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HR policy - Guide to faculty promotions and portfolio development at UW-La Crosse

The Guide to Faculty Promotion is intended to be a practical resource to the University’s promotion policies and their implementation.

Who this policy applies to:

The guide to Faculty Promotion is intended to be a practical resource to the University's promotion policies and their implementation. 

Policy Detail:


  2. 2. OVERVIEW
  6. 5.1. Candidate’s Report
  7. 5.2. Department Materials
  8. 5.3. Dean’s Materials
    • Department Promotion Committee Transmittal & Signature Page
    • Sample Promotion Candidate Department Merit Rating Report


The Guide to Faculty Promotion is intended to be a practical resource to the University’s promotion policies and their implementation. The promotion of faculty members is an important matter for eligible faculty, their respective colleges, departments, and the university community as a whole. Promotion is a significant career achievement and is an important way that academic departments, the colleges, and the university recognize and reward faculty accomplishments and contributions. To ensure fairness, much time and effort have been expended on devising the rules and procedures that govern promotions. Moreover, additional time and effort is expended by faculty in preparing their promotion files and by their departments, their deans, and the Joint Promotion Committee (JPC) in formulating promotion recommendations.


The JPC realizes the difficulty for an individual to excel equally in all areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. New faculty members tend to spend most of their non-teaching efforts initiating programs of scholarship. Consequently, a successful candidate for promotion to associate professor may have, along with evidence of good teaching, a solid record of scholarship and a more modest record of service. In general: 

1. Promotion from assistant to associate professor depends upon the clear demonstration of strong teaching and a growing record of scholarship and service. At this level, the JPC is looking for evidence of effective classroom instruction and a pattern of scholarship and service that lays a coherent basis for continued growth.

2. Promotion from associate to full professor depends upon demonstrating a sustained record of accomplishment in teaching, a mature and ongoing program of scholarship, and substantial and sustained service contributions to the university, school/college, or profession. 

As indicated in the Rules and Procedures of the Joint Promotion Committee, candidates are not deliberately compared to one another for purposes of evaluation. The JPC, to the best of its ability, attempts to judge each candidate individually on the basis of the evidence provided in the promotion file and votes on whether or not to recommend that individual to the Chancellor for promotion. Therefore, the candidate must assume the responsibility for presenting the JPC with the evidence and some criteria for interpreting that evidence.  

Some faculty who are eligible for promotion may be unsure of whether their record of teaching, scholarship, and service are sufficient to meet the criteria of the JPC. Others may be confident that their efforts warrant a  promotion, but may be unclear as to how to construct an effective promotion file. Such faculty members are advised to seek the counsel of department chairs, senior colleagues in their respective departments, faculty from other departments, and their respective deans. For the benefit of faculty who are beginning the task of preparing a promotion file, the Provost/Vice Chancellor’s office has available for their review on its website, a few promotion files from faculty who were recently promoted:


Promotion policies and procedures are complex, and a thorough understanding of the policies requires an appreciation of the UW System’s hierarchy of faculty personnel rules. All policies on the recruitment, appointment, evaluation, retention, tenure, promotion, layoff, and dismissal of faculty are contained in one or more of the following sources of rules, procedures, and By-Laws.

1. The Rules of the Board of Regents (a part of the Wisconsin Administrative Code).

The rules, which are approved solely by the Board, provide the legal basis for all personnel policies in the hierarchy. The rules are usually referred to as the UWS Personnel Rules and designated numerically by Chapter and Section. For example, UWS 3.01 states that, "Appointments to the faculty are either tenure or probationary status. Faculty appointments carry the following titles: Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, and Instructor."

2. The Supplementary UWL Personnel Rules. The supplementary rules, which augment the UWS Personnel Rules, are designated numerically to be consistent with the UWS rules (for example UWL 3.04 supplements UWS 3.04 on Probationary Appointments). The supplementary rules may be revised by joint action of the Faculty Senate and the Chancellor. They require UW System Board of Regents’ approval.

3.   The Faculty Senate By-Laws. The Senate By-Laws provide the basic organizational structure, rules, policies, and procedures that define the faculty’s role in University governance. By-Laws seldom contain specific personnel rules, but the promotion policies are an exception. Amendments to the By-Laws require a reading of the proposed amendment at a Senate meeting and approval by two-thirds of the Senate.

4. Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures. The faculty personnel policies, which may be revised by majority action of the Faculty Senate, provide greater specificity regarding the implementation of UWL Personnel Rules.

5. Departmental By-Laws and Policies. The Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures leave much specificity, especially evaluation criteria and standards, to individual departments.

Where do policies and procedures regarding the promotion of faculty fit in this hierarchy?

1. First, no UWS Personnel Rule mentions promotions.

2. The only reference to rank is UWS 3.01 (cited above), which designates the titles that faculty appointments may carry.

3. In place of System-wide rules, UWS 3.03 Appointments--General, states that "The faculty of each institution, after consultation with appropriate students and with the approval of the chancellor, shall develop rules relating to faculty appointments.

4. The UWL Personnel Rules contain no specific policies regarding the promotion of faculty.

5. The Faculty Senate and the Chancellor, therefore, have primary responsibility for these policies.

The Joint Promotion Committee (JPC) is a standing committee of the Faculty Senate By-Laws, which specifies the composition and basic rules of operation (Appendix A contains the text of the appropriate bylaw). In evaluating candidates for promotion, the members of the Joint Promotion Committee are required to use the general performance and achievement criteria specified in UWL’s Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures (Appendix B contains these criteria). The criteria specify minimum standards of educational preparation and experience and describe levels and kinds of achievements expected of each of the academic ranks, as well as general University policies regarding notification and appeals. Each department, in consultation with the appropriate Dean, is to have developed criteria for the evaluation of faculty for the purpose of promotion. The criteria must be stated in writing and address teaching, research, professional and public service, and contributions to the University. Scholarly activity varies among departments. Therefore, each department, with the approval of the appropriate Dean, shall formulate a definition of scholarly activity that is to be included.

Faculty Senate By-Laws also require that the Joint Promotion Committee provide guidelines for submission of departmental criteria and other data submitted on the behalf of promotion candidates. The committee is also required to establish rules and procedures of operation and subsequently publicize the rules and procedures prior to the submission of candidate applications. (Appendix C contains the full text of the rules and procedures adopted for the next academic year.)


As required by the Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures, all candidates for promotion will be judged on "teaching, scholarship, professional and public service, and contributions to the University."

1. Commonly, professional and public service and contributions to the University are combined into a single category referred to as "service.”

2. The evaluation criteria employed for teaching, scholarship, and service and the relative weighting of each area vary, sometimes significantly, from department to department. Thus, disciplinary context from the department regarding their criteria helps members of the JPC evaluate the portfolio.

3.    In general, activity conducted by candidates prior to joining the faculty at UWL or activity by candidates who were initially appointed as Instructional Academic Staff (IAS) is considered in terms of the overall career trajectory of the faculty member. The committee focuses on the evidence provided by candidates from the beginning of their tenure-track appointment at UWL.

4. Any faculty member who is eligible for promotion and considering creating a promotion file should begin by obtaining his or her department’s written criteria and seeking advice and counsel from the department chair, senior faculty, and Dean. Of course, a positive recommendation from a candidate’s department is only the first step toward achieving promotion.

5. Promotion is a privilege based upon qualifications meeting established criteria and is recommended by an informed collective peer judgment.

6. All candidates should understand clearly that eligibility status and departmental and college recommendation does not assure or imply that a promotion will be made.

7. Senate Bylaw I.P requires that members of the JPC also judge each promotion candidate on his or her teaching, scholarship, and service.

The following sections are intended to be a guide to the factors that are likely to inform the collective judgment of the JPC in each of the categories of teaching, scholarship, and service.


The Faculty Promotion Report is the joint responsibility of the candidate and the promotion committee in the candidate’s department. The information included in both reports should come from the candidate’s start date at the candidate’s current rank at UW-La Crosse, or the date of submittal of the previous successful promotion portfolio at UWL or a previous institution. 

Promotion Rank Report Start Date (as indicated within Digital Measures and shown at top of the individual report) Report End Date

Date started at UWL as Assistant Professor (if early start, August 1, if traditional start, actual contract start date in August or September 1 is acceptable

Date report submitted to department or date submitted to Dean depending on dept policies & procedures.

