Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services
Supplemental Guidance for Pre-Tenure Faculty E-Dossier (Packet) Preparation
Packet Preparation – General Comments
- The Faculty Code dictates that performance in the major area of emphasis must be judged to be “excellent” and performance in the remaining area(s) of emphasis must be judged to be “effective.”
- The packet should be a work in progress throughout the pre-tenure period with periodic revisions and updates. At a minimum, it should be updated annually ahead of your fall Tenure & Promotion Committee meeting.
- The goal is to not only document excellence/effectiveness, but also to show your professional trajectory over time. Incorporate your responses to challenges (research problems, course evaluations, new goals for courses, etc.) in appropriate sections of packet.
- Openly address any gaps, inconsistencies, or shortcomings, providing underlying perspectives as appropriate.
- Review your role statement for potential milestones in your areas of excellence/effectiveness
- Brevity and efficiency are appreciated by the reviewers. We encourage you to think about your packet (or the individual teaching, research, and service sections) as being analogous to a well-written scientific paper or grant, where data are condensed in charts, tables, and graphs along with clear explanations. Your materials should make the case that you should be tenured given your productivity and impact in your field.
- The guidance provided here should be considered advisory – it is based on a great deal of experience, but these are not formal requirements. Read the Faculty Code closely for formal requirements. In the end, it is the candidate’s responsibility to construct an edossier that describes accomplishments effectively.
Self-Assessment Letter (suggested length 4-5 pages)
This should be a very well-thought-out document that clearly and succinctly articulates your accomplishments and impacts in the respective areas of your role statement. It serves as the executive summary of the outcomes that are further detailed in the packet. Be positive and promote your achievements, making sure to put these in context within your field. Openly address any gaps or weaknesses and put them in context. In keeping with an executive summary, address a gap or weakness briefly and, if needed, expand on it in the appropriate section of your portfolio. Tables and graphs should be incorporated to summarize data and demonstrate impact. More detailed tables and graphs can be incorporate in other sections of the dossier.
Clearly define your area of emphasis (i.e., research, teaching, or extension)
For research active faculty, define your research program
- Use terminology that is understandable to a non-specialist as the central tenure and promotion committee is comprised of faculty from every college on campus.
- Describe the broad strategy that has guided your development of an independent research program.
- Show how your efforts have led to achieving excellence/effectiveness in research.
- Explain the outcomes (support with data in the packet). If you have two related lines of research, a graphic may be helpful for clearly showing how the lines and the products from those lines of work are related.
- Address any difficulties and how you have worked, or are working, to overcome them.
- Demonstrate how your achievements to date position you for future successes.
- Include a citation analysis (or summary of one) that helps demonstrate your impact in your field.
Define your approach to teaching
- Could be a condensed version of your teaching philosophy.
- Discuss your approach to achieving excellence/effectiveness in teaching.
- Provide a high-level summary of the outcomes of your efforts including in-class settings as well as mentorship of students.
Define your approach to extension
- Provide information on your programs (e.g., needs assessment, innovative approaches, impacts, and recruitment).
- Discuss your ability to reach diverse audiences.
- Provide information on your work with county agents and/or other specialists
- Discuss your efforts in disseminating information.
Define your approach to service and outcomes
- This section can be brief and summarize key service activities. Include service to the department, college/university, profession, and community as appropriate.
List all publications
- List publications in APA or other appropriate format
- Separate out different types of publications (e.g., refereed journal articles under one heading; book chapters under another heading; non-refereed articles under another, etc.)
- Make it easy for reviewers to see which articles are published, in press, under review, etc. Headings can be helpful in organizing the list of publications.
- If publications are available on-line ahead of being in print, note this
- Use special notation to identify student or postdoctoral co-authors (e.g., * by graduate students; ** by undergraduate students)
- Clearly differentiate publications/creative activities performed at USU versus those of prior appointments, including graduate student and postdoctoral accomplishments. When discussing research accomplishments, talk both your total body of publications and publications since being at USU.
- Include a citation analysis (e.g., total number of citations to your work, h-index, i10 index, m-index) and, when possible, provide field-specific context for the h-index
- Explicitly call out high-impact papers.
- Put your citation rate in context in your field via normative data, comparison to peers, etc.
- Clearly explain authorship sequence and practice in your field (e.g., if last author indicates senior author, state that). Remember that reviewers on central committee come for a variety of fields and most/all will not know the standards in your field – so be explicit about this.
- Use brief (1-2 sentence) annotations to:
- Identify the outcomes and activities for which you are primarily responsible.
- Explain your contribution to multi-authored papers.
- Provide evidence for the quality of your research publications/creative activities, including:
- Journal impact factor
- Number of citations to your work
- Other evidence of impact
- List all proposals submitted including title, agency/foundation, requested amount, and your role (e.g., PI, Co-I) – list these under separate headings (e.g., Funded External Grants, Pending External Grants, Submitted but not Funded External Grants)
- For funded proposals include award amount, start and end dates.
- For proposals not funded, include information such as scores, reviewer comments, funding agency pay lines (if known), and strategy for resubmission.
- List any internal funds received for your research; do not include student grants (such as URCOs) in this section
List scholarly presentations
- Clearly list all presentations at professional meetings using APA or other appropriate citation method
- List International/National and Regional presentations under separate headings
- List invited presentations separately
- Include notation regarding student presenters
- Note any contextual factors (e.g., low acceptance rate for certain conferences; conferences that put more credence on presentations than posters) that may be important in understanding your impact
Other research Activities
- List / discuss impact of other research activities. This may include patents, multimedia materials, creative accomplishments, etc.
