AC23 Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations (Formerly HR23)
Policy Steward:Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs>
POLICY'S INITIAL DATE: July 1, 1952
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: December 14, 2021
To determine the criteria, procedures, and conditions of the review of University academic personnel and for the awarding of promotion and tenure.
The promotion and tenure policies of the University should contribute to academic excellence. An equitable and widely-understood promotion and tenure system ensures that considerations of academic quality will be the basis for academic personnel decisions.
Tenure is the keystone for academic freedom; safeguarding the right of free expression and risk-taking inquiry is the basis for tenure. Both tenure and academic freedom are bound to an implicit social compact which recognizes that their maintenance serves important public purposes and provides great benefits to society; the ultimate justification for tenure rests on the bedrock of its social utility. Additionally, a well-designed tenure and promotion system attracts capable and highly qualified individuals as faculty members, strengthens institutional stability by enhancing faculty members' institutional loyalty, and encourages academic excellence by retaining and rewarding the most able people. Tenure and promotion imply selectivity and choice; they are awarded for academic and professional merit, not for seniority.
A formal statement of criteria for tenure and promotion is necessary but not sufficient for the task. The wide variety of academic and professional fields, and the broad range of programs within the University, make the development of detailed criteria, equally applicable to all fields, an unrewarding effort. Rather, general and broad guidelines will permit the exercise of skilled professional and academic judgment in their interpretation and application.
For promotion and tenure procedures to be legitimized, they must be open, within considerations of individual privacy, and equitable. The general policies and procedures to be used should be made widely known within departments, campuses, colleges* and the University Libraries. Regular review of faculty members will help to ensure openness of the tenure and promotion process and will provide feedback crucial to faculty development and growth.
Faculty members have a primary responsibility in providing the evaluations of merit which normally determine the academic personnel decision-making process, including appointment, promotion, and tenure. This responsibility involves the application of academic and professional judgment, in a framework of shared authority, among various levels of review and between faculty and administrative bodies.
Within the procedures for granting or denying tenure and promotion, the presumption is that recommendations based on the professional expertise and competence of the faculty will usually be heeded. Where the findings of the various groups differ, there is an implicit responsibility to explore the reasons for divergence. In this way administrators and faculty can sustain vigorous and responsible participation, and standards of excellence and quality can be maintained.
The promotion and tenure procedures consist of several levels of judgment and review: the department (or comparable academic unit); the campus; the college or University Libraries; and the University. The initial review will usually take place at the level of the department (or campus as appropriate) and will focus on professional and scholarly judgments of the quality of the individual's academic work. Subsequent levels will bring broader faculty and administrative judgment to bear and will also monitor general standards of quality, equity and adequacy of the procedure used. At each level, the review process will reflect the competence and perspective of the review body.
*For the purpose of this policy, "colleges" are those academic units which have responsibility for developing, obtaining approval, and conducting the University's academic degree programs, as authorized by the University Board of Trustees and the University Faculty Senate.
II. CRITERIA FOR PROMOTION AND TENURE
RELATIONSHIP OF MISSION AND STRUCTURE TO CRITERIA:
Promotion and tenure decisions are based on the academic judgments of faculty and academic administrators. The general criteria or principles outlined here must be applied to promotion and tenure decisions in light of a detailed knowledge of the specific goals of an academic program or organizational unit (e.g., department, college, and the University Libraries) and the specific qualities and competencies of the individual. The University's complex organization and multiple missions make these academic judgments vital, since no one set of criteria can apply equally to all faculty members in all programs. Likewise, such diversity within the University entails promotion and tenure arrangements specifically tailored to the mission and organizational structure of its various academic units (e.g., department, college, and University Libraries).
Recognizing the University's manifold responsibilities, however, should not diminish the central importance of teaching and scholarly activity, both understood in their broadest sense, in the academic decision-making process. In tenure and promotion decisions, as in other areas of choice, the University best serves itself and society by affirming the primacy of academic excellence in all of its functions.
