College of Science Promotion and Tenure Requirements

7-1-2021

In addition to the requirements made university wide and stated in the Faculty Handbook the college has the following additional requirements.

  1. In order to be considered for promotion and tenure, the faculty member makes the request the latest in the winter term of the preceding academic year in which formal evaluation is requested. For the required tenure cases, the department head notifies the candidate during winter term the latest.
  2. Departments inform the College of the names of all faculty members who will undergo extensive review by the end of Winter term of the academic year preceding the academic year of formal evaluation.
  3. External letters for instructors have to come from outside the department and the majority of letters should be from evaluators with a strong teaching experience.
  4. Dossiers for candidates with a larger teaching role should include student feedback based on at least 8 student letters.
  5. Submission of dossiers has to follow the time line provided each year by the college.
  6. Each department will have a description published of the procedures used in that department for the evaluation of the candidates.
  7. Any person who was the MS or PhD advisor of a candidate is considered to have a conflict of interest and should not participate in the promotion and tenure process.
  8. Unit level Conflict of Interest decisions will be reported to the Dean, who has the authority to overturn the unit level decision when the unit found no conflict.
  9. College P&T committee Conflict of Interest decisions will be reported to the Dean, who has the authority to overturn the decision when the unit found no conflict.
  10. Conflicts of interest involving the Dean will be referred to the Provost.
  11. The direct supervisor for FRAs and RAs is not part of the unit PandT committee

College of Science Promotion and Tenure Committee Elections

7-1-2021

According to the Faculty Handbook:

“The college P&T committee is intended to be an independent voice of evaluation that is identified within the college, and whose membership is determined by a transparent election process approved by a majority of the faculty members, who voted, within the unit with ranks listed in the section “Criteria for Promotions.” The college P&T committee shall be elected from the group of professorial college faculty members at the rank of associate and above and senior instructors, and may include unit chairs or heads. Colleges will determine term limits and frequency of elections. The size and composition of the committee shall be decided within the college to provide fair and equitable faculty representation based on the diversity within the college. The committee shall have representation from multiple units within the college and can include members elected at large from the college. College P&T committee members, if a signatory of a unit level letter of evaluation, shall recuse themselves from votes on these cases. College-level processes must be consistent with these procedural guidelines.”

The following is the process approved by vote for our college.

Accepted Fall 2015; Updated Spring 2018

The College of Science Promotion and Tenure Committee shall be comprised of nine tenured Full Professors and two faculty at the Senior Instructor II rank; all must have a majority of their appointment in the College of Science. The members of the Committee are to be elected by faculty members with the majority of their appointment in the College of Science, and according to the rules in the faculty handbook. Retired faculty members are not eligible to serve; also not eligible to serve are Department Chairs/Heads except as noted below.

The nine professors will include one member from each department plus two members-at-large, and they will be elected for three year terms except as noted below. The two Senior Instructor II members will both be at-large and will be elected to a two year term (except to fill a vacancy); they will participate only in discussions and votes on cases involving promotion from Instructor to Senior Instructor I or from Senior Instructor I to Senior Instructor II . Three members at the Professor rank and one at the Senior Instructor II rank will be elected every year unless additional members are needed to fill a vacancy, such as may occur due to a resignation or a sabbatical or other leave.

Any vacant positions will also be filled during an election and the length of service for members elected to such positions will be derived from the position being filled. If departmental composition, sabbaticals or other exceptional circumstances occur that would result in a department not having a Full Professor serve on the Committee, the Department Chair/Head may be appointed for a one-year term.

Elections will be held every April for the committee service year starting September of the same year through August of the following year. The ballot will contain the names of all faculty members in the college eligible for election at the time of the vote. Excluded will be current committee members whose term is not yet expiring, current committee members who are completing a full regular three year term of service, as well as faculty members expected to be on sabbatical or other leave. Faculty members are expected to serve if elected. In unusual circumstances, a request not to serve after being elected may be submitted to the Dean of the College of Science, who will decide on the request. In the case positions in the committee are vacated before December of the current term, the next person on the April ballot list with the most votes counting for this vacant position will be elected to the committee. Vacancies created December through March result in a smaller committee for that period.

Every faculty member will cast five votes for Professor rank faculty and two votes for Senior Instructor II rank faculty. Votes will be counted by the Associate Deans. For the Professor rank positions, if a department is not represented in the set of faculty members continuing on the committee, the person with the highest number of votes in that department will be elected. For the at-large positions, the two members at the same rank must not be from the same department as each other. Depending on the number of vacancies to be filled, the one or two faculty in each rank elected will be those with the largest number of votes that also meet the condition that the at-large members at the same rank not be from the same department. In case of a tie, a decision will be made by the Associate Deans using a random draw. The chair of the College of Science Promotion and Tenure Committee will be the person on the committee with the largest number of years of service on the committee.

The College of Science Promotion and Tenure Committee will hold its deliberations from mid-December to mid-February, and committee members are expected to be available during that time period. The Committee may also be called on to meet and deliberate at other times to consider College Promotion & Tenure policies and norms, and any other matters as may be raised by either the Dean or by faculty, including post tenure review matters.


College of Science Promotion and Tenure Conflict of Interest

7-1-2021

The Faculty Handbook prescribes how to deal with conflicts of interest.

"In order that we maintain objectivity in the promotion and tenure process, it is critical that we declare and manage special relationships between candidates and other faculty/administrators that might create real or apparent bias in the process. This means that evaluators who have a relationship with a candidate should be forthcoming in making that relationship known, consistent with University policies and these Guidelines, and act to ensure that their participation in no way undermines the objectivity of the evaluation process. This includes personal relationships as well as professional relationships such as those with former advisees and collaborators. A faculty member or administrator involved in the promotion and tenure evaluation process must declare any conflict of interest that arises from these circumstances.

