Engineering Area Promotions Committee (EAPC) Operating Policies and Procedures

Approved 9/16/2004, Reviewed 8/29/2005, Revised 11/14/2005, Revised 1/30/2006, Revised 2/6/2006, Revised 4/19/2007, Revised 9/4/2008, Revised 7/16/2010, Revised 8/30/11, Revised 3/10/11, Revised September 26, 2013, Revised April 17, 2014, Revised February 19, 2015

A. Preamble

All information provided to the EAPC, all discussions and decisions of the EAPC are strictly confidential. Please see Appendix A, “Confidentiality Policy Related to Promotion and Tenure Process.” Also see Appendix B, “Conflict of Interest Policy Related to Promotion and Tenure Process.”

  1. Role of EAPC

    The constitution of the College of Engineering defines the EAPC as a committee that will “act on faculty promotions and tenure concordant with the West Lafayette Campus Promotions Policy.” The role of the EAPC is: (a) to identify and promote the qualities necessary for promotion and tenure based on the strategic goals for preeminence of the faculty and the institution; (b) to communicate these standards to the entire engineering faculty and the Primary Committees in the schools; (c) to assess the suitability of candidates for promotion and tenure and provide feedback; (d) to consider the guidance provided by the University Committee in order to account for the needs of the institution; (e) to establish processes that provide transparency and consistency both within engineering as well as throughout the institution, while recognizing the diversity of pathways to impact and excellence; (f) to consider nominations for Distinguished Engineering Alumni, Honorary Doctorates and Distinguished Professorships.

    EAPC members are encouraged to explain the role of the EAPC to all faculty members. Similarly, any faculty member, in particular, junior faculty are encouraged to ask their Heads any questions related to the operating policies and procedures of the EAPC, including conflict of interest, as well as questions on all promotion and tenure processes.
  2. Faculty Members of EAPC

    Membership in the EAPC is a critical service activity to the School/Department, the College and the University. The heads will recognize the time necessary for this activity by ensuring that other service activities of the faculty members are properly balanced.


B. Meeting Procedures

The EAPC meets weekly during the academic year, starting with the week before fall classes are in session, until the end of the week following final exams in the spring semester. The regular meetings of the EAPC are scheduled for an hour and will be canceled when there is no need for a meeting. Meetings where promotion, tenure and other nominations are discussed will be longer. The entire schedule for EAPC meetings is available at the website at EAPC Schedule.

  1. Attendance Requirements

    100 percent attendance is required at promotion, DEA and HDR meetings where discussion and voting takes place. Attendance via electronic communication means is acceptable when physical presence is impractical. A member of EAPC may be absent only with just cause, as determined by the Dean. Quorum for all other meetings of the EAPC is defined by 50% + 1. Personal attendance at 80 percent of the remaining meetings of the EAPC is expected. It is important that all members of the EAPC participate in most discussions and decisions on P&T issues.
  2. Absentee Voting

    Absentee ballots will not be accepted. Absentee is defined as anyone who is absent at the time of presentation, discussion and vote. Members must be present at the entire meeting to vote for candidates. Decisions will not be made on a comparative basis. Each candidate is to be measured against established criteria.
  3. Ballot

    Ballots will be distributed at the beginning of each presentation and will be available during the discussion for writing comments. Time will also be provided following discussion for recording comments before ballots are collected.
  4. Voting

    All those participating in discussion are expected to vote either yes or no. Submission of a blank ballot or failure to cast a ballot are not regarded as votes and are therefore not included in the number of votes used in the denominator when computing the percent approval.
  5. Substitutes for Heads

    A Head will, in the case of an emergency send a substitute to make a presentation of candidates being considered for promotion or for recognition. The substitute may attend only that portion of the meeting pertaining to the individual’s School/Department presentation and discussion and will be allowed to vote. In case of a conflict of interest, the procedure to provide a substitute for a Head or the Dean, is described in Appendix B of this document.
  6. Substitutes for Faculty Members

