Neat improvement coming out in ByCommittee Promotion & Tenure! As of today, you can get a lot more detailed with the requirements, due dates, and arrangement of the candidate packet. Now our platform can match your institution’s unique requirements with a new level of accuracy and accommodate a wider variety of academic committee review models.

As usual, we promise that this release will not suddenly rearrange your existing cases or templates. We’re simply adding a level of optional flexibility that wasn’t there before, because we’ve heard from a lot of users that they needed it in order for the software to live up to its potential.

In the remainder of this post, we’ll give a quick tour of the new candidate packet, and then offer some suggestions for how you might use these new features to your advantage. (Administrators and Committee Managers: if you want a quick tour of what the changes mean you can now accomplish in the product, watch the video above!)

Here are the new things you can do:

  • Sections: Organize your document requirements into custom-titled, separately submittable sections
  • Section due dates: Give each section its own due date, enabling you to collect different groups of materials from the same candidate at different times
  • Minimum/maximum documents: Specify a minimum and/or maximum number for any document requirement. 
  • Optional materials: Specify optional documents that the candidate may include. 
  • Forms within sections: Attach forms to individual sections, and designate them as required or optional.
  • Candidate-defined sections: Grant the candidate the option to define sections of their own.
  • Rearrange packet order: Once the packet has been received by a committee, rearrange the packet sections and add documents to each section. The packet will retain the new arrangement as it moves forward or backward in your workflow; the next committee has the same abilities to reorganize and add documents. Any changes made by a committee won’t be displayed to the candidate.

What to do with it (a few ideas):

Scenario #1: The candidate has total freedom

In the simplest kind of tenure or promotion packet (not at all uncommon), the institution gives the candidate virtually total freedom over what they choose to submit for their own review. In this case, just create a template, leave the “Candidate Documents” section and check the box that enables candidates to add their own sections. If you really want it to be a blank slate, you can delete even that “Candidate Documents” section. You’ve left it up to them!


Scenario #2: Require different sections at different times

Another common situation is one in which the institution asks the candidate to submit different kinds of materials at different times throughout the case. For example, suppose the candidate is a professor of studio art. You might create sections that ask for names of possible external evaluators in October, teaching information in mid-November, and samples of creative work at the end of November, like this:


Scenario #3: Collect information over time

Finally, it’s possible that the committee might choose to leverage a number of ByCommittee’s digital forms to collect data from the candidate, which can later be easily cross-referenced in reports. Previously, you had to collect form data all at once. Now it’s easy to associate more discrete pieces of data (e.g. the candidate’s responses to specific form questions) with particular groupings of documents.


For current Administrators in ByCommittee Promotion & Tenure:

Take a look at the video (above) for a more detailed tour. In addition, you’ll find some step-by-step guidance on the following updated help pages:

For existing cases or templates, “Candidate Documents” will now be treated as a section, and will retain its existing settings. Again, no action is required from you at this point.

As with our recent flexible hierarchy release, the new candidate packet options are intended to accommodate scenarios we haven’t even seen yet. Rather than treating an individual candidate’s packet as a fixed stack of documents, we now see it as an evolving bundle of information from various sources that committees add to, modify, and enhance throughout the promotion or tenure process. We’re just finding better ways to handle that evolution online.