Printable/downloadable Policies and Procedures for Promotion to Full Professor [PDF]


Changes and amendments to this document shall be approved by Faculty Council by majority vote.

This is one of several documents outlining the policies and procedures to be followed in the College of Visual and Performing Arts for contractual renewal, promotion to associate professor with tenure, promotion to full professor, and promotion to associate and full teaching professors. In as much as these policies and procedures bear heavily on the outcome of application for or appeal of promotion, tenure, and contractual renewal, it is cautioned that they be carefully observed.

Exact dates for submission of materials and committee action on the department/school and college levels shall be set in the fall semester of each academic year by the dean in compliance with the promotion and tenure schedules set by the vice chancellor for academic affairs; hence, the dates on the following Promotion Calendar may vary slightly from year to year. Moreover, the Promotion Calendar is a rough sketch of activities and responsibilities.

Candidates for promotion, tenure, and/or contractual renewal are responsible for familiarizing themselves with policies and procedures, and gathering and submitting materials as outlined in these documents as appropriate.

Promotion Only Calendar

College of Visual and Performing Arts

The specific dates on the calendar below may vary slightly from year to year. Please note that this calendar is advisory and does not supersede the body of Policies and Procedures. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the sections of Policies and Procedures pertaining to your application for promotion.

Phase I, Promotion activity deadlines during spring semester prior to promotion review year:

  • January 15

VPA Office of Academic Affairs notifies faculty eligible for the first time in rank for promotion (e.g., minimum of one completed year in rank for promotion from instructor to assistant professor; minimum of four completed years in rank for promotion from associate to full professor; see 2.23 Timing of Promotions, The Faculty Manual).

  • February 15

Faculty indicates in writing to the dean their intention to apply for promotion.

  • February 28

The dean officially notifies faculty in writing of receipt of intent, with calendars of promotion process to both candidate and department chair.

  • March 1 through May 15

Department chair/director gathers evidence while in current rank only of faculty member’s teaching and advising, creative/scholarly accomplishment, and service.

  • March 1 through October 1

Faculty gathers their own evidence while in current rank only of teaching and advising, creative/scholarly accomplishment, and service. Candidate may find it helpful at this time to begin Senate Form A* and to discuss materials with department chair/director, mentor, and colleagues.

  • April 1

Candidate submits to department chair/director six to ten names of external reviewers (artist/educators, professionals, or academics outside of Syracuse University, from peer or aspirational peer institutions), and includes rationale for selection of each reviewer for external review requests to be made on candidate’s behalf. Should your external reviewers be professionals, as well as artist/educators, you may find it necessary to complete two types of external review packets that will appeal to the professional expertise of both constituencies.

  • April 1 through April 30

Department’s tenure and promotion committee and the department chair/director meet to generate their own list of six to ten names of external reviewers and then select and solicit at least three external reviewers from their list and at least two from the candidate’s list for a total of a minimum of five external reviewers.

  • June 30

Faculty submits external review packets to the department chair/director; department chair/director includes their letter to each reviewer, requesting an October 1 return date for all reviews.

  • Mid-July

Department chair/director express mails external review packets to external reviewers.

*Senate Form A is submitted to the Senate Committee on Appointment and Promotions and must be a stand- alone document without plastic sleeves (see attached).

Phase II, Promotion activity deadlines during fall semester of promotion review year:

  • October 1

Candidate submits their completed materials in binders to department chair/director.

  • October 2 through October 30

Department chair/director assembles all confidential materials, and department’s tenure and promotion committee reviews candidate’s application for promotion according to appropriate procedures and votes. Chair/director assembles a document with “Department Committee Votes” (for and against and date). Department’s tenure and promotion committee creates additional materials in support of its work, which includes:

o  Department chair/director writes letter (recommendation for promotion or reason for denial), including the committee’s assessment as well as the chair’s own evaluation, a description of promotion procedures, criteria, standards, and composition of department’s tenure and promotion committee, and completed document showing committee votes for and against.

