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Faculty Reappointment/Promotion

Guidelines for Renewal, Promotion, and Continuing Appointment
April 1, 2010

Process for Renewal, Promotion and Continuing Appointment (PDF)

Faculty Renewal and Promotion to Associate Professor
The Division of Academic Affairs and its academic departments are fully committed to helping faculty achieve ongoing success in teaching, scholarship (research/creative endeavor) and service, noting that it is expected that faculty will have a vigorous scholarly and creative life throughout their teaching career. This document serves to clarify the promotion and tenure process and assist candidates with the preparation of their documentation for renewal and promotion to associate professor.
 
It should be noted that decisions on continuing appointment (tenure) and promotion are separate actions at Buffalo State College. Faculty seeking promotion to associate or full professor must request to be considered for promotion, and personnel committees must make a separate recommendation regarding promotion to associate professor when considering tenure decisions. 

The procedures outlined in this document apply to the processes of obtaining continuing appointment (tenure) and promotion to associate professor for faculty whose initial employment as Assistant Professor is effective on August 15, 2009, or later. Faculty hired earlier that that date are encouraged to use these procedures, at their option. Procedural guidelines about applying for promotion to full professor are provided in a separate document.

Letters of Expectations

  • A letter of expectations (or memorandum of understanding) for each new faculty member should be completed by the conclusion of the first semester of employment. The letter clarifies job expectations communicated during the recruitment process, specifies the performance expectations to be met by the time the faculty member reaches the next review, and provides the criteria that must be met for continuing appointment (tenure) and promotion. As appropriate, reference College documents, including the Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS), the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees, school policies and procedures, and departmental by-laws.
  • The letter of expectations is collaboratively designed to bring agreement and clarification among the candidate, department chairperson, department personnel committee chairperson (where applicable), and the dean. The letter of expectations is created by the department chair and personnel committee, or by the department chair and personnel committee and/or search committee chair according to departmental procedure, in consultation with the faculty member.
  • At the initiation of the candidate, the letter of expectations may evolve over time according to departmental process to modify the direction of teaching, research/creative activity and/or service. Any changes must be approved in writing by the candidate, department chairperson, department personnel committee chairperson (where applicable), and the dean.
  • Letters of expectations vary by department and by individual faculty member.

Departmental Documents

  • It is recommended that every department develop a general statement of expectations and evaluation for teaching, scholarship and service. This statement of departmental expectations is subject to approval by the dean. This document is to be provided to candidates and be accessible on the department’s Web site.
  • Candidates are responsible for becoming familiar with College documents, including the Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS), the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees, school policies and procedures, and departmental by-laws, and how they affect personnel actions.
  • Department chairs are to establish the departmental calendar and charge the personnel committee to initiate the process. Departments and candidates are responsible for adhering to the academic calendar for deadlines for renewals, promotions, etc. Address any questions about the calendar directly to the dean.
  • Personnel Committees are to follow the department calendar established by the department chair and the department by-laws guiding the personnel process. Personnel Committees should be aware of previous personnel actions regarding each candidate, including committee reports and letters of expectations, and use them as a context for their work. Personnel Committees should take responsibility and initiative for the renewal and tenure process, clearly and thoroughly communicating to candidates about requirements and deadlines and giving candidates adequate time to prepare materials, answer requests, and prepare for class visits.

Dean's Role
The dean's role is to serve as an independent evaluator, to ensure adherence to the process, and to raise questions when recommendations do not seem to be congruent with documentation.  Address any questions about process or calendar directly to the dean.

Documentation
Documentation for each evaluation leading to promotion and continuing appointment is to consist of two files:
• File A containing the required personnel documents, and
• File B containing the supporting documentation.

File A
Two copies of File A are to be submitted. One copy is retained in the Provost’s Office and the other in the Dean’s Office. File A is to contain only eight items.  One copy is to be organized in a three-ring binder with dividers separating the eight sections. (Plastic sleeves are not required; if used, place only two pages back-to-back in a sleeve.) The other copy is to be provided in a file folder with the eight sections paper clipped separately, in order, and all attached by a clip. Candidates may review a sample File A in departmental or deans’ offices.

