Part 8 – The Dossier (UCAPT)

8.1 Dossier Overview

A checklist for dossier preparation is provided in the appendix of this UCAPT Manual. Details about each section are provided in the materials that follow. Potential modifications for senior lateral appointment dossiers are noted in section 6.2. If questions arise in dossier preparation, the Provost’s Office is available for consultation.

The Recommendation for Appointment or Recommendation for Promotion form should be included in the front of the dossier.

Included below is a sample summary of both the candidate’s portions and the department/school’s portions of the dossier. However, candidates should check with their schools, as responsibilities for dossier components may vary by school.

A candidate who neglects, after multiple requests, to provide dossier material will be regarded as having withdrawn from consideration.

Dossiers contain the following ratings, reports, and records obtained in connection with the process of appointment or promotion to a higher rank or to tenured or continuing appointment status.

Candidate’s portion of dossier evidence:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Teaching statement
  • Teaching record (unless information is provided by department/school)
  • Service statement (optional)
  • Service record (unless information is provided by department/school)
  • List of suggested reviewers or reviewers who may be biased (see section 8.7.2)
  • Candidate’s portion of appendix

Department/school’s portion of dossier evidence:

  • Quantitative data
  • Teaching memo
  • Any portions of teaching record that are not the candidate’s responsibility
  • Any portions of service record that are not the candidate’s responsibility
  • Department/school’s portion of appendix

Administrative and Faculty Assessments, and External Letters of Review

  • Letters of review
  • Reports prepared by committee members (these may include department committees, department faculty, school committee, etc.)
  • Reports and ratings by department chair (if applicable) and dean

8.1.1 Overview

The administrative and faculty assessments should include the: (1) dean’s memo, (2) school committee memo, (3) department chair’s memo (if applicable), (4) department faculty committee memo (if applicable), as well as any other faculty committee reports.

If higher-level reviews (such as the dean’s memo) adopt the reasoning of a lower-level report, the reviews can agree with the report without having to summarize and repeat it.

This Manual and any school- or department- specific measures and expectations of productivity, which have been approved by the Provost (see section 2.3), should be provided to each committee member, chair, and dean evaluating the dossier. Other discipline-specific standards and practices should be explained in the administrative assessments.

8.1.2 The Importance of Candor 

Administrative reports should provide a balanced analysis of the case, rather than advocating for a certain decision. Departments and schools should not retake votes so that they appear unanimous, skew the selection of reviewers to achieve some desired outcome, or exclude from the dossier information they fear later levels may misinterpret. Instead, they should append explanations of what they believe is the appropriate significance of all the available information.

Administrative and faculty assessments are of greatest use to UCAPT if they analyze issues rather than argue for a conclusion. Those who support a candidate should realize that the greatest aid is provided by a balanced analysis. Negative evidence must be weighed as conscientiously as positive evidence.

Faculty committees should try to anticipate and discuss questions that may be raised later in the process, and they should particularly consider the weaker elements in the dossier. Split votes or dissenting views should never be suppressed. The dossier is strengthened, not weakened, if negative views expressed in discussions or in the reviewers’ letters are discussed in the report. UCAPT expects to see a summary of all sides of the discussion, presenting pros and cons.

8.1.3 Documenting the Process Fully

All information relied upon to make decisions must be documented in the dossier.

All committee reports, data on all votes, and all letters and summaries of conversations with those asked to be reviewers must be included in the dossier. If a committee votes twice, or a second committee is appointed, the earlier information should be included along with an explanation of the process. It is not necessary to discuss annual, mid-probationary or fifth/sixth year reviews unless the school believes it would help UCAPT understand the candidate’s progress.

The school and departmental committee reports should describe the process used and the committee membership.

If a dean or chair, or any individual faculty member involved in the process, has reason to question the accuracy or integrity of any of the information in the dossier, a memo explaining that conclusion may be included in the dossier at the time that level considers the case, but the questioned material should not be removed or altered.

An individual faculty member in the department or on a school committee who wishes to ensure that his or her views are adequately represented in the dossier may, if necessary, write directly to the department chair, dean, or Provost with an additional analysis at the time his or her level submits its report.  That letter would then be included in the dossier.

If those responsible for conducting the review receive letters or information on the decision outside the usual process, they should forward the letters or summaries of the conversations to the dean or Provost; however, unsolicited communications are not included in the dossier.

If new dossier evidence (e.g., a new publication, the score of a submitted proposal, etc.) is received after the dossier is submitted to UCAPT, it should be added to the dossier.  Contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs to submit the new evidence.

