CON Standards and Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure for Academic Rank version February 2013

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Standards and Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure for Academic Rank Subsection: Appendix A1
Section - Appendices Originating Date: May, 1997
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Academic Promotion & Tenure Committee
Revised: May, 2001
Revised: February, 2005
Revised: February, 2006
Revised: February, 2007
Revised: November, 2010
Reviewed: February, 2013
J:/RESOURCE MANUAL/Table of Contents College of Nursing Resource Manual

A. Introduction

This document provides guiding principles to assist the faculty in preparing their documents for promotion and/or continuous appointment (tenure). Included are the criteria the committee uses in its process of reviewing the faculty documents and forming a recommendation to the Dean. The criteria in this document are areas of evidence that the faculty will demonstrate as their accomplishments in the narratives. The committee anticipates that faculty members will have different accomplishments to cite in the topic areas. There is a Promotion and Tenure website on the College of Nursing’s intranet ( that provides a link to the UNMC Promotion and Tenure guidelines and additional information regarding completion of the application (e.g., application deadlines, coaching assistance, request for reviewer, examples of narratives for the application).

The College of Nursing (CON) P&T committee has developed these guidelines to assist you during your preparation of the application. Submission deadlines (section B below) must be met in order to apply for promotion and/or tenure. All CON P&T materials can be found on the website All applicants must follow Academic Track Promotion guidelines and policy 4.4.6 (1) for the preparation of their documents. Documents that do not follow all of the guidelines will not be reviewed.

B. CON Academic Promotion and Tenure Deadline Dates

  1. Faculty members will notify P&T chairman in writing (hard copy or email) of the intent to apply for promotion by April 15 in the year prior to when action regarding promotion or tenure will be deliberated. Be specific on exactly what you are seeking; e.g. Associate Professor. Please indicate your level of accomplishments in each of the areas. For example, Associate Professor rank must be able to demonstrate a sustained record at Level II for two areas and Level I for one area. For example: My 2 areas for level two are ________ and the area for level one is ________.
  2. Faculty members will complete the Contact Information for External Reviewer Form (See Section G) for each potential external reviewer and submit to the P&T committee chair by May 15. Suggested external reviewers must be outside the University of Nebraska system and cannot be a recent or current collaborator, consultant, mentor or someone with whom the faculty member has another close professional or personal relationship.
  3. The External Reviewer Waiver Form (See Section H) must be signed and submitted along with the Contact Information for External Reviewer Forms to the P&T committee Chair by May 15.
  4. The P & T Committee will meet to select external reviewers by June 15. The committee will use the applicant’s list but reserves the right to ask other nationally known experts in the applicant’s field to serve as an external reviewer. The applicant will not be told who the external reviewers are for her/his document. The P&T Committee Chair will contact the selected external reviewers and secure their willingness to serve by July 15.
  5. Faculty will follow Application Guidelines for electronic submission of documents by August 15 to the Dean’s office. Three written narratives (see Narrative Guidelines) that a) include all relevant and important evidence to support the promotion and/or tenure, b) be consistent with the applicant’s curriculum vitae, and c) be written so individuals outside of the CON understand the significance. Applicants are encouraged to work closely with their Department Chair/Assistant Dean in preparing the narratives and assuring that they are congruent with their curriculum vitae.
  6. CON faculty members promotion and/or tenure documents accompanied by the Department Chair/Assistant Dean’s letter of recommendation must be received in the Dean’s office by August 15 in order for duplicating and mailing of the document to the external reviewers by August 30. All policies and guidelines must be followed or documents will not be reviewed.
  7. Letters from the external reviewers will be requested back by October 15. These will be added to the applicant’s document and the P&T Committee review will be scheduled. The P&T Committee review will be completed by January 15 with recommendations forwarded to the Dean of the College of Nursing by February 15.

C. Areas of Accomplishments

In order to achieve the missions of the College and the University of Nebraska Medical Center UNMC), faculty members strive to achieve excellence in the three areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. Since faculty members’ responsibilities are different within the College, individual faculty accomplishments will reflect these differences. Three areas are:

  • Teaching - Teaching activity recognizes significant accomplishments in classroom, clinical, and research supervision.
  • Scholarly Activity - Scholarly activity recognizes significant accomplishments that follow research activities and those that relate to teaching or professional service.
  • Professional Service - Professional service recognizes significant accomplishments for the university, professional organizations, and in practice arenas.

