Dossier Preparation Handbook

Handbook Review History

Revised—09/22/2017, 02/28/2019

On this page:

1. Dossier Preparation

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.

1.1. Candidate’s Tasks

  1. provide a comprehensive and current CV following UB format
  2. develop a Personal Statement that addresses scholarship, teaching and service
  3. secure an Advocate (optional)
  4. provide teaching evaluations
  5. provide names of individuals who should NOT be contacted as external or internal evaluators.

Note: the candidate does NOT provide names of potential external evaluators.

1.2. Department Chair’s Tasks

  1. provide a letter that addresses the candidate’s contributions;
    Note: this letter must include the department’s vote outcome with explanatory comments, if applicable (e.g., split vote).
  2. solicit external evaluator letters (minimally 4 from disinterested scholars preferably of professorial rank at AAU-member institutions);
  3. solicit internal evaluator letters (minimally 2 from colleagues familiar with the candidate’s work);
  4. solicit a collaborator letter if candidate has contributed to a multi-year project with a non-UB affiliate (optional);
  5. submit a complete dossier with required documentation.

2. Jacobs School Office of Faculty Affairs Contacts

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.

Senior Associate Dean

Laychock, Suzanne

Suzanne Laychock, PhD

Professor and Senior Associate Dean For Faculty Affairs & Facilities

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, room 6155, 955 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14203-1121

Phone: (716) 829-2808; Fax: (716) 829-2437

Email: laychock@buffalo.edu

Senior Staff Assistant

Sofia A. Tangalos

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 955 Main Street, Room 6124, Buffalo, NY 14203-1121

Phone: (716) 829-3042

Email: tangalos@buffalo.edu

3. Glossary

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.

4. Jacobs School Promotions Review Process for Academic Dossiers

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.

Research Scholar and Clinical Scholar Faculty

  1. Promotions Committee Department Faculty Vote
  2. Department (Chair)*
  3. Jacobs School Office of Faculty Affairs
  4. Jacobs School Promotions Committee
  5. Jacobs School Dean*
  6. President's Review Board (PRB)*
  7. UB Provost*
  8. UB President*
  9. SUNY Chancellor*

*Letter sent to candidate

5. Jacobs School Promotions Review Process for Qualified Academic Dossiers

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.

Research Educator, Clinical Educator, and Research and Clinical Volunteer Faculty

  1. Promotions Committee Department Faculty Vote
  2. Department (Chair)*
  3. Jacobs School Office of Faculty Affairs
  4. Jacobs School Promotions Committee
  5. Jacobs School 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).

6. Dossier Submission Calendar

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:

  • September 1: original + 2 copies + PDF

Qualified Academic (non-tenure) dossiers including Clinical and Research Educators and Volunteers:

  • November 1 (preferred): original + 1 copy + PDF
  • January 15: deadline for review during current academic cycle

7. Dossier Submission Office Address

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 (tangalos@buffalo.edu).

8. Voting Eligibility for Faculty Personnel Actions

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:

  1. Only tenured or tenure track faculty may vote on proposed initial appointments to the tenure track faculty, or on reappointments/contract renewals to the tenure track. If the initial appointment or reappointment is proposed for the rank of Associate Professor, faculty holding that rank or the rank of Professor may vote; if the appointment or renewal is proposed at the rank of Professor, all faculty members holding that rank may vote. In the case of new appointments to the rank of Associate Professor above, it may be appropriate to consult with tenure-track Assistant Professors and to take into consideration their views on the suitability of the proposed candidate for appointment, but they may not vote on the rank or tenure recommendation.
  2. Only those faculty members holding continuing appointment (i.e., tenure) at the rank of Associate Professor or Full Professor may vote on a proposed promotion/appointment as Associate Professor with tenure. Only those faculty members holding continuing appointment at the rank of Full Professor may vote on a proposed promotion/appointment as Full Professor with tenure.
    If there are not a sufficient number of tenured faculty at the appropriate rank within the department or school, it is appropriate, in consultation with the Dean and/or relevant Associate Dean, to establish an ad hoc committee to substitute for the departmental/school voting body, comprised of the appropriate rank members of the department as well as appropriate rank faculty from related disciplines who are suitable to assist with identifying external reviewers and with evaluating the candidate’s scholarship, teaching and service.
    If the Department Chair is not of the same or higher rank as the proposed action (i.e., an Associate Professor Chair in the case of a promotion to Full Professor, or a Chair holding a Clinical non-tenure track faculty position in the case of a proposed promotion to Associate Professor or Professor with tenure), the Chair may write the Chair’s letter summarizing the case and conveying the views of the appropriate rank departmental faculty or ad hoc committee, but the Chair may not vote and may not make an independent recommendation. It is also acceptable for the department/school, in consultation with the Dean, to designate a faculty member who does hold the same or higher rank as the proposed action to serve as Ad-Hoc Chair in such instances.
  3. Eligible voters for initial appointments/reappointments/promotions to “qualified”, i.e., non- tenure track, ranks include all non-tenure track faculty members holding the same or higher non-tenure track rank, as well as all tenure track faculty holding the same or higher rank. For example, in the case of an appointment/ reappointment to the rank of Clinical or Research Assistant Professor, all faculty members holding a qualified or unqualified rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor may vote. In the case of a proposed promotion from Clinical or Research Assistant Professor to Clinical or Research Associate Professor, all faculty holding a qualified or unqualified rank of Associate Professor or Professor may vote.
  4. Faculty voting for appointments/promotions in any track have the choice to Approve, Disapprove or Abstain by closed ballot.

