The candidate has the responsibility to prepare, review, and submit all required documentation and materials, except for evaluation letters. However, the list provided by the candidate for external evaluators should be included in the package. When this documentation is complete, and in the proper format, the candidate will sign a statement that it is both accurate and complete.
Should the candidate fail to meet the deadlines established by the Unit for submission of the required documentation, consideration of promotion and/or tenure may be delayed until the following year. However, if such a delay would have the effect of violating the maximum time of employment for an untenured Faculty member, the Faculty member will receive a letter of non-reappointment.
Format for Promotion and/or Tenure Packages: Guidelines for Candidates
It is important that all candidates follow as closely as possible the same format in preparing the documentation for promotion and/or tenure packages, although some flexibility should be allowed. All candidates must include a copy of their curriculum vitae. The candidates should also write a brief summary of their major accomplishments at Georgia Tech with regard to teaching, research, student success activities, and service. For faculty who serve as the primary advisor of a graduate student or postdoctoral scholar, this narrative should include a discussion of their mentorship in research. These personal narratives shall be three (3) to five (5) pages with one-inch margins, standard single-spaced, and 10-point minimum font. The candidates also are required to submit evidence of three (3) to five (5) examples of their relevant, creative capabilities. These may include published papers, books, software, patents, art productions, or other relevant examples.
Format for Promotion and/or Tenure Packages: Guidelines for Units
It is appropriate that each set of documents prepared by a Unit be preceded by letters of transmittal from the Unit Head, and from the Committee referenced in Internal Peer Review Section below, and the Peer Review Committee of that School. These will include comments regarding whether a candidate meets the required qualifications for each separate point of the promotion and/or tenure guidelines (See Sections 3.3.5 & 3.3.6). These comments should be brief and highlight the more significant contributions in each area. The presentation should be written so that the merits of the case are fully apparent to persons who may not be familiar with the discipline of the individual under consideration. Comparison of the relative merits of multiple candidates from within the department is encouraged.
The letter of transmittal should be followed by a curriculum vitae, prepared by the candidate, detailing the relevant career activities of the individual. Finally, the package may include further relevant documentation such as letters of evaluation, student evaluations, the candidate’s annual evaluation materials since the last RPT event with at most the last five years-worth of reviews included, and, if unavoidable, copies of unpublished creative work.
External Peer Review
Letters of recommendation from appropriate individuals outside the Institute must be obtained by the Unit for any decisions related to tenure or promotion. The individuals from whom letters are sought should be clear leaders in the field. Brief biographical sketches of these individuals should be included in the materials submitted for consideration, as well as the letters received. Generally, the letter writers should not have a personal or professional connection to the candidates (e.g., dissertation advisor, postdoctoral mentor, research collaborator). If letters from such individuals are included, they must be in addition to those normally required, identified as such, and filed separately from other external letters. A justification for including letters from these individuals must be included in the package.
The list of individuals from whom letters are to be obtained should be developed jointly by the candidates for promotion and/or tenure and the Unit Head(s). The final decision regarding who shall be selected to provide recommendations from the list shall rest with the Unit Head(s) and the Faculty committee. It is appropriate to use the same letter for two (2) consecutive years of the process.
A candidate for Promotion and Tenure may request that a particular individual not be contacted as an external reviewer. Such requests are typically honored. If the School Chair or Dean concludes that circumstances require use of that reviewer, the letter must be in addition to those normally required, identified as such, and filed separately from the other external letters. A justification for including the letter must be included in the package.
External evaluations shall be solicited by the Unit Head(s) and supplied to the office of the Dean. These letters shall be solicited with the understanding that, insofar as possible, access to them will be limited to persons involved in the promotion/tenure decision.
All candidates will be asked to sign a waiver indicating whether or not the candidate “waives all rights to see the identity of the external letter writers and/or the content of their letters.” The waiver form with the candidate's decision will be included in the package.
Internal Peer Review
Each College (or Unit within a College) should determine and publish appropriate measures of scholarly impact of Faculty candidates for Promotion and Tenure. Each Promotion and Tenure package should include an explicit discussion of the impact of the candidate’s scholarship relative to the College’s or Unit’s measure of impact.
The first-level Peer Review Committee should be tailored for each candidate so that it is composed of Faculty in the same or related fields or technical interest areas. The Unit Head typically appoints this committee in consultation with the unit RPT Committee. Candidates shall have the opportunity to suggest to the Unit Head(s) the names of individuals who would be appropriate members of the committee. For joint appointments, input should be obtained from the Faculty of both units. In the event that the individual units do not have appropriate expertise relating to the candidate’s specific creative contributions, the committee may include individuals who are not members of the Georgia Tech faculty.
