Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Promotion & Tenure: A Guide for Administrators

2018-2019 Promotion Cycle

The 2018-19 promotion cycle is closed to new applications. Faculty proposed for promotion/tenure effective 9/1/2019 are still being reviewed. Outcomes will be communicated after the Provost's review, typically by July 1.

2019-20 Promotion Cycle: New Online Process!

FSM will next accept applications for promotion/tenure effective 9/1/2020. Department administrators will use a new online system to submit promotion packets; no paper packets will be submitted to FAO.

Introducing the Feinberg Faculty Portal, Powered by Interfolio

Feinberg's promotion and tenure process occurs on an annual cycle, with approved promotion/tenure taking effect on September 1 of the year following application. The administrative experience of coordinating promotion and tenure is changing substantially in the 2019-20 cycle because we are implementing the Feinberg Faculty Portal, powered by Interfolio (external vendor), to manage promotion/tenure cases online. The expected experience for different audiences is:

  • Department Administrators will use the Feinberg Faculty Portal to manage promotion/tenure cases, coordinate departmental APT committee review, obtain reference letters, and submit promotion packets to the Faculty Affairs Office. 
  • Departmental APT Committees will log in to the Feinberg Faculty Portal to review promotion packets.
  • Department Chairs may log in to the Feinberg Faculty Portal to review promotion packets.
  • Promotion Candidates will not interact with the Feinberg Faculty Portal at this time. Feinberg is implementing the system for department-level review steps so that administrators and departmental APT committees gain familiarity with it before promotion candidates use it to apply for promotion in later years.
 

2019-20 Promotion & Tenure Deadlines

To propose a candidate for promotion/tenure, please complete phases 1-4 of the promotion and tenure workflow below by these dates:
  • 9/13/2019: Promotions to the levels of Associate Professor and Professor are due, as well as any nominations for the award of tenure. These cases follow checklists #2, #3, and #4.
  • 11/1/2019: Promotions to the level of Assistant Professor are due. These cases follow checklist #1.  

Note: Submit appointment changes separately PRIOR to promotion/tenure requests, effective no later than 9/1/19. Exception: Changing from Undifferentiated to a specific career track can be requested in conjunction with the promotion. 

Administrative Promotion Table

 

Promotion & Tenure Workflow

Phase 1: Identify Promotion/Tenure Nominees

Since candidates will not apply online for promotion this year, you will generally be able to use existing departmental processes to identify promotion nominees and collect promotion packets (e.g., on paper or by email). However, departmental APT committees are expected to review promotion packets using the Feinberg Faculty Portal, so please do not forward packets to your departmental APT committee until you have the electronic process is launched (see Phase 2).

In anticipation of future promotion cycles, we encourage departments to separate the process of identifying promotion nominees from the process of collecting a complete promotion packet. Candidates will not apply online for promotion in 2019-20, but when they do in 2020-21, administrative intervention will be needed to launch a promotion case electronically before faculty can upload documents to create their packet. If you ask candidates to send a complete promotion packet to you as the means of notifying you they are an applicant, and then you launch an electronic application that requires them to upload the documents they sent to you, they will have the experience of applying twice which will likely be confusing/dissatisfying. 

Phase 2: Launch Case Electronically in Feinberg Faculty Portal

Promotion/tenure cases advance through one of four different workflow processes, dependent on the rank, career track, and tenure status of the proposed promotion. Because packets will be routed through an online workflow, it is very important to start the correct process so that the packet advances through the right steps and reaches the correct reviewers. As a result, this year the Faculty Affairs Office will launch all promotion/tenure cases. To request the launch of a promotion case in the Feinberg Faculty Portal, please refer to the guidance and resources in the sections below. 

 Promotion to Assistant Professor without Tenure
Process #1: Cases reviewed by FAO, Dean, and Provost

  1. Select and complete the appropriate review criteria cover sheet for each candidate. This critical document includes the review criteria for the proposed promotion rank and will be used by all reviewers in Interfolio (including the Provost, Dean, Department APT Committee, and external evaluators who write letters of reference). Please select carefully!   