9. Dossier Preparation for Joint Faculty Appointments Within the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

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.

10. Dossier Preparation for Adjunct Faculty Appointments

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.

11. Dossier Preparation and Tenure Guidelines for Faculty Appointments in Jointly Operated Departments at the University at Buffalo

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.

11.1. Ad Hoc Committee for Promotion and Tenure to Academic Rank (Tenure Track)

  1. The composition of the Ad Hoc Committee for Promotion and Tenure to Academic Rank for individuals shall consist of 4 members from each school (8 members total) who hold rank equal to or higher than that of the candidate. A quorum will be satisfied by 6 voting members.
  2. Ideally, the members should be drawn from each school’s standing Committee for Promotion and Tenure. Selection of the members will be decided by the Dean or Dean’s designee for each School. One member from the Committee will be selected by the Department Chair to present the case. The Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee will be a voting member selected by the Department Chair.
  3. An advocate may be enlisted by the candidate and will include his or her written statement with the dossier, and appear before the ad hoc committee as described in the UB Faculty/Staff Handbook.
  4. The vote outcome will be included in the dossier and reported to the Deans of both schools, the Department Chair and to the candidate.
  5. The report of the Ad Hoc Committee prepared by the Committee Chair will be shared with both Deans.
  6. The Deans of both schools will meet to discuss and decide on approval of the promotion/appointment. The Deans will decide between them which Dean will be responsible for preparing the Dean’s Letter to be included in the dossier. The Letter will be co-signed by both of the cognizant Deans. Should the Deans not be able to agree on approval, the decision will be considered a negative outcome and the promotion/ appointment denied in one letter signed by both Deans.
  7. Should the candidate choose to withdraw his or her dossier, both Deans must be so notified in writing.

11.2. Ad Hoc Committee for Promotion to Qualified Academic Ranks (Non-Tenure Track)

  1. For promotion in a Qualified Academic Rank, an equal number of committee members from each school (no less than 3) who hold rank equal to or higher than that of the candidate will be selected as an Ad Hoc Committee. If possible these members should be drawn from the school’s standing committee on Promotions to Qualified Academic Ranks. A quorum will be satisfied by 4 voting members.
  2. One member of the Ad Hoc Committee will be selected by the Department Chair to present the case. The Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee will be a voting member selected by the Department Chair.
  3. An advocate may be enlisted and will include his or her written statement with the dossier, and appear before the ad hoc committee as described in the UB Faculty/Staff Handbook.
  4. The committee’s vote outcome will be reported to the cognizant Deans.
  5. The Deans of both schools will discuss the outcome, prior to making their recommendation. If there is disagreement by the Deans on the decision to promote, then this will be considered a negative outcome and the promotion/ appointment denied. The cognizant Deans will prepare one letter to be co-signed by both of them and transmitted to the candidate and the Chair of the department.
  6. Should the candidate choose to withdraw his or her dossier, both Deans must be so notified in writing.