  • October 30

Department chair/director informs candidate of department tenure and promotion committee’s decision. At this time the candidate has the option to formally withdraw from further consideration their application for promotion, in writing to the dean.

  • November 1

Department chair/director makes an appointment with the senior administrator in VPA Office of Academic Affairs to formally check-in all of candidate’s promotion binders.

  • November 15 through January

The college’s tenure and promotion committee meets to review all applications. If needed the committee may call on department chairs/directors or program coordinators to answer specific questions. The college’s committee strives to complete its deliberations in December.

Part One

Promotion to Full Professor

The guidelines that follow are intended primarily for candidates who already hold associate professor rank with tenure and are seeking promotion to full professor. However, in rare circumstances, a faculty member may have previously been granted tenure but not promotion to associate professor, and thus may seek promotion to associate professor (but not tenure). In such cases, the process outlined here should be followed, but the criteria to be applied would be based on the academic unit’s evidences for promotion to associate professor.

All faculty members seeking promotion should be familiar with those sections of the Syracuse University Faculty Manual that pertain to promotion review (see Sections 2.2, 2.21, 2,22, 2.23, 2.24,

2.25, 2.26, and 2.29.).

I. Time in Rank

Candidates for promotion will normally not be considered until they have completed the following minimum time-in-rank requirements:

  • For promotion from instructor to assistant professor, one completed year;
  • For promotion from assistant professor to associate professor (if not coincidental with the granting of tenure), six completed years;
  • For promotion from associate professor to professor, four completed years

“No one is entitled to advancement solely because of length of service. It should be emphasized that accomplishment and not time in rank is the essential criterion for promotion.” (Faculty Manual: 2.23)

Candidates must be proven to have met the time in rank prerequisites set down in the Faculty Manual (2.23)

  1. Considerations for Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
    1. “Recommendation for promotion in faculty ranks is recognition of accomplishment for which the merit of the individual is the sole criterion. Initial recommendations are a faculty responsibility and are based upon considerations of academic merit and recognized achievement. Questions of finance, numbers in superior ranks, overall faculty distribution, or departmental balance are not involved in faculty recommendations.” (Faculty Manual: 2.2)
    2. Promotion and its meaning are the life’s blood of a college. The practice of it reflects ultimately on the quality and educational wisdom of the college. Candidates are encouraged to consult with their departments about the promotion process and departments are encouraged to establish appropriate mentorship procedures for faculty members.

II. Criteria for Promotion to Full Professor

It is expected that each member of the faculty, at any rank, will demonstrate continuing evidence of mastery of their art form or field. Educational or scholarly activities for business, industry, the candidate’s profession, or the public; creative work such as design, exhibitions, dramatic or musical performance or compositions, monographs, papers, publications, screening; and the auspices under which they are sponsored may be considered evidence of such mastery.

The candidate’s creative/scholarly and professional accomplishments are based on the three broadly defined criteria set down in the Faculty Manual (2.24, 2.33, and 2.34) and in more explicit detail below and in each department/school’s written evidences for promotion to full professor.

These evidences should be in writing and are subject to review and approval by Faculty Council prior to implementation.

Accomplishments in teaching, research/creative work, and service must demonstrate growth for advancement from one rank to the next. It is expected such growth should continue to be in evidence after the rank of professor has been attained.


“Syracuse University recognizes success in teaching among its tenured faculty to be of vital importance and values innovation and intellectual pursuit embedded within teaching. Teaching involves the arts and skills required for the diffusion of knowledge and guidance toward its effective and independent use. The successful teacher, among other things, instructs in consonance with the School/College mission, has knowledge of subject matter, skillfully communicates and contributes to student learning and development, acts professionally and ethically, and strives continuously to improve” (Faculty Manual 2.24). The education of students is a primary responsibility of a faculty member. Evidence should be clear that the faculty member is an effective teacher and advisor. Additional evidence, and equally important, is the candidate’s contribution to the education of students through course and curriculum development, graduate teaching and direction of thesis or dissertation work, portfolio reviews, and supervision of internships, independent studies, and other forms of student learning.

