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Preparing Your Tenure Dossier From Day One

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Faculty Development: Tenure & Promotion

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1021.1 - 11.1021.8



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Paper Authors


Micah Hale University of Arkansas

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Dr. Hale is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering where he teaches courses in structural engineering.

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Findlay Edwards University of Arkansas

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Dr. Edwards is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering where he teaches courses in environmental engineering.

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Norman Dennis University of Arkansas

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Dr. Dennis is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering where he teaches courses in geotechnical engineering.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Preparing Your Tenure Dossier from Day One


The tenure process can be a stressful ordeal for an assistant professor. Obtaining research funding, publishing, recruiting graduate students, serving on university and national committees, participating in student activities, and on top of all that, trying to be an effective teacher can be quite overwhelming. By their fifth year, the faculty member becomes somewhat proficient at wearing all those hats (researcher, teacher, advisor, etc), and it is now time he/she must prepare their tenure dossier. Often faculty members have little or no guidance in preparing their tenure dossier until their fifth year (or possibly for their three year review). Most faculty members at research institutions realize that research funding and publications are important, but there are many other things that should be included in their tenure dossier. These other things include the number of students advised, teacher evaluations, faculty evaluations, and service, to name a few. Tracking down all the additional information can be very time consuming. However, the time requirement can be reduced if work on the tenure dossier begins early in the faculty member’s career. This paper reflects the lessons learned from three faculty members, a full professor, an associate professor, and an assistant professor. The full professor serves on the department’s promotion and tenure committee. The associate professor has recently received tenure, and the assistant professor is preparing his tenure dossier for his three year review. As well as insights on preparing tenure dossiers, information on recruiting graduate students and the benefits of attending conferences and workshops is also presented.


From the first day a new faculty member begins their academic career, he or she should begin preparing their tenure dossier. Preparing your tenure dossier can be likened to a coach preparing a game plan. This plan will allow them to define and accomplish the necessary objectives as well as portray their work in each of these areas in the best light. They should stick to the game plan and collect evidence along the way rather than waiting until the last year to collect and compile the evidence they need. This paper provides the young faculty member guidance in obtaining that evidence and compiling it into their tenure dossier.


Your tenure dossier summarizes the first six years of your academic career and is divided into three sections; teaching, research, and service. Tenure dossiers can differ depending on your type of institution. Hoback and Dutta surveyed civil engineering chairs in 1999 and their findings showed that research activities are more highly valued as the number of doctoral students increase.1 At baccalaureate universities, tenure dossiers focus on teaching and service. At research (or doctoral) universities, the emphasis is on research funding and publications.

Hale, M., & Edwards, F., & Dennis, N. (2006, June), Preparing Your Tenure Dossier From Day One Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--954

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