What is a dossier?
According to various dictionaries, a dossier is “a file
containing detailed records on a particular person or subject.” A dossier may
also be defined as “the accumulation of records, reports, miscellaneous
pertinent data and documents bearing on an individual’s subject of study or
A dossier is more complicated than a simple curriculum
vitae; in fact, the CV is just one component of a complete promotion dossier.
Dossiers also include internal and external letters of reference, promotion
matrix tables and learner evaluations. Most importantly, dossiers also include
carefully written narratives that explain the faculty member’s activities,
effectiveness and accomplishments as a clinician, educator or scholar.
All dossiers are submitted electronically, using ByCommittee®, an electronic
submission and routing platform. For more information about the content and
organization of dossiers, please see the Guide to
Building a Dossier for Promotion and Tenure.
When should dossier preparation begin?
Ideally, you should begin to prepare your dossier during
your second or third year as Assistant Professor. Dossiers are unwieldy documents;
preparation requires time and is dependent upon careful documentation of your
teaching, research, service and clinical activities over several years. Dossier
preparation is, therefore, a continuous process. Preparation should begin
early, with guidance provided by your chair and mentors.
When should dossiers be reviewed? By whom?
Your dossier, even in its earliest stages, should be
reviewed periodically by your mentor(s). Also, you should ask your department
chair, division head or other academic supervisor to review your promotion
dossier periodically, more frequently as you near promotion. Assistant professors, please note: Your
draft promotion dossier must be presented and reviewed during your mid-course
comprehensive review that takes place during your third or fourth year in rank.
What are the deadlines for submission of dossiers?
The deadline for submission of all dossiers (appointments,
promotions and tenure awards) to the Office of Faculty Affairs is December 31st
of each year. However, each department has an earlier deadline for submission
of dossiers for review by the Departmental Advisory (Promotion and Tenure
Review) Committee; these deadlines vary by department.
How long should my dossier be?
Ideally, your entire promotion or tenure dossier will not exceed
100 pages, excluding your curriculum vitae and your internal and external
letters of reference. You should exceed this limit only if you feel that a more
extensive dossier is necessary to ensure adequate consideration and evaluation of
How is a dossier organized?
In addition to your CV and letters of reference, your dossier will
include separate portfolios that
summarize your work in teaching, clinical care, and research or scholarship, as
appropriate. Each portfolio, in turn, will include three components: 1) your teaching, research or scholarship and
clinical narratives; 2) your personalized “promotion matrix tables;” and 3)
teaching evaluations, letters of commendation or other relevant supporting
How long should each narrative be?
Each candidate for promotion or tenure must provide a narrative
summary of his or her accomplishments in teaching, research or scholarship and
clinical practice or service. While there is no minimum or maximum length for your
narratives, we suggest preparing succinct narratives (which may include full
paragraphs, charts or bulleted lists) of 3-6 pages for each area. In each area,
your narrative should focus specifically on the scope of your activities, your
accomplishments and successes, and the impact and importance of your work. Be
sure to include a description of each of the activities and accomplishments
that you have listed in your personalized promotion matrix. Provide links to
all supporting documentation (such as curricula, journal publications, policy
papers or other relevant products of scholarship). For more information about
preparing narratives, please refer to later sections of the Guide to Building a Dossier for Promotion and
consider attending a Promotion 101 workshop,
which focuses on dossier preparation (http://som.ucdenver.edu).
Are there documents that should not be included in my dossier?
You should not include reprints of original articles or course
syllabi. Instead, you can include links to these documents. If you have
questions about how to create links from PubMed for your publications, please
contact the Health
Sciences Library. Try
to limit the number of letters and emails from colleagues, patients, trainees
and others, including only those that are substantive. Also, it is usually not
helpful to include announcements of your lectures, slides prepared for your
lectures, meeting agendas or copies of awards.
How will I know when my dossier has been reviewed?
Once your dossier has been reviewed by the Faculty
Promotions Committee, your department will be notified of the outcome of the
review. Your department should then provide this information to you. After
approval by the Faculty Promotions Committee, all promotion recommendations are
forwarded to the School of Medicine Executive Committee and then to the
Chancellor’s Office for final approval. Tenure awards are also subject to
approval by the Board of Regents.