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Department Policies and Procedures

Administrative Officers

The Chair, appointed by the Dean of the College of Humanities for a three-year term, is responsible for the overall administration of the department. Other administrative officers, appointed by the Chair, are an Associate Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of Creative Writing. The Associate Chair is responsible for scheduling classes, supervising the undergraduate curriculum and degree requirements, and coordinating departmental advising of all majors and minors. The Director of Graduate Studies is responsible for the supervision of the master’s and doctoral programs, the graduate curriculum, and the appointment of teaching assistants. The Director of Creative Writing advises in students in the Creative Writing Program about coursework and progress toward the degree, consults with the Director of Graduate Studies on scheduling, graduate admission procedures and recruitment, and coordinates a program of readings by visiting writers.

The Chair shall not serve on departmental committees, including search committees. An exceptin can be made only if the executive committee determines that the Chair has unique expertise that is required for a successful search. In the rare instance that the Chair serves on a search committee, all meetings of the departmental faculty appointments advisory committee (i.e. the tenure-line faculty) will be chaired by the Associate Chair. Given this requirement, the Associate Chair must not serve on a search committee in the same year as the Chair. 

Standing Committees

The following standing committees shall be constituted, by appointment or election, during the spring semester and assume duties with the beginning of the academic year on July 1st.

Executive Committee

Six persons consisting of an assistant professor, an associate professor, and a full professor, elected by rank, and three members elected at large; at least one member of the committee shall be a member of the Creative Writing faculty. Each member is elected for a three-year term. (If a member of the committee is promoted out of the rank she or he represents, a replacement will be elected.) The Executive Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Chair on matters of departmental administration; the Chair shall attend its meetings in a non-voting capacity. During the spring semester, the Executive Committee will conduct an annual review of faculty merit, based on Faculty Activity Reports and other available information. It will also review the overall performance of tenured faculty at five-year intervals. On the basis of both these reviews, it will make recommendations to the Chair. It will also participate in strategic planning for the department, including, but not limited to, hiring priorities, and submit its recommendations to the department for implementation and adoption as appropriate.

Graduate Committee

Appointed by the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the Chair, to assist with the supervision of the graduate program, including admissions and the allocation of scholarships and other funding support to both new and continuing students. In selecting members, the director shall take into account field and rank representation. If necessary, the committee shall hear student appeals relative to a grade in a graduate course, evaluation of graduate exams, or dismissal from the graduate program, and make a recommendation to the Department Chair.

Master’s Exam Committee

Appointed by the Chair, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, to choose texts for the Master’s Examination in British and American Literature and to evaluation exams, which are scheduled for the spring semester. The exam format differs for M.A. candidates in American Studies, where the relevant texts and topics are selected by faculty in American Studies.

Curriculum Committee

Appointed by the Associate Chair to assist monitoring the undergraduate curriculum and degree requirements. The Committee shall from time to time review the structure of the undergraduate program to insure that it effectively implements the goals of the major and reflects the faculty resources available to staff it. In selecting members, the Associate Chair shall take into account field and rank representation.

Speakers Committee

Appointed by the Chair to arrange colloquia devoted to faculty work-in-progress and to select and coordinate visiting scholars in literary studies and connected fields. Suggestions for such visitors will be solicited from the faculty as a whole. (Visits from poets and fiction-writers will be separately arranged by the Director of Creative Writing, in consultation with the Creative Writing faculty and students.)

London Program Committee

Responsible for the selection and scheduling of courses for the London study abroad program. It advises the Program Coordinator on administrative and policy decisions regarding the London program. Its membership is typically drawn from faculty who have taught in the program in previous years.

Library Liaison

The Chair will appoint at least one faculty member to consult with the library on acquisitions, subscriptions to journals and archives, etc. and to serve as a primary conduit for faculty requests and suggestions.

Retention, Promotion, and Tenure Advisory Committee

Each year one tenured faculty member shall be elected Chair to supervise RPT deliberations in accordance with departmental guidelines. For the membership of the RPT Advisory Committee as it pertains to various advisory procedures, see the department’s RPT Guidelines and University Policy 6-303-III-A-3.