EXPECTATIONS AND STANDARDS OF EACH UNIT:
An important part of the whole tenure and review process for faculty members is that all parties to the process share common expectations and understandings. Since general statements of principles will be broad and inclusive, each academic unit may develop its own specific expectations and standards as the operational basis for tenure and promotion recommendations. Knowledge concerning these expectations and standards should be generally available, especially to newly appointed faculty members.
Candidates may include either a narrative statement at the front of the dossier that indicates their sense of their scholarship of teaching and learning, scholarship of research and creative accomplishments, and service and the scholarship of service to the University, society, and the profession, or separate statements in the relevant sections of the dossier describing the same items.
The review process for tenure and promotion is concerned with the academic and professional merits of particular candidates, judged in reference to all alternative candidates, including prospective faculty members. Tenure and promotion standards, therefore, cannot be fixed and absolute, but will reflect to some extent the varying competitive positions of the University in attracting faculty. Accordingly, evaluations will be influenced by such considerations of relative standing. Likewise, progressively more exacting scrutiny will take place as the faculty member advances in academic rank.
CHANGING NEEDS AND PRIORITIES:
Although the tenure and promotion process is geared, narrowly and properly, to evaluating individual performance, the changing needs and priorities of the institution may also affect the decision to grant tenure or award promotion. Both equity and the long-range interests of the institution, however, require directing primary attention to University needs and priorities at the time of appointment and careful intermediate and longer range academic personnel planning.
The raison d'etre of the University is the discovery, synthesis, transmission, and application of knowledge. In light of these several goals, scholarship of research and creative accomplishments, scholarship of teaching and learning and service and the scholarship of service are the central criteria for the evaluation of faculty.
Promotion and tenure decisions shall be based on these three criteria, which must be applied in light of the mission of the academic unit and the professional responsibilities carried by the faculty member. The criteria have purposely been made general in the expectation of further definition and elaboration by each academic unit.
- The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - ability to convey subject matter to students; demonstrated competence in teaching and capacity for growth and improvement; ability to maintain academic standards, and to stimulate the interests of students in the field; effectiveness of counseling, advising and service to students.
- The Scholarship of Research and Creative Accomplishments - competence, usually demonstrated through publication, exhibition, performance, or presentation of scholarly papers, to carry out research or creative work of high quality and scholarly significance and the ability to train students in research methods and practice; evidence of thorough understanding of the field; maintenance of high levels of academic performance; recognized reputation in the subject matter field; evidence of continued professional growth and active contribution to professional organizations.
- Service and the Scholarship of Service to the University, Society, and the Profession - participation in the University, college, departmental, and unit affairs; competence in extending specialized knowledge to the University and to the public.
Promotion and tenure decisions shall be based on recognized performance and achievement in each of the several areas, as appropriate to the particular responsibilities assigned to the faculty member. The presumption is that a positive tenure decision for an assistant professor is sufficient to warrant promotion to associate professor. In an exceptional case, a decision can be made to tenure but not to promote; however, the burden would be on the committee(s) or administrator(s) who wish to separate promotion from a positive tenure decision to show why promotion is not warranted.
III. REVIEW PROCEDURES
Primary responsibility for evaluation of the academic qualification of candidates for promotion and tenure rests with the faculty. There are three sequential levels in this review: peer review by the department (or comparable academic unit) including campus review as appropriate; review by the college or the University Libraries; and review by the University. The Administrative Guidelines can be found at https://www.vpfa.psu.edu.
All levels of review shall be concerned in some measure with both scholarly substance and quality and procedural adequacy and equity. It is incumbent upon each level of review to exercise careful professional judgment of the accomplishments, productivity, and potential of each candidate. Initial peer review (e.g., at the campus or departmental level) will focus on professional and scholarly judgments of the individual's academic work within their discipline. Reviews at the college or University Libraries level will bring broader faculty and administrative judgments to bear, and will also monitor general standards of quality, equity, and adequacy of procedures used. Review at the University level will involve similar but less detailed evaluations and, in addition, will provide an essential all-University perspective. Consultation among review levels, by committees and academic administrators, should take place when there is a need to clarify differences that arise during the review process.
