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Promotion and Tenure - Suggestions to Faculty for Preparing an Effective Application

  • The promotion and tenure committee has access to your personnel file. Review it to make sure it is complete and up-to-date.
  • Be concise and write your document in a direct, well focused manner.
  • The page limits suggested for sections of your promotion and tenure document are general guidelines. Please keep your document to a reasonable length while educating your reader regarding your discipline and accomplishments.
  • Check your writing for grammar and punctuation. Simple errors make a very poor impression on readers. It is good practice to lay work aside for a couple of days before final proofing.
  • Do not compare yourself to other faculty members. You are evaluated against University standards and the specific criteria in your unit=s promotion and tenure guidelines, not against other faculty members.
  • Follow the format exactly, using all the headings, even if the heading is not applicable, in which case, include the heading and follow it with the phrase “Not Applicable”.
    Eliminate from the document all wording printed in Italics in the attached sample document. Wording in Italics is explanatory and not part of the format.
  • In most circumstances, the period covered by documentation of achievement in the BODY of the application for tenure to the past five years. If you received prior credit toward tenure or are requesting early tenure consideration, material falling within the five year limit, even that which occurred prior to your appointment at UMaine, may be included in your document. Faculty members who recieved an extension of their tenure clock should include documentation of achievements back to the start of their tenure/probationary period. If your applications does not adhere to this guideline, you will be asked to revise the document. Applications not adhering to the appropriate period will be returned to you for correction. Accomplishments prior to that period may be included in an appendix. Evaluators in your unit, college, and the University of Maine’s central administration will review such materials, but appendices will be removed from the application when it is forwarded to the Board of Trustees. In general, please keep appendices to a minimum.
  • The department chair or school director will solicit the evaluator letters for Section VI. in accordance with established departmental or school procedures. However, you are free to contact those evaluators whose names you have suggested so that they are aware that they may be contacted. Letters from the evaluators solicited for Section VI will be shared with you. Letters should be printed on letterhead and signed. Unsigned letters and faxes are not acceptable and will delay transmittal of documents to the University of Maine System. If your department chair or school director asks you to submit the names of potential outside evaluators, remember that the most convincing letters are from persons of standing in the field who can evaluate a your published work and standing in the discipline. These may be persons who do not know you personally, or, more frequently, persons you have met through professional activity but who are not close to you.
    External evaluators should hold rank at least equivalent to that sought by you, should enjoy professional recognition within the discipline, and should be affiliated with institutions at least comparable in stature to the University of Maine. Evaluators should not include your personal friends, co-authors, former mentors or academic advisors.
  • Supporting letters from evaluators outside the University of Maine and the University of Maine System (section VI. C.) are mandatory and very important to the success of your application. The main function of the letters supplied in Section VI. C. is to provide an independent, expert assessment of your scholarship and standing in the discipline.
  • Supporting letters from inside the University of Maine (section VI. A.) are not required.
    If your application will include letters in this category, they should speak to your cooperation with colleagues and to your University service.
  • Letters from evaluators external to the campus but from within the University of Maine System or from applicable state agencies and organizations (Section VI. B.) may be helpful if their work is comparable to your University assignment. Such letters also are helpful if you have worked cooperatively in a professional capacity with such entities. Personal friends, close colleagues and members of the review committee should not be asked for supporting letters. Do not include letters testifying to the kinds of community service undertaken in your role as a good citizen. Evaluator letters in this section are also optional.
  • Prior to the submission of the tenure document to the Board of Trustees, tenure candidates will be asked to identify a maximum of three letters in each category to be forwarded to the Board of Trustees. Letters beyond the three for the Board of Trustees review will be moved to the appendix. You may suggest potential evaluators to your chair or school director, but the University reserves the right to contact other evaluators in place of or in addition to those you suggest. Reviewers should be chosen who are not former colleagues from graduate school or from other institutions.
  • Use a type style and font that is clear and readable while at the same time makes judicious use of space.
  • Include a cover sheet for each subsection of Section VI, showing the title of the subsection, the names of the evaluators, a statement describing their relationship to you, and a very brief explanation of their qualifications as outside evaluators. The curriculum vitaes of evaluators in Section VI. C. should not be included in the body of the document, but may be included in the appendix.
  • Summarize the quantitative results of course evaluations by students as shown in the format included in this document. Be sure to include the wording of the items summarized and a legend clarifying the scoring system.
  • If you choose to include comments made by students on course evaluations, they must have been signed by the student. Please limit all comments included in your document to one page and do not identify the author by name. Please assure that signed backup for the comments is available in your official departmental personnel file.

Format Details

  • Make sure that copies are of excellent quality, and printed only on one side of each sheet
  • Number each sheet of the application consecutively beginning with Section 1. Use Arabic numbers with no accompanying words, placed in the upper right corner of each page. Do NOT number the supporting letters.
  • Begin Section III at the top of a new page.
  • Include dates on all documentation of research, scholarship, and public service.
  • Direct questions about the promotion/tenure process or application format to your dean or director’s office, or John Kidder, Office of Human Resources, 226 Corbett Hall, 581-

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