Faculty Appointments, Promotion & Tenure

For all cases submitted to the APT committee on or after October 1, 2015, please carefully adhere to all points listed in Charge. Dossiers that do not incorporate these updates will be returned to the departments/schools for revision prior to review by the APT committee. These changes were vetted by members of APC, APT, and ECAC (in addition to Deans’ cabinet).

Charge for Promotion and Tenure Reviews

Review of promotion and tenure candidates at the department or school (reviewing unit) level is the critical first-line review, involving colleagues who have the requisite knowledge and experience to understand the nuances of the various features of the dossier. This first-line review should put these nuances in context that can be appreciated by non-specialists who evaluate the dossier during the APT process. It is critical that the unit review committee provide an objective and unbiased evaluation of the credentials of the candidate relative to the standards for promotion and/or tenure, rather than serving solely in the role of advocate for the candidate. In addition to the detailed instructions for review and additional report templates available at the Provost Office of Faculty Affairs Website, the following key guidelines must be followed for cases that are submitted to APT on or after October 1, 2015.


Nearly all cases have weaknesses, which the committee report and Chair’s letter should put in context and not ignore or obscure.

To allow for more straightforward identification of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, the unit review committee shall provide, at the beginning of their report, a bulleted list of those strengths and weaknesses without additional qualifications. The list may include both real weaknesses that the report later places in context and apparent weaknesses in the dossier that are explained later as not reflecting true flaws.

Composition of Unit Review Committee

Initial review committees must now include at least one member from outside the primary reviewing unit, appointed by the Dean of the school where the dossier will be reviewed.

External Letters of Evaluation

Pay particular attention to the independence of the letter writers, and also document the standing of the evaluator as a leader in the field. If there are an unusually high number of declines, be sure to discuss any possible mitigating factors.

When sending the outside letter requests, include the candidate’s CV. Also, the dossier should include rationales for why each evaluator was selected, particularly for those from institutions that might not be perceived as Duke’s peer institutions, but that may be particularly strong in the area of scholarship being evaluated. Dossiers must include all correspondence with external evaluators.

Quoting the External Letters

Some succinct quotations from the external letters can put the arguments of the committee and Chair in context, but there is no need to provide extensive quotes from the letters.

Practices and Culture in the Field

The committee will receive from the school’s Faculty Affairs/Dean’s office, the names of the last 5 individuals in the reviewing unit (department or school) to have most recently received tenure. The unit will be asked to submit current CVs for these individuals to the APT committee in order to provide some additional basis for comparison of the candidate to their colleagues (in addition to rankings provided by the Dean). When listing others in the field (outside of Duke) to whom the candidate should be compared, please explain your reasons for selecting each member of the peer group.

Candidate’s Role in Collaborative Ventures

Particularly for candidates with a large component of collaborative ventures, the role of the candidate in the collaborations should be elaborated; relevant information should be provided in the candidate’s package, the committee report and the Chair’s letter

New External Appointments

Be sure to include the search committee report; if there was no formal search, the Chair should summarize the process that led to the appointment

Tenure Cases

Provide the reappointment letter; the committee report and Chair’s letter should comment on how well the candidate responded to feedback from the reappointment review

Chair’s Ranking of the Candidate

Please describe criteria used in developing the ranking

Teaching Record

A complete package includes quantitative information from student surveys, evaluative statements from student surveys, and input from other faculty members, if available (e.g. faculty who attended lectures, course directors, DUS, DGS, Chair)

Points of Emphasis for Materials Provided by the Candidate

Top publications

The candidate should indicate the broad impact/importance of each contribution in the candidate’s listing of top publications. If a particular publication is unusual (for example may appear to be a simple review article, but is actually a novel synthesis of existing data sets), please explain.

Student Mentoring

The candidate should be explicit about their roles in mentoring graduate students (thesis mentor, member of thesis committee, etc.).

Non-traditional Professional Contributions

Given new modes of professional expression and scholarship, the dossier should explain any online educational efforts, examples of public scholarship, or other modes of expression to be evaluated as components of the candidate’s overall professional productivity.

Report Templates

Updated Chair’s Report Template

Updated Review Committee Report Template