Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

Promotion to Professor

Guidelines for standing committee preparing recommendations on promotion to professor

  1. The criteria for promotion from Associate Professor to Professor are excellence and potential in teaching, research, or extension, and a judgment on whether the individual has fulfilled the promise on which tenure was originally granted. The candidate must have achieved a reputation as an outstanding researcher, teacher, or extension education educator and as a productive scholar in his/her field. Promotion to Professor is not automatic.

    The college expects candidates to rank very high compared to colleagues in the same field at similar stages in their careers at peer institutions and to demonstrate leadership in their field. Research should be regularly published in respected journals or books issued by reputable publishers. In most disciplines success in obtaining external financial support is expected. Excellence as an educator is expected either in undergraduate and graduate courses or as an extension educator. Excellence as a student mentor should be evaluated. There should be evidence of leadership ability in the several responsibilities noted and in service to the department/unit, college, and university.
  2. Standing Committee members are selected by the dean to advise her on the promotion decision. The committee membership is not revealed except in the confidential report by the Dean to the Provost. The Standing Committee report is confidential and anonymity of the membership is essential.
  3. You are asked to:
    1. Evaluate the performance of the candidate based on the documentation presented by the Unit Chair/Director. The Unit Chair/Director’s letter should have reviewed the basis for promotion or appointment to Associate Professor with tenure and there should be evidence of continued excellence in scholarship and performance.
    2. Evaluate adequacy of the information presented and the decision reached by the unit. Work through the Senior Associate Dean to secure additional information from the candidate, from faculty in the candidate’s department, or from sources off campus.
  4. Your evaluation of the candidate should answer, but need not be limited to, the questions:
    1. What does the evidence reveal about the performance of the candidate since promotion to associate professor?
    2. What does the evidence reveal about the promise of the candidate over the next 10-20 years?
    3. If this person were being recommended for an initial appointment at Cornell, would the evidence justify a direct appointment at the level of Professor?
  5. Your letter to the Dean (within six weeks after documentation provided) should include:
    1. The procedures followed by the Standing Committee in developing its recommendation.
    2. Your recommendation concerning promotion and the primary reasons for the recommendation, including the results of the full vote of the committee. Members are recused from the vote if they are in the same unit as the candidate. Attendance at the PTP meeting held to discuss the candidates is not a prerequisite for voting; a member can vote based on their review of the promotion dossier and draft PTP letter.
    3. The signature on the letter will be of the primary reviewer on behalf of the committee. The letters will be forwarded to the SrAD office by the PTP Chair.