required to be tenured at the rank of full professor. Departments are encouraged to seek letters from tenured full professors, but up to half of the “arm’s length” letters may be from tenured associate professors. Letter writers do not themselves need to be viewed by the department as tenurable at Harvard, but they should be eminent scholars whose views of the candidate would be valuable to have.
  • In science and engineering cases, some of the reviewers may be prestigious senior researchers from corporations or research institutes, rather than universities.
  • In certain arts and humanities cases, some of the reviewers may be well-established museum professionals or practicing artists.
  • Please note: All of the arm’s length external letter writers from the associate review must be asked to write letters for the tenure review. Ultimately, at least five of the arm’s-length external letters in a tenure review must be from people who did not write external letters for the associate review.
  • Please use the template provided (see Sample Table) to ensure that all relevant information for each recipient is recorded.

7b

(Optional step, for departments choosing to solicit letters from collaborators or mentors)

The department submits to the divisional dean a draft of the solicitation letter to mentors and collaborators and adds collaborator/mentor names to the recipient list that contains the arm’s-length external letter writers (see Step 7a).

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

In addition to the required five “arm’s length” letters, the department has the option of soliciting letters from past or present collaborators and mentors (whether they are at Harvard or other schools).

As with the parameters for external letter writers, described in Step 7a, collaborators or mentors must:

  • Be tenured, but all are not required to be tenured at the rank of full professor. Letter writers do not themselves need to be viewed by the department as tenurable at Harvard, but they should be eminent scholars whose views of the candidate would be valuable to have.

The solicitation letter:  Please use the template in Chapter 15, for soliciting evaluations from collaborators or mentors.

The recipient list:  When adding the names of any collaborators or mentors, please keep these names separate from the required “arm’s length” external letter writers.

8

In early November, the chair sends the review letter (for external letter writers) and/or solicitation letter (for any collaborator/mentor letter writers), along with the candidate materials to the scholars on the recipient list. The chair requests receipt of letters by January

  • With the letter(s), the department should include the candidate’s CV, teaching/advising/mentoring statement, research statement, service/citizenship 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.
  • For external letters, the department writes to a number of scholars sufficient to elicit five “arm’s length” letters for inclusion in the final dossier.
  • The names of 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 evaluations.

9

After discussing all of the letters, the review committee reports to the department

After reviewing the candidate’s materials (and all of the 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)

  • This discussion should be in-depth and rigorous. Faculty should share their views, so that questions or concerns can be openly addressed in the departmental forum. Senior members of the department should assess whether the candidate meets the criteria for associate professor, the impact the candidate has had on the field and in teaching, advising, mentoring, service/citizenship, the candidate’s potential for eventual tenure promotion within the FAS, and concrete suggestions for improvement and continuing professional development.
  • 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 executive summary of the candidate’s contributions and the department’s recommendation.
  • Background and context:
    • A description of the candidate’s field.
      • The field definition should be sufficiently broad that the candidate’s impact beyond their own specialization can be determined. For instance, the field definition may situate the candidate’s area of specialization within a broader field; or the definition may speak to the “Venn diagram” of the candidate’s impact, i.e., not only the immediate subfield in which they work, but the adjacent subfields and fields affected by this work.
      • Discuss how the candidate’s field fits into the department’s academic plan. Discuss 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 of 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 the required arm’s-length external letters and for any letters from collaborators or mentors.
    • Summary of measures that the department took to foster appropriate continuity between the candidate’s 2nd-year review and associate review (e.g., progressive development of the field definition over the course of successive reviews; efforts to reach a developmental understanding and assessment of the candidate’s teaching, advising, mentoring, etc.).
  • Letter writers:
    • In each of these two categories—a) required arm’s-length external letters and b) optional letters from collaborators or mentors—describe how many letters were solicited, how many requests were declined, how many letters were received, and any inferences from the pattern of responses.
    • Describe the logic underlying the composition of the letter writer group (especially in cases where the candidate is multidisciplinary). 
    • Discuss any efforts to make the list of letter writers diverse, including gender and racial/ethnic diversity.
  • The intellectual case for the candidate:
    • A summary of the candidate’s scholarly contributions.
    • An analysis of whether those contributions meet the criteria for an associate professor appointment, including the impact the candidate has had on the field, an indication of the candidate’s trajectory, and the candidate’s potential for future contributions.
    • Assess how the candidate compares with leading scholars in their cohort, relative to the comparands identified in the required arm’s length external letters, in any optional letters from collaborators or mentors, or 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, mentoring:
    • An evaluation of teaching, advising, and mentoring effectiveness and impact in a variety of settings with both undergraduate and graduate students (and postdocs, as relevant).  In particular:
    • Please provide 1) an explicit statement of what the department’s teaching expectations are/were for the tenure-track faculty member, 2) a discussion of how the faculty member was mentored in developing their teaching portfolio, 3)  how the faculty member’s offerings contribute to the department’s stated goals, 4) for context, how this teaching portfolio compares to others in the department or field, to help calibrate the candidate’s contributions, and 5) an assessment of the candidate’s effectiveness and impact through their teaching. As mentioned in Step 3, the FAS endorses a developmental view of the candidate’s teaching, advising, and mentoring. With this in mind, please assess and reflect on aspects of their professional progression and on how they have addressed any areas of concern.
    • 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 provide a summary of advisee and mentee feedback solicited by the department chair from current and former advisees and mentees. You may include quotes from the advisee and mentee feedback as long as the quotes do not reveal the identity of the advisee or mentee.
    • Please provide an assessment of how the candidate has made an impact through their advising and mentoring.
    • To help calibrate the candidate’s contributions, please indicate how the candidate’s  advising and mentoring responsibilities compare to others in the department or field.
  • Service/citizenship:

