Frequently Asked Questions

The information on this page is intended to clarify the details of how the review process works; the Handbook remains the definitive resource on policies and procedures. To ask a question that is not already listed, send an e-mail to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty ( 

How many senior colleagues should I invite to visit my classes?

The Handbook does not specify a particular number, and practice varies from department to department. You should consult with your chair and/or program director to decide on an appropriate number of visitors. Note that, as per the Handbook, it is the job of your department chair to ensure that visits are not disruptive to your courses.

May I electronically submit my dossier?

Yes, electronic submission of your dossier to the PC or RC is acceptable. You may submit the materials on a USB drive, or on a secure website.  Departments may vary in whether they would prefer electronic versions or hard copies of dossiers, so consult with your chair and/or program director about departmental practices.

May I add materials to my dossier once I have submitted it?

No, you may provide updates on the status of the materials included in your dossier—say, for instance, if you learn that a manuscript has been accepted or rejected for publication—but you may not add new materials to it. This is to insure that all parties who are reviewing your dossier are assessing the same body of materials.

If I am a program affiliate, how do I decide whether to request a letter from my program director?

The handbook specifies that a program director will submit a letter if "programmatic involvement is explicitly stated in the letter of appointment", or if you request such a letter.  If programmatic involvement is not explicitly stated in your appointment letter, this would be a good topic to discuss with your PC/RC liaison.  They can give you advice on how to proceed.  (If you are not sure if programmatic involvement is stated in your appointment letter, and do not have a copy handy, you can contact the Dean of the Faculty and ask!)

Is it acceptable to ask to look at the dossiers of colleagues who have recently undergone a review?

Yes, absolutely. It would be best to look at multiple dossiers, to give you a sense of the range of variability, and not a bad idea to look at dossiers from colleagues outside of your department.

Can I ask a colleague to read a draft of my self-evaluation?

Yes, you can. In fact, former members of the PC, RC, and COR have suggested that having someone outside of your discipline read your self-evaluation is good practice, to make sure that you are describing your work in terms that a non-specialist can understand.

Is a public lecture required or expected of candidates for tenure?

The Handbook rules do not require a candidate for tenure to give a public seminar. It is the practice in some departments, however, for candidates to give a research seminar or scholarly talk before or during their tenure review. You should consult with your chair or program director to find out the common practice within your department.

Academic Administration
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Middlebury College
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