If a unit or college level supervisor or P&T committee member involved in the P&T evaluation process has a relationship with a candidate under consideration that may result in a conflict of interest, he or she must declare the nature of the conflict of interest before any discussion takes place. A conflict of interest occurs when the evaluating party could realize personal, financial, professional, or other gain or loss as a result of the outcome of the P&T process, or when the objectivity of the evaluating party could be impaired by virtue of the relationship. The specific nature of the conflict of interest should be noted in a written statement to the unit or college P&T committee chair. If the P&T committee determines that the process would be compromised by the participation of the individual with a conflict of interest, that faculty member must recuse him or herself from any discussion or voting on that particular case."

These procedures described in the Faculty Handbook give the authority to make the decisions to the P&T committee at the level where the potential conflict is declared. The main reason for this procedure is that the faculty members participating at that level do in most cases have the most accurate knowledge of the circumstances. Nevertheless, problems can occur because these faculty members are too close to the case. Therefore the college adds three safeguards.

Potential Conflicts of Interest declared by a unit P&T committee member or by the unit head are treated at the unit P&T committee level, according to the university guidelines. When the status of a conflict of interest has been discussed at the unit level, the outcome of the discussion needs to be reported immediately to the Dean. The Dean has the authority to find a conflict of interest where the unit committee decided there was none.

College P&T committee members, if a signatory of a unit level letter of evaluation, shall recuse themselves from votes on these cases. All other potential conflicts of interest at the college P&T committee level need to be discussed in the committee and the outcome has to be reported to the Dean, who in this case as well can overturn a decision of no conflict of interest.

If the Dean has a conflict of interest, this should be reported to the provost for a resolution.
In all cases, it is a college rule that anybody who was the MS or PhD thesis advisor of the candidate is automatically excluded.


College of Science Promotion and Tenure Dossier Guidance

7-1-2021

The Faculty Handbook describes the general procedures that need to be followed, but here are some places listed where special attention needs to be paid.

The dossier should contain all information since hiring. It should also contain all information from a previous institution if there is a prior service agreement and pertaining to the time set in a prior service credit agreement. The offer letter has to be included when there is such an agreement. The case is evaluated on all work done since the last promotion, or since the hiring date, including prior service in the approved time.

I. Cover page

Include name of candidate, department and college, and what action is being requested (i.e. Promotion to Professor). The electronic system will add page numbers to the dossiers for you. Please do not add your own pagination. Done by administrator, not by the candidate.

II. Form A

Include check list Form A. Done by administrator, not by the candidate. Add offer letter for tenure cases with prior service agreement.

III. Confidentiality waiver (optional)

All faculty have the option of signing a “Waiver of Access” form for outside letters of evaluation. The signed original should be included in this section. Execution of the waiver is voluntary. If the candidate chooses not to sign the waiver of access, include a statement to that effect in this section. The wording is old, candidate signs accepting or not accepting, but a signature is required.

IV. Position description

A copy of the candidate's current position description must be included. If significant shifts in assignment have occurred, earlier position descriptions should be included. With significant assignment changes, include a table that summarizes FTE distribution among primary activities over time. Refer to the “Guidelines for Position Descriptions for Academic Faculty” to describe the allocation of FTE for a faculty member. Provided by the administrator, check all PDS are signed.

V. Candidate's statement

Part A: The candidate should include a statement (three page maximum, 12 point font, one inch margins) that addresses the individual's contributions in the areas of teaching, advising and other assignments; scholarship and creative activity; and service (Done by the candidate). In this statement, be clear, concise, and factual. Explain technical details to an audience with no background in the field. Make sure to include all relevant work, do not assume people higher up know what you are doing.

Part B: An optional COVID-19 impact statement may be included (one page maximum, 12 point font, one inch margins). COVID-19 impact statements describe the impact of the pandemic on the ability to perform duties in the position description.  Impacts may include the following examples: personal circumstances that impede work, lack of access to research facilities and sites, inability to collect data, publication delays, cancelled conferences and seminars, or other circumstances attributable to the changed landscape of working under pandemic conditions. DONE BY THE CANDIDATE.

VI. Student letter of evaluation (as appropriate)

As required by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, students will be invited to participate in the review of faculty for promotion and tenure.

Guidelines for the Student Evaluation Letter for Inclusion in the Promotion and Tenure Dossier (approved by Faculty Senate on June 12, 2008, approved by President Ray on July 20, 2008).

The purpose of the student evaluation letter is to document the student perspective of the candidate’s effectiveness as a teacher and advisor. In order to provide the university with a consistent source of information for the process, the unit P&T committee and the unit supervisor should endeavor to organize student committees for faculty evaluation using the following process.

