Guidelines for Candidates Being Reviewed for Promotion and/or Tenure

Identifying External Evaluators

Candidates should work in collaboration with the Department Chair, Division Chief, and/or mentor to develop a list of potential external evaluators. Do not contact these individuals. All contacts occur through the Dean’s Office, via the Office of Faculty Affairs.

External evaluations must be requested from individuals who are of higher rank than the candidate. It is inappropriate to request assessments from non-tenured assistant professors for candidates for tenure or promotion to associate professor, and so forth. Evaluators also should come from diverse institutions.

External evaluators may not be the candidate’’s former teachers, supervisors, mentors, or students; those who have collaborated significantly with the candidate; or others whose relationship to the candidate might make objective assessments difficult. External evaluators will be asked to describe the nature of their association with the candidate. Evaluators should be in a position to make informed judgments about the candidate’s work.

Faculty at other Penn State campuses are not eligible to serve as external evaluators. Refer to HR-23 Administrative Guidelines, Section III.G.10, for information regarding eligibility criteria for external evaluators.

Preparation of the Supporting Materials for External Evaluators

  1. Curriculum Vitae: There is no required format for the CV. The CV should contain information that clearly reflects the candidate’s scholarship and contributions in each mission area. It is vital that the CV is current and includes all funded projects and teaching information. This is important because external evaluators receive only the CV, not the dossier.
  2. Narrative Statement: The narrative is written by the candidate, in the first person. The statement may not exceed three pages (per AC-23 guidelines), and should explain the candidate’s areas of focus and scholarly contributions in the context of overall career goals. If the candidate is being reviewed for promotion, accomplishments since the last promotion should be emphasized. If the candidate participates in collaborative research, the candidate’s unique contributions to the work of the research team should be explained. Include any changes in career direction, if applicable. The narrative should be written so that readers outside the candidate’s field will easily understand the candidate’s work. The narrative is sent to external evaluators and is placed in the dossier.
  3. Five Key Pieces of Scholarship, Including Cover Sheet: Five examples of scholarship are required from each candidate (no exceptions). Candidates are encouraged to include items that reflect scholarship since being appointed at Penn State (for tenure reviews), or since the last promotion (for promotion reviews). Provide five exemplary pieces of scholarship (preferably peer-reviewed journal articles) for distribution to the external evaluators. Each candidate should select five publications (journal articles or book chapters) that reflect the candidate’s most important scholarship. Articles in press are acceptable if page proofs can be provided. Ensure that each item is legible and that illustrations are not distorted. A cover sheet is required listing each citation and including a brief paragraph for each item summarizing the nature of the scholarly contribution and the importance of the item in the context of the candidate’s major field of interest.