12. Guidelines for Assembling a Dossier for Tenure

Source: UB’s Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Dossier-Assembly

Please ensure that the following are strictly adhered to when assembling a dossier for tenure:

  1. Insert colored divider sheets between EACH section of the dossier as identified on the Dossier Checklist (e.g., Chair’s Letter, Advocate’s Statement, Curriculum Vitae, Teaching Evaluations, etc.).
  2. Use one color for all dividers in Part I (Available to Candidate) and a second color for dividers in Part II (Confidential).
  3. Do not staple or paperclip any sections, or have it bound in any way – use binder clips or durable rubber bands to secure all copies.
  4. Do not place any documents in Part I that contain names of external reviewers who have not given permission for the candidate to see their letter. If the Chair chooses to cite these evaluators or their comments, you must place a redacted copy of the Chair’s letter with all identities deleted in the non-confidential section since the Chair’s letter is available for the candidate to review.
  5. Include an ePTF Summary Sheet of the appointment/promotion/tenure in the ORIGINAL dossier (do not place in the copies).
  6. Do not include copies of articles/publications within the dossier—provide only one copy of materials in the Supplemental Material appendix included with the dossier. While the Dossier Checklist includes publications as an aspect of the teaching portfolio, it lists those publications as Appendices (supplementary materials). This includes PPT presentations, website material, and other self-published course supplements. Dossiers containing inordinate amounts of publication materials in each copy may be returned for reconfiguration.
  7. Request a short biosketch (i.e., NIH style) from external evaluators, not a full CV.
  8. Do not include internal evaluator biographical sketches.
  9. Provide an updated CV to the Jacobs School Office of Faculty Affairs for inclusion in the dossier before it proceeds to the next levels of review. Revised CVs are welcomed at any time during the promotions process in order to convey new/updated information for review.

13. Sample Checklist for Promotion Dossiers

14. Checklist for Promotion Dossiers

Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.1

Each section of the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers is referenced to the UB Faculty/Staff Handbook and explained below.

14.1. Part I (Available to Candidate)

14.1.1. Chair’s Letter

Purpose

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.

Content

The Chair’s letter should essentially address three areas of the candidate’s contributions.

Research and Scholarship

A thorough description of the candidate’s work, including an explanation or assessment of:

  1. the impact of the work on the discipline
  2. any limiting or mitigating factors
  3. the quality of publications and scholarly endeavors
  4. grant awards and other external funding
  5. past accomplishments
  6. future promise

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.

Teaching

A description and analysis of the candidate’s teaching contributions.

  1. Importance of his/her contributions to the Departmental and School’s educational mission.
  2. Any innovations in teaching or curriculum development or mentoring.
  3. Scholarly productivity in relation to teaching and learning.
  4. Leadership role in directing courses, workshops, etc.

Service

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:

  1. participation in professional organizations
  2. editorial responsibilities with presses and journals
  3. organization of conferences and symposia

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.

Additional Contents

The letter should include the department’s quantitative vote outcome with commentary on the degree of departmental support.

14.1.2. Quantitative Vote Sheet

14.1.3. Advocate’s Statement

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.

14.1.4. Advocacy

14.1.4.1. Right of Advocacy

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.

14.1.4.2. Selection and Role of Advocate

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.

14.1.4.3. Time for Designating Advocate

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.

14.1.5. Approved Search Report Cover Sheet

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.

14.1.6. Curriculum Vitae

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.

14.1.7. UB Format for Curriculum Vitae

14.1.8. Candidate’s Personal Statement

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.

14.1.8.1. Format

Written concisely in non-technical language for readers and reviewers from diverse academic disciplines.

14.1.8.2. Purpose

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.

14.1.8.3. Suggested Content

14.1.8.3.1. Research and Scholarly Statement

Address accomplishments (no more than three pages) with reference to

  1. activities performed while employed at UB vs. previous experience
  2. the extent of differentiation from work completed for the terminal degree and original and unique contributions to collaborative projects.

Please address all applicable items.

  1. the focus and future direction of the research/scholarly work
  2. significant findings, breakthroughs, innovations, etc.
  3. evidence of influence in the discipline or profession; industry
  4. plans for future development, collaboration, application to significant problems
  5. status of funding with reference to past record and future prospects

14.1.8.3.2. Educational Activities and Teaching Statement

Please address items #1 and #2 below and if applicable, any other items from 3 through
7 (approximately three pages).

