Procedural Guidelines for Clinical-Track Promotion Decision-Making at The University of Iowa

General Principles 

The Procedural Guidelines for Clinical-Track Promotion Decision-Making establish a uniform system of procedures to be used in all academic units of the University.  Each college of the University that employs clinical-track faculty also will establish its own written policy governing its promotion decision-making for salaried clinical-track faculty to guide academic units when circumstances require or permit flexibility or variation.  (For a list of items in these procedures that specifically require that collegiate policies be followed, see Appendix A.)  The Provost must approve all collegiate policies. 

These are procedural guidelines only.  For University policies regarding criteria for promotion of clinical-track faculty, refer to section III-10.9 of the Operations Manual.  The substantive standards contained therein must be satisfied and are not affected by these guidelines. 

These Procedural Guidelines rely upon several principles: (1) Decisions granting or denying promotion should be based on a written record of achievement.  (2) The content of the record that will be relied upon should be known by the candidate and the decision makers.  (3) Except for variation related to the nature of the candidate’s academic activity, the content of the record should be the same for all candidates in the same academic unit.  (4) The governing procedures should be the same for all candidates across the University, except where conditions or academic cultures justify variation among colleges or among departments within a college.  (5) University and collegiate procedures should be applied consistently to all candidates.  

The qualifications of a candidate for promotion will be determined on the basis of the Promotion Record, which, when it reaches the Office of the Provost, will consist of the following material, in this order: 

(i)     the “Recommendation for Faculty Promotion” cover sheet (see Appendix B);

(ii)   the collegiate Dean’s letter making a recommendation to the Provost;

(iii)  the vote (and report, if any) of the Collegiate Consulting Group;

(iv) the Departmental Executive Officer’s letter making a recommendation to the Dean;

(v)   the vote and report of the Departmental Consulting Group;

(vi) the candidate’s letter correcting errors in the internal peer evaluations of the candidate’s teaching, professional productivity, and service; the candidate’s letter following receipt of the recommendation of the Departmental Executive Officer and the recorded vote and summary report of the Departmental Consulting Group; and the candidate’s letter following receipt of the recommendation of the Dean and the recorded vote (and summary report, if any) of the Collegiate Consulting Group, if the candidate has submitted any such letters;

(vii) the candidate’s CV in the college’s standard format which documents the candidate’s educational and professional history;

(viii)  a section on the candidate’s teaching, including

(a)   the candidate’s personal statement on teaching,

(b)   documentation of peer evaluation of the candidate’s teaching, and

(c)   other materials related to the candidate’s teaching [ref. I.B.(3).(c)];

(ix) a section on the candidate’s professional productivity, including

(a)   the candidate’s personal statement on professional productivity,

(b)   documentation of peer evaluation of the candidate’s professional productivity, and

(c)   other materials related to the candidate’s professional productivity [ref. I.B.(3).(d)];

(x)   a section on the candidate’s clinical and other service, including

(a)   the candidate’s personal statement on service,

(b)   documentation of peer evaluation of the candidate’s service, and

(c)   other materials related to the candidate’s service [ref. I.B.(3).(e)]; 

(xi) supplementary material to be added to the Promotion Record as expressly provided in these procedures or collegiate procedures, entered in the appropriate section of the Record. 

In the case of a joint appointment candidacy for promotion, the departments involved will follow the procedures described in Appendix D of this document. 

In nondepartmentalized colleges, the term “departmental” throughout these Procedural Guidelines will ordinarily mean “collegiate” where that substitute usage fits the context, and the functions of the Departmental Executive Officer will be performed by the collegiate Dean.  (Some steps of these Procedural Guidelines that expressly involve the Departmental Executive Officer will become inapplicable.)  In nondepartmentalized colleges that have department-like units such as “areas” or “divisions,” the collegiate written policy governing promotion decision-making must specify the role of these units and their administrative officers for the purposes of promotion decision-making. 