    Review Criteria Cover Sheets for Assistant Professor Ranks
  2. Important: When completing the cover sheet, please refer to the FAO faculty database to confirm the candidate's current appointment details.
    • Generally speaking, the only value on the cover sheet that will differ compared to the FAO database is the rank (unless you are also declaring a track for someone who is currently undifferentiated) 
    • For Clinician-Educators, make sure the domains on the cover sheet match the domains in the FAO database. If the domains need to change in the database, contact fao@northwestern.edu to request updates. The candidate will be evaluated for promotion based on the chosen domains. 
  3. Name the file CandidateLastName Review Criteria (e.g. Smith Review Criteria)
  4. Send completed cover sheets to fao@northwestern.edu to request the launch of a promotion case in Interfolio 
  5. FAO will review the cover sheet; assuming the proposed promotion is appropriate (rank, career track, tenure status, etc.), FAO will launch a case for your candidate in Interfolio. FAO will upload the cover sheet to the candidate's packet at that time and notify you that the case is available electronically for the department workflow (Phase 4).
  6. Promotions to NTE Assistant Professor or Clinical Assistant Professor follow promotion process #1 (review by FAO, Dean, and Provost). After FAO notifies you that the case has been launched in Interfolio, you will use corresponding Checklist #1 to prepare the promotion packet.

 

 Promotion to Associate Professor or Professor without Tenure
Process #2: Cases reviewed by FAO, FSM APT Committee, Dean, and Provost

  1. Select and complete the appropriate review criteria cover sheet for each candidate. This critical document includes the review criteria for the proposed promotion rank and will be used by all reviewers in Interfolio (including the Provost, Dean, FSM APT Committee, Department APT Committee, and external evaluators who write letters of reference). Please select carefully!   

    Review Criteria Cover Sheets for Associate Professor Ranks

    Review Criteria Cover Sheets for Professor Ranks

  2. Important: When completing the cover sheet, please refer to the FAO faculty database to confirm the candidate's current appointment details.
    • Generally speaking, the only value on the cover sheet that will differ compared to the FAO database is the rank (unless you are also declaring a track for someone who is currently undifferentiated) 
    • For Clinician-Educators, make sure the domains on the cover sheet match the domains in the FAO database. If the domains need to change in the database, contact fao@northwestern.edu to request updates. The candidate will be evaluated for promotion based on the chosen domains. 
  3. Name the file CandidateLastName Review Criteria (e.g. Smith Review Criteria)
  4. Send completed cover sheets to fao@northwestern.edu to request the launch of a promotion case in Interfolio
  5. FAO will review the cover sheet; assuming the proposed promotion is appropriate (rank, career track, tenure status, etc.), FAO will launch a case for your candidate in Interfolio. FAO will upload the cover sheet to the candidate's packet at that time and notify you that the case is available electronically for the department workflow (Phase 4).
  6. Promotions to NTE Associate Professor, Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, or Clinical Professor follow promotion process #2 (review by FAO, FSM APT Committee, Dean, and Provost). After FAO notifies you that the case has been launched in Interfolio, you will use corresponding Checklist #2 to prepare the promotion packet.

 Promotion and Tenure, Promotion (Already Tenured), or Tenure Only
Process #3: Cases reviewed by FAO, Ad Hoc Committee, FSM APT Committee, Dean, and Provost

  1. Select and complete the appropriate review criteria cover sheet for each candidate. This critical document includes the review criteria for the proposed promotion rank and will be used by all reviewers in Interfolio (including the Provost, Dean, FSM APT Committee, department APT Committee, and external evaluators who write letters of reference). Please select carefully!   

    Review Criteria Cover Sheets for Tenured Ranks on the Investigator Track
  2. Important: When completing the cover sheet, please refer to the FAO faculty database to confirm the candidate's current appointment details.
    • The only values on the cover sheet that will differ compared to the FAO database are the rank and the tenure status (if you are proposing tenure)
  3. Name the file CandidateLastName Review Criteria (e.g. Smith Review Criteria)
  4. Send completed cover sheets to fao@northwestern.edu to request the launch of a promotion case in Interfolio 
  5. FAO will review the cover sheet; assuming the proposed promotion is appropriate (rank, career track, tenure status, etc.), FAO will launch a case for your candidate in Interfolio. FAO will upload the cover sheet to the candidate's packet at that time and notify you that the case is available electronically for the department workflow (Phase 4).
  6. Promotions to tenured ranks and the award of tenure follow promotion process #3 (review by FAO, Ad Hoc Committee, FSM APT Committee, Dean, and Provost). After FAO notifies you that the case has been launched in Interfolio, you will use corresponding Checklist #3 to prepare the promotion packet.

