Promotion and tenure committee’s pilot year a ‘great success,’ Wang says

Correction: An earlier version of the story said the advisory group made recommendations for the Dietrich School and three others. It has been updated to reflect that the group made recommendations for four others


The first pilot year of the University-wide promotion and tenure committee was a “great success,” said Lu-in Wang, vice provost of Faculty Affairs

in its first year, the Provost’s Advisory Council on Tenure and Promotion (PACTP) focused primarily on promotions from tenured associate to full professor, Wang said. The committee is one of Wang’s main priorities.

It was piloted in all schools at Pitt’s Oakland campus, except the School of Medicine, and its regional campuses and will continue to be rolled out in phases.

There were promotion cases in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, Wang said, and in four other schools. Each school has its promotion process, but schools aren’t guaranteed to have a case each year. The Dietrich School typically has the most cases, she added.

The final number of sub-committee members is not set yet, Wang said, but there were six members on the Pittsburgh campus committee and three on the regional campus sub-committee in the first pilot year. Committee members meet and report to the provost, who then reports to the chancellor for the final decision on promotion cases.

Wang said the goal for this process is for faculty to be as involved as possible, and for schools and committee members to learn from each other.

“I think it’s a good way to sort of make it one big university instead of being in our silos, and the deliberations were just really thoughtful,” Wang said. “They learned a lot from one another. I think it was a great experience for the committee, and I think they’ll take that knowledge back to their schools.”

Wang said she’s optimistic about the future of the committee, but said there may be some challenges down the road. She anticipates the promotion process for appointment-stream faculty to be challenging because of the variations in University bylaws, guidance and policy timeline recommendations.

She said she expects that each year “we’re going to be adding volume and we’re going to be adding complexity because we started with the most manageable set,” Wang said. “But going into the future, it’s going to be bigger.”

Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-383-9905.


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