Section 6.13


Candidate Responsibilities and General Information

File Review Process

Units (schools, departments, divisions or programs) have separate promotion and tenure documents that address review criteria specific to disciplines and areas of study. These are fluid documents designed to accommodate institutional and disciplinary changes. Please refer to these documents, which are also appropriate for the three-year review, for specific review criteria.

The three-year review, like tenure review, is both substantive and developmental in its purpose. Identification of strengths and weaknesses will be accompanied by specific recommendations for professional growth.

The flow of file review generally proceeds from a faculty committee, to the Chair or Director, and then to the Dean and Provost. The Provost's recommendations are forwarded to the President for presentation to the Board of Trustees. Because college procedures may vary slightly, please consult your college office for specifics.

Organization and Presentation

The attached Table of Contents for Three-Year Review Files lists the required file content and section order.

  • Tabs clearly identifying each section are required.
  • Redundancy should be avoided by following the Table of Contents when compiling the file.
  • Extraneous materials will not be considered for review and may detract from the file presentation.

Present your contributions within the context of the standards and mission of the department/school/division/program.

Portfolio Content and Function

Construct separate portfolios for teaching, research/creative work, and service.

  • A portfolio provides documentary evidence of your accomplishments. The evidence should be representative rather than all encompassing.
  • The portfolio should also include a narrative that: 1) explains the principles for selection of the evidence, 2) mentions additional evidence not included in full, and 3) provides a context for understanding how the materials represent the career aspirations of the candidate.
  • Peter Seldin's (1997) The Teaching Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Improved Performance and Promotion/Tenure Decisions (2nd Edition, Anker Publishing: Bolton, MA.) offers good models for portfolio construction. Another source for excellent advice and ideas on constructing effective teaching portfolios is Teaching Improvement Practices: Successful Strategies for Higher Education (W. Alan Wright & Associates, 1995, Anker Publishing: Bolton, MA.). Both are available in the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

Certification of File Accuracy

The Candidate should work closely with the Chair/Director to provide complete and accurate information. The original and one copy of the complete file are forwarded to the College office.


Chair/Director Responsibilities and General Information

Certification of File Accuracy

The Chair, working closely with the candidate, ensures that all items on the candidate's list have been properly addressed.

Supporting Evidence for Review

Make sure that materials in the file are sufficient to support evaluative statements about the quality and impact of the work. 

  • Evidence of the teaching quality is critical and should be supported with multiple measures.
    • Peer reviews are to be done systematically according to agreed-upon procedures in the department/school/division/program. Include a comprehensive overview of written materials as well as observations of classroom activity.
    • Compare student evaluations to those of other faculty members.
    • Student letters should be included only if they are unsolicited and representative, not just a selection of the best.
  • Assessment of the quality of research or creative work is essential and should be supported with multiple measures.
    • Include evidence that people have read or reviewed the work and are influenced by it; e.g., book reviews, citations of candidate's work, external letters.
    • Compare the quality of scholarly journals used by the candidate to other journals in your discipline.
    • Although assessment of the quality and circulation of the journal in which the work appears is necessary, such information is not sufficient. The Chair is responsible for verifying the quality of the work itself.

External Reviews

External reviews are not included in the three-year review process.

Evaluation Content and Function

The Chair's letter should be evaluative rather than descriptive. Evaluative letters directly identify weaknesses as well as strengths and provide an assessment of their significance and relationship. Descriptive statements might be used as a reference for evaluative statements, but the focus should be on your evaluation. For example:

The candidate's work breaks new ground in the discipline, as evidenced by the large number of times the work is cited in the current literature.

The candidate is a popular teacher, as seen in the student evaluation scores, which are in the top quartile of all student evaluations for courses at a comparable level in the department.

The Chair's review must address positive and developmental issues. Make specific recommendations on how to deal with the developmental issues, including clear expectations for performance by the end of the probationary period.

Contextualize your evaluation in terms of the department/school/division/program's allocation of effort for teaching, research and service. For instance, if the unit places greater allocation of effort on teaching, there is a corresponding responsibility to evaluate the amount and quality of teaching more fully.


Dean Responsibilities and General Information

Certification of File Accuracy

The Dean ensures that all items on the chair/director's list have been properly addressed.

Evaluation Content and Function

The Dean's review should be evaluative, rather than descriptive, and should be independent of the chair's statements.

The Dean should state a clear position on reappointment for continuation of the probationary period and provide support for that position.

The Dean should anticipate and address questions that are likely to be raised by the Provost's review (e.g., justification for early review, changes in career goals).

The Dean's review should clarify a developmental process specific to the needs of the probationary faculty member. The Dean's recommendations for performance expectations may modify or add to the Chair's.

Provost/VPAA: 07/06/00