The term “Departmental Executive Officer” throughout the Procedural Guidelines refers to the person or entity designated in the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making to perform one or more of the functions assigned by these procedures to the Departmental Executive Officer.  Under this definition, each college has discretion to determine who has the responsibility to perform any of the functions assigned to the Departmental Executive Officer by these procedures.  In a nondepartmentalized college (where “departmental” generally means “collegiate” and “functions of the Departmental Executive Officer” ordinarily means “functions of the collegiate Dean”), the college has the same discretion to determine who has the responsibility to perform the functions assigned by these procedures to the Dean in lieu of the Departmental Executive Officer.   

A candidate is any salaried clinical-track faculty member who has indicated his or her interest in being reviewed for promotion in accordance with the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making.

 Promotion Decision-Making Procedure

I. Department level procedure 

A.     It is the responsibility of the Departmental Executive Officer to inform the candidate in writing in the year of appointment to a salaried clinical track position, in the year of any contract renewal, and at the beginning of the academic year in which the promotion decision will be made of the material that is required to be included in the promotion dossier, and of the candidate's responsibility to compile and submit the dossier by the specified date in the academic year of the promotion decision.  

B.     (1) It is the candidate’s responsibility, with the advice of the Departmental Executive Officer, to compile and submit substantive material for inclusion in the promotion dossier (the core of the Promotion Record) on or before the date specified in the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making.  In the absence of such a specified date in the college’s written policy, the specified date will be September 1 of the academic year in which the promotion decision is to be made. 

(2)    It is the responsibility of the Departmental Executive Officer to advise the candidate in compiling material for the dossier, to complete the compilation of the dossier (and subsequently to complete compilation of the Promotion Record by adding materials to it throughout the decision-making process), and to ensure to the greatest extent possible that the Promotion Record serves as a fair and accurate evaluation of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, and is not purely a record of advocacy for the candidate. 

(3) The dossier will contain the following, in the order listed unless otherwise noted. A current CV in the college’s standard format may be used in place of the individual items listed below, provided that either all the listed elements are contained in the CV or any missing elements are supplied separately.

(a) the “Recommendation for Faculty Promotion” cover sheet, with the section that is to be filled out by the candidate completed (see Appendix B);

(b) a record of the candidate’s educational and professional history, including:

(i) a list of institutions of higher education attended, preferably from most to least recent, indicating for each one the name of the institution, dates attended, field of study, degree obtained, and date the degree was awarded;

(ii) a list of professional and academic positions held, preferably from most to least recent, indicating for each one the title of the position, the dates of service, and the location or institution at which the position was held; and

(iii) a list of honors, awards, recognitions, and outstanding achievements, preferably from most to least recent.

(c)    a record of the candidate’s teaching at The University of Iowa, including:

(i)     the candidate’s personal statement on teaching consisting of a summary and explanation—normally not to exceed three pages—of the candidate’s accomplishments and future plans concerning teaching, and comments on these accomplishments and plans and on other items included in the dossier related to teaching;

(ii)   a list of the candidate’s teaching assignments on a semester-by-semester basis, preferably from most to least recent;

(iii)  a list of graduate students supervised, if any, including each student’s name, degree objective, and outcomes;

(iv) a list of other contributions to instructional programs;

(v)   copies of course materials, including syllabi, instructional Web pages, computer laboratory materials, and so forth (see I.B.4);

(vi) and, as an appendix to the dossier, copies of teaching evaluations by students as relevant;

(d)   a record of the candidate’s professional productivity, including:

(i)     the candidate’s personal statement on professional productivity consisting of a summary and explanation—normally not to exceed three pages—of the candidate’s accomplishments and future plans concerning professional productivity, and comments on these accomplishments and plans and on other items included in the dossier related to professional productivity;

(ii)   a list of invited lectures and conference presentations;

(iii)  a list of conferences for which the candidate has organized symposia, workshops, and so forth;

(iv) a list of journals for which the candidate has been a member of the editorial board or served as editor; 

(v)   a list, preferably from most to least recent, of the candidate’s publications or creative works with, for each multi-authored work or coherent series of multi-authored works, a brief statement of the candidate’s contribution to the work or series of works;

(vi) a list of any grants received by the candidate;

(vii) a description of any other products and activities demonstrating professional productivity as defined by the college’s written policy on promotion decision-making.