RPT Committee Peer Review
The unit’s RPT committee will also review the candidate’s materials to provide some consistency across the unit and to comment on the teaching and service contributions of the candidate, as well as those activities described in this Handbook.
Unit RPT Committee Composition
- Unit RPT committees shall be elected on an annual basis by the tenure-track faculty within a Unit. The election shall be by secret ballot and shall be conducted by the Unit’s elected Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC will also arbitrate and decide any issues with the election. The Unit Head may appoint additional members in consultation with the Unit’s elected RPT committee to balance the committee with respect to sub-disciplines and other relevant aspects, such that no more than one-third of the total number of the RPT committee members shall be appointed by the Unit Head. The Unit’s FAC, in consultation with the Unit’s faculty, will determine the total number of RPT committee members and the distribution of associate and full professors. All members of the RPT must be tenured faculty members. The RPT committee will elect its own chair.
- If a Unit has fewer than ten (10) tenured faculty members and those faculty members are not evenly distributed between associate and full professor ranks so as to accomplish fair and impartial reviews, then the Unit may choose to elect members from the Unit’s College to complete the RPT committee.
- A committee of the whole (i.e., all tenured faculty members within a Unit) meets the requirements of this section, if it is elected by the Unit’s tenure-track faculty members.
- For evaluations of full professors, only full professors may participate. For evaluations of associate and assistant professors, any member of the committee may participate.
Decisions Involving Joint Appointments
A committee drawn from appropriate individuals of each Unit shall be established to provide recommendations. In the event that individual Units do not have appropriate expertise related to the candidate's specific creative contributions, a special committee shall be constituted and may include individuals who are not members of the Georgia Tech Faculty. The composition of this committee is governed by this Handbook. All Unit Heads involved jointly shall provide recommendations. These recommendations then will be passed along to the next level(s) as appropriate.
Joint Academic/GTRI/Center Appointments
Promotion and/or tenure decisions of academic Units will be based on their own criteria; however, letters of evaluation from appropriate GTRI Unit Heads and/or Center Directors must be included in the documentation of these candidates. Appropriate individuals from GTRI or the Center normally will be included in the unit-level committees appointed to make the initial recommendation.
The Provost and Executive Vice President's Advisory Committee
The College Deans, the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and senior members of the Faculty representing the Colleges, comprise the advisory committee. The Vice Provost for Faculty may participate in the discussions of the committee but does not vote. Similarly, the college Deans participate in the discussion but do not vote on the candidates from their colleges nor do representatives from a specific unit (such as Physics) vote on Faculty members from that unit. Normally, the Vice Provost for Faculty chairs the meetings. The Committee forwards all packages, along with its recommendations to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Recommendation of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs considers all information that has been compiled, transmits the complete package along with their recommendations to the President, and then notifies the college Deans of the recommendations involving Faculty within their respective colleges.
Final Dispositions and Reports
Upon approval of the award of tenure and/or promotion to an individual by the President, that individual shall be notified in writing by the President; notification will be forwarded to the Board of Regents.
An annual report shall be made to the President by each Unit of the Institute on the status of its Faculty. The annual report shall include the numbers of tenured and non-tenured Faculty, by rank. Individuals who have been retained in full-time faculty status at the Institute for a period in excess of seven (7) years without the award of tenure shall be identified by name and justification for such retention given. These reports shall be available for public inspection.
The Institute shall provide data annually to the Board of Regents, showing the Institute’s tenure rates by gender and race.
Feedback to Faculty Members
After the final decision has been made and communicated in a letter from the President, it is important for the Faculty member to receive feedback regarding the assessments involved. The appropriate place for the individual Faculty member to receive this feedback is from the Unit Head(s). The Unit Head shall receive a copy of the recommendations prepared by each committee and by all other administrators with direct responsibility for reviewing the candidate, including the Dean (for those Units where the Dean does not serve as the Unit Head), the Provost, and the President. The Unit Head shall review each recommendation, including their own, with the candidate, and counsel the candidate appropriately.
In cases of disapproval of promotion, a candidate shall be counseled concerning the reasons for a negative decision.
Promotion and tenure decisions may be appealed through the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee. (See “Grievance: Process and Procedures”, Section 3.1.9).