Career NTTF Promotion Overview
NTTF review and promotion is covered by Article 19 of the United Academics Collective Bargaining Agreement (UA CBA). Departmental/unit-level criteria documents are available under Department and Unit Policies. Promotion cases for instructional career NTTF are overseen by the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs. Promotion cases for research NTTF are overseen by the Office of Research and Innovation.
Career NTTF will be eligible for promotion after accumulating six years of employment at an average of .3 FTE or greater for bargaining unit members, or .5 FTE or greater for non-bargaining unit members, accrued at no greater than three terms per academic year for faculty on nine-month contracts, and at 12 months per year for bargaining unit faculty on 12-month contracts. The six years of employment do not have to be consecutive. Non-bargaining-unit members who may be eligible for early promotion or accelerated review may contact Sierra Dawson, assistant vice provost for academic affairs.
The Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs has developed the below forms to assist in the calculation of eligibility:
For those NTTF with multiple or joint appointments, a memorandum will be completed at time of hire or assignment, specifying expectations for promotion and identifying the process to include all units. The faculty member and provost or designee must sign the memorandum for it to be valid.
Beginning the process
The University of Oregon observes the following timetable for the NTTF Promotion Process
The candidate is expected to initiate the process of consideration for promotion during the academic year prior to the academic year in which the review will be concluded. To do so, the candidate should notify his/her unit head that s/he would like to be considered for promotion. Department heads, unit directors, and/or office managers should work with the faculty member to determine promotion eligibility using the NTTF Eligibility Form before beginning the assembly of a promotion dossier. When the file is being compiled, the candidate will provide the materials listed below.
- Curriculum vitae (if applicable): A comprehensive and current curriculum vitae that includes the candidate’s current research, scholarly and creative activities and accomplishments, including publications, appointments, presentations, and similar activities and accomplishments.
- Personal statement (if applicable): A 2-6 page personal statement evaluating the candidate's performance measured against the applicable criteria for promotion. The personal statement should expressly address the subjects of teaching; scholarship, research, and creative activity; and service contributions to the academic department, center or institute, school or college, university, profession, and the community. The statement should also include discussion of contributions to institutional equity and inclusion. To help guide the development of your equity and inclusion statement, guidance is offered by the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs and by the Division of Equity and Inclusion .
- Scholarship portfolio (if applicable): A comprehensive portfolio of scholarship, research and creative activity; and appropriate evidence of national or international recognition or impact.
- Teaching portfolio (if applicable): Representative examples of course syllabi or equivalent descriptions of course content and instructional expectations, examples of student work and exams, and similar material.
- Service portfolio (if applicable): Evidence of the candidate’s service contributions to his or her academic department, center or institute, school or college, university, profession and the community. Such evidence could include white papers authored or co-authored by the faculty member, commendations, awards, op ed pieces, and/or letters of appreciation. The portfolio may also include a short narrative elaborating on the candidate’s unique service experiences or obligations.
- Professional activities portfolio (if applicable): A comprehensive portfolio of professional or consulting activities related to his or her discipline.
- External reviewers (if applicable): A list of qualified outside reviewers (see below for further detail).
- Waiver statement: A signed and dated document establishing the candidate's chosen waiver status for the dossier (see following section). This statement must be completed prior to departmental contact with external reviewers.
Librarians: Please note that while the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) does not provide special wording regarding initiation of the process for Assistant Librarians, they are required to undergo review for promotion to Associate Librarian when they become eligible. To ensure compliance with this requirement, the unit head and/or dean should notify the candidate rather than waiting for the candidate to initiate the process, providing sufficient time for the candidate to prepare the required materials.
Candidates can withdraw their application for promotion in writing to the provost and the dean at any time before the provost’s decision.
By Oregon law, promotion files are considered to be part of the candidate’s personnel file and must be made available to the candidate upon request unless the candidate specifically waives access. Prior to solicitation of reviewers for NTTF promotion files – either internal or external to the UO – the candidate must decide and communicate in writing, signed and dated, his/her decision regarding access to the evaluation file. Sample waiver statements are provided below.
If a candidate asks for guidance in choosing which waiver option to declare, he/she may be provided with factual information but cannot be pressured to choose a particular option. Most candidates choose the full waiver, but some choose to retain full access, and others choose to retain partial access – most often to evaluations prepared by evaluators affiliated with UO. Some individuals decline to review files for which access has not been waived, and it is for this reason that the waiver status must be communicated to the reviewers.
Sample waiver language is available on the page for preparing NTTF promotion files.