(viii) a list of pending decisions regarding the candidate’s professional productivity that might affect the promotion deliberations; and,

(ix) as an appendix to the dossier, copies of materials documenting the candidate’s professional productivity;

(x)   research or creative scholarship is not required for promotion on the clinical track; however, publications, grants, and other types of research and creative activity may provide evidence of professional productivity.

(e)   a record of the candidate’s clinical and other service to the department, college, university, profession, and community, including:

(i)     the candidate’s personal statement on clinical and other service (consisting of a summary and explanation—normally not to exceed three pages—of the candidate’s accomplishments and future plans concerning service, and comments on these accomplishments and plans and on other items included in the dossier related to service);

(ii)   a list, preferably from most to least recent, of clinical service activities in each of the years since the last promotion; and

(iii)  a list, preferably from most to least recent, of departmental, collegiate, or university service positions;

(iv) a list, preferably from most to least recent, of relevant community involvement;

(v)   a list, preferably from most to least recent, of offices held in professional organizations;

(vi) a list, preferably from most to least recent, of service on review panels; and

(vii) a list, preferably from most to least recent, of any service contributions not listed elsewhere.

(f)    within the appropriate section(s) of the dossier as listed above, other information relevant to the candidate’s record in teaching, professional productivity, or clinical or other service that is deemed to be important in the candidate’s judgment or required by the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making.   

      (4) Where the volume of material of a particular kind which is required to be included in the dossier is large and potentially unmanageable, a candidate, in consultation with the Departmental Executive Officer, may select and identify representative portions of the required material for special attention.  Only the material selected as representative will become part of the Promotion Record and will be transmitted to successive participants in the promotion decision-making process.  Required materials segregated from the representative material will be available for review and will be located in a readily accessible location under the Departmental Executive Officer’s custody.  If any participant in the promotion decision-making process relies upon initially segregated material in preparing a written evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications, that material should be added to the Promotion Record, the fact of that addition should be noted in the written evaluation, and the candidate should be notified in writing of the addition at the time it is made.     

      (5) The candidate’s work in progress that is not completed by the specified date but that is anticipated to be completed in the fall—early enough for full and deliberate evaluation, as determined by the Departmental Executive Officer—may be identified at the time the dossier is submitted and added to the dossier if and when it is completed. 

      (6) Other materials that could not have been available by the specified date but which are completed early enough for full and deliberate evaluation may be added to the promotion dossier by the candidate through the Departmental Executive Officer. 

C.   (1)  It is the candidate’s responsibility to cooperate in obtaining peer evaluation of the candidate’s teaching by participating in the following process. 

(2)   The college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making must specify a method of peer evaluation of teaching—which must include peer observation of teaching to the extent  practicable—and must identify those teaching activities and materials that will be evaluated by peers.  Each college will specify in its written policy governing promotion decision-making whether these peer evaluations of teaching will be carried out by individual members of the department or by a faculty committee or by some combination of these methods.   

(3)   With respect to the observation of classroom, laboratory, practicum, or other forms of teaching, the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making will specify the number (or range of numbers) of teaching occasions to observe; the number (or range of numbers) of consecutive semesters in which observations will occur; the number (or range of numbers) of observing faculty members; the method of choosing faculty observers; the method of recording, reporting, and informing the candidate of the observation; and any other protocol concerning the observation process. 

(4)   In the evaluation of teaching that involves the peer observation of teaching activities, the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making will provide for:

(a)   consistent treatment of candidates;

(b)   an adequate basis for fair evaluation; and

(c)   avoidance of an undue burden on either the observed candidate or the observing faculty members or an undue disruption of any observed class or other teaching situation. 

(5)   If expressly authorized by the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making, video observation that is consistent with the substance of this section may be substituted for actual observation of a teaching activity with the candidate’s consent. 

