Provost’s Guidelines for Unit Specific Clinical Title Series Promotion Criteria


The following guidelines are provided by the Office of the Provost to all units developing specific Clinical Title Series Promotion criteria. These Provost guidelines outline, for the units, the documentation that will be needed in order to receive Provost approval for specific unit criteria.  Both the format and content should be closely adhered to by the units, in order to receive Provost approval.

Please note that all unit specific guidelines must have the written approval of the dean of the college/school before receiving review by the Office of the Provost. The length of time allowed for consideration of promotion in the clinical title series is not limited.  However, each unit’s specific guidelines must explain how candidates who fail to achieve promotion will be counseled.

Procedure for Promotion

I. Initiation of the Process

The promotion process can be initiated by the unit head or by the candidate. It is the joint responsibility of the unit head and the faculty member to see that the promotion process begins at the appropriately scheduled time. The steps delineated below are the procedures to follow for promoting a clinical faculty member.

Candidates and unit heads should supply information necessary for evaluation in the format outlined. This information should be made available first to eligible faculty members, a college/school committee (if appropriate), then to the dean. The information requested is sufficiently detailed so that a candidate can be evaluated in terms of both potential and achievement. Unit heads and candidates who have questions about material to be submitted should feel free to contact the dean of the appropriate college/school.

II. Information on the Candidate

The outline printed below indicates the kind of information each candidate for promotion and his/her unit head should supply and describes the format to be followed in presenting that information.
Guidelines and/or criteria are subject to periodic revision with approval from the appropriate dean’s office and the Office of the Provost.

A. General Instructions

All lists (of positions held, publications, and, if applicable, courses taught, etc.) should be in reverse chronological order with dates clearly indicated.

Supporting material such as publications, slides, evaluative material (book reviews, published critiques, adjudicated production reviews, practice portfolio, etc.) should be made available for review by the unit head and later by the dean. The candidate and unit head should agree on the selection of material to be made available.

B. Information to Be Supplied by the Candidate:

  • A Standard Biographical Data sheet (see Faculty Handbook for form).

  • A percent breakdown of the allocation of time and effort as specified by the terms of his/her contract for the past three years.

  • A list of honors and awards. Include academic honors, research, clinical, and professional service awards, fellowships (such as NEH, NEA), internal support, election to professional societies, etc.

  • A list of scholarly contributions in accord with the following outline. A candidate should present his/her work as informatively and accurately as possible. A candidate should cross-reference work that falls in two areas (e.g.: See X.x.).

1. Scholarly Contributions by the Candidate

a. Teaching

  1. Actual courses taught for each semester of the past three years including clinical rounds, clinical clerkships/practicums. Indicate lecture/lab, hours per week and enrollment.

  2. Responsibilities including supervision and evaluation of interns, residents, post-doctoral fellows and/or professional students in a small group, case-oriented teaching hospital environment.

  3. Teaching students, in small group settings.

  4. Graduate students whose work has been completed. Indicate degree awarded to the student, year, and, if known, position now held by the student; indicate whether the candidate was the major professor or a committee member.

  5. Graduate students on whose committee the candidate is presently serving. Indicate whether the candidate is the major professor or a committee member. Indicate the degree the student is working towards and the work that the candidate has done.

  6. Courses and curricula developed.

  7. Grants received related to teaching.

  8. Publications pertaining to teaching. Include textbooks, manuals, and articles on pedagogy.

  9. Other contributions to teaching.

  10. Statement of candidate's teaching philosophy and self-evaluation in terms of his or her stated values. This should be no longer than one page.

2. Research/Creative Work

    For publications, provide complete publication data. For publications with multiple authors, please list names of all authors in correct order. Inform the committee of the significance of author order on publications in the candidate's discipline. Indicate percent of the candidate's contribution or describe the nature of the candidate's contribution; indicate, by means of an asterisk, student contributions. Provide, in an appendix, proof of acceptance of publications in press and proof of publications of which acceptance is conditional. Do not submit manuscripts that have not been accepted for publication. For exhibitions and performances, provide dates and locations.

    • Collaboration for academic and/or scholarly purposes with others, including clinicians, researchers, physicians, and instructors.

    • Books.

