Guideline UL-ACG14 General Promotion and Tenure Working Guidelines (Formerly UL-HRG14)

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Libraries Internal Working Guidelines
  • Cross References


To clarify implementation of the University Libraries promotion and tenure review policies and procedures.


  1. The administrator responsible for compiling the dossier and conducting the first-level administrative review is the candidate's associate dean or director who reports directly to the Dean. When conducting the first-level administrative review, the responsible administrator will consult with other supervisors in the line of reporting of the candidate, if any. The responsible administrator shall alone author and sign the evaluative statement summarizing the administrator's evaluation of a candidate on each of the criteria.
  2. Peer Evaluation

    Peer evaluations are solicited every review cycle by the first-level administrator who compiles the dossier, in consultation with individuals in the line of report between the candidate and the Dean. Peer evaluators are Penn State faculty members in a good position to evaluate one or more aspects of the candidate’s core responsibilities in librarianship.

    Letters of peer evaluation are filed permanently in the dossier under the Scholarship of Librarianship (third bullet on the divider). Peer evaluations of instruction are required for candidates whose core responsibilities include course-related or other non-credit instruction (see UL-ING01 Peer Review of Instruction); these letters are filed in the dossier along with other peer evaluations.

    Peer evaluators may include a candidate’s unit head (direct supervisor), and may include the campus chancellor or other academic officer for candidates at campuses other than University Park. Members of faculty review committees may have authored letters of peer evaluation for candidates under review.

  3. Promotion to Full Rank

    Nomination Process

    A member of the University Libraries faculty who is at the rank of Associate, either non-tenure-line or tenure-line, may be nominated for promotion to Full rank by the appropriate Associate Dean  or by the immediate supervisor in consultation with the Associate Dean and the appropriate Promotion and Tenure Department Head or Non-Tenure-Line Promotion Department Head.

    Individuals at the Associate rank who are interested in promotion are encouraged to discuss the path to promotion to Full and/or their readiness for promotion to Full with their supervisors as part of their annual reviews. Tenured faculty are also encouraged to have these discussions with their Associate Dean as part of their periodic extended reviews. These conversations may be initiated by either the faculty member or the supervisor; faculty members are encouraged to advocate for themselves, and supervisors are expected to mentor their faculty. These conversations may occur outside the annual review or extended review as well, but they should occur during annual and extended reviews at a minimum. Nominations are made in the spring for tenure line faculty, to conform to the Calendar for Promotion and Tenure. Nominations are made in the fall for non-tenure-line faculty, to conform to the Calendar for Non-Tenure-Line Faculty Promotion.

    If the faculty member and the supervisor agree that the faculty member is ready to be a candidate for promotion to Full, they should consult with the Associate Dean and the appropriate Promotion and Tenure Department Head or Non-Tenure-Line Promotion Department Head. If there is consensus for support, the Associate Dean will nominate the faculty member for promotion to Full, entering them into the process.

    If the supervisor does not agree that the faculty member is ready to be a candidate for promotion to Full and the faculty member disagrees with this assessment, the faculty member may consult directly with the Associate Dean and the appropriate Promotion and Tenure Department Head or Non-Tenure-Line Promotion Department Head. If the Associate Dean and the appropriate Promotion and Tenure Department Head or Non-Tenure-Line Promotion Department Head support the nomination, it can go forward. Faculty members who report directly to an Associate Dean may consult with the Dean in cases of disagreement.


    Preparation of the Dossier

    The faculty member collaborates with the Promotion and Tenure Department Head or Non-Tenure-Line Promotion Department Head and with the Dean’s office to produce the promotion dossier.


    The promotion dossier focuses on contributions made after the candidate attained the rank of Associate Librarian. There is no time in rank required prior to submitting materials for promotion to Librarian. Contributions to the Scholarship of Librarianship, the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (if appropriate), and Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession may document information for up to 10 of the most recent consecutive years since the last formal promotion and tenure review. Contributions made to the Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments are documented for the entire length of the candidate’s professional career, from the beginning of the candidate’s scholarly publication record.


    The promotion dossier does not include earlier Statements of Evaluation written by faculty review committees and administrators during previous promotion or tenure reviews (see the dossier divider “Statements of Evaluation of the Candidate by Review Committees and Administrators”).


    Results of Evaluations

    For non-tenure-line faculty, the Dean of the University Libraries will review all recommendations, make the final determination, and notify the candidate and the appropriate Promotion and Tenure Department Head or Non-Tenure-Line Promotion Department Head of the outcome of the review by early April. Approved promotions will become effective July 1 immediately following the decision.


    Tenure-line faculty will be informed of the results of promotion reviews according to University procedures described in “Information to Faculty Members about Evaluations of Performance,” Administrative Guidelines for AC23, section V, part I).


Other Guidelines in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

Guideline UL-ACG07 Promotion and Tenure Criteria
Guideline UL-ACG12 Supplemental Support Materials Accompanying Dossiers
Guideline UL-ACG13 Faculty Peer Review Committees

Effective Date: July 2007
Date Approved: July 2007 (Dean)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • October 2022 - Updated the policy to comply with Penn State's Administrative Guidelines which specify the "appropriate academic administrator" must support the nomination for promotion to full rank. For the libraries, the appropriate academic administrator is the Dean.
  • April 2022 - Clarified guidelines for Promotion to Full Rank.
  • December 2021 - Revised and extended the period for documenting contributions to the scholarship of librarianship and teaching and learning, as well as service and scholarship of service to the University, society, and the profession from a maximum of five years to a maximum of ten years.
  • August 2021 - Revised "Fixed-Term" to "Non-Tenure Track" to comply with suggested language from the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Office.
  • February 2018 - Categorization changed from UL-HRG to UL-ACG to reflect new PSU Academic Policy classification
  • April 26, 2017 - Revised to reflect legislation passed by the Library Faculty Organization 
  • July 2013 - Revised to reflect administrative re-organization of 2011 and to align with revisions to UL-HRG13
  • November 2009 - Revised to remove reference to former membership of peer review committee at University Park between "public service" or "technical service" faculty
  • June 2007 - Revised to reflect the decision to have Hershey fall under the Commonwealth Campus Libraries' process and Dickinson under the University Park Libraries' process; added the new process for campus input into the review of campus librarians; edited the summary evaluation letter process
  • July 1, 2005 - New guideline

Last Review Date:  April 2022