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Recommended Format for Promotion and Tenure Committee Reports

Overview of Report Expectations

The Promotion and Tenure Committee is charged with conducting a review to determine whether a candidate’s body of work merits promotion and/or tenure and providing a well-founded recommendation report. The report should communicate the rationale behind the committee’s recommendation in language that is comprehensible across various disciplines as the report is part of the dossier that goes to the provost. Effective communication of the committee’s assessment and recommendation ensures that the decision-making process is transparent and understandable to individuals who may not have specialized knowledge in the candidate’s specific discipline.

The format recommendations for this report aim to ensure consistency across reports issued by the Promotion and Tenure Committees reviewing cases at the college. These suggestions align with the information found in the provost’s casebook instructions, which are distributed annually and subject to change. 

The report should provide a cohesive synthesis of the candidate’s qualifications, drawing from the combined evaluation of external reviewers as articulated in their letters, the individual and collective assessment of the committee members, and the information presented in the dossier. The report should adopt an evaluative perspective rather than an advocacy one, offering an accurate, thorough, and balanced summary of the dossier that highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of the individual.

Toward that end, quotes from external review letters (or from the candidate’s statements) should be used judiciously in the report. The committee should be mindful that the report along with the external reviewer letters is forwarded to the provost, and excessive reliance on the external reviewer’s quotes should be avoided. Direct references to letters from program chairs should not be included in the report. Lastly, the report should avoid superlatives to maintain an objective tone throughout. 

As external reviewers may or may not decide to comment on the candidate’s contributions in teaching or service, those sections rely primarily on the committee’s ability to convey the substance of the candidate’s contributions in these areas. Points made in the teaching section should be supported by various metrics (described below), while the service section will normally comprise a narrative constructed by the committee, drawing upon the candidate’s own statements.

Reviews should adhere to the guidelines outlined in the:

Report Template

Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

DATE: Date of report

TO: Taubman College Executive Committee Members and Dean 

FROM: Promotion and Tenure Review Committee: (include members’ names, 

with committee chair listed first)

RE: [current rank and name of candidate]


The report should begin with an executive summary that succinctly articulates the committee’s decision regarding the candidate’s promotion and/or tenure and the committee’s vote on the case. (When citing the vote, please only refer to numbers, i.e. unanimously, by a vote of 3 in favor and 1 opposed, etc. with no mention of committee members’ names.) The committee should also list one quote from each external reviewer that best captures that person’s overall assessment of the candidate.

Important administrative note: The external reviewers and student letter writers must be anonymized in alphabetical order by last name and referred to in this manner throughout the report (i.e. Reviewer A, Reviewer B, Student A, Student B.). A key must be included at the end of the report. The committee should wait to anonymize the identities after all the letters have been received. The reviewers should also not be described with any identifying information in the report.

Following the recommendation, the remainder of the report should offer an evaluative (rather than advocacy) perspective that provides an accurate, thorough, and balanced summary of the dossier, highlighting both the strengths and weaknesses of the individual in the areas of research/creative practice, teaching, and service.

Candidate Background

This section is a concise overview of the candidate’s:

  • Current position and effort percentage at the college
  • Academic history, including universities attended, locations, and degrees earned with their respective dates
  • Brief summary of the candidate’s teaching and/or professional experience before joining the college

Research/Scholarship/Creative Activities/Professional Practice

The initial paragraphs of this section should provide a detailed summary, in the committee’s own words, of the candidate’s:

  • Research/scholarship/creative activity and/or professional practice 
  • Distinct contributions to the discipline(s), subfield(s), and their standing within it
    • Note: individuals should receive full credit for their contributions to interdisciplinary and/or collaborative scholarly projects
  • Means by which the candidate’s work has been disseminated and/or recognized
    • Include information as to the relative merits of such venues, as such information might be unknown to reviewers outside the discipline
    • Clarify whether the candidate is sole author, principal investigator, team member, or working as a part of a collaborative practice, etc. 
    • Non-traditional forms of scholarly production (these should be given as much scrutiny as the more traditional disciplinary work)
  • Record of obtaining internal and external funding, if applicable, with priority placed on external funding before sources from within the University of Michigan or the college

Committees should refrain from using direct external reviewer quotes from letters in the initial paragraphs in making these points. 

Subsequent paragraphs should describe:

  • The substance of these research/creative works to elaborate on the points made concerning the distinct contribution of the candidate to the discipline(s) using quotes from external reviewers letters
  • Critical feedback on the work submitted, derived both from points made in committee deliberations of the case or from points made in the letters of external reviewers including any contextualized negative points from the external reviewers 
  • An overarching summary of the candidate’s scholarly/creative achievements that acknowledges the candidate’s progress to date and highlights the committee’s viewpoint of the candidate’s body of work


Evidence to support the candidate’s teaching contributions could be found in syllabi, student course work, course evaluations, student letters, recognition through internal and/or external teaching awards, etc. 

The initial paragraphs of this section should provide a detailed summary, in the committee’s own words, of the candidate’s:

  • Distinct contribution to the teaching mission of the college
  • Primary teaching contributions to the curriculum of their program(s), including specific points highlighting the value of these contributions to the program(s) and the associated discipline(s) 
  • Contributions to interdisciplinary teaching and learning

Subsequent paragraphs should describe:

  • More in-depth elaboration of the candidate’s pedagogical aims
    • Detail how these aims are implemented, their preferred outcomes, and the overall contribution to the program(s)
  • Relationships between teaching and research/creative activity
    • Address its effectiveness and value to the overall mission of the program and/or college as well as to the discipline(s)
  • How the candidate’s teaching efforts are supported by or contribute significantly to broader disciplinary and/or cultural notions
  • An overarching summary of the candidate’s teaching achievements and highlight the committee’s viewpoint of the candidate’s pedagogy

The committee’s viewpoints in this section can be substantiated by referencing comments from student letters and external reviewers letters to highlight specific feedback and perspectives. 


This section should provide a detailed summary, in the committee’s own words, of the candidate’s:

  • Service to the program, college, university, profession, and the public 
  • Connections between the candidate’s service activities, research, and/or teaching and broader contributions to the candidate’s discipline/s 
  • Overview of the candidate’s engagement and impact beyond their immediate role

Overview of the Process Undertaken

The Promotion and Tenure Committee of the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, was charged with evaluating <name> and providing a recommendation regarding promotion and/or tenure. 

In September 20XX, the committee received a dossier from <name> to conduct the review. The candidate was asked to provide a list of potential external reviewers separate from the committee’s list. The candidate’s dossier, comprising a comprehensive CV, statements, teaching portfolio, and research/creative practice portfolio, was sent to external reviewers, resulting in the committee receiving letters from <#> external reviewers.

Simultaneously, the college requested letters from former students to gather insights on the candidate’s teaching. A random selection of twenty names was made from the candidate’s course rosters, and an additional ten students, provided by the candidate, were contacted. In response to these requests, the committee received letters from <#> students.

The committee convened regularly to conduct and monitor the review process. The evaluation of <name> by the committee is based on the review of the dossier provided and the feedback from external reviewers and students.

Example External Reviewer/Student Key:

  • Reviewer A: Gaudi 
  • Reviewer B: Lloyd Wright 
  • Reviewer C: Metcalf
  • Student A: Beckley 
  • Student B: Jenney
  • Student C: Malcolmson
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