Professorial ranks at The University of Alabama, in ascending order, are: assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. University criteria for each rank are described in Section II. Divisional and departmental criteria supplement University criteria.

The process to be followed in applying for promotion, and in considering applications for promotion, is similar to that for tenure (see Section IX). Each department has a promotion committee for each rank, and there is a divisional promotion committee (see Section VI).

Each candidate for promotion is responsible for preparing a dossier (see Section VII) to be considered by the appropriate departmental promotion committee.  As these dossiers are designed to support an application for promotion rather than for tenure, material such as the progress reviews described in Section VIII may not be needed.  Individual divisions and departments may require the inclusion of special forms or materials.

The candidate submits the completed dossier to the departmental chairperson by October 1.  The chairperson, if necessary, places additional information in the dossier (see Section VII) and then transmits the dossier to the chairperson of the departmental promotion committee. Thereafter, the stages in the review process, including all written notifications of recommendations and opportunities for rebuttal, are exactly the same as for tenure, with the exception of votes of abstention, which are discouraged but allowed. The permissible recommendations at each stage are to grant promotion or deny promotion. The candidate for promotion can terminate the review process at any stage by requesting that the dossier be withdrawn from consideration.

Completed promotion dossiers reach the Office for Academic Affairs by February 1. The Provost, together with designated persons, reviews each dossier and all preceding recommendations. Following this review, a written recommendation from the Provost goes to the President, who makes the final decision, unless the President has delegated this decision-making authority to the Provost.

The Provost sends the faculty member written notice of the final promotion decision and provides copies to the departmental chairperson and dean. Formal written notice from the Provost is the only way in which promotion is awarded. Notification of the decision to award promotion normally occurs between March 15 and April 15.