Department of English


Spring 2002; rev. 2007; rev. 2009; rev. 2010; rev. 2013 
Approved by Department Faculty  November 14, 2013
Approved by Dean  _____________
Approved by University RPT Standards Committee for implementation _____________ (date pending)

Table of Contents

  1. General Policy Statement
  2. Preliminary Definitions
  3. RPT Criteria
    1. Scholarship and Creativity
    2. Teaching
    3. Service
  4. Standards for Retention, Promotion, and Tenure
    1. Retention
    2. Tenure
    3. Promotion
  5. Procedures for Formal Reviews
    1. Chronological Sequence for Formal Reviews
    2. Contents of the Candidate’s File
    3. Responsibilities of the Department Advisory Committee
    4. Department Advisory Committee Meeting
    5. Department Chair’s Recommendation
  6. Procedures for Informal Reviews


When deciding matters of retention, promotion, and tenure the Department of English considers each candidate’s contributions in teaching, service and scholarship and/or creativity. While recognizing that individual faculty members will contribute differently to each of these areas, the department expects a commitment to and strong performance in all three, in ways appropriate to the individual faculty member’s area(s) of emphasis within English Studies. Normally, the faculty member’s primary responsibilities are to teaching and scholarship and/or creativity; however, the department considers service an important element in the faculty member’s record.

Department RPT criteria and procedures are in all instances governed by applicable University regulations (primarily University Policies 6-303 and 6-311). University Policies are available online at Race, religion, gender, sexual preference, citizenship, national origin, and political beliefs are not relevant to RPT decisions.

II. Preliminary Definitions

The normal pretenure probationary period for faculty members appointed as assistant professors in the Department of English is seven years. In the seventh year, the department conducts a formal review to determine whether or not the candidate has met the department’s criteria for tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor in the three areas of scholarship/creativity, teaching, and service as outlined in sections III and IV below. The department also conducts a formal mid-career review in the candidate’s fourth year, assessing her or his progress toward meeting those criteria. The probationary period may be extended or modified according to the guidelines established in University Policy 6-311, section 4. Candidates may also request to shorten the probationary period by requesting a review for tenure and promotion prior to the seventh year according to the “extraordinary progress” provisions of University Policy (6-311 section 4-C-1).

The candidate for tenure is reviewed informally for retention during those years in which no formal review takes place. Procedures for informal reviews are detailed in the final section of this document (VI.). The informal review concludes with a departmental vote either to retain the candidate or to recommend a formal review under the guidelines for “triggered” reviews (University Policy 6-303-III-B-1-c).

RPT reviews are conducted by the department’s advisory committee, comprised of all tenured faculty members of a rank equal to or higher than that proposed for the candidate. The responsibilities of the department chair and RPT chair in supervising the review process are outlined in section V. below. The RPT chair is a member of the tenured faculty elected to a one-year term by a vote of tenured and tenure-track faculty. The formal review process also includes a set of external reviewers and an ad hoc committee appointed from the advisory committee membership. External reviewers normally hold appointments at other universities and are nationally recognized for their work in the candidate’s field. These reviewers read the candidate’s scholarly or creative work and write an assessment of it. The process of selecting these reviewers is described in section V. below. Three members of the department advisory committee are appointed to the candidate’s ad hoc committee by the chair in consultation with the RPT chair. The ad hoc committee prepares a summary of the material in the candidate’s file, including the external review letters. This report is not an evaluation of the candidate’s record but a neutral description of the contents of the file in the three areas of scholarship/creativity, teaching, and service. The September entry in section V. provides a detailed description of this report.

The Department also requires the candidate to invite a tenured colleague to observe his or her teaching prior to every formal review. The observer is expected to attend at least one of the candidate’s classes, review other course materials, and submit a letter that becomes part of the formal review file.

III. RPT Criteria

The Department of English defines the three categories of scholarship/creativity, teaching, and service in the following ways (criteria for specific RPT decisions are listed below):

A. Scholarship and Creativity
The Department defines scholarship and creativity as activities such as the following:

    • Publishing scholarly or creative monographs or books
    • Publishing articles in scholarly or literary journals or edited collections
    • Publishing stories, poems, plays, or creative non-fiction
    • Writing and producing plays
    • Preparing and publishing texts, textbooks, editions, and collections
    • Publishing scholarly or creative work in peer-reviewed electronic media
    • Presenting papers at professional conferences
    • Giving readings of creative works or invited scholarly lectures

The Department of English includes faculty members in various areas of specialization—including literary criticism and theory, creative writing, cultural studies, rhetoric and composition, folklore, film studies, and English education—and recognizes that the activities listed above are often weighted differently across these areas. In most of these areas, the single-authored book published by a university press is recognized as the most significant independent scholarly or creative achievement. Although collaborative work occurs in all areas, in some areas, such as composition studies and English education, collaborative and empirical research and writing are recognized as important scholarly contributions. In all cases, the scholarship and creativity considered by the department should be appropriate to the expectations of the faculty member’s area of specialization.

