Tenure and Promotion

Tenure and promotion requirements are outlined in the 2014 version of the University of Rochester Faculty Handbook (pp. 24-28).

Additional details of the promotion and tenure process at Eastman are currently being reviewed by a committee, which will make a report to the department chairs in September of 2015.  The comments below provide a typical schedule and general expectations as of July 2015.

Schedule for Promotion

Reviews for promotion take place on a specific timeline during the year before the candidate’s contract expires (see Figure 1).  As shown in the figure below, promotion to full professor is not on a “clock,” and some faculty may remain as tenured associate professors. 

[INSERT:  Figure 1. Promotion and tenure at the Eastman School of Music.]

Although the overall design of the reviews is similar in all cases, there are slight differences in the final stages that are based on the level of the review.

  • Reappointment: “Reappointment” as Assistant Professor is an Eastman-only internal review. All documentation except external letters of review must be gathered. 
  • Associate Professor without tenure: After the case file for promotion to Associate Professor without tenure has been reviewed at Eastman, the candidate is reviewed by a University Standing Committee (Humanities). The department chair must be present at the meeting of this committee to “make the case” for promotion. 
  • Associate Professor with tenure: After the case file for promotion to Associate Professor with tenure has been reviewed at Eastman, cases are judged by a three-person ad hoc committee of ESM and River Campus faculty who are appointed by the Provost.
  • Full Professor: For a Full Professor promotion, the Provost makes the final decision.

Preparing a Case for Promotion

The contents of a promotion case file include three general categories of documentation: (1) materials compiled by the candidate; (2) individual letters of review solicited by the department chair; and (3) letters from the administration.  The department’s office assistant will prepare the official case files for submission to the administration.

The review process begins in the spring of the year, after the candidate meets with the chair for their annual Faculty Activity Report meeting.  Working in collaboration with the department chair, the candidate compiles the records of teaching, artistry/scholarship, and service.  A representative sample of these materials (chosen by the candidate) is uploaded to a confidential website for review by the invited external and internal reviewers.  These candidate items include:

  • Updated curriculum vitae
  • Professional statement that includes future plans
  • Professional materials chosen by the candidate for reviewers

Later in the process (to be submitted by September 15), there is a requirement for submitting evidence of teaching (student opinion surveys, information on student achievements) and any final additional professional materials.

Early in the summer months, the department chair solicits letters from external reviewers (outside of ESM/UR).  The candidate identifies 6-7 names for this purpose, and the department adds another 6-7 names.  The goal is to have “about a dozen” external reviewers.  A copy of the letter of solicitation is included in the case file, along with biographical information on all external reviewers.  The chair notes which reviewers were recommended by the candidate, and which reviewers were selected by the department.  The chair also notes which reviewers have no close personal association with the candidate.

Internal reviewers are identified in a similar process; these are faculty members at Eastman and the UR, but outside of the department.  The candidate suggests up to 4 individuals, and the department adds a similar number; the chair indicates which names were recommended by the candidate, and which were selected by the department.

When all of the external and internal letters of review have been received (September 15), the chair and the department office assistant assemble the case materials for review by the appropriate faculty in the department.  (Appropriate faculty are those at or above the rank being sought in the promotion).  At this point, the appropriate faculty meet and vote on whether to move forward with the promotion.  Each appropriate faculty member is required to write a letter for the case.  On completion of these appropriate faculty letters, the department chair prepares a cover letter, providing an overview and summary of the case file, which is submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs by January 5.

Two final letters are added by the administration, the first from the Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, and the second from the Dean.  The case is then sent to the Provost’s Office for the final review stage.  Once the decision has been made, notification of the outcome of the case comes to the Dean or to the Office of Academic Affairs, who will then notify the candidate and the chair.  Promotions must be voted on formally by the Board of Trustees (or the Executive Committee of the Board) before they become official.  Changes in rank begin with the new academic year (July 1).  Based on this timeline, if the case is not successful, the candidate will have a year to seek new employment.

Revised July, 2015

 

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