The preparation of a promotion or appointment dossier is a collaborative effort, involving the candidate, department chair, department faculty and staff. The roles and responsibilities of the candidate and department chair are outlined below.
Note: the candidate does NOT provide names of potential external evaluators.
We are happy to assist faculty with preparation of the Curriculum Vita and development of the Personal Statement, the foundational pieces of a candidate’s dossier.
Additionally, should you have questions pertaining to any aspect of the promotion or appointment dossier – from its preparation to submission – feel free to contact us.
|Distinterested||Refers to evaluators who should be disinterested, i.e., not having a personal or close professional relationship with the candidate: friends, students, former teachers and colleagues, mentors, co-authors and co-investigators. |
From: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook; Section III.A.I.9. Letters of Evaluation
|ePTF||Electronic Personnel Transaction Form generated by the candidate’s department and stipulating title, effective personnel action date and salary associated with the change in rank (if applicable).|
|President's Review Board (PRB) ||The UB faculty advisory body to the President and Provost on matters of appointments, promotion, and tenure. The Board is comprised of a Chair, who must be a senior Professor or Librarian (non-voting), nine tenured faculty holding the rank of Professor or Librarian (voting), and two student representatives (non- voting). |
From: President's Review Board
|Qualified Academic Rank (Non-Tenure)||Qualified ranks are used primarily to designate faculty members whose primary contributions will be in one area of academic activity. For example, the "Research" prefix is appropriate for faculty members whose activities are primarily in research; "Clinical" for those teaching in a clinical environment as part of an established academic program. Lecturer is also a qualified title used primarily for appointments restricted to teaching. These appointments do not lead to consideration for continuing appointment. Faculty in these appointments are eligible to seek promotion in rank. These positions may be full time, part time, or voluntary. |
From: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook; Section I.B. Qualified Academic Rank
|Rank on Rank Voting||Only those faculty holding the same or a higher rank as the action being considered may vote on a faculty personnel action. |
From: Faculty Voting Eligibility Policy
|Jacobs School||Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences|
|Tenure||At SUNY “tenure” is termed “continuing appointment”. Academic employees granted Continuing Appointment cannot be non-renewed. This is similar to permanent appointment for professional employees. |
From: UUP’s Guide for Academics at SUNY, pages 9 and 10.
|Academic Rank (Tenure) ||Two classifications provide recognition for tenure (track) |
status; they are identified as Research Scholars and Clinical Scholars.
From: Jacobs School Policies, Procedures and Criteria for Faculty Promotions, page 1.
The list below shows the review process for academic dossiers starting with the promotions committee faculty vote and ending with the review and approval by the SUNY Chancellor.
*Letter sent to candidate
The list below shows the review process for academic dossiers starting with the promotions committee faculty vote and ending with the review and approval by the Dean.
*Letter sent to candidate
Candidates in the non-tenure track who are seeking promotion to Research Professor will have their dossiers reviewed by the President’s Review Board (PRB).
To ensure timely action by the Jacobs School review bodies and the President’s Review Board, please follow these deadlines:
Academic (tenure) dossiers for Professor and Associate Professor and Qualified rank Research Educator Professor:
Qualified Academic (non-tenure) dossiers including Clinical and Research Educators and Volunteers:
Dossiers may be sent via campus mail, courier service or delivered to:
Office of Faculty Affairs
955 Main Street (Downtown Campus)
Suite 6130, Room 6155
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
University at Buffalo
955 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203-1121
All PDFs should be emailed to Senior Staff Assistant, Sofia Tangalos (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Source: UB’s Faculty Voting Eligibility Policy
It is the policy of the University at Buffalo to adhere to “rank on rank” voting for all faculty personnel actions that require a vote of the faculty in the college, school or department. This means that only those faculty holding the same or a higher rank as the action being considered may vote on a faculty personnel action.
Specific applications of this policy include:
In cases where a faculty member has joint appointment in two departments (not as an adjunct or volunteer appointment) in the Jacobs School, the dossier shall be assembled and submitted by the primary department (highest FTE /salary share).
The dossier will be reviewed separately by both departments. The departmental faculty vote on promotion will be recorded for both departments on separate Quantitative Vote Sheets and included in the dossier.
The Chairs of the primary and secondary department will write a letter to be included in the dossier.
The Chair of the secondary department can suggest names of potential evaluators to the Chair of the primary department. However, only the Chair of the primary department will solicit letters of evaluation or other materials to be included in the dossier.
The Chair of the secondary department should ensure that teaching evaluations, or any other materials pertinent to the dossier, are made available to the Chair of the primary department.
For faculty who hold secondary adjunct appointment in a department, the primary department will prepare the promotion dossier. For volunteer appointments in a secondary department, the primary department will prepare the promotion dossier. The Chair of the primary department will write a letter for inclusion in the dossier.
