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Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Lecturer Promotion

The CAS Lecturer Promotion process is part of a continuing effort to maintain highest quality education programs by supporting and rewarding sustained excellence in teaching and other professional accomplishments of full-time Lecturers.


Full-time Lecturers who will have completed five academic years of full-time service at Boston University by August 31 of their review year are eligible for promotion to Senior Lecturer. Senior Lecturers who will have completed five years of full-time service as Senior Lecturers at Boston University are eligible for promotion to Senior Lecturer – Master Level.


Demonstrated excellence in teaching is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite for promotion to Senior Lecturer and for further promotion to Senior Lecturer – Master Level. Other relevant professional accomplishments are also necessary for the distinction of promotion. Promotion is in no case based simply on experience or years in rank. Promotion responds to past accomplishments, but its purpose is oriented toward the future. It is based on expectations about future accomplishments and impact. Thus, it is an investment in the future.

Promotion to Senior Lecturer: Among the criteria beyond excellence in teaching that build a case for promotion to Senior Lecturer are: noteworthy academic leadership, especially in curriculum development, planning, and oversight; mentoring and/or training of other professionals in the field; professional service; sustained participation in programs for professional development; and scholarship, as demonstrated in public presentations and publication insofar as they are directly relevant to the candidate’s work as a Lecturer.

Promotion to Senior Lecturer – Master Level: Candidates for promotion to Senior Lecturer – Master Level will be considered under the same criteria, but must meet appropriately higher expectations in terms of the scope, range or impact of professional activities.

Department/Program Review Procedures

Units may nominate any number of eligible Lecturers or Senior Lecturers for promotion, but they must be sure to develop appropriately high standards for promotion and use these standards in a clear and fair process of nomination. Because the criteria for promotion are stringent, departments and programs should refrain from nominating candidates who do not have a demonstrable and sustained record of outstanding teaching as well as other professional excellence as outlined above.  Candidates may request to be considered for promotion by their department.

Each fall the Office of Faculty Actions will forward to department chairs/directors a list of Lecturers and Senior Lecturers who are eligible for promotion according to length of service.  Chairs/directors should notify eligible Lecturers about the opportunity, deadlines, and procedures for promotion within one week.

Each department/program should establish a transparent and fair process for reviewing eligible candidates who wish to be considered for promotion. All tenure-track and tenured faculty, as well as faculty in the Lecturer track at a rank higher than those under consideration, are eligible to participate on the departmental review committee. Units should work with candidates to ensure that the best possible case is presented.

Nomination Dossier

Chairs and Directors are responsible for sharing information on the nomination process and dossier with the candidates, and for ensuring that the candidates understands how to present the best possible case for their promotion. The department/program process should include a vote on promotion by all eligible faculty. (Note: this is a new policy, obligatory in the 2013/2014 promotion cycle.)

Departments/programs will submit one complete dossier for each nominee to a password-protected server located here. Only the Chair/Director and administrator from each unit can be given access to the server.

A dossier should consist of the following items:

  • A statement from the department outlining the departmental promotion process and the criteria the department/program uses to define and measure excellence in teaching and other achievements when considering candidates for promotion within the lecturer track. This statement should be identical in the dossiers of all nominees submitted by the department/program (max. 500 words).
  • The nominee’s up-to-date CV, following standard academic format (i.e. education, positions held, awards, publications, talks and presentations, professional service, academic service, courses taught, etc.) with the relevant dates clearly indicated. (Submitted by the candidate to the department)
  • A statement by the nominee about his/her professional accomplishments and plans for the future that are relevant to the consideration for promotion (max. 1,000 words). (Submitted by the candidate to the department)
  • A detailed departmental report discussing the nominee’s strengths and weaknesses in light of the criteria for excellence defined by the department and with specific reference to the nominee’s record (max. 1,000 words). The report should describe in full those elements of the nominee’s dossier that may not be self-evident to committee members from other fields (e.g., departmental service assignments and tasks).
  • Supporting materials related specifically to teaching, advising, and curricular accomplishments including syllabi, letters from former students, and other relevant materials (max. 35 pages).
  • Student teaching evaluations from the most recent two years of teaching, including statistical summaries (department/program responsibility).
  • Peer teaching evaluations from the most recent two years of teaching (min. of two, and max. of three evaluations; it is the department/program’s responsibility to conduct these evaluations). Peer teaching evaluations should not be a minute accounting of the class visit, but rather a deeper assessment of all aspects of the teaching in terms familiar to faculty in other disciplines.
  • Other relevant supporting materials documenting professional accomplishments, including representative publications, if appropriate (max. 35 pages, excepting books).

Please note: No external letters of evaluation or support for Lecturer Promotion nominees will be solicited by the College or Committee, and the Lecturer Promotion Committee does not conduct classroom visits.

Advice for the Department Chair

The department, through the department chair, is responsible for the quality of the nomination dossier. It is important to be sure that the dossier includes all necessary information and documentation in as clear and accurate a manner as possible.

If a candidate was previously considered for promotion but was turned down by the Lecturer Promotion Committee or Dean, the promotion dossier should address the main concerns raised by the previous Lecturer Promotion Committee or Dean.

Advice for the Candidate

Each candidate should seek guidance on constructing and compiling the parts of the dossier for which he/she is responsible, and should consult directly either with the Chair/Director of the unit, or with an appropriate senior member of the faculty who can act as a mentor and assist in the compilation of a sound dossier.


Candidates should consider tailoring the CV to the lecturer promotion process, specifically outlining the timeline of their development as a Lecturer, and accurately listing when service contributions took place. An article on structuring a professional CV can be found here.

Personnel Statement

Candidates should keep the CAS and department/program criteria for promotion in mind as they write their personal statement. It should not simply be a summary of candidates’ teaching, service, research and professional experience over the last few years because much of this is listed on the CV. The personal statement is an opportunity for candidates to discuss their philosophy and approach to teaching and education, the strategies they have used for success and professional development; their unique skills and contributions; and their professional aspirations and strategies for the future.

Other Documents:

Candidates should give careful thought to what other documents to submit in connection with their consideration for promotion. Each document should contribute significantly to demonstrating professional accomplishment and reputation.

CAS Lecturer Promotion Review Committee and Process

The CAS Lecturer Promotion Committee will advise the Dean of CAS, who will make the final decisions about promotions in each round. The CAS Lecturer Promotion Committee will consist of nine members chosen from among CAS professorial faculty and Senior Lecturer – Master Level faculty. Committee members will be recused from reviews of members of their own department. Alex Lundsted from the office of Faculty Actions will provide staff support for the lecturer promotion process.

In the event of a negative report, candidates are encouraged to speak to their department Chair/Director. In the event that further information is still required, candidates should schedule a meeting with the appropriate Associate Dean:  Geoffrey Cooper (Natural Sciences), Gene Jarrett (Humanities), Strom Thacker (Social Sciences), Susan Jackson (Core Curriculum, Writing Program).

If you have a question about the process, please contact Alex Lundsted (

  2014/15 Lecturer Promotion Cycle

December 19, 2014 Department confirms candidates to be nominated with Faculty Actions
February 2, 2015 Nomination dossiers from all departments due to Faculty Actions
February-March Lecturer Promotion Committee Meetings
April 1, 2015 Lecturer Promotion Committee’s recommendations due to Faculty Actions
April 24, 2015 The Dean’s final recommendations submitted for Provost’s approval
July 1, 2015 Effective date of new appointments
September 1, 2015 Increase in salaries effective.

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