    A School, in case of an emergency or conflict of interest, will send the alternate member of the committee. The alternate may only attend the portion of the meeting pertaining to the individual’s school/department presentation and discussion and will be allowed to vote. The substitute will attend that portion of the meeting, regardless of the affiliation of the candidate.
  7. Advance Notice for Absences

    As much advance notice as possible should be given if heads or faculty members cannot attend a meeting.
  8. Presentation Time

    Presentations to the Committee will be an overview of the unique features of the individual’s nomination and should be made in an expeditious manner (five minutes). Only a summary is appropriate for presentation.


C. Promotion and Tenure Procedures

  1. All Promotion Cases (with and without tenure)

    The nominations for promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure or to Full Professor will be prepared in accordance to the instructions given in the College of Engineering template. For this purpose, download and use the following MS Word Template Nomination Template to prepare each nomination as a single electronic file. In cases of faculty with joint appointments the process described in Appendix C, “ Process for Review and Promotion of Junior Faculty with Joint Appointments” will be used for review and promotion.

    A candidate may withdraw a promotion document from consideration at any time during the process, except when a meeting (Primary Committee or EAPC) is in session. In the case when the promotion decision is made in two meetings as described below, the two meetings will be considered as one, so that a withdrawal between these two meetings will not be allowed.

    In all promotion cases, the deliberations of the EAPC for promotion and tenure will occur over two meetings:

    • During the first meeting, the cases for all candidates will be presented and discussed. Draft ballots will be distributed for notes, comments, etc.
    • During the first meeting, questions may arise which need to be answered in order to provide complete information to the committee. If additional questions arise after the first meeting, they will be forwarded to the appropriate Head by a deadline to be determined by the EAPC. In either case, only questions of clarification will be entertained. The Head will consult with the candidate as needed to obtain answers to the questions.  However, it must be made clear that the fact that questions of clarification are asked should not be interpreted as a reflection on the merits of the case. Similarly, the absence of questions should also not be interpreted as a reflection on the merits of the case.
    • During the second meeting the answers to all questions of clarification will be presented by the Head and discussed by the committee. A formal vote will then be taken by secret ballot on all the candidates. The comments will be collected by the Dean to be used at the University Promotions Committee meeting or input to the candidate.

    The University Promotions Committee will consider candidates who receive simple majority vote of the area committee or the support of their school Dean (i.e., the dean may forward to the University Committee a case which did not receive a majority vote). All cases that have been forwarded to the University Committee will be considered by Panel A or Panel X. Panel A will consider promotions within tenured and tenure-track ranks and Panel X will consider promotions within clinical/professional ranks. These panels, following a secret ballot on each nomination, shall record the result of their ballot on a form that also shows the results of the balloting by the primary and area committees. These forms are then to be transmitted to the President of the University who, in turn, makes his/her recommendations to the Board of Trustees for final action.

  2. Tenure Without Promotion

    Candidates who receive at least a simple majority vote of the area committee or support of their dean will be considered by the Provost for approval (i.e., the Dean may forward to the Provost a case which did not receive a majority vote).

    All cases that have been forwarded to the Provost are considered and those approved are transmitted to the President of the University for final action.

  3. Immediate Tenure with the Appropriate Rank

    In immediate tenure cases the EAPC advises the Dean whether to request tenure with the appropriate rank from the provost upon appointment. For each candidate, one of three mechanisms will be available for the EAPC’s input to the Dean.
    • A meeting of the EAPC: Normally, the Dean will request an immediate tenure appointment with the appropriate rank only if 2/3 or  more of the ballots so recommend.
    • If a timely meeting of the EAPC is not feasible, a vote of the EAPC may be conducted by e-ballot. Normally, the dean will only request immediate tenure with the appropriate rank if a quorum of members vote and 2/3 or more of the ballots to recommend.
    • Dean’s approval: In cases when timing precludes EAPC input and a decision is needed urgently, the Dean will make the decision.
  4. Obtaining Publications