  1. The unit chair or head or designee requests a list of names of current and recent students, including advisees from the candidate.
  2. The unit P&T committee and the supervisor (normally unit chair or head) jointly generate an additional list of student names.
  3. The unit chair or head or designee requests letters of reference from that combined list. An attempt should be made to request input from students whose collective experience represents the profile of the teaching and advising duties of the faculty member. For example, if a faculty member teaches all undergraduate courses, it is appropriate for all letters to come from undergraduates. If the faculty member teaches a combination of courses, the students should have a combination of backgrounds that will provide sufficient information to evaluate the candidate’s performance.
  4. Letters to the students requesting the evaluative reference must inform the student as to who will see their review letters. Access to those letters will be determined by whether the candidate has signed a waiver of access. Students must also be informed that only signed letters will be used as part of the process.
  5. As a rule ½ of the letters should be from the list generated by the candidate and ½ from the list generated by the unit. There is no specific minimum number of letters required. The total number of letters should be on the order of 4-12, depending on the complexity of the candidate’s teaching duties.
  6. Units that use a series of standardized questions to help guide student input are strongly encouraged to work with Faculty Affairs and OSU Legal Counsel prior to asking for information from students.
  7. Letters received from student referees are kept on file in the unit office. Consult the OSU records retention schedule for the required period the letters must be kept on file. ( http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/archives/schedule/admin.html .) The names of the students and the content of the letters are kept confidential if the candidate has signed a waiver of access.
  8. The unit chair or head or designee will form a student committee, whose task it is to write a letter summarizing the input from student referees. Members of this committee:
    1. Should be current students.
    2. As a rule, ½ should be from a list provided by the candidate and ½ from a list generated by the unit.
    3. May be individuals from whom letters were solicited.
    4. Should not be a current advisee of the candidate (letters from current advisees may be part of the student input).
  9. The student committee is provided with the student referee letters, student oriented teaching and advising portion of the dossier (i.e. excluding faculty peer review), plus any additional available information pertinent to their review.
  10. The student chair of the student committee is selected by the P&T committee or unit supervisor. The only duty of this committee is to write a summary letter that includes information from the student referee letters and the teaching and advising portion of the dossier.
  11. The student committee should be instructed to include in its summary the perspectives represented by all the student referee letters (e.g. not to integrate opinions into an intermediate position).
  12. All members of the committee sign the summary letter and present it to the unit P&T committee and unit supervisor. The summary letter and the names of the individuals on the student committee will be known to the candidate and P&T committee even if the candidate has signed a waiver of access.

The student committee section of the dossier must include:

  • A description of the process used in the unit for the selection of the student committee;
  • A copy of the instructions given to the students;
  • A short description of the group of students that provided letters, the nature of their relationship to the faculty member and whether the candidate or the P&T committee nominated the student to be a member of the committee; and
  • The summary letter from the student committee, signed by the members of the committee (Docusign is allowable).

Sample request for student committee letter

Sample request for student letter of evaluation

Done by administrator, not by the candidate.

VII. Administrative letters of evaluation

  • Departmental Faculty Committee Letter
  • Department Chair or Department Head Letter
  • Letters from Other Administrators with Supervisory Responsibility. Note that for faculty positions reporting to a direct supervisor a letter from that supervisor needs to go here.
  • College or Unit Promotion and Tenure Committee's Letter
  • Dean, Director, Vice President, or Vice Provost's Letter

These letters are to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the candidate's performance. If the candidate reports to, or works closely with, more than one supervisor, letters from each should be included. These letters should not simply be a restatement of evaluations at lower administrative levels. Summarize and comment on key points in the letters of evaluation solicited from qualified reviewers in the candidate's field. Evaluators should be identified only by a coded reference number or letter when referring to a comment in a confidential letter. All letters must be signed by all committee members (Docusign is allowable).

Done by administrator, not by the candidate.

VIII. Promotion and tenure vita

The vita for promotion and/or tenure review should be formatted to follow the section headings below.

A. Education and employment information

The year, major field of study, and degree obtained from each institution should be identified. The year, location, and institution for each position held since the baccalaureate should be included in this section.

Example:

A1. Education

2002

Ph.D., Physics

MIT

Advisor: Thomas Edison

1994

B.S., Chemistry

Stanford

A2. Professional Experience

Sept. 2006−present

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics

Oregon State University

Jan 2003-Aug 2004

Postdoctoral Fellow

Biophysics Department

University of Delft, The Netherlands

B. Teaching, advising and other assignments

1. Instructional Summary

  • Credit Courses - Present a chronological listing of course numbers, term, year, and number of students enrolled.

Number

Course Title

Term/Year

Credits

Enrollment

PH211

Physics with calculus

Fall 2016

4

200

Etc

 

Winter 2017

   
  • Non-Credit Courses and Workshops - Present a chronological listing of noncredit courses, international training programs held in the U.S., workshops, seminars, Extension programs, and continuing education programs in which candidate has had a major responsibility. Indicate the candidate's role (program participant, program organizer, etc.).

    Similar table or none if not applicable.

  • Curriculum Development - List primary contributions in curriculum development and give dates (e.g. courses developed, curriculum committee service, etc.).

    Describe or state none if not applicable.

  • Graduate and Undergraduate Students and Postdoctoral Trainees - List current and former graduate and undergraduate students and postdoctoral trainees for whom the candidate has had a major instructional or mentoring responsibility. Indicate instructional role (major professor, graduate committee member, thesis or project mentor, etc.) and year the degree was or will be completed.

    Note: This is in a new place compared to older guidelines.

    Note: Wording for Postdoctoral Trainees has changed with the bargaining agreement, they are now called Postdoctoral Scholars. Since there is no other place for this, include supervision of Research Associates, Faculty Research Assistants, and Postdoctoral Fellows here as well.

Previous students and trainees. Suggestion is to list sorted by undergrad, grad, trainee

Name

Role

Degree

Thesis

Date

John Johnson

Research Advisor

BS

On Falling Objects

Fall 2020

Anne Green

Research Supervisor

Postdoctoral Scholar

N/A

Fall 2017 – Spring 2019

Alice Green

Committee Member

PhD

On floating objects

Fall 2020

Etc

       

Current students and trainees

Name

Role

Degree

Expected Date

Mark Johnson

Research Advisor

BS

Spring 2022

Amy Green

Research Supervisor

Postdoctoral Scholar

 

Etc

     
  • Team or Collaborative Efforts, If Any - Indicate special efforts undertaken to team or collaborate with another individual, group, or institution in the planning or delivery of instruction.

    Describe or state none if not applicable

  • International Teaching, If Any - Identify instructional activities (short and long-term) and/or curricular developments that have taken place in countries other than the United Sates. Indicate the location, time frame, and nature of the teaching experience (i.e. workshop, seminar, course, etc.).