1.  The Request for Faculty Personnel Action form (gray form). Note that consideration for promotion must be specifically requested by the candidate, and a separate recommendation for promotion is required of the personnel committee.

2.  A copy of the candidate’s Letter of Expectations. Any previous letters of expectations are to be provided in File B.

3.  The candidate’s personal statement. In his/her personal statement, the candidate should focus on the renewal review period (the most recent two-year term, for example). For reappointments without promotion, candidates should focus on the two year review period. For promotions, the candidate should take a career perspective.

The personal statement should be cohesive, within one document, and is typically five to ten pages. The statement may be slightly longer in cases for promotion and tenure. It is to reflect on teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service; comment on any additional qualifications, including commitment to the Buffalo State mission, vision, and core values; and provide documentation through reference to specific page numbers in File B.

The candidate’s self-assessment narrative should address:

a.) Criteria articulated in the letter of expectations, with reference to criteria expressed in the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees and the Buffalo State College Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS).
b.) Assessment of teaching, relative to the letter of expectations and DOPS, including a summary and interpretation of peer evaluations and student evaluations. 
c.) Assessment of Scholarship, relative to the letter of expectations and DOPS
d.) Assessment of Service, relative to the letter of expectations and DOPS

4.  Current (updated) curriculum vita in the standardized format.  See Appendix C.

5.  The departmental personnel committee statement. This is to be evaluative and must adhere to the same three areas of teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service, as well as summarize and interpret peer evaluations and student evaluations, and comment on any additional qualifications.  All previous personnel committee statements are to be provided in File B.  If promotion to associate professor is requested, write a separate paragraph recommending promotion.  Candidates may write a response according to college guidelines to be included in File A.

6.  The department chairperson’s recommendation. This is to be autonomous and separate from the Personnel Committee’s recommendation.  The chairperson’s recommendation is to be evaluative and must adhere to the same three areas of teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service, as well as summarize and interpret peer evaluations and student evaluations, and comment on any additional qualifications. All previous department chairpersons’ recommendations are to be provided in File B.  If promotion to associate professor is requested, write a separate paragraph recommending promotion. Candidates may write a response according to college guidelines to be included in File A.

7.  The school promotion and tenure committee’s recommendation, when applicable. This is to be autonomous and separate from the other recommendations. The school committee’s recommendation is to be evaluative and must adhere to the same three areas of teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service, as well as summarize and interpret peer evaluations and student evaluations, and comment on any additional qualifications. All previous school committee’s recommendations are to be provided in File B.  If promotion to associate professor is requested, write a separate paragraph recommending promotion. Candidates may write a response according to college guidelines to be included in File A.

8.  The dean’s recommendation. This is to be autonomous and separate from the other recommendations. The dean’s recommendation is to be evaluative and must adhere to the same three areas of teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service, as well as summarize and interpret peer evaluations and student evaluations, and comment on any additional qualifications.  All previous deans’ recommendations are to be provided in File B. If promotion to associate professor is requested, write a separate paragraph recommending promotion. Candidates may write a response according to college guidelines to be included in File A.

File B
File B provides supporting evidence documenting statements in File A. 

The file should be organized in three general sections of teaching, scholarship and service, and generally in no more than two three-ring binders, with supplementary materials as appropriate. File B is returned to the candidate after completion of the process. 

  • Accomplishments cited in File A must be documented in File B.
  • Documentation or examples of books, articles, CDs and other scholarship and/or creative work should be included. Selectively include other items.
  • Summary sheets of all student evaluations and all written student comments shall be included. Each summary sheet should be followed by the  student comments, organized in chronological order with the most current first.  Place this material in a separate notebook section labeled “Student Evaluations” in File B.

