Advancement for Associate Professors

The Advancement for Associate Professors initiative (AAP) is designed for associate professors who have held the rank for more than seven years. According to research at Penn State University, associate professors’ likelihood for promotion increases very slowly after their seventh year in the position. With the help of AAP, these associate professors can advance in rank despite having seven or more years of experience as an associate professor. Associate professors eligible for AAP will be identified by self-nomination or recommendation from the department head.

Mentor Selection/Approval

  1. Each eligible associate professor who wishes to participate in AAP will meet with the chair of his/her department. The associate professor will be asked to identify 2 obstacles to his/her pursuit of full professor rank. The meeting is intended to evaluate the associate professor’s teaching load and address relevant topics such as seed money, release time, or teaching/graduate assistants.
  2. The associate professor will then identify a faculty mentor – a full professor, University Professor, or Distinguished Professor – with whom they wish to work during the following 2 semesters. This selection would ideally be made with regard to academic and/or research interests and after consultation with the department chair or head.
  3. Upon selection of a mentor, the associate professor will notify the department head of the selection, at which time the mentor relationship will be formalized.
  4. The associate professor will submit the completed application to the dean, who will then submit the application to the Provost.
  5. Upon the Provost’s approval, the associate professor and their mentor are accepted into the AAP.
  6. All the mentors/mentees will be announced at a luncheon provided by the Provost. This luncheon will provide an opportunity to meet others in the program, establish relationships and consider additional potential collaborations. Programs with the names of the participants and their area of interest will be provided.

Associate Professor-Mentor Interaction

  1. Together, the associate professor and the mentor will define research agendas or refocus past agendas.
  2. The relationship between the associate professor and his or her mentor will include a minimum of two meetings.
    1. In the first meeting, the associate professor will propose a research plan. Upon review, this plan will be filed with the department head and dean or their designee/associate dean. This plan shall include focus on direction as well as a timetable.
    2. The second meeting will be in the following semester to review progress and accomplishments.
    3. The mentor/mentee will meet informally as needed.

Each mentor’s responsibilities include a brief written report listing the progression and accomplishments of the associate professor assigned to them. This time commitment will be reflected in the full professor’s workload. In addition, each full professor who serves as a mentor will receive $250 for his/her RIF account (the Provost’s office will provide this).

As a part of the AAP program, the associate professor must demonstrate an understanding of what is expected of him/her. This can vary considerably based on discipline, but specific areas such as the following should be addressed: time commitment, maintaining contact, and final product.

Upon successful completion of the AAP, each associate professor may be given a one on one with a representative from the Hanover group (or sponsored research) to evaluate/refine their research proposal if extramural funding is involved.Each associate professor who has completed the program will be recognized at an end-of-semester reception, where he or she will also receive a certificate of completion from the Provost's office.


Spring Semester

  • Associate professor meets with department head/chair
    • Identifies 2 obstacles to promotion
  • Associate professor identifies a mentor
    • Notifies department head/chair of selection
  • Associate professor submits completed application to dean
  • Dean forwards names to Provost
    • Upon Provost’s approval, associate professor is accepted into AAP
  • Participants acknowledged at initiation lunch

Fall Semester

  • With mentor, associate professor (mentee) defines research agendas or refocuses past agendas
  • Mentor/mentee propose research plan
    • Plan will be filed with department head/chair and dean
  • Mentor/mentee follow up and review progress and accomplishments
  • Upon completion, associate professor meets with Hanover group (or sponsored research) representative to evaluate/refine proposal
    • Associate professor also receives certificate of completion from the Provost’s office at end-of-semester reception.