UI Promotion and Tenure Workshop

Presentation Slides and Recording 

Caveats: The presentation represents a high level view of promotion. You are encouraged to seek out answers to specific questions within your unit, senior leaders in your unit, from your DEO or from previous members of the unit’s promotion committee or consult with your Associate Dean for Faculty in your college.

Below are answers to some of the questions posed during the presentation.

Q: Are services to governmental agencies outside of the university considered for promotion? Does it have to be for the university?

A: No it does not have to be just the university – but you should be sure to also be a good local citizen.

Q: Is the APR being completely phased out, and will it be supplemented by something else?

A: It is being phased out. The replacement is still under discussion.

Q: What kinds of materials should go in our dossier relative to online teaching environments?

A: This really should be no different than the materials you would otherwise submit. Your personal statement should address how you adapted your course to the online environment and the successes and challenges that were encountered.

Q: Given that many of us are now recording our lectures via Zoom, is a class recording something that can be included in a teaching dossier?

A: The recording can be assessed for peer review, but would not expect any committee members to review an entire lecture. I would stick with PDF versions of slides, handouts and course syllabi.

Q: As a physician, my teaching is evaluated by students, residents and fellows every time I do clinical work. Am I expected to have additional teaching evaluations?

A: You should be sure to gather evaluation from the groups that you teach – and that will vary depending on discipline.

Q: How many external letters are needed for promotion? Are there rules about who qualifies to write such a letter?

A: Guidelines say 4-8 (so minimum of 4) and the letter writers should be at or above the rank to which you aspire.

Q: I am concerned about creating a meaningful network of letter writers in this time of remote conferences (less natural interactions). Any tips would be appreciated.

A: Doing committee work within your discipline, engaging when there is a virtual conference to ask questions, reaching out to those in your field with questions as well as advice.

Q: Is it possible to see successful personal statements at Iowa for use as models?

A: I would suggest speaking with someone who recently went through promotion. There are also examples on the College of Medicine website.

Q: Does the 3rd year review have to occur before the full promotion review? This question comes in the context of extensions that occur prior to the 3rd year review that push that back multiple years.

A: There is no requirement to go through a third-year review in order to be considered for promotion.

Q: Are there rules/guidelines about using coauthors as external letter writers?

A: Timing is important, but generally those people would be viewed as collaborators and the letters would carry less weight.

Q: Must all letter writers be at the associate level or higher?

A: Yes, unless they have specific alternative stature that would not be easily recognized as peers (international faculty for example). We always ask for a CV and an explanation of position, so that helps also. When providing your list, some clarification would be useful.

Q: Does UI still require external letter writers be at AAU institutions?

A: Getting letters from AAU institutions is one example, but there are no requirements for that to be the case. They should be from peer institutions in your discipline.

Q: Do external letter writers have to be from the U.S.?

A: No, see above. It may just take more explanation as titles are not the same.

Q: Are PhD researchers from government labs, NASA, or private research institutes eligible to act as an external reviewer?

A: Yes, again, explanation of the position and discipline is important.

Q: Can I provide more than one external reviewer from same institute?

A: Yes

Q: Can you offer additional clarification of what counts as a “close colleague” and collaboration? Are there university guidelines for what counts as a “close colleague?” Is collaboration determined by publication? Are other activities ever considered to be collaboration if they did not include publication (such as participation in a working group or co-organizing a conference)?

A: Close collaboration would include former mentor, current coauthor or collaborator, post-doctoral advisor, among others. When in doubt – ask!

Q: Should we talk about impacts of COVID on our work? I.e., not able to access archives because of closures, service work related to COVID?

A: You can and should.

Q: Can you talk about the 30 who were denied? What were the reasons?

A: I do not have that data but will look through it. In most cases it relates to lack or inadequacy of scholarship.

Q: Are we held to the same standard regardless if we go up early, go up on schedule, or accept an extension?

A: You will be held to the same standard if you use an extension. Depending on the timing (1 year, 2 years?) for going up early, you need to have at least the same as what would be required for someone coming up in the normal time frame.

Q: Just to clarify about the COVID extension - it was automatic unless we declined, right? I ask because I think you used the phrasing "chosen to accept" implying that the extension is not automatic.

A: Correct, the COVID extension was opt out, but otherwise automatically granted.

Q: If a faculty apply early, and has 2 more years due to extensions, do we still have one more chance or two to apply?

A: You can continue to apply until you are in your final probationary year. However, it would be ill advised to continually go up when not prepared so the feedback received would be critical.

Q: Does the “rock star” status matter if you have years at another institution. In other words, you go up in four at Iowa, but have, say, two at another? So, six years total post-PhD.

A: Faculty time at another institution does play into the decision of when to go up for promotion – just need to make sure that you have established yourself here.

UI Promotion to Professor Workshop

Presentation Slides and Recording *

*Please note that the recording begins with slide 12 due to technical difficulties.

Caveats: The presentation represents a high level view of promotion. You are encouraged to seek out answers to specific questions within your unit, senior leaders in your unit, from your DEO or from previous members of the unit’s promotion committee or consult with your Associate Dean for Faculty in your college.

Below are answers to some of the questions posed during the presentation.

Q: Is there a clock in order to be promoted to professor?

A: No there is not. In the operations manual a review for promotion to professor should occur NO LATER THAN 7 years after appointment to associate professor. In reality a discussion of being on track for promotion should occur at every annual review.

Q: Will there be any considerations for COVID and how its impacted courses and course evaluations for those that may be going up for promotion next year.

A: The teaching evaluation for the spring 202 semester will not be utilized unless the candidate chooses to have them used. There should be a more than adequate record of teaching prior to fall of 2020 to make a judgment regarding suitability for promotion based on teaching

Q: Can you clarify about expectations for service to the profession? “when appropriate”

A: There are service expectations for promotion. In some cases the service may be all inside the institution. In other cases it may be all or mostly outside the institution. For some disciplines the ability to provide service to the discipline itself may be limited.

Q: Does the door ever close to becoming full professor?

A: No

Q: What information is considered at the time of promotion to professor? Does pre tenure work count?

A: The entire dossier is reviewed, so all information is considered. But in reality, what has been accomplished since the last promotion is what is weighed heaviest, so continued productivity and evidence of a sustained trajectory are critical. Being able to delineate pre and post tenure work on the CV may be helpful to reviewers.

Q: What is the typical breakdown for teaching, research and service when going up to full professor?

A: In most colleges there is a post tenure unit norm that governs the expectation (ex: 60% research; 30% teaching; 10% service). In general the expectations for research/scholarship remain the primary driver but the expectations for teaching and service will be greater than that expected during the pre tenure period

Q: Should I be receiving feedback during the annual review?

A: YES! You may have to drive the process but it is imperative that you sit down with your supervisor/DEO and review your progress including asking the question about progress towards promotion. 

Q: What is the university doing to respond to increasing numbers of studies that indicate teaching evaluations are subject to bias, etc.?

A: There is a committee that has worked on this very issue, with a plan to roll out a new process for gathering evaluations that will be less subject to this sort of bias. Stay tuned!

Q: Can the same people who wrote for promotion to associate professor write for full professor?

A: There is no rule that says they cannot. But based on the responses from the group attending the best advice would be to check with your department.

Q: Can the DEO write the letter is not a full professor?

A: No unless there is additional signatory authority from someone who is a full professor.

Q: If denied, do you have to wait before going up for promotion again?

A: That depends on the reason for denial and how quickly you can “fix’ the deficiencies. Chances are good that those deficiencies could not be made up in the 6 months between denial notification and the need to resubmit materials for the next cycle.