Certain departments at the University at Buffalo are co-administered by two different schools. Faculty hired into those departments have unique requirements in meeting the expectations of two schools.
The appointment and promotion process begins in the respective department. As a jointly administered department, everyone involved in the process must be sensitive to the different emphasis placed on scholars whose profile is more or less similar to others in Engineering, Medicine, or Arts and Sciences. These differences will undoubtedly be reflected in the letters of evaluation and those provided by the department chair and advocate.
It is the intention of this policy to adopt a consistent process that reflects the best practices drawn from the three schools while maintaining a coherent whole that is supportive of the candidate. Such a process must include agreed-upon language that is to be used to solicit letters of evaluation, and in directions to the departments. It is also incumbent on the departments and the schools to develop a single set of mentoring materials.
Please ensure that the following are strictly adhered to when assembling a dossier for tenure:
Each section of the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers is referenced to the UB Faculty/Staff Handbook and explained below.
This letter should be written with great care and clarity since it represents the Chair’s recommendation and is considered an endorsement to the Dean and subsequent review bodies at the School and University levels. The letter interprets and contextualizes the candidate’s work for reviewers from various disciplines.
The Chair’s letter should essentially address three areas of the candidate’s contributions.
A thorough description of the candidate’s work, including an explanation or assessment of:
Chairs should also recognize the special nature of cross-disciplinary scholarship and research, and ensure that an appropriate evaluation from other participating departments or research centers be included. In cases where the candidate’s work occurs in collaboration with others, whether as co-sponsor of a grant or co-author of a publication, care should be taken to indicate precisely the candidate’s degree of contribution in each instance.
A description and analysis of the candidate’s teaching contributions.
This section comprises three categories (which appear as five entries on the candidate’s CV); address only those applicable to the candidate:
Professional/Public: describe the candidate’s professional or scholarly expertise that contributes to improving society’s welfare (e.g., serving on state or national task forces, providing technical or other assistance to social or government agencies, doing clinical work). Also include descriptions of the candidate’s contributions to the profession itself:
University/School/Departmental: summarize any administrative and committee service roles within the university, school and department.
Community: summarize any contributions to local service and community organizations.
The letter should include the department’s quantitative vote outcome with commentary on the degree of departmental support.
Item 2 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.I.2.
Should the candidate choose to appoint an advocate prior to the departmental level of review, the advocate’s statement should follow the Chair’s letter. The advocate’s statement should precede the Chair’s letter, if the Advocate is selected after the departmental review.
In making decisions so important to the university and the individual faculty member, the various review bodies must provide full and fair consideration of each case. In order to ensure this, the candidate must have an opportunity to designate an advocate of his or her choice.
An advocate may be designated by the candidate at the start of the review process, or at a subsequent stage as indicated later, if the candidate believes that the case will be strengthened or more fully presented through use of an advocate.
The advocate must be a faculty member at the university or at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, must be from the department or discipline of the candidate, and must have direct personal knowledge of the candidate's professional and academic performance. Faculty members holding administrative titles in an academic unit or at the provostal, vice presidential, or the presidential levels may not act as advocate. However, no member of the faculty acting as advocate may be excluded from normal participation in personnel actions, except that participation in discussion or voting as a member of a subsequent review body when it is considering the candidate's case is prohibited.
Review proceedings are not adversarial hearings or bargaining sessions. The advocate's task is not to attack the dossier or the judgment of prior levels of review, but to present the case for the candidate and to explain the candidate's work, contribution, and promise, and to point out to the review bodies and/or administrative officers the material or information in the dossier that would be especially helpful in evaluating the candidate's achievements and promise.
The advocate shall submit a written statement that addresses only the quality and impact of the candidate's academic work, professional growth and contributions, and promise for further development in these areas. The advocate may not add letters of evaluation to the dossier or include such letters in the statement. However, the advocate may, in the statement, suggest expert evaluators highly qualified to review the candidate's work. The statement shall be added to the dossier and shall follow the chair's letter transmitting the dossier.
An advocate may resubmit a letter that has errors or typos if they so request. They may not resubmit a letter with new material in it if the dossier and the letter has already been reviewed and voted upon at the school level. In that case, the advocate letter must stand. However, if at any level, department or school, or PRB, the vote is negative, the case then goes to advocacy following the PRB vote and the advocate may, at that time, write a new letter to be added to the dossier and for discussion at that advocacy meeting. The candidate is also invited to write a response to the dossier and recommendations up to that point, however, the candidate does not attend the post-PRB advocacy meeting.
Advocates must adhere to the rules on confidentiality. Since advocates may have access to confidential material not available to the candidate, they must avoid disclosure of confidential material to the candidate.
