Non-Obligatory Promotions

Karin Dale, Dean's Administrator

Non-obligatory cases are tenure cases in advance of the required review date and promotions to full professor.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit materials to the Dean’s Office—through their chairpersons—for review by the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Non-Obligatory Promotion Cases (DAC). The Dean’s Advisory Committee serves as an advisory group to the Dean to provide independent assessments of all non-obligatory cases. The committee consists of the Dean of the College, the Associate Deans for each division, and representatives of the senior faculty appointed by the Dean from the College of Arts and Letters. The DAC serves as an advisory group to the Dean, who provides feedback to the chairperson who, in turn, informs the prospective candidate. The advice may take various forms. For example: it might be an endorsement to proceed, it might attempt to dissuade the candidate from proceeding, or it might indicate that the Committee was split and that a candidate should take this into account when deciding whether to proceed. In cases where the advice is not an endorsement to proceed, the DAC will assist the Dean in formulating recommendations for the candidate’s development so that the candidate may build a stronger case.

In all cases, the recommendations are advisory. Faculty retain the right to proceed no matter what the recommendation is from the DAC provided that they proceed within the guidelines set out by the Provost’s Advisory Committee and incorporated into departmental CAP documents.

A submission to the DAC consists of:

  • A current CV;
  • a CIF history with the following information included: (a) intended use for the report, and (b) full name of each faculty member and her/his 9-digit NDID number) and/or CIF reports which each chairperson can print;
  • a brief statement from the chairperson outlining his or her preliminary view of the case, with a focus on standards for promotion and the ways in which the candidate does or does not meet the standards.

The chairperson is responsible for reviewing the candidate’s CV for accuracy and presentation. The chairperson’s letter should provide as full a picture as possible and include evaluative remarks regarding the candidate’s case. The letter should address teaching, scholarship, and service in three separate paragraphs or sections. The section on teaching should include more than just an interpretation of the candidate’s TCE/CIF history. Consider including information regarding the candidate’s design and implementation of courses, curricular innovations, and mentoring of students as well as information on student learning. The candidate’s contribution to graduate education (i.e. dissertations supervised or committees served on, and the current placement of graduate students) and informal undergraduate education (senior thesis direction) should be noted. The section on scholarship should outline the expectations for research in the candidate’s discipline; do not assume that the members of the DAC are familiar with the disciplinary standards. The section on service should outline three types of contributions: service to the department, service to the College or University, and service to the profession. Assistant professors are likely to have limited experience in the second and third service categories.

Chairpersons are encouraged to be as candid and as thorough as they can be in the absence of external letters. This is a non-binding evaluation that intends to help faculty assess their current standing. All parties involved in this preliminary screening begin their evaluations anew when the full case comes before them.

Withdrawing a Non-Obligatory Promotion Case

Promotion and tenure cases that are not mandated may be withdrawn at any point in the process, but only with the candidate’s approval. If you are considering withdrawing a case, please contact the Dean.

If a case is withdrawn after the solicitation of external letters and will be revisited the following year, departments must use exactly the same slate of reviewers as the previous year or they must select an entirely different set. They may not select from the previous year’s list.