Last Revision: 07/01/2021


Table of Contents:

Use of Google Chrome Required:

NOTE: Google Chrome must be used to access the GURU website and for completing and/or downloading fill-and-print forms. Firefox, Internet Explorer, and/or Microsoft Edge browsers do not support all features required for PDF fill-and-print functionality. Substitutes for an official University form (created using a different browser or scanned copies) will be returned along with the request to use the Chrome version of the form.


These forms are used for (1) recommending or not recommending continuance on the tenure track; (2) awarding tenure to the ranks of professor, librarian, associate professor, associate librarian and assistant professor; and (3) for promotion to the ranks of professor, librarian, associate professor, and associate librarian.

General Information:

Exhibit and Instructions:

This form has fill-and-print form fields enabled. The PDF version has instructions provided for the type and/or format of information to be included within the fill-and-print form fields. Hovering the computer mouse over any form field within the PDF will display these instructions. See Converting Web-based Documents to PDF Documents for details.

To view a printed version of these instructions, click on appropriate links below:

Promotion and Tenure Form Exhibit

Biographical Data for Promotion and Tenure Exhibit

Log of External Letters Exhibit

Promotion and Tenure Recommendation Set:

NOTE: As of July 1, 2024, these forms will no longer be located on GURU. Instead, they will be produced within Activity Insight using data entered in Activity Insight. If you have questions about how to produce the forms, please email
The following comprises a set of promotion and tenure forms and dossier dividers. Type all information except signatures on the Promotion and Tenure Form. On the Promotion and Tenure Form, the information requested is necessary for both promotion and tenure recommendations. The information requested in the "Promotion Only" block is only necessary on promotion recommendations.
Description Effective Date
Promotion and Tenure Form (signatory page) Effective 07-01-2023 - Two copies are required for a simultaneous promotion and tenure consideration
Biographical Data for Promotion and Tenure Effective 07-01-2021
Log of External Letters Effective 07-01-2016
All supplied supporting materials should be placed behind the respective dossier divider below. Each copy of the recommendation forms (above) and supporting materials should be legible and clearly identify the name of the employee. Legible machine reproduced copies of the forms and dividers (below) are acceptable.
Dossier Dividers: Effective Date
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Effective 07-01-2023
The Scholarship of Librarianship Effective 07-01-2020 (University Libraries only)
The Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments Effective 07-01-2022
Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession Effective 07-01-2023
External Letters of Assessment (for Promotion and Final Tenure Reviews) Effective 07-01-2014
Statements of Evaluation of the Candidate by Review Committees and Administrators Effective 07-01-2014
Patient Care and the Scholarship of Patient Care Effective 07-01-2023 (College of Medicine only)

Form Requirements:

No form may be used that substitutes for an approved official University form without prior review and approval by the steward of the form/central office, as facilitated by the Office of Systems and Procedures (designated representative of the Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance). Policy FN17 Required Use of Approved University Forms Appearing in the General University Reference Utility (GURU) requires that all form templates must be vetted and approved prior to being published on the GURU website and all such documents having gone through said established approval process must be password protected.

Accessing GURU Forms:

GURU PDF forms are designed for use with Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro. Each browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, etc) has a built-in PDF viewer making it the default PDF viewer without asking users. These built-in viewers do not necessarily support all features required for PDF forms. Similarly, many calculations are not supported by other stand-alone PDF readers (for examples, Nuance). It has been brought to the attention of the Office of Systems and Procedures that PDF forms do not function appropriately when accessed using Firefox and/or Microsoft Edge. In order to access any of the forms on GURU and have the fill-and-print functionality work properly, the end-user must access the GURU website using Google Chrome.

The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free. Contact your IT support staff person for downloading assistance, if/as needed. An Adobe Creative Club (CC) account is available, at no cost, to all Penn State students, faculty, and staff members. Sign up for an Adobe Creative Cloud account at If Adobe Acrobat Pro better suits your needs, contact your IT support staff person for purchasing and installation assistance.

Web-Based Documents:

Clicking the form download icon on any of the form instruction pages on GURU will open a web-based version of the form. While it appears to have fill-and-print fields available, not all functionality may be available for use (i.e. digital ID fields). With some exceptions (see below), it will be necessary to convert these web-based documents to PDF documents (see Converting to PDF documents section).

Converting Web-Based Documents to PDF Documents:

There are two (2) options available to download the form:

Option 1 - To create a PDF for this document (and this document only):

  • Click the form download icon on the form instruction page to open the web-based version of the form
  • Click the download icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the web-document
  • Select a location to save the document where you will be able to locate and open the new document
  • Click "Save"
  • Open the document from the saved location

Option 2 - Change system settings to always open documents with Adobe:

  • Click the form download icon on the form instruction page to open the web-based version of the form
  • Click the download icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the web-document
  • Select a location to save the document where you will be able to locate and open the new document
  • Click "Save"
  • The file will appear in the bottom left-hand corner of your browser window. Click the small up arrow to the right of the file name
  • Click the "Always open with system viewer" option
  • The form now opens as a PDF and can be completed
  • All PDF files will now open in a separate window with Adobe


Combining PDF Documents:

There may be times when it is necessary to combine multiple pdf documents into a single document for submission. In those instances, complete the following steps:

  • Click on the appropriate form in GURU
  • Complete the fill-and-print boxes on the web-based form
  • Click the printer icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  • Change Destination to Microsoft Print to PDF using the drop-down arrow
  • Click Print at the bottom of that panel
  • Add your last and first names to the end of the file name in the box at the bottom of the pop-up window (i.e. promotion-and-tenure-form-smith-mary or promotion-and-tenure-form-smith-joe) and be sure to select a location where you will be able to relocate the document
  • Click Save

Repeat this process for each document that will be combined:

  • Now, open one of the completed pdf documents and on the far right select combine files
  • Click Add Files and select the files to be combined
  • Click Combine
  • The new document will have the title "Binder" - change the file name and save

If you encounter any difficulties with this process, contact the GURU support staff by submitting a Technical Support Form request.

Number of Copies and Ultimate Distribution:

  • If a person is being considered for a tenure decision AND a promotion decision simultaneously, then only one dossier (one set of dossier dividers) needs to be prepared with two cover signatory pages.

  • Ultimate retention of the original dossiers resides with the Office of Human Resources, where they are retained until termination, resignation, or retirement.
Table of distribution and retention of the Promotion and Tenure Review Forms
Document: Ultimate Distribution: Retention Periods: Disposition Method:
Original Human Resources Separation of employment +6 years; review by Archives Paper Documents = Secure Bin disposal or shredded

Electronic document and data = delete from computer and empty recycle bin

Where to Send Completed Forms:

Original documents are sent to the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee via the Office of Human Resources in accordance with a time schedule distributed each year.

Contact Information:

For questions, additional details, or to request changes to these forms, contact Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at

Cross References: