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Provisional Tenure Review Guidelines, Penn State College of Medicine

Completed provisional tenure review dossiers are due in the Dean’s Office, via the Office of Faculty Affairs, in mid-February. The deadline is specified on an annual basis, and is a firm deadline.

On the face page of the dossier, the applicable recommendation box must be checked and signed off by the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee Chair and by Department Chair, indicating whether or not the recommendation is to continue on the tenure track. The recommendation box must be checked before submission of the dossier to the Dean’s Office.

The candidate’s narrative statement is required for all provisional reviews. The statement may not exceed three pages. Two peer-review of teaching letters covering the period under review are required for all provisional reviews, as well as peer-review of teaching letters from any previous provisional reviews.

The evaluative letters from the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee and Department Chair should be addressed to the Dean. The Department Promotion and Tenure Committee evaluative letter MUST include the numeric vote on the action (including note of any abstentions) of whether or not the committee recommends continuation on the tenure track. Both letters should evaluate the candidate’s performance in the mission areas.

Letters from Chairs of joint appointment departments and Institute Directors. For faculty members who hold a joint appointment, the joint appointment Department Chair provides a letter for the dossier. This letter is placed in the dossier in front of the departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee’s letter and is made available to the Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee for its review. For faculty members who receive the majority of their salary support (greater than 50 percent) from an Institute, a letter from the Institute Director must be included in the dossier in the same manner. The Institute Director should evaluate the faculty member’s work within the Institute. It is the responsibility of the primary Department Chair to solicit these letters for the dossier.

The evaluative letters from a previous provisional tenure review, when applicable, are included in the dossier in the section labeled “Statements of Evaluation of the Candidate by Review Committees and Administrators.”

The letters are presented in chronological order beginning with the earliest provisional review through the most recent provisional review. The peer review of teaching letters from any previous provisional tenure reviews are included in the Scholarship of Teaching section. The teaching letters should be presented in reverse chronological order beginning with the most recent. If this information is not included, the dossier will be returned to the department.

AC-23 guidelines regarding consultation, in the event of disagreement between the Department Chair and the departmental Promotion and Tenure committee apply to provisional tenure reviews. Consultation should be initiated by the Chair if he/she disagrees with the recommendation of the Committee. The letter from the committee cannot be revised after the consultation.

After a provisional tenure review has been completed:

  1. The Dean of the College of Medicine writes an evaluative letter, addressed directly to the candidate and copied to the Department Chair, summarizing the review and providing recommendations to the faculty member.
  2. The Department Chair discusses the results of the provisional review, including the Dean’s letter, with the candidate. The candidate receives written copies of all provisional evaluative letters at that time, i.e., departmental committee, Department Chair, and the Dean.

Submit questions to the Office of Faculty Affairs.


Updated 2011
Updated October 2012
Updated February 2013
Updated September 2013
Updated April 2014
Updated April 2016
Formatting revised August 2016