(6)    The Departmental Executive Officer will add to the appropriate appendix of the Promotion Record any student teaching evaluations which may have been solicited by the department as part of its regular promotion review process.  

(7)   The peer evaluation of the candidate’s teaching will be contained in a report that analyzes and evaluates the relevant materials in the Promotion Record, and will include: (i) a comparative analysis of the quality of the candidate’s teaching in the context of the candidate’s department or unit; (ii) a summary analysis of the student teaching evaluation data contained in the Promotion Record, including departmental average comparison data where possible; (iii) a description, where appropriate, of the balance between the candidate’s undergraduate, graduate, and clinical teaching; (iv) a description and assessment of the candidate’s academic advising responsibilities, if any; and (v) a consideration of any special circumstances concerning the faculty member’s teaching performance.   

(8)   The faculty members who perform the peer evaluation of the candidate’s teaching as described in (7) above will enter their report into the section of the Promotion Record that is dedicated to the history and evaluation of the candidate’s teaching. 

D.  (1) It is the candidate’s responsibility to cooperate in obtaining peer evaluation of the candidate’s professional productivity by participating in the following process: 

(2)   (a)  Each college will specify in its written policy governing promotion decision-making whether the peer evaluation of the candidate’s professional productivity will be carried out by individual members of the department or by a faculty committee or by some combination of these methods, as well as what process the reviewers will follow. 

(b)   The peer evaluation of the candidate’s professional productivity will be contained in a report that analyzes and evaluates the relevant materials in the Promotion Record, and will include a statement concerning the norms for professional productivity in the relevant field, a brief description of the quality of conference, institutions, journals or other fora in which the candidate’s work has appeared or been presented, and statements concerning any other activities representing professional productivity that would be helpful in understanding the nature and quality of these activities.

(c)   The faculty members who perform the peer evaluation of the candidate’s professional productivity will enter their report into the section of the Promotion Record that is dedicated to the history and evaluation of the candidate’s professional productivity.

(d)   The college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making will specify how the review of professional productivity carried out within the candidate’s department will be supplemented by reviewers external to the department, college, and/or university. 

E.   (1)  It is the candidate’s responsibility to cooperate in obtaining peer evaluation of the candidate’s clinical and other service by participating in the following process: 

(2)   (a)  Each college will specify in its written policy governing promotion decision-making whether 

the review of the candidate’s clinical and other service will be carried out by individual members of the department or by a faculty committee or by some combination of these methods, as well as what process the reviewers will follow.

(b) The peer evaluation of the candidate’s service will be contained in a report that analyzes and evaluates the relevant materials in the Promotion Record, and will include a comparative analysis of the quality of the candidate’s clinical and other service in the context of the expected service contributions in the department and the profession.

(c)  The faculty members who perform the peer evaluation of the candidate’s clinical and other service will enter their report into the section of the Promotion Record that is dedicated to the history and evaluation of the candidate’s service.

(d)  The college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making will specify how the review of service carried out within the candidate’s department will be supplemented by reviewers external to the department, college, and/or University. 

F.      (1) The Departmental Executive Officer will send the candidate a copy of the internal peer evaluations of the candidate’s teaching, professional productivity, and clinical and other service that have been entered into the appropriate sections of the Promotion Record. 

(2)   The candidate will be allowed a limited time period, specified in the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making, to submit in writing any corrections to errors in the internal peer evaluations of the candidate’s teaching, professional productivity, and clinical or other service. 

(3)   If the candidate submits a letter correcting errors in the internal peer evaluations of the candidate’s teaching, professional productivity, and clinical and other service, the Departmental Executive Officer will enter it into the Promotion Record.   

G.  (1)  The Departmental Consulting Group shall consist of all tenured, tenure-track, and clinical-track faculty at or above the rank being sought by the candidate.  If there are fewer than four eligible faculty to serve as the Departmental Consulting Group, the Dean, in consultation with the eligible faculty, shall identify additional faculty outside the department so that the Departmental Consulting Group consists of a minimum of four faculty.  The college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making also may specify further the composition of the Departmental Consulting Group to include additional clinical-track faculty from outside the department. 

