Promotion to Full Professor

The promotion to full professor is based on achievement rather than promise. The candidate should have made additional substantial contributions that have had a significant impact in the field, beyond the contribution that earned tenure. The post-tenure body of work should be examined alongside the pre-tenure body of work to discern the candidate’s career trajectory and to evaluate whether he or she will continue to produce research at a rate and of a quality commensurate with leaders in the field.

The candidate for full professor should have achieved recognition as an expert in his or her field at a national and international level. The candidate’s work should be comparable in significance and impact to the work of newly promoted full professors at leading departments where work of the same type is completed.

For appointments and promotion to full professor, evidence of excellence in teaching and mentoring is expected. Teaching quality is assessed based on a number of factors. The best evidence comes from peer assessments, demonstration of students’ learning achievements, utilization of exemplary teaching methods, and inspection of syllabi and class materials. Other evidence may include when appropriate: student ratings from classes taught, teaching awards and honors, and the candidate’s personal statement. As with other assessments, no single factor is determinative, and assessment involves a thoughtful weighing of multiple factors as appropriate to the case.

Candidates for full professor (and tenured faculty members as a group) also have special responsibilities for mentoring junior faculty and for leadership in service and governance on the departmental, school, and university levels. They are expected to have progressed as teachers and mentors of students, which in many fields includes success in mentoring Ph.D. students. In some disciplines, leadership in application of research to societal needs may be an important part of the evidence presented.

Recognizing the University’s support of interdisciplinary and collaborative scholarship, associate professors (and candidates for full professor) are encouraged to take advantage of the freedom afforded by tenure to pursue their scholarly interests whether they fall within or across traditional disciplinary boundaries. An associate professor may also have more opportunities for productive collaboration than a candidate for tenure, though it continues to be expected that the individual’s contribution should be original and significant.

Number of years in rank is not part of the requirements for promotion to full professor. The timing is individual, and expectations vary by discipline. A dossier put forward for promotion earlier than usual does not need to meet any enhanced standard.

Last updated December 18, 2017.