P&T Dossier Helpful Hints

Second- and fourth-year review dossiers

  • One Promotion and Tenure Form (signature form) is needed. Please carefully proofread the information on this form to ensure it is correct.
  • Notes regarding the following fields:
    • Please enter “second-year” or “fourth-year,” whichever is relevant, in the box on the form that lists “Promotion,” “Early Tenure,” and “6th Year Tenure”.
    • Rank and Date of Initial Appointment to University. 
      The information entered here refers to the individual’s first Penn State appointment. It may differ from the information entered under the Rank and Date of Appointment of Tenure-Eligible Position field. Some faculty begin employment at Penn State in a non-tenure track position with a rank such as research associate.
    • Rank and Date of Appointment of Tenure-Eligible Position.
      The information entered here refers specifically when the individual was appointed to a tenure-eligible position. The tenure-eligible position may not always be the individual’s initial Penn State appointment.
    • Years of Credit Granted Toward Tenure at Appointment to Tenure-Eligible Position  This can be found on their Memorandum of Personal Service.
    • Date of Stay of Provisional Tenure.
      If a stay of provisional tenure was granted, enter only the year it was granted. It is important to note due to confidentiality, no other mention of the stay, including the reason for the stay, is to be mentioned on the Promotion and Tenure Form or anywhere else in the dossier. 
    • The following fields should be left blank:
      • Proposed Rank and Title (For Promotion Only)
      • Tenure Status as of Effective Date of Promotion
      • Please carefully proofread the information on the form to ensure it is correct.
  • Deadlines: Fourth-year dossiers are due January 3. Second-year dossiers are due March 31.

Promotion and Tenure (normally 6th year review)

  • Two Promotion and Tenure Forms (signature form) are required. One should clearly indicate the faculty member is being evaluated for TENURE and the other should clearly indicate the faculty is being evaluated for PROMOTION.
  • The TENURE signatory form should be the first. The PROMOTION signatory form is second.
    Please carefully proofread the information on these forms to ensure it is correct.
  • Notes regarding fields for the TENURE signature form:
    • 6th Year Tenure box checked
    • Present Rank and Title:  It is important the correct rank AND title are noted. (e.g., Associate Professor, Geography). 
    • Rank and Date of Initial Appointment to University. 
      The information entered here refers to the individual’s first Penn State appointment. It may differ from the information entered under the Rank and Date of Appointment of Tenure-Eligible Position field. Some faculty begin employment at Penn State in a non-tenure track position with a rank such as research associate.
    • Rank and Date of Appointment of Tenure-Eligible Position.
      The information entered here refers specifically to when the individual was appointed to a tenure-eligible position. The tenure-eligible position may not always be the individual’s initial Penn State appointment.
    • Years of Credit Granted Toward Tenure at Appointment to Tenure-Eligible Position  This can be found on their Memorandum of Personal Service.
    • Date of Stay of Provisional Tenure.
      If a stay of provisional tenure was granted, enter only the year it was granted. It is important to note due to confidentiality, no other mention of the stay, including the reason for the stay, is to be noted on the Promotion and Tenure Form or anywhere else in the dossier.
    • For the TENURE signature form, the following fields should be left blank:
      • Proposed Rank and Title (For Promotion Only)
      • Tenure Status as of Effective Date of Promotion
  • Deadlines: Sixth-year dossiers are due January 3.
  • Notes regarding fields for the PROMOTION signature form:
    • Promotion box checked
    • Present Rank and Title:  It is important the correct rank AND title are noted. (e.g., Associate Professor, Geography).
    • Rank and Date of Initial Appointment to University. 
      The information entered here refers to the individual’s first Penn State appointment. It may differ from the information entered under the Rank and Date of Appointment of Tenure-Eligible Position field. Some faculty begin employment at Penn State in a non-tenure track position with a rank such as research associate.
    • Rank and Date of Appointment of Tenure-Eligible Position.
      The information entered here refers specifically to when the individual was appointed to a tenure-eligible position. The tenure-eligible position may not always be the individual’s initial Penn State appointment.
    • Years of Credit Granted Toward Tenure at Appointment to Tenure-Eligible Position  This can be found on their Memorandum of Personal Service.
    • Date of Stay of Provisional Tenure.
      If a stay of provisional tenure was granted, enter only the year it was granted. It is important to note due to confidentiality, no other mention of the stay, including the reason for the stay, is to be mentioned on the Promotion and Tenure Form or anywhere else in the dossier.
    • Proposed Rank and Title (For Promotion Only) (e.g., Associate Professor, Geography).  It is important to note the Office of the Provost uses this to prepare correspondence from the President to the candidate as well as a listing of the promotions which is published in Penn State Today.  
    • Tenure Status as of Effective Date of Promotion (This field should be left blank.)
  • Deadlines: Promotion dossiers are due January 3.

