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Part 2: Recommendations and candidate’s opportunity for response

This page includes Faculty Senate updates to UW Faculty Code Section 24-54 (procedures for promotion), which went into effect January 13, 2021. Apply guidance to promotion and/or tenure reviews initiated after this date.

The UW Faculty Code Section 24-54 outlines the procedure for considering a faculty candidate for promotion/tenure review.

There are up to 5 levels of review and recommendation and up to 3 opportunities for candidate response.

Faculty Review (up to 2 levels of review)

The faculty review is conducted by eligible voting members of the faculty who are superior in academic rank/title to the candidate. The faculty review process varies depending on whether there are at least 3 eligible voting faculty members in the candidate’s appointing unit.

Procedures for when there are at least 3 eligible voting faculty members in the candidate’s appointing unit:

If there are at least 3 eligible voting faculty members in the candidate’s department (or undepartmentalized college or school), an optional step in the faculty review phase is to use a subcommittee. If used, this subcommittee must be comprised of at least 3 eligible voting members, and may include faculty members from other units who have appropriate expertise. Subcommittee members shall be given the opportunity to review the candidate’s record, including external letters.

The subcommittee must submit a written report and recommendation. The candidate must receive a written summary of this report that identifies members of the subcommittee. For purposes of confidentiality, the summary shall omit specific attributions and may omit the vote count.

The candidate, if they choose, may respond in writing to that report within 7 calendar days. Documentation that the candidate was provided a copy of the summary of the subcommittee report and opportunity to respond shall be included in the record.

The first mandatory step of the faculty review process for candidates with at least 3 eligible voting members in their appointing unit involves an assessment by the appointing unit’s eligible voting faculty members.

These faculty members must receive or have access to a copy of the candidate’s record and, where applicable, the subcommittee report and recommendation, and the candidate’s response to the subcommittee report, before the discussion and promotion/tenure vote.

The eligible faculty members in the candidate’s appointing unit shall then meet to discuss the candidate’s record and to vote whether to recommend promotion/tenure.

If an initial report was produced by a subcommittee, all members of the subcommittee may participate in the discussion, but only eligible voting faculty in the candidate’s appointing unit may be present for the vote. For guidance on voting eligibility for matters of promotion and/or tenure, refer to the Promotion and Tenure Voting Matrix.

After the unit level discussion and vote by eligible voting faculty is completed, the chair/director/campus dean (or dean or dean’s designee in an undepartmentalized school/college) is required to prepare a written summary of the discussion and recommendation and provide that summary to the candidate.

Again, for purposes of confidentiality, the summary report shall omit specific attributions and may omit the vote count. The candidate may then choose to respond to that report within 7 calendar days. Documentation that the candidate was provided a copy of the summary report and opportunity to respond is to be included in the record.

Procedures for when there are fewer than 3 eligible voting faculty members in the candidate’s appointing unit:

For appointing units with fewer than 3 eligible voting faculty members, the review shall be conducted by a subcommittee and the recommendation of the subcommittee shall be used in lieu of a vote by the department (or undepartmentalized college or school).

The subcommittee shall include all eligible voting faculty in the candidate’s unit who are available to serve and may include eligible voting faculty members from other units who have appropriate expertise. Subcommittee members shall be given the opportunity to review the candidate’s record, including external letters.

The subcommittee must submit a written report and recommendation, and the candidate must receive a written summary of this report that identifies members of the subcommittee. For purposes of confidentiality, the summary shall omit specific attributions and may omit the vote count.

The candidate, if they choose, may respond in writing to that report within 7 calendar days. Documentation that the candidate was provided a copy of the summary of the subcommittee report and opportunity to respond is to be included in the record.

Chair/Director/Campus Dean review (where applicable)

In departmentalized units, if any of the following occurs:

  • the recommendation is favorable; or
  • the promotion/tenure decision is mandatory; or
  • the candidate has written a response to the unit vote or subcommittee recommendation if there are fewer than 3 eligible voting faculty in the candidate’s unit;

then the chair/director/campus dean prepares an independent analysis and recommendation for submission to the dean/chancellor.

All the materials listed below, as applicable, are to be provided to the dean/chancellor:

  • the subcommittee report
  • the candidate’s response or documentation of the opportunity for response to the subcommittee summary
  • the summary of the faculty discussion and recommendation
  • the candidate’s response or documentation of the opportunity for response to the faculty summary report
  • the chair/director/campus dean’s independent analysis and recommendation

Advisory Committee/Council Review

The dean/chancellor is to share the above material with the school/college/campus’s elected advisory committee/council for its recommendation to the dean/chancellor. The committee/council recommendation and reasons therefor are delivered to the dean/chancellor.

If the recommendation of the committee/council is not favorable, or if it conflicts with the faculty vote, then the recommendation of the committee/council recommendation with reasons therefor must be provided to the candidate. For confidentiality, the recommendation provided to the candidate shall omit specific attributions and may omit the vote count.

Recommendations of the committee/council that are favorable and not in conflict with the faculty vote do not need to be shared with the candidate. An opportunity for the candidate to respond to the elected advisory committee/council recommendation is not available.

Dean/Chancellor Review

Before issuing a decision or recommendation that is not favorable, the dean/chancellor shall provide the candidate with their initial recommendation and reasons therefor. The dean/chancellor, or designee, must then discuss the recommendation with the candidate.

The candidate may respond in writing to the dean/chancellor within 7 calendar days of the discussion. Documentation of the provision of the initial recommendation, the discussion, and the opportunity to respond is to be included in the promotion/tenure record.

In the case of all favorable reviews and unfavorable mandatory reviews, the recommendation of the dean/chancellor and the candidate’s response (if it exists) is transmitted to the provost and to the candidate.

Again, for purposes of confidentiality, the summary report shall omit specific attributions and may omit the vote count. An opportunity for the candidate to respond to this transmittal is not available.

In the case of unfavorable non-mandatory reviews, where the candidate has written a response to the dean/chancellor, the decision of the dean/chancellor and the candidate’s response is transmitted to the provost for information purposes.

Next page: Part 3: Possible Outcomes of the Promotion/Tenure Review Process