May 16, 2006
This letter, originally drafted by Michael Levine (TPC chair, 2002-2003) and reviewed/revised by subsequent chairs of the Tenure and Promotion Committee (TPC), seeks to explain the role of the committee in your review, to describe the committee's procedure for evaluating your dossier, and to give you some guidance in writing your Prospectus.
According to the Faculty Handbook, the President and the Board of Trustees make the final decision on all candidacies for retention and promotion. The Tenure and Promotion Committee's charge is to assure that your review is fair and thorough and to make a specific, written recommendation to the President. When the President informs you of her decision on your candidacy, you will also receive a copy of our recommendation to her. Beyond communicating the committee's recommendation concerning reappointment, our letter to the President will provide a summary of the dossier compiled for your review, examining your work in each of the three areas of faculty evaluation (teaching excellence, scholarship/artistic engagement, and citizenship) and assessing your attainment of College criteria in those areas. Thus, we hope you will find this letter helpful in your own assessment of your performance as a teacher, scholar/artist, and colleague, because we intend our letter to the President also to be a letter to you, our colleague.
The TPC will base its recommendation strictly on the material in your dossier. Following a thorough discussion of your performance in each of the three areas of evaluation, the TPC will arrive at a recommendation to the President on your candidacy. One or more committee members will draft a letter from the committee summarizing our evaluation of your dossier and the reasons for our recommendation. This recommendation letter will be reviewed, discussed, and edited by the entire TPC. Before the Board of Trustees meeting at which faculty review decisions will be considered, we send our letter on your dossier to the President, who will include it with her letter to you regarding your candidacy. As directed by the Faculty Handbook, a copy of the TPC letter also goes to the Provost, who sits on the TPC ex officio, but who does not vote in TPC meetings.
In the past the TPC has found the candidate's Prospectus to be a clarifying and informative document in the dossier. To assist you in writing your Prospectus, we have included a separate sheet of recommendations for specific elements to consider in drafting it. Please make sure you read these guidelines very carefully in their entirety. We want to stress three points regarding your Prospectus. First, please address concerns or problems raised in your most recent evaluation as contained in the Provost's or the TPC's letter to you. The committee seeks evidence in the Prospectus that such problems have been addressed. Second, we encourage you to be as forthcoming as possible about your strengths, your aspirations, and those areas in which you particularly want to improve, including any changes you might make to bring about this improvement. Finally, we strongly encourage you to specify the ways in which your teaching and/or scholarship make substantive contributions to your discipline. The TPC works hard to understand, for example, scholarly activity since the last review and the value of publications and presentations beyond the matter of number and venue. We appreciate when candidates (and their evaluators) speak to such issues clearly and succinctly.
We also ask you to be sure that your vita is complete, clear, and annotated (including dates) to address an audience of colleagues from each of the four divisions of the College. We also ask you to be sure that your Professional Activities Records (PARs), which are kept in the Provost's office, are up-to-date. Your PARs are an important part of your dossier, since they provide the committee with a record of your teaching and advising loads, of new courses you have offered, of the development of your professional activities, and of your specific community service.
We wish you a successful year, and we hope that our letter of recommendation to the President, which will clarify the reasons for our recommendation, will be helpful to you in your future teaching and professional endeavors.
On behalf of the Tenure and Promotion Committee,
Michael Levine, TPC Chair 2002-2003
Kathryn Edwards, TPC Chair 2003-2005
Paula Turner, TPC Chair 2005-2006