In its assessment of scholarship and creative work at all ranks, the department will consider the following: its faculty members’ judgment on all writings, published or unpublished; the letters solicited from external reviewers in the candidate’s area(s); reader’s reports on manuscripts; and reviews of published materials. The department will also consider the candidate’s receipt of external grants and fellowships but there is no expectation that the candidate will have received outside funding to support her or his research.

B. Teaching

When evaluating a candidate’s teaching record, the department will consider all activities bearing directly on students, including classroom lecture and discussion; tutorials; independent studies; office conferences; service learning; graduate degree examinations; thesis and dissertation advising.

In its assessment of teaching at all ranks, the Department will seek to apply as many of the following kinds of evidence as seem relevant to particular cases: 

    • The size and nature of the candidate’s teaching load
    • The materials and techniques employed
    • Teaching evaluations including SAC summaries
    • Special evaluations developed by the Department or by the faculty member
    • Class visits by other faculty members
    • Publishing scholarly or creative work in peer-reviewed electronic media
    • Presenting papers at professional conferences
    • Awards, recognitions, grants, or fellowships that recognize accomplishments in teaching or support the candidate’s development as a teacher

C. Service

Service is defined as professionally-related contributions to department, university, profession and community. The department assesses service at all ranks by noting the candidate’s various committee assignments, organization memberships, and other relevant activities and by judging the nature and quality of the contribution to each. The department recognizes that in certain areas of English Studies, service is integral to pedagogy and research. In general, the department expects that all faculty members will live up to the responsibilities of university employment, including participation in meetings and deliberations of the department.

IV. Standards for Retention, Promotion, and Tenure

A. Retention

The Department of English recommends retention for a candidate when, after careful consideration, it judges that the candidate is clearly meeting, or demonstrating the potential to meet, its requirements for excellence in scholarship/creativity, teaching, and service appropriate to the faculty member’s disciplinary area(s). When making a recommendation to retain, the Department may also consider the faculty member’s development in each of these areas.

B. Tenure

The department recommends tenure when, after the necessary probationary period the candidate has “a cumulative record demonstrating sustained effectiveness in each of the two areas of teaching and research/other creative activity, and additionally, excellence in a combination of those areas” (University Policy 6-303-A-2-c).

    • Normally, the candidate for tenure will have established a continuing research program that is nationally visible and will have a book, or its equivalent, published or accepted for publication by an appropriate press. A series of substantial articles, collaborative work, or other significant publication may be considered as collectively equivalent to a book. The advisory committee evaluates the work in terms of its significance to the candidate’s area(s) of English Studies.
    • The candidate for tenure demonstrates expertise in teaching with evidence of effective preparation and presentation of course materials and of success working with students in the classroom, conferences, and/or independent study projects. The candidate for tenure may additionally demonstrate expertise in teaching through activities such asthe following: developing new coursesand experimenting with new pedagogical techniques and materials; contributing to the graduate program, including service on examination and dissertation committees; and participating in community education, service learning projects, and other pedagogical activities appropriate to the candidate’s area(s) of expertise.
    • The candidate for tenure demonstrates a commitment to service through membership in departmental, college, and university committees; participation in professional organizations; and/or significant professional service to the community. The department recognizes that in some areas of English Studies, administrative work is considered integral to pedagogy and research. It consequently considers administrative work by untenured faculty members as significant contributions in service.

C. Promotion

A recommendation to promote a faculty member to associate professor accompanies a recommendation for tenure. The department recommends further promotion to the rank of full professor when, after a minimum period in rank, normally at least five years, the candidate has demonstrated continued excellence as a productive, recognized scholar and writer, an accomplished graduate and undergraduate teacher and a responsible service participant. Normally, the promotion from associate professor to full professor recognizes significant additional achievement in all three areas.