    The heads should assist any member of the committee in obtaining and reviewing publications of a candidate for promotion.
  5. Informing the Candidate

    The outcomes of the Area Committee meetings should be given to the candidate by the individual’s own school Head, within a week after the EAPC has met. The numerical vote of the EAPC will not be disclosed outside the EAPC. If a case is not going forward to the University Committee, the School Head should discuss the reasons for the decision with the candidate. There should be no EAPC related communication with the candidate by other voting committee members. All proceedings of this committee are confidential.
  6. Outside Contact

    Should any committee member receive unsolicited written input or petitions from outside sources on any candidate, the Dean should be notified immediately. Unsolicited input sent to EAPC members or Primary Committees will not be considered by the EAPC.
  7. Feedback to EAPC and PCs

    The feedback provided by the University Promotions Committee will be available to the EAPC and will be shared with the individual Primary Committees, after ensuring that all items are presented in a manner which preserves confidentiality and anonymity. Similarly, summary of EAPC comments will be made available by the Heads to PCs in a general and anonymous manner.


D. Recognitions

  1. Distinguished Engineering Alumni

    Approximately ten awards are made each year. The selection process uses a preliminary electronic ballot. Nominations receiving at least a 2/3 positive vote will be approved automatically. (This additional step was approved at the September 25, 2003 EAPC meeting). For this purpose, download and use the following MS Word Template Distinguished Engineering Alumni Template
  2. Honorary Doctorate

    The nominations for Honorary Doctorate will be prepared in accordance to the instructions given in the College of Engineering template and considered by the EAPC. At least a 2/3 positive vote will be required for recommending a candidate. The nominees recommended by the EAPC are forwarded to the Provost’s office. For this purpose, download and use the following MS Word Template Honorary Doctorate Template
  3. Distinguished Professor

    The designation “distinguished” is an academic recognition that can be bestowed on a select few professors of outstanding accomplishment who have achieved national and international prominence.

    The document forwarded by the unit’s Primary Committee will be voted on by the EAPC by electronic balloting if the EAPC is not available to meet. Results from returned electronic ballots as well as the recommendation of the ad hoc distinguished professor review committee appointed by the provost at the recommendation of the Dean are sent to the provost together with the Dean’s recommendation. Multiple ballots with a “meet to discuss” recommendation result in scheduling a special EAPC meeting prior to the Dean’s action recommendation to the Provost.
  4. Named Professor

    The EAPC does not vote anymore in the case of named professor appointments. The named professorships are discussed in ENPC Committee.



Purdue University College of Engineering Confidentiality Policy Related to Promotion and Tenure Process

Confidentiality in all aspects and stages of the promotion and tenure process in the Primary Committees (PCs), the Engineering Area Promotions Committee (EAPC), and the University Promotions Committee (UPC) is critical to achieving the proper outcome. The Purdue University promotions policy states:

“It is in the best interest of the University and faculty that full and frank discussions occur during the deliberations of promotion committees.  The confidentiality of remarks made at such meetings should, therefore, be carefully preserved.  Recommendations against promotion may be discussed with the faculty member affected, in a discreet manner and without undue delay, by the appropriate school head or Dean. Faculty will be advised of their promotion progress by their school head after the Primary Committee and by their Dean after the Area Committee and University Promotions Committee meetings.”

Breaching confidentiality can have devastating effects on faculty morale and the college’s overall climate, leading to grievances, retention difficulties, and, potentially, legal action. PC, EAPC, and UPC members are therefore prohibited from disclosing to individuals outside their committee the deliberations (in full or in part) that have occurred. Only the Head or the Dean will communicate with the candidates regarding the outcome of the promotion and tenure process.