In addition to submitting a written statement, the advocate may make an oral statement to the unit review bodies and to the provost or the vice president, but not to the President's Review Board. The advocate may not question review body members or participate in debate.
If the candidate chooses to designate an advocate at the outset of the process, the decision and designation must be made known early enough for the advocate's written statement to accompany the dossier at the start of departmental consideration.
Any administrative officer below the provost or vice president who recommends against the personnel action in question during the process must so notify the candidate in writing at the time he or she makes the recommendation, and, if an advocate has not previously been designated, must advise the candidate of his or her right to designate an advocate within seven working days thereafter.
The provost or the vice president shall inform candidates by letter of a negative recommendation of the PRB within seven working days after receipt of the report of the President's Review Board, and shall advise the candidate of the right to designate an advocate if one has not been designated previously. The advocacy process may not be invoked after the provost or the vice president has made a recommendation to the president.
Item 3 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section IIIA.I.3.
Include this item only when the candidate is a new appointment. It should be placed in the dossier after the Chair’s letter.
Item 4 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section IIIA.I.4.
Representing the academic and professional history of the candidate, the CV is an extremely important part of the dossier. It should be accurate, clear and up-to-date in every respect. Gratuitous information such as the candidate’s marital status, number of children, religious affiliation etc., should not be included. The candidate should provide the information as outlined in the UB Format for Curriculum Vitae.
Item 5, 6 and 7 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook sections III.A.I.5. and III.A.I.6. and III.A.I.7.
Written concisely in non-technical language for readers and reviewers from diverse academic disciplines.
To provide an overall perspective on what is presented in the CV; to highlight the significant accomplishments and their importance to the field, and unique contributions as a UB faculty member. To provide the candidate’s future goals and plans.
Address accomplishments (no more than three pages) with reference to
Please address all applicable items.
Please address items #1 and #2 below and if applicable, any other items from 3 through
7 (approximately three pages).
This should be a concise description (no more than two pages) of the candidate's professional expertise, achievement, and leadership, which contribute to the University's regional and/or national stature. The major focus should be on evidence of significant and substantial service, particularly in leadership or policy-making capacities. It should address in order of importance for the promotion review, Professional/Public Service, University Service, and Community Service (e.g., public health or research-related educational programs), and how the candidate has shared or applied his/her professional knowledge, skills, and abilities to benefit:
Item 7 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.I.7.
The Teaching Portfolio is required primarily for the purpose of promotion evaluation rather than for development purposes, to emphasize core materials designed for valid peer- review comparisons rather than a flexible range of materials geared toward professional development. It is to be concise in its focus, selective in its documentation, and economical in its format. The primary purpose is to provide materials explicitly representative of the candidate’s teaching goals, strengths, and accomplishments. This material should be presented in a form that can be peer reviewed by both the department and by internal evaluators. The Chair is to include the Portfolio among the materials sent to each internal evaluator.
Appendix: The materials should be selective, representing the candidate’s best and most important teaching accomplishments. The appendix should be organized clearly and coherently, and might include such materials as:
Item 8 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.I.8.
The results of course/teaching evaluations by students, residents and Fellows should be included in the dossier and presented in a standardized summary or tabular form, with an analysis of the summary as part of the Chair’s letter. Raw data should not be included but should be available for inspection in the department. Averaged results, based on data from the Department or School, should be presented as a basis for comparing the candidate’s individual teaching effectiveness with other faculty in the unit.
Letters from current and former students, reports of student or faculty teaching evaluation committees, the placement and career record of former students, and similar materials may be included here. These should be in addition to the materials selected for the Teaching Portfolio, and should be arranged chronologically.
Item 9 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.I.9.
The dossier should present a minimum of four letters from disinterested external evaluators (except Volunteer ranks, see below), solicited by the Chair or the Chair’s designee. The PRB prefers that letters be dated no more than 6-8 months prior to dossier submission. The evaluators must be disinterested, distinguished scholars or professional practitioners from leading public or private research universities holding membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU). The evaluators must hold a rank equal to or above the rank to which the candidate would be promoted. However, letters from evaluators at the professor level are preferred in all rank promotions.
The Chair should avoid requesting letters from interested scholars, those having a personal or close professional relationship (present or past) with the candidate: friends, students, former teachers and colleagues, mentors, co-authors and co-investigators. If the Chair includes such materials, they should be in addition to the four required disinterested letters. In all such instances the Chair must explain the rationale for their inclusion and why the assessments can be presumed disinterested and important to the case, and the evaluators should be asked to describe the nature of their relationship to the candidate.