Other Guidelines

  • Use statistics carefully. For example, averaging the ratings for all of the questions on the form does not provide valuable information.  Averaging the answers for each individual question, however, could provide valuable input to the personnel committee and department chairperson.  It is the responsibility of the personnel committee and the department chairperson to provide a summary and interpretation of peer and student evaluations.
  • Candidates and departments should be familiar with all relevant policies specified in the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees, and the Buffalo State College Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS), and school and departmental documents, which are to be displayed on the departmental Web site.
  • The lists and examples of required and supporting documents given here are not intended to exclude other appropriate evidence of the candidate’s accomplishments and abilities in all of the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. Candidates may include all relevant evidence to support their application for promotion and continuing appointment, including types of evidence not explicitly listed herein.

APPENDIX A
Multiple Measures of Teaching Effectiveness

In your narrative statement, at your option, you may feel free to address any measures you deem appropriate to help support your application. These are not limited to course and syllabus revision/updating; revision of assignments, hand-outs, supplementary readings, editions and translations; teaching style; new uses of technology, if any; how research influences your teaching (include sample materials in File B); mentoring students; participation with the department’s student groups, events and presentations; how feedback is provided outside class; availability to students through office hours and out-of-class activities; other. Other measures of teaching effectiveness are suggested in DOPS.

APPENDIX B
Default Method of Obtaining External Reviews of Scholarship

Solicited external reviews are optional for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor and continuing appointment. However, letters from independent external reviewers are often considered to have significant credibility in providing an objective view of the candidate’s scholarship. Departments may choose to solicit outside reviews of scholarship/creative activity for applicants requesting promotion and continuing appointment. If this is done, include in File B the solicited outside reviews of scholarship/creative endeavor obtained according to department guidelines.

The following is a suggested process for solicitation of external reviews of faculty scholarship. If the department chooses to include external reviews in the evaluation of scholarship, it may use this process, or it may develop a department-specific process, a description of which should be in included in the general statement of expectations for reappointment, promotion, and awarding of continuing appointment (See Department Documents, above).

Default Process:

  1. The candidate and personnel committee chair collaboratively identify appropriate prospective external reviewers who have limited relationship to the candidate. 
  2. The personnel committee chair contacts the prospective reviewers for agreement to review the candidate’s scholarship, with the understanding that the review will be shared with the candidate and campus review committees and that the review is a professional function without remuneration. 
  3. The personnel committee chair sends to the reviewer the DOPS, school and department criteria and the candidate’s resume, letter of expectation, and scholarship section from File A, along with any supplementary materials requested by the candidate, and indicates the expected date for receipt.
  4. The personnel committee chair receives the review and the reviewer’s resumé and provides them to the candidate for inclusion in File B.  All received reviews are to be included in File B. 
  5. The candidate includes the following information in File B:

a.) The evaluators’ names, ranks, and institutions and a copy of the letter of solicitation 
b.) An explanation of why and how the reviewers were selected and by whom;
c.) The reviewer’s biographical sketch; 
d.) The relationship, if any, of the reviewer to the candidate;
e.) How many reviews were requested, received, and submitted; 
f.) The reviews. External review letters collected within the two-year period prior to submission of the request for promotion may be included.

APPENDIX C
Resumé Format

Use the format provided in the Faculty Handbook. In both the narrative and in the resumé, cite the location, city, state and date of each conference presentation within the time span of the review period in order to clarify the regional/national/international scope.  Also cite the sessions chaired and poster presentations.  For papers in progress, give some estimate of the time-line for submission and publication.

APPENDIX D
A sample Letter of Expectations is provided in the Faculty Handbook.

Promotion to Full Professor
The Division of Academic Affairs and its academic departments are fully committed to helping faculty achieve ongoing success in teaching, scholarship (research/creative endeavor) and service, noting that it is expected that faculty will have a vigorous scholarly and creative life throughout their teaching career. This document serves to clarify the process for promotion to full professor and assist candidates with the preparation of their documentation for that promotion.  
 
It should be noted that decisions on continuing appointment (tenure) and promotion are separate actions at Buffalo State College. Faculty seeking promotion must request to be considered for promotion, and personnel committees must make a separate recommendation regarding promotion when considering tenure decisions. 

For guidelines clarifying when faculty can and should request promotion to full professor, faculty members should review the Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS) and the SUNY Trustees guidelines.

