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  Cornell University

The University Faculty

Office of the Dean

4.1.4 The Department Review

[This webpage is being edited. Until it becomes official, refer to what the current faculty handbook says on this topic.]

Checklist for dossier:

The materials listed below are expected for an internal candidate for promotion. Some of these materials may not be available or applicable for external candidates, but a CV, letters of evaluation in addition to references suggested by the candidate, as well as evaluations of teaching, should be provided as a minimum for external candidates.

Dean’s Recommendation

  • Report of the ad-hoc committee, including the names of its members
  • Transmittal letter from the Dean, addressing disagreements or matters of serious concern in the file

Departmental Recommendation

  • Letter from the chair presenting the case for promotion and addressing disagreements and matters of serious concern in the file
  • Departmental vote (including abstentions)
  • Report of any departmental review committee
  • Letters from department colleagues that are part of the review process
  • Comment on quality of journals, presses, and other venues where the candidate’s work has appeared


  • A complete CV, including a list of publications and/or artistic work, funded research, extension work, and university, professional, and service activities

Candidate Statements

  • Statements from the candidate about his/her research, teaching, advising, service, and (if applicable)

Appointment/Performance Review Letters

  • Initial job description
  • Appointment and reappointment letters
  • Any subsequent change in the terms of appointment
  • Any written responses by the candidate to the above

External evaluation letters

  • All letters received from outside experts about scholarly, creative and extension work
  • List of external evaluators solicited, indicating which were suggested by the candidate and which by the department
  • A brief explanation of the evaluators’ qualifications and their relationship (if any) to the candidate
  • A copy of the letter requesting evaluations
  • The role of external evaluators is to assess the candidate’s accomplishments, stature in the field, and future promise. They should be given a charge that is as specific as possible and should be provided with as much material relating to the candidate’s performance as is conveniently possible (excluding other confidential evaluations). Although the candidate may suggest external reviewers, the tenure dossier should include at least five letters from peers outside Cornell who have not been closely associated with the candidate and who have not been selected by the candidate. In selecting external evaluators, departments should select at least some well-established leaders in the larger discipline who are not working in the same subdiscipline as the candidate. The purpose of these evaluations is to understand the breadth of impact and promise of the candidate’s .


  • List of courses taught, with enrollments
  • Summary of teaching evaluations, prepared by someone other than the candidate.
  • Letters from students and advisees
  • Copy of letter(s) requesting student evaluations
  • Assessments by colleagues of teaching and course materials (e.g. syllabi, project assignments, homework sets, field studies, lab experiments)

Recommended (optional) Materials

 In addition, FACTA has found the following information especially helpful:

An assessment of the candidate’s contributions to co-authored publications, explaining the conventions of the field in listing authors.

Comments on candidate’s efforts to improve instruction.

Statement of how student evaluators were selected, the rate of response, and the usual rate of response in the department.

Data on how candidate’s teaching evaluations compare to those of other faculty teaching the same or similar courses.

Last Updated: September 15, 2017 at 10:49 am