Dossier Guidelines

The dossier for promotion or reappointment review is one of the most important documents a faculty member prepares. It is the primary means by which a full-time faculty member makes a case for his or her contribution to the university and is a carefully assembled compilation of materials representing the faculty member's research, scholarship, creative or professional practice, teaching, and service. Faculty should prepare carefully, paying attention to the case being made with the evidence provided. Faculty are encouraged to approach colleagues across the university at any point during the preparation of the dossier for informal review and comment.

Guidelines and specific requirements for dossier preparation follow.

Dossier Formatting [+]

Dossiers are presented to the Provost's Office electronically (via flash drive) by the college. Although the Provost's Office no longer requires hard copies of the dossiers, some colleges still require hard copies. Please consult with your college's dean's office for specific requirements for the number of copies and formatting as well as information about administrative support for producing your dossier. 
1.  Digital Dossier

The digital version of your dossier must mirror the dossier submitted in hard copy, when applicable, and the table of contents should be exactly the same for both. Your digital dossier must be in PDF format, viewable in Adobe Acrobat Reader version 9, and viewable on both PC and Mac platforms. The digital dossier should not require the viewer to install specialized software or hardware other than the most currently available Adobe Acrobat Reader. Please use lower-resolution settings for the PDF ("screen" or "online") to ensure that the dossier is easily transmissible and readable for all platforms and systems. Given the parameters of the file sharing system, you must limit individual files to 100 MB. If your completed dossier exceeds this size, you need to break it into clear divisions of less than 100 MB each. Web-based dossiers are not accepted.

2.  Hard Copy (Binder) [if required by division]

Please consult with your college's dean's office about the number of copies required. The hard copy dossier must duplicate the digital dossier exactly and must be presented in a three-ring binder to allow for insertion of additional material such as letters from external reviewers and course ratings. Please include tabbed dividers and subdividers to organize your materials. DVD and CD sleeves should be used within the binder to contain materials presented in those formats. All DVDs and CDs should be clearly labeled in permanent ink. Please do not use sticky labels, as they create problems when the disks are inserted.

3.  Publications and Work Samples

Publications and work samples should be included in their entirety. Digital copies are preferred, but in cases where digital copies are not available, hard copies are accepted. Your publisher may be able to provide you with a PDF file of your publication solely for review purposes. Time-based documentation of performances, installations, and other works should be included in QuickTime format (mov). Please make sure that all materials are clearly labeled and cross-referenced in the appropriate written sections of the dossier.

Dossier content [+]  

1.  Table of Contents:
The Table of Contents should list every document contained in the dossier.

2. Academic CV
CVs should be current and include the following information:

  • Employment history
  • Education
  • List of publications clearly indicating those that were peer-reviewed along with full bibliographic citations
  • Grant awards, including the amount, year, and granting body of the award, as well as a brief description of the grant
  • List of public lectures including lecture title, location, and date, with keynote lectures indicated as such
3.  Personal Statement

For promotion reviews for tenure or extended employment, or for reappointment on either of these tracks:

The personal statement should be eight to 12 pages. It should address the areas of research, scholarship, creative or professional practice, teaching, and service and explain the connections between them. Its purpose is to provide a clear, detailed, and self-reflective overview of the candidate's contributions to the university and to his or her field of scholarship and practice. It is also an opportunity to articulate professional goals, teaching pedagogy, and core values that have shaped the candidate's practice to date. Candidates are encouraged to discuss their plans for the future in the context of the university and their disciplines, indicating future directions and potential outcomes.

For reappointment as RTA:

The personal statement should be four to six pages. It should address the areas of research, scholarship, creative or professional practice, teaching, and service, keeping in mind the job description as well as program, department, college, and university expectations. The statement should reference the evidence in support of accomplishments and reflect on its significance.

The job description is the underlying document for the RTA faculty member's personal statement. In cases where there is no job description, the dean's office will work with the faculty member and the chair or her or his designee to develop one. This must be done early enough to allow the job description to frame the candidate's preparation of the dossier.

Supporting evidence should include a teaching philosophy, as well as syllabi and curricular materials and student work, if appropriate. The statement should also include reflections on how course ratings have informed the candidate's pedagogy. For RTA lines in which research, scholarship, or creative or professional practice is referenced in the job description, there should be a discussion about the work and its relevance and significance to the field. For RTA lines in which service is referenced in the job description, there should be a discussion of the candidate's accomplishments and contributions. In all cases, evidence should be included in an appendix to the dossier.

4.  Evidence

This is not a comprehensive list but rather examples of what can be included in the dossier as evidence to support your personal statement.

A. Teaching

  • Syllabi: Samples should be chosen to demonstrate the range and development of your pedagogy. Examples of assignments, quizzes, exams, portfolios, etc. can also be included and should be clearly matched with syllabi.
  • List of courses taught, including course titles and the year and semester the course was offered, along with short descriptions of the courses, the number of students enrolled, and the level (grad, undergrad, mixed).
  • Course evaluations will be provided by your dean's office. You should not provide these yourself.

B.  Research, Scholarship, and Creative or Professional Practice
For traditional academic disciplines, this section should include only material that has been published or presented. Examples include

  • Books
  • Articles
  • Conference papers
  • Reviews

For performance and practice-based work, this section should include only material that has been published, performed, exhibited, or otherwise presented to the public. Examples of performance and practice-based work include

  • Management reports or public surveys
  • Design patents
  • Music, theater, and critical manuscripts
  • Music scores, videos, and published works performed by others
  • Exhibition catalogs
  • Other materials appropriate to your discipline

C.  Service
List service activities along with the title and year of the committee, its charge, and your role (e.g., chair). In addition, list any activities of service to your profession, (e.g., membership in professional organizations and service on professional committees), along with your role and dates of involvement. You can also include reports that you have written and other information relevant to your service.

D.  External Letters

External letters are required for those being reviewed for tenure and extended employment. Some colleges also require external letters for RTA and reappointment to a tenure track or EE track; please check with your dean's office to confirm requirements for your division.

Where external letters are required, faculty will be asked to supply a list of three to five names of people with the knowledge and experience to evaluate the dossier in the context of the field. These reviewers should hold the rank of associate professor or professor. For a field that extends beyond academia, reviewers should be individuals with a well-established reputation in the field who are familiar with the standards of academia. When making the list, please refrain from recommending anyone who might benefit from your promotion, such as your dissertation advisor, a co-editor, or a co-author. You can also list up to three people whom you do not want contacted.

Please note: The dean's office (or in the case of NSSR, the department) is responsible for soliciting all of the external letters; these letters are strictly confidential; you should never attempt to contact any potential external evaluators, either before, during, or after the review. Do not solicit or include any testimonials or letters of support in your dossier. Please consult with your dean's office for any college-specific policies about external letters.

5.  Additional Information
Please note that the following documents will be provided by your dean's office and added to the dossier:

  • Course evaluations 
  • External letters (if required) along with a CV for each letter writer, as well as a narrative statement regarding the letter set as a whole
  • Notes from the college's review committee (if available)
  • Letters from every level of the review (i.e., committee letters and deans' letters)
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