Different illustrations of the combination of areas that the faculty member may consider when applying for promotion are listed below:

Associate Professor: The UNMC Guidelines and CON Guidelines emphasize demonstration of accomplishments during the last 4-6 years or since the last promotion date.
      1) Level II teaching and scholarly activity and Level I professional service
      2) Level II teaching and professional service and Level I scholarly activity
      3) Level II scholarly activity and professional service and Level I teaching

Professor: The UNMC Guidelines and CON Guidelines emphasize demonstration of accomplishments during the last 5-7 years or since the last promotion date.
      1) Level III teaching and scholarly activity and Level II professional service
      2) Level III teaching and professional service and Level II scholarly activity
      3) Level III scholarly activity and professional service and Level II teaching

D. Accomplishments according to academic rank:

Criteria for accomplishments defined by this document do not specify any set number that should be demonstrated for continuous appointment or promotion to a specific rank. Expected accomplishments for each rank and continuous appointment for the College of Nursing were derived from the UNMC Promotion and Tenure Guidelines for Submitting Academic Promotion and Tenure Recommendations. Accomplishments are arranged in areas for the academic rank and illustrate advancing achievement across the ranks. The document should reflect accomplishments during the last 4-6 years for promotion to associate professor or during the last 5-7 years for promotion to professor or since the last promotion date.

Promotion to Associate Professor - In order to achieve promotion to the rank of an associate professor, a faculty member must demonstrate the following:
    1. Sustained record of outstanding accomplishments in at least two areas at Associate Professor rank.
    2. One area can be at Assistant Professor rank.

Promotion to Professor - In order to achieve promotion to the rank of a professor, a faculty member must demonstrate the following:
    1. Sustained record of outstanding accomplishments in at least two areas of Professor rank.
    2. One area can be at Associate Professor rank.

Required Accomplishments For Promotion to Academic Rank and or Tenure
Associate Professor One area at Assistant Professor rank Two sustained areas at Associate Professor rank  
Professor   One area at Associate Professor rank Two sustained areas at Professor rank
Tenure Sustained in one area Sustained in two areas  


The following table identifies EXAMPLES of accomplishments for the corresponding rank.

Assistant Professor Associate Professor Professor
  • Has an educational and clinical background that uses content knowledge and skills for effective classroom and clinical teaching.
  • Utilizes theory and evidence with innovative methods and technology to effectively facilitate student learning.
  • Guides students’ scholarly activities.
  • Demonstrates effective teaching in several courses within area of expertise.
  • Initiates the development and improvement of innovative teaching and/or educational programs.
  • Directs student’s scholarly activities resulting in professional dissemination.
  • Receives formal recognition for effective teaching.
  • Assumes a leadership role in curriculum/course development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Mentors colleagues in area of teaching and curriculum development.
  • Is recognized nationally as an expert in a focused area.
  • Supervises students in the development of scholarship and professional service.
Assistant Professor Associate Professor Professor
  • Demonstrates beginning focused program of scholarship with external funding potential.
  • Demonstrates scholarly productivity, including publication of peer-reviewed manuscripts and regional, national, and/or international presentations.
  • Demonstrates regional and beginning national recognition for expertise and accomplishments in area of scholarship.
  • Secures external funding for scholarly activities.
  • Establishes a focused program of scholarship with sustained scholarly output.
  • Demonstrates national recognition for expertise and accomplishments in area of scholarship.
  • Serves as a mentor of students in scholarly activities.
  • Demonstrates ability to secure ongoing external funding.
  • Is recognized as a national expert for scholarly achievement.
  • Has an extensive record of dissemination of scholarly work with scientific and clinical impact.
  • Serves as a mentor of colleagues and student scholarly activities.
Assistant Professor Associate Professor Professor
  • Participates in professional organizations.
  • Participates as a contributing member of College of Nursing Committees and/or task forces.
  • Participates in local or regional activities to address health care issues.
  • Engages in faculty practice, if applicable.
  • Assumes leadership roles in professional organizations.
  • Provides leadership on College of Nursing or University Committees, Councils or Task Forces.
  • Serves as an expert on regional or national panels, review committees/councils, or journal editorial boards.
  • Demonstrates sustained national or international recognized service activities consistent with areas of excellence.
  • Provides leadership at national level to meet the mission of the University.


Continuous appointment (tenure) - Granting of continuous appointment may or may not occur at the same time as promotion in rank. Continuous appointment is an ongoing commitment for continuation of service between the University and the faculty member. In order to be considered for continuous appointment, a faculty member needs to demonstrate two sustained areas of accomplishment for the academic rank held by the faculty member and sustained in one area at the lower rank.

E. Guidelines for Submitting Academic Track Promotion Document

Each year a set of guidelines is published by the UNMC that describes the types of documentation and set limits for the length of narrative to be included in the recommendation document. A faculty member seeking promotion or continuous appointment should refer to the current UNMC guidelines current document and dates for submitting materials.