    Describe or state none if not applicable.

2. Student and Participant/Client Evaluation

Summarize all course/program evaluations with numerical ratings. Results from evaluations by learners or participants of every course taught by the candidate should be included in tabular format. The number of students/clients in the course who submitted evaluations should be identified. The summary should include an analysis of performance over time, e.g. same course by term and year, as well as comparisons of the course to department and/or college norms on important variables such as required /not required, core or elective, and level (100, 200...), etc. Letters from individual students, clients, or program participants should not be included.

For information before COVID use the table below, for current procedures, follow the university guidelines, which will be coming out in June 2021.

Course

Credits

Term

Enrollment

Responding

Q1

Q1Dept

Q2

Q2Dept

PH211

4

Spring 2019

389

211

4.2

4.5

4.6

4.2

Etc

               

Add an analysis of changes over time for the same course.

3. Peer Teaching Evaluations

Peer evaluations should be based on a review of course syllabi, texts, assigned reading, examinations, class materials, and other assessments such as attendance at lectures as appropriate for the field and subject area. Peer teaching evaluations should be systematic and on-going, following unit guidelines for peer review of teaching. A letter from the peer teaching review committee that summarizes all peer teaching reviews over the evaluation timeframe should be included in the dossier.

Done by administrator, not by the candidate.

4. Advising

Describe advising/counseling responsibilities, both formal academic advising (give number of student advisees, how often they typically meet with the adviser), and co-curricular advising (e.g. faculty adviser for student professional organization). Provide evaluations of advising performance, including dates, and describe how student input was obtained. Evaluation will consider the innovation and creativity of the services, and their effectiveness; it may be based on systematic surveys of and assessments by students and former students who received these services, when signed by the students.

This section now asks about true advising/mentoring only. Research supervision for students is listed earlier.

5. Other Assignments

For faculty with primary responsibilities other than teaching and advising, information that identifies these duties and the indicators for assessing effectiveness should be included in this section.

  • Other Assigned Duties - Provide a paragraph which describes or summarizes the assigned responsibilities, target audience, collaborative aspects, international activities and number of individuals served.
  • Participant/Client Evaluation - Summarize evaluations highlighting the services provided and, to the extent possible, the impact of these services on identified needs.

Describe or state none if not applicable.

C. Scholarship and creative activity

Scholarship and creative activity are understood to be intellectual work whose significance is validated by peers and which is communicated. As specified in the Promotion and Tenure Guidelines, such work in its diverse forms is based on a high level of professional expertise; must give evidence of originality; must be documented and validated as through peer review or critique; and must be communicated in appropriate ways so as to have impact on or significance for publics beyond the University, or for the discipline itself.

1. In identifying scholarly and creative activity, use appropriate headings (e.g. refereed publications, juried exhibits, non-refereed publications).

  • Refereed papers or juried exhibitions or compositions should be listed separately from non-refereed papers or indicated with an asterisk.
  • All authors should be given in the order they appear in the paper (not "with John Smith and Kathy Brown"). Date of publication, volume, and pages must be given. When work that is the product of joint effort is presented as evidence of scholarship, clarification of the candidate's role in the joint effort should be provided in the dossier.
  • Where not obvious, the dossier should explain how the work was validated and communicated. It is also important to know the significance of the scholarship and creative activity and the stature of the sources in which they appear. These can be commented on after each listing, and discussed in letters of evaluation from the promotion and tenure committee, the Department Chair, Head, Director, or Dean.

Note the importance of clarifying the role in the publications!

Examples:

  • I led the analysis and writing.
  • I led and executed this project.
  • I wrote this manuscript with feedback from coauthors.
  • I co-developed the conceptual framework for this paper, and contributed to theanalysis and writing.
  • I developed the model analyzed in this paper and contributed to the analyses.
  • Work by PhD student ****; I contributed to study design, data analyses, and writing/editing of the paper
  • I participated in conceptualization of the study, preparation of many samples, and helped write the paper
  • As PI, I funded a large portion of this collaborative study, collected much of the raw data, performed most of the computational and statistical analyses, and wrote most of the manuscript.

Create separate lists for the following:

  • Books and book chapters
  • Refereed Journal Publications
  • Peer-reviewed Archival Conference Publications
  • Other Peer-reviewed publications
  • Papers currently under peer review or accepted but not yet published (state which)
  • Other publications

Candidates should separate publications based on work done while at OSU from those based on work done before being hired at OSU. Manuscripts in preparation should not be listed.

2. For professional meetings, symposia, and conferences, note the dates, location, and role of the faculty member (e.g. organizer, chair, invited speaker, discussant, presenter). Where these are presented as scholarship or creative activity, explain the validation process and the significance or stature of the event.

Also add participation in invitational workshops.

3. List grant and contract support (dollar amount) along with funding agency, dates and name of principal investigator.

Use the following layout for presenting the information.

Agency

Dates

PIs

Co-PIs

Title

Total Budget

Candidate’s share of budget

NSF

1/18-12/21

Names

Names

Study of falling and floating bodies

$333,123

$75,244

Etc

           

4. List patent awards, cultivar releases, and inventions, with titles and dates.

Describe or state none if not applicable.

5. List other information appropriate to one's discipline.

Describe or state none if not applicable.

D. Service

Faculty service is essential to the University's success in achieving its central mission. Service is an expectation for promotion for all ranks at Oregon State University.

1. University Service

List departmental, college, and University committees (or other responsibilities), with dates.

2. Service to the Profession

List involvement with professional associations/societies, especially offices held, research advisory or review panels, and other evidence of regional, national, or international stature and service to the profession. Provide dates for all activities.

Include journal editorships, conference and workshop organization, conference program committees, and grant and journal reviewing. List agency or journal and approximate number of articles reviewed per year for that journal.