Professor (full)

Date of submittal of the previous promotion file at UWL (date is traditionally a Sept or October date). 

If hired at UWL as an associate professor, the start date should be the contract start date at UWL (late August) or Sept 1 is acceptable.

Date report submitted to department or date submitted to Dean depending on dept policies & procedures

Candidates seeking a first promotion should clearly identify materials completed after an appointment at UWL. Candidates seeking promotion to full professor after being promoted to associate at UWL should clearly identify materials completed after the submission of the successful associate portfolio to the Dean.  The report start date is particularly important in terms of clarifying scholarly activities and what was counted toward the last promotion as compared to the current portfolio. Candidates should utilize both their narrative and their activities report to indicate to the committee what materials should be under consideration. Clarity regarding what materials were considered for an initial hire (as a ranked faculty member) or an initial promotion at UWL is particularly important in regard to scholarly outcomes. Materials that informed an initial hire (as a ranked faculty member) or an initial promotion at UWL represent an arc of work but the committee focuses solely on work not considered as part of the previous personnel decision (hire/promotion). This distinction is particularly important in regard to scholarly outcomes and it is incumbent on the candidate and their department to be clear about what materials are under consideration.

The candidate submits the report electronically to the department. The department submits the candidate’s electronic report and the departmental electronic report to the college Dean. If the candidate is SOE-affiliated, the two reports are also submitted to the SOE Dean.

The JPC annually publishes a calendar that includes submission deadlines and decision dates.

The promotion report consists of three sections, one from the candidate, one from the department, and one from the appropriate Dean(s). Appendix D provides detailed instructions to the candidate regarding the steps involved in producing the electronic portfolio required for promotion.

5.1. Candidate’s Report

5.1.1. Candidate’s Narrative Statement. The narrative statement describes the candidate’s accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service. The candidate may write up to 7 pages total in one narrative document for teaching, scholarship, and service (single-spaced, minimum 12-point font, one side only). The seven-page narrative should be prefaced by a cover sheet containing the name of the candidate and a brief abstract, not to exceed 250 words, that highlights key elements of the candidate’s contributions to the three areas. The purpose of the abstract is to serve as an executive summary of the material in the narrative. Strive for basic, essential information rather than self-advocacy. The goal is to orient the reviewer to the key elements of the narrative. Quantification is helpful if appropriate to the portfolio.

A general guideline for the narrative is 3 pages for teaching, 2 pages for the scholarship, and 2 pages for service. The narrative should present information in descending order of importance, with dates, rather than chronological order. The most outstanding achievements should be highlighted. A special effort should be taken to emphasize the value and quality of the work, not merely the quantity. Do not duplicate items. If an activity could be included in more than one area, place it in the most appropriate area. Lists should be used rather than narrative paragraphs whenever that would be more efficient. Teaching

Teaching includes a broad array of activities that take place both inside and outside the classroom, laboratory, and studio. There is no universally accepted definition of good teaching, but the primary aim of all teaching is to stimulate, promote, and advance student learning and educational development. The quality of teaching should be measured by the success of the instructor in securing the interest, effort, and progress of students toward this aim.

Expectations. UW-La Crosse enjoys a long and proud tradition of offering quality instruction throughout the institution. To maintain this tradition, the JPC expects that candidates for promotion will be good teachers and will provide multiple sources of evidence about their teaching effectiveness. Evidence of quality teaching and clinical/laboratory or librarianship work is a necessary condition for promotion; poor teaching skills and lack of effectiveness cannot be offset by superior achievements in scholarship and service. Faculty members who have reduced classroom-teaching loads or whose primary responsibility is clinical/laboratory or librarianship work will be evaluated using the same criteria as that used for those whose primary responsibility is classroom teaching.

Evidence. Candidates will present and contextualize the evidence of teaching quality from four distinct sources (also reflected in the Teaching Effectiveness Measures Worksheet for JPC Members available on the Provost’s Promotion Resource website).

1. Self-assessment of teaching (should include evidence of direct assessment of teaching and how results led to changes in teaching and potential impact on student learning). 

