A colleague of mine, Jon Becker, has posted an entry entitled A little help, please? In that entry, Jon describes how he is going up for promotion and tenure this coming year, and that the first thing in that process is for three full professors that he has had no professional collaboration with will review his dossier and provide an assessment of him (a process known as external review).
I too will be going up for promotion and tenure in the coming year. In fact, it has only been this past week that I have finalized the initial materials for my dossier, and those materials should be sent to six external reviewers shortly. As in Jon’s case, these should be people in my field (i.e., instructional technology), who have knowledge of distance education/online learning – and, ideally, K-12 online learning. They should also be full professors at similar institutions (i.e., research-extensive based on the Carnegie classifications) and, ideally, at big name universities that would be recognized by academics in any field. And, of course, people that I have not collaborated with on any kind of project (i.e., writing, research, development, etc.). For those of you familiar with academics in the field of K-12 online learning, you know that the field is already quite small – and these criteria do make it even smaller.
In Jon’s entry, he asks his blogging audience to respond to several questions and states that it is his intention to include those responses in his promotion and tenure portfolio. I’m guessing that our materials differ somewhat, as the space requirements I am given for the documents that I must include would not allow me to carry out such an exercise. However, over the next five months I will try and document some of my own promotion and tenure journey in this space; and also try and provide some of the materials from that journey that I believe relevant to this audience. I may also try and obtain some feedback – as Jon is doing – that while won’t be an official part of my promotion and tenure dossier, will be of great interest and importance to me personally.