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Promotion & Tenure: Guide for Administrators

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. Administrators and departmental APT committees use the Feinberg Faculty Portal, powered by Interfolio (external vendor), to manage promotion/tenure cases online. The experience for different audiences is:

  • Department Administrators 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 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 have the option of preparing most documents in their promotion packet either manually or using the Feinberg Faculty Portal (FFP). For more information, review the Prepare Your Packet page written for faculty. Even if faculty use the FFP to generate documents, they do not submit/route the packet electronically, so administrators should expect to collect the promotion documents from candidates by email.

2021-22 Promotion & Tenure Deadlines

Review/Action Needed in Advance of Nomination

Certain actions need review and/or processing in advance of nominating a candidate for promotion or tenure.
  • Proposals for early award of tenure: submit CV by 4/16/2021
    If you are proposing a tenure-eligible candidate for an early award of tenure, submit their name and current CV to fao@northwestern.edu. The Dean and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs will review and advise on whether you may proceed with the early nomination or should wait for a later cycle.
  • Proposals for promotion to tenure-eligible Associate Professor
    Faculty on the Investigator track sometimes request promotion to tenure-eligible Associate Professor.  For a number of reasons, this should be a rare event reserved for faculty who are performing at an exceptionally high level. If you are proposing a tenure-eligible Assistant Professor for promotion to tenure-eligible Associate Professor, submit their name and current CV to fao@northwestern.edu. The Dean and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs will review and advise on whether you may proceed with the nomination or should wait for a later cycle.
  • Appointment changes due no later than 9/1/2021
    For any promotion/tenure candidate, submit appointment changes (e.g., change of track or domains) separately prior to promotion/tenure requests, effective no later than 9/1/21. Exception: Changing from Undifferentiated to a specific career track can be requested in conjunction with the promotion.

Nomination Deadlines

To propose a candidate for promotion/tenure effective 9/1/2022, please complete phases 1-4 of the promotion and tenure workflow by the dates specified in the table. 
Administrative Promotion Table

 

Promotion & Tenure Workflow

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 9/1/21, prior to submitting promotion to FAO)

Submit appointment changes separately PRIOR to promotion/tenure requests, effective no later than 9/1/21. 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 9/1/21.
  • Change of domains on the Clinician-Educator track: faculty can request domain changes until 9/1/21; 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 9/1/21. (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 the Feinberg Faculty Portal

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 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 above, 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 the Case Review Module: This guide contains the detailed steps administrators should execute in the Feinberg Faculty Portal to contact referees.
  • As part of your request, you will give referees access to documents that are uploaded to the candidate's promotion case.  These include:
    • Guidance for External Evaluators: Before contacting referees, you should upload this document to the candidate packet; it contains the list of questions evaluators are asked to respond to. It is recommended that you locate it before the Review Criteria Cover Sheet (so that referees see it first when they open the packet), and then move this document to the Administrative Documents section after letters are received. 
    • 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