2. Information on teaching methods and effectiveness.

3. Peer evaluation of teaching.

4. University approved student survey on instruction.

Teaching Appendices 

The candidate should provide clear, concise, and specific material demonstrating high quality Teaching. Candidates should include evidence supporting the Teaching section of the narrative in appendices. Digital Measures allows for instructors to reflect on teaching development aspects by individual courses by semester (e.g., entries regarding pedagogical innovations, high impact practices, or community engagement; and other entries associated with assessment). Candidates need not remove the information associated with individual courses from their personnel reports; however, JPC members focus on appendices referenced in the narrative that summarize and synthesize significant teaching contributions and document assessment and development. While there is no prescribed structure to this section of the report, the portfolio should present evidence in the following three areas. 

Teaching Evaluation. Provide information (other than student survey on instruction) about the effectiveness of your teaching or other instruction-related activities. This must include: 

1. A discussion of teaching philosophy and personal growth. Teaching philosophies reflect personal values and beliefs about teaching. They are self-reflective statements that “describe both what you believe and provide concrete examples of what you do in the classroom to support those beliefs.” [Adapted from Iowa State University’s statement.] Instructors’ philosophies should reflect core elements such as objectives, methods, and evaluations (see #2-#6 below).

2. A discussion of course expectations (what do you expect students to learn and do).

3. A description of your approach to grading and evaluation.

4. A description of methods you use to measure your teaching effectiveness clearly linked to course or programmatic student learning outcomes, and the results of assessment measure(s).

5. Contextualization of student survey on instruction and/or peer evaluations.

6. Although JPC uses multiple forms of evidence of teaching effectiveness, each candidate is required to provide evidence of direct assessment of student learning.  Indirect assessment is a strong complement to direct assessment; however, on its own is insufficient (see Appendix E).

Candidates must provide representative samples of course syllabi. Syllabi with student learning outcomes are highly encouraged. In addition, a candidate might provide in an appendix such items as reading lists, student assignments, and similar teaching materials. If included, this section should provide appropriate explanations. Without accompanying explanation, such materials are difficult for JPC members to assess and may carry little weight in determining quality or effectiveness.

Teaching Development. Reflect on the development of your courses as associated with important activities that have had a significant effect on your teaching. Examples of such activities might include:

1. Improvements in teaching techniques.

2. Participation in workshops, institutes, seminars, graduate courses, or participation in professional organizations or attendance at professional meetings.

3. Research as preparation for teaching.

4. Development of new course and units and/or programs

5. Preparation of curriculum materials such as workbooks and textbooks.

6. Development of course materials and/or classroom experiences that align with university values such as community engagement, diversity & inclusion, and internationalization.

Teaching Assignment. While statistical information will be included in another section, the candidate should also address:

1. Identification of any areas of unique expertise and their value to the department.

2. Details about your duties that are different from classroom teaching (coaching, directing, advising, administering, offering independent studies or other courses with individual instruction patterns, directing student research projects, etc.).

The JPC takes into consideration students’ overall evaluation of instructional performance. The JPC has available the candidate’s student feedback on instruction scores for the most recent three years of full-time instruction. When the candidate’s department or the candidate systematically collects students’ written comments for a course, candidates are encouraged to provide summaries of themes from student comments and a clarification of the process used to identify the representative themes. If a candidate elects to provide additional evidence of students’ opinions on teaching, a candidate should provide summaries of any consistent themes from student comments (whether positive or negative) and/or a typed transcript of all student comments that were received. Providing only selected student comments is likely to be viewed by the JPC as potentially biased, and substantially discounted. The JPC also has available the grade distribution for each course taught by a promotion candidate during the previous three years. Grades given by an instructor are generally not considered to be evidence of either good or poor teaching. While some JPC members may ignore this information, other members do take the grade distribution into consideration, primarily to determine whether the grades given by the candidate appear to be consistent with those given by departmental colleagues teaching the same or similar courses.

Librarianship. Library faculty may not have traditional teaching assignments but are expected to provide systematic analyses of student learning from their librarianship-related activities when applicable. The portfolio should provide multiple forms of evidence of excellence and assessment of quality in order to help the committee evaluate the librarianship component of the file. Scholarship and Creative Activities

Although UW-La Crosse faculty have not adopted a standardized definition, scholarship is generally viewed by the JPC as well-defined activities that use professional expertise to discover, apply, or use knowledge. Scholarly and creative activity may be further characterized as those activities having value to an academic discipline, using methods appropriate to one or more disciplines, and having been subjected to external peer review.

