Strategies for Success

P&T Strategies

Preparing Materials for Promotion and Tenure

In preparing your promotion and tenure dossier and supplemental materials, it is important to read and follow the guidelines from your department, the guidelines from the College, and the guidelines from the University thoroughly.  Your Department’s guidelines are the most specific and it is a good idea to start with these. 

The College of Education internal website provides promotion and tenure guidelines, academic policies, and information from the Vice-Provost for Faculty Affairs:

https://ed.psu.edu/internal/pt/promotion-tenure

The University states explicitly that preparation of the dossier is the joint responsibility of the candidate and the relevant Department Head.  It is important to work closely with your Department Head on the preparation of the dossier and supplemental materials (see FAQs #3; College Guidelines: General Guidelines, point 1).

As described in the departmental and college guidelines, your promotional and tenure materials consist of two parts: The dossier and the supplemental materials.

The dossier presents a record of your work, including your narrative statement. The supplemental materials provide supporting evidence of your work. The dossier and the supplemental materials provide corresponding information in three categories:

  • The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,
  • The Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments,
  • and Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession.

The Dossier

The Dossier should be prepared in Activity Insights. This is where you provide information about your scholarship of teaching, research, and service. More information about Activity Insights can be found here:

http://activityinsight.psu.edu

https://ed.psu.edu/internal/activity-insights-system-digital-measures

Make the best presentation of the dossier. You may choose to export the files from Activity Insights to a Microsoft Word document and make final edits. This final product needs to be carefully proofread, including a check for all parts of references and match with supplemental materials. Make sure that you are placing work under the appropriate categories. Do not invent new categories.  If you have work that does not fit neatly into the existing categories, work with your Department Head to choose the best location.  You can explain the rationale for a placement in your narrative statement.

Your dossier includes your narrative statement. This is a three-page summary of your scholarship of teaching, research, and service. Your narrative statement is an important part of your dossier and should put your work in context, describe the quality and value of your work, and make connections across teaching, research, and service to the extent possible. You can use your narrative to point your reviewers to evidence in your supplemental materials about the significance of the outlets you have chosen for your scholarship and other contributions.

Recognize that your audience for your narrative is beyond your research area. Be clear about the value and impact of your research program and your contribution.

Start early and write drafts of narrative to allow for a few rounds of feedback from your department head and faculty colleagues. Creating the narrative is like crafting an essay for publication.

 Your narrative statement is a good place to respond to questions you think are likely to arise in the minds of reviewers of your dossier.  For example, if your scholarship is highly collaborative, reviewers are likely to wonder what your specific contributions have been to your collaborations.  You can anticipate and provide an answer to this question in your narrative statement.

Proofread the narrative checking proper use of grammar, punctuation, and small things such as official names, titles, dates, and page numbers.

By the time you get to the fourth year or sixth year review, you will have received feedback from the statements of evaluation that were prepared by your colleagues during earlier reviews. This includes letters of evaluation from the Promotion and Tenure Committees, your Department Head, and Dean. You should be attentive to the suggestions offered in these letters and use space in your narrative statement to explain how you addressed any noted concerns. You do not necessarily need to do what they are suggesting, but it is desirable for you to demonstrate that you have been attentive. In addition, you can also use space in your narrative statement to respond to student or peer comments that were made in earlier reviews about your teaching and advising, particularly if there are negative comments. Future reviewers of your dossier will be interested in how you have responded to previous feedback.

Supplemental Materials

Supplemental materials provide evidence of accomplishment and should be organized in the three sections of the dossier and to match the listing of accomplishments found in the dossier:

  • The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,
  • The Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments,
  • and Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession.

It is usually desirable for the supplemental materials to be provided in an electronic format. Supplemental Materials are required at all review levels. Only one copy of supporting materials is necessary.

Guidelines from the College of Education Faculty Council (4.19.2018) regarding supplemental materials can be found here.