Faculty, Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee

The FAPTC is one of the official standing committees of the School of Public Health Council and is composed of the associate dean for faculty affairs and two faculty members elected by each department's faculty. 

The FAPTC is charged with maintaining documentation of all policies and procedures guidelines or criteria that relate to all faculty-level appointments, promotions and tenure decisions and assure the faculty have access to this documentation. 

They hold closed meetings each month, September through July. 

With questions and concerns, contact

Catherine Haggerty
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

John DeSimone
Faculty Affairs Coordinator

Charge of the FAPTC
  • Maintain documentation of all policies and procedures guidelines or criteria that relate to all faculty level appointments, promotions, and tenure decisions and assure the faculty have access to this documentation.
  • Update the, FAPTC Operations Manual as appropriate, with full review and approval at least every five years or when major changes in School of Public Health or University policy occur. 
  • Assure that all School of Public Health criteria for appointment, promotion, or tenure incorporate and/or are consistent with University policies and procedures.
  • Maintain guidelines for discussion and voting within the committee which appropriately take into account conflict of interest and other ethical considerations.
  • Upon request by the dean or department chair provide informal advice on proposed faculty actions prior to formal review of individual for primary appointment, promotion, or tenure. 
  • Review and recommend actions to the dean and School of Public Health Council on all primary faculty appointments, promotions, and tenure. 
  • Review and recommend actions to the dean and Council on all secondary, adjunct, and emeritus faculty appointments.  Review and recommend actions to the dean and Council on award of honorary degrees or other University recognition. 
  • Review and recommend actions to the dean and Council on appointments to the graduate faculty. 
  • Provide oversight to assure full compliance with all guidelines regarding diversity and equal opportunity in faculty recruitment and appointment. 
  • Review and recommend actions relating to promotion and tenure. 
  • Review and recommend actions relating to faculty appointments and promotions, with regular meetings on a monthly basis, or more frequently as needed. Requests for appointments at the rank of assistant professor or below may be circulated to the committee for a prior vote without meeting.
  • The FAPTC chair shall make regular oral reports to the Council and provide a report summarizing its activities at least once each 

Full FAPTC bylaws

Resources for Navigating Promotion and Tenure

External Reference Collection for Promotions

Six external reference letters are required for promotion dossiers. The department is responsible for collecting these letters. At least three letters must be elicited from referees identified by the candidate and three must be elicited from referees identified without candidate input. External referees must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible. 

  • Referees must have equal or higher rank of that to which the candidate is being promoted. If a candidate is applying for conferral of tenure, then all referees must be tenured. Confirmation of referee tenure statuses must be included in the submission. 
  • Referees cannot be affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh or UPMC. This includes adjunct appointments. 
  • Referees cannot have collaborated with the candidate in any fashion over the past three years. Exceptions are made for indirect collaborations that occur due to involvement of large consortiums for a publication. 
  • Referees must be from a peer institution. Referees from non-academic institutions are permitted. 
  • There can only be one referee per institution. We cannot accept multiple letters from separate individuals within the same institution. 

If there are any questions regarding a potential referee's eligibility, please contact the associate dean for faculty affairs or the faculty affairs coordinator. 

The department chair may identify potential referees or designate another individual within the department to do so on their behalf. External referees must be provided with the candidate's CV, narrative statement, sample publications, and teaching portfolio when available. The chair letter may not be included in the materials shared with referees. Referees must also be provided with criteria to provide a framework for the review. This can include excerpts from the FAPTC Operating Manual, the University Faculty Handbook, or the Faculty Promotion Guidelines (formerly known as Appendix D). 

The reference collection must be documented in an external reference report. The report must be included with the external reference letters in the promotion dossier. The external reference report must include information on all individuals contacted for the review, including those who declined to assist and the reason for their refusal. 

  1. The names and institutions of the referees
  2. Who identified the referee as a contact (i.e. the chair, the candidate, etc.)
  3. The result of the contact. Did the referee agree, decline, or fail to reply?
  4. If a referee declined, then detail the reasoning for them doing so. If no reason was given, then indicate that the reason is unknown. 

The identities of external referees and their comments cannot be shared with the candidate. It is critical that the confidentiality of this process is maintained per University policy. 

Faculty Search Committee Resources

Required Documentation for Faculty Actions

Latest Promotion Dossier Workshop