 Review Criteria: Research Faculty Promotions
Process #4: Cases reviewed by FAO, FSM APT Committee, Dean, and Provost

  1. Select and complete the appropriate review criteria cover sheet for each candidate. This critical document includes the review criteria for the proposed promotion rank and will be used by all reviewers in Interfolio (including the Provost, Dean, FSM APT Committee, department APT Committee, and external evaluators who write letters of reference). Please select carefully!  
      
    Review Criteria Cover Sheets for Research Faculty
  2. Important: When completing the cover sheet, please refer to the FAO faculty database to confirm the candidate's current appointment details.
    • The only value on the cover sheet that will differ compared to the FAO database is the rank 
  3. Name the file CandidateLastName Review Criteria (e.g. Smith Review Criteria)
  4. Send completed cover sheets to fao@northwestern.edu to request the launch of a promotion case in Interfolio 
  5. FAO will review the cover sheet; assuming the proposed promotion is appropriate (rank, career track, tenure status, etc.), FAO will launch a case for your candidate in Interfolio. FAO will upload the cover sheet to the candidate's packet at that time and notify you that the case is available electronically for the department workflow (Phase 4).
  6. Promotions to Research Assistant Professor or Research Associate Professor follow promotion process #4 (review by FAO, FSM APT Committee, Dean, and Provost). After FAO notifies you that the case has been launched in Interfolio, you will use corresponding Checklist #4 to prepare the promotion packet.

Phase 3: Collect Packet from Candidate

In future years (2020-21 cycle and beyond), this is the phase where candidates will log in to the Feinberg Faculty Portal to upload the documents needed to complete their promotion packet. However, this year (2019-20 cycle) department administrators will upload documents on behalf of candidates. As a result, please collect documents from the candidate if you have not already done so.

Administrators should direct faculty to the page titled Prepare Your Promotion/Tenure Packet to download the required forms and document templates for the promotion packet. Administrators are encouraged to read that page as well, for it includes guidance from the FSM APT Committee on how to prepare each element of the packet effectively.

Important! Do not collect reference letters yet. Administrators will solicit reference letters in Phase 4 using the Feinberg Faculty Portal.

Phase 4: Department Review and Submission Using the Feinberg Faculty Portal

New in the 2019-2020 promotion cycle, departments will submit promotion packets to the Faculty Affairs Office using the Feinberg Faculty Portal. No paper packets will be submitted to FAO! After FAO launches a case (Phase 2), it enters the department workflow, and department administrators should manage department level review steps and finalization of the packet in the Feinberg Faculty Portal.

Important:

 1. Prepare for APT Review
Department staff have access to this step

In this step, you upload the candidate’s documents and do anything else you normally do to prepare a file for your departmental APT Committee--e.g., if you solicit reference letters prior to APT Committee review, you can do that here; if you upload supplemental documentation for APT review (like teaching evaluations), you can do that here as well.

When uploading candidate materials, make sure you are using the correct packet checklist.  The checklist number should match the process number of the template in the Feinberg Faculty Portal.

Promotion Packet Checklists

Checklist #1: Asst Prof (no tenure) 
Checklist #2: Assoc Prof or Prof (no tenure)
Checklist #3: Tenured cases
Checklist #4: Research Faculty

 2. Review by Department APT Committee
Department APT committee, department chair/vice chair, and department staff have access to this step

In this step, the departmental APT Committee has access to review the case.

Distribute this Quick Reference for Reviewers to help your APT committee members or department chair understand how to navigate the pane for reading cases.

 3. Finalize Packet and Submit to FAO
Department chair/vice chair and department staff have access to this step

In this step, you do whatever is left to make the file complete for submission to FAO. You can solicit reference letters if you did not do that earlier. You would also make sure all required department documentation is uploaded by the end of this step (if it was not done sooner)—e.g., Chair’s letter, APT Committee narrative.