    • The candidate for promotion to full professor will have published as an associate professor significant additional work that demonstrates an active continuing research or creative program appropriate to the candidate’s area(s) of English Studies.
    • The candidate for promotion to full professor should demonstrate a growing role as a teacher, which may include participation in curriculum development, mentoring junior faculty, and involvement in the graduate program.
    • The candidate for promotion to full professor should also demonstrate greater participation in department, university, and community service which may include service in administrative positions and planning and administering special programs, as well as service in professional organizations and professional service in the community.

V. Procedures for Formal Reviews

The following pages explain the procedures governing retention, promotion, and tenure reviews within the Department of English at the University of Utah. Departmental practices are governed by University Policies and by the College of Humanities RPT documents as well as the Department’s statement of criteria. This document describes the reviewing bodies involved in each of these procedures, the actions the candidate will or may need to take during a review, and the roles played by the department chair, the ad hoc committee, and the advisory committee for each review. It provides information to candidates about how to assemble a file and how to exercise the right to respond in writing to departmental summary reports and chair evaluations. The document also addresses department procedures in choosing the RPT chair, securing external reviews, appointing ad hoc committees, and conducting the Department RPT meeting.

The Department will make copies of both the currently applicable University Regulations on RPT (primarily Policies 6-302 and 6-311) and the College of Humanities RPT documents available to all faculty members.

A. Chronological Sequence for Formal Reviews


    • Department elects RPT chair for the upcoming academic year. The RPT chair must be a tenured member of the department. All tenure-track faculty members are eligible to vote in this election.
    • Department chair determines obligatory RPT reviews for the upcoming year and sends a letter to relevant faculty reminding them of the upcoming formal review and what is required.
    • Department chair sends letter to faculty members asking if they wish to be considered for promotion or tenure. This includes associate professors who want to be considered for promotion to full professor and assistant professors who want to be considered for tenure and promotion based on “exceptional progress” (University Policy 6-311 section 4-C).
    • Department chair sends letter to the academic program—University Writing Program, Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies—if the candidate is a joint appointment, informing the program of the upcoming formal review. The Department Chair consults with the Program Director about the selection of external reviewers.
    • Department chair meets face-to-face with the candidate to clarify the formal RPT review process. The candidate should identify a tenured member of the Department to observe her or his teaching.


    • Department chair contacts the department Student Advisory Committee(SAC) and the Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC) and meets with student officers regarding the compilation of the SAC and GSAC reports, which are due by September 30. For joint appointees, the department chair will consult with the program director about including a student representative from the program on the English SAC. SAC and GSAC officers may begin to review teaching evaluations at this stage. Department and RPT chairs contact the SAC and GSAC again in September, providing minimum notice of three weeks before their report is due. “The SAC evaluation and report should be based on guiding principles approved by the University RPT Standards Committee and provided to the SAC by the department chairperson” (University Policy 6-303-III-C).


    • Department chair sends letter to general faculty members, announcing who will stand for formal review in the fall semester.
    • Department chair begins process of selecting external reviewers. The department requires a minimum of three external letters at each review. The candidate may present a list of external reviewers to the department chair. The department chair, after consulting faculty with expertise in the candidate’s field or in closely related areas of specialization and with program directors in the case of joint appointees, generates a list of potential reviewers. The candidate reviews the chair’s list and has the right to register objections to reviewers. The department chair selects the external reviewers from this list.

      Before external letters of evaluation are requested, the candidate shall be presented with a form prepared by the department containing the following statements with signature lines:

      I waive my right to see the external letters of evaluation obtained from outside the department for my retention/promotion/tenure review.
      I retain my right to read the external evaluation obtained from outside the department for my retention/promotion/tenure review.

      This form, with the candidate’s signature, shall be included in the candidate’s review file. When the candidate reserves the right to read the external letters of evaluation, respondents shall be informed in writing that their letters may be seen by the candidate.

    • Department chair contacts external reviewers, asking if they will serve, and informing them when they will receive the candidate’s files, and when the evaluation is due. Normally, the materials for external review are mailed out in late May or early June, with the expectation that the reviewers will send their evaluations to the department by the beginning of September.


