Promotion, Tenure, & Review Committee

The Promotion, Tenure and Review Committee (PTR) reviews material submitted by College of Arts & Sciences faculty and makes recommendations to the dean regarding the award of sabbatical leaves, promotion, and tenure to qualified full-time Suffolk University faculty. Committee members are both elected by division and appointed by the dean of the College.

Promotion, Tenure, and Review Committee Members

Name Department
Abrams, Barbara WLCS
Berkmen, Melanie  Chemistry & Biochemistry 
Dewar, Eric Biology
Dominguez, Roberto Political Science & Legal Studies
Kelly, Alison Economics
Miller, Quentin English
Swenson, Lance Psychology

This FAQ is provided to clarify how PTR puts the policies found in the University faculty handbook into practice, and in no way supersedes the document. For more detail, please review the relevant sections of the Suffolk University Faculty Handbook.

The Promotion, Tenure, and Review Committee makes recommendations to the CAS dean on matters relating to individual promotions, tenures, and sabbaticals. The Committee also provides advice on third year and annual reviews. In addition, the Committee prepares policy recommendations on issues related to any of the above for consideration.

Procedural and organizational components of PTR are public knowledge. However, deliberations of the PTR committee are confidential with respect to individual cases. This is for both legal and practical reasons. Members of PTR cannot communicate anything about its deliberations to the candidates.

PTR may have up to eight members from full-time tenured CAS faculty. Six members are elected, two from each division (humanities, social science, and natural science) for two-year terms, and the CAS dean may appoint up to two additional members who serve for one-year terms. Committee members are appointed for various reasons, but most often to address an imbalance in the committee’s representation. For example, if a faculty member from an unrepresented area is not elected to the committee, one may be appointed.

PTR may invite the CAS dean and the senior associate dean to participate in policy discussions as needed.

The PTR committee usually meets for 3-4 hours weekly during the academic year. Dossiers are submitted electronically, allowing the members to review the dossiers prior to the meeting.

Early in the fall, PTR considers sabbatical proposals. After the sabbatical recommendations are completed, tenure applications are reviewed, followed by any applications for promotion to full professor. By the end of the fall semester, all of PTR’s recommendations are forwarded to the CAS dean for independent review. The CAS dean then forwards both sets of recommendations to the Provost, who makes a recommendation to the Board of Trustees in time for their February meeting.

PTR then conducts third year reviews, and forwards comments on to the CAS Dean.

PTR also considers the annual reviews of all faculty and instructors and may make recommendations to the CAS Dean.

After all reviews have been conducted, PTR discusses any policy issues that pertain to committee matters, and prepares suggestions. PTR does not have a formal role in governance, and these suggestions are advisory.

Sabbatical proposals are submitted electronically by the department. The departmental recommendations come to the committee and then are considered though a two-stage process. First, the proposals that may be recommended for approval are determined. Of those recommended for approval, PTR then provides recommendation of ranking.

Dossiers are provided electronically by the department to the Dean’s office. These are made available to the committee members for review prior to the meeting. PTR members review entire dossiers individually, and then discuss each case as a group during the meeting. The committee then votes by secret ballot on each case, and the outcome is conveyed to the CAS Dean with a brief explicatory note.

A faculty member may vote on a candidate only once; if they have voted at the departmental level, they would need to recuse themselves from the PTR vote.

Third year review dossiers are provided electronically by the department to the Dean’s office. The dossier is discussed by PTR and an evaluation of the candidate’s progress towards tenure is provided. PTR makes advisory recommendations to the CAS Dean.

No, the timing of the tenure clock is determined at the time of hire.

Current policy is that associate professors applying for promotion to full should have completed a minimum of five years of service at rank. At the earliest, in the spring of the fifth year of service as an associate professor the candidate must inform the CAS Dean’s office that they are planning to apply. The application is submitted in the fall of the sixth year of service, with the promotion effective at the beginning of the seventh year.

PTR interprets this as meaning that only under exceptional circumstances are faculty members considered for early promotion. If a faculty member chooses not to follow the standard timeline, PTR looks for an explicit statement from both the candidate and their chair giving a clear rationale for the abbreviated timeline.