The University of Iowa                                                             Memo


     March 1, 2004



to:             Faculty Councilors and Senators

from:        Lee Anna Clark

                  Professor of Psychology and

                  Associate Provost for Faculty

re:              Executive Summary of Major Changes made to the Procedural Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion Decision-Making at the University of Iowa.


The “Promotion and Tenure Language Committee” (hereafter “drafting committee”) was charged by Margaret Raymond, Faculty Senate President to revise the University’s Procedural Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion Decision Making following the recommendations of the “Altmaier Committee.” 


The drafting committee consisted of Dave Baldus (College of Law, AAUP), Susan Johnson (member of the Altmaier Committee and former Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs of the College of Medicine), and Lee Anna Clark (ex officio, Associate Provost for Faculty).  N.B. Lauren Rabinovitz (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) also was named a committee member.  However, at the last moment we learned that she was unable to serve, at which point it was too late to replace her on the committee.


This document is divided into two parts.  The first describes the major changes made to the Guidelines as one reads through the document.  The revised Guidelines themselves have been provided to you in both markup and clean versions, and page numbers refer respectively to the clean/markup versions.  Included in the changes are (a) those recommended by the Altmaier Committee, (b) those recommended by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Faculty Activities approved by the Faculty Senate in the spring of 2001, and (c) inclusion of inventions and patents among the materials that may be considered in the review of scholarship at the request of President Skorton.


The second part provides explicit links between the Altmaier Committee report and the changes made, in the order of the earlier report.




General Principles


p. 2 and also p. 8/10  Clarifies the handling of materials added to or amended in the original dossier.


p. 2-3 ff.  Joint appointments[LAC1] .   Based on recommendations from a faculty committee on interdisciplinary faculty activity, this section has been entirely rewritten.


Section I. Departmental Procedures

p. 6/8  B.(2).  Clarifies that the role of the DEO in advising the candidate in compiling the dossier materials is an ongoing responsibility from the time of appointment.

p. 7/9  B. (3)(e)v.  Includes inventions and patents in the list of scholarly materials to be reviewed.

p. 9/11  C.  Requires that the reports of the internal peer evaluations of the candidate’s teaching, scholarship, and service analyzing the relevant materials in the Promotion Record be signed by each peer evaluator. 

p. 9/11 C.  Clarifies that the internal peer review are intended to go beyond a mere description of what the candidate has included in the dossier and provide a thorough evaluation of the quantity and quality of the candidate’s teaching, research, and service from a departmental perspective.

p. 12/15  G. (3)  Specifies that the candidate must submit a response (if any) before the DCG makes its recommendation.

p. 13/15 H. (5)  (also 13-14/16 I. (2);  16/19 II. C. (3)) Clarifies that the DCG (and subsequent) reports / letters do not need to reiterate the content of the internal peer reviews, but rather should highlight those aspects of the reviews that were significant in arriving at the recommendation.

p. 13/16  H. (6)-(8)   Provides for the candidate to receive a copy of the DCG report and respond to it before the DEO writes a letter of recommendation to the Dean.

p. 14/16  J. Provides the candidate with the DEO’s letter only if the recommendation is negative,  at which time, upon request, the candidate will have access to the Promotion Record, with restrictions, and may write a response to the DEO’s letter to the Dean, copied to the DEO.

II. College-level Procedure

p. 16/18  B. (5)-(6) Requires the Collegiate Consulting Group to write a summary report of its discussion if the CCG’s recommendation to the Dean is negative and contrary to that of the DCG or DEO.  Only in such a case shall the candidate also be provided with a copy of the CCG’s vote and summary report and have access to the Promotion Record, with limitations.

p. 16-17/19-20  D. (1)-(3)  The candidate will receive a copy of the Dean’s letter to the Provost only if the recommendation is negative.  Also, only in such a case shall the candidate, upon request, have access to the Promotion Record, with limitations.

p. 17/20 D. (4)  The candidate submits a letter of response, if any, to the Provost for inclusion in the Promotion Record, with a copy of the letter provided to the Dean.

p. 18/20  III. B. (2) The Altmaier committee did not comment on this, but the drafting committee wondered about the necessity of providing a copy via certified mail when the OM is readily accessible on the web:


I.  Internal peer review.  “We recommend that revised procedures contain a single description of this step that highlights the goals of these reports (preliminary, departmental evaluation.)”   See section I.C.