Faculty members are expected to work in concert with their colleagues to define and implement the teaching mission of their specific department/school and degree program, including identification of program and course learning outcomes, forms of assessing student learning, and periodic review of objectives and outcomes. In addition, faculty members should be able to demonstrate how the courses they teach contribute to collective program outcomes and otherwise assist students in accomplishing the overall objectives of the degree program.

Creative/Professional Accomplishments

“Faculty members belong to scholarly and professional communities and are expected to advance these communities by contributing to knowledge through research or other forms of creative work. The Syracuse University faculty is strong in part because it engages in scholarship

that comprises a spectrum of excellence from disciplinary to cross-disciplinary, from theoretical to applied, and from critical to interpretive. Scholarship means in-depth study, learning, inquiry or experimentation designed to make contributions to knowledge as appropriate in specific fields or relevant disciplines.” Scholarship is “measured by peer recognition of its originality, impact on, and importance to the development of the field(s) or relevant disciplines….For promotion to the rank of professor, accomplishments in research, scholarship, and creative work should have impact that is broad and deep, whether in a single discipline or across disciplines, among the significant audiences inside and outside of the academy.” (Faculty Manual 2.24)

Furthermore, the faculty in each department or school are expected to provide in ongoing discussion and in their written evidences for promotion a more detailed understanding of what is meant by local, regional, national, and/or international recognition of creative and scholarly accomplishment in their specific disciplines. The goal in this endeavor is not to proscribe research accomplishment too narrowly but to provide enough clarity that faculty members seeking tenure and promotion can engage in their work with sufficient confidence that they understand the unit’s expectations.

Faculty members are also expected to demonstrate how their research informs and impacts their teaching.


“Syracuse University asserts the importance of faculty service for the vitality of its academic community, for the professions it represents, and for society at large….Service activities should be of high quality.” (Faculty Manual 2.24)

Examples include:

  1. To the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the University, such as:
    1. administrative service on department/area, school, college, or University committees.
    2. To the community-at-large, such as:
      1. participation in a community organization in which social service or professional expertise is acknowledged.
      2. To the profession, such as:
        1. invitations to address professional groups,
          1. consultations with professional groups, and
          2. membership and effective participation in regional or national professional organizations.

It is expected that post-tenure and promotion to associate professor, and particularly at the rank of full professor, a faculty member’s level of service should increase substantially.


Outstanding performance in all three criteria is likely to be rare. The candidate must demonstrate a significant strength in two of the areas and a reasonable amount of accomplishment in the third. The

department/school promotion committee and the college promotion committee each should determine what constitutes a “reasonable amount,” according to individual conditions and circumstances.


In exceptional cases, recommendations may be made in less than the prerequisite time in rank. Requests for exceptional consideration must be initiated by the department chair/director.

Withdrawal from Consideration

Candidates for promotion to professor have the right to withdraw their candidacy for promotion at any time during the process and may resubmit in a subsequent year.

  1. Specific Procedures: Candidate Responsibility and Chair/Director’s Initial Responsibilities

The candidate will submit the prepared application Senate Form A to the department chair/director.

  1. It is the candidate’s responsibility to prepare Senate Form A with meticulous care. Senate Form A, which assists with the organization of a candidate’s application file for promotion, represents the credentials put forward by the applicant and it is the principal document in support of the candidate. Supplementary materials may be supplied as the candidate wishes or the department/school promotion committee requests. Senate Form A may be modified from time to time. The most recent copy of Senate Form A may be found on the Provost’s website.