    • Faculty member finishes preparing file to be sent to external reviewers. The file should be sent out by June 15 and must include the following material:
      • Curriculum vitae
      • All written material, published and unpublished, which the faculty member wishes external reviewers to read
      • Personal statement (optional)
      • Copy of Departmental RPT Guidelines (provided by department)


    • Department chair and RPT chair meet with department SAC and GSAC officers regarding the SAC and GSAC reports on the faculty member being reviewed.
    • Department chair insures that external letters arrive by due date.
    • Department chair, in consultation with the RPT Chair, program director (when applicable), and candidate, appoints ad hoc committees for each faculty member being reviewed. The ad hoc committee consists of three tenured faculty members, one of whom serves as chair. The ad hoc committee’s task is to compile a factual report on the candidate’s performance in scholarship, teaching, and service. Typically, each member of the ad hoc committee is assigned to one of the three criteria. The faculty member assigned to report on the candidate’s record in teaching should review and append to the ad hoc report letters submitted by faculty members who have observed the candidate’s classes. The ad hoc report summarizes the contents of the candidate’s file, including the evaluations of the external reviewers (without revealing their identities in any way). The ad hoc report cannot offer a recommendation on the candidate’s review. Nor should the report be evaluative, although it may contextualize the professional accomplishments of the faculty member under review through reference to publication venues, kinds of courses taught, quantity and quality of service obligations undertaken, etc. The ad hoc committee report is an important document that travels with the file throughout the whole process, from the department to the College to the Academic Vice President. The ad hoc report’s summary of the external letters gives the candidate who has waived her or his right to read the letters some sense of this important element in the review. It is the task of the ad hoc committee chair and the RPT chair to insure that the report is accurate and thorough.

      Since University regulations allow the candidate to comment on, or take exception to, any item in her or his formal review file (excluding the confidential external letters themselves), it is the practice of the English department to show the candidate the ad hoc committee reports prior to their inclusion in the file. The candidate may suggest revisions to the ad hoc report, which the ad hoc committee members and the RPT chair should consider and may accept or decline. In any case, the candidate retains the right to comment, in writing, upon any material in his or her file.

B. Contents of the Candidate’s File

Normally the candidate’s file should be completed by September 30. It is the responsibility of the candidate, along with the Department and RPT Chairs, to insure that the file is complete. The following items must be included in the file that goes to the department for a vote:

    • Curriculum vitae
    • Teaching evaluations (or assessments)
    • Copies of published or unpublished writing selected by the candidate for inclusion in the file
    • Published reviews of the candidate’s writing, if available
    • Department SAC and GSAC recommendations
    • External reviewer evaluations (accompanied by the candidate’s waiver or non-waiver form, the chair’s description of the qualifications of the reviewers, indication of whether the reviewer was chosen by faculty member or department, and a statement as to the professional relationship, or lack thereof, existing between the faculty member and the external reviewer)
    • Recommendation of academic program if the candidate holds a joint appointment
    • Department ad hoc committee report
    • Copies of ad-hoc reports and advisory committee minutes from previous reviews

In addition to these mandatory items, the file may also include the following items, some placed there at the discretion of the candidate, others by department members, students, staff or what University Policy identifies as “interested individuals” (6-303-III-D-8):

    • Personal statement by the candidate about the shape of her or his career up to this point, nature of accomplishments, projects for the future, etc.
    • Written comments on other materials in the file
    • Signed letters from others, inside and outside the university, addressing aspects of the faculty member’s record relevant to the formal review
    • Evidence of faculty responsibility (University Policy 6-303-III-D-5)

C. Responsibilities of the Department Advisory Committee

The “Department Advisory Committee” consists of those members of the department who are qualified to vote on the faculty member being reviewed. In cases of formal retention review, the advisory committee is defined by university policy in the following terms: “In each department all tenured faculty members of equal or higher rank and all non-tenured regular faculty members of higher rank than that held by the candidate for retention are eligible to participate in the consideration of and to vote on recommendations in individual cases on matters of retention.” For promotion cases, the departmental advisory committee is defined as follows: “In each department all regular faculty members of equal or higher rank than that proposed for the candidate for promotion are eligible to participate in the consideration of and to vote on recommendations in individual cases on matters of promotion.” For tenure cases, the advisory committee is defined as follows: “In each department all tenured faculty members whose rank is equal to or higher than the rank currently held by the candidate for tenure, and all non-tenured regular faculty members of higher rank than that proposed for the candidate for tenure, are eligible to participate in the consideration of and to vote on recommendations in individual cases on matters of tenure” (University Policy 6-303-III-A-3).