    • Article-length publications. Distinguish by type: book chapters, articles in refereed journals and invited articles, bulletins, proceedings, transactions, abstracts, book reviews, non-refereed articles, etc.

    • Papers or lectures. Distinguish by type: papers at professional meetings, invited lectures, etc.

    • Exhibitions. Distinguish between juried or invitational shows; identify work(s) and juror (juries); indicate regional, national, or international exhibitions.

    • Patents and inventions.

    • Other research/creative contributions.

    • Grants and contracts. Note all co-authors, identifying the principal investigator and the involvement of the candidate; indicate funding source and amount. Distinguish between grants received and grants applied for but not funded. (Note: internal support and NEH and NEA fellowships should be listed under Honors and Awards above.)

    • Description of candidate's scholarly program. Work in progress and work anticipated should be described in no more than one page.

    • Presentations at local, regional, and national continuing education programs/workshops.

    3. University Outreach

    The purpose of this section is to document achievement in outreach scholarship. It is divided into two parts. Part 1 is a reflective commentary on the candidate's outreach program or programs. It is intended to highlight and explain the candidate's most significant contributions. Part 2 is a list of all of the candidate's outreach activities and products.

    a. Commentary. The commentary should describe and explain the scholarship involved in one or more outreach programs that you consider the major achievements of your efforts. A program is a set of activities that share a common focus and depend upon a particular expertise. The entire commentary is limited to five pages, single spaced. Each program should include the following.

    1. Description. Provide a brief overview of the addressed needs, the objectives, methods, and target audience. Describe selected activities and/or products from Part B that are most illustrative of the candidate's contribution to this program. Include example in the portfolio.

    2. Mission. Indicate how the program was compatible with university and unit missions.

    3. Scholarship. Describe the role of the candidate's professional expertise in the design and execution of the program. Describe how the activities applied the candidate's discipline to the needs of society, required integration with other disciplines, and/or generated new knowledge for the discipline and/or audience. Explain how this knowledge was communicated to broader audiences. Indicate how the program led to increased recognition of the candidate's professional expertise by external audiences. Indicators would include requests for information, invitations to make presentations, service on review panels, receipt of contracts, grants, and professional awards, etc.

    4. Impact. Describe observed impacts and/or explain any unobserved impacts that are to be expected according to the discipline(s) applied. Identify the direct and indirect beneficiaries. Evidence of impact can include both quantitative results (e.g. changes in test scores, increased crop production, or widespread adoption of a product or technique) and qualitative results (e.g. testimonials from clients, reviews by knowledgeable scholars/critics).

    b. Activities and Products. List activities and products using the categories outlined below. There is no page limit on Part B, but candidates are encouraged to be concise in order to focus reviewers' attention on the most important contributions. In particular, numerous activities or products of the same type should be summarized to the extent possible. Brief descriptions accompanied by examples and totals will suffice.

    1. Clinical Work/Clinical/Practice activities. Clinical activities participated in, including diagnosis, treatment, and management of cases. Consultations provided for local, regional, national and international health care professionals. Service provided to clients, patients, referring clinicians and other professionals.

    2. Instructional activities. List the title or subject of each distinct course or presentation, the type (curriculum, course, workshop, exhibit. etc.), the duration (usually in hours), the candidate's role in creating (developer, presenter), the target audience, the method of reaching the audience (conference presentation, telecommunications, site visit, etc.) and the number of presentations given.

    3. Technical assistance. List each type of assistance (e.g. job classification), the clientele, the contribution, and the number of times provided.

    4. Outreach publications. Distinguish by type as indicated in paragraphs B1-B3 above: books (including published manuals and reports), article-length publications, papers and lectures. Provide complete publication data, including number of pages, names of all authors in correct order, and percentage of candidate's contributions. Indicate all refereed or peer-reviewed publications.

    5. Electronic products: computer programs, web sites, etc.

    6. Other outreach products: videos, job aids, etc.

    7. Copyrights, patents, and inventions.

    8. Contracts, grants, and gifts.

    4. Service

    a. University Service: Distinguish among service to the University, to the college/school, and to the department. University service as part of a previously held position may be listed here. Administrative work which reduces the candidate's teaching or research assignment should be listed here.

    b. Professional Service: Service to professional associations and learned societies such as offices held, committees served on, etc.

