Promotion and tenure instructions for chairs and departments

If the department-level committee prepares its own written evaluation, this evaluation should accompany the chair’s letter; if it does not, the chair’s letter should explain the basis for the faculty votes at the department level.

Department Chair letter

The chair’s letter should present a full analysis of the application for promotion and/or tenure. It should state the result of faculty votes held to evaluate performance in each required area and the result of subsequent votes regarding promotion and/or tenure. These evaluations must use the standard terms specified in the NSHE Code. For each vote, report the exact number of votes cast, including abstentions and proxy votes, even for unanimous votes.

The chair’s letter should discuss the quality and quantity of teaching, explain numerical scales used in evaluation, and explain the multiple indices by which the department evaluates teaching (e.g., course evaluations, peer observation). It is the chair’s responsibility to explain the significance of research, scholarship, and creative activity in the context of the discipline and the stature of publication and performance venues. In so doing, the chair should make explicit the role of the external reviews in the evaluation of the faculty member’s research, scholarship, and creative activity. It is the responsibility of the chair to address any points raised in external reviews with which the department disagrees.

The chair’s letter should state the chair’s evaluation of performance and recommendation for or decision against promotion and/or tenure.

The department chair should complete the Evaluation by Chair and Dean form by indicating the evaluation rating (excellent, commendable, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory) in each required area. No additional comments should be made on the form. Finally, the department chair shall also complete the Chair’s Report of External Reviewers form indicating key information regarding the external reviewers who wrote letters regarding the candidate’s application. It is the responsibility of the chair and the dean to assure that guidelines for external reviewers are followed.

Download Evaluation by Chair and Dean Form

Download Chair's External Reviewer Report Form

The application packet

  • Material to include in the application packet

    The department should arrange application packets in the following manner. All letters must be originals with signatures unless otherwise specified.

    Packets for tenure applications must also include copies of the following, provided by the department:

    • Progress-toward-tenure letters from the third-year review (from both chair and dean), fourth, and fifth (from chair) years
    • Annual evaluations for the full probationary period

    Supplemental materials

    The full file should be sent forward when/as directed by the college.