3. Service to the Public (professionally related)

List service provided to the public which is consistent with professional training and responsibilities. Provide dates. Service that is relevant to a faculty member's assignment, and which draws upon professional expertise or contributes significantly to university relations, is considered and valued in promotion and tenure decision.

4. Service to the Public (non-professionally related) (optional)

Community service not directly related to the faculty member's appointment, though valuable in itself, and ideally a responsibility of all citizens, is considered in promotion and tenure decisions to the extent that it contributes to the University.

5. If service is a significant percentage of FTE, outcomes or impact should be described.

E. Awards

Include awards received from professional organizations/societies, Oregon State University, civic or community groups. The nature of the award (including its stature and significance) and reason received, e.g., teaching and advising, scholarship, etc., should be identified. The awards should be grouped, to the extent possible, into the following headings.

  1. National and International Awards
  2. State and Regional Awards
  3. University and Community Awards

IX. Letters of evaluation

Done by administrator, not by the candidate.

Solicited Letters of Evaluation from Outside Leaders in the Field (6 minimum, 8 maximum for professorial faculty; 4 for Faculty Research Assistants and instructors).

For professorial faculty, letters should generally be from leaders in the candidate's field, chosen for their ability to evaluate the parts of the dossier for which they have specific expertise. Letters should not be solicited from co-authors or co-principal investigators who collaborated with the candidate in the last five years. In general, letters should not be solicited from former post-doctoral advisers, professors, or former students. If letters from any of these generally excluded evaluators are critical to candidate assessment, a detailed explanation of why their participation is essential and of why there is expectation for objectivity must be provided by the unit leader who requested their letter. Letters should generally be from tenured professors or individuals of equivalent stature outside of academe who are widely recognized in the field. External letters for professorial faculty should never be solicited from clients or others whom the candidate has directly served in his/her work.

Professorial candidates must submit a list of 5-8 evaluators who meet the criteria stated above and from this list at least three letters will be obtained for the final dossier. If additional names are needed, these will be obtained from the candidate by the unit head. The other evaluators are to be selected by the chair, head, dean, or faculty committee according to practices determined within the unit. All letters must be requested by the unit chair, head, dean, or the unit's promotion and tenure committee chair, not the candidate. Provide a brief (paragraph) description of the outside evaluators that makes it clear that they meet the criteria. More detail must be provided if an evaluator would generally be excluded, per the preceding paragraph. Clearly indicate which outside reviewers were chosen by the candidate. If an evaluator was suggested by both the candidate and others, that evaluator will be considered among the candidate’s pool of evaluators unless there is clear indication in the description of that evaluator why he/she should be included in the “other evaluator” pool. In the final dossier, no more than half of the letters of evaluation can be from the list suggested by the candidate.

For FRA’s and Instructors four letters of evaluation are to be obtained. In general, the letters must be from individuals who hold a rank at or above the level for which the candidate is being considered, or an experience level equivalent to such a rank. Ability to objectively evaluate is the driver in selecting evaluators. Evaluators may be internal or external to OSU. Internal evaluators may be individuals who have worked with the candidate but can objectively evaluate the candidate’s dossier.

FRA and instructor candidates must submit a list of four evaluators who meet the criteria stated above and, from this list, two letters will be obtained for the final dossier. If additional names are needed, these will be obtained from the candidate by the unit head. The other evaluators are to be selected by the chair, head, dean, or faculty committee according to practices determined within the unit. All letters must be requested by the unit chair, head, dean, or the unit's promotion and tenure committee chair, not the candidate. Provide a brief (paragraph) description of the outside evaluators that makes it clear that they meet the criteria. Additional detail must be provided if an evaluator is not of a rank at or above the level for which the candidate is being considered, if they have been suggested based on experience level equivalency, and/or if they are internal to OSU and have worked with the candidate. Clearly indicate which outside reviewers were chosen by the candidate. If an evaluator was suggested by both the candidate and others, that evaluator will be considered among the candidate’s pool of evaluators unless there is clear indication in the description of that evaluator why he/she should be included in the “other evaluator” pool. In the final dossier, no more than half of the letters of evaluation can be from the list suggested by the candidate.

A representative form letter can be found at: SAMPLE REPRESENTATIVE FORM (doc), but any reasonable variation is acceptable. Include a copy of the actual letter used. Each reviewer should be sent a copy of the candidate's position description, candidate’s statement, and current vita. Copies of publications are not usually sent to reviewers, but may be sent at the discretion of the individual soliciting the letter. Provide a log of contacts with the reviewers, including letters and telephone calls. Letters from external reviewers should be available prior to initiating the review of the dossier.

X. Other letters and materials (optional)

Additional letters from sources other than administrators, unit promotion and tenure committees, the student committee, and external reviewers are not necessary. Signed letters of support or advocacy from friends, colleagues, students, and clients should be included only if they are necessary for fairness and balance. If there is some compelling reason to include such letters, the unit supervisor should write a statement identifying the significance of the letters, whether solicited or unsolicited, and the need to include them in the dossier. All letters should be letters of evaluation and should be open to the candidate. Include any other material that may be relevant to a full and fair review.

This section is also used for significant updates on the dossier after it is signed for completeness. Factual errors can be corrected at any point, but a note should be made in the dossier when it was updated. I suggest using this section for such notes. While the dossier is discussed in the unit, the department head is responsible for incorporating changes and for informing all parties. Once the dossier is in the college, units should forward all changes/additions to the college, so they can be included properly and all parties can be notified. Rebuttal letters should be placed according to the upload instructions.

Do not include copies of papers.

XI. Candidate's signed statement

Prior to the dossier receiving its first formal review by the unit promotion and tenure committee, the candidate should sign a statement that he or she has reviewed the open part of the dossier and that it is complete and current. The candidate retains the right of access to recommendations added by deans, heads, chairs, directors, and unit promotion and tenure committees.

