Texas Tech University

Faculty Evaluation

Promotion and Tenure

Chairperson Role

The TTU Faculty Handbook states “The faculty member has primary responsibility for preparation of the dossier, with major assistance to be provided by the department chairperson.” There are many ways this procedure can be completed. The essential responsibility rests with the faculty member, but the chairperson should play a significant collaborative role. The tenure process officially begins in September no later than the candidates sixth year of employment. However, significant activity must occur prior to the September submission. Following is an outline of the promotion and tenure process from the chairperson's point of view.

Note: Dates are approximate and will be used unless a change occurs in the university calendar of events. If a date falls on a holiday or weekend, the effective date shall be the next working day.

April 15 (no later than) Notify in writing each faculty member as appropriate that he/she must, under university policy, be considered for tenure during the next academic year. A sample letter is provided for convenience. In addition, the chairperson should review promotion and tenure policies as a refresher on the requirements.

May 1 (no later than) Inform the dean regarding who will be considered for tenure and/or promotion in the coming year.  Provide means for election of the department's slate of three nominees to serve on the College Promotion and Tenure Committee.  Submit the three names to the dean for consideration for appointment to the committee. 

Note:  Faculty members who serve on the College Promotion and Tenure Committee cannot serve at the department level. 

Early summer In consultation with each faculty member to be considered for tenure and/or promotion, begin developing a list of outside reviewers.  Though the faculty members can be involved in the development of the list of reviewers, he/she should not contact reviewers at any time during the selection or submission process; this is for the chairperson only. The majority of the solicited letters concerning a candidate's credentials should come from qualified persons outside Texas Tech University. It is strongly recommended that at least three of the outside reviewers be selected from faculty members at peer institutions.  Once the list of potential reviewers is acceptable to both parties, contact the reviewers to ascertain their willingness to serve in this important role. Letters from outside reviewers will be used to confirm important areas of the faculty member's achievements as noted below.

Promotion and tenure to associate professor

  • significance of peer-reviewed publications and/or peer-reviewed creative activities which have contributed to the discipline or field of study
  •  quality of other research and/or creative endeavor
  • quality of professional service appropriate to the objectives of the discipline, the department, and where possible, the college and/or the university

Promotion to Professor

  • graduate faculty membership (required for Professor status)
  • substantial peer-reviewed publications and/or juried exhibits
  • national or international reputation in scholarly activities including research and/or creative endeavors
  • significance of professional leadership and service appropriate to the discipline at the department, college, university, state, and national levels

Once reviewers are identified, consult with and advise each faculty member to be considered for tenure and/or promotion regarding the content of material to be sent to them.  The content of this packet is largely up to the faculty member.  It may be only the CV or it can contain other items that the faculty member deems appropriate.  In consideration to the reviewers, every effort should be made to keep the document brief.  Faculty members may choose to provide additional material to reviewers via a web page.

Early July Letters from reviewers are solicited by the department chairperson after consultation with the candidate and will become part of the final dossier. Outside reviewers should not be asked simply “Does this individual merit promotion?” because the definition and application of standards at Texas Tech University are the responsibilities of this University. Respondents should be informed that the letters become a component of the dossier. Examples of a typical chairperson's letter, for promotion and tenure and for promotion only, are included for information purposes. Five letters are needed for promotion to associate professor and eight are needed for promotion to professor. It is suggested that two or three extras should be solicited in the event that some reviewers are not able to complete the task. All solicited letters from within or without the University should be included in the dossier so that review bodies may have access to all relevant information.

Submit review packets (chairperson's letter, material provided by faculty member) to outside reviewers, with the request that their review letter be returned no later than September 1 to allow time for late submissions and to provide time for proper dossier completion. In addition to their letter, solicit a brief bio that will be included in the dossier later as evidence of qualifications to serve as a reviewer.

By this time the faculty member to be considered for tenure and/or promotion should be working to prepare the dossier. As needed, material from their personnel files should be provided. Complete information regarding dossier preparation and content is provided at Promotion and Tenure – Faculty Role.

It is very helpful for faculty members to see examples of previously prepared dossiers. Faculty members can see examples at this site. The chairperson should provide guidance and assistance as needed.

Late Summer Continue working with candidate to complete dossier. Collect outside letters as they arrive. As the deadline for submission approaches, send a reminder to those who have not submitted their review.

If not completed earlier, submit names of TTU faculty members outside the College for consideration for appointment to the College Promotion and Tenure Committee. In addition and in conjunction with the candidate(s) for tenure and/or promotion, select two faculty members outside the College to serve on the department Promotion and Tenure Committee. These outside members must be tenured and hold at least an associate professor rank. An outside member cannot serve on both the college and the department committees.

September 15 (no later than) All dossiers should have been submitted electronically to the department chairperson. Prior to evaluation by the department committee, the chairperson adds the following to each copy of the dossier.

  • Rating of accepted or published refereed papers since the candidate was employed at Texas Tech or since the last promotion. If there is a long timeframe since the last promotion, six years may be used unless it is to the candidate's disadvantage. Ratings are typed or written in the left margin of the vita by each publication entry and are based on the university rating scale.
  • Rating of teaching load, found at the end of the Basic Information section of dossier
  • Letters from outside reviewers

Prior to October 5 The Department Promotion and Tenure Committee should be convened to evaluate the dossiers. Ballots should be provided to each member – separate votes for promotion and tenure are reflected on the ballot. Ballots are unsigned, and should be designed in such a manner that comments can be separated from the ballots. Results of the ballots are tabulated by the chairperson (or designee) and a witness and are entered on the Statement of Ballot Count and on the ballot summary form found in the OP 32.01 Attachment B. The chairperson adds his/her recommendation to the ballot summary form.

The chairperson then writes a letter of support for the candidate and includes it in the appropriate section of the dossier.  It is the responsibility of the department to clarify, when appropriate, why the candidate is uniquely qualified for promotion or tenure, i.e., to reflect any extenuating circumstances which are not readily apparent.

The chairperson meets with the candidate, notifying them of the ballot results and the level of chairperson support.

October 5 (no later than) Submit electronically the dossier to the dean's office, along with paper copies of the ballot summary form, department ballots, and department ballot comments (submitted separately) in individual envelopes or folders for each candidate. If a current copy of the department's promotion and tenure policy is not on file in the dean's office, submit one copy electronically.

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