    C. Information to be supplied by Unit Head

    Information should be supplied in each of the following areas:

    1. Teaching

    2. Research/Creative Work

    3. University Outreach

    4. Service: Statement as to how the level of support (dollars, personnel, space, etc.) provided to the candidate compares to others engaged in similar work in the department.

    5. Outside Referees: The unit head (or the dean) shall solicit information from outside referees in the case of candidates nominated for associate clinical professor and clinical professor. In consultation with the candidate, the unit head (or dean) shall compile a list of potential evaluators. He/she shall then seek responses from at least three of the potential evaluators. These evaluators shall be people outside of Auburn University who are nationally acknowledged experts in the candidate's field and can comment on the quality and reputation of the candidate's work. If the evaluator is from an academic institution, he/she shall be of higher academic rank than the candidate. Letters from the candidate's major professor for a graduate degree, or professional degree faculty, post-doctoral residents or fellows, from former graduate students, and from ongoing research partners and past collaborators are unacceptable. Evaluators may be associated with industry, government agencies, foundations, etc. Letters must be part of the file.

    Consideration of the Candidate and the Unit's and College/School Recommendation

    D. Consideration of the Candidate

    The candidate's dossier (consisting of the information supplied by the candidate and the information supplied by the unit head) and supporting material shall be available for review exclusively by faculty eligible to vote on the candidate. After the faculty has had time to review the dossier and supporting material, the unit head, as a non-voting participant, shall convene a meeting of all eligible faculty (as approved in written college/school guidelines) to discuss nomination of the candidate.  Confidentiality and the right of faculty members to express their viewpoints openly without fear of retaliation shall be the hallmarks of the discussion. Unit deliberations shall be confidential to the extent permitted by law.

    E. The Unit’s and College/School’s Recommendations

    After the candidate has made a presentation of his or her credentials if he or she so wishes, and after the faculty eligible to vote have had time to discuss the candidate's qualifications in a closed meeting, a secret ballot shall be taken at the meeting of eligible faculty (as approved in written college/school guidelines) to determine the final recommendation of the department faculty. Faculty members may participate in the recommendation in one of the following ways:

    1. present and voting,

    2. present and abstaining,

    3. absent but submitting a written vote prior to the meeting, or

    4. absent and not voting (This response does not count as part of the total vote.).

    The unit head, dean, and any other faculty member serving as an administrator who has an official vote on the candidate at a higher administrative level shall not vote at the department level (if applicable). Faculty members who serve on committees at the school/college level may choose to vote at the department level or at higher levels, but they may vote only once on candidates from their departments. Immediate family members shall excuse themselves from voting.

    The unit head shall announce the vote at the meeting. The vote shall be transmitted itemized as a, b, c, and d as listed above in writing, to the dean of the candidate's college or school and the College/School Committee (if applicable) along with the other information requested in this document.

    The eligible unit faculty who voted on a candidate’s promotion will write a summary letter that reflects the vote and represents all aspects of the discussion leading to that vote. The department head will also write an evaluative letter with a recommendation for or against promotion. In addition to these two required letters, individual faculty members may write letters explaining why they do or do not favor promotion. Where there are fewer than three faculty members in a department who are eligible to write letters of evaluation, the head may ask for letters from faculty members in other departments who have knowledge of the candidate's professional performance. Letters should address the quality of the clinical work and the candidate's potential for continued work, teaching effectiveness, effectiveness in the area of extension, service contributions. 

    Faculty should bear in mind that letters are an important source of information. Letters can help all involved to make an informed judgment about the candidate by addressing the candidate's performance of his or her duties within a department. Letters can also help others who may not come from the candidate's field, understand the significance of the candidate's work and make a fair appraisal of it. Faculty, department heads, and chairs should note that, unlike letters from outside reviewers that remain confidential, their letters will be made available to and may be rebutted by the candidate.

    The unit head shall communicate the unit's vote to the candidate and also make available to the candidate all letters submitted by the committee, the unit head, and individual faculty members. After reviewing the letters, the candidate has five working days to write a rebuttal if desired. The candidate can also make an informed decision about whether or not to continue with the process of seeking promotion. If the candidate wishes to continue the process despite a negative recommendation, the unit head shall honor the candidate's request.