Initiated by administrator, not by the candidate. Candidate should receive a complete copy of the open part of the dossier at this time.


College of Science Promotion and Tenure External Letters

7-1-2021

Professorial Candidates

According to the Faculty Handbook external letters evaluating the candidate’s dossier should be solicited from leaders in the candidate’s field. The letters should not come from co-authors, co-principal investigators, or former advisors, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook. The candidate should suggest the names of 5-8 external evaluators. An additional list of external evaluators is then developed using a unit-defined process. The unit head or their designee solicits 8 letters (total) from the two lists. No more than half of the letters in the final dossier may be from the list suggested by the candidate. The candidate should not contact the potential reviewers to ask for support, all contact in relation with the promotion and tenure case should come from the unit head or designee.

The university rules are strict on selecting letter writers. Although this process can be tedious, it is not complicated. After the appropriate potential external reviewers are identified, it is a good procedure to write them in spring and ask them if they are available for reviewing a dossier in the time frame set by the department. If they answer no, this correspondence does not have to be listed in the dossier. If they answer yes, all further correspondence has to be tracked and mentioned in the dossier. They are now an external reviewer. There are many reasons a person is not able to help with a review, and assuming that they do so because they have a negative opinion of the candidate’s work is not correct.

External letters for professorial candidates are required to be from outside OSU. They should in general be from professionals at the full professor level or with equivalent status, unless the person can give very specific information for the case under consideration.
Retired OSU faculty members are not external, in particular if they have an emeritus appointment. They should not be asked to write letters for professorial cases.

It is required to include the log of all contacts with external reviewers. There should be a one paragraph description of the external reviewer, including why they were selected, and from which list they were. A sample letter to the external reviewers has to be included. If the candidate was awarded an extension to the tenure clock, that should be mentioned together with the statement that the dossier should be evaluated against the normal time frame, not the extended time frame. The external reviewers should be asked to use letterhead and list their titles. External letters should be signed.

On occasion, the academic unit may be in possession of 4 letters from the candidate’s list and only 3 letters from the academic unit’s list; this can occur unintentionally and for a variety of reasons. When this occurs, the academic unit should attempt to secure an additional letter from the academic unit’s list. However, when the situation is such that there is concern about the quality of the letter and/or potential bias that may be introduced by a “last minute” request made relatively close to the unit’s P&T process deadline, the academic unit should remove the last letter received from an external evaluator on the candidate’s list.

Decisions made to exclude any letters received from external evaluators must be noted in the records with an explanation for the removal decision and a detailed description of the process used to identify which letter was to be removed.

Instructor Candidates.

For Instructors four letters of evaluation are to be obtained. In general, the letters must be from individuals who hold a rank at or above the level for which the candidate is being considered, or an experience level equivalent to such a rank. Ability to objectively evaluate is the driver in selecting evaluators. Evaluators may be internal or external to OSU. Internal evaluators may be individuals who have worked with the candidate but can objectively evaluate the candidate’s dossier.

External reviewers for instructors can be internal to OSU. The college requires that they should be external to the department and be mostly from reviewers who have a strong teaching experience. Ability to objectively evaluate is the driver in selecting evaluators. Internal evaluators may be individuals who have worked with the candidate but can objectively evaluate the candidate’s dossier.

Retired OSU faculty members are not external, in particular if they have an emeritus appointment. They should not be asked to write letters for instructor cases in their home department.

Instructor candidates must submit a list of four evaluators who meet the criteria stated above and, from this list, two letters will be generated for the final dossier. If additional names are needed, these will be obtained from the candidate by the unit head. The other evaluators are to be selected by the unit according to practices determined within the unit. All letters must be requested by the unit head or designee. The candidate should not contact the potential reviewers to ask for support, all contact in relation with the promotion case should come from the unit head or designee.

Provide a brief (paragraph) description of the outside evaluators that makes it clear that they meet the criteria. Additional detail must be provided if an evaluator is not of a rank at or above the level for which the candidate is being considered, if they have been suggested based on experience level equivalency, and/or if they are internal to OSU and have worked with the candidate. Clearly indicate which outside reviewers were chosen by the candidate. If an evaluator was suggested by both the candidate and others, that evaluator will be considered among the candidate’s pool of evaluators unless there is clear indication in the description of that evaluator why he/she should be included in the “other evaluator” pool. In the final dossier, no more than half of the letters of evaluation can be from the list suggested by the candidate.

On occasion, the academic unit may be in possession of 3 letters from the either the candidate’s list or the academic unit’s list; this can occur unintentionally and for a variety of reasons. The academic unit should remove the last letter received from an external evaluator on the list.

Decisions made to exclude any letters received from external evaluators must be noted in the records with an explanation for the removal decision and a detailed description of the process used to identify which letter was to be removed.

FRA and Research Associate Candidates

According to the university guidelines the current process for these groups is the same as for instructors. For this group the procedure is far too complicated. A very important opinion should be expressed by the evaluation of the direct supervisor. The direct supervisor is required to contribute to section VII of the dossier. As a result, the supervisor should not take part in the unit discussions. The unit committee, however, does not have access to these administrative letters. Therefore, the unit committee should call in the direct supervisor to provide information.

The university allows external letters for this group to be from inside the department. The college has no additional restrictions.

FRA and Research Associate candidates must submit a list of four evaluators who meet the criteria stated above and, from this list, two letters will be generated for the final dossier. If additional names are needed, these will be obtained from the candidate by the unit head. The other evaluators are to be selected by the unit according to practices determined within the unit. All letters must be requested by the unit head or designee. The candidate should not contact the potential reviewers to ask for support, all contact in relation with the promotion case should come from the unit head or designee.