    • Please provide an evaluation of the candidate’s service/citizenship in the department and broader academic community. In particular:

    Please provide a) a discussion of the guidance that the department gave the candidate in developing as a citizen, b) an indication of how the candidate’s service load compares to others in the department or field, to help calibrate the candidate’s contributions, and c) a discussion of the candidate’s impact in this realm.

  • As mentioned in Step 4, please include any verbatim evaluation(s) from the chair(s) of the undergraduate 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 letters and in 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 securely send one electronic copy of the dossier, including a draft of the letter for the candidate, to the assistant dean. Please follow HUIT’s recommended practices for secure document transfer (e.g., Accellion Kiteworks, encryption, etc.), which can vary by user platform.
  • Please securely 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. Please follow HUIT’s recommended practices for secure document transfer (e.g., Accellion Kiteworks, encryption, etc.), which can vary by user platform.
    • 1 electronic PDF of student teaching evaluations
      • For evaluations prior to Fall 2019, please go to https://course-evaluation-reports.fas.harvard.edu/fas/list Select “Term” and click “Select another term” to update.
        • Select department and click on a course.
        • "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/results-2019-20-and-later. Click on “Results 2019-20 and later" and log in.
        • Select the “Course Heads-Instructors report” for the specific year/term.
        • Type the course number abbreviation (e.g. COMPSCI 50) in the “Search report title” field and click to search.
          • Download for each course:
            • Select "View the {term} Individual Report -- Comments included report" and click on the course from the listing. Click the (PDF) icon next to the corresponding instructor to download the report.
  • For a full checklist of what the dossier should include, please see the dossier checklist.
  • The letter for the candidate:
    • To be useful, feedback to the candidate should be candid, constructive, and complete. Cursory, vague, or pro forma feedback does not help the tenure-track faculty member to improve, change course as needed, and effectively prepare for their next promotion review. The department should provide, as appropriate, both positive feedback and concrete suggestions for how the faculty member can improve and heighten their impact in research, teaching, advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship.
    • As the template for the feedback letter indicates [Sample Feedback Letter to Newly Promoted Associate Professor] the letter should, among other things:
      • State whether the faculty member has been promoted, indicating whether the faculty member has met the criteria for associate promotion.
      • Both acknowledge strengths and provide specific, constructive feedback on areas for improvement and concrete, actionable ways to improve, as appropriate, in each area of assessment: research, teaching, advising, mentoring, service/citizenship.
      • As appropriate, share insights and suggestions from the departmental discussion, external letters, and any optional letters from collaborators or mentors (anonymously quoting passages of the letters as needed).
      • Remind the candidate of mentoring arrangements that have been established within the department for the candidate.
      • 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.
    • If the candidate later stands for a review for promotion to tenure, the feedback letter from the associate review will be shared with the review committee in the tenure review. This provides a fuller context for understanding how the candidate has developed and also sheds some light on the mentoring they received.

The divisional dean/SEAS Dean and/or their designee reviews the dossier.

Note:  The divisional dean/SEAS Dean and/or their designee and the Dean for Faculty Affairs and Planning can ask for changes to the dossier at any time.

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.

In addition to the letter, an in-person meeting (between the candidate, the review committee chair, the department chair, and the candidate’s formal mentor) should take place after the associate review to provide further feedback and mentoring.

