Promotion & Tenure

Promotion and Tenure Criteria

All academic departments and programs with tenure-related faculty appointments must have promotion and tenure criteria that have been reviewed and approved by their dean and by Academic Affairs. Be sure to become familiar with the pertinent document for your discipline and academic department or program. Promotion and tenure criteria for individual departments are available online

Beginning the Process

Candidates to be reviewed for tenure should be contacted by the department/unit head during the fall or winter term of the year preceding the year in which the review will be conducted, in order to ensure the candidate is aware of timelines and to arrange for the candidate to submit his/her contributions to the process. 

During the winter or spring term, the candidate should provide these materials to the department/unit head: 

Curriculum vitae: 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: A 3-6 page personal statement evaluating the candidate's performance measured against the applicable criteria for tenure and 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: A comprehensive  portfolio of scholarship, research and creative activity; and appropriate evidence of national or international recognition or impact. 

Teaching portfolio: 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: 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. 

External reviewers: 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. 

The Waiver 

By Oregon law, promotion and/or tenure evaluation 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.  

Sample waiver statements are provided at Academic Affairs' page on preparing the promotion file

For more detailed information and guidance regarding the waiver, please see PT Guidance 2 - The Waiver [PDF].

External Reviewers 

During the spring and summer terms of the year preceding the year in which the review will be conducted, the Department/Unit Head will identify and recruit external reviewers. For detailed information and guidance regarding external reviewers, please see:

Sample letters are available at Academic Affairs' page on preparing the promotion file.

Preparing the Dossier  

While awaiting receipt of an appropriate complement of external evaluations, the department (or school or college for those which do not have separate departments) should begin preparing the dossier for internal review. 

For detailed information and guidance on preparing the dossier, including the digital dossier, please see Academic Affairs’ page on preparing the promotion file.

The Supplementary File 

The supplementary file provides additional evidence relevant to the consideration for promotion and/or tenure. The materials contained in the supplementary file will be returned to the candidate following final action on the promotion and/or tenure review. Thus, in order to provide a record of what materials were made available to reviewers, we recommend that a table of contents for the supplementary file be prepared and included as the final page in the primary dossier. This need not be exhaustive, but might include a full list of any publications or recordings included in the scholarship portfolio and summaries of other items contained in the file – e.g., “photographs of candidate’s artistic creations,” “program notes from candidate’s performances,” etc. 

For detailed information and guidance regarding the supplementary file, please see PT Guidance 7 - The Supplementary File [PDF]

Departmental Review (for academic units with a departmental configuration) 

The internal review of a promotion and/or tenure file begins after a complete set of external evaluations has been obtained and is generally concluded by the end of the fall term. Please note that departmental shared governance policies establish eligibility to review and/or vote on cases involving promotion and/or tenure. These governance documents are currently in the process of review, revision, and approval. If your department’s governance policy has been approved, carry out the department-level review in accord with that policy. If your governance policy has not yet been approved, carry out the review in accord with current practice in your department.  

Only tenured faculty are allowed to vote on tenure cases. Further, unless there are extenuating circumstances and approval for an exception has been granted by the provost or designee, only those tenured faculty at or above the rank being sought are allowed to vote – i.e., only tenured associate and full professors vote on the granting of tenure and/or promotion from assistant to associate professor, and only tenured full professors vote on promotions to full professor. Other details, including who is allowed to review a promotion and/or tenure file and voting rights for faculty on leave, are or will be established by departmental governance documents. 

Following completion of the department head’s report and a thorough review of the complete dossier and all supplementary files to ensure all required documents are provided and in the correct locations, the dossier and any supplementary files are forwarded to the dean’s office. 

For detailed information and guidance regarding departmental review, please see PT Guidance 8 - Departmental Review [PDF]

School or College Review 

The dean’s office should carry out their own thorough review of the dossier for completeness and compliance. If corrections are required, they should be requested from the department. 

The dean’s office can and should also anticipate likely questions from the school/college Personnel Committee and request appropriate clarifications from the department. Most often, such clarifications relate to publication details, but they could pertain to other matters, including teaching loads (including any release time granted) or the timing of the case, particularly in cases of credit for prior service or of leaves, for which it is important to establish clearly the nature of the consideration – “early” or “on-time.” 

Following this review of the dossier for completeness and compliance, the dean’s office releases the file to the school/college personnel committee for their review, recommendation, and vote. 

For detailed information and guidance regarding department al review, please see PT Guidance 9 - School or College Review [PDF].

FPC Review 

The university-level Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC) is an elected standing committee of the University of Oregon Senate. Membership on the FPC is restricted to tenured faculty at the rank of associate professor or full professor. Associate professors serving on the FPC are empowered to participate fully in the review of all cases for promotion, including those for promotion to full professor. 

The FPC is responsible for the final, independent written report and vote in the promotion and/or tenure process for every candidate for promotion and/or tenure. Following conclusion of the discussion and completion of the voting record and FPC report, the Chair of the FPC provides the record and report to the Office of Academic Affairs, which then finalizes the dossier and presents it to the provost for final analysis and decision. 

For detailed information and guidance regarding FPC review, please see PT Guidance 10 – Faculty Personnel Committee Review [PDF].

Formal Notification of Approval/Denial 

The provost has plenary authority to award or deny tenure. By May 1 whenever possible, the candidate will be notified in writing of the provost’s decision.The letter accompanying the decision will contain an explanation of the reasons underlying the provost’s decision, if the decision is to deny tenure or promotion. Successful candidates are granted tenure and assume their new classification and rank at the start of the next academic year, or sooner at the discretion of the provost. Candidates who are denied tenure will receive a notice of appointment which expires at the end of the academic or fiscal year following the one in which the application for tenure was submitted.