Provide a brief (paragraph) description of the outside evaluators that makes it clear that they meet the criteria. Additional detail must be provided if an evaluator is not of a rank at or above the level for which the candidate is being considered, if they have been suggested based on experience level equivalency, and/or if they are internal to OSU and have worked with the candidate. Clearly indicate which outside reviewers were chosen by the candidate. If an evaluator was suggested by both the candidate and others, that evaluator will be considered among the candidate’s pool of evaluators unless there is clear indication in the description of that evaluator why he/she should be included in the “other evaluator” pool. In the final dossier, no more than half of the letters of evaluation can be from the list suggested by the candidate.

On occasion, the academic unit may be in possession of 3 letters from the either the candidate’s list or the academic unit’s list; this can occur unintentionally and for a variety of reasons. The academic unit should remove the last letter received from an external evaluator on the list.

Decisions made to exclude any letters received from external evaluators must be noted in the records with an explanation for the removal decision and a detailed description of the process used to identify which letter was to be removed.


College of Science Promotion and Tenure for FRAs and RAs

7-1-2021

The university guidelines for promotion of FRAs and RAs are overly complicated. In almost all cases these faculty members work for a direct supervisor, who is providing the financial support for the positions. I suggest the following procedure for such cases.

The direct supervisor needs to inform potential candidates of their rights to ask for intensive review for promotion after the full time equivalence of 3 years of service in the position. This has to be done the latest in Winter before the AY of review.

The candidate notifies the unit head of the request for consideration.

The direct supervisor writes a supervisory letter to be included in section seven of the dossier.

Four letters have to be requested, but they can be from individuals inside the unit.

The direct supervisor is not part of the unit PandT committee. The unit PandT committee invites the direct supervisor for comments on the case, since they do not have access to the supervisor letter.

Voting members on the unit committee can be all professorial rank faculty members (tenure-line and fixed-term) and all higher ranked faculty members in the same job category. Instructors, FRAs, and RAs do not evaluate each other is the current interpretation of the guidelines.

All unit procedures are followed and the dossier is submitted to the college.

Since the job duties of FRAs and RAs are very specific to the units, the college will rely heavily on the outcome of the unit level evaluation. The following procedure is suggested for the college committee.

One full professor reads the dossier. If the unit level decision was positive, and the reader does not notice any problems in the dossier, the following abbreviated procedure takes place. The college vote is positive and the committee writes a very short letter expressing that opinion. In all other cases the college committee will discuss the dossier and proceed as usual. Instructors do not participate in these discussions.


College of Science Promotion and Tenure Midterm Review

7-1-2021

Every promotion decision is important for the individuals who are evaluated. For the institution, however, tenure decisions are the most important decisions made in a promotion and tenure process.  By awarding tenure, the institution makes a long term academic and financial investment in an individual.

Since a tenure decision is a very critical decision, it is extremely important to give a candidate solid feedback on their performance. Yearly PROF reviews should address the candidate’s progress in terms of expectations at the unit, college, and institutional level. In the middle of the probationary period there should be a more extensive midterm review.

Performance during the probationary period is not uniform in time. Actual accomplishments in the first few years often seem smaller, because the candidate is adapting to a new environment. In many cases it takes time for a candidate to find a good rhythm in their teaching. Creating evidence that will lead to a successful grant proposal takes time as well. Therefore, the goal of a midterm review is not to check if a candidate is halfway there, but to evaluate if the candidate will be in a successful position at the end of the probationary period. The key question is growth of the candidate according to the appropriate measures. Another goal of the midterm review is assessing the resources that were provided to the candidate. If those resources are insufficient, the unit should consider to increase resources or adapt expectations. Finally, this is also a time to judge if improved mentoring for the candidate is needed.

The standard tenure process is the following. The tenure clock will begin on the September 16th following the faculty member’s hire, so partial years do not count. Under normal circumstances faculty will be considered for tenure in their sixth year of service in professorial rank. In those cases the unit should complete a midterm review in the spring term of the third full year of employment. This will allow the candidate two more years to address critical issues. The midterm review should follow all university guidelines. For example, student input is required, but external letters of evaluation of scholarly work are not. The full set of policies is in the link below.

https://facultyaffairs.oregonstate.edu/policy-mid-term-reviews-tenure-track-faculty

This time line will have to be adjusted in a number of cases. If there is a prior service agreement stated in the offer letter, the probationary time is shortened. Offering prior service needs the approval of the Dean of the College. The possibility of awarding prior service may be discussed when a unit head makes an informal verbal offer, but as with all details of a final offer it needs approval from the Dean.

If one year of prior service is recognized, the evaluation of a candidate is based on four years of work at OSU and one year of work at a previous institution. The midterm review should take place at the end of the second full year of service at OSU, so the candidate has two more years to react to the feedback. If two years of prior service are awarded, the midterm review should take place in the winter term of the second year at OSU. This gives the candidate a somewhat shorter time to incorporate feedback, but for the unit avoids adding additional promotion and tenure work to a busy fall term. In all these cases it is not required to solicit feedback from the previous institution, but a unit is allowed to do so in deemed necessary.

Awarding one or two years of prior service still allows the tenure evaluation to be based on the majority of work done at OSU. If a unit feels a need to award more than two years of prior service a decision on tenure will be based mostly on work performed before the candidate has joined OSU. In some cases a candidate is awarded tenure when hired. In that case a separate process takes place. If a unit has the opinion that the tenure decision should be made after some time at OSU, there should be sufficient time to provide evidence. An evaluation process in which the larger part of the work is performed before the candidate joined OSU is often problematic.

The midterm review timeline is also affected by tenure clock extensions. If a candidate receives a tenure clock extension and a midterm review has not yet taken place, the midterm review should be in spring term two years before the start of the academic year in which the candidate is evaluated for tenure. Such a midterm evaluation should be based on the standard time the candidate would have been in the job without an extension, and not on the longer time scale with the extension.