15

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

  • Please securely 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. Please follow HUIT’s recommended practices for secure document transfer (e.g., Accellion Kiteworks, encryption, etc.), which can vary by user platform.
  • 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 appoints the review committee (see Step 4 in the “Steps” table above).
  • 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 securely send an electronic copy of the dossier, including a draft of the letter to the candidate, to the assistant dean for the division (AD). Please follow HUIT’s recommended practices for secure document transfer (e.g., Accellion Kiteworks, encryption, etc.), which can vary by user platform. Please securely 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. 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, Spring 2021, and/or Spring 2022 for an extension of their associate review clock due to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or parental leave may include the following language in their c.v.s, if they wish: “Due to [CHOOSE ONE OR BOTH: substantive disruptions to scholarship, teaching. advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship for all FAS tenure-track faculty, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic [and due to parental leave], Harvard University delayed my associate review by [INSERT NUMBER OF YEARS OR, IF LESS THAN ONE YEAR, NUMBER OF MONTHS] [INCLUDE IF APPROPRIATE: and gave me one course of teaching relief].”

______5.   A summary teaching chart, teaching awards, a list of past and present undergraduate, graduate, and (as relevant) postdoctoral advisees and mentees (including those who have moved to another research group) and informal advisees and mentees may also be included, representative course syllabi, and one set of all available student evaluations of the candidate’s teaching.

______6.   Teaching/advising/mentoring statement.

______7.   Research statement.

______8.   Service/citizenship statement.

______9.  Statement on publications overlap and joint authorship

______10.  All publications, including forthcoming (or in art-making fields, copies, as appropriate, of all creative works).

______11.  A copy of the review letter soliciting external evaluations.

______12.  A copy of the solicitation letter, if any, for letter writers who were collaborators or mentors.

______13.  A list (see Sample Table) of all people to whom the review letter or solicitation letter was sent, indicating who did and did not reply.

______14.  Evaluations from at least five arm’s-length 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.

______15. (If solicited, in addition to #14) Any additional letters of reference from graduate or postdoctoral advisors.

_____  16. As applicable, a list of current and pending funding.

_____  17. Any written communications from the department chair to the candidate, on behalf of the review committee, seeking clarification on the candidate’s materials (as per Step 6 in the “Steps” table for promotion to associate professor), and the candidate’s written responses.

_____  18. 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.

Please securely send 1 electronic PDF copy of the final signed letter for the candidate to the divisional dean, cc’ing the AD. Please follow HUIT’s recommended practices for secure document transfer (e.g., Accellion Kiteworks, encryption, etc.), which can vary by user platform.

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[1]

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 January 2022, given the continuing impact of the pandemic, the FAS provided the option of a third appointment extension, for any interested tenure-track faculty who have not yet had their review for promotion to tenure and who feel that an extension would help them to address Covid-related impacts on their professional lives.

In addition, the FAS stated in Spring 2021 that it 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. These eligible tenure-track faculty can take this course relief any time before they come up for tenure. 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). Evaluators should assess a faculty member’s aggregated scholarship, teaching, advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship without any penalty if the faculty member received teaching relief and/or appointment extension(s) due to the pandemic and/or parental leave. 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 and/or parental leave. Every candidate who has had an 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, advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship evaluated for associate promotion as if they had taught the course for which they received relief. These procedures imply that COVID-related and parental 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 appoints the review committee. 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 and mentors of undergraduates, graduate students, and, as relevant, postdoctoral fellows.

September to early November

  • Review committees consider the candidates’ materials and departments 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 evaluation letters, submitting for divisional dean approval a draft of the review letter to external letter writers, any solicitation letter to collaborators or mentors, and proposed recipient list.
  • Departments send approved letters to approved recipient lists. The department should give arm's length external 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 letter writers.

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[2]

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 January 2022, given the continuing impact of the pandemic, the FAS provided the option of a third appointment extension, for any interested tenure-track faculty who have not yet had their review for promotion to tenure and who feel that an extension would help them to address Covid-related impacts on their professional lives.

In addition, the FAS stated in Spring 2021 that it 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. These eligible tenure-track faculty can take this course relief any time before they come up for tenure. 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). Evaluators should assess a faculty member’s aggregated scholarship, teaching, advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship without any penalty if the faculty member received teaching relief and/or appointment extension(s) due to the pandemic and/or parental leave. 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 and/or parental leave. Every candidate who has had an 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, advising, mentoring, and service/citizenship evaluated for associate promotion as if they had taught the course for which they received relief. These procedures imply that COVID-related and parental 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 appoints the review committee. 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 and mentors of undergraduates, graduate students, and, as relevant, postdoctoral fellows.

March to early May:

  • Review committees consider the candidates’ materials and departments 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 evaluation letters, submitting for divisional dean approval a draft of the review letter to external letter writers, any solicitation letter to collaborators or mentors, and proposed recipient list.
  • Departments send approved letters to approved recipient lists. The department should give arm's length external 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 letter writers.

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.

[1] 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.
 
[2] 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.