A. External Appointment to a Tenure-Track Position

(2)  Steps: External Appointment to a Tenure-Track Position

 

Step

Explanation

1

Each spring, the divisional dean authorizes searches for the upcoming academic year based on departments’ academic plans and ongoing conversations with the departments. After receiving the divisional dean’s authorization letter, the department submits a search plan to the divisional assistant dean for approval.

The search plan should address:

  • The names of the proposed search committee members, including the chair, who will have primary responsibility for ensuring that the search is broad, wide-ranging, and thorough and that proactive efforts are made to identify candidates from diverse populations, including women and minorities. The committee ordinarily consists of tenured and tenure-track faculty and should include a tenured faculty member from another department/SEAS voting cluster. The department should ask a representative of the appropriate center, institute, or initiative to serve on or consult with the search committee when there is an overlap in research interests.
  • A copy of the draft advertisement for the position.
  • A description of the field or area(s) of the search, as stated in the advertisement. Care should be taken to define the field with sufficient breadth that candidates’ contributions can be understood within an appropriately broad context. The field should not be defined as a narrow subfield.
  • The process by which candidates will be identified to ensure the creation of the most highly qualified and diverse pool of applicants.
  • Any potential internal candidates (i.e., graduate students or postdoctoral fellows currently in residence in the department conducting the search. In such cases, departments are urged to exercise special care to avoid favoritism or the appearance thereof).
  • The space (office, studio, and/or laboratory) that will house the proposed appointment and any other important resource considerations.

Note: There is an expectation that a tenure-track search will yield an assistant professor-level candidate.

2

After approval of the search plan by the divisional dean, the department advertises the position and makes inquiries at other institutions

  • All advertising copy must be reviewed and approved by the assistant dean for the division before it is submitted to the appropriate journals and other venues. Advertisements and inquiries should describe the position broadly and should list a date after which the department will stop accepting applications, or the department can encourage candidates to apply by a specific date, while indicating that applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. At least one form of the advertisement should be published in print. Advertisements should clearly state required documents and must indicate that Harvard is “an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, protected veteran status, disability, genetic information, military service, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or other protected status.”
  • The dossier for the finalist must include a teaching/advising statement that describes the candidate’s teaching philosophy and practices related to undergraduate and, as relevant, graduate and postdoctoral teaching and advising. The dossier should also include teaching and advising materials, including a teaching chart [for associate candidates] listing courses in reverse chronological order, any teaching awards, a list of past and present theses supervised, representative course syllabi, and teaching evaluations. 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. [For associate candidates, the dossier for the finalist should also include a list of past and present graduate students for whom the candidate has or had primary responsibility, and current and former postdoctoral advisees, as relevant, and including those who moved to another group.]
  • The advertisement should ask all candidates to submit with their original application materials:
    • A teaching/advising statement. (The department may request the other teaching materials from the short-list candidates.)
    • A research statement
    • A statement describing efforts to encourage diversity, inclusion, and belonging, including past, current, and anticipated future contributions in these areas.
  • The divisional dean/SEAS Dean may, as needed, request additional information from or about candidates at relevant points in the search process. 
  • Candidates should not solicit student (or postdoc) letters, and any unsolicited student (or postdoc) letters will not be included in the final dossier.
  • The dossier for the finalist must also include 3-5 letters of recommendation. At least one letter must come from someone who has not served as the candidate's undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral advisor. The advertisement should ask candidates to submit contact information for references with their original application materials. The department may also solicit additional information as necessary. 
  • The dossier for the finalist must also include a statement addressing overlap in publications and joint authorship, which is asked of candidates at the short-list stage (see Step 4).
  • Harvard is required to solicit and record, when available, each applicant’s gender and racial/ethnic information, which is accomplished through the ARIeS system. Applicants are not required to provide demographic information.

3

The department interviews candidates at appropriate professional conferences, if applicable

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please follow Harvard and other guidelines regarding travel, social distancing, etc.