It is the responsibility of eligible department members to study the contents of the RPT file. They should begin this process as soon as the file is complete. Department and RPT chairs will inform the faculty about the availability of RPT materials. The file is not formally closed until September 30, but much of the candidate’s work is available before then, including samples of written work, teaching assessments, and a record of service. Department members need not wait for the evaluations of outside reviewers, or for the ad hoc committee report, in order to begin studying the contents of the file. It should be one of the principal duties of the RPT chair to encourage department members to familiarize themselves with the RPT file.

D. Department Advisory Committee Meeting

Department chair calls the department RPT meeting by October 30 and notifies the academic program, if the candidate holds a joint appointment, of the pending RPT meeting. “Academic program faculty as defined by procedures established by the program (and not participating in the departmental review committee) shall meet to make a written recommendation which shall be sent to the department chair in a timely manner” (6-303-II-C-4). The program’s recommendation will be included in the candidate’s file before the advisory committee meets.

Department advisory committee conducts the RPT meeting in strict accordance with University regulations governing determination of a quorum, disclosure of absentee members’ written opinions, counting of absentee ballots, and limitations to the participation in the meeting of the department chair (University Policy 6-303-III-A.3). The advisory committee meeting is chaired by the department’s RPT chair, who designates one committee member as recording secretary for the discussion of each candidate; the recording secretary takes notes on the discussion to provide the basis for developing a summary report. The department chair may attend the meeting as a non-voting member; the advisory committee votes to allow the department chair to participate in the discussion.

“After due consideration, a vote shall be taken on each candidate for retention, promotion, or tenure, with a separate vote taken on each proposed action for each candidate. The secretary shall make a record of the vote and shall prepare a summary of the meeting which shall include the substance of the discussion and also the findings and recommendations of the department advisory committee. If a candidate is jointly appointed with an academic program, the department advisory committee report shall reflect the department’s discussion and consideration of the report and recommendation of the academic program.” “This summary report of the meeting, signed by the secretary, and bearing the written approval of the RPT chair, shall be made available for inspection by the committee members. After allowing an inspection period of not less than two days nor more than five days, after such modifications as the committee approves, the secretary shall forward the summary report to the department chairperson and the candidate, along with a list of all faculty members present at the meeting” (6-303-III-E-6 and 7). The Department of English’s advisory committee votes by secret ballot on matters retention, promotion and tenure.

E. Department Chair’s Recommendation

“After studying the entire file relating to each candidate, the department chairperson shall prepare his/her written recommendation to be included in the file on the retention, promotion, or tenure of each candidate, including specific reasons for the recommendation” (University Policy 603-III-F-1).

“Prior to forwarding the file, the department chairperson shall send an exact copy of the chairperson’s evaluation of each faculty member to that faculty member” (University Policy 603-III-F-2).

“The candidate shall have the opportunity at this time, but not the obligation, to add a written statement to his/her formal review file in response to the summary report of the department faculty advisory committee and/or the evaluation of the department chairperson. Written notice of this option shall be included with the copy of the chairperson’s evaluation that is sent to the candidate. If the candidate chooses to add such a statement to the file, that statement must be submitted to the department chairperson within seven business days, except in extenuating circumstances, of the date upon which the chairperson’s evaluation is delivered to the candidate. If the candidate submits a written statement to the department chairperson within this time limit, the candidate’s statement shall be added to the review file without comment by the chairperson” (University Policy 603-III-F.3).

The department chair forwards the candidate’s file for each individual to the dean of the college. The file sent to the Dean and the College RPT committee should include the following:

    • The candidate’s curriculum vitae
    • The ad hoc committee report
    • Evaluation of teaching
    • SAC report
    • Waiver/non-waiver of right by the candidate to see the external letters of evaluation
    • The external reviewers’ letters
    • The chair’s description of the reviewers’ qualifications etc.
    • Candidate’s personal statement
    • Summary report of the department advisory committee
    • Department chair’s recommendation (showing that a copy of this letter and of the summary report have been sent to the candidate)
    • The candidate’s written response, if any, to the chair’s letter
    • Previous departmental evaluations. The college committee will look for evidence that previously noted strengths have been maintained and weaknesses corrected.
    • The recommendation of the academic program if the candidate has a join appointment

VI. Procedures for Informal Reviews

Tenure-track faculty members are reviewed informally in the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth years of their probationary period.