At the end of this step, you will submit the packet to FAO electronically through Interfolio; at that point, the case will exit your workflow and you will no longer be able to see it. Download the packet from Interfolio before submitting if you wish to retain a copy for your records.

Prior to submitting, ensure the following:

  • The minimum number of reference letters have been RECEIVED. 
  • All required documents on the checklist are complete and uploaded in the correct order. 
  • Be aware that any extra documents you uploaded for your internal review process will be viewable by FSM and the Provost as the case continues into their electronic workflow.

Phase 5: Review by FSM and Provost

Once you submit the packet, it enters the workflow for the Faculty Affairs Office, which reviews and coordinates the school-level and university-level review steps. The recommendations of the department and school are forwarded to the provost, who reviews and makes the final decision on promotion or tenure. Candidates are typically notified of the provost's decision by mid-June. Approved promotion or tenure takes effect on September 1, 2020.

If the candidate has substantial new accomplishments (e.g, receipt of a new grant) that warrant CV updates after the case has been submitted to FAO, please contact fao@northwestern.edu

Resources

 Learn Faculty Career Tracks

Department administrators are expected to coordinate the submission of a candidate's promotion/tenure packet to the Faculty Affairs Office, which includes collecting the promotion/tenure packet from the candidate, working with the Department Chair to establish and coordinate an internal departmental review process to evaluate the candidate's qualifications for promotion or tenure, and ensuring each promotion/tenure application is complete with supplementary documentation prepared/obtained by the department (e.g., evaluation from departmental APT Committee, recommendation letter from Department Chair, letters from external referees). Administrators often play an important role in advising faculty candidates on the promotion process and faculty may even look to you for guidance on how to strengthen their promotion/tenure applications. Given this, it is important that you become familiar with Feinberg's different faculty career tracks. The better you understand faculty career tracks and the expectations for achievement in each track, the better you will be able to support your faculty in their career advancement.

 Appointment Changes (due by 9/1/19, prior to submitting promotion to FAO)

Submit appointment changes separately PRIOR to promotion/tenure requests, effective no later than 9/1/19. Exception: Changing from Undifferentiated to a specific career track can be requested in conjunction with the promotion. 

  • Change of basis: submit request PRIOR to promotion requests, effective no later than 9/1/19.
  • Change of domains on the Clinician-Educator track: faculty can request domain changes until 9/1/19; these will then be locked until after promotion review is complete.
  • Change of career track/tenure status: Contact FAO first. Submit as separate request PRIOR to 9/1/19. (Exception: change from Undifferentiated to a specific track may be included w/the promotion request). Evidence of a national search for certain career tracks required.

 Solicit Reference Letters Using Interfolio

Department administrators are responsible for soliciting reference letters when candidates are proposed for promotion to ranks that are NTE or TE (process checklists #1, #2, and #4). Departments do not solicit reference letters for process #3 because those candidates are proposed for tenured ranks. 

Administrators should use the Feinberg Faculty Portal, powered by Interfolio, to request reference letters, and you may request letters at any time when the promotion case is in the department workflow--i.e., Phase 4, steps 1, 2, or 3.  Some departments solicit reference letters before packets are reviewed by the departmental APT committee, and some departments wait until the departmental APT committee has endorsed the packet to contact referees.  Either strategy is fine. 

When soliciting reference letters:

  • Follow the Administrative Guide to Managing Promotion and Tenure Cases: This guide contains the detailed steps administrators should execute in the Feinberg Faculty Portal to contact referees. Additionally, the guide contains the template text that should be used in the message sent to referees.
  • As part of your request, you will give referees access to documents that are uploaded to the candidate's promotion case.  These include:
    • Review Criteria Cover Sheet: This is the document you provided to FAO when requesting launch of the case. It provides the referees with details of the proposed promotion as well as the review criteria for the candidate's proposed rank and career track.
    • CV
    • Personal Statement
    • Guidance for External Referees: Before contacting referees, you should upload this document to the Administrative Documents section of the candidate packet. This contains the list of questions evaluators are asked to respond to.

 

 

 

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