Generally, the evaluators should be selected by an ad hoc faculty committee appointed by the Chair, or by the Chair in consultation with faculty colleagues in the candidate’s field of expertise. The Chair is encouraged to seek the counsel of leading scholars from other peer institutions who work in the candidate’s field as well as those within the candidate’s department or school. The Chair may also consult the candidate for names of evaluators, excluding collaborators and former teachers or students. Such letters should be in addition to the four disinterested letters, not counted among the four, and the names not shared with the candidate.
External evaluators for qualified academic (clinical and research) associate professor ranks may be selected from extramural institutions or from another UB unit or department outside the candidate’s specialty or discipline. These evaluators must hold a rank equal to or above the rank to which the candidate would be promoted and not have a personal relationship with the candidate nor have an adjunct/volunteer appointment with the candidate’s primary unit. A minimum of four external letters are required, in addition to two internal letters (from the candidate’s department or unit).
External evaluators for qualified academic (clinical and research) professor ranks should be evaluated by disinterested leaders in their field and external to UB. There should be a minimum of four external letters and two internal letters.
Dossiers for promotion for volunteer faculty to associate professor ranks must include at minimum a total of five letters of evaluation. Two letters must be from internal evaluators and two letters must be from external, disinterested evaluators; the fifth letter may be from either an internal or external evaluator at the discretion of the Chair. Internal evaluators must be selected from within the University Department/unit and/or affiliated institutions (e.g. Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, VA of WNY). External evaluators must be disinterested and must come from outside the candidate’s department/unit. External evaluators may be external to UB, though this is not required. All evaluators must hold a rank equal to or above the rank to which the candidate would be promoted.
For clinical volunteer faculty whose strength is teaching, the Chair is advised to solicit evaluative letters from peers with medical educator experience/credentials. For volunteer faculty whose strength is research, the Chair is urged to solicit evaluative letters from peers with reputable record of scholarly contributions.
In addition, the Chair may solicit letter(s) from current or former trainees/mentees who can address the faculty member’s strengths and effectiveness as a teacher and mentor.
For promotion of clinical volunteer faculty to professor ranks, a total of five minimum evaluative letters must be solicited from peers; two internal letters from faculty in the candidate’s department/unit and an additional three external letters from disinterested leaders in their field and external to UB.
Disinterested refers to evaluators who do not have a personal relationship with the candidate. External evaluators may not be friends, students, former teachers and colleagues, mentors, co-authors and co-investigators. However, they may know the candidate from professional interactions or as a member of a professional society/organization.
All evaluators must hold a rank equal to or above the rank to which the candidate would be promoted.
Internal letters should be solicited from colleagues at UB, preferably from the candidate’s department or from center and institute directors and affiliated faculty where applicable. The Chair should seek internal evaluators who can best comment on the extent and quality of the candidate’s research or creative activity, teaching capabilities, and service, e.g., ability to work with graduate students and trainees, on willingness and skill in working with colleagues and serving on committees, and on other public or professional service as appropriate
In the case of external candidates who are being appointed from other institutions, the Chair should seek equivalent letters from colleagues in the department where the candidate was most recently employed. For such candidates, the Chair will also solicit a minimum of four letters from disinterested distinguished referees external to the appointee’s institution. The Chair may provide a synopsis of the report of the local search committee as a substitute for internal letters from UB.
The Chair should address the following points:
Item 10 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.I.10.
The dossier may include material that has not been solicited by those responsible for its preparation, for instance from other colleagues within or without the department or school. These should be included here and available for the candidate to review.
Item 11 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.I.11.
This is the initial letter of appointment from the Chair or Dean to the faculty member outlining the expectations of the school or department and the specific duties to be performed. Please redact all information pertaining to salary and other dollar figures (e.g., start-up lab funds).
Item 1 Part II on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.II.1.
This form is created by the department and indicates the recommended action, proposed title and the effective date, in the context of the dossier. The Effective Date should be consistent with the date on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers and the Quantitative Vote Sheet. The date will appear three times on the ePTF, including the Note field. The Note field should include a 1-sentence explanation (e.g., “Promotion to [new title] effective [effective date] pending positive outcome of dossier review.”).
Item 2 Part II on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.II.2.
This item pertains only to those letters of evaluation designated by the evaluator as confidential or requesting all information indicating evaluator’s identity be redacted and therefore not available to the candidate. Please provide a complete (non-redacted) letter for each evaluator requesting confidentiality.
Item 3 Part II on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.II.3.
To aid reviewers, this item of the dossier should include the following materials:
Biographical sketches establish the evaluator’s scholarly reputation. They are only needed for external reviewers and ideally, are a 3-5 page summary (NIH biosketch is recommended) and not a complete CV.
If the evaluator does not provide his/her biographical sketch, we recommend that the department search for an equivalent summary online. At a minimum, please ensure that this version includes their name, title, current position, and education/training. If available, also provide degrees awarded with the institutions conferring these degrees, positions held, current research, honors awarded and recent publications.