In September, the Department Chair sends a letter to the faculty members scheduled for informal reviews, asking each to prepare a file. This file should include teaching syllabi and course evaluations, manuscripts published and unpublished that document the faculty member’s progress in scholarship and research, a brief statement of accomplishments in service, and any other relevant material the candidate decides to include. This file should normally be complete by October 15.

NOTE: The informal review differs from the formal in several ways. It does not require a classroom visit by a tenured colleague or a SAC report; there is no ad hoc committee report; no formal report is solicited from the candidate’s academic program (although in the case of a joint appointment the Chair will notify the program of the informal review and allow the program to submit an informal report according to the program’s standard procedures). No letters are solicited from external reviewers for an informal review. The College RPT Committee does not review the files and no formal recommendation is made to the Dean. The Chair forwards to the Dean a copy of the report sent to the candidate summarizing the Department’s evaluation of the faculty member’s progress toward tenure.

The department advisory committee meets, normally late in the fall semester, to review the files of all pre-tenure faculty members not scheduled for formal review. After considering the material included in the informal review file, the advisory committee makes a recommendation either to retain the faculty member or to conduct a formal review. The committee votes by secret ballot whether or not to retain the candidate. A recommendation not to retain must be followed by a formal review according to the procedures and timetable for “triggered” reviews (University Policy 6-303-III-B-1-c). Following the departmental advisory committee meeting, the department chair and the RPT Chair draft jointly a written report conveying the department’s commendations and recommendations. Members of the advisory committee review this document and the candidate is given an opportunity to respond to this report in writing within seven business days of receiving the report. The department chair meets with the candidate to discuss the candidate’s progress toward tenure.



  • Chair informs candidate, asks him/her to prepare file
    • Teaching syllabi
    • Course evaluations
    • Manuscripts published and unpublished
    • Brief statement of accomplishments in service
    • Any other relevant material
    • If candidate holds a joint appointment, Chair informs program director of candidate’s review and requests report

Fall Semester

  • File closes normally by October 15
  • Department Advisory Committee meets before the end of Fall semester and makes recommendation to retain or begin “triggered” formal review
  • Dept. Chair & RPT Chair write a report (letter) (reviewed by Advisory Committee)
  • Chair meets with candidate
  • Candidate given the report and has seven business days to respond


  • Chair sends report to Dean’s office no later than January 30

Procedures for Five-Year Review of Tenured Faculty

  1. Approximately one fifth of the tenured faculty shall be reviewed every five years by the Executive Committee; typically the order of this rotation will be determined by when they received tenure, with the first review occurring five years after the award of tenure and once every five years thereafter. The Chair will meet with the Executive Committee as a non-voting member.

  2. By the same date that materials are submitted for annual merit review (or, in the absence of such a review, early in the spring semester) the faculty member under review, in consultation with the Chair and the Department RPT Chair, will assemble pertinent materials for the preceding five years, including a curriculum vitae and scholarly or creative work, published and unpublished. The department will assemble minutes of the annual merit reviews, when available, and teaching evaluations for the relevant period. The faculty member should supply a written statement concerning her or his record for the previous five years as well as plans for the immediate future. He or she may also request an interview with the Executive Committee.

  3. The Executive Committee will review the file and, if necessary, request clarification or additional information. The faculty member’s scholarship, teaching, and service should all be discussed, and one member of the Committee should prepare minutes of the discussion. After the minutes are circulated to all members of the Committee and they agree that the minutes accurately reflect their discussion, the minutes should be submitted to the Chair, along with any recommendations that the Executive Committee may choose to make.

  4. The Chair will then show the minutes to the colleague being reviewed and invite her or him to indicate additions, corrections, or omissions in the summary of her or his record.

  5. On the basis of the Executive Committee’s advice and her or his independent assessment of the record, the Chair will compose a separate letter, with commendations and recommendations to the faculty member under review. Again the faculty member will be invited to respond if he or she chooses.

  6. The Chair will submit his or her letter, the Executive Committee’s minutes, the colleague under review’s c.v., and any responses by the colleague under review to the Dean of the College.

  7. After the process is completed the Chair and the colleague under review may meet to discuss its outcome. If the Executive Committee finds one or more areas of the faculty member’s performance unsatisfactory and the Chair agrees with their judgment, the Chair and the colleague will agree on a probationary period during which the latter could address, through practical and tangible measures, the criticisms that the Executive Committee has advanced. (See Policy 2-005 Section 5.C.)