Promotion Only Dossiers

  • One Promotion and Tenure Form (signature form) is needed. As noted previously in this guideline, please carefully proofread the information on these forms to ensure it is correct.
  • Notes regarding fields for the PROMOTION signature form:
    • Promotion box checked
    • Present Rank and Title:  It is important the correct rank AND title are noted. (e.g., Associate Professor, Geography).
    • Rank and Date of Initial Appointment to University. 
      The information entered here refers to the individual’s first Penn State appointment. It may differ from the information entered under the Rank and Date of Appointment of Tenure-Eligible Position field. Some faculty begin employment at Penn State in a non-tenure track position with a rank such as research associate.
    • Rank and Date of Appointment of Tenure-Eligible Position.
      The information entered here refers specifically to when the individual was appointed to a tenure-eligible position. The tenure-eligible position may not always be the individual’s initial Penn State appointment.
    • Years of Credit Granted Toward Tenure at Appointment to Tenure-Eligible Position 
      (This can be found on their Memorandum of Personal Service.)
    • Date of Stay of Provisional Tenure.
      If a stay of provisional tenure was granted, enter only the year it was granted. It is important to note due to confidentiality, no other mention of the stay, including the reason for the stay, is to be mentioned on the Promotion and Tenure Form or anywhere else in the dossier.
    • Proposed Rank and Title (For Promotion Only) (e.g., Professor, Geography). It is important to note the Office of the Provost uses this to prepare correspondence from the President to the candidate as well as a listing of the promotions which is published in Penn State Today.  
    • Tenure Status as of Effective Date of Promotion (should state “Tenured”)

