Skip to content

Promotion Process for Instructors and Researchers

This guideline pertains to promotions of non-tenure-line Instructors and Researchers (Instructor to Assistant Professor; Researcher to Assistant Professor).

The promotion process for non-tenure-line Instructors and Researchers is initiated by the Department Chair and does NOT require the preparation of a Dossier. Consideration for promotion requires review of the candidate’s CV and eligibility for the next higher position by the departmental P&T Committee, the Department Chair, and the Dean.

As with all promotions, these promotion reviews occur on an annual cycle and must be formally submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs by March 1 to be effective July 1.

The recommendation from the Department Chair should indicate the role and expectations of the faculty member upon promotion, and also the proposed effort allocation across the mission areas. It is expected that the Department Chair will communicate any changes in job expectations and effort allocation to the faculty member upon approval of the promotion by the Dean.

Submission Process

The candidate’s CV, the promotion recommendation letter from the Department P&T Committee, and the promotion recommendation letter from the Department Chair are submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs no later than March 1. If approved by the Dean, the promotion takes effect on the following July 1.

Contact the Office of Faculty Affairs with any questions about Promotion & Tenure policies and procedures.


Penn State Policy HR-21 Definition of Academic Ranks
Adopted June 21, 2010
Updated March 22, 2012
Updated Jan. 14, 2013
Updated August 12, 2014
Formatting updated August 2016
Updated April 23, 2018
Updated Sept. 8, 2021
Updated Nov. 17, 2021