CEHS Promotion and Tenure Responsibilities


Decisions to promote faculty members and award tenure are among the most important made by the university, for they determine the quality of faculty for decades to come. USU Policy 405 must be followed to ensure protection of faculty rights and the university during the promotion and tenure process. As defined in the USU Policy Manual, "Tenure is that provision of employment attained after completion of a probationary period during which the probationer's performance is found to be such as to make him or her an asset to the institution because of his or her abilities as a scholar, a teacher, a researcher, a librarian, or an Extension worker. It is the policy of the University to reward such outstanding performance of tenure-eligible faculty members by tenure and/or promotion."

Following are the responsibilities expected from all parties in the tenure and promotion process. If you have any questions, please contact your department head. If you have any questions about e-dossier, please contact our college dossier administrator (CDA) (amber.summers@usu.edu).



  • Develops materials needed for e-dossier (https://dossier.usu.edu)
  • Uploads all needed documents into e-dossier in every year of the pre-tenure period and when being considered for promotion (generally completed at least 2 weeks prior to committee meeting)
  • Coordinates with Department Head to ensure meeting and ombudsperson are scheduled in a timely manner
  • Coordinates with Department Head to ensure signed role statement is completed each year

Committee Chair

  • Checks in with candidate prior to meeting to answer any questions regarding e-dossier and meeting
  • Ensures all materials of candidate are uploaded to e-dossier each year of the pre-tenure period and when being considered for promotion
  • Coordinates, as needed with Department Head and candidate, regarding meeting scheduling
  • Directs meeting
  • Drafts letter, coordinates feedback from committee members, and arranges for letter to be sent for electronic signatures (including to ombudsperson)
  • Ensures college e-dossier admin receives a copy of the final letter by the required date

All Committee Members

  • Reviews all materials in e-dossier prior to annual meeting
  • At request of the candidate, may provide feedback on e-dossier materials prior to the candidate finalizing and uploading materials (remember that materials are ultimately the responsibility of the candidate)
  • In the year a candidate is “going up” responds to requests from Department Head regarding external reviewers and letter sent to external reviewers

Department Head

  • Reviews all materials in e-dossier
  • Meets with each candidate to go over content of review letter and progress toward tenure/promotion
  • Completes review letter in a timely manner and ensures college e-dossier admin receives a copy of the final letter
  • In the year a candidate is “going up”
    • Solicits from candidate list of possible external reviewers
    • Consults with committee regarding final list of external reviewers
    • Consults with committee and candidate regarding letter that will be sent to external reviewers
    • Solicits external reviews prior to September 15th
    • Follows up on external reviews to ensure all are received back in a timely manner
    • Provides copies of external review letters (and bio/CV of reviewers) to college e-dossier admin to upload


  • In years 3 and 6 (or year “going up” for promotion-only candidates) reviews materials in e-dossier and completes review letter in a timely manner

Additional information on External Peer Reviews

  • Solicited prior to September 15th
    • In practice, do this much earlier (e.g., solicit mid-July; send materials in early September)
  • Need at least 4 (rank the same or higher than that for which candidate is being considered)
  • Candidate submits names and states acquaintance with each
    • Recommend asking candidate for 10-15 names
    • Candidate can also submit names of people candidate does not want ask (although code says this is not binding)
  • Department Head and committee “mutually agree” on who will be asked; at least one half of reviewers must be from candidate’s list
  • “Pertinent information” in file is sent to reviewers
    • For research faculty this is generally CV, self-assessment, role statement, and 3-4 pubs
  • Cover letter drafted by DH, and mutually agreed on by DH, committee, and candidate, is sent with materials to the external reviewers
  • External reviewers must evaluate primary area of role statement; can be asked to evaluate secondary area if DH, TAC, and candidate all agree
  • Note: external reviewer names or other identifying information should not be shared with candidates and should never be included in committee, department head, or dean letters

Example timelines for Calendar Year that a Faculty Member goes forward for tenure/promotion

For Department Head

  • Late Spring / early Summer
    • DH asks candidate for list of possible reviewers
    • DH and committee decide on list of who will be asked (candidate is not involved in these discussions and is not told of who is asked)
      • Suggest rank-ordered list so DH can just go to next name on list when a ”no” or non-response is given
    • Mid-Summer
      • DH e-mails possible external reviewers to get 4 reviewers lined up
      • DH, committee, and candidate agree on letter that will be sent to reviewers and if secondary area will be reviewed
    • Late Summer / very early September
      • DH sends candidate materials to external reviewers

For Candidate

  • Spring – works on putting together list of possible external reviewers
  • Spring-Summer – works on finalizing CV and self-assessment (and any other materials to send to reviewers)
  • Fall – gets all remaining materials completed and into e-dossier
    • Materials should be in e-dossier at least 2 weeks before meeting
  • Materials should not change after they are submitted for external review

Promotion and Tenure Resources