Topics Map > Faculty Guide
Topics Map > Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Forest and Wildlife Ecology - Department Policies - Promotion from associate to full professor

Department policy for consideration and decision related to promoting an associate professor to full professor

The purpose of the policy for promotion to full professor is to provide a clear, written policy on the criteria and process for promotion.

The criteria for the promotion to full professor are the same criteria as those for the post-tenure review (see Forest and Wildlife Ecology - Department Policies - Post-Tenure Review).  The promotion to full professor is based on national and international recognition for excellence that exceeds that expected of an associate professor.

The process for promotion to full professor is coupled to the post-tenure review process.

The department will typically consider promotion to full professor for the first time when an associate professor is due for his/her first post-tenure review, i.e., five years after receiving tenure.  No materials other than the post-tenure review package need be provided by the candidate (see post-tenure review policy).

At the end of the executive committee meeting during which the decision about the post-tenure review is made, there will be a discussion if the department wants to proceed with potential promotion to full professor, and invite outside letters.  The decision to proceed requires simple majority of all full professors of the department (absentee votes are permitted).  If the vote is not to proceed, the department can decide whether to discuss the candidate again in a set amount of time (e.g., one year later), but does not have to do so.

If the decision is made to proceed, the department chair will solicit three or four outside letters from full professors at other institutions who are arm's length and two letters from full professors in other departments at UW-Madison (total is 5-6 letters).  Furthermore, the department will identify two full professors who will provide a written review of the candidate's accomplishments since receiving tenure.  Their review can be based on the review of the post-tenure documentation, but has to address if promotion to full professor is merited. [Sample text for email request is here.

At a subsequent meeting, the executive committee will discuss the promotion of the candidate to full professor based on a) the post-tenure review package, b) outside letters, and c) the written review of the candidate's accomplishments.  After the discussion, there will be a vote in which only full professors can participate.  Promotion to full professor requires two-thirds of the votes of all full professors of the department (absentee votes are permitted).

If an associate professor is not promoted to full professor in conjunction with the first post-tenure review, either because the department voted not to proceed, or not to promote, then the department chair will review his/her case annually to determine if reconsideration is merited
The associate professor can request that promotion to full professor should not be considered at the time of the first post-tenure review.  Similarly, he/she can request to be fully considered, including the solicitation of outside letters, written review of accomplishments, and vote by full professors, at any time, both before and after the first post-tenure review, even if the department voted not to proceed.


  • October Executive Committee meeting -- last meeting to review first Post-Tenure Review and consider recommendation to full
  • October & November -- Solicitation of internal and external letters
  • December Executive Committee meeting -- preferred meeting to review promotion to full request(s)
  • February 1 -- promotion materials due to CALS

Key contact and responsible party: F&W Ecology Chair and Executive Committee

Timing: CALS typically asks that dossiers are sent to College by February 1.

Process for updating or changing policy: Formal policy adopted at December 2017 executive committee meeting.

History of changes: n/a

Keywords:policy, promotion, associate professor, full professor russell lab hub forest wildlife ecology   Doc ID:57753
Owner:Mark R.Group:Russell Labs Hub
Created:2015-10-26 09:17 CSTUpdated:2018-12-03 14:55 CST
Sites:Russell Labs Hub
Feedback:  0   0