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Faculty Resources

Promotion and Tenure - Special Responsibilities for Department Heads and Review Committees

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  1. The Department Head has the responsibility for preparing the dossier.  (Administrative Guidelines, Section III.B.2)  The candidate shares in this responsibility and shall assist in supplying relevant information for the dossier following the department's established timetable. (Administrative Guidelines, Sections III.B.4 & III.E.1)
  2. The quality of the dossier preparation does influence decisions; a poorly prepared dossier is a disservice to the candidate and may seriously jeopardize the chances of a positive decision.
  3. In all cases, for both promotion and final tenure review, dossiers and the supporting memoranda from department heads should be reviewed per the guidelines below:

    1. The department head should describe the candidate's area of expertise and contributions in this area and assess performance and potential.
    2. The department head should define the nature of the unique strengths and contributions of the candidate.  Each faculty member should have particular strengths which can be well documented and which establish him/her as an outstanding contributor in a professional field as recognized by peers both within and external to the University.
    3. The department head must address specifically and completely all negative, marginal, or unclear comments raised by either external evaluators or the department committee.
    4. The department head must address specifically and completely all comments in tenure reviews of previous years suggesting the candidate has a weakness or needs improvement in any area and indicate how the candidate has responded to these suggestions and how the candidate has improved in these areas.
    5. The department head insures that narrative statements of candidates are objective and contain no subjective or evaluative statements.
  4. Review letters from the department committee and department head:

    1. Review letters should not state the number of papers, presentations, graduate students, etc. unless a point needs to be made strongly.  (It often leads to discrepancies between numbers counted at different levels of review and raises questions about procedures unnecessarily; stating numbers also gives the impression of "bean counting" rather than qualitative evaluation.)
    2. Internal review letters (from administrators and committees) must not refer to external evaluators in any way that might identify them.
    3. In writing review letters, remember that candidates may read those letters later; any negative comments must be supported with information contained in the factual part of the dossier.
  5. In addition to any external evaluators selected from a list suggested by the candidate, the department head should request letters from other appropriate individuals.
  6. A previous level of review (committee or administrator) may not change its recommendation as a result of consultation with the next level of review.  This procedure is intended to prevent any pressure (or the appearance of such pressure) on the previous level.
  7. Confidentiality must be maintained throughout the entire dossier review process. 
    (Administrative Guidelines, I.E .) Complete confidentiality of the promotion and tenure process is to be respected forever, not just during that particular year of review. 
    (Administrative Guidelines, I.E.3 )