Departmental Documents

  • It is recommended that every department develop a general statement of expectations and evaluation for teaching, scholarship and service. This statement of departmental expectations is subject to approval by the dean. This document is to be provided to candidates and be accessible on the department’s Web site.
  • Candidates are responsible for notifying the department chair that they plan to apply for promotion. Candidates are also responsible for becoming familiar with College documents, including the Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS), the SUNYPolicies of the Board of Trustees, school policies and procedures, and departmental by-laws, and how they affect personnel actions.
  • Department chairs are to establish the departmental calendar and charge the personnel committee to initiate the process.Departments and candidates are responsible for adhering to the academic calendar for deadlines for renewals, promotions, etc. Address any questions about the calendar directly to the dean.
  • Personnel Committees are to follow the department calendar established by the department chair and the department by-laws guiding the personnel process.Personnel Committees should take responsibility and initiative for the promotion process, clearly and thoroughly communicating to candidates about requirements and deadlines and giving candidates adequate time to prepare materials, answer requests, and prepare for class visits.

Dean’s Role
The dean's role is to serve as an independent evaluator, to ensure adherence to the process, and to raise questions when recommendations do not seem to be congruent with documentation. Address any questions about process or calendar directly to the dean.

Documentation
Documentation for each evaluation leading to promotion is to consist of two files:

File A containing the required personnel documents, and
File B containing the supporting documentation.

File A
Two copies of File A are to be submitted. One copy is retained in the Provost’s Office and the other in the Dean’s Office.  File A is to contain only seven items.  One copy is to be organized in a three-ring binder with dividers separating the eight sections.  (Plastic sleeves are not required; if used, place only two pages back-to-back in a sleeve.)  The other copy is to be provided in a file folder with the eight sections paper clipped separately, in order, and all attached by a clip.  Candidates may review a sample File A in departmental or deans’ offices.

1.  The Request for Faculty Personnel Action form (gray form).  Note that consideration for promotion must be specifically requested by the candidate, and a separate recommendation for promotion is required of the personnel committee.

2.  The candidate’s personal statement. The candidate should focus on the period following promotion to associate professor, while providing a career perspective.

 

The personal statement should be cohesive, within one document, and is typically five to ten pages. The statement may be longer, as necessary. It is to be relative to DOPS; reflect on teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service; summarize and interpret peer evaluations and student evaluations; comment on any additional qualifications, including commitment to the Buffalo State mission vision and core values; and provide documentation through reference to specific sections in File B.

The candidate’s self-assessment narrative should address: 
a.) Criteria articulated in the Buffalo State College Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS) and the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees.
b.) Assessment of teaching, relative to DOPS, including a summary and interpretation of peer evaluations and student evaluations. 
c.) Assessment of Scholarship, relative to DOPS
d.) Assessment of Service, relative to DOPS

3.  Current (updated) curriculum vita in the standardized format. See Appendix C.
4.  The departmental personnel committee statement. This is to be evaluative and must adhere to the same three areas of teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service, as well as summarize and interpret peer evaluations and student evaluations, and comment on any additional qualifications.  Candidates may write a response according to college guidelines to be included in File A.
5.  The department chairperson’s recommendation. This is to be autonomous and separate from the Personnel Committee’s recommendation. The chairperson’s recommendation is to be evaluative and must adhere to the same three areas of teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service, as well as summarize and interpret peer evaluations and student evaluations, and comment on any additional qualifications. Candidates may write a response according to college guidelines to be included in File A.
6.  The school promotion and tenure committee’s recommendation, when applicable. This is to be autonomous and separate from the other recommendations. The school committee’s recommendation is to be evaluative and must adhere to the same three areas of teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service, as well as summarize and interpret peer evaluations and student evaluations, and comment on any additional qualifications.  Candidates may write a response according to college guidelines to be included in File A.
7.  The dean’s recommendation. This is to be autonomous and separate from the other recommendations. The dean’s recommendation is to be evaluative and must adhere to the same three areas of teaching effectiveness, scholarship/creative activity and service, as well as summarize and interpret peer evaluations and student evaluations, and comment on any additional qualifications. Candidates may write a response according to college guidelines to be included in File A.