8.1.4 The Departmental Committee Report and Chair’s Memo

Schools with departments should provide assessments both from the department faculty (or a committee thereof) and the department chair.  See Section 8.1.2 on the importance of candor.

The department report should address the following topics:

  • The typical qualitative and quantitative standards (books, articles, grants, creative works, etc.) in the discipline.
  • Whether the candidate’s quantitative measures (see section 8.3) are consistent with the qualitative judgments provided.
  • The quality of the journals and presses in which the candidate published, as well as the conferences at which he or she presented. For candidates in creative fields, the report should describe the quality of the venues in which the candidate performed, exhibited work, etc., as well as other appropriate metrics.
  • The level and type of peer-reviewed external funding that is desirable in the discipline, and how the candidate compares to those recently promoted at peer and aspirational institutions.
  • Whether citation frequency is important and how the candidate compares to those recently promoted at peer and aspirational institutions.
  • The significance of co-authorships, and of first or last authorship, in the discipline.
  • Analysis of doubts or qualifications contained in the reviewer letters.
  • The candidate’s next major project (a brief description is sufficient) and how it is expected to contribute to the field.
  • The significance of the candidate’s field within the broader discipline.

The department chair’s report should provide a summary of the departmental discussion and votes, including an explanation of issues, disagreements, and minority views.

In addition to the summary, the chair’s memo should include:

  • Any disagreements he or she may have with the judgments or procedures of the faculty committee.
  • The department’s needs and goals and if the candidate will advance the department’s academic plan and fit into the unit’s strategy for excellence.
  • For appointments, the proactive outreach used to assure equal opportunity.
  • For an interdisciplinary candidate, the standards for interdisciplinary excellence in the particular case. (If interdisciplinary work is addressed in other department- or school-specific documents, the appropriate documents should also be attached.)

8.1.5 The School Committee Report

The school-level committee should present its independent analysis of the issues in the dossier, detailing pros and cons while setting forth the reasons for its recommendation. The school committee vote should be included in the report.

School-level committees will consider what has been said at the departmental level. If the committee disagrees with the department report, it should explain its reasons. (There is no need to summarize information already presented in the dossier at the department level.)

8.1.6 The Dean’s Memo

Like all other levels of review, the dean is expected to provide an independent analysis, and one that gives a balanced assessment of strengths and weaknesses in the dossier. See section 8.1.2 on the importance of candor.  The dean should consider what has been said at lower levels, and, if he or she agrees with the previous reasoning, need not summarize and repeat evidence already included in the dossier. If he or she disagrees with a lower-level committee, he or she should provide reasons for the disagreement.

The dean should include a statement specifying whether he or she approved the external reviewer list. If he or she modified the reviewer template letter (after approval by the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs), he or she should indicate this as well.

8.2 Quantitative Data (Section I-B)

UCAPT requests that discipline-appropriate quantitative data be included in all dossiers.  Quantitative data can be valuable, though data cannot substitute for judgment. The department memo should discuss whether the candidate’s quantitative measures are consistent with the qualitative judgments offered.

The following quantitative data are expected in the dossier (more detailed explanations of these items is given below). In all cases, a cohort analysis appropriate to the field is required.

Departments may explain if they believe that any of the other items listed below are not salient. For candidates in creative fields, departments should submit equivalent information.

  • A cohort analysis.
  • A chart showing the candidate’s number of publications per year. If it would be helpful, separate top journals form other journals.
  • Citation counts for the candidate’s publications.
  • Journal impact factors.
  • A list of grants (if applicable).

If the department or school believes that other quantitative data would be more relevant to the discipline or more effective in demonstrating significance and impact, it should provide those data, along with information detailing their relevance.

Cohort analysis: UCAPT requests that all dossiers contain a cohort analysis. The cohort analysis should compare the candidate with an appropriate peer group, considering all measures applicable to the discipline, such as number of publications, citations, and journals where published. (In creative fields, the items for comparison will likely vary.) The appropriate peer group is about five to ten scholars who were recently granted a similar promotion or appointment (e.g., given tenure, promoted to full professor) at departments the University regards as of equal or greater stature. It is often advisable to include individuals from departments mentioned in the reviewer letters as leaders in the candidate’s area. The department or school should state the definition of the comparison group (e.g., every person tenured in the last two years at departments rated higher than USC), and it should include all the individuals falling in that group. If the usual cohort analysis is inapplicable, the department or school should provide other information demonstrating how the candidate compares to others in the field.