    If there is a college committee, its members will review the dossier, letters, and the candidate’s rebuttal (if submitted), and they will vote by secret ballot. The committee will write a summary letter that reflects the vote and represents all aspects of the discussion leading to that vote.  The college/school committee will communicate the college/school committee vote and make available to the candidate the college/school committee’s letter. After reviewing the letters, the candidate has five working days to write a response letter if desired.  If the candidate wishes to continue the process despite a negative recommendation, the committee shall honor the candidate's request.

    F. Submission of the Candidate's Dossier to the Dean

    Units will submit dossiers in PDF format to the Dean’s office in an approved electronic format. Dossiers are to be collated as follows and separated with a title page for each section:

    1. Standard biographical data sheet.

    2. Information supplied by the candidate.

    3. Information supplied by the department head.

    4. Evaluations and recommendations from: the college committee (if applicable), the unit head, the director of any relevant funding source (e.g.: the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, the Scott Ritchey Research Center, etc.), faculty members, and outside referees and any response letter from the candidate.

    G. Schedule

    Nominations for promotion shall be transmitted to the dean by the deadline. The specific date shall be announced in the annual call for nominations from the Provost. The candidate's dean and/or College Committee shall request material early enough to allow for recommendations from the faculty, the department head and the dean and rebuttals from the candidate to be forwarded with the candidate's dossier.  The final decision must be reported to the Provost’s Office by the deadline noted in the annual call for nominations from the Provost. As the Chief Academic Officer of Auburn University, the Provost retains the right to review all promotions and act appropriately.

    H. The Dean’s Final Action

    After the department and college/school review, all dossier materials, including optional letters of response, must be submitted to the Dean for a final action.  The dean must inform the candidate, by letter, his/her decision to grant or deny promotion within 15 business days of receiving a final decision from the Provost.  The letter must also include a counseling/development plan for candidates who are denied promotion. The letter must also include a counseling/development plan for candidates who are denied promotion.

    I. Appeal of Promotion Decisions

    Grounds for appeal exist when, in the opinion of the candidate, one or more of the following occurred:

    1. The denial of promotion resulted from the fact that all evidence in support of the candidate was not presented at the time of the original consideration.

    2. The denial resulted from procedural irregularities concerning advisement and periodic review or a failure to follow promotion procedures of the department, college, school, or University.

    3. The denial was based significantly on considerations violative of academic freedom.

    4. The denial was based significantly on discrimination as described in the University's EEO Policy  (https://sites.auburn.edu/admin/universitypolicies/Policies/EqualEmploymentOpportunityPolicy.pdf)In these cases, the appeal should begin with the candidate immediately contacting the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity at 334.844.4794 as well as following the appeals process below.

    A faculty member who contends unjust denial of promotion may choose to discuss the reasons for denial and the appeals process with the Dean. Appeals should be made in writing through the unit head and dean within 14 calendar days of the date of the faculty member's receipt of written notification of denial.

    If the faculty member bases his/her appeal on alleged violation of academic freedom or discrimination, the appeal must include a statement of the grounds on which the allegation is based and evidence to support his/her case. If the faculty member succeeds in establishing a prima facie case, it is incumbent upon those who made the decision against continuation to come forward with evidence in support of their decision. Statistical evidence of discrimination may be used by the candidate in establishing a prima facie case.
    The Dean shall respond promptly to the faculty member's appeal by forming an Appeals Committee and setting the date, time, and place for the hearing of the appeal.

    The Appeals Committee shall be comprised of the following:

    1. One current member of the College/School Promotion Committee (if applicable), selected by the Promotion Committee.
    2. Five members of proper rank who represent the college, but not department, of the appealing candidates.  If more than five members are needed to represent the appellants, more than five members will be chosen as needed.   If the college/school has a college/school level Promotion committee, then past members of that committee should be utilized, if available.

    After the merit of the appeal has been judged, the recommendations of the Appeals Committee and all supporting documents shall be submitted to the Dean for final action.

    In the appellate process, appeals must be taken and decisions rendered so as to prevent postponing a promotion decision to the next year.

    Approved by Tim Boosinger, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

    Revised 10/12/2011

    Adopted August 10, 2011

Last Updated: March 19, 2012