Each academic unit (e.g., department, college, and University Libraries) of the University should take responsibility for developing detailed review procedures, supplemental to and consonant with general University procedures, as guidelines for promotion and tenure. These procedures should be made known to prospective and current faculty members, as well as the general University community, and should reflect the organizational arrangements of each academic unit.
The evaluation of teaching effectiveness shall be based on both peer and student input. Specific procedures shall conform to the Statement of Practices for the Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness for Promotion and Tenure.
FREQUENCY OF REVIEWS:
Prior to formal consideration of a faculty member for tenure and promotion, evaluations should be conducted by the initial review committees. In the case of tenure, these reviews shall be conducted in the second year and no less often than biennially thereafter. Normally, tenure reviews will be conducted in the second and fourth years of the provisional appointment period. For second and fourth year reviews, the college dean shall be required to write evaluative letters that are shared with candidates and may be addressed directly to them. The dean's letter will then be included in the dossiers submitted for subsequent tenure reviews. The department head or other appropriate administrative officer should discuss the results of the second and fourth year reviews, including the dean's letter, directly with the candidate. In cases where a faculty member receives a negative fourth year review, but without notice of termination, and in other cases where it is deemed advisable, a special fifth year tenure review may be requested by the faculty member, the department head or the unit's equivalent administrative officer, campus chancellor, or dean of the college or University Libraries. A tenure review shall take place in every instance during the sixth-year period. All reviews of faculty whose tenure is with a college at a location different from the college of residence should include consultation with the department head. The Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses has the overall responsibility to coordinate the procedural aspects of the review process for the campuses.
RESULTS OF EVALUATIONS:
The general results of the evaluation should be made known to the faculty member by the appropriate academic officer, and should indicate the extent to which colleagues judge that the faculty member's performance, in comparison with others in the profession, meets high academic standards. The evaluation should include guidance to the faculty member in ways to improve performance. A record of the general nature of the review and the date of transmission to the faculty member shall be retained by the department head, dean, or appropriate campus academic officer.
COMPOSITION OF UNIT REVIEW COMMITTEES:
Only tenured faculty should be eligible to serve on peer tenure and promotion committees, and only faculty of higher rank than the candidate should make recommendations about promotion. In unusual circumstances, e.g., insufficient numbers of tenured and higher-ranked faculty, exceptions to this provision may be permitted by the Executive Vice President and Provost on request by the academic unit.
Promotion and tenure committees shall consist of members of the faculty selected by procedures approved by the unit's faculty, the campus chancellor (if applicable), and the dean. Only tenured and tenure-line faculty are eligible to vote for members of all promotion and tenure committees. The faculty of the unit concerned should determine the size of the review committee, but in no case should a review committee consist of fewer than three members.
In order to ensure continuity in the review process, the procedures shall provide that some members of the review committee at each level shall, where possible, serve for at least two years. When terms of specified length are used, the terms of committee members should be staggered.
COMPOSITION OF UNIVERSITY PROMOTION AND TENURE REVIEW COMMITTEE:
The University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee shall consist of eleven members. Seven of these members shall be elected by the Senate from a slate of nominees prepared by the Committee on Committees and Rules with provisions for nominations from the Senate floor. The election procedures as devised by the Senate shall be such that at least two members of the committee shall be from colleges other than University Park. The remaining four members of the committee shall be appointed by the President of the University. All tenured professors, librarians, and other faculty of equivalent rank holding full-time standing appointments are eligible for election by the Senate or for appointment by the President with the following exclusions: the President's immediate staff, the Executive Vice President and Provost's immediate staff, persons holding affiliate academic appointments, and deans.
The President shall appoint the chair of the committee from among the seven elected and the four appointed committee members. All members of the committee shall serve for two-year terms, staggered to provide continuity to the committee's deliberations. No person may serve more than two successive terms, and, after serving two successive terms, no person may be appointed or elected to the committee for the following two year (one-term) period.
No member of the committee may serve concurrently on the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure and/or the Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities.
LEVELS OF REVIEW:
Faculty members from the former Commonwealth Educational System who retain tenure in a University Park college will have four levels of review. Other faculty members will have three levels of review. All levels of review shall be serial.
