Academic Professional Promotion

The following is an overview of the promotion process for Academic Professional and the list of documentation required to be considered for promotion. This is based on “Section 3.2.2 Non-Tenure Track Academic Faculty Members: Hiring and Promotion Guidelines” of the Georgia Tech Faculty Handbook and a memo from Vice Provost of Graduate Education and Faculty Development (June 2018). 

The designation Academic Professional would apply to a variety of academic assignments that call for academic background similar to that of a Faculty member with professorial rank, but which are distinctly different from professorial positions. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • instructional laboratory management,
  • academic program management,
  • program development and coordination,
  • program evaluation and assessment,
  • operating instructional technology support programs,
  • responsibility for general academic advising,
  • providing services or co-curricular educational opportunities for students,
  • professional student counseling center responsibilities,
  • providing specialized skill acquisition training as support for academic programs,
  • course, laboratory, and curriculum development, and
  • course delivery.

Eligibility for Promotion – Associate Academic Professionals, Academic Professionals, Senior Academic Professionals who are appointed as full time and have been in rank at least the minimum time as specified in the faculty handbook. Time in rank does not guarantee promotion. Only Academic Professionals serving 75% time or more are eligible for promotion. Calendar years of service are the same for everyone at or above the 75% level.

Referenced files

Appointment and Promotion Requirements by Rank

Minimum expectations in all Academic Professional ranks are listed below. The candidate does not need to demonstrate noteworthy achievement in all five (5) of the following areas, but must do so in number one (effective administration) and two of the others.

  1. effectively carrying out assigned administrative duties within unit;
  2. superior teaching and/or educational impact, if applicable;
  3. outstanding service to the Institute (Georgia Tech), and/or community;
  4. outstanding research, scholarship, creative activity, or academic achievement, as defined by role;
  5. noteworthy achievement in student success activities, as evidenced by activities within teaching and instruction, research, scholarship, creative activity, or academic achievement, and service; and
  6. professional growth and development.

Associate Academic Professional

  • Entry level rank
  • In exceptional cases, this rank may be used for individuals completing a terminal degree for a period of two years. If no degree is conferred, another position appointment is required.

Academic Professional

  • Requires terminal degree
  • Significant related experience or promotion from the rank of Associate Academic Professional
  • Quality of performance and potential for development must be recognized by peers (internal)
  • Three (3) years as an Associate Academic Professional
  • Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment. 

Senior Academic Professional

  • Requires terminal degree
  • Evidence of superior performance in chosen field
  • Recognition by peers (national, regional, or local)
  • Successful and measurable related experience
  • Five (5) years as an Academic Professional
  • Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment. 

Principal Academic Professional

  • Requires terminal degree
  • Evidence of superior performance in chosen field
  • Recognition by peers (national, regional, or local)
  • Successful and measurable related experience including, but not limited to,
    • Supervision of others’ work
    • Significant responsibility and authority within program area
    • Demonstrated impact
  • Six (6) years as an Senior Academic Professional
  • Credit for previous academic or professional experience should be explicitly stated at the time of employment. 

How the Promotion Process Works

All materials for promotion are uploaded into PROMOTE. Get your unit administrator to add you as a candidate to get access to PROMOTE.