Committee members who are active in mentoring junior faculty will be able to do so by providing guidance directly to the candidate based on the feedback given by the Head or the Dean. This guidance will not refer to any specifics of the deliberations of the PC, EAPC and UPC.  

The privilege of membership on the PC, EAPC, and UPC depends on maintaining complete confidentiality. The College of Engineering’s confidentiality policy will be clearly communicated to the entire engineering faculty.

This policy shall be respected by all faculty members.

Approved by the EAPC March 31, 2005



Purdue University College of Engineering Conflict of Interest Policy Related to Promotion and Tenure Process

College of Engineering faculty members, heads and deans who serve on any Primary Committee, the Engineering Area Promotions Committee, and/or the University Promotions Committee shall recuse themselves from deliberations and decisions regarding a candidate if there is a past or current relationship which compromises, or could have the appearance of compromising, a faculty member’s judgment with regard to the candidate. The following list, while not exhaustive, illustrates the types of relationships which constitute a conflict of interest:

  • a marital, life partner, family, or dating/romantic/sexual relationship
  • an advising relationship (e.g., the faculty member having served as the candidate's PhD or post-doctoral advisor);
  • a direct financial interest and/or relationship;
  • any other relationship that would prevent a sound, unbiased decision

Conflicts of interest shall be disclosed to the appropriate individual(s). Members of promotion committees shall recuse themselves from discussions and decisions related to any candidate who presents a conflict of interest, regardless of the affiliations of the committee member and candidate.  Recusal due to a conflict of interest with one candidate does not prevent a faculty member from participating in deliberations and decisions regarding other candidates.

In the case where the school head has a conflict of interest with any candidate, regardless of the candidate’s affiliation, the school Primary Committee will elect a full professor to chair that part of the meeting where the specific case is discussed. This person will also make the presentation to the EAPC and draft the Form 36 paragraph, subject to compliance with University policies. The representative in this case will be allowed to vote in the EAPC, for this case only. However, if the head does not normally vote in the primary committee this same person will not vote at the Primary Committee.

In the case where the dean has a conflict of interest with any candidate, regardless of the candidate’s affiliation, the dean will recuse himself of herself. The EAPC will elect a member to chair that portion of the meeting. The elected person will write the dean’s summary required for Form 36. Representation of the candidate at the University Promotion Committee will be decided in consultation with the Provost.

Approved by the EAPC March 31, 2005, revised by the EAPC, April 19, 2007, revised by the EAPC September 26, 2013.



Purdue University College of Engineering

(C.1 Approved by EAPC November 28, 2005) (C.2 Approved by EAPC February 19, 2015)

Process for Review and Promotion of Junior Faculty with Joint Appointments

C.1 All junior faculty with joint appointments should have formal input from all Primary Committees (PCs) involved in non-zero appointment schools/departments.

  • For annual feedback:
    • During annual reviews, minor PCs will provide formal documented input via letter to the major PC via its chair; the chair will record the feedback from the PC and provide a formal letter to the major PC.
  • For promotion and tenure:
    • Minor PCs will provide formal documented input via letter to the major PC during a review for promotion and tenure; the Head will record the feedback from PC and provide a formal letter to the major PC; this feedback will be based on discussion for promotion and tenure purposes.
    • A team of faculty (including representation from the minor school/department) will be identified to assist in preparation of the promotion document.


C.2 These guidelines were developed so that school Primary Committees can be more fully informed about the nature, extent, significance and impact of contributions that a candidate for promotion and tenure has made to cognate academic units either through a joint appointment or otherwise. The intent is for the PCs to be able to have the most direct access possible to persons who are better able to provide information about the contributions of the candidate.

Appendix C.1 of the EAPC guidelines describes a process for obtaining mandatory written input for candidates who have a joint appointment in another unit. For candidates who have significant efforts in another University unit(s) outside of their tenure home, but without a joint appointment in that unit, the School Head may, upon discussion with the candidate, select one or more individuals at an appropriate rank or position from whom to request a letter that details the candidate’s contributions to that outside unit(s).