Citation counts: Citation counts provide some evidence of the impact of the work (unless the department explains why it believes citation counts are inapplicable to the discipline). UCAPT suggests using whenever possible the data from Web of Science (e.g., Social Science Citation Index). Studies of the reliability of citation statistics have been completed using Web of Science only. If the discipline considers another citation index (such as Google Scholar) to be more inclusive of other citation practices, it may include those data as well, along with a statement detailing why the source is more accurate. The department should provide a summary of how it obtained the citation count results. The department or school should also do a careful analysis of the citations. (Are they survey articles? How and why is the work cited?) The external reviewers are asked to comment on the quality of the journals and this can facilitate the differentiation of the various citations. There should be a separate analysis of work since the candidate was appointed or last promoted. Self-citations should be excluded.

Journal impact factors: Journal impact factors are appropriate metrics for the influence of publication venues in many disciplines. If journal impact factors are not appropriate to the discipline, departments should submit information that indicates the relative significance of the venues in which the candidate publishes, performs, or otherwise distributes his or her work (such as the ratio of submissions to acceptances, the stature of others who publish in that venue, etc.).

List of grants: For candidates in grant-funded fields, the dossier should include a list of all grants on which the candidate was P.I. or co-P.I., along with the granting agency, grant numbers, start and end dates, and monetary amounts. Portions of Center or Project grants, separately scored, on which the candidate was P.I. or co-P.I., can also be listed here, with amount of direct costs controlled by the candidate indicated. Please separate external grants from USC funding.

8.3 Curriculum Vitae (Section II)

The curriculum vitae needs to be complete, current, dated, and accurate. The candidate is personally responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the CV and should check it carefully if others have helped prepare it.

Exact dates of academic degrees, previous employment, and publications are essential, as are exact faculty and staff titles (and explanations of positions or tenure-track status if the information is unclear). Candidates should use the CV format that is standard for the school or discipline (or see suggestions at cet.usc.edu), with the following adjustments or additions.

Concerning publications:

  • Articles in refereed journals should be separated from non-refereed publications (e.g., invited contributions to journals, non-refereed chapters in edited books). For articles, include first and last page numbers, as well as date. The most recent work should be listed first.
  • Publications should be separated from conference and other presentations (invited lectures, seminars).
  • Edited work should be differentiated from authored work; co-authored or co-edited work differentiated from solo work; mass market or author-subsidized book publishers differentiated from university or comparable presses.
  • Correct titles of journals and publishers should be used.
  • If there are joint authors of publications, the name of the senior author for each publication should be underlined, and the candidate’s name should be boldfaced. If one of the co-authors is the candidate’s student or post-doc, that name should be highlighted with an asterisk. Any special meaning to the candidate’s location in a sequence of middle authors should be explained.
  • A book or article can be listed as “published” when it is available for everyone to read, either in print or online. It can be listed as “in press” when the author has no more editorial work to do on the accepted work, and the publisher has assigned an ISBN number for a book or a DOI number (digital object identifier) for an article. The CV circulated to reviewers should be completely accurate as to the work that is actually published or in press. Other work can be listed separately as under contract, revise and resubmit, etc., and the candidate should realize that such work is not regarded as finished.

Concerning grants:

  • The record of the candidate’s financial support must include: the source and type of grant (e.g., R01), the duration of the grant (include dates), the candidate’s role on the project (e.g., P.I., Investigator, etc.), the candidate’s percentage of time, and the grant amount.
  • If the candidate is responsible for part of a grant, please note the amount the candidate managed and whether that portion of the grant was independently scored. Please also note if the granting agency recognized the candidate as an equal co-P.I.

Concerning service:

  • The CV should list both internal and external service.

8.4 Personal Statement (Section III)

The personal statement is important, but need not be more than five pages long. The candidate is provided this opportunity to convey to others the research questions addressed and the excitement and importance of his or her scholarly work thus far, as well as plans for the future. Approaches to and accomplishments in research should be explained, and future work should be mapped out. (The candidate should include comments about his or her teaching in the teaching statement in section IV of the dossier. An additional statement on service may be included in section V of the dossier.)

All candidates who engage in collaborative research should include an explanation of the kinds of collaborations they have undertaken, their own original and creative contributions for each work in these collaborations, and the significance and impact of such collaborations on scholarship in their own fields and other fields involved. Candidates engaging in interdisciplinary work should also include explanations of the scope, significance, and impact of their work.