College of Science Promotion and Tenure Peer Review of Teaching

7-1-2021

This is an area in need of development. Integrative Biology has good procedures, which we should use as a starting point for a college wide discussion. Just some thoughts here. I hope we can work on this next year. The university also plans to work on this topic next year.

Peer evaluation of teaching has to be continuous and performed on a yearly basis. It is not a matter of checking boxes in a rubric, but it takes time for observation and discussion. Yearly reports from peer review of teaching should be included in the personnel file. It will make sense that a peer teaching committee can use these letters as part of their evaluation.

The peer review letter in the dossier should not be written by just one person.


College of Science Promotion and Tenure Procedure Guidance

7-1-2021

There are many steps in the process for evaluation of candidates for promotion and tenure. There are a few absolute deadlines for unit procedures. Candidates have to be declared by the end of Winter term, and dossiers are due at the College according to the time line published every year.

The reviews of Faculty Research Assistants, Instructors and Courtesy Faculty going up for promotion will end at the College level. (We assume the same is true for the recently added Research Associates.) The College is responsible for ensuring that the promotion and tenure guidelines and procedures are followed, and for reporting results of Faculty Research Assistants, Instructors and Courtesy faculty promotions to Faculty Affairs no later than normally mid April. All other dossiers are due centrally early February. Therefore, dossiers for all cases that are reported centrally need to be submitted to the College early December, while all other cases can be submitted late January. The exact time-line for each year will be provided separately.

Many problems in the process can be avoided if the procedures in the unit are started early. Here we give some suggestions about timing. Every unit follows their own set of procedures, and these should be written down so everybody knows what to expect. This is important if there is ever a grievance of litigation for a case in which the decision was negative. We should all follow university and college requirements, but local procedures include much more than that.

When a candidate has asked to be reviewed, immediately check that all Position Descriptions are signed, and make sure that the candidate has copies of all of them.

It is useful to form the unit PandT committee in Winter term, following the procedures that are valid in the unit. This committee can then meet in Winter to discuss all organizational matters. Possible discussion points (not all might apply to your unit) are:

  • Who is the chair of the committee?
  • Who is the secretary?
  • Who is on the peer teaching committee?
  • What is needed for the peer teaching evaluation?
  • What are the potential conflicts of interest?
  • What is the general procedure to follow?
  • Have there been changes in university or college requirements?
  • Who is assisting the candidate with dossier preparation?

Current university guidance on committee membership is as follows.

For tenured candidates being considered for promotion or untenured candidates being considered for both promotion and tenure, only tenured faculty members above the current rank of the candidate may vote. For untenured candidates being considered solely for tenure, only tenured faculty members at or above the current rank of the candidate may vote.

For promotions of non-tenure-line professorial candidates only professorial faculty members who have a higher rank can vote, but they can be fixed term.

Instructor, FRA, and RA cases are separate; there is no ranking between them. All professorial faculty members can be voting members on the committee. In addition, all higher ranking faculty members in the same job category can be voting members.

It is recommended that the main attempt to collect student letters is made in Spring term. This will give graduating seniors an opportunity to contribute. A second request can go out in Fall term, in particular when the number of letters received is insufficient.

It is also recommended to create the list of external reviewers in Spring term, and to have obtained their ability to write a letter. Make sure you have a paragraph for each reviewer describing the qualifications of this reviewer.

Creating the student committee in Spring term also makes sense, knowing that there might be one or two changes in Fall.

The candidate should have a version of the dossier that can go out to external reviewers ready by possibly end of July. Many candidates like to use early summer to finish material that will be important. This version of the dossier does not have to be the final complete one. It should be organized according to the university guidelines, but does not yet have to be perfect.

For professorial candidates external reviewers are asked to comment on the achievements in scholarly work. They are not required to comment on other aspects, but they might if they have pertinent information.
October is typically the month in which all finishing touches are put on the dossier. The peer review letter and student committee letter are typically created in this month.

No formal discussion of a candidate can take place until the candidate has signed the statement of completeness. It is good practice not to discuss the dossier until all external letters are received. Earlier discussions based on incomplete information can lead to biased opinions.

November is often used as a time for all formal discussions in the unit. For cases that end in the college extra time is available.


College of Science Promotion and Tenure Student Letter Guidance

7-1-2021

The Faculty Handbook describes the general procedures that need to be followed.

Student reviews should address all aspects of the interactions of the faculty member with students. For example, interactions in the capacity of instructor, advisor, research mentor, and TA supervisor should all be addressed where applicable. Each role should have at least two letters addressing the role, with the understanding that one writer can discuss several aspects. The minimum number of student letters is 4 for professorial faculty members with a one course per term teaching load, and 8 for faculty members with a higher teaching load. Letters should be approximately half from the candidate’s list and half from the departmental list.

Student letters should either be submitted in writing and be signed or be submitted from the student’s OSU email account. Students should be informed of this requirement in the letter asking them for feedback.

Letters to the students requesting the evaluative review must inform the student as to who will see their review letters.

There has to be one person, who is an OSU employee, in the department who receives the student letters and checks that they are legitimate. This person should be identified in the letter asking them for feedback, and students should be told that this person will read all letters.

The request to the students asking for feedback should explain that their letters will be read by a student committee, whose task it is to summarize the content of the student letters. The request should also mention if, according to unit rules, the student committee will see the names of the letter writers. The names of the members of the student committee do not have to be identified in the request.

If the candidate has not signed the waiver, the candidate has the right to see all student letters and students should be informed of that fact. In this case the unit should start early on requesting student letters, since many students will be reluctant to supply a letter when the candidate can see the letter.


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