Spring 2020 – CT Promotion Panel – April 7, 2020

CT Caucus Promotion Panel

April 7, 2020


Matt Kinservik – Moderator

Dana Perry- Organizer

Anna Wik – Organizer


Don Lehman – Full Prof. in Medical and Molecular Biology

Julie Bayuk – Assoc. Prof. in Business and Marketing

Kyle McCarthy – Assoc. Prof. in Entomology and Wildlife Ecology


We may not have as many faculty go up for promotion this year because of the disrupted semester.  The provost is allowing a one-year extension but people can still go up if they feel that they are ready.


1. Based on your experience, what was the easiest part of the process?  What was the hardest?

  • How to show effectiveness of teaching through course evaluations.
  • Problem with working with the system (UDAcademe at the time); time needed to build the dossier.
  • Trying to remember what candidate had done over last six years and building the dossier.


2. How did you document teaching effectiveness?  How did you handle student feedback?

  • Including samples of student work such as exemplary posters that students created.
  • Including syllabi, sample student assessments, exemplary teaching units (including classes and supervised theses); 
  • Used teaching statement to describe anything special; use it as a narrative to present a story of your teaching; make links to above items in statement so reviewers can easily access
  • One strategy to highlight/ include most pertinent information in first few paragraphs as reviewers are looking for ‘bullet points’ to craft their letters of support
  • Invited peer evaluations and included their feedback.
  • Used graphs and charts to pull out pertinent information.
  • Address/ contextualize all aspects of student evaluations, both positive and negative 
  • Putting items into teaching section that some people may put in other sections (e.g. advising as part of teaching)
  • Faculty handbook has long list of examples of documenting teaching effectiveness but should also look closely at department documents.
  • Overall organization of dossier SO important; CONTEXTUALIZE and ORGANIZE material for reviewers; How clearly does the teaching statement (2-3 pages) relate to the evidential material? Fashion evidence of your strengths such that these talking points get repeated back in reviewer letters


3. What was the support like in your department?  Who helped you?

  • Other CT faculty, department chair; worked with CTAL
  • Talked first with department chair
  • But mentoring varies in department; 


4. What can be included in Scholarship?

  • Included research on teaching in the content area as well as publishing in the content area.
  • Can use editing of textbooks/ review books for certification exams/ scholarship of teaching and scholarship in area of research
  • Kinservik reminds faculty to be very clear about workload at the beginning of your dossier so it is clear to the reviewer.  If your workload varies, a graph might be a helpful form of visual representation. (it’s a newer requirement of the faculty handbook to state workload explicitly in the dossier itself)
  • He also advised people to be clear if putting something in two sections (e.g. research and scholarship).  It can be done effectively but be clear why and how you are putting it into two sections; you don’t want to seem like you are padding your dossier. Eg. “As I mentioned in my teaching section I XYZ which also contributes to scholarship and this is why.”
  • Do not leave things out if there is confusion about where to include them, check with mentor or chair; also may consider where there are ‘gaps’ in your dossier and use them there (given the nebulous nature of many efforts – is it teaching? Is it service? Is it scholarship?)
  • Look closely at your department documents about what counts for scholarship.
  • Kinservik encourages more flexibility with what we consider service versus publicly engaged scholarship. UD has classification of Carnegie Community Engagement.


5. What surprises did you encounter?

  • Candidate did have some flexibility of what to include in dossier.  Thought it would be prescribed but a lot of individuality based on your own experiences, workload, etc…
  • Make it easy for the reviewer–bold important things, use headers, etc…
  • Be prepared for focus on things that you may not have been expecting, especially if change of department chair – important to include initial expectation upon hiring (by including offer letter) to avoid being scrutinized on differing expectations of percent effort in workload
  • Reminder from Matt Kinservik to use 2 and 4 year review to address these questions
  • Also a reminder that even if department and university documents change, within the probationary period (first six years) of hiring you may follow the documents that were in place at time of hire for promotion


6. How did you choose external reviewers?

  • Reached out to graduate advisor; someone who knows a lot of people in the field; also went to CTAL for advice.
  • Colleagues at UD (Outside of department), both TT and CT faculty that have large teaching loads
  • Distinction between testimonials (requested letters of support from peers) and external review (confidential letters to internal reviewers from provided list of external reviewers)
  • Went to colleagues from conferences
  • In most cases, cannot use teaching or research collaborators and co-authors on list; should be someone who can objectively review your dossier
  • Check with department about who can be reviewer on CT cases; seeing more and more external to UD reviewers; reviewers can be at rank faculty from other institutions, but also someone who can demonstrate credentials in industry/ non-profit world (not always someone with academic ranking)
  • When making a list, have in mind: 1. Total # required, 2. How many need to be external to UD, 3. Who has objectivity to give good review
  • These letters are very important and can make difference in success of candidate
  • Make sure the letter to the external reviewer is clear about the CT Promotion process at UD. UD’s path to promotion is different and not typical to other universities.


7. How to document work done at another university?

  • At rank at another university does count (that’s in faculty handbook) but has to show continued productivity at UD.


eBinder System

Matt and Sunaina reviewed new method of submitting documents for promotion

Adapted from University of Southern Florida

This will be used for 2020 P&T cycle and then assessed to determine use for peer review going forward


Additional questions:

Q: If you have no research in workload, but do research, do you make a third section in the dossier for research and will this be externally reviewed?

A: See above regarding scholarship and external review; important to be EXPLICIT about UD promotion policies to avoid confusion 


Q: Could you speak briefly about the timeline? e.g. deadlines for submitting each piece. There seems to be some confusion in my department about when the dossier goes to external reviewers and which materials should go to external reviewers. 

A: Timeline will be stated in the department document.  Look at it carefully!


Q: Regarding individual department policies:

Can candidates go up at the same time as 6 year contract renewal?

Should contract renewal documents be different than promotion dossier.

A: These should be able to happen simultaneously. Matt will follow up with individuals who expressed these concerns. Important to happen in such a way that no one is penalized.

Matt has begun holding information sessions for reviewers/ chairs/ deans to go over the P&T process (similar to this session for those going up for review); important opportunities to air/ clarify policies on a yearly basis.