8.5 Teaching Record (Section IV)

8.5.1 Teaching Memo

This section should begin with a memo by the department or school’s leadership that: (1) explains where the candidate’s teaching fits within the unit’s instructional mission, (2) compares the candidate’s teaching to school and department norms, and (3) summarizes and analyzes the evidence of teaching effectiveness presented in the dossier, covering both strengths and weaknesses. (The recommended evidence of teaching effectiveness is detailed in sections 8.5.3 and 8.8.2) If a probationary faculty member has heavy teaching responsibilities, the teaching memo should explain the circumstances. For the benefit of those outside the subject, the department may also describe the typical students taking the candidate’s courses.

8.5.2 Teaching Statement

The candidate is provided the opportunity to convey to others his or her approach to and accomplishments in teaching.

8.5.3 Teaching Record and Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness

The following information should also be included in the teaching section of the dossier:

  • A chronological list of classes taught, with contact hours and enrollment size for each class. Include independent studies supervised. (For promotion to full professor, the list will generally go back to the grant of tenure.)
  • Principal courses created, developed, or substantially revised.
  • A list of graduate students and post-docs mentored (past and present), showing each person’s next career position if available.

UCAPT asks that additional evidence of teaching effectiveness (syllabi, student evaluations, notes from classroom observations by senior colleagues, etc.) be included in section VII of the dossier (Appendix). See section 8.8.2.

8.6 Service Record (Section V)

8.6.1 Service Statement (optional)

The candidate may include a statement detailing his or her approach to service and service experience.

8.6.2 Service Record

The service record should include University, professional, and community service activity related to the candidate’s field, such as journal editorial boards or federal grant review panels. It should assess the quality and the effectiveness of the candidate’s service contributions.

8.7 External Reviewer Letters (Section VI)

8.7.1 Template Letter

Template letters to solicit reviewer evaluations are included in section 9. Please use the versions of the template letters included in this UCAPT Manual. If the department or school wishes to rephrase the letter, the dean must obtain approval in advance from the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs and mention this approval in the dean’s memo.

Requests for letters of evaluation must always include the question asking whether the candidate’s work meets the standards of leading institutions for a similar position or award of tenure.

8.7.2 Selection of Reviewers

Reviewers’ evaluation letters, like committee reports, are of greatest aid to the individual and to UCAPT if the writers see their task as analyzing issues rather than as advocating a position.

The great majority of reviewer letters in the dossier should be from reviewers who have not been suggested by the candidate and who are arms-length. (See notes below on arms-length reviewers.) Generally, it is desirable that the candidate suggest no more than two or three reviewers. (Some candidates regard it as advantageous not to suggest reviewers, as those they suggest will not be regarded as arms-length.)  The candidate should also be given the opportunity to list individuals whom he/she believes would be biased.  If letters are obtained from any of those individuals, the candidate’s belief will be taken into account.

The list of reviewers, and the reasons for any unusual choices, should be reviewed by the dean early enough in the process so that there is time to make adjustments or seek additional reviewers, if needed.

The most useful external reviewers are academic leaders in tenure-granting major universities who are arms-length. UCAPT requests at least five such arms-length letters in the dossier. These five letters must include substantive evaluation and analysis of the candidate’s work. Arms-length reviewers are not connected to the candidate by collaboration, friendship, commercial ties, or current or former colleagueship at the same institution. These reviewers may have met the candidate at conferences and through other professional activities. (This is especially true for candidates for full professor.) However, arms-length reviewers have not, for instance, overlapped with the candidate at the same institution (even in graduate school); collaborated on a project, article, or grant with the candidate; or engaged in a mentoring relationship with the candidate.

In order to receive the required five substantive letters from arms-length reviewers, it is common to solicit ten such letters. This number makes it likely the department or school will receive five that meet all the criteria.

If much of the candidate’s work is co-authored, co-created, or otherwise produced collaboratively, then the dossier should also include a few reviewer letters from these collaborators. The collaborator reviewers must be in addition to the five arms-length reviewers. Letters from collaborators should address the significance of the sequence of authors and the original, creative contribution of the candidate as a co-author.

For candidates with joint appointments, reviewers should be sought from the secondary discipline(s) as well, after advice from the secondary department.