Solicitation of reviewers
In many cases, evaluations of NTTF for promotion are carried out internally; that is to say, letters of evaluation are obtained from only supervisors and/or other UO employees and there are no letters from reviewers external to the University of Oregon. At a minimum, a letter of evaluation from the candidate’s supervisor is required (e.g., department head for instructors, research mentor for research NTTF). Details of the review process will be enunciated in each unit’s NTTF evaluation and promotion criteria documents currently being developed. As these documents are completed and approved, they will be made available online at the Academic Affairs website and in the unit; until they are approved, units should carry out the promotion review according to their prior practice.
For those NTTF whose evaluation for promotion includes external review, the process for selection and recruitment of those reviewers closely parallels that for tenure-related faculty. For more information on this process, please see Selection of External Reviewers.
Preparing the dossier and supplementary file
After the candidate has provided the required materials, the unit should begin preparing the dossier for internal review. If external evaluations are called for by the unit’s NTTF promotion policy, dossier preparation can occur while awaiting receipt of the appropriate complement of external evaluations. To begin the process of file assembly, please provide the Office of Academic Affairs the following via email:
- candidate’s full name
- unit name
- candidate’s current and proposed rank (e.g., promotion from Instructor to Senior Instructor I)
The supplementary file provides additional evidence relevant to the consideration for promotion. The materials contained in the supplementary file will be returned to the candidate following final action on the promotion review.
For detailed information and guidance on preparing the dossier and supplementary file, please see Academic Affairs’ page on preparing the NTTF promotion file.
Unit committee review and recommendation
Most but not all units constitute personnel or promotion committees to carry out the initial review of the dossier. (Some units simply define all eligible faculty in the unit as the committee responsible for the initial review.) The unit’s shared governance policy will clearly establish whether or not such a committee is to be convened. If such a committee is used, it should of course include only faculty eligible to vote on the case. If there are too few eligible faculty members to form a review committee within the candidate’s unit, the unit head should consult with the dean (or vice president or vice provost, as appropriate) to establish a committee, drawing appropriate faculty members from outside the unit. While there is no requirement to consult with the candidate regarding the selection of members for such a committee, it is reasonable to do so in order to avoid any potential concerns about the appropriateness of the committee.
The unit committee should review, evaluate, and critically discuss the full file. Following this discussion, the committee should conduct a vote by signed ballot. The signed ballots should be confidentially retained; only the final vote tally is to be revealed in the committee’s report.
Given the wide range of positions and instructional responsibilities held by NTTF, it is difficult to provide general guidance for the review and analysis of an NTTF promotion file. Representative matters for consideration are listed below; relevant elements from this list should be complemented by other considerations appropriate to the particular candidate for promotion.
- The report from the unit committee should provide an analysis of the case that goes beyond what may be gleaned from the candidate’s curriculum vitae. Since this is the first of several stages of internal review, it is important that the committee present all aspects of the case fully. The review should be one of analysis, not advocacy, and it should present a critical evaluation of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses relative to the standards of the unit and discipline.
- Any discrepancies or contradictory opinions within the reviewers’ letters should be addressed in a forthright fashion. Simply ignoring negative remarks does not advantage the candidate, nor does the rejection of comments from an “outlier” reviewer simply because they are not consistent with other comments received. In the absence of meaningful engagement with such comments in the report, subsequent reviewers may be left wondering if the “outlier” was in fact the only reviewer who was able to identify a real and critical issue in the case – whether in support of or arguing against the promotion.
- For instructional NTTF, the unit committee plays a significant role in the analysis of the candidate’s teaching record. The committee must evaluate carefully all evidence related to teaching.
- The committee should feel empowered to interpret and present quantitative student evaluation data in meaningful ways and should use this information to make appropriate comparisons of the candidate with the rest of the unit and/or to faculty teaching courses of similar size, character or content.
- The committee should read all signed written comments submitted by students and provide an evaluative summary of these written statements. It is not permissible to quote from unsigned evaluations in any summary or evaluation statements associated with the review.
- The committee should also review and comment on all materials submitted by the candidate documenting his or her teaching activities (i.e., the Teaching Portfolio).
- The committee should discuss any discrepancies between student and peer evaluations.
- For research NTTF, the unit committee’s evaluation will place significant focus on the expectations detailed in the candidate’s position description.
- As appropriate, the report should include an appropriate discussion of the candidate’s record of service, as summarized in the candidate’s CV and statement and exemplified in the service portfolio.
- The report should include commentary on the candidate’s discussion of contributions to equity and inclusion and any evidence of these contributions provided by the candidate.
The unit committee report must be signed by all members of the committee, and it must be dated.
