Appointment, Promotion & Tenure (Tenure-Track Faculty)


Getting Started

Informing the Candidate

The Chair/Dean informs the faculty member when their review begins and solicits required materials from the candidate with the approved sample letter.

Composition of the Review Committee

  • The Department Chair nominates a review committee for the Dean's approval.
  • Review committees must include at least one member from outside the primary reviewing unit, appointed by the Dean of the school where the dossier will be reviewed.
  • Chairs should not serve on review committees. However, in small departments where the review committee comprises all department members entitled to vote, the Chair should be present for all discussions so that the Chair's letter to the Dean is fully informed by the committee discussions, which also double as departmental discussions.
  • Chair informs the candidate of review committee’s membership.

Candidate's Materials 

Curriculum Vitae

  • Include department/research area for Ph.D., the title of the Ph.D. dissertation, and the name of Ph.D. advisor.
  • Assign marginal numbers to published works and research (corresponding to the ranked listing of most important/influential contributions and to the works provided in the top 10 list of Publications);
  • List authors of collaborative research in the sequence in which they appear on published work.
  • Include external funding applications and awards including funding agency, all PIs, dates, and amount awarded.

Synopsis of Intellectual Interest

A brief description of the candidate’s intellectual interest, including a description of any factors – interdisciplinary or otherwise – that the candidate believes should be taken into consideration when establishing his/her review committee. The synopsis should be one page or less.

Intellectual Development Statement

This statement should provide a detailed summary of the candidate’s research, teaching, and service activities. Please include the following:

  • Research/scholarship/artistic development: describe the candidate’s research interests, how the candidate’s work contributes to his/her field of study. Focus on identifying the candidate’s main contributions the field. Include a description of the candidate’s research trajectory including new projects, works in progress, and future directions.
  • Teaching: describe the candidate’s teaching philosophy, goals, and strategies. Provide information about prior courses taught, mentoring of undergraduate students, and other teaching and pedagogical accomplishments. If appropriate, address any issues with teaching evaluations. Describe future teaching and mentorship plans.
  • Service: describe all department, university, and disciplinary service. Identify contributions to both the primary and secondary/joint/adjunct academic units.

List of Graduate Mentoring Activities

Include a list theses/dissertations supervised and served as a member of thesis and dissertation committees. Specify the candidate’s role on each committee (e.g., chair, member). If the candidate’s unit has no graduate activities, include a statement explaining this. 

Course Syllabi 

Include syllabi for all courses taught since appointment or most recent promotion 

List of Top 10 Publications/Contributions 

A listing, rank-ordered by the candidate, of not more than ten (total) of his/her most important and influential publications and/or professional contributions. 

Alphabetical List of Collaborators 

Alphabetical list of collaborators on papers, grants, and presentations.

Recent Grant Proposals

Summary of Grants if Applicable (Template)

External Evaluators

Selecting and Contacting External Evaluators

The review committee will meet and decide on a list of arms-length evaluators. The candidate may—but is not required to—suggest no more than three evaluators and may identify potential evaluators not to be contacted. This is explained in the candidate solicitation letter from the department.  A minimum of six external letters is required.

  • Evaluators must be of equal or higher rank than that for which the candidate is being reviewed.

  • Collaborators (with the exception listed below), supervisors, and present or former departmental colleagues are not considered arms-length. For internal candidates for promotion, colleagues at UNC-CH and NCSU are also not considered arms-length.

  • For initial appointments or promotions to Full Professor, at least four of the external letter writers must have never collaborated with the candidate (i.e., they must be fully arms-length). The remaining evaluators may have been colleagues or collaborators on shared projects the most recent of which must have been completed and published more than seven years ago. Such a relationship must be clearly explicit.

  • NONE of the letter writers may have been colleagues or collaborators in the past seven years.

  • NONE of the letter writers may have been former supervisors or students of the candidate.

  • For interdisciplinary work, more than six letters should be provided.