Additional notes on reviewer selection:

  • Reviewers should be included from the broader discipline as well as the subspecialty. Evidence from the broader discipline gives UCAPT a feel for the significance, impact, and originality of the work.
  • If a reviewer is not a leading scholar at a major research university, the department or school should explain why the reviewer is an expert whose judgment is significant for the dossier. UCAPT understands that some universities, while not necessarily in the top tier, have individuals who are widely considered leaders in the field.
  • If the candidate’s dossier includes digital scholarship, then letters should be sought from individuals with experience in evaluation and/or producing digital scholarship.
  • Some of the letters may be from non-academic reviewers when the candidate is from a non-academic background or works in an area that is performance-based, creative, or affects public policy and practice. Nevertheless, such dossiers still require a minimum of five substantive letters from arms-length, academic reviewers, as described above.
  • It would be unusual to seek the judgment of faculty holding a lower rank than the rank proposed for the candidate, or to seek the judgment of a non-tenured faculty member on a question of tenure.
  • Internal letters of evaluation are generally not as informative as letters from arms-length, external reviewers. Internal letters are desirable when they are from members of the secondary department in interdisciplinary cases (see section 2.7), or when they are from collaborators explaining the candidate’s contribution to joint work.   If there are internal letters, they are in addition to the expected number of external letters.

8.7.3 Method of Contacting Reviewers

The candidate must not have access to the list of reviewers to be approached, and he or she must not personally solicit nor contact them. The department or committee chair or dean organizes the contacting of reviewers whose opinions are solicited. Any contact made by individual committee members or others with solicited reviewers must be coordinated by the chair or dean. Individual faculty colleagues may suggest to a department chair or dean a few potential reviewers; however, they should neither solicit evaluations nor contact those asked to be reviewers.

Supplemental evaluations may be sought by the dean, UCAPT, or the Provost, and all such communications must be fully documented in the dossier. If the dean consults with additional reviewers after the dossier leaves the department and goes to higher-level reviews, the communications should be fully documented as part of the dean’s memo. If UCAPT members request supplemental evaluations, the dean will contact the reviewers.

Phone calls to reviewers concerning candidates for promotions or lateral appointments are discouraged; however, if a phone call is necessary, the dean should follow a similar process to that of soliciting written reviewer letters. After consulting the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs, the dean should e-mail the reviewer to schedule an appointment for a phone conversation. If the reviewer agrees to the appointment, the dean should send the candidate’s materials and solicitation letter, just as he or she would for a written reviewer letter. The questions included in the solicitation letter should then be the template for the phone conversation. All parts of such communications must be documented in the dossier.

It is preferable that letters of evaluation be solicited in one period of time (to avoid some letters being much older than others) and that the dossier be submitted in a timely manner. If submission of a dossier is delayed, the candidate will not have the benefit of having his or her most recent work considered by the reviewers. If the dossier is delayed, at least some of the letters must be new enough to confirm the trajectory of the candidate’s work. If the letters were received over a year before the submission of the dossier, departments and schools must request that the reviewers update their previously submitted letters in regards to any new work. Both the original letter and the updated letter should be included in the dossier.

To avoid delay, a dossier should be forwarded after a sufficient number of letters are received, even if phone calls or emails have not been successful in getting the rest. The dossier should explain the circumstances, and the late letters should follow in a supplement.

While some units do not allow honorariums, a school may if it wishes offer an honorarium to reviewers in recognition that a thorough evaluation takes time and effort, or in recognition of the inconvenience of the timing of the request.

8.7.4 Organization of Reviewer Letter Section of Dossier

The reviewer letter section of the dossier should be divided into: (1) the sample solicitation letter; (2) a reviewer chart; (3) arms-length letters meeting all the criteria stated in section 8.7.2 (section VI-A); and (4) other letters (section VI-B), as described below.

Reviewer chart: Preface the set of letters with a chart, showing for each reviewer: (1) who suggested the reviewer; (2) whether the reviewer is arms-length or has ties of friendship, colleagueship, collaboration, etc. with the candidate; and (3) whether the reviewer answers all the questions in the letter of request in a substantive manner.

The chart should include ALL reviewers approached, including those who decline for lack of time or any other reason and those who were only communicated with by telephone. The reasons for declining should be included in the chart. Provide copies of all letters and e-mails received from reviewers (including reviewers who declined), as well as notes on any phone calls with them. Please explain if an unusual number of external reviewers decline to provide letters.

Explain why each reviewer was chosen, with a short bio of a few sentences summarizing the significance of the reviewer. Do not enclose a full CV or a directory listing.

