Critical Dates

Graduate assistantships and lectureships provide a supervised opportunity for Mason students
Become a Better Teacher

The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning offers a range of learning and support opportunities for instructors across Mason’s campuses, whether you are just getting started or have years of experience. 

Remembering important dates and staying on top of deadlines is an ongoing challenge in any academic community.

Planning out your workflow is essential. We have provided a general listing of major dates, planning benchmarks, and deadlines below. Please keep in mind that some deadlines may vary from year to year, and that individual departments may include additional processes and deadlines that may impact your planning.

Ongoing Benchmarks

Budget Review

It is recommended that you have monthly meetings with your office budget manager to monitor and reconcile accounts.

Peer Review

It is recommended that each academic unit offer consistent peer reviews to provide feedback for faculty in support of their teaching and learning. Early career faculty, new adjunct faculty, and GTAs will all benefit greatly from mentoring and feedback.

Faculty Recruitment and Hiring

Graduate Student Recruitment


Activities throughout the Academic Year

Typical department chair activities are described in the tabs below. Keep in mind that individual colleges and departments may have additional duties assigned to the department chair role.

August

Orientations

  • New full-time faculty and postdocs should attend the Office of the Provost New Faculty Orientation, in addition to whatever departmental, college, or school plans exist
  • New adjunct faculty should attend the New Adjunct Faculty Success Workshop, which offers a one-stop shop for learning about campus resources and finalizing required paperwork
  • All GTAs, both new and returning, should have an opportunity to connect with each other and their faculty members before the semester to share ideas and become aware of any new policies
  • Incoming students, undergraduate and graduate, can make important connections and learn about department culture from student orientations

New Hires

Faculty Personnel Evaluation

  • Ensure availability of guidelines for faculty
  • Faculty evaluations due to you for annual review

Promotion and Tenure

  • External review letters due to department

Class Scheduling and Staffing

  • Finalize staffing for fall classes

September

Faculty Personnel Evaluation

  • Due to Dean’s Office by October 1st

Staff Evaluation/Performance Appraisal

  • Due to Human Resources in October

Promotion and Tenure

  • Begin faculty review of cases
  • Committee preparation of case for department
  • Schedule peer observations (if needed)

3rd Year Renewal 

  • Timeline / schedule sent from the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

Term Faculty Schedule

  • Deadlines for rehiring decisions sent from the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

Study Leave for Tenured Faculty

Teaching Excellence Awards

    October

    Promotion and Tenure

    • Faculty review of cases
    • Committee preparation of case for department
    • Peer observations (if needed)
    • Share a list of all cases for promotion and tenure to Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President by early October

    3rd Year Renewal

    • Report all candidates to Dean’s Office for forwarding to the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

    Term Faculty Schedule

    • Deadline for term faculty new multi-year contract materials 

    Faculty Teaching Evaluations

    • Review from summer term
    • Letter to high-achievers
    • Meet with faculty of concern

    Teaching Excellence Awards

    Study Leave for Tenured Faculty

    4-VA Collaborative

    November

    Promotion and Tenure

    • Faculty vote on cases
    • Chair letters to college –due December 1st

    3rd Year Renewal

    • Set up department committee
    • Dossiers from candidates due

    Adjunct Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards

    Class Scheduling and Staffing

    December

    3rd Year Renewal

    • Faculty review cases
    • Recommendation and letters from faculty review committee due

    Class Scheduling and Staffing

    • Examine schedule / staffing needs and begin hiring for summer and fall terms

    Term Faculty Schedule

    • As needed, let term faculty know about hiring & rehiring decisions

    January

    Class Scheduling and Staffing

    • Finalize staffing spring classes, including GTAs

    3rd Year Renewal

    • Recommendation and letters from faculty review committee due
    • Department vote (if needed)
    • Letter to Dean – due end of January

    February

    Faculty Teaching Evaluations

    • Review from fall term
    • Letter to high-achievers – congratulations on a job well done
    • Meet with faculty of concern

    Budget

    • Review Accounts Payable deadlines for spending

    Promotion and Tenure

    • Electronic copy of candidates’ dossiers uploaded to MESA, containing letters from the first-level and second-level review and from the dean or director, due early February
    • Be sure to follow template exactly, including the Future Plans section

    March

    Departmental Notes

    • Review committee assignments for following year
    • Schedule elections (if needed)

    Term Faculty Schedule

    • Deadline for term faculty new multi-year contract materials 

    April

    Promotion and Tenure

    • Set up internal review committees for each candidate
    • Prep faculty coming up

    Presidential GRAs

    • Nominations due

    Class Scheduling and Staffing

    • Finalize staffing for summer classes (as needed)

    Teaching Excellence Awards

    • University Teaching Excellence Awards Ceremony

    May

    Promotion and Tenure

    • Identify external reviewers
    • Solicit/contact external reviewers

    Faculty Contracts

    • Signed renewal offer letters (tenure-track faculty) sent to Dean’s Office
    • Signed rehire offer letters (term faculty) sent to Dean’s Office

    Faculty Personnel Evaluation

    • Send evaluation guidelines to faculty
    • Faculty evaluations due to you in August for annual review

    Students as Scholars

    • Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship

    June

    Promotion and Tenure

    • Finalize external reviewers for cases
    • Candidate packages for external reviewers – due June
    • Send out candidate packages and case instructions to external reviewers

    Class Scheduling and Staffing

    NOTE: End of Fiscal Year – June 30th

    July

    Faculty Teaching Evaluations

    • Review from spring term
    • Letter to high-achievers – congratulations on a job well done
    • Meet with faculty of concern

    Class Scheduling and Staffing