Examples of scholarly activity include: basic and applied research, new applications of existing knowledge, integration of knowledge, creative endeavors and the development and/or analysis of pedagogical methods.

Expectations. The JPC expects that successful candidates for promotion have a record of ongoing scholarly activity and evidence that external peer review has judged it to be of value. The JPC recognizes that the nature of scholarly activity varies considerably among disciplines, and so does not demand that all such activities fit the same mold. Although the JPC will look to departmental definitions of scholarship for guidance, there is an expectation that the evidence of a candidate’s scholarly program will meet the general description of scholarly activity described above. When scholarship is collaborative (with students or colleagues) the nature of the candidate’s involvement should be indicated and its contribution to the candidate’s on-going program of scholarship discussed. The JPC focuses on the quality, and not necessarily the quantity, of scholarly activity in an attempt to judge the scholarly activity as part of a candidate’s overall record. The candidate should include the most recent or final documents in pdf format of research and scholarly activities (e.g., journal articles, book chapters, etc.) in the appendices of their individual promotion report. For presentations and posters, the abstract can be provided in the text box or as a pdf and if there is a full paper or poster available developed for the conference, the most complete outcome should be attached as a pdf.

Evidence. The evidentiary material provided to the JPC may vary considerably from candidate to candidate, even within the same discipline, depending to a large extent on the type of scholarship program that the candidate has chosen to pursue. For example, if a promotion candidate has elected to pursue a scholarly program of original research, in which the activities are intended to advance basic knowledge (or the application of knowledge) within a discipline, the primary evidence of the success would consist of articles published in scholarly-refereed journals, monographs published by recognized academic publishers and presentations at national or regional professional conferences. In this situation, the candidate should provide as much evidence as possible regarding the selection process used for publications or presentations, such as acceptance percentages, impact factors, and the refereeing or judging process. In the cases of multiple authorship, the candidate should provide evidence of the role he or she played in the creation of the work.

In contrast, some scholarship has a more integrative function within a discipline. In this case, evidence would consist of textbooks, publications, and presentations that overview recent research, published book reviews or abstracts for periodicals, funded grants as well as compiling and editing anthologies. Although such activities are not subject to external peer review in the same manner as original research, a board of editors or a similar panel of judges verifies the value of these activities and the candidate should provide appropriate information about the review process. Other activities of an ongoing program of original research that are likely to strengthen the candidate’s file include grant writing activities, receipt of funding to support research programs and giving invited addresses at professional conferences.

In general, articles submitted for publication but not yet accepted, monographs published at the author’s expense, and presentations before on-campus or general audiences are not considered evidence of successful external peer review of original research.

Some individuals’ scholarly work focuses on using their professional expertise to solve problems. For inclusion in the Scholarship category, the applied research should result in a finished product that has been externally reviewed. 

Applied research or scholarship may include:

1. Writing software that makes existing knowledge and procedures available to colleagues
2. Conducting a program assessment for an external organization
3. Conducting an oral history project for the community
As with a program of original research, one source of evidence about the quality of this work may be refereed journal articles, scholarly monographs, and conference presentations. It may also be possible to demonstrate the quality of the work through some form of review by the primary audience or beneficiaries of the work as well as external peer review by experts in the field.

Individuals in such disciplines as art, music, theatre, literature, and dance frequently engage in creative endeavors for their scholarly activities. Such scholarship may include:

1. Exhibitions of paintings

2. Drawings

3. Sculptures or ceramics

4. Publication or performances of instrumental or vocal compositions

5. Publication of novels, short stories, plays, essays, or poetry

6. Interpretative recitals or performances

7. Production of stage plays or dance choreography

Evidence of the quality of creative works is usually indicated through appropriate publication. Published reviews by peers, critics, panels of judges, or other juries usually determine the quality of exhibitions and performances. In addition, quality is suggested when the professional offer of employment resulted from the quality of the faculty member’s work.

Pedagogical research or the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) is another form of scholarly activity. Given the emphasis on teaching at UW-La Crosse, some faculty members may focus on studying or experimenting with ways to improve students’ learning. A candidate for promotion who submits this kind of work as part of the record of scholarship should provide the JPC with evidence that the methods are well defined and documented, that the student learning outcomes have been properly assessed, that the results have been analyzed and compared to those using standard teaching methods of the discipline when that is feasible and that the methods have been subjected to appropriate external peer review.