(2)   Departmental Consulting Group members who are also members of the Collegiate Consulting Group will participate in the promotion decision for a candidate from their department at the departmental level and may not participate in the Collegiate Consulting Group’s deliberations or voting in regard to that candidate (each individual participating in the promotion decision-making process may vote for or against the granting of promotion to a candidate only once).  

(3)   The Departmental Executive Officer may attend the meetings of the Departmental Consulting Group, but may not vote or contribute to the written report summarizing its discussion.           

(4)   The Promotion Record available to the Departmental Consulting Group will consist of the candidate’s dossier with appendices (materials documenting professional productivity and student teaching evaluations, including those student teaching evaluations added to the Promotion Record by the Departmental Executive Officer); the internal and external peer evaluations of professional productivity, teaching, and service, entered into the appropriate sections of the Record; and the candidate’s letter correcting errors in the internal peer evaluations, if any. 

(5)   The Departmental Consulting Group will meet to discuss the candidate’s qualifications, to vote by secret ballot for or against the granting of promotion, and, in accordance with the college’s written policy on promotion decision-making, to assign one or more of its members to prepare a summary report of the discussion, document the final vote, and enter that information into the Promotion Record. The summary report will contain a recommendation for or against the granting of promotion based on the written policy of either the department or the college, as applicable, stating the criterion vote (e.g., simple majority, two-thirds majority) that defines a positive recommendation for promotion. 

(6)   The results of the Departmental Consulting Group’s vote and the summary report of its discussion and its recommendation for or against the promotion will be transmitted to the Departmental Executive Officer as part of the candidate’s Promotion Record.    

H.    (1)  Based on the Promotion Record, the Departmental Executive Officer will recommend that promotion be granted or denied in a separate letter to the collegiate Dean for each candidate. 

(2)   The Departmental Executive Officer’s letter to the Dean will explain her or his reasons for recommending for or against promotion, stating how the candidate has or has not met the relevant criteria for promotion and, when the recommendation of the Departmental Consulting Group is not followed, will explain why a contrary recommendation is being made and will address any disagreement between the Departmental Executive Officer’s evaluation and the evaluation of the Departmental Consulting Group as reflected in the summary report of the Departmental Consulting Group’s discussion.  

(3)   If the Departmental Executive Officer recommends that the candidate be promoted, the Departmental Executive Officer’s letter to the Dean will address any negative aspects of the Promotion Record. 

(4)   The Departmental Executive Officer’s letter will be transmitted to the Dean as part of the candidate’s Promotion Record. 

I.       (1) At the same time that the Promotion Record is submitted to the Dean, the Departmental Executive Officer will provide the candidate with a copy of the Departmental Executive Officer’s letter of recommendation to the Dean and the Departmental Consulting Group’s recorded vote and summary report with recommendation. 

(2)   The candidate will be allowed a limited time period, specified in the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making, to request access to the Promotion Record, with the following provisions:

(a)   the candidate will have access to external reviews and student evaluations of the candidate’s teaching which were added to the Promotion Record by the Departmental Executive Office only:

(i) if the Departmental Consulting Group or Departmental Executive Officer recommends against promotion;

(ii) if the candidate requests them, and

(iii) after they have been redacted to protect confidentiality;

(b)   any comments in the Promotion Record referring to external reviews or otherwise identifying any individual must be redacted to protect confidentiality. 

(3)   The candidate will be allowed a limited time period after having received access to the Promotion Record, including any redacted materials, specified in the college’s written policy governing promotion decision-making, to submit a letter of response to the Departmental Executive Officer’s letter of recommendation and the Departmental Consulting Group’s vote and summary report with recommendation.  This letter will be submitted to the Dean, with a copy to the Departmental Executive Officer, as well as any additional information for inclusion in the Promotion Record.