Increasing transparency in the P&T process

As a self-proclaimed advocate for open research, I decided to apply that ethos to promotion and tenure. As I started preparing my dossier in earnest last fall, I began to understand why so many faculty get overwhelmed and confused when they make decisions about where to publish, which journals to review for, and how to talk about their work. Despite excellent institutional programming and support, faculty often receive conflicting and vague advice. Combine this with the lack of transparency about how to actually demonstrate impact and it’s no wonder faculty are hesitant to make publishing and dissemination choices that challenge the perceived status quo. Librarians on the tenure-track suffer from this too.  I decided I could help in a small way by openly sharing the strategy, tools, and examples from my own dossier. In the end, I redacted a few things from my appendices that relate to other faculty grant proposals. Otherwise, it’s all out in the open. I also developed some tools to help me manage the process, which I’ll share in a later post. Putting together a dossier requires some serious project management strategery!

Dossier files in Figshare  (link corrected) & IUPUI ScholarWorks (pending)

FORCE16 slides (Figshare: 10.6084/m9.figshare.3180370.v3 & IUPUI ScholarWorks: & recording

There is a lot of implicit institutional context embedded in the structure and content of dossiers, so there are a few things to keep in mind should you decide to take a deep dive into these files.

  • The structure and content are set forth in the IUPUI Promotion & Tenure Guidelines, while the standards by which I will be evaluated are in the IUPUI Librarian Standards for Performance, Professional Development, and Service. These are not posted publicly, but I am requesting permission to share them here.
  • I also relied on my colleagues who were generous enough to share their documents with me. Many of them are not comfortable sharing their files publicly, but our Office of Academic Affairs does maintain a variety of very useful sample dossiers on their website.

The criteria I have to demonstrate that I have satisfied for promotion and tenure are:

  • Evaluations cover the areas of performance, professional development, and service.
  • For tenure, performance must be excellent, and professional development and service must be satisfactory.
  • For promotion from assistant to associate librarian, performance must be excellent, and the candidate must demonstrate a level of achievement beyond satisfactory in one of the other two areas. The third area must be satisfactory.

As I prepared my dossier and reflected on the process for the FORCE16 presentation, I realized a couple of things that no one had discussed with me in all the conversations and workshops I’ve been involved in.

  • The candidate’s sections are just a part of the dossier. For me, sections 6-11.
    • 6: Candidate Statement
    • 7: Performance (primary criterion)
    • 8: Professional Development (secondary criterion)
    • 9: Service
    • 10: Curriculum Vitae
    • 11: Appendices
  • Candidates are being encouraged to make judgments of impact about their own work when that is truly the role of the reviewers, particularly external peers and Library colleagues.

In terms of the story I wanted to tell about myself, discussions with colleagues outside the Center were tremendously helpful. Figuring out how to introduce my work at a high level in the candidate statement, then expounding upon specific projects within the three sections was more difficult than I expected. The outlines I developed in the fall ended up changing drastically; once again, I learned that writing early and often is a better strategy than over planning.

  • Candidate statement
  • Performance – I ended up describing what I do as research support. This includes
    • Research Data Services program
      • helping faculty meet funder & publisher data requirements
      • data management curriculum & training
      • enabling data preservation, sharing, & reuse
      • developing a research data policy for IU
    • research metrics services
      • workshops
      • consultations
    • consultations supporting faculty in making informed decisions about publishing, dissemination, and reviewing
    • liaisonship to the School of Public Health
  • Professional Development
    • evidence-based practice
    • research data services in academic libraries
    • practical application of research metrics
    • content analysis of successful dossiers
  • Service
    • Library
    • Campus (IUPUI) & University (IU)
    • Professional
    • National

If you are primarily interested in how I presented metrics to demonstrate impact, check out section 8 (Professional Development) which has pages of summary tables and graphs.


By Heather L. Coates Tagged

One comment on “Increasing transparency in the P&T process

  1. Pingback: Increasing transparency in the [librarian] P&T process – The Idealis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s