Content and Organization of Information in the Dossier

  1. Every page in each section of the dossier is to be paginated with a letter-number sequence (e.g., A1, A-2; B-1, B-2, etc.).
  2. Each section of the dossier has a list of contents. Do not include headings (bulleted items) or subheadings (numbered items) if you have no information to list.
  3. Information can only be listed once in the dossier. If more than one area is addressed, a decision to determine the most appropriate location needs to be made.
  4. Carefully proofread for grammatical errors, misspellings, and consistent format and pagination.
  5. Factual changes, including new information, to the dossier after the review process has begun must be reviewed by administrators and committees who have already reviewed the dossier. The deadline for dossier changes is the weekday coincident with or immediately following February 15.
  6. Use binder clips instead of staples.
  • Promotion and Tenure Form(s)
    • Exact Rank and Title of Position (e.g., Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
    • Location of Residence (Enter the faculty member’s office address and University Park
    • Occupational Record (This is for non-PSU employment only
  • Biographical Data for Promotion/Tenure Review Form
  • EMS Criteria Statement and Department Criteria Statement
  • Narrative Statement
    The Statement should be no longer than 3 single-spaced pages, ideally 1-2 pages, and is to provide the faculty member with the opportunity to place their work and activities in the context of their overall goals (e.g., what’s important to the discipline, how will your goals benefit students). It should not repeat what is in the dossier.
  • Candidate Signature Statement
    The statement should read: “I have reviewed the contents of my dossier, with the exception of confidential materials, as defined in the HR-23 Guidelines.”
  • The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
    • Please ensure all items in this section are listed in REVERSE chronological order with most recent date listed first.
    • For tenure consideration, timeline would be from date of employment at Penn State in a tenure-eligible position.
    • For promotion consideration, the timeline would be from the date of last promotion at Penn State or most recent five years – whichever is shorter.
    • PSU Resident Instruction courses should include:
      • Semester, Course number, name by semester, and course enrollment
    • Compilation of SRTEs should include:
      • A list that includes Course Number/Title, Enrollment, Semester, Percent of Enrollment, Overall Quality of Course and Overall Quality of Instructor.
      • A summary of the Student SRTE Comments. Include the name of the faculty member summarizing the comments on the summary. (It is last section in this portion of the dossier)
    • Advising Responsibility List should include:
      • Undergraduate Students (number by semester or list of names.
      • Graduate Students (list of names by degree, e.g., MS, PhD)
    • Supervision of, and membership on undergraduate and graduate dissertations, theses, and projects should include: 
      • Type of degree.
      • Year degree was granted.
    • Faculty Input Concerning the Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness should include:
      • One or two new peer teaching evaluation statements per review (two are encouraged).
      • The statement needs to be signed by the faculty member providing the input.
      • All teaching evaluation statements from previous reviews are included in later dossiers (e.g., second- and fourth-year teaching evaluation statements are included with the new evaluation statements for the sixth-year dossier so the dossier includes 4-6 peer statements).
    • Administrator Statement Regarding Teaching and Advising Effectiveness should include:
      • At least one new administrator teaching evaluation statement per review period.
      • The administrator needs to sign his/her statement.
      • All teaching evaluation statements from previous reviews are included in later dossiers (e.g., second- and fourth-year teaching evaluation statements are included with the new evaluation statements for the sixth-year dossier so the dossier includes at least 3 administrator statements).
  • The Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments
    • Please ensure all information is listed with most recent date first
    • The timeline for material covers the candidate’s career
    • Do not include material contained in other sections of the dossier
    • Be consistent with the formatting of items in this section (use the template!
    • Notes about research and/or scholarly publication
      • The year of publication is important to those reviewing the dossier, please ensure it is listed in the same manner.
      • Bold the candidate’s name, particularly in a multi-author publication.
      • Number the publications.
      • Contribution of authorship should be noted by (a) Lead Author, (b) CoAuthor, (c) Supervisor of Lead Author, etc. It is suggested that candidates not list the authorship contribution as a percentage.
      • Ensure manuscripts accepted are substantiated by a letter/email of acceptance. The letter/email should be page numbered as part of this section.
      • Manuscripts in progress are permissible in second- and fourth-year reviews only.
  • Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession
    • Please ensure all items in this section are listed in REVERSE chronological order with most recent date listed first.
    • For tenure consideration (with or without promotion), the timeline would be from date of employment at Penn State in a tenure-eligible position.
    • For promotion consideration, the timeline would be from the date of last promotion at Penn State or most recent five years – whichever is shorter
  • External Letters of Assessment
    This section is not to be viewed by the candidate. (University Guidelines, III.C.3, page 8). This section is relevant to 6th year and early tenure and all promotions. Notes regarding items included in this section:
    • Description of how the letters were solicited, including a sample of the letter mailed out and a description of the procedure for selecting external evaluators, as well as the materials sent to the evaluators. (NOTE: Ensure the department letter indicates the request is for a letter of assessment and not a letter of recommendation or endorsement.)
    • Candidates should NOT contact the referee.
    • Letters should not be solicited from individuals with whom the candidate routinely (off and on over a long period of time) collaborates (e.g., co-PIs, coauthor, reviewer who awarded them research funding, supervisees). Exceptions should be discussed with the Dean prior to any contact with a potential evaluator.
    • Log recording date on which external letter was requested and received. (NOTE: Enter all requests on the log regardless of whether a response was received. Preliminary requests should not be included in the log.
      • Send a copy of the completed log to Rosie Long, 116 Deike Bldg, by Friday, September 26, 2014.
      • All external letters are to be sent directly to the dean.
      • Department Heads may send an exploratory email to prospective evaluators to inquire if the individual is willing to participate in the assessment
  • Statements of Evaluation of the Candidate by Review Committees and Administrators
    The candidate should receive a copy of the internal evaluations (department head, committee(s), and dean) after the dossier has been reviewed by the Dean. (Note: The EMS P&T Committee typically does not review second- and fourth-year dossiers.). Ensure evaluative statements* are inserted in the following order:
    • For TENURE cases – include all previous tenure review evaluations in chronological order, beginning with the earliest review 1. Each evaluation should have a Subject Line that reads:
      • 2nd Year Tenure Evaluation for XXX
      • 4th Year Tenure Evaluation for XXX
      • Early Tenure Evaluation for XXX
      • 6th Year Tenure Review for XXX
    • Faculty on joint appointments, a letter from the secondary department head is required and is inserted prior to the review by the primary department committee.
    • Department P&T Review Committee
      • Numerical vote of the committee should be recorded in the committee statement.  A tie vote is considered to be a negative recommendation and the “Not Recommended” block should be checked.
      • Statement should list entire committee membership (name and rank) and be signed and dated by at least the Chair.
      • When a unanimous vote has not been reached, the committee’s statement shall include a discussion of the reasons for divergent opinions.
    • Department Head
    • EMS P&T Review Committee
      • Numerical vote of the committee should be recorded in the committee statement. A tie vote is considered to be a negative recommendation and the “Not Recommended” block should be checked.
      • Statement should list entire committee membership, to include rank, and be signed and dated by at least the Chair.
      • When a unanimous vote has not been reached, the committee’s statement shall include a discussion of the reasons for divergent opinions.
    • EMS Dean

*Evaluative statements are required for tenure cases only. Post-tenure dossiers do not require prior evaluative statements.

** If there is a disagreement between review levels (i.e. Dept Head and Dept Committee, College Committee and Dept Head, etc.) then a meeting to discuss the disagreement must be held.  The lower level will NOT adjust their letter, but the higher level reviewer will make a statement in their letter to the effect that they met with the lower level to discuss their concerns and after the meeting the results are…