  1. Supervisor and faculty member meet to discuss eligibility and readiness for promotion.
  2. Faculty member prepares the following dossier
    1. Biosketch – 150 word biosketch in a 12 point or larger font that describes the candidate’s tenure at Georgia Tech, current duties, and any significant awards or honors.
    2. Position Description – provided with input from the supervisor and if the promotion will include a change in responsibilities. This should be updated and indicate percent time the unit expects the individual to devote to each major activity.
    3. Personal Statement – (5 pages max with one-inch margins, standard single-spaced and 10-point minimum font) – The statement is the candidate’s “voice” in the promotion process and should provide perspective on and context for the candidate’s accomplishments at Georgia Tech with regard to the five criteria for Academic Professionals. Academic Professionals should clearly label the three areas of superior performance in their statement and consolidate information relevant to them under those labels. This statement should reference the three (3) to five (5) examples of relevant best work and indicate how these relevant works are related to the areas of superior performance. The narrative should be written in the third person, with a three- page minimum and five-page maximum limit with one inch margins, standard single- spaced, and 10-point minimum font.
    4. Curriculum Vitae (Updated February 2019 )- Summarizes biographical, personal, and professional data using the Institute standard format for academic professionals.
    5. Three (3) to Five (5) examples of relevant best work – Work that represents the candidate’s administrative and/or creative capabilities. These may include reports, published papers, books, software, patents, art productions, or other relevant examples that reflect their superior performance and will be recognized by their peers as such.
    6. CIOS Table with Normative Data– If the candidate has teaching responsibilities, the candidate should provide their own table of student evaluation scores from the Course Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS). The table should be in the Institute standard format and include the scores from the question: “Is the instructor an effective teacher?” Normative data from the candidate’s college and teaching subject area (i.e., school), if applicable, should be included. Other evidence of effective teaching may be provided with the guidance of the supervisor, including student success activities. 
    7. Reviewer List with bios – Names of potential reviewers with one paragraph bios for each potential reviewer. The candidate should provide the names of at least three (3) reviewers, external to Georgia Tech, who are in a position to evaluate the dossier for promotion. Candidate has the right to request that certain individuals not be contacted as an evaluator. It is the supervisor/school chair’s final decision as to who is solicited for an evaluation letter.
    8. Statement of Completeness – Statement indicating materials submitted are accurate and complete. This is completed within the PROMOTE system.
    9. Waiver – Statement indicating whether or not candidate waives rights to see the identity of external letter writers or content of their letters. This is completed within the PROMOTE system.
  3. External Peer Review – There should be at least three review letters and need not be more than five, but each letter should address the substance of the candidate’s accomplishments and be solicited either by the supervisor or Unit head with an explanation of the criteria for evaluation, as appropriate. These references must be external to the unit (i.e. outside the college). At least one letter of evaluation should be from an individual external to the Institute for promotion to Academic Professional or Senior Academic Professional and at least two letters should be external to Georgia Tech for promotion to Principal Academic Professional.  The list of individuals from whom letters are to be obtained should be developed jointly by the candidate for promotion and the supervisor. The final decision regarding who shall be selected to provide recommendations from the list shall rest with the supervisor or Unit Head. A candidate for promotion may request that a particular individual not be contacted as an external reviewer. 
  4. School Committee Letter (Optional in CoE for promotion of Academic Professionals, check with your school for their policy) – The dossier will be reviewed by an appropriate elected committee of tenure track faculty and academic professionals at or above the rank being considered as determined by the Unit Head. This committee will vote and provide feedback. This letter will be addressed to the School Chair.
  5. Supervisor Letter – Supervisor will provide a letter of evaluation addressed to the School Chair. For appointments at the school level, it should be the direct supervisor, a tenured faculty member, or the School Chair who provides the letter. For appointments at the college level, the direct supervisor, a tenured faculty member, should provide the letter. This letter should provide an analysis of the candidate’s experience and performance using the relevant criteria related to their position, a summary of the external letters, and a recommendation for or against promotion. If the promotion also includes a change in or additional professional responsibilities or percentage time allocation among different activities, the change should be described.
  6. College Committee Letter –The Dean will convene a committee of 5 or more elected tenured full professors or principal academic professionals to review the candidate’s materials. The committee will vote on the promotion and write a letter of recommendation describing the rationale of the vote for or against promotion.
  7. Dean Letter – The Dean will write a letter to the Provost summarizing the main strengths and/or weaknesses of the case and whether he/she recommends promotion or not. In a case in which the supervisor is the Dean, the Dean may provide the committee with written guidance that describes the candidate’s accomplishments, the quality of the candidate’s work, and expertise which warrants promotion at this time. If the promotion also includes a change in or additional professional responsibilities, the change should be described.
  8. Institute Committee – One representative from each college, the library, and professional education (8 members total) will convene and review all cases for promotion and vote for or against promotion.
  9. Provost – After review by the Institute Committee, the Provost will review the package and communicate the final outcome to the Dean, who in turn communicates the decision to the faculty member, completing the process.

Decisions for Promotion

The effective date of promotion is July 1 for faculty members on a fiscal year contract and August 15 for faculty members on an academic year contract. A positive decision grants promotion to the candidate; a negative outcome means the candidate has not met expectations for promotion at Georgia Tech.