Faculty: Promotion Guidelines to Full Professor

All tenured members of the School are expected to maintain active programs of creative scholarship and research, to strive for excellence in teaching, mentoring and active recruitment, and to contribute generously of their time and expertise to positions of leadership and service within the School, College and University. According to the College of Letters & Science, promotion from the rank of associate professor to the rank of professor is based on evidence that the candidate has made substantial contributions in research, teaching, and service after promotion to tenure. Promotion is based on merit rather than seniority, and associate professors will be promoted when they demonstrate contributions worthy of a higher rank. All associate professors will be considered for promotion no later than the occasion of their first post-tenure review. If not sought or granted at that time, the associate professor and director may mutually agree upon a timeline for reconsideration, not to exceed five years between reviews. If no agreement is made, the reconsideration will happen once annually by the full professor members of B&P. If promotion is not granted at the time of their first post-tenure review, associate professors may contact the department chair at any time and direct that the Council of Full Professors consider them for promotion. Recommendations for promotion, with supporting materials, should be submitted to the Dean for review no later than March of each year for promotions intended to take effect in the following budget year beginning July 1.


Reviews and recommendations to the Dean for possible promotion from associate professor to the rank of full professor are conducted by and voted on solely by full professors in the department, identified as the Council of Full Professors. Unlike assistant professors being considered for tenure, associate professors do not have the right to request an open meeting when their promotion to full professor is under consideration.

Associate professors may direct that outside letters be solicited and be included in materials for promotion. Criteria and standards for promotion to full professor require associate professors to have carried maintained excellence in research/creative scholarship, teaching and leadership/service since their tenure promotion as demonstrated through:

  1. The completion of a new body of scholarship or creative research as demonstrated through performances, recordings, compositions, peer-reviewed publications and/or related activities that have significance beyond the local and regional level and demonstrate at least a national reputation.


  1. Continued excellence in teaching, as assessed by teaching evaluations, curricular development, student success in the field, student time to degree, and for studio faculty, the quality and quantity of individual studio enrollments and student recruitment as needed to meet the needs of the larger School of Music.


  1. Demonstration of leadership and service to the School of Music, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the profession at large that reflects a strong commitment to forwarding the mission of the University, The Wisconsin Idea and to an individual field or discipline.



The Promotion Process to Full Professor

Most faculty members in the School of Music come up for promotion to full professor during their sixth year at the tenured rank. Like tenure, the promotion is conferred the following year. The Budget & Personnel Committee, in consultation with the director, will appoint a Review Committee consisting of three to five members of the Council of Full Professors. The Review Committee may also include full professors of other departments if a joint appointment is involved or representation from outside the School of Music is deemed appropriate. This Full Professor Review Committee may consist wholly or in part of members of the candidate’s previous tenure review committee provided members are full professors.


The Full Professor Review Committee will ask the candidate for the following materials:

    a complete, updated vita;

    detailed documentation of contributions to research, creative scholarship since promotion to tenure, including a two-page statement of the candidate's research contributions and future plans;

    documentation of teaching performance, and other contributions to instructional effort including recruitment, advising and the development of curricular material;

    documentation of service and leadership contributions at the departmental, campus, and national levels;

    outside letters, if requested by the associate professor.


Based on the above materials, which will be submitted later to the Dean, the Review Committee creates a written report that is to be read, discussed and signed by all committee members as well as the faculty member under review. The Committee then presents the signed report to the Council of Full Professors in executive session. The Director prepares a cover letter outlining the result of the Council of Full Professors vote and forwards it along with the rest of the review materials to the Dean of the College of Letters & Science, who makes the final decision on promotion.

Decisions about promotion to full professor are made by the Dean and do not require review by the Divisional Committee. However, the departmental review and supporting documents should be similar in intent, though not necessarily in length, to those employed in a tenure recommendation.

The School follows the process for reconsideration and appeals found in FP& P 7.16.D. In the event of an adverse decision, the director will meet with the associate professor to discuss how to create a stronger case. A negative decision on promotion does not preclude consideration in subsequent years.

Approved by the Executive Committee, 21 October 2021


Keywordstenure, promotion, rank, full professor, review, tenure review   Doc ID120786
OwnerAnne B.GroupMead Witter School of Music
Created2022-08-19 09:41:17Updated2023-08-14 07:40:08
SitesMead Witter School of Music
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