- Include the 3-4 refereed publications or book chapters that were submitted to external reviewers as part of your external review packet.
Topics that may be included:
- What is your approach to instruction? Why do you utilize this particular approach?
- What are your guiding principles for instruction? What has influenced your teaching approach and perspective?
- (Teaching excellence) How do you practice a scholarly approach to teaching? What guides your teaching development? Literature; colleagues and mentors; workshops; conferences, etc.?
- What are your expectations of students? What do you want them to learn? State how your expectations shape your practice.
- How do you think students learn in your discipline; how do you facilitate learning? Discuss techniques and methods you use to maximize the probability of learning.
- How do you motivate and establish rapport with students?
- Your theory of assessment; how does your philosophy inform your assessment strategies?
- How does your philosophy inform the kind and timing of the feedback you give students?
Teacher/Course Load and Evaluations
- Discuss teaching load and provide departmental context for this load; if load is not reflected in student evaluation table summary, include a table with course load by semester. Make sure to differentiate between teaching as part of load and overload teaching.
- Provide a table or graphical summary of student evaluation data; summarize, explain, and provide context for these data (e.g., provide an explanation for low or anomalous scores on student/course evaluations).
- When reporting actual IDEA scores, use t-scores; discus the broad categories in which these scores fall (e.g., similar, higher, etc.)
- Selectively include student-written comments or provide summary of most relevant comments
- Include a self-evaluation of teaching:
- Report any mid-course student surveys or evaluations you used; how did you change your practice
- Report any pre- and post-course testing and how these resulted in course changes
- Carefully document changes made over time in response to evaluations.
- Peer reviews of teaching should be completed annually. It is best-practice to have the same person visit the same class each year so that the evaluation can include comments regarding modifications in teaching over time.
- Peer evaluators should include constructive comments. A summary of the peer evaluation should be provided in a timely manner to the candidate
- Address comments made by peers
- (Teaching excellence) Invite off-campus colleagues to review your syllabi or teaching approaches
- Report on undergraduates, graduate students (indicate degree level if still in the program and degrees completed under your advisement), and post-docs (provide dates) who worked with you on research activities
- List publications and presentations co-authored with students. Make sure to differentiate between students you directly mentor and students on publications who are directly mentored by someone else
- Note any unique accomplishments of these students (placement following graduation, awards received, contributions to your research, co-authorship, etc.).
- Provide summary of thesis/dissertation committees on which you were a member including student name, department, degree, and date completed
- If other types of mentoring / advising are provided to students, describe this and outcomes
- Describe teaching innovations or unique approaches you use; how do students respond to those innovations; discuss data that support student learning as a result of this innovation or approach
- Describe any funding obtained for pedagogical research or to improve your course (e.g., Excellence in Teaching and Learning Grant)
- Describe how you respond to student and peer course feedback in constructive ways
- For those whose primary area is teaching, this section can be critical. Good IDEA scores are not sufficient to demonstrate excellence in teaching. Documentation of teaching improvement is critical. Documentation of the production of products (e.g., peer reviewed papers, conference presentations, curriculum development) related to teaching makes it much easier for the central committee to see that excellence has been achieved.
Teaching Awards or other Achievements
- List pedagogical achievements:
- Identify the outcomes and activities for which you are primarily responsible.
- Provide evidence for the quality and impact of these creative activities.
- Service in a leadership role in the department or college in efforts to help improve teaching (e.g., local resource for implementing a best practice)
- List teaching awards or other recognition for teaching.
Supporting Materials (In Appendices)
- Full IDEA PDF files for all courses taught
- Details of evidence of student learning (e.g., pre/post scores before and after a course).
- Evidence that you are continually working to refine your teaching skills and to understand student learning. Document workshops that you’ve attended, books you’ve read, and data you have collected from your classes.
- External reviews of online courses and/or syllabi (if any)
- Clearly list all committee service (both external and internal to USU) with start/end dates.
- Community Service may include presentations to lay-audiences, work within the community, etc.
- Professional service includes reviewing manuscripts and grant proposals, chairing sessions at professional meetings, chairing symposia, serving on professional boards etc.
- Note any awards received for Service activities
- Remember you are writing to a general audience; avoid acronyms and jargon whenever possible. If acronyms are used, make sure to define each when first used.
- When uploading documents to the e-dossier, make sure the main document is first in each section and that support materials / appendices are listed after this.
- Make sure to provide context for any awards received so that it is clear to reviewers how prestigious the award really was.
- Throughout the e-dossier, context is key to ensuring reviewers from outside your field truly understand your accomplishments and their impact.
While the code indicates that external peer reviewers should be “of rank equivalent to or higher than that sought by the candidate,” candidates are encouraged to submit a strong list of senior scholars who can provide insightful comments on their record. External reviewers should be respected scholars in the candidate’s discipline and should have sufficient rank, experience and perspective to judge the candidate’s record and compare it to others of equivalent experience in the field. Candidates are advised to recommend individuals who can serve as objective evaluators; i.e., not a former mentor, former or current collaborator, close friend or former classmate.
The ideal external reviewers are not invested in the career of the candidate but, rather, have sufficient distance to serve as objective external reviewers. Candidates should avoid any appearance of close personal relationships with suggested reviewers.