  • Deans are expected to review all dossiers and return them to the originating units for additional letters when evaluators are found to be inadequately removed from the candidate. If the department believes that there are too few qualified independent evaluators to meet the requirements specified above, the department chair should get Dean’s approval for the list of evaluators and provide a full explanation in the Department Chair’s Report.

Initial Contact with External Evaluators

Emailing Appropriate Scholars

The Review Committee Chair, using the approved email template, solicits at least six evaluations of the candidate's work. Contact with evaluators should always be initiated by email rather than by telephone. All email contact with external evaluators should be included in the candidate’s file. In rare cases where contact is made by telephone, the conversation should be limited to a discussion of the potential evaluator’s willingness to be a reviewer, and the details of the conversation should be logged and included in the candidate’s file.  If following up is necessary, use the approved email template. 

Evaluators who Agree to Write

Once an evaluator agrees to write a letter and has been identified as arms-length, the Reviewer Committee Chair sends the following materials digitally, using a secure Duke Box, by creating a folder.  

Evaluation Letters Folder

This folder should contain the following sub-folders and documents

Sample Request Letter

Sample request letter(s) and date(s) sent to external reviewers

Statement Identifying External Letter Writers

  • Name and current rank, institutional affiliation, email address, mailing address and phone number.
  • Research area, distinction in the field, and relevance to candidate's work.
  • Clear indication of those suggested by the candidate or by the review committee.

Electronic Communications with Evaluators Folder 

All electronic communications involving university faculty/staff and any evaluators, potential evaluators, or other individuals contacted in connection with this review. This includes those who declined to write an evaluation. Communication should be saved in separate folders including:

Those Who Agreed to Write

Those Who Declined

Those Who Did Not Respond

Those Who Agreed But Did Not Send A Letter

If additional letters are sought by the APT committee or the Provost, the department and school will have an opportunity to weigh in on the suitability of the selected names.

Log of Additional Contacts

A fully descriptive log of all additional contacts with evaluators, potential evaluators, and others in connection with this review including a written report describing the substance of

Unsolicited Correspondence

Include any unsolicited correspondence received on behalf of the candidate.

Review Committee Materials

Review Committee Report

This report should be the version that was submitted to the voting faculty prior to its deliberations and vote. It must be signed and dated by all members. If the Review Committee's Report is modified subsequent to the departmental discussion, provide both reports (original and modified) signed and dated by all members. The following headings and appropriate information are to be included in all Review Committee Reports

Strengths and Weaknesses. At the beginning of the report, include a bulleted list of the candidate’s primary strengths and weaknesses. Nearly all cases have weaknesses; do not ignore or obscure these. The list may include both real weaknesses that the report later places in context and apparent weaknesses in the dossier that are explained later as not reflecting true flaws.

The composition of the unit review committee. Initial review committees must include at least one member from outside the primary reviewing unit, appointed by the Dean of the school where the dossier will be reviewed.

External evaluators and evaluations. List evaluators with a rationale for the person’s selection. Explain if the letter writer is not arms-length. Document the standing of the evaluator as a leader in the field. If there are an unusually high number of declines, be sure to discuss any possible mitigating factors. Provide an explanation if the evaluator is from an institutions that might not be perceived as one of Duke’s peer institutions. Dossiers must include all correspondence with external evaluators. Some succinct quotations can put the arguments of the committee and Chair in context, but there is no need to provide extensive quotes from the letters.

Relationship and significance of the relevant broad field and subfield to the discipline. Describe the subfield in which the candidate works including information about the size of the subfield. Explain how the candidate’s work contributes to ongoing intellectual issues in the discipline and subfield. Provide evidence that this field and/or subfield continue to be intellectually vibrant and promising of important contributions.

Candidate's professional development, current research interests, and likely future directions. Describe the candidate’s primary contributions to the field. Include information about whether the candidate's work crosses disciplinary boundaries and state which is the candidate's primary research area and which is the secondary.