Section VI-A: Arms-Length Letters: Arms-length letters meeting all of the criteria stated in section 8.7.2 (substantive, arms-length letters from academic leaders independent of the candidate) should be placed in part VI-A of the dossier. There should be a minimum of five such letters in this section.

Section VI-B: Collaborator and Other Letters: Letters from key collaborators and reviewers suggested by the candidate should be placed in section VI-B. In addition, letters that do not meet all of the criteria for the arms-length letters in section VI-A should be placed in section VI-B.

8.7.5 Confidentiality

To preserve the confidentiality of the reviewers’ letters, the administrative assessments and reports should not quote verbatim from reviewers’ letters or give their names. While such letters are generally held confidential by California courts, that protection may be lost if reports or memos name the reviewers. The use of anonymous paraphrases is allowed, although not particularly helpful because it provides no additional information. What is helpful is an informed interpretation of key phrases and of ideas that run through the letters.

8.7.6 Unsolicited Letters

Unsolicited letters are not part of the dossier, are not welcome, and are not considered significant. They have no appreciable weight because they are subject to selection bias. It is also generally not useful for the department to include letters from other USC faculty members outside of those provided for in this manual.

8.8 Appendix: Evidence of Scholarship, Performance, and Teaching (Section VII)

8.8.1 Evidence of Scholarship and Performance (Section VII-A)

Please provide selected samples of the candidate’s recent publications and other works: reprints, accepted manuscripts, artistic works. The candidate’s best work should always be included. Include along with the dossier a copy of each published book or accepted book manuscript, both in digital and hard copies, if possible.

This section should also include:

  • All published reviews of the candidate’s work (scholarly or artistic), as well as reviews that are in press.
  • Evaluations of the candidate’s work from publishers’ reviewers, if available.
  • Summary statements of pending grants.
  • Abstracts, samples, and photographs of creative work, with succinct descriptions of date, source, and significance.

8.8.2 Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness (Section VII-B)

As noted in section 8.5, additional evidence of teaching effectiveness (beyond the material requested in the Teaching Record section of the dossier) should be included here.

(a) UCAPT finds that the most useful evidence in evaluating teaching effectiveness is the following:

  • Classroom observations by faculty colleagues close to the time of the candidate’s consideration for promotion. These observations should comment on strengths and weaknesses in the candidate’s presentation of course material and in classroom interactions with students. These reviews are even more valuable if they include classroom visitations over a period of time. (Some schools have each member of a committee visit at least two classes taught by the candidate; these individuals then submit written evaluations for inclusion in the promotion dossier or mid-year review.)
  • Demonstration that the candidate has applied teaching strategies whose effectiveness has been validated through research. The research may refer to the candidate’s own teaching or be drawn from publications about teaching effectiveness. The research may rely on quantitative, ethnographic, or other methodologies that the candidate’s field of scholarship values.
  • Other evidence that the candidate’s teaching is effective such as protocols through which students demonstrate their mastery in a public forum or data on student learning outcomes compared to students of similarly situated teachers.
  • Course syllabi or instructor’s teaching materials provided to students for a few courses that the candidate considers most indicative of his or her approach to teaching.

(b)  UCAPT also expects to see this traditional evidence, though it is cognizant of the research questioning its usefulness:

  • Summaries of student evaluations for all of the candidate’s courses, as well as complete student evaluations for the candidate’s most recent courses (approximately the last two years). All individual student evaluations should be readily available upon request. If summaries of evaluations are presented based on USC’s standard questionnaire, UCAPT suggests that the candidate’s average scores on questions rating the course and instructor should be compared to the distribution of departmental scores for comparable courses or faculty.

(c) The following evidence may also be used if the department finds it helpful:

  • Information on the candidate’s (1) use and assessment of information technology or multi-media that promote student engagement and learning or that adapt course materials to students’ needs; (2) the accommodation of different learning styles among students; (3) innovations to customary practices (dependence on lectures, standard semester length, constraints of disciplinary boundaries, etc.) aimed at increasing a course’s benefits to students; and (4) the use and assessment of work produced by students in service-oriented or experiential settings outside classroom walls.
  • Letters from a sample of former students who have been asked to evaluate the candidate’s teaching and how it affected them. These students may not be suggested nor solicited by the candidate. The department or committee chair or dean organizes the contacting of students whose opinions are solicited. Please explain the selection method and enclose the solicitation letter. A candidate’s teaching assignments will suggest the distribution between undergraduates and graduate students contributing to this section.