Portfolio Information for Reviewers

NOTE 1:  If you are missing ARDs with chair comments from the past two years, see the instructions at the bottom of the page.

NOTE 2:  If reviewers are getting permission errors when clicking on links in the list of links, see the NOTE in bold under Step (2) below.

NOTE 3:  If you are looking for an online anonymous voting process, Teams has an integrated solution called "Polly."  Look for it in the bottom left corner of Teams, under Apps.

Click here for Department Chair/School Director instructions for External Reviews.

Click here for video instructions for chairs collecting external letters

Here is a link to an instructional video you can send the external reviewers:


Reviewers’ Instructions for Managing a Watermark Portfolio

Review of a portfolio using Watermark has three steps: (1) accessing the portfolio, (2) reviewing the content of the portfolio, and (3) advancing the portfolio to the next step.  

(1)  Accessing the Portfolio:

If you are a single-person level of review (e.g., chair, dean, provost), or a committee chair, you will have access and responsibility to advance the portfolio through the workflow process on your own Watermark account.  If you are on a committee, you will be able to access the portfolio on your own Watermark account, and you may be able to upload draft letters, but you will not be able to process (advance) it. 

When something has been submitted or processed by the previous level for you to review, you will receive an email indicating that.  You will then log into your Watermark account, and you will see across the top a tab called “Workflow.”  Click on it, and click on “Inbox” and you will see a list of the submissions in your inbox.  Click on the name of the submission.

(2) Reviewing the Portfolio

When external reviews were requested, the materials supplied to the reviewer will appear first, and then the external review letters.  (These are never visible to the faculty member. Please remember not to disclose the names of the external reviewers to the faculty member or in your letter.)

Then the portfolio submission follows, which is the beginning of the portfolio for faculty who did not have external review letters (e.g., non-tenure track promotions, pre- and post-tenure review).  The first item that you see will be a cover page document, then all of the other documents submitted as part of the portfolio.  You will click on each of them to see them.  

One of the documents that you will be able to access is the Narrative.  In the Narrative, there will be numbered references to supplemental documentation that has been uploaded into the Watermark system.  The list of numbered links is separate from the Narrative (and is not included in the page limit), and is located under the heading "List of Links to Supplemental Evidence Files."  

As you read the Narrative, you will come to numbered references.  If you want to retrieve the file it refers to, you will go to the List of Links to Supplemental Evidence Files, and click on the corresponding number.  That will open the related file.  NOTE:  if this file was saved as an .rtf file, the links may not work.  The solution to this is to download the file, change the suffix to .doc, and then open it in Word. You may have to save it as a .doc file in Word format from within Word. Then the links should work.

Note: These links were created when the candidate created the portfolio, and cannot be changed by the candidate after submission.  So although the candidate could theoretically remove files from Watermark and the links would break, the candidate cannot replace the documents with new versions after submission without also breaking the links.

You also have access in the workflow to the standard cv that Watermark creates, as well as possibly a cv created by the individual outside of Watermark.  The narrative should tell you which one the candidate prefers you to look at.  The department and college (if applicable) Promotion and Tenure guidelines have also been included, as have all the ARDs and FPAs since the last portfolio, or the hire date, as required.  Note that the most recent ARDs and FPAs that have been processed through Watermark Workflow will not contain a signature, but should include an image of the workflow screen possibly including reviewer comments, but definitely including the reviewer's name and date (which is treated as a digital signature).  If these are not included, see the note at the bottom of this page.

To share comments or letters among committee members, upload a file and, instead of clicking "Save" from the Actions menu, click "Publish My Response..."  This will make your draft letter file or comments available to other committee members who must also click "Publish My Response..." in order to see it.  The draft files and comments are never visible to the faculty candidate.

(3) Advancing the Portfolio (ONLY applies to administrators and committee chairs, not to committee members)

When the review of the portfolio is completed and the review letter is written, the administrator or committee chair with access to the Workflow will advance it to the next step.  To do this, you again log into your Watermark account and follow the instructions above to open the submission.  In the box labelled “recommendation letter” you can drag the file containing the letter, or click to browse to the letter file on your own computer.  You should also indicate the review recommendation (unless it is a pre-tenure or third year review) and the vote total in the appropriate section.  This is very important for the recordkeeping process – please be sure that the positive or negative recommendation (for each review, if there is more than one, as in tenure and promotion, or promotion and post-tenure review) is indicated in the appropriate place. Please select "N/A" if a review does not apply (like tenure, for a promotion-only portfolio). Finally, after the review letter is uploaded and the recommendation is indicated, click “Action" and then "Advance" to the next step.  NOTE THAT YOU HAVE NOT COMPLETED THE REVIEW UNTIL YOU ADVANCE IT.  CLICKING "SAVE" IS NOT ENOUGH.

Note also that your letter should carry the date of the deadline for your review, and the workflow should be advanced on that same date.  These dates must match.  You may advance it early, but DO NOT BE LATE.

You no longer need to send the letter to the candidate by campus mail or secure email. The candidate will receive an email when the workflow is advanced, and can read the review letter in their Watermark Inbox. No other copies need to be sent, as all levels of review can see your letter in their History or when they receive the portfolio.

That completes your review of a Watermark portfolio.

PLEASE NOTE:  To maintain the confidentiality of the materials, as required by the handbook, all reviewers MUST DELETE ANY DOWNLOADED MATERIALS from their hard drive, etc., after the review is finished.


 *If the portfolio is missing the ARDs with the chair's comments, the committee asks the department chair for these documents.  Here is how the department chair gets them:

Under Watermark Workflow, select "Submissions."  This shows all of the submissions from your unit.  Find the person and the year that you need, and all the way to the right is an arrow to "Download."  The files that you download will include the ARD document, the FPA document, and an .html document that is the image of the screen that includes the chair comments.  Forward these documents, as needed, to the committee chair.

The committee chair uploads the documents that were missing from the portfolio into the same field as the review letter will go.  Give it a couple of minutes to upload, and then click Actions -> "Publish my Response..." That will give access to them to the rest of the committee.