The significance of the candidate's research agenda in relation to recent intellectual developments in the field. If the candidate's work crosses disciplinary boundaries or uses methodologies from different disciplines, describe how interdisciplinary has influenced the quality, reception, and impact of the work--positively or negatively--in the candidate's primary field, as well as in other fields.) Where relevant, address the candidate’s public engagement, particularly engagement that is grounded in and draws on the candidate’s research.

Candidate's scholarly trajectory to date, including specific contributions contained in respective published works, their influence on the field, and the breadth of the candidate's interests.

Disputes in the field. Describe any disputes in the candidate’s filed that may be important with respect to this review.

Nature of scholarly productivity in the discipline. Describe what the discipline considers indicative of productive scholars including information about both publication rate and format (e.g., books, refereed journal articles, reviews, catalogs, electronic communications, original compositions).

Individual members of the appropriate peer group. Identify a list of the candidate’s peers in the discipline. It can be particularly effective to include the candidate and peers in a table with relevant metrics for comparing scholarly productivity. The list of peers should include people who received the doctorate (or other terminal degree) around the same time as the candidate. Include a narrative description of the candidate’s standing among peers and reasons for the candidate’s position.

Teaching and Mentoring . Describe the candidate's effectiveness as a teacher. Include information about courses taught, mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students, and any other contributions to instruction. Include a summary of the candidate’s teaching evaluations and explain any issues that arise in those evaluations. Identify awards received for teaching. If relevant, discuss the candidates’ contributions to fostering an equitable and inclusive learning and research environment. 

Service. Describe the candidate’s service to the department, the university, and the discipline. Has the candidate provided service to the department, school, university, or community and discipline beyond what is typically expected for a faculty member of their rank? Include service that aims to advance Duke’s values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Supplemental Information

Statement(s) from other units to which the candidate contributes

Description and importance of candidate’s field

Statement appraising the quality of journal(s) and/or publisher(s)

Search committee report (for external appointments only). If there was no formal search, the Chair should summarize the process that led to the appointment. Include the following with any external appointment dossiers:

i) Description of the search process;

ii) Candidate-by-candidate assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of shortlist candidates;

iii) A copy of the published advertisement, including all areas posted.

Departmental Chair's Materials

The Chair's Materials folder should contain the Departmental Chair's Recommendation and the following supplemental information: 

  • Copy of reappointment summary (for internal tenure candidates)
  • Description of the unit’s voting policy
  • Names of those present and voting and numerical vote tally 
  • Chair’s placement of candidate within a list of tenured faculty (for all tenure and external full professor candidates) - describe the criteria used in developing the ranking. * Note: This ranking should not be retained in the department’s files
  • Six suggestions of additional arms-length evaluators, with institutional affiliations, email addresses, and brief bios. 

Dean's Materials

The Dean's Materials should include one of the following recommendations based on the school and, if applicable, a folder containing any supplemental documents 

Dean's Assessment and Recommendation

Dean's Assessment and Recommendation for Schools without Departments

Top 10 Publications/Contributions

Create a folder for the digital publications/contributions provided by the candidate.  *When naming .pdf documents, leave out all special characters and abbreviate names to keep them to a twenty-five character minimum

Teaching Record

  • The tabular summary of teacher course evaluations.  If your school uses a different summary, please provide a brief explanation of the scale being used.
  • Teacher course evaluation forms

Recent Grant Proposals

Summary of Grants (Template)

Last Five Tenured (for tenure only)

The unit will be asked to submit current CVs for these individuals to the APT committee in order to provide some additional basis for comparison of the candidate to their colleagues (in addition to rankings provided by the Dean or Chair).   Please create this as a separate folder and name the CVs by the last names of the faculty.

Submission to the Provost's Office Faculty Affairs

Effective Fall 2018, all schools will be granted access to a designated Duke Box folder that is maintained by the Faculty Affairs office.  Please name each dossier by faculty member's last name and upload into the designated folder.  Our office will work with schools regarding a set number of collaborators for each folder.   Please contact Faculty Affairs with permission or collaboration requests.