The following materials are required to be included in binder one, assembled in the order as listed:

  1. Outline of Professional Experience (Senate Form A)—includes attached curriculum vitae
  2. Candidate’s Professional Statement (Senate Form A)
  3. Committee and department/school recommendations, votes, and analysis, including:
    1. Departmental evaluative summary about the quality and quantity of (1) the candidate’s scholarly production, including specific comments about refereed publications that include (for monographs) the suitability of the press, how well known in the field and (for journals) rating in the field and acceptance rate; and the work’s impact on the field; and/or (2) creative work produced and the quality and suitability of the venues in which the work is presented and the impact on the audience and genre of production; and/or (3) public scholarship and engagement projects, including comments on the project’s significance, and its impact on the publics, communities, industries, or other partners or audiences.
    2. Departmental evaluative summary about the quality and quantity of teaching and other instructional contributions, including effectiveness of classroom teaching, course/curriculum development, and advising.
    3. Departmental evaluative summary about the quality and quantity of service to the department, school/college, the University, the profession, or the public.
    4.  The yearly summary narratives for the departmental performance reviews for tenured faculty.
  4. Copies of 5–6 external letters of review on official letterhead solicited, with the following information:
    1. List of all names solicited with information that describes the person, their rank, and the qualifications that make them especially appropriate as a reference. Include the reason(s) given for a solicited reviewer declining.
    2. Copies of solicitation letter(s).
  5. School/College evaluative recommendations, votes and analysis (See above.)
  6. Dean’s analysis and recommendation


The following materials are included in binder two as applicable.

  1. Scholarship/Research: (e.g., publications, grants, awards)
    1. For publications: sample (e.g., publications sent to reviewers)
    2. For public scholarship projects: (e.g., evaluation reports, white papers, curricula or other products)
    3. For creative work: (e.g., photographs, musical scores, videos of performances, CDs, or other projects)
    4. Reviews of publications, creative works, other scholarly products, or teaching
    5. Reviews or other evidence of impact/success (citations, media, etc.)
  2. 2. Teaching:
    1. Courses taught (since previous change in rank):
      1. · required courses
      2. · elected courses
    2. New courses introduced and taught
    3. Evidence of teaching effectiveness:
      1. course evaluations, syllabi, course materials, and letters from matriculated students, graduated students, and colleagues
        1.  material to be requested by department chair/director in consultation with candidate
        2.  material and data to be collated by department chair’s/director’s office
        3. material and data to be representative of work for the last five years
    4. Evidence of advising effectiveness:
      1. advisement loads
      2. advisement activities, advising materials, advising assessments, and letters from matriculated students and graduated students
        1. material to be requested by department chair/director in consultation with candidate
        2. material and data to be collated by department chair’s/director’s office
        3. material and data to be representative of work for the last five years
    5. Programs and/or projects developed:
      1. personal statement justifying present and future value to department/area and college
      2. statement on plans for development of future courses, projects, and programs with explanation of value to department/area and college
  3. Exhibition, performance, or publication record. Material representative of the body of work may also be submitted by the candidate.
  4. Involvement in professional organizations
  5. Evidence of Service Activities
    1. Upon receipt of the application, the presentation of the candidate’s application becomes the responsibility of the department chair/director.
    2. The department chair/director must review the candidate’s application and forward it to the department/area promotion committee.
    3. Senate Form A may not be edited, amended, or altered in any fashion after receipt by the department/area promotion committee. Once Senate Form A has been received, a supplemental statement with updated information is permitted, but it is up to the reviewers how much weight it will be given.
    4. Regarding letters of evaluation from peers in the profession, the number of external peers, the nature of their credentials, and the rationale for their selection should be consistent with criteria specified by the vice chancellor for academic affairs:
      1. unless a detailed rationale is provided to the contrary, external peer reviewers should be full professors from institutions or programs better than Syracuse University. Reviewers should not be selected if they have had a significant prior relationship with the candidate (e.g., worked together at a previous institution, were cohorts in the same graduate program, had a prior teacher-student relationship, co- authored articles, books, or collaborated in producing creative work, etc.). Where appropriate in judging creative work, reviewers may be highly regarded professionals whose credentials would place them on a par with those having achieved excellence in the best academic institutions. In such cases, the number of professional reviewers should not be greater than the number of academic reviewers. Under normal circumstances, professional reviewers should be limited to reviewing creative work and service to the profession. They should not be asked to judge the quality of the candidate’s teaching or university service.
      2.  the procedure for selecting external peer reviewers is as follows:
        1. the candidate provides a list of 6-10 potential reviewers;
        2.  the tenure committee generates a list of 6-10 reviewers; then
        3. the tenure committee selects two or three names from each list and an equal number of alternates from each list. Reviewers are solicited from this final list until at least five reviewers have agreed to participate. According to University guidelines, a majority of the final roster of outside evaluators must come from the committee’s list.
    5. in emerging fields of scholarship/creative work, when a department does not have in-house expertise among its senior faculty, solicitation of external peer reviewers may require consulting with one or more recognized experts in that field in order to generate a list of potential reviewers.
    6. outside letters of recommendation shall be solicited by the chair/director of the candidate’s department/school. Great care should be taken in writing a detailed cover letter to external reviewers, explaining specifically what they are being asked to evaluate and by what criteria. Reviewers should be given a copy of the relevant sections of this document to guide their review of the candidate’s credentials. Reviewers should also be guaranteed that their letters of evaluation will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. Reviewers should provide their letters on official letterhead.
    7. letters are to be collated by the department/school and included in the candidate’s review data.
  6. The department chair/director provides access to the candidate’s materials and convenes the promotion committee to deliberate the case.

