Creating the Dossier

Submitted by admin on Thu, 01/30/2020 - 16:19

The electronic dossier must meet three essential criteria:

  1. It must be bookmarked.
  2. It must be password-protected.
  3. It must be searchable.


The bookmarks in the dossier form a table of contents for the included materials. The items which are to be bookmarked are listed at the bottom of the transmittal form, in the appropriate order. Note that the order has changed from recent years. Of course, not all of the listed materials will appear in every candidate’s dossier. If an item is not present in the dossier, there is no need to create a bookmark for it.

To create a bookmark: navigate to the page you wish to bookmark. If the bookmarks pane is open, click the new bookmark button and enter the appropriate label. Labels need not match what’s at the bottom of the transmittal form, though it is convenient if they do.

You can alter the text of the bookmark by right clicking the bookmark and choosing Rename from the menu. Another bookmark problem is that they sometimes go awry when pages are added or deleted. To edit the page a bookmark links to: navigate to the correct page, then right click the bookmark and choose Set Destination.

Password Protection

Every uploaded document (dossier, teaching portfolio, and any supplemental material) must be password-protected to ensure confidentiality. The Faculty Affairs Office will let you know what the password should be at the beginning of each APT cycle. To add a password to the dossier, choose Properties from the File menu. Click on the Security tab, and choose “Password Security” from the dropdown Security Method list. You will then see the Password Security – Settings window. Check the box labeled “Require a password to open the document” and type the appropriate password in the “Document Open Password” field. Click OK, and then retype the password in the confirmation dialogue box that appears. Click OK to return to the Document Properties window.

Next, click the Initial View tab. Change the Navigation tab dropdown to “Bookmarks Panel and Page.” Change the Magnification dropdown to “Fit Width.” Finally, click OK. This sets the default view of the dossier so that bookmarks are visible and the dossier pages are easy to read.

Searchable Text

The text in the dossier must be searchable so that committee members can easily move around within the dossier and confirm various elements of the content. The easiest way to create searchable text is to create the elements of the dossier straight from Word or from Excel (in the case of the summaries of student evaluation of teaching), using the “Save as PDF” function from the File Menu. However, you can also create searchable text from a traditionally-scanned page (if, for example, you receive an external evaluator’s letter through the mail), using the optical character recognition built into Adobe Acrobat Pro. To use this OCR function, click on Tools on the right side of the Acrobat menu. Click on “Recognize Text” and then click “In this file.” Acrobat will convert the scanned text into searchable text. It is a requirement that all dossiers be searchable. Contact the Faculty Affairs Office if you have concerns about this step. Non-searchable dossiers will be returned to the Units that created them.

Candidate Verification Page

Following revisions to these Guidelines and the University’s APT Policy (II-1.00 (A)), several documents in the dossier must be signed and dated by the candidate. The candidate may sign each individual document, or a candidate verification page may be used, where the candidate initials next to each document and then signs one time. A combination of signature and date on individual documents and the candidate verification page is also acceptable. The verification page template is available on the Faculty Affairs website. If the Unit chooses to use the Candidate Verification page, place it second in the dossier, after the transmittal form. Be aware that the candidate must sign and date the CV and the personal statement on those documents; the Candidate Verification Page cannot be used for the CV or the personal statement.

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