Promotion and tenure file

Hello and welcome to my promotion and tenure dossier!

I am providing this document as an example for others since the process and its documents are usually black-boxed for a rather high-stakes situation. I hope this document is useful to whatever processes you’re going through for promotion, tenure, application, or advancement.

I wanted to outline a few unique contexts that shaped this document:

  1. Faculty have a strong union at Memorial University, so the structure of the document and constant quoting of the collective agreement are both based on that. The most important advice I got was to follow the collective agreement to the letter, because that is how a case is made or broken, especially if something goes sideways in the process. If you don’t have a union, meet with your promotion and tenure committee if you can. They can tell you what you need to do for the process.
  2. I have a bizarre career trajectory. I changed disciplines multiple times; I changed departments while at the university; and I went up for promotion and tenure while I was a full-time administrator. There is a lot of work narrating that into something legible as success and innovation. That includes the graphs. Not everyone needs graphs. But I like them a lot.
  3. Our union has ensured that we do not need to include student evaluation forms in our teaching dossier. Mine had their fair share of sexism and racism, so I opted not to use them. I had to talk to the union about the rules for that to make sure I was protected in that choice. You can see what I used instead.

I’ve taken out the appendices to the document, which made it very long. I think it the future I would include more excerpts instead of full documents—the committee is obliged to read the whole thing and for some sections, they could have just read a snippet of a longer document.

I also didn’t include my list of external references for privacy reasons. But I spoke to all of them beforehand to see if they would be willing to be a reference. I did most of this at a conference when I would see them face to face. They included editors of major journals I published in, one of the reviewers of my book, people who had excellent reputations in the field for giving good and thoughtful reviews, and people who I knew used my work in their courses or research.

Just as I finished, I found an ideal tool for finding new impact indicators! A tad late for me, but not for you:

The coolest thing about writing this document was that I learned a lot about my own work—the graphs and trends, in particular, have been useful for me in terms of understanding how I work and how I might shift my work in the future.

I wrote a short Twitter thread here outlining some of the choices and processes that went into the dossier’s creation.

Good luck and best wishes!

Max Liboiron
Associate Professor 😉


Download the promotion and tenure file here.