File B
File B provides supporting evidence documenting statements in File A. 

The file should be organized in three general sections of teaching, scholarship and service, and generally in no more than two three-ring binders, with supplementary materials as appropriate.  File B is returned to the candidate after completion of the process. 

  • Accomplishments cited in File A must be documented in File B.
  • Documentation or examples of books, articles, CDs and other scholarship and/or creative work should be included. Selectively include other items. 
  • Summary sheets of student evaluations from at least the last five years and all written student comments for each submitted class evaluation shall be included.  Each summary sheet should be followed by the student comments, organized in chronological order with the most current first.  Place this material in a separate notebook section labeled “Student Evaluations” in File B.

Other Guidelines

  • Use statistics carefully. For example, averaging the ratings for all of the questions on the form does not provide valuable information.  Averaging the answers for each individual question, however, could provide valuable input to the personnel committee and department chairperson. It is the responsibility of the personnel committee and the department chairperson to provide a summary and interpretation of peer and student evaluations. 
  • Candidates and departments should be familiar with all relevant policies specified in the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees, and the Buffalo State College Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS), and school and departmental documents, which are to be displayed on the departmental Web site.
  • The lists and examples of required and supporting documents given here are not intended to exclude other appropriate evidence of the candidate’s accomplishments and abilities in all of the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. Candidates may include all relevant evidence to support their application for promotion and continuing appointment, including types of evidence not explicitly listed herein.

APPENDIX A
Multiple Measures of Teaching Effectiveness

In your narrative statement, at your option, you may feel free to address any measures you deem appropriate to help support your application.  These are not limited to course and syllabus revision/updating; revision of assignments, hand-outs, supplementary readings, editions and translations; teaching style; new uses of technology, if any; how research influences your teaching (include sample materials in File B); mentoring students; participation with the department’s student groups, events and presentations; how feedback is provided outside class; availability to students through office hours and out-of-class activities; other.  Other measures of teaching effectiveness are suggested in DOPS.

APPENDIX B
Default Method of Obtaining External Reviews of Scholarship

Solicited external reviews are required for promotion to the rank of Full Professor.  Letters from independent external reviewers are often considered to have significant credibility in providing an objective view of the candidate’s scholarship. 

The following is a suggested process for solicitation of external reviews of faculty scholarship. The department may use this process, or it may develop a department-specific process, a description of which should be in included in the general statement of expectations for reappointment, promotion, and awarding of continuing appointment (See Department Documents, above).

Default Process:

  1. The candidate and personnel committee chair collaboratively identify appropriate prospective external reviewers who have limited relationship to the candidate.
  2. The personnel committee chair contacts the prospective reviewers for agreement to review the candidate’s scholarship, with the understanding that the review will be shared with the candidate and campus review committees and that the review is a professional function without remuneration. 
  3. The personnel committee chair sends to the reviewer the DOPS, school and department criteria and the candidate’s resume, and scholarship section from File A, along with any supplementary materials requested by the candidate, and indicates the expected date for receipt.
  4. The personnel committee chair receives the review and the reviewer’s resumé and provides them to the candidate for inclusion in File B.  All received reviews are to be included in File B. 
  5. The candidate includes the following information in File B:

a.) The evaluators’ names, ranks, and institutions and a copy of the letter of solicitation 
b.) An explanation of why and how the reviewers were selected and by whom;
c.) The reviewer’s biographical sketch; 
d.) The relationship, if any, of the reviewer to the candidate;
e.) How many reviews were requested, received, and submitted; 
f.) The reviews. External review letters collected within the two-year period prior to submission of the request for promotion may be included.

APPENDIX C
Resumé Format

Use the format provided in the Faculty Handbook. In both the narrative and in the resumé, cite the location, city, state and date of each conference presentation within the time span of the review period in order to clarify the regional/national/international scope. Also cite the sessions chaired and poster presentations. For papers in progress, give some estimate of the time-line for submission and publication.

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