In cases of candidates with or without joint appointment in another unit, the School Head may also invite one or more of the individuals who are requested to write a letter to attend the School’s Primary Committee meeting during the component when the candidate’s promotion and/or tenure case is being presented and discussed to provide information and context regarding the candidate's contribution to the unit(s).

All such visitors will be subject to CoE guidelines on confidentiality and conflict of interest.  They will be non-voting visitors and will leave the meeting after providing information about the candidate and answering any questions.



Purdue University College of Engineering Report of the EAPC Teaching Evaluation Group

(Submitted to the EAPC February 27, 2008)

Members: Mark Bowman, Tom Farris, Kamyar Haghighi, Bruce Schmeiser, Matt Ohland, Karl Smith, and Phil Wankat.

Charge: To review the process and validity of teaching evaluations in the promotion and tenure process and make recommendations for possible adjustments.

The group met on 2/27/08 and after lengthy discussions came up with the following observations and recommendations.

  1. Students' evaluations are a reliable and valid mechanism for assessing the teaching of faculty and are congruent with other measures, such as portfolios and review by knowledgeable peers.
  2. The teaching evaluations have implications for both faculty development (formative evaluations) and promotion and tenure (summative evaluations). Schools are encouraged to pay special attention to the more long term faculty development component that will eventually result in good teaching scores for promotion purposes.
  3. Process of Collecting Teaching Evaluations: It is critical that the process of conducting teaching evaluations be uniform, "clean", independent of the instructor, and commonly practiced. Teaching evaluations must be performed by a staff and not by TAs, or instructor (who should not be present during the administration of the evaluation). Process needs to be designed such that it invites/encourages broad participation by faculty and students. Adopting best practices will result in large return rates. These include providing adequate class time and including it in the course syllabus. Courses using Internet based forms need to have an incentive so that students will participate. The procedures actually used should be briefly described in the promotion document.
  4. "Weakness" of Evaluations: Students do not know whether the instructor is teaching the "right" material or not. It is recommended that an internal mechanism within each school be developed to periodically review the content and reflect on the course content. For example, this review could be done by engineers in industry or by a group of knowledgeable professors. This could involve reviewing the syllabus, homework, quizzes and exams. The implementation of ABET EC 2000 and development of the course and program learning objectives could be leveraged for this purpose.
  5. Faculty Development: For the purposes of faculty development, and not evaluation, it is recommended that faculty be encouraged to invite an expert from the Center for Instructional Excellence (CIE) to visit the class to observe faculty teaching and to collect feedback from students. The CIE expert will prepare a confidential report to share with the individual faculty member. This process should be voluntary and up to individual faculty. Faculty who feel that teaching scores don't do justice to their teaching can include their CIE report in their promotion document. This item was recommended by the Junior Faculty Council as well.
  6. School Heads and primary committees are encouraged to detect the gaps in faculty teaching early on and if appropriate, put struggling faculty on a development path as soon as possible. 
  7. Reference Letters: Include a bullet in letters that are sent to references, that addresses educational and teaching qualities/attributes of the faculty. This could be something like:

    "How would you evaluate candidate's contributions to engineering education including curriculum development, engineering educational research and publications, teaching, course and program development, and development of teaching workshops"?

    For promotions that are primarily based on "learning/education/teaching", it is critical that candidate's national and international presence and visibility be also evaluated. Requests from references for this purpose will be meaningful only if they can speak to candidates' qualities and contributions to learning/teaching, otherwise these requests may be disregarded.
  8. Faculty who choose to submit a reference name for evaluation of her/his teaching abilities have the responsibility of making the case why that individual is knowledgeable in the appropriate content area and is an expert in pedagogy to make that judgment.
  9. It is also recommended that Purdue University and Office of the Provost carefully review the "end of the semester evaluation forms and questions" and improve on them by adopting best practices that are based on refereed literature.