I - University Park Colleges, Single Campus Colleges, and the University College:
There will be three levels of review. The first-level faculty review for faculty in University Park Colleges and Single Campus Colleges shall be conducted by a committee of tenured faculty members in the candidate's department, division, or equivalent academic unit whenever possible. The first-level faculty review for faculty in the University College shall be conducted by a committee of tenured faculty members at the candidate's campus whenever possible. This committee shall include at least two tenured faculty members from the candidate's department, division, or discipline. If too few appropriate faculty members exist at a particular campus, faculty members in the candidate's discipline from other campuses shall serve, or, if necessary, faculty members from closely related disciplines shall serve. For faculty in University Park Colleges and Single Campus Colleges, the first-level administrative review shall be conducted by the candidate's department, division, or equivalent academic unit head. For faculty at University College campuses, the first-level administrative review shall be conducted by the candidate's campus chancellor. The second-level faculty review shall be conducted by tenured faculty in the candidate's college, and the corresponding administrative review by the dean of the candidate's college.
II - Former Commonwealth Educational System Faculty Retaining Tenure at a University Park College:
There will be four levels of review. The first-level faculty review shall be conducted by tenured faculty members at the candidate's campus. The first-level administrative review shall be conducted by the appropriate administrator at the candidate's campus. The second-level faculty review shall be conducted by tenured faculty members, including non-University Park faculty members, in the candidate's department or equivalent academic unit within the candidate's University Park college. The second-level administrative review shall be conducted by the candidate's corresponding academic unit head. The third-level faculty review shall be conducted by tenured faculty members in the candidate's college, including at least one non-University Park faculty member, and the corresponding administrative review by the dean of the candidate's college.
DEPARTMENT, CAMPUS OR PROGRAM REVIEW LEVEL:
The department committee will normally provide the first level of evaluation for tenure and promotion using criteria appropriate to the faculty member's responsibilities. The department head, after consultation, shall forward the committee's recommendation, together with the department head's own, to the appropriate dean. If either the department committee or department head (or both) has (have) a positive recommendation for tenure or promotion, the dean shall forward all such recommendations to the college or University Libraries review committee for further consideration. If both recommendations are negative and are upheld by the dean, the negative decision shall be final.
If the negative recommendations on tenure from both the department head and the department committee are upheld, the college or University Libraries dean shall notify the faculty member in writing (see Section IV.4); negative promotion decisions do not require such formal notification. In all cases where a candidate has professional responsibilities in more than one unit, the responsibility for the departmental level review will lie with the unit representing the candidate's home administrative area. Each unit shall provide evaluations to be included in the dossier. Specially constituted committees are not necessary to accomplish these reviews.
In evaluating a candidate for promotion or tenure, the department committee should seek the views of senior members of the candidate's academic unit. Furthermore, evaluations of teaching faculty for promotion and tenure shall be accompanied by documentation of student views. In many cases, evaluations by expert peers in other institutions may provide essential, helpful information.
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES REVIEW LEVEL:
The college or University Libraries review committee shall review departmental and/or campus recommendations for promotion and tenure in light of college and University Libraries criteria, as well as the quality of documentation, equity, and procedural fairness, and shall forward its recommendations to the dean. The recommendations of the college or University Libraries review committee, together with those from the department or comparable unit and campus, shall be forwarded to the dean of the college or University Libraries. If the dean recommends tenure and/or promotion, or if all reviews are positive prior to the dean's review, the dossier with accompanying documentation will be forwarded to the Office of the President for transmittal to the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. If the decision is not to award tenure, the dean shall notify the faculty member in writing (see Section IV.4). All candidates for tenure and/or promotion will be informed by the dean whether or not their dossiers have been forwarded to the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. If the dean intends to make a tenure or promotion decision or recommendation different from that of the college committee's recommendation, then the dean shall meet with the college committee for consultation. The intent is to require full and candid discussion when such divergent recommendations occur.