  1. Whom does the candidate teach and how? Level of student(s) and trainees; methods used to inform/instruct/train, e.g., lectures, research supervision; labs; rotations, etc.
  2. Candidate's commentary on data from quantitative student/trainee evaluations (Part I, item # 6 in the dossier)
  3. Innovations in teaching methods, materials, evaluation, e.g., software, self-directed learning activities; formative evaluation strategies
  4. Curriculum development activities, e.g., new courses; remedial/enrichment activities
  5. Contributions to course or program administration
  6. Advisement and mentoring activities
  7. Contributions to interdisciplinary or non-departmental program; continuing education

14.1.8.3.3. Service Statement

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:

  1. his/her profession
  2. public health, welfare, education
  3. the University at Buffalo
  4. social or civic projects

14.1.9. Teaching Portfolio – Appendices

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:

  1. samples of syllabi, assignments, tests, student research resources (documentation of website, CD-ROM, and/or other IT modalities if applicable);
  2. evidence of student learning or other measures of success (e.g., test scores, retention in the program, honors projects and student research accomplishments, job placements and outstanding instances of career achievement, etc.);
  3. documentation of teaching and learning innovations (e.g., development of new teaching techniques, significant interactive learning strategies, creative and effective applications of information technology that enhance learning, and evidence of pedagogical influence in the discipline or profession);
  4. external funding awarded for teaching-and-learning developmental activities.

14.1.10. Quantitative Teaching Evaluations

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.

14.1.11. Letters of Evaluation

Item 9 on the Checklist for Promotion Dossiers. Source: UB Faculty/Staff Handbook section III.A.I.9.

14.1.12. Letters from External Evaluators

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.

14.1.13. Jacobs School Guidelines for Qualified Academic Dossiers

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.

14.1.14. Jacobs School Guidelines for Volunteer Dossiers

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.

14.1.15. Letters from Internal Evaluators

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

14.1.16. Letters from Internal Evaluators for External Candidates

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:

  1. Rather than provide a general recommendation or unsubstantiated opinion, the evaluators should be asked to comment on the candidate’s credentials: the quality of the faculty member’s current research or creative activity; the quality of publications or other evidence of peer review; and the candidate’s potential for future growth and contribution to the discipline. They should also provide specific comparisons between the candidate and others in the field who, relative to the candidate, are at the same stage in their careers. It is particularly useful if the evaluators use non-specialized language and focus on the candidate’s accomplishments and the contribution to the discipline. A summary of the candidate’s CV is not sufficient.
  2. The evaluators must be asked explicitly whether, in their best judgment, the scholarly accomplishments and recognition achieved by the candidate would warrant the same appointment, promotion, or granting of tenure at the evaluator’s institution, or at other distinguished public research universities.
  3. The letter of solicitation to the evaluator should not indicate in any way whether the candidate has or has not received the support of the Chair, the Department, or any other officer or unit of the university.
  4. Each letter must indicate that the evaluator’s response will be held in strict confidence unless the evaluator gives written permission for the candidate to see it. A form for this purpose is to be enclosed with each letter of solicitation, with the evaluator indicating which of three options is preferred: that the entire letter be held in confidence; that the letter be available to the candidate with all references to the author deleted; or that the candidate may see the letter in its entirety. This form must be signed and returned with the evaluator’s letter.
  5. All letters received in response to the solicitation should be included in the dossier, as should notations of any calls to outside evaluators. Refusals or disregarded requests should be listed as well.

14.1.17. Unsolicited Material

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.

14.1.18. Conditions of Employment Letter

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).

14.2. Part II (Confidential and Not Available to Candidate)

14.2.1. Personnel Transaction Form (ePTF)

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.”).

14.2.2. Letters of Evaluation

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.

14.2.3. Background Information on External Evaluators

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:

  1. A statement of the method used to select the external evaluators, including special reasons for selecting any particular evaluator. The purpose of this statement is to present clear and convincing evidence that the evaluators are disinterested (i.e., have nothing personal and/or professional to gain by providing the evaluation);
  2. A list of all evaluators who were asked to write letters (please note that the final list of evaluators is not to be shared with the candidate);
  3. A statement indicating those evaluators who did not respond, and also including those who did respond and declined to provide a letter (provide a brief reason for the declination);
  4. A copy of the Chair’s letter of solicitation to the evaluators;
  5. A biographical sketch for each external reviewer.

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.

15. Sample Letters and Documents