Faculty Handbook Information on Tenure & Promotion

The information on this page applies to applications for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor (Full Professor in LAW) and applications for tenure only.

Final Approval Authority

Provost and President: all tenure cases

Required Paperwork


All tenure cases are reviewed by the UAPT, Provost and President in the Spring of each academic year.  Therefore, all  dossiers for these cases must be submitted by the School or College to the Provost’s office by FEBRUARY 1, for consideration before the end of that academic year. The submission deadline for dossiers from the Law School for promotion from un-tenured Associate Professor to tenured full Professor are also due February 1.

All promotions from Associate Professor to full Professor (for both tenured faculty and those with un-modified non-tenure track titles) are reviewed by the UAPT, Provost and President in the winter of each academic year.  Therefore, all promotion dossiers for these cases must be submitted by the School or College to the Provost’s office by NOVEMBER 15, for consideration before the end of that academic year.

Tenure Dossier

Narrative Summary

One paragraph description of the candidate’s career path. This may be as brief as one or two sentences, but should not exceed one paragraph. Please include in this narrative such information as:

  • Start date at BU and department
  • Prior position, including whether the person was on the tenure track, whether he or she was reviewed for tenure, and the outcome of any prior tenure reviews
  • Length of time before tenure review or date of previous promotion
  • Explanation for any extensions of the tenure clock, if applicable
  • Explanation for early or out-of-cycle reviews, including the competing institution if our review is triggered by a retention situation

Board of Trustees Cover Page

This form pulls together a summary of the tenure case to present to the Board of Trustees. Much of the information may be pulled from a candidate’s. Chair and Dean signatures are required at the end of the form.

Part I (Unit Actions)

Each review level of the tenure and promotion process is responsible for recording the recommendation, the votes when necessary, and the signature in the appropriate section of Part I.

Part II (Candidate’s Curriculum Vitae/Background Information) and Supporting Materials

The candidate is responsible for fully completing all sections of Part II and submitting Supporting Materials.

In their Part II, candidates have the opportunity to list the names of three relevant external evaluators who could evaluate their scholarly and professional activities. No review level of the tenure process is required to use the names furnished by candidates, and individuals not suggested by candidates will also be solicited for evaluations. Please note that the identity of evaluators is deemed confidential and cannot be released to candidates.

Supporting Materials:

It is preferred that all supporting materials are submitted electronically (bookmarked PDF). If materials are not available in electronic format, please submit 3 hard copies of each sample.

Works-in-progress should be labeled as such. Articles or books-in-press should include reference to the publisher or journal and expected publication date. Teaching materials should be identified by course and year taught. Papers presented at conferences or lectures should be labeled to indicate the occasion, place and date. Grant applications should include copies of referee’s or reviewer’s reports and information about whether the application was funded, for what purpose, in what amount.

Candidates are encouraged to send any updated materials and information (i.e., if a pending grant becomes funded, a paper is accepted for publication, etc.) to their School/College’s faculty actions office throughout their review.

Part III (Chair’s Report)

A candidate’s Department Chair is responsible for the following:

  • Setting the deadline for the submission of the candidate’s Part II and supporting materials (we recommend at least four to six weeks of preparation time);
  • Insuring that the above materials are reviewed, discussed and voted on by all tenured faculty members of the department;
  • Completing Part III;
  • Recording the department vote, his/her recommendation, and signing the appropriate section in Part I (Unit Actions);
  • Submitting the dossier and the supporting materials to the Dean’s Office.

The Chair should inform candidates in writing of his/her recommendation, the recommendation of the tenured faculty, and of a candidate’s right to information.

If a School/College is not organized into departments or divisions, or if the tenure candidate is the Chair of a Department, the Dean shall delegate the Chair’s responsibility to an individual who will serve as Chair for the tenure review. This should be noted on Parts I and III. Candidates should be informed that a Chair has been approved to review their tenure case.

External Evaluations (placed after the Dean’s Report in the Dossier)

Tenure Cases require 10-12 external letters of evaluation, solicited by the Chair and/or Dean and shared with all levels of review. The preponderance of the letters must be written by people who are “arm’s length” to the candidate, meaning they must not be written by those with a formal professional relationship to the candidate, e.g. co-author (except for very long author lists), co-investigator, close collaborator, former advisor, advisee, mentor, supervisor, etc., or written by those with a close personal relationship  or familial relationship to the candidate. Letters that are not arm’s length are permitted, but must be the distinct minority of the 10-12 letters. Please see the Templates section of the website for the correct letter to be used to solicit external evaluations. A copy of the letter that you use must be included in the dossier.

Part IV (APT Committee Report)

The School Appointments, Promotion and Tenure (APT) Committee must write a report for each case and record the APT Committee’s vote for each case on Part I (Unit Actions), signed by the APT Committee Chair. This information is then forwarded to the Dean’s Office for the Dean’s review and report.

Part V (Dean’s Report)

The Dean is responsible for reviewing the tenure dossier, making a recommendation and forwarding the case to the Provost (via the Tenure Specialist in the Office of the Provost). The Dean should inform candidates in writing of his/her recommendation.

If the Dean denies deny tenure or tenure and promotion, he/she must inform the candidate of this in writing and of a candidate’s right to information and appeal. If the candidate decides to appeal a negative decision to the Provost, he/she must do so in writing and within ten business days from receipt of the Dean’s denial letter.  If the Provost grants the appeal, the case will then continue onto the next level of review.  However, if the Provost denies the appeal, thereby upholding the decision of the Dean, the candidate has no right of appeal to the President, and the review process terminates at that stage. The candidate will be appointed to a terminal year, to begin July 1 following the Dean’s decision.

Part VI (UAPT Committee Report)

The University Appointments, Promotion and Tenure (UAPT) Committee is comprised of 16 faculty members from various Schools/Colleges. A Chair is selected to lead the committee and is assisted by a staff member of the Office of the Provost. The UAPT Committee reviews and votes on all tenure and tenure and promotion cases from each school participating in that particular tenure review year. After the UAPT Committee prepares their report with a recommendation to the Provost for each candidate, it is added to the candidate’s dossier. In the case of an ordinary review, the review of tenure and tenure and promotion cases by the UAPT Committee should be completed by April 15. After the UAPT report is complete, the case is then forwarded to the Provost with all supporting materials.

Provost’s and President’s Review (not part of the Tenure Forms, but useful information nonetheless)

If the Provost recommends promotion and/or tenure, the case moves to the President, who makes the final decision. Candidates will ordinarily be notified of the President’s decision by May 15th. Note that with the Trustee By-Law changes of December 2011, Board of Trustee approval is no longer required for promotion and tenure.

If the Provost does not recommend promotion and/or tenure, the candidate will be notified by May 15th by certified letter, and provided with a redacted copy of the UAPT report. The candidate has 10 business days from receipt of the letter in which to appeal the Provost’s negative decision by writing to the President.

If the appeal is unsuccessful, or the candidate does not submit an appeal, the candidate will be appointed to a terminal year that begins July 1 following the Provost’s decision.


Tenure and/or Promotion dossiers and supporting materials should be sent to Steve Marois (smarois@bu.edu, 1 Silber Way – 8th Floor). You may contact him at 8-4843 with any questions.