Guiding Statements for Promotion and Tenure

The following clarify the school's expectations in the three areas of evaluation for promotion and the granting of continuing appointment (tenure) in tenure track (unqualified) academic ranks (i.e. assistant, associate, or full professor). These descriptions are framed within, and subordinate to, the procedural requirements and policies of the University at Buffalo in the Faculty/Staff handbook, the Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, and the current Agreement between United University Professions and the State of New York. Faculty are encouraged to refer to the following documentation:

Appointment to, renewal of appointment, or promotion in non-tenure track (qualified) ranks (i.e. research or clinical lines) will be carried out using the same criteria and the same standards applied to tenure track academic ranks in the applicable area(s) of primary academic activity (i.e. research and scholarship, teaching or service).

Guiding Statements

Research and Scholarship

The quality and impact of a candidate's research shall be the primary basis for a recommendation for a candidate's promotion or tenure by the school. Substantial evidence of peer review by scholars in the candidate's discipline is a critically important aspect in establishing quality and impact.

An important consideration in the judgment of quality and impact is a peer-reviewed record of publications, professional presentations, as well as grant submissions and funding. Research carried out across disciplines involving the scholarly contributions of others is valued in the same way as research carried out within an individual's discipline. For all collaborative work however, it is important that the unique contribution to the body of work by the individual relative to other contributors be described in the candidate's research statement and the Chair's letter. To be recommended for promotion to Associate, the candidate must demonstrate solid professional achievement and the potential to meet requirements for the rank of full, consistent with standards in his or her discipline at leading public research universities. To be recommended to full, candidates should be clearly established, nationally visible, highly regarded scholars whose performance can be expected to continue.


The School of Public Health and Health Professions faculty are expected to be highly competent teachers. The quality and effectiveness of a candidate's teaching is an important consideration for the school to recommend a candidate for promotion, tenure, or reappointment. Quality and effectiveness must rest on solid evidence. At a minimum there must be documentation based on systematic surveys of students in classes taught by the faculty member under review. Mentoring of graduate students and involvement on thesis and dissertation committees is also an expectation of tenured and tenure track faculty. Excellence in teaching cannot, by itself, make up for a poor record of research and scholarship for a recommendation of promotion or tenure of tenure track academic line faculty. Similarly, excellence in research by itself does not counterbalance teaching ineffectiveness.


Effective and continued professional service, which may be directed within or outside the university is expected throughout a faculty member's academic career, with generally increasing expectations as the faculty member progresses through the ranks. Professional service that fulfills the school's mission: “… to improve the health of populations, communities and individuals …” is strongly encouraged and an important consideration when a candidate's dossier is reviewed at the school level. Candidates evaluated for continuing appointment may not have been asked to undertake substantial administrative tasks as they develop as scholars and educators; nevertheless, all members of the faculty are expected to be involved in governance, operation, policy formulation or curriculum development at the department, school or university level. Candidates being evaluated for promotion to full professor are expected to have been engaged in nationally visible professional/public service relevant to the school's mission. For tenure track academic faculty, research and teaching achievement in the absence of service relevant to the school's mission is not acceptable. Similarly, service is important but cannot, by itself, substitute for achievement as a researcher and teacher.

Reviewed by the SPHHP Executive and Planning Committee: 10/2008
Reviewed by UB's Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs: 01/2009
Reviewed by UB's Provost: 01/2009
Adopted by the SPHHP: 01/29/2009