Unit review and recommendation
If a unit committee carried out the initial review, that committee’s report should be reviewed and voted on by all eligible faculty within the unit. It is not expected that this review will be accompanied by a separate report, but the unit head’s report (discussed below) should include a summary of any meetings of the eligible faculty held to discuss the case. As for the unit committee vote, the vote by all eligible faculty must be by signed ballot, and the signed ballots should be confidentially retained, with only the final vote tally revealed in the unit head’s report.
Typically, tenure-related faculty and NTTF at or above the rank being sought are allowed to vote on NTTF promotion cases. These and other details, including who is allowed to review a promotion file and voting rights for faculty on leave, are or will be established by unit shared governance documents. These governance documents are currently in the process of review, revision, and approval. Those units with approved governance policies will carry out unit-level review in accord with their approved policy; those without final, approved governance policies will follow current unit practice.
Unit head review and recommendation
The unit head must prepare an independent report and recommendation. This report should consist of two parts: (1) an administrative summary of the unit’s handling of and position on the case, and (2) the unit head’s independent evaluation of the case.
- Administrative Summary. If the unit committee report does not do so, the unit head should provide a brief explanation of the unit’s review process and any special processes or considerations involved with the review. This summary should clarify any special conditions of the appointment or special duties and obligations for which the candidate’s performance is to be particularly evaluated. It should include an explanation of who in the unit was eligible to vote on the particular candidate (consistent with the unit’s shared governance policy), and it must include a summary of any formal faculty discussion preceding the official vote. Votes at the unit level on promotion cases must be by signed and secret ballot, with only the tally revealed to the voting faculty and recorded on the Voting Summary. The unit head should provide an explanation for any abstentions and/or reasons why some faculty may not have participated in the review and voting process (e.g., spouse, sabbatical leave, etc.).
- Unit head’s evaluation. The unit head should include his or her independent evaluation and recommendation including analyses of scholarship, teaching, service, and contributions to institutional equity and inclusion. This review should be independent from that of the unit committee, and the unit head’s recommendation need not coincide with either the unit committee or the vote of the eligible members of the unit. The unit head should objectively and honestly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate. As discussed for the unit committee, the unit head’s review should be one of analysis, not advocacy. (As noted above, a candidate is not well-served when negative statements are ignored or comments from an “outlier” reviewer are rejected simply because they are not consistent with other comments received.)
It is neither necessary nor desirable to duplicate material presented by the unit committee. Internal reviewers will appreciate additional insights provided by the unit head that help them to interpret the file, particularly in cases of conflicting opinions among the reviewers and/or unit faculty. It is the responsibility of the unit head to independently analyze any such diverging opinions and to indicate the reasoning that led to his or her conclusions as to the merits of the case.
The unit head’s report should also address any matters not adequately addressed by the unit committee report.
The report from the unit head must be signed and dated.
Forwarding the dossier
Requests to provide additional information or clarifications to the file after it leaves the unit often contribute significant stress and anxiety to an already emotionally-charged process. Thus, the complete dossier and all supplementary files should be carefully reviewed to ensure all required documents are provided and in the correct locations before sending it forward.
Librarians and instructional NTTF for the most part do not represent complexities – their files will pass through the appropriate dean and then to Academic Affairs and the provost. Research NTTF, however, face a greater diversity of review pathways, depending on the nature of the appointment and the unit. For detailed information and guidance regarding procedure for processing and reviewing research NTTF promotion files, please see the linked document [PDF].
Review by vice president, dean or director
The appropriate vice president, dean or director will review the file, may consult with appropriate persons and may ask for and document additional non-confidential information. Once the file is complete, s/he prepares a separate report and recommendation and shares with the candidate. Candidate has ten days from receipt of the report to provide responsive material or information, which is included in the file. The file is then submitted to the provost or designee.
Formal notification of approval/denial
The provost or designee reviews the file, with input from Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, as appropriate, and decides whether to grant promotion. The candidate is notified of the decision in writing. The member must receive three days notice of any meeting or hearing with a dean or the provost or designee regarding recommendations or decisions on promotion. The member may have a colleague or union representative present at the meeting as an observer.
Successful candidates for promotion assume new rank beginning with the next academic or fiscal year or the nearest next term of their employment should their contract not begin with fall term. Faculty may reapply for promotion after employment by the university for an additional three years at average of .4 FTE or greater, accrued at no greater than three terms per academic year. Unsuccessful candidates may appeal as provided by Article 21, Tenure and Promotion Denial Appeal.
Other than librarians, promotion is elective and not “up or out.” Unsuccessful candidates can continue employment at current rank as long as eligible to do so under Article 16, Contracts. Librarians have different promotion guidelines.