Appendix C - Preparing Your Narrative Statement

  1. Documents needed – Faculty handbook (part V) and vitae
    1. Review definition of “quality scholarship”
    2. Review Section V of the SLIS Faculty Handbook for reappointment, tenure, and promotion criteria
  2. Anatomy of RPT Narrative Letter
    1. Introduction
      1. Introductory statement (purpose of the letter)
        1. Sample verbiage: “Please accept this letter and enclosed materials as my application for…”
        2.  “Pursuing excellence as a scholar, teacher, representative…”
        3. Show appreciation for university, college, school and why you want to continue being a faculty member here: “… excited to work with …”
    2. Summary of activity (it should clearly connect to CV)
      1. Should include # of publications, grants, chapters
        1. “I have had the opportunity to pursue my research interests of…”
      2. Should also include type, i.e., invited, refereed, chapters and presentations
        1. “As a result I have published, applied, received…”
      3. These categories should match categories on vitae.
      4. It may be helpful to include a table with all activities, including columns for status, category, venue, etc.
      5. Brief note to definite planned events for next academic year
    3. Scholarship
      1. Review criteria and examples of evidence for Scholarship
      2. Connect your scholarship with expected level (see tables in Section V)
      3. Describe how you have met the standards
        1. “I have had an impact on the field…”
      4. Describe how publications meet definitions of quality scholarship i.e. include description of peer review process and nature of collaborative work
        1. Sample verbiage “I was honored to receive an invitation to contribute a chapter on…”
        2. “I was proud to be included as a contributing author and join the esteemed ranks of award-winning authors…”
        3. “The table of contents bears a remarkable list of experts in the area of…”
        4. “The presentation and subsequent invited book chapter ____ was initially based on research conducted to develop a curricular unit…”
        5. “The [publisher/journal] is known for…”
      5. In this area you might cite reviews, citations
      6. Include relevant charts i.e. ‘Publications indexed in major research databases’
      7. Describe research, its impact, and products
      8. Connect to SLIS Faculty Handbook qualities of scholarship
      9. Connect research to overall research agenda; show progression; link to planned work
    4. Teaching
      1. Review criteria for Teaching
      2. Connect teaching to research areas or agenda
        1. Sample verbiage: “My contributions to teaching connect to the following research areas: …”
        2. “I strive to engage students…” (Philosophy of teaching)
      3. Summary paragraph of teaching
        1. Number and list of courses/workshops taught or developed
        2. Advising load
        3. Practicum/research paper/projects/theses/dissertations supervised
      4. Subsequent paragraphs focus on teaching evidence
        1. Student evaluations
          1. Include summary, ranking and note individual strengths
          2. Include selection of student comments (or all in an appendix) 
          3. Provide examples of how you have addressed some issues or what changes or accommodations you are making based on student feedback.
          4. Describe additional surveys/ assessments you use to gather student input (not just SSI)
        2. Peer evaluations
          1. Describe strengths, ratings, and evaluation used (peer review form)
          2. Sample verbiage: “Senior faculty noted the ___ of my courses and lectures as well as my ___ and use of ­­­___ technology…”
        3. Unsolicited affirmations of teaching (scan and include notes of thanks, emails etc.)
        4. Be reflective!!! Discuss how you have addressed/will address comments made by students and peers
      5. Connect to SLIS Faculty Handbook qualities of teaching
      6. Curriculum development
        1. Connect to research agenda
        2. Process (describe collaborative work, research and products)
      7. University sponsored professional development
      8. External professional development (workshops at conferences)
    5. Service
      1. Review criteria on University and Professional Service
      2. Connect service to Handbook guidelines and levels of service
      3. Summarize School, College, and University level service (committees, task force, other types of service)
      4. Summary paragraph describing level of service (international, national, state, local)
        1. Describe type of service
        2. Sample verbiage: “I am active in the majority of organizations to which I belong, holding offices, chairing committees or coordinating events.”
      5. Subsequent paragraphs should describe the involvement at each level
      6. Describe external service and how it relates to professional work
    6. Future/Closing
      1. Describe future plans connecting to your research agenda, teaching, and service
      2. End with positive statement about work in school, college, and university
        1. Sample verbiage: “I look forward to contributing to the success of SLIS and CCI through scholarship, teaching, and service.”


Overall suggestions:

1. Take advantage of opportunities for collaboration with senior faculty and describe connection to research agenda especially if it is out of your stated research area.


2. Write your narrative with the idea that your work/accomplishments should be transparent to not just SLIS faculty but to the larger university; i.e., upper administration, college level, and those who may be unfamiliar with your research area.


3. Do ask for assistance, with proof reading, format and structure of the statement from senior faculty or your mentor. Senior faculty and colleagues want you to succeed.



  • Do not promise the moon and then not deliver from year to year.
  • Do not promise the same thing each year and then not deliver.
  • Do not ignore negative reviews/feedback or areas of weakness; address how you are working to improve. Previous reappointment ballots from SLIS RTP and CAC members are available in FlashFolio and so are the letters from the School Director and the College Dean.
  • Do not use the narrative letter as a venue to complain about your workload or anything else.