Publication of articles on innovative teaching methods in journals and presentations at national or regional conferences frequently provides evidence of external peer review.

Other examples of pedagogical scholarship include assessment activities to measure and improve student learning in academic programs. The product of the assessment should be a report or article that can be reviewed by external peers.

The pedagogical scholarship is not to be confused with normal elements of good teaching such as course preparation, revision, or development unless the additional elements of documentation, assessment, analysis, and external peer reviews are also present. Service

Service by a candidate applying for promotion is the fulfillment of his or her professional responsibilities, including educational responsibilities outside the classroom, active participation in professional organizations, committee work, or other assignments within the department and/or the University, and activities that benefit the community at large. Each department defines service activities appropriate to its particular discipline. The Wisconsin Idea values service to the university, state, and nation. If applicable, candidates should illustrate how their service activities advance the university’s values such as community engagement, diversity & inclusion, and internationalization.

Expectations. The JPC expects that any candidate recommended for promotion by a department has satisfied his or her educational responsibilities within that department, including advising. The JPC also expects that a successful candidate for promotion will provide evidence of additional service activities for the department, college, university, professional discipline, or community. 

Evidence. Service activities tend to fall into three main categories:

Professional Service, University Service, and Community Service. Professional service involves the application of one’s professional expertise in a service activity that may be internal or external to the University and includes sharing professional expertise with the community or one's professional organizations.

Examples of Professional Service may include:

1.    Making active contributions to a professional society

2.    Organization of lecture series, institutes, workshops, etc.

3.    Provision of in-service training

4.    Consulting and advising

5.    Providing lectures or workshops

6.    Assisting colleagues with research design and (statistical) analysis

7.    Serving as a peer reviewer for articles or grant proposals

8.    Evaluating a program for an external agency

The candidate should explain how professional expertise is essential to the success and quality of the activity and outcome. For example, an individual who organizes a professional conference may be involved in the development of the topics and themes, selection of presentation proposals, and reviewing and editing a collection of conference proceedings. Work of this kind depends upon professional expertise, makes a contribution to the field and can be judged by peers. Similarly, consulting with government, charitable, or health agencies or area business groups or corporations and analyzing public policy or proposed legislation for the media are other examples of professional service. The candidate should present a clear case that the activity depends upon professional expertise and demonstrate the success or quality of the work through some type of agency assessment and external peer review.

University Service includes activities such as doing department, college, and university committee work, serving as a Faculty Senator, and advising student organizations and graduate student research committees. Evidence that service activities have been particularly valuable to the discipline, university, or community serves to strengthen a promotion recommendation. Additionally, external service activities that advance the university’s priorities such as community engagement, diversity & inclusion, and internationalization are also valued.

Performance of Community Service unrelated to the candidate’s discipline is certainly worthwhile and reflects well upon the university, but such community service is usually not given as much weight by the JPC in making its promotion recommendations.

5.1.2. Candidate’s Activities Report. Following the instructions provided in Appendix D, the candidate's activities report will be extracted from the material entered into the electronic portfolio system.

5.1.3. Appendices regarding evidence of teaching, scholarship, and service. Each candidate may provide appendices regarding evidence of teaching, scholarship, and service. Candidates should provide no more than 10 appendices for each section. 

For teaching, syllabi should be linked to individual courses, and student survey on instruction data should be provided by the department.  Teaching evidence appendices traditionally reflect direct assessments of student learning (including how the results of the measurement of an SLO across a course or multiple courses were used to try to improve teaching), indirect assessments and how they were used to improve a course, aggregated student comments, annotated student work, peer observation of in-person, hybrid or online courses, etc.  

For scholarship, the primary appendices are the pdfs of scholarly outcomes associated with the individual entries.  Examples of additional appendices for scholarship, if provided, include letters from scholar(s) outside of UWL commenting on the quality and/or impact of a line of or outcome of research or creativity, letters from publishers regarding the disposition of a book contract, or other documentation that is not included in the individual report items.  

Service appendices, when provided, are often letters from committee chairs and/or professional organizations speaking to the quality and depth of the service provided. 