Part Two

General Guidelines for Committee Deliberations

General Guidelines for Committees

The committee structure for reviewing candidates for promotion to full professor must conform to University guidelines and should be as consistent as possible across the areas of the college while still retaining some flexibility at the departmental level to accommodate local traditions and practices.

According to University guidelines, deliberative bodies should be independent across levels (i.e., no individual should actively participate or vote in two levels of the process, such as at both the department/school and College level).

Committees for promotion and tenure should exclude individuals with potential conflicts of interest. In these committees, potential conflicts of interest occur when individuals who may directly or indirectly derive a personal benefit are in a position to influence a decision (e.g., promotion of a spouse or partner). Individuals may also recuse themselves from cases in which participation or voting might pose a substantial conflict with the performance of their primary duties in the University.

Department/School Committee

The criteria for membership and voting privileges on all departmental/area committees shall be specified in that unit’s written policies and procedures regarding evidences for tenure, promotion, and annual contractual renewal. Those policies and procedures may differ from, but may not be inconsistent with college and university guidelines. More specifically with regard to promotion to full professor:

  1. The committee shall consist only of faculty above the rank of the candidate seeking to be promoted.
  2. In the event that the department/school has fewer than five full professors available to serve on its review committee, the dean shall appoint additional tenured faculty member(s) whose area(s) of study are appropriate to that of the candidate. The minimum number of faculty members sitting on a promotion committee shall be five voting members.
  3. The department/school’s representative to the College Tenure & Promotion Committee must vote only at the College level, and may not actively participate in the department/school review. The representative should attend the review, but remain strictly in a “listener” role in order to be fully informed about the decision of the committee.

Department/School Committee Deliberations

Each department/school bears the responsibility for the initial screening and review of the candidate(s).