CON Procedure for Submitting Academic Promotion and Tenure Document
The following summary provides procedural descriptions to assist faculty with developing their Academic Track Promotion document. The five sections of the document are: 1) UNMC Transmittal Form (Appendix A UNMC Guidelines), 2) Chairperson’s Letter, 3) Curriculum Vitae, 4) Narratives and 5) External Letters of Support. See Guidelines for Submitting Application below.

1.   UNMC Transmittal Form: This is the form found in Appendix A of the UNMC Guidelines. The faculty member is encouraged to discuss promotion with their immediate supervisor. The supervisor (i.e., Department Chair/Division Assistant Dean) must make a recommendation and sign this form.

2.   Chairperson’s (Department Chair/Division Assistant Dean) Letter: There must be a letter of recommendation following a comprehensive evaluation of the applicant. The letter reflects the Chair/Assistant Dean recommendation on the UNMC transmittal form. When the applicant is being recommended for tenure, Associate Professor or Professor, the chairperson’s letter should identify the areas of academic endeavor (i.e., teaching, scholarly activity, and/or professional service) upon which the recommendation is based. The chairperson’s letter should contain a summary of teaching evaluations by professional students, graduate students.

In the case of a faculty member who also holds an administration position and is seeking promotion and/or tenure, the Chair of the P&T Committee will determine in consultation with the Dean of the CON, an appropriate individual to write the letter of support. It is not the applicant’s decision to select who will write their letter.

3.   Curriculum Vitae: All candidates must submit a current curriculum vitae in the specified format in Appendices B and C of the UNMC Guidelines for P&T along with the summary narratives of accomplishments. Appendix B details the categories and order for the vitae that should be consistent with your current CON curriculum vitae. Appendix C states that you are to include for the last two calendar years the following information:

  1. Listing of lectures given in team-taught courses (include number of lectures)
  2. Listing of courses for which you were coordinator/supervisor
  3. Listing of courses (course number and name, only) taught by you giving the total number of hours involved in course/courses.
  4. Information on teaching of Graduate Students, especially as pertains to supervision of thesis and dissertation research. (Doctoral dissertations, Master’s theses or projects, Pre-doctoral fellowships sponsored (e.g., F31, T32), Post-doctoral fellowships sponsored (e.g. F32, T32, K01).
  5. Information on teaching activities related to those in residency training (medical, pharmacy, etc.)
  6. Listing of continuing education lectures/courses given
  7. Course/lecture/training evaluation materials and outcome assessments

4.   Narratives: The narratives must summarize the accomplishments for each of the 3 areas: Teaching, Scholarly Activity, and Professional Service. The narratives should not exceed 2 pages for each area of accomplishment. See below for the Guideline for Developing the Narratives.

5.   External Letters of Support: (See Section G) Faculty members must provide a list of seven names of individuals who have expertise in their areas of strength. Suggested external reviewers must be outside the University of Nebraska system and cannot be a recent or current collaborator, consultant, mentor or someone with whom the faculty member has another close professional or personal relationship. The applicant must complete a “Contact Information for External Review Form for Academic Rank P&T.” Each of the 7 forms must be completed by the applicant and submitted to the chair of the CON P&T by the specified deadline date.

6.   Copies of Publications. Candidates for PROMOTION should submit copies of not more than five (5) of the most important publications which that printed or accepted for publication since their last promotion. Candidates for TENURE also should submit copies of not more than five (5) of the most important publications. If these publications serve as the basis for excellence in scholarly activity, these should be a primary focus of the written narrative on Scholarly Activity.

F. Guidelines for Developing the Narrative Part for Academic Promotion and Tenure Application

Preparation of Narratives: Prior to developing your Narratives you need to discuss rank, tenure, and your specific areas of accomplishments (teaching, scholarly activity, professional service) with your supervisor. Also if you would like a “coach” for the promotion and tenure application process, contact the Promotion and Tenure Committee Chair.

Promotion and tenure application includes a two page prose description of the evidence supporting your accomplishments in each of the three areas. This is where you must "Blow your own Horn" to assist others reviewing your application to understand the significance of your contributions to the college, university, and profession. The narratives focus on the last 4-6 or 5-7 years depending on rank, not your entire career. Keep in mind as you write the narrative to state specifically the evidence and minimize the “jargon” describing courses, clinical experiences, strategies, as the jargon may not be understood by individuals outside of the CON.

The following are trigger points for you to consider when developing your narratives according to the three areas of evidence. Use Appendix A 1 listing of behaviors as guides that represent the level of achievement. Not all behaviors are required but the application for Associate Professor Rank must demonstrate a sustained record of excellence and for Professor there must be national recognition and outstanding achievements.

