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Promotion and/or Tenure FAQ

To ensure that the promotion and/or tenure process is transparent and fair, we have created a FAQ's section about this process.


What is the success rate in terms of promotion and tenure at WVU?

Most people go through the process extremely smoothly and we have a wonderful history of tenuring and promoting people.  We want to always be able to do that.  This is why annual reviews are defined as a developmental process, designed to document what you are doing well and making suggestions to help you focus on the outcomes linked with successful promotion and/or tenure outcomes.  We really care about this being a process that works so we are available to you and are interested in helping you in every way we can.

What do I need to do in order to meet the requirements for promotion and/or tenure?

There are a number of documents that outline your specific requirements and they include the expectations as found in your offer letter and/or any MOU that followed, University/College/Department promotion and tenure guidelines, and feedback from annual reviews (as well as and whether or not you addressed those concerns and how well you addressed them).

Should I write a narrative to accompany my promotion and/or tenure packet?

Yes, always, regardless of your type of position, write a narrative highlighting the important work that you have done and making a case for significant impact/contributions in designated areas.

Regardless, you must have information and evidence in the Digital Measures file by December 31st that illustrate that you are doing the job as outlined in the prior documents expected/directed to do AND you need to demonstrate in those documents how well you have performed this work.

How much documentation should I put in Digital Measures?

There must be evidence in the DM file in order for you to be credited for that work and for that work to be assessed in terms of quality and impact.

Are SEIs the only way to show the effectiveness/impact of my teaching?

No, SEIs are just one piece of information about your teaching but student evaluations of teaching must be submitted as part of the annual review process as outlined in Section 7.2 in BOG Rule 4.2. Faculty members must be doing other things to document their teaching effectiveness such as: getting reviews of their teaching (i.e., including from peers and your immediate supervisor), writing a narrative about their teaching philosophy, strategies for ensuring learning, and impact, and showing positive outcomes for their students, loading student products that demonstrate effectiveness, etc.  In reviewing SEIs at the Provost level, we use very broad approach to evaluating teaching, please note however that this requires other documentation to be provided via Digital Measures by the faculty member.  

What does it mean to make significant contributions in a particular area (i.e., research, teaching, or service)?

You must have a preponderance of meritorious reviews (good or excellent) in your annual reviews and your outcomes must be equal to or better than recently promoted and/or tenured peers.  In addition, external reviewers (when required) should positively assess the quality of your research/teaching/service as well as the impact on the field and whether your work is comparable to others recently promoted and/or tenured at their institution. 

Where do I find other faculty to externally review my research?

Visit the Carnegie Foundation Classification to start if your research is being externally reviewed.

Should I only have people at research one institutions reviewing my research packet

It is always great to have people at high-status institutions giving feedback about your work but sometimes someone in your particular specialty area is not at those institutions.  Send it to the people who really are the experts (as approved by your Dean) in your field.

Should I say yes to any service opportunity that comes along?

No, think about things that demonstrate your commitment to the profession and that indicate that your colleagues at our or other institutions value you and that you play an important role.

What are the expectations for promotion and/or tenure if my critical year changes due to illness for you or family member, parental leave, etc.?

If a faculty member shortens, extends, or keeps the tenure clock the same as outlined in their offer letter, the research/teaching/service standards are the same, irrespective of the time-period under review.

What is the timeline for this process?

Visit the Faculty Calendar for Annual Review and find the dates for “Faculty For Whom Action is Recommended” section.

Do I need to be reviewed by my departmental FEC and Chair if I am a Professor?

No, those fully promoted can choose to be reviewed just by their chair.  Visit the Streamlining the Annual Review Process.

If there is something else you would like to know, please send us your question(s) to .  We will answer your email and add the question and response to our list of FAQ's.