Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

Memorandum to Deans & Chairs on Promotion and Tenure Process

Posted: May 13, 2013

To: Academic deans, associate deans and chairs
CC: John White, Executive Vice President and Provost
From: Gregory Brown, Vice Provost of Faculty, Policy and Research
Date: 10 May 2013
Re: Second memorandum on 2013-2014 P&T process


I am writing to elaborate on the prior communications I have sent you concerning the 2013-2014 promotion and tenure process, including an update on the packet of forms and instructions (which appears at the end of this message). This memorandum, and its attachments, provides an overview on the role of chairs, directors and deans as appropriate in handling these forms in a secure and streamlined way.

Since the promotion and tenure application packet does constitute a part of the individual faculty member's personnel file, we have a legal obligation to transmit these electronic documents securely and ensure that only those faculty and administrators authorized to access the dossiers (namely, faculty members who serve on personnel committees or who vote on these dossiers and administrators who must write recommendations). As we move from a physical, paper dossier to an electronic dossier, the document workflow described below therefore becomes extremely important for us all to understand.

First, I am attaching the forms that will be used by, respectively, first, department committee chairs and unit directors/ department chairs and secondly, college/school committee chairs and deans, to provide their evaluations of the candidates. Previously these were part of the application form itself, but we have separated them out into separate PDF documents. These are unchanged from how they appeared on the old application form, with two exceptions: first the forms have fields on which to enter the identifying information about the candidate and second, a space has been added for committee chairs to record the tally of votes, which have previously been recorded on a separate sheet that was supposed to (but evidently did not always) accompany the recommendation as it went forward. (See the Promotion and Tenure page for more referenced files.)

Secondly, I am writing to provide an overview of the use and routing of these forms, on which specific instructions will be provided shortly to all levels who handle these documents. While this is not a significant departure from the existing process, this routing is intended to provide more secure and also more streamlined handling of P&T application materials.

  • The unit chair/director (or dean's office in those colleges that do not have a college level review) to do the following (on which written instructions for each step will be provided) will be responsible for the following steps:
    • to receive from the applicant a completed, saved and signed application form in PDF format
    • to combine the application itself with the other parts of the applicant’s dossier (enumerated below, which will also be saved as secure PDFs), and save all the documents according to an appropriate file nomenclature in a single electronic folder
    • to receive from the chair of the respective faculty committee a single form that contains the committee report and vote tally
    • to enter the administrators’ recommendation electronically on the Adobe form in an expandable text box
    • to secure the information through a digital signature
    • to submit the dossier and department-level recommendation directly to both the Deans office and to the Provost’s office through a secure electronic online submittal
  • Each Dean’s office will be responsible for the following:
    • to designate a single responsible individual for the secure handling of these electronic dossiers (i.e., receipt from department, transmittal to college-level committee, transmittal of completed dean’s recommendation to provost)
    • to receive from the chair of the respective faculty committee a single form that contains the committee report and vote tally
    • to enter the dean’s recommendation electronically on the Adobe form in an expandable text box
    • to secure the information through a digital signature
    • to submit the completed, saved and secured deans’ recommendation through a secure, electronic online submittal to the Provost's office, which will provide the entire completed dossier to the Senate P&T committee
  • The workflow then for the creation and transmittal of the electronic dossier will consist of
    • At the unit/ school level (in the case where there is a college level review later in the process)
      • The completed application saved and digitally signed by the faculty member, then submitted to the chair, director or dean as appropriate for that college.
      • A single PDF comprising the external reference letters; created by the chair, director or dean as appropriate for that college.
      • A single PDF comprising the past annual evaluations and mid-tenure review evaluations created by the chair, director or dean as appropriate for that college.
      • The department/school or college standards (as appropriate)
      • The department/school committee evaluation and chair's evaluation, entered on the attached form and saved and signed digitally by, first, the committee chair and then the chair or director.
    • All of these items will be saved in a single folder (we will supply instructions on how to name each file and the folder) and the entire folder will be transmitted securely to a designated individual in each dean's office. (To facilitate this, I will be asking Deans and Dean's Support Group to identify the individual in each college, who will be the one responsible to ensure the dossiers are kept secure and made available only to the faculty and administrators who evaluate the dossier.

      The folder containing these components will also be transmitted securely to the Provost's office, when they are submitted to the deans, so we can record them. (We expect that each college has its own deadline to have these reports to the Dean's office, but I anticipate these will fall on or around 15 September.)
    • Once the dossier reaches the college level (or in the cases of colleges where there is no school, department or interest group-level review), the final item will be added, which will be
      • The college/ school committee evaluation and dean's evaluation, entered on the attached form and saved and signed digitally by, first, the committee chair and then the chair or director

As you know, the deadline for this item to be submitted to the Provost's office will be 4 October.

This is also a good moment to remind (or really inform for the first time) you that the faculty voted last year to modify the UNLV bylaws article (III.6.1 a-b) concerning contact between personnel committees and chairs and deans.

The revised bylaws articles provide that chairs and deans may again meet with the department-level personnel committees, and with the college-level personnel committees, respectively, "after recommendations have been made [and] ....only for clarification of the personnel committee report". You are therefore encouraged to consider holding such a meeting, and to encourage your chairs and directors to hold such a meeting, with your respective committees, once the committee report has been completed and submitted. Such meetings would provide opportunities for you, and your chairs, to understand fully the nature of the committee report, including minority positions that may have been expressed in the committee's deliberations. The administrator should also, as a matter of due diligence, ask the committee chair to confirm that the vote tally of the committee was recorded accurately on the completed form.

Finally, please find attached the second message that was sent to faculty whom you have identified as candidates for promotion and tenure this fall, updating them on the materials and instructions. I am forwarding it to you so you are able to respond to questions you might receive and to provide guidance to your chairs and directors (to whom I will be writing separately).

To close, the above memorandum is intended to provide an overview and a preview of the evaluation forms you will be asked to use. Specific instructions on document handling will be provided, both in writing, and in person to all deans, associate deans, chairs and deans' support. In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, or thoughts, please continue to share those with us, and we will continue to endeavor to any calls or emails within a day.

All referenced documents can be found on the Promotion & Tenure Page.


Gregory S Brown
Vice-Provost for Faculty, Policy and Research

Sent on May 10, 2013

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