Guidelines for Review, Reappointment, and Promotion of Full-time Auxiliary Faculty

Committee responsible for review process

  1. Review of all auxiliary faculty members is the responsibility of the Executive Committee.
  2. Executive Committee is elected according to department guidelines.
  3. Full-time auxiliary faculty status is determined according to the PPM.

Review File

  1. RPT Chair will assemble a file for each full-time faculty member in the year scheduled for his or her review (either 5th year for those already on 5-year cycles, or 3rd year for new auxiliary faculty).
  2. File will be complete by Nov. 1 of review year.
  3. File will be used in annual performance evaluation meeting with each faculty member reviewed.
  4. File will serve as basis for Advisory Committee (full faculty) decisions concerning reappointment.
  5. File will include the following materials:
    1. Current CV
    2. Course evaluations from previous years
    3. Syllabi and related teaching materials used in courses
    4. Classroom observation report from a tenure-track or tenured faculty member
    5. Executive Committee report on teaching effectiveness, based on a-d, copies of which will go to faculty member and into faculty member's file, completed by end of fall semester
    6. Reviewed faculty member's written response, if any, to the Executive Committee report, due no later than January 30

Review Action

  1. Chair will meet with reviewed faculty member in February.
  2. Chair will write brief letter of evaluation, based on Executive Committee report and faculty member’s response, if any, by March 1; copies placed in reviewed faculty members file and sent to faculty member and to Dean.
  3. If faculty member receives negative evaluation from either Executive Committee or Chair, a peer observation will be scheduled at earliest date.
  4. Advisory Committee (full faculty) will meet in April to consider Executive Committee report, reviewed faculty member’s response, if any, Chair’s letter, and peer observation report, if any, before voting on re-appointment.


The following language is intended to supplement the English Department guidelines for the Review and Appointment of Auxiliary Faculty by adding criteria and procedures for promotion within the status of lecturer.


 Auxiliary faculty members holding lecturer appointments (see Policy 6-300.III.4) may become eligible for an initial promotion after a minimum of six years’ continuous, full-time service in a particular rank; after promotion, another five years of continuous full-time service in that rank is required before he or she may apply for an additional promotion within the lectureship status. The principal criteria for promotion shall be years of service and sustained excellence in teaching. Evidence of strong service to the department will be also be considered if the auxiliary faculty member’s job contract specifies service duties as part of his/her responsibilities. The faculty member may submit evidence of scholarly or creative activity during this period, but these materials will not be subject to an external review or considered a part of the overall review evaluation unless they bear a direct relation to the candidate’s job responsibilities.


Consideration for promotion will be initiated at the request of an auxiliary faculty member, who should notify the Department Chair of that request during the fall semester. That request will trigger a promotion review to be conducted by the English Department RPT Committee during the following spring semester.

The Chair will appoint a two-person ad hoc committee to review the materials submitted by the auxiliary faculty member and to make a recommendation to the full RPT Committee. These materials, which are due by November 15, include:

  1. A current CV
  2. A full list of the courses taught by the faculty member
  3. Syllabi and related teaching materials used in these courses
  4. Where relevant, a description of the faculty member’s service responsibilities within the English Department
  5. Classroom observation report from a tenure-track or tenured faculty member
  6. Auxiliary faculty members are welcome but not required to supplement these materials with evidence of scholarly or creative activity during the period of service under consideration.

Where relevant, the ad hoc committee will seek an assessment of the faculty member’s service by his or her immediate supervisor. The Ad Hoc Committee’s report will be due by mid-January.

The faculty member’s response, if any, to the Ad Hoc Committee’s report, is due no later than the end of January.

Action on Promotion

  1. The Department RPT Committee will meet in February to consider and vote on the auxiliary faculty member’s promotion.
  2. Minutes of this meeting will be shown to the faculty member, who may respond if she or he chooses.
  3. The Chair will write evaluative letter based on the RPT Committee’s deliberation and her or his own assessment of the file and incorporating her or his recommendation. This letter, and the faculty member’s response, if any, will be forwarded to the Dean of the College by March 1.

Approved Fall 2012

Calendar Event Request

To have an event posted on the English Department Calendar, fill out the Calendar Event Request Form and email to Karli Sam ( 

Last Updated: 6/7/21