Teaching evidence represents the value of and contributions to student educational experiences:

  1. Identify courses taught for at least the last two years
    • Describe your responsibility for the course
    • Identify any innovative strategies to deliver the course, consider CON mandates to incorporate specific strategies—remember the application will be read by others outside of the CON and contributions must be described specifically for them to grasp the significance
    • Be concise.
    • If appropriate, include student comments regarding the revisions/new strategies.
    • Student evaluations for your teaching in the classroom and/or clinical area. Include a summary of evaluations stating the range of scores on the specific rating scale; do not include the print outs. Include a sample of student comments from evaluations—representative but not excessive, select statements that describe the quality of teaching.
    • If there are some areas that the student evaluations identify as areas for improvement, state how you are trying to change these categories.
  2. Course coordinator role.
    • Describe responsibility in terms of class size, use of Blackboard, distance students.
    • If undergraduate course, discuss involvement with other divisions
  3. Research supervisor for MSN and/or Ph.D. students (include number and activities)
  4. Clinical instruction
    • Describe number of students in clinical setting, type of patients, innovative strategies used in the clinical area for assisting the students to gain skills and critical thinking
    • If you must provide experiences when patient availability is limited, describe what strategies or alternative experiences are used—e.g. simulation and if available student evaluation of this experience.
  5. Continuing Education
    • If you provide continuing education for your specialty area or write continuing education activities for a journal, include this as teaching.
  6. Teaching Portfolio (optional) See UNMC Guidelines
    Faculty who have a major teaching role are encouraged to develop a more extensive Teaching Portfolio which can be used to help develop the teaching narrative. In addition, faculty may want to consider including their Teaching Portfolio as a supplement for review by the P&T Review Committee separate from the required documentation.

    Information for developing a teaching portfolio is available and detailed on the UNMC Academic Services website:

Scholarly Activity is not limited to only basic or clinical research achievements but reflects the applicant’s contributions to the profession.

  • Prepare the narrative in chronological order to illustrate how one activity leads to the next so that any reviewer will be able to sense the sustained or outstanding record.
  • Grants that have been submitted but not funded may be included to show the early development and discuss the changes based on the grant evaluation comments.
  • When describing grants, you need demonstrate the sustained growth from “seed” to small intramural to extramural funding. Include your role/contribution to each grant. Outcomes or publications are expected to be generated from grants and are the supportive evidence of the scholarly activity accomplishments.
  • Presentations (paper or posters) may be an intermediate step of findings dissemination but published articles with you as first author are preferable.
  • If your focus of scholarly activity has changed—describe this but try to demonstrate how one area lead to the next area or what you are contributing to the next area based on expertise (e.g. computer technology for data collection may have been expanded in a second project to include intervention delivery). Making connections between different projects will support “a sustained” or “outstanding” record.
  • After you achieved terminal degree (PhD or EdD) you may want to explain how you transitioned into the scholarly activity focus area. This will again support the building of the sustained or outstanding record.
  • Scholarly activities can be connected with a professional organization in terms of development or revisions of practice guidelines or organizing symposiums/conferences.

Professional Service includes service to the CON, the University, and professional organizations. Additionally, individuals who engage in practice as part of their professional service will provide a description.
Begin with service to the CON:

  • Committees that you were elected to and if you were elected chairman.
  • Describe the contributions or purpose of the committee to the CON. As a member of the committee did you lead a task force or ad hoc committee to accomplish a specific task—describe this activity and significance to the CON.
  • Please do not list departments or divisions and GFO as a committee. Elected division representatives can include FCC and any specific responsibility on FCC.
  • Appointments to a task force or Ad Hoc committees are included and describe the outcome from the committee in relation to the CON’s mission/vision and to University as a whole.

University Medical Center/the Nebraska Medical Center Hospital/University of Nebraska
Identify the committee, contribution you made as a member or leader of the committee, and any specific outcome that was a important to any of the listed entities. It may be appropriate to connect the committee to strategic plan objective or new enterprise development

State of Nebraska

  • Identify the committee, the contribution you made as a member or leader of the committee, and any specific outcome that was important to any of the listed entities. Include the significance of the committee’s function to the citizens of Nebraska.

Professional Organization

  • Local, state, and national professional organization work is important service. The service to the organization needs to progress from local to state to national levels to demonstrate sustained or outstanding contributions to the organization.
  • Multiple memberships in professional organizations and different levels of participation can occur.
  • If you volunteer for, or are appointed to committees for an organization, describe the significance of the committee to the organization and any recognition associated with the committee’s participation.


  • Describe your practice include population served, role, and members of the team providing service (interdisciplinary).
  • Certifications and requirement to maintain certifications.
  • A leadership role with the team/clinic and accomplishments associated with this task (e.g. new service line for cessation of smoking).
  • Leadership role regarding practice regulations.
  • Consultation Activity.

Forms to Download

Contact Information for External Reviewer Form for Academic Rank Promotion and Tenure

External Letters of Review Waiver for Faculty Promotion or Tenure