Promotion to Professor


Eligibility for Promotion to Professor


Before becoming eligible for promotion to the rank of Professor, faculty members on tenured, tenure track or continuing track appointments at the rank of Associate Professor should expect to serve six years in rank, of which at least four of which are at Elon University.

Application for Promotion to Professor


Each year the Provost/Executive Vice President will review the promotion eligibility of each teaching faculty member and will notify faculty members in the summer prior to the academic year in which they are first eligible for promotion.

The faculty member is responsible for submitting a formal letter of application to the Provost/Executive Vice President indicating his or her desire to be reviewed for promotion.

Faculty members who choose not to stand for promotion in a given year continue to be eligible in subsequent years.

If the faculty member elects not to apply for promotion, no further notification of eligibility will be sent in subsequent years. The faculty member must submit formal application in any subsequent year he or she wishes to be reviewed.

The applicant is responsible for meeting the guidelines in place at the year of application.

Standards for Promotion to Professor


Associate Professors, planning to stand for promotion to the rank of Professor, are expected to continue to develop their skills and record in a manner that will qualify them for promotion to the rank of Professor.

In order to be eligible for promotion to the rank of Professor, faculty members should expect to meet the following standards by the time the promotional rank is sought.

  • Have the terminal degree and at least six years of experience as an Associate Professor or, for persons without the terminal degree, at least six years’ experience as an Associate Professor and significant professional experience.
  • Have established sustained records of teaching, professional activity including scholarship, and institutional service that surpass the high quality standard for faculty at other ranks as defined in this Handbook. They should be exemplary teachers and advisors. They should be currently engaged in scholarly work that extends past achievements. Their contribution to the life of the University should reflect understanding of its mission and goals and demonstrable leadership in serving the University.

Only in exceptional cases will people who have not met the preceding standards be appointed to this rank.

File for Promotion to Professor


Faculty members standing for promotion to Professor will create a promotion file, which will serve as the basic resource in the promotion decision. The file is drawn from material in the faculty personnel file, but may be supplemented by material of the candidate’s choosing (e.g., personal recommendations). The file will include material organized in sequential order from Part 1 through Part 10 of the portfolio. The peer-reviewed scholarship statement from the candidate’s department or school and the Elon Teacher Scholar Statement must be placed either in a pocket in the front cover of the portfolio or as the first page, preceding Part 1.

Part 1: This part includes a letter of application for promotion that focuses on the candidate’s activities and reviews while at Elon and subsequent to any successful promotion application. The letter should summarize the candidate’s case for promotion with specific reference to the candidate’s performance relative to the Criteria for Evaluation of Teaching Faculty.

Part 2: This part includes a current curriculum vitae. Candidates are asked to provide clear indications of the types of scholarship listed in their curriculua vitae. In particular, reviewers of portfolios must be able to distinguish peer-reviewed and refereed scholarship from other kinds of academic products. It is also important that candidates follow accepted professional documentation guidelines (e.g., APA, CBE, MLA style) in formatting each entry and be particularly careful to follow these guidelines when listing multiple authors and researchers.

Part 3: This part includes the Teaching Faculty Member’s Annual Self-Reviews (Unit I) for the faculty member’s term of employment at Elon University or the previous six years, whichever is shorter.

Part 4: This part includes a description, self-evaluation, documentation, and representative samples of the candidate’s achievement relative to the Criteria for Evaluation of Teaching Faculty. The primary focus should on activity at Elon and subsequent to any successful promotion application. If the candidate lists scholarship that is not yet public, such as “in press,” or “under contract,” and if that scholarship is listed in support of the candidate’s application, then the candidate must document the status of the work through evidence such as galleys, letters from editors, and so on.

Part 5: This part includes the Department Chair’s annual evaluation (Unit III), including probationary midpoint review – Midpoint Unit III or post-probationary midpoint review – Post-Probationary Unit III, for each year of the candidate’s term of employment at Elon University or for the previous six years, whichever is shorter.

Part 6: In this part the candidate will include a letter from the candidate’s Department Chair assessing the candidate’s performance relative to the Criteria for Evaluation of Teaching Faculty and concluding with an overall recommendation.

    • If the candidate standing for promotion is the Department Chair, he or she, in consultation with the Dean, determines which senior colleague in the department should write the letter. If a candidate’s Department Chair is serving on the Promotions and Tenure Committee, the Chair will not write the letter for the candidate. Rather, a senior member of the department selected by the Dean and in consultation with the Department Chair will write the letter.
    • Candidates who have a joint appointment or have significant responsibility in two or more departments or programs (for example, a math faculty member teaching in education) should have the Chair/Director from the secondary department or program submit an addendum to the Chair’s letter.

Part 7: The candidate will submit annual summaries of Student Perceptions of Teaching (Unit IV) for the candidate’s term of employment at Elon University or for the previous six years, whichever is shorter.

Part 8: The candidate will include the most recent Dean’s evaluation of the candidate (Unit V) from a midpoint review or a long range professional development review during the candidate’s term of employment at Elon University or the previous six years, whichever is shorter.

Part 9:  

A candidate being considered for promotion to Professor may include letters of support for teaching, service, and professional activity from colleagues at Elon University and other institutions, not to exceed 15 letters. Letters required in Parts 1 through 8 above are not included in the 15-letter maximum.

A candidate being considered for promotion to Professor must include at least two self-solicited external letters that address the candidate’s professional activity. These letters are not included in the 15-letter maximum stipulated above.

Part 10: The candidate must prepare a digital copy (PDF) of the complete file and must include it with the promotion file.

The promotion file becomes the basic resource in the promotion review. However, if further clarification becomes necessary, those people involved in the decision may consult and use the candidate’s personnel file.

The promotion file exists only for the duration of the evaluation process. Once this process has been completed, the file is returned to the candidate.

Promotion Decision for Professor


The evaluation system for faculty members applying for promotion to Professor involves six stages and follows the Schedule of Activities for Evaluation.

Stage 1 involves the creation of a file, consisting of material drawn from the faculty personnel file as well as additional information included by the candidate. The individual candidate is responsible for seeing that the file is in finished form by September 15 so that the process may proceed to stage two.

Stage 2 involves the separate evaluation of this file by the respective Deans and by the Promotions and Tenure Committee. Each independently makes a recommendation regarding promotion and communicates that to the Provost/Executive Vice President.

Stage 3 involves the Provost/Executive Vice President holding one meeting of both the Promotions and Tenure Committee and the respective Dean to discuss their independent recommendations and rationales.

Stage 4 involves a recommendation on promotion by the Provost/Executive Vice President to the President.

Stage 5 involves a recommendation on promotion by the President of the University to the Board of Trustees.

Stage 6 involves personnel decisions made by the Board of Trustees on promotion recommendations.

Results of Promotion Decision for Professor


For Decisions Awarding Promotion

Following the Board of Trustees’ approval for promotion to Professor, the faculty member will receive a $6,000 annual increase to base salary.

For Decisions Not Awarding Promotion

Faculty members who apply but are not awarded promotion should confer with their Deans to understand the rationale for the recommendation. These faculty members must wait at least one additional academic year following the academic year during which they applied before reapplying for promotion. The Provost/Executive Vice President will notify the faculty member of eligibility to reapply in the summer prior to regained eligibility.

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