II.  Candidate access to dossier.  First, under this heading though not directly pertaining to candidate access, the Altmaier Committee made two recommendations regarding the collegiate consulting group:  “…we recommend that the collegiate consulting groups be required to complete a written report to be added to the dossier.”   AND   “…we recommend adding a requirement that the collegiate consulting group produce a brief report that is available to the candidate in the event that group recommends against tenure/promotion and that is contained in the dossier for consideration by the dean and Provost.”

The drafting committee considered these two recommendations, which together would require the collegiate consulting groups to write two reports for each candidate.  In light of the large number of dossiers (35-60 each year) that the collegiate consulting groups in the larger colleges review, the drafting committee felt that requiring two reports was too burdensome.  Therefore, the drafting committee decided only to draft language for the second recommendation and further to modify that recommendation such that a report be required only if contrary to that of the departmental consulting group and/or DEO.  Thus, if the recommendation of the departmental consulting group and DEO were against tenure/promotion and the collegiate consulting group concurred, they would not be required to write a report.  See section II.B.(5).

Second, the Altmaier Committee made a number of recommendations regarding candidate access to materials.

1.  The candidate’s response to the internal peer review should be “included in the dossier before its submission to the departmental consulting group.”  See section I. G. (3).

2. The candidate’s response to the final report of the departmental consulting group should be “included in the dossier before its review by the DEO.”  See section I. H. (8).

3. “The candidate does not receive the DEO’s letter and evaluation unless the DEO recommends against tenure/promotion.”  See section I. J. (1).

4. “The candidate does not receive the written report of the collegiate consulting group unless that group advises the dean against tenure/promotion.”  As noted previously, the committee draft language stating that the collegiate consulting group would be required to write a report only if its recommendation was both negative and contrary to the recommendation of either the departmental consulting group or DEO.  See section II.B.(5).  Therefore, except in colleges that require the collegiate consulting group to write a report for a broader array of dossiers, the candidate would always have access to the collegiate consulting group report.  See section II.B.(6).

5.  “The candidate does not receive the dean’s recommendation to the Provost unless the dean advises against tenure/promotion.”  See section II.D. (1).

6.  “It is critical to add that we believe evaluations, report and letters in the dossier…do not need to restate what has been stated in earlier reports.”  See sections I.H.(5), I. I. (2), and II.C. (3).

III. Dossier management  “We recommend that units designate a person to be available to candidates during the preparation of the dossier who can provide updated information; who is very knowledgeable regarding University, collegiate and departmental policies and procedures; and who can function in somewhat of a mentor role to the candidate in the development of the dossier.”  After extended discussion, the drafting committee came to the conclusion that the current procedures already provide for this role in the person of the DEO.  Moreover, the draft committee believed that the DEO is the person in the department who should be most “knowledgeable regarding University, collegiate and departmental policies and procedures,” and that mentoring activities should be conducted in every department, but should be separated from the evaluative activities of tenure and promotion reviews.  Therefore, the drafting committee only added language to clarify the role of the DEO in the preparation of the dossier.  See section I.B. (2)

IV.  Joint appointments  The Altmaier Committee essentially recommended that the work of the Interdisciplinary Committee on Faculty Activities serve as the basis for revisions regarding joint appointments.  The one specific recommendation the Altmaier Committee made also was made by the ICFA.  The drafting committee followed the recommendations of the ICFA, providing necessary detail where that committee’s report failed to do so.  See the Joint Appointments section under General Principles.

V. Flexibility vs. consistency   The Altmaier Committee recommended that, in individual cases, departments “be allowed to apply to the Provost for an exemption from the procedures for a legitimate and valid reason.”  They thought that the Provost should be convinced that “the exemption adds value, fairness and weight to the evaluation.”  See the next to last paragraph above Joint Appointments in the General Principles section.

Additional recommendations

Eliminate the provision that the external reviewer can waive his/her right to confidentiality.  See section I.J.(1) a.

Include inventions and/or patents as scholarly accomplishments (also recommended by President Skorton).  See section I.B.(3)e.v.

Clarify that candidates have the right to withdraw their dossiers in the event of a negative evaluation except in the mandatory tenure review year.  See the third from the last paragraph above Joint Appointments in the General Principles section.  The drafting committee further recognized the right of withdrawal in the case of a mandatory tenure review, but only if also accompanied by a letter of resignation.


 [LAC1]  This section is derived not from the Altmaier committee report but from Appendix B of a report of an Interdisciplinary Faculty Activity committee which was approved by the Senate a couple of years ago but not yet operationalized.  The report, with the relevant Appendix can be found on the web at: