Some Pointers on Long-term Planning for Promotion and Tenure (for assistant professors)

These guidelines are suggestions and elaborations only.  For more information consult the relevant sections of MUPIM, the Provost's Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure, and your department's governance document.

  1. Look at the timeline posted on the Provost's website to familiarize yourself with the process. It's never too early to start planning.
  2. In the spring of the year that you will apply (typically your 5th year at Miami), you will compile a list of ten potential external reviewers. They should not be friends, co-authors, dissertation committee members, or others who know you very well. This list will be vetted by your department and the dean's office; it is common to change some names. Reviewers are asked to review your scholarship only. In the summer, you will prepare your dossier. Plan to spend a good amount of time on it.
    The department will vote on the case in September. Once this is done, the dossier, four external letters, and the chair's and any committee letter(s) are forwarded to the CAS Personnel (P&T) committee by about October 1. The committee consists of six full professors, two from each cognate area, and is chaired by an Associate Dean. The committee meets in October and makes a recommendation to the Dean. The Dean's decision is communicated to the candidate by the end of November and there is a 10-day period included to allow for an appeal in the case of a negative decision. By December 1, the Dean's recommendations are forwarded to the all-University committee for a decision by the end of January. Important new material (such as major publication acceptance) may be added to the dossier up to the point where the Dean’s recommendations go to the University in early December. Positive recommendations are forwarded to the Board of Trustees at their February meeting.
  3. Building a Strong Teaching Record — You will need to provide evidence of teaching effectiveness, including student evaluations and data from alternative evaluation tools such as SGIDs, SALG data, peer reviews, or teaching portfolios. Ideally, one such alternative evaluation should be done every year, but at the very least there should be three of these in the file, completed at Miami. Student evaluations need to be presented comprehensively in a table and include the number of students in the class, the number of respondents and departmental means, where appropriate. The evaluation results should include the six University questions and the five CAS questions (see below); other questions may be included, space permitting. All courses taught should be included. Candidates should also document reflection on all forms of assessment of their teaching. Do not present direct quotes from students. It is as important for the candidates to reflect on their teaching assessments as it is to report the assessments.  Reflection should include specific examples of how the individual changed their approach to teaching as a result of evaluations, or explanations of unique features of classes that might bias student evaluations. Chairs will place student evaluations in the departmental context, particularly for similar courses. Chairs who systematically review student comments may include a representative example from the comments. Work with your department to be sure you are getting an appropriate variety of teaching assignments, given the constraints of your program's needs. Work with students on research projects or independent studies, as opportunities arise.
  4. Building a strong research record —  For promotion and tenure, MUPIM states that candidates must demonstrate "research, scholarly and/or creative achievement of high quality and its prospective continuation." Think carefully about the venues of your publications. A big article in a top journal in your field is worth a lot, possibly more than two publications in lesser venues. In the dossier, you will give indicators of the quality of the journals (impact factors, where available, acceptance rates) and describe your role in the publication if it is co-authored, e.g. percentage contribution and order of authors that is typical of your discipline. Student co-authors are valuable and should be noted. Papers and books that have appeared, and that have been accepted for publication will be included in your file that goes to reviewers. Book contracts will not. Accepted grants and those that have been submitted will be included, along with grant scores and funding rates. Publications documented to be under review may be included in your dossier, and in the materials sent to reviewers. However, only those works accepted for publication by the time of the CAS personnel committee meeting will be considered by that committee.
  5. Building a strong service record — For university service, aim to build a record of quality service in a variety of places appropriate to your interests. For professional service, you should build a record of consistent service in such areas as book reviewing, manuscript or grant reviews, conference planning, consulting, or other work for professional organizations. While you should avoid taking on excessive responsibilities if these will detract from your scholarship, professional service demonstrates your presence in your field and gives you valuable exposure.
  6. At the time of hire, some assistant professors are granted one or two "years of credit" toward promotion and tenure. This may reflect time at Miami (teaching in another role) or time at another institution. In either case, the scholarship that was published during the credit years is included in the candidate's dossier and is counted toward promotion and tenure. That work should be clearly identified in the dossier, and separated from earlier and later work. For the teaching and institutional service record, credit years function differently depending on where the work was done. Someone who taught at Miami, for example as a VAP or Teaching/Clinical Professor, should include teaching evaluations and any institutional service for the credit years, but not for any earlier years. Teaching at another institution, however, is not included in the dossier.