Candidates should be aware that JPC members rely on the department and experts in the field to provide judgment of the quality of the materials included. Although evidence of teaching, scholarship, and service are reviewed, they are not the only source of information for JPC members. The primary role of the appendices is to provide the department and Dean with additional information needed to make their determinations. JPC members tend to refer to appendices for clarification or verification of arguments made within the candidate and department narratives. Appendices should be referenced in the primary materials, and JPC members should be guided by the candidate in terms of the importance and/or intent of an appendix. For each appendix in teaching, service or scholarship the candidate should provide a brief description (less than 50 words) of the item. Links to appendices/evidence should be ordered according to importance and follow the guidelines provided in Appendix D

5.1.4. Part-time appointment expectations (added 2011). In reference to any period of time for which the faculty member was not a full-time employee, a part-time faculty member is responsible for uploading a document in their promotion report that describes the details of their appointment, including expectations for teaching, scholarship, and service as approved by their department and consistent with their departmental By-Laws.

5.1.5. Faculty with reassigned time (added 2011, revised 2019). A full-time faculty member with reassigned time to fulfill a position outside the expectations of a standard faculty member (e.g., director of a center or program, special assignments to administrative offices, etc.) must provide two related documents in their promotion report (either as an attachment where the service role is entered in the electronic portfolio or as an evidence link under Service):

1. A letter from their supervisor (e.g., department chair, Dean, Provost, etc.) that outlines the job description for each reassigned-time appointment

2. Documentation that illustrates the level of success in the role fulfilled by the appointment, such as performance reviews or other data that show how the aims of the appointment were met. 

Furthermore, the extent of the reassignment should be referenced in both the candidate’s narrative and the department promotion letter.

One special case is when the faculty member has served as a department chair. In this case, the description of the department chair’s duties (item 1, above) does not need to be supplied because it is contained within the Faculty Senate Policies. However, the department promotion committee letter should reflect indicators of performance evaluation (item 2, above).

Note: Service is a component of a faculty member’s obligations in addition to teaching and scholarship. While the JPC recognizes such roles as providing important service to the university, faculty members who are receiving reassigned time or overload payments for service and/or administrative responsibilities should be particularly mindful in their narratives and other materials to indicate service activities that reflect service to the department, college, university, profession or community that was above and beyond the service for which reassignment was provided.

5.2. Department Materials

5.2.1. Department Promotion Committee Report. This section of the report justifiesthe departmental promotion committee’s decision that, within the context of the department’s policy and the recognized standards of the discipline, the candidate’s record warrants promotion. Although the department’s promotion letter should provide the context of the candidate’s record, unless the candidate themselves has identified as a member of a protected class (e.g., race or sexuality) in order to illuminate trends and/or aspects of their file, the department letter should not note a candidate’s protected class and should focus on the department’s appraisal of the overall record in terms of teaching, scholarship, and service. 

Once the deadline for transmittal of the portfolio to the Dean’s office has passed, the portfolio is closed and cannot be modified. Teaching

A candidate’s department colleagues are in the best position to make accurate judgments as to the quality of instruction in that discipline. The JPC assumes that a candidate recommended for promotion by a department is regarded as a good teacher within that department. Nonetheless, the JPC asks the department to evaluate the quality of teaching, both in terms of content coverage and methods and to provide specific evidence in support of the candidate’s success in securing student interest, effort, and progress.

Examples of such evidence include reports of classroom observation by tenured faculty members, comparative results on common or standardized tests, outcomes of assessment activities, and performances or exhibitions by the candidate’s students. Simple testimony that a candidate is believed to be a good teacher, whether from the department chair, chair of the department’s promotion committee, or a mentor, is likely to be greatly discounted without providing specific corroborating evidence. Classroom visit reports on their own carry less weight than an analysis of the reports that places the observations in context and draws appropriate conclusions. Candidates are encouraged to include reports or letters resulting from classroom visits as part of the portfolio.