  1. Students in a department/area shall be represented by one undergraduate or graduate non- voting student. The student must be matriculated and currently enrolled in an undergraduate or a graduate program of the College. The student member shall present a report to the committee, but the student member shall not be present during deliberations.
  2. The department/school must clearly determine its procedures for the initial screening and review of the candidates. A written description of such procedures must be given to each candidate, and to the college promotion and tenure committee, during the first part of the academic year.
  3. The department/area committee shall maintain a record of the following activities:
    1. Time and location of all meetings
    2. List of attendees at all meetings
    3. Duration of each meeting
    4. Significant action taken at each meeting
  4. The department/school votes whether to recommend promotion to full professor. A summary may be written by the faculty chair of the tenure and promotion committee and reviewed by the committee and is then forwarded to the chair/director, who is responsible for writing a comprehensive executive summary that includes:
    1. Whether the applicant is recommended for promotion to full professor
      1. a summary narrative of the committee’s deliberations in each area of evaluation: teaching/advising, scholarship/creative work, and service (drawn from the committee chair’s summary brief, if provided)
      2. the committee’s reasons for denial, if appropriate
      3. the department chair/director’s narrative recommendation of the candidate’s accomplishments in each area of evaluation: teaching/advising, scholarship/creative work, and service
      4. the department chair/director’s reasons for denial, if appropriate
    2. A detailed description and evaluation of promotion procedures, including:
      1. criteria for evaluation
      2. composition of department/area promotion committee
      3. record of votes, for and against
      4. other procedures used by the department/area promotion committee
  5. The department chair/director’s executive summary is shared with all members of the committee.
  6. The department chair/director completes a document with “Department Committee Votes” (for and against and date), which becomes part of the candidate’s application.
  7. The department chair/director informs the candidate of the decision of the department promotion committee. At this time the candidate has the option to formally withdraw from consideration in writing to the dean. If the candidate withdraws, the process formally stops at this point, but written feedback about how the candidate’s work can be strengthened that would have been included in the committee’s summary and/or department chair/director’s executive summary (see next step) should be shared with the candidate in the form of a regular annual performance review letter from the department chair/director.
  8. Assuming the candidate does not withdraw from consideration, the department chair/director forwards the candidate’s application to the college promotion and tenure committee.
  9. The procedures used by the department are subject to review by the college promotion and tenure committee.
  10. A majority vote of the department/school promotion committee is required for faculty’s endorsement of a candidate’s application.

College Responsibility: Promotion

  1. Deliberation and Decisions
  1. The college tenure and promotion committee shall assign each candidate one reader from the population of the committee whose responsibility will be to provide answers to the committee’s questions and requests for clarification by speaking with the candidate and others if necessary. When possible, the reader shall be from the candidate’s area of the college.
  2. The committee shall review in detail Senate Form A and all supporting documents and shall consider the submission of original, or reproductions of, creative or scholarly works in light of how they are evaluated by experts in the field of endeavor.
    1. The committee deliberates on all applications and renders a decision.
      1. A quorum shall consist of two-thirds (2/3) of the committee membership. The committee may not act without a quorum.
      2. An affirmative vote requires a majority of the committee membership present at the time the candidate’s application is being reviewed. In order to vote on the candidate, a committee member must have been present for the discussion of the candidate’s credentials. Secret ballots will be used to record the final vote on each candidate.
      3. After each final vote on a candidate, the chairperson receives from each member of the committee a clear and objective written statement of the reason(s) for their vote. The statements shall be anonymous. The summaries are forwarded to the dean, via the committee’s secretary. The information within the summaries will be shared with the candidate after they have been notified of the action taken by the committee.
      4. The dean communicates in writing to the individual candidate(s) the action taken by the committee.
      5. Formal advocacy for an individual candidate is not a function of individual members of the promotion and tenure committee.
      6. Dual Appointments

Part Three

Faculty candidates for promotion holding dual appointment with another college are required to fulfill the requirements stated above and are reviewed and recommended by representatives from both colleges serving as a “dual” promotion committee.

  1. The dean in consultation with the chair(s) of the appropriate college promotion committee will appoint members to serve on the dual committee.
  2. The dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the dean of the other college select chairpersons for the dual committee and decide where the committee shall meet for the first time.
  3. Dual committees shall consist of equal numbers of faculty members from each college.

Part Four

I. Appeals

Faculty members denied promotion may appeal the decision to the appropriate standing committees of the University Senate. (See Faculty Manual: 2.26; and Bylaws of the Senate of Syracuse University: Article V: Secs. 9-10.)

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