 

4

The department submits a short list of candidates for approval by the divisional dean

The short list consists of candidates the department has determined are the most qualified for the job in terms of credentials, accomplishments, standing in the field, teaching experience, and field of expertise. To build the strongest pool for the short list, the committee should discuss in early and ongoing conversations how to attract diverse applicants, including women and minorities.

Note: In developing a short list, if the research interests of the appointment overlap with a center, institute, or initiative, the department should take into account the views of that unit.

Note: The department should ask candidates for the short-list for a statement on overlap and joint authorship in publications. 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.

The department sends the following to the divisional dean and the assistant dean for the division:

  • The names of the short-list candidates.
  • The candidates’ materials (e.g., letters of application, CVs, research statement, teaching/advising statement, statement on overlap and joint authorship in publications, statement on diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and 3-5 letters of recommendation).
  • A brief summary of the search process to date, including discussion of how the demographics of the short list compare to the data in the Departmental EEO Report.
  • The Departmental EEO Report displaying aggregate demographic data from the search. This report, which does not identify characteristics of individual applicants, can be retrieved through the ARIeS system. See Chapter 2 in this handbook for more information on Affirmative Action policies.

5

If approval is granted, the department invites short-list candidates to campus for interviews

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please follow Harvard and other guidelines regarding presence on campus, social distancing, etc.

Candidates meet with members of the department. The visits may include formal seminars, lectures, or presentations of working papers, as well as informal meetings with faculty, graduate students, and others. The assistant dean for the division should be given the dates of the campus visits of short-list candidates.

6

The department votes on final proposed candidate

Following discussion, which should be in-depth and rigorous, the vote is taken in accordance with departmental procedures. Department chairs may find additional information in the “Appointment and Promotion” section of the “Policies and Reports” page on the website for FAS faculty and researchers.

Note: In the rare instance that the department votes on a finalist for an assistant professor appointment who it decides merits appointment at that rank but also potentially merits appointment instead as an associate professor, the department must, following the vote to this effect, consult with the divisional/SEAS assistant dean for faculty affairs. If the assistant dean approves proceeding, the department requests authorization from the divisional dean/SEAS Dean to solicit at least two external evaluation letters. With the request, the department should submit a draft of the solicitation letter (see Sample Letter) and a 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.

Once the divisional dean/SEAS Dean has approved the solicitation letter and recipient list, the chair sends the letter and candidate materials to the scholars on the recipient list. With the solicitation letter, the department should include the candidate’s CV, teaching/advising statement, research statement, statement on overlap and joint authorship in publications, statement on diversity, inclusion, and belonging, 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 at least two 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.

Upon reviewing the external letters and discussing the case, the department votes on whether or not the finalist merits appointment as an associate professor. If the vote is affirmative by a significant majority of the tenured faculty, the department proceeds to Step 7. The rationale for the decision to appoint the candidate as an associate professor should be included in the case statement (see Step 7), and the recipient list, letter soliciting external evaluations, and external letters received should be included in the final dossier (see Step 8). If the vote to appoint the candidate as an associate professor is negative, the department’s original vote affirming that the candidate merits appointment as an assistant professor stands, and the department proceeds to Step 7. The department should include in the case statement an explanation for its decision to appoint the candidate at the assistant professor rank.

7

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 search committee, should include the following sections:

  • 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 search process:
    • List key dates, such as but not limited to:
      • The dates of search committee meetings and departmental meetings about the case
      • Visits or other interactions with short-list candidates
      • [If relevant, the date that the department send requests for external letters.]
    • Describe all efforts to identify candidates from diverse populations, including women and minorities; please address the demographics of the pool as displayed in the Departmental EEO Report available in ARIeS.
    • Include copies of correspondence and advertisements and records of telephone conversations.
  • [External letter writers (if relevant):
    • 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 a tenure-track position, which include: (for assistant professors) promise to produce scholarship of the highest quality and potential for tenure within seven years and (for associate professors) sufficient promise and achievement to qualify for tenure at a major research institution within three to five years.
    • [If the department solicited external evaluations, 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:
    • A description of the candidate’s teaching/advising experience (assistant professor candidates) or an evaluation of the candidate’s teaching and advising effectiveness in a variety of settings with both undergraduate and graduate students and, as relevant, postdocs (associate professor candidates)
    • Please describe any service activities
    • Please include an evaluation of contributions related to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • A comparison of the candidate with all other leading candidates (in particular, women and minorities), and reasons why the other leading candidates were not chosen.
  • 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 recommendation letters [and any external evaluations, as relevant] and the internal conversations of both the search 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.
  • Mentoring: The anticipated plan for providing suitable mentors for the candidate (especially if the candidate may hold a joint appointment) and for addressing aspects of the candidate’s professional development, particular to the intellectual role that the candidate is expected to play.
  • 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.

8

The candidate’s dossier is prepared by the department and sent to the assistant dean for the division and the assistant dean for faculty development.

Please send to the assistant dean for the division and the assistant dean for faculty development one electronic copy of the dossier, via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu). For a full checklist of what the dossier should include, please see below.

If an assistant professor or convertible instructor-level finalist is identified, please follow steps 9a-11a. If an associate professor-level finalist is identified, please follow steps 9b-12b.

Final steps for external appointment of an assistant professor or convertible instructor:

 

Step

Explanation

9a

After approval by the divisional dean, an offer letter is drafted by the Office for Faculty Development.

Note: Candidates with postdoctoral fellowships may defer their start date for a period of time, as discussed with and agreed upon by the divisional dean and the department chair.

The Office for Faculty Development drafts the offer letter to the candidate in consultation with the department chair and the divisional dean.

 

10a

After final approval from the divisional dean, the department chair sends the offer letter to candidate

  • Any revisions to the initial offer must be made in writing, in consultation with the Office for Faculty Development. An electronic PDF signed copy of the revised offer letter must be sent to the assistant dean for the division and the assistant dean for faculty development via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu).
  • The candidate’s acceptance of an offer is made in writing to the chair.

11a

If the offer is accepted, the final dossier is compiled and sent to the Office for Faculty Affairs, and the appointment is processed in the Aurora system by the department

  • The department sends 1 electronic PDF copy of the final dossier, including the signed offer letter, to the Appointments Office in the Office for Faculty Affairs via Aurora.
  • The department delivers the original I-9 form and any necessary payroll documents to Central Payroll.
  • The department sends to the assistant dean for the division and the assistant dean for faculty development via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu) 1 electronic PDF copy of the final offer letter, signed by the department chair.
  • The department sends to the assistant dean for faculty development via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu) 1 electronic PDF copy of the candidate’s acceptance letter.
  • The department administrator will remind the faculty member to sign electronically the Harvard University Participation Agreement by the start of their appointment.

 Final steps for external appointment of an associate professor:

 

Step

Explanation

9b

After approval of the candidate by the divisional dean, the dossier is reviewed by a subcommittee of CAP

If requested by one of the reviewers, the full Committee on Appointments and Promotions may be asked to review the dossier.

10b

After approval of the dossier, an offer letter is drafted by the Office for Faculty Development

The Office for Faculty Development drafts the offer letter to the candidate in consultation with the department chair and the divisional dean. When appropriate, the assistant dean for faculty development will work with a center, institute, or initiative to develop a supplementary letter for the candidate that describes the resources available through the center, institute, or initiative.

11b

After final approval from the divisional dean, the department chair sends the offer letter to candidate

  • Any revisions to the initial offer must be made in writing, in consultation with the Office for Faculty Development. An electronic PDF signed copy of the revised offer letter must be sent to the assistant dean for the division and the assistant dean for faculty development via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu).
  • The candidate’s acceptance of an offer is made in writing to the chair.