This section should put student survey on instruction information into context by including, for example: departmental reflection on the important trends noted in a candidate's feedback and trends from similar courses offered within the department such as other required or general education courses. Scholarship and Creative Activity

This section should include a statement on the significance of the scholarship within the discipline and the department, in reference to the Department’s “Statement on Scholarly Activity” from the Bylaws. Acceptance rates for publications, when available, should be discussed where this bears on the quality of the scholarship. If impact factors are available and included in the portfolio their context in light of the discipline should be discussed. For funded and unfunded grants, the departmental promotion report should include context for understanding the significance of the grant by providing indicators of the quality, type of review, etc. In cases of multiple authorship, the promotion committee report should address the candidate’s role in the performance and reporting of the research. In disciplines where creative scholarship is the norm, the committee report should discuss how creative activities are evaluated by the discipline as well as accepted standards for documenting and reporting the results of creative efforts. Service

This section of the report should address the quality of service activities and their value to the department, college, university, and profession. Where service is external to the university, this section should discuss the role of the candidate’s professional expertise in the success of the service activity.

5.2.2. OPTIONAL: Department Chair’s Recommendation Letter. This letter is optional. If provided, it should summarize the candidate’s major accomplishments and include additional comments the department chair may wish to make, i.e., beyond what is contained in the promotion committee report.

5.2.3. Statistical Information. This section contains statistical information on the candidate and is conveyed via the department chair. This includes the teaching assignment information (TAI) form, including SEIs and merit review information. Sample forms are included in Appendix F. Teaching Assignment Information Form (TAI) with SEI Data 

Each portfolio includes the candidate’s TAI forms as part of the department report.  A TAI provides information on courses taught by the candidate, including grade distribution and enrollment. In addition, the TAI includes department grade distributions.  Finally, department chairs should use the TAI to note when a candidate has a reduction in instructional load of 3 credit/contact hours or more associated with a reassignment for scholarly or service obligations (for example, department level reassignment, college or university reassignment, course buy-outs for scholarship, etc.). If applicable, workload reductions associated with leave should be noted here (e.g., sabbatical, part-time contracts, etc.). TAIs are required for at least the past six semesters. 

NOTE: SEI data will be provided for candidate TAI forms through Spring 2023.  TAI information from Fall 2024 and beyond will not include student survey on instruction as part of the form.  LENS information will be provided in a separate format from TAIs.

SEI: As of Spring 2008, JPC requires the Faculty Senate-approved SEI questions in the form of a single motivational item and a composite SEI consisting of 5 common questions. On the TAI form, the department chair or designee adds both the motivation item and the composite SEI fractional median for each course. In addition, the candidate’s overall fractional median for the term on both the single motivation item and the composite SEI are reported. Finally, the department adds the departmental fractional median for both the single motivational item and the composite, the minimum and maximum composite SEI for the whole department. Note: Library faculty members need not provide TAI information. However, it is expected that library faculty will provide systematic analyses of student learning from their teaching-related activities when applicable. Merit Information

The department provides the merit ranking (or categorization) for the candidate along with departmental data (such as ranges and averages). In addition, the department briefly describes the merit evaluation procedure used by the department. If applicable, the relative weighting of teaching, scholarship and service used in the merit process are included. Any weighting used in the determination of merit scores should be explained.

5.2.1. Department’s Statement on Scholarly Activity

5.2.2. Transmittal and Signature Form (scanned, with original sent to the Dean)

5.3. Dean’s Materials

5.3.1. Dean’s Letter. The Dean submits a document with a signed declarative statement such as, “I agree with the recommendation of the department." If the Dean’s recommendation is at variance with the department’s recommendation, then the document should detail the reasons for the Dean’s dissenting opinion.

Revision history:
Updated revisions to Sections, 5.2.1, and were passed at Faculty senate on April 14, 2022.

(Updated with revisions approved March 2007, May 2013, April 2016; May 2017, October 2017, May 2018, May 2019, May 2020, February 2021, April 2022, April 2023, April 2024)
Changes to these guidelines must be approved by Faculty Senate.
Changes to Appendix B must both be reviewed by PTS and approved by Faculty Senate.
Original PDF Document 
Changes to this document were made in April 2023.  Request changes from Provost's Office. 

Supporting tools:

Joint Promotion Committee

Links to related information:

Keywordsfaculty promotions, faculty, portfolio, JPC   Doc ID104534
OwnerCarri O.GroupUW-La Crosse
Created2020-07-31 08:10:58Updated2024-05-30 09:50:01
SitesUW-La Crosse
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