12b

If the offer is accepted, the final dossier is compiled and sent to the Appointments Office in the Office for Faculty Affairs, and the appointment is processed in the Aurora system by appointing department

  • The department sends 1 electronic PDF copy of the final dossier, including the signed offer letter, to the Appointments Office in the Office for Faculty Affairs via Aurora.
  • The department delivers the original I-9 form and any necessary payroll documents to Central Payroll.
  • The department sends to the assistant dean for the division and the assistant dean for faculty development via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu) 1 electronic PDF copy of the final offer letter, signed by the department chair.
  • The department sends to the assistant dean for faculty development via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu) 1 electronic PDF copy of the candidate’s acceptance letter.
  • The department administrator will remind the faculty member to sign electronically the Harvard University Participation Agreement by the start of their appointment.


 

(3)  Dossier Checklist:  External Appointment to a Tenure-Track Position (Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Convertible Instructors)

Please send an electronic copy of the preliminary dossier to the assistant dean for the division (AD) and the assistant dean in the Office for Faculty Development (AD(OFD)) via Accellion Kiteworks (secure document transfer: filetransfer.harvard.edu). To facilitate storing and sharing of files, please name the 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.

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.     Case statement (including department vote by name). See description in Step 7 above. Note: The case statement must include a description of all efforts to identify candidates from diverse populations, including women and minorities.
 

______2.     The Departmental EEO Report displaying aggregate demographic data from the search, available through ARIeS.

______3.     Authorization letter for the search.

______4.     Candidate’s letter of application and any application materials.

______5.     Candidate’s curriculum vitae, including a bibliography.

______6.     Teaching and advising materials, including teaching awards, a list of theses supervised, representative course syllabi, and teaching evaluations, if applicable. [For associate candidates, also include a summary teaching chart indicating any semesters on leave, a list of graduate students, and a list of postdocatoral advisees, as relevant]

______7.     Teaching/advising statement describing teaching philosophy and practices.

______8.     Research statement.

______9.     Statement on publications overlap and joint authorship.

_____10.     Statement describing efforts to encourage diversity, inclusion, and belonging, including past, current, and anticipated future contributions in these areas. 

_____11.     Candidate’s publications (including those forthcoming), if applicable; or in art-making fields, copies, as appropriate, of candidate’s creative works.

_____12.     Evidence of the candidate’s completion of the requirements for the doctorate, if the degree is not already in hand or was received in the last three months. [May be provided later for appointment to convertible instructor.] [As appropriate, the doctorate may not be required for tenure-track appointments in the arts.]

_____13.     All (at least three) letters of recommendation.

_____14.     [If the candidate, initially evaluated in a search for an assistant professor, was, by department vote, considered for an associate professor appointment instead (and regardless of whether or not the candidate was appointed at the associate level): the letter soliciting evaluations from external letter writers, the recipient list, and the at least 2 external letters received.]

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

 

To be added to the final dossier after the offer is finalized:

_____15.      A copy of the offer letter and all subsequent emendations to it.

_____16.     A copy of the candidate’s letter of acceptance.

After the offer is finalized, please send 1 electronic PDF copy of the final signed offer letter to the AD and AD(OFD) via Accellion Kiteworks. Please also send to the AD(OFD), via Accellion Kiteworks, 1 electronic PDF copy of the candidate’s acceptance letter.

Please deliver the original I-9 form and any necessary payroll documents to Central Payroll.


 

(4)  Timetable: Conversion of Convertible Instructorships to Assistant Professorships

 

Convertible instructorship start date

Doctoral requirements completed by:

Assistant professorship begins

1

July 1

October 15

Retroactive to July 1

2

July 1

February 1

Retroactive to January 1

3

July 1

June 30

July 1, following year

4

January 1

April 15

Retroactive to January 1

5

January 1

August 1

Retroactive to July 1

6

January 1

December 31

January 1, following year

Note: In cases 2, 3, 5, and 6, the time spent as convertible instructor is considered pre-doctoral and will not be counted as part of the original assistant professor appointment.

If degree requirements are not met within a year of the original appointment start date, no further appointment is possible.