UNIVERSITY REVIEW LEVEL:
The University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee shall review those recommendations for promotion and tenure that have been received from the deans. The Committee shall consider peer review evaluations at the department, campus, college, and University Libraries levels, in light of University criteria, as well as the quality of documentation, equity, and procedural fairness. It shall forward its recommendations to the Executive Vice President and Provost.
On recommendation of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the President of the University may authorize the award of tenure or promotion in rank on behalf of the University, except that promotion to the rank of assistant professor may be made by the dean without review at the University level. Faculty members shall be notified in writing of tenure and positive promotion decisions by the President (see Section IV.13 C).
Each dean shall also forward through the Executive Vice President and Provost to the University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee a summary of the general processes followed, the number of recommendations reviewed, and a summary of instances of differences in judgment. The University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee may also request from a dean such other information about particular cases that is deemed necessary to perform its function.
IV. GENERAL PROVISIONS
TO WHOM TENURE PROVISIONS APPLY:
1. Provisions for holding academic tenure apply, subject to the exceptions specified in Section IV.2, to all faculty members of The Pennsylvania State University holding full-time, regular appointments to the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, librarian, associate librarian, and assistant librarian. Academic tenure applies only to the above ranks, and tenure shall be granted only in a college or in the University Libraries.
ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS NOT SUBJECT TO TENURE:
2. The tenure provisions defined herein do not apply to the following academic appointments:
These appointments are governed by the provisions of the appropriate University policies and by the terms specified in the Memorandum of Personal Service signed by each employee.
Letters of offer for all term faculty should clearly outline responsibilities and expectations. Unit heads should not renew any term contract without determining first whether those expectations have been met.
Non-tenure-line faculty may not be promoted to a tenure-line position, although such faculty may apply for such positions when openings occur and national searches to fill them are announced.
3. Provisions of this policy relating to academic promotions apply to all faculty members of The Pennsylvania State University, except for those academic appointments specified in Section IV.2A and
B. Definitions of the respective academic ranks are provided in AC21.
TENURE STATUS AND NOTIFICATION:
4. Each standing appointment of an eligible person to the full-time regular rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, librarian, associate librarian and assistant librarian shall be provisional, as defined in Section IV.5, until notification in writing of change of status is sent to the appointee by the appropriate academic officer of the University.
For a faculty member on a standing appointment who is serving on a provisional basis, such notification shall be made prior to the expiration of the sixth year, and shall indicate that the faculty member will have permanent tenure at the expiration of the sixth year or will be terminated at the expiration of the seventh year provisional period. When continuing faculty are awarded tenure, tenure status should be effective July 1 immediately following the decision. Those who are not awarded tenure in their sixth year will be given written notice that University employment will terminate at the end of their seventh year. In the extraordinary circumstance that a faculty member is, through inadvertence, not notified of their status prior to the end of the sixth year, such notice shall be given at the end of the seventh year, in accordance with the standards of notice specified in Section IV.8A (3).
Failure to notify the faculty member of their status prior to the end of the seventh year shall result in an automatic grant of tenure.
A faculty member who is awarded tenure shall thereafter be terminated only for adequate cause or under circumstances described in Section IV.10. The traditional privilege of academic freedom applies equally to all faculty members regardless of tenure status.
PROVISIONAL OR PRE-TENURE PERIOD:
5. The provisional appointment period in the University shall be seven years. However, up to and including the equivalent of three years of professional service at other accredited institutions of higher learning, or in an earlier appointment at The Pennsylvania State University, may be applied toward this seven year provisional period. (See also HRG17)
Credit toward tenure for previous service at another university should be granted only after careful consideration and should not exceed three years. More years of credit toward tenure may be granted in extraordinary cases.
A faculty member who is promoted to the rank of assistant professor or assistant librarian (or above) may, with their concurrence, and at the discretion of the appropriate administrative officer, be given up to four years maximum provisional status credit for time spent as an instructor or assistant librarian at this University.
With regard to promotion, decisions to promote should be based on performance and scholarly achievement in the light of the general criteria (see Section II) rather than by time in rank.
An initial appointment at the rank of associate professor or professor may be made with grant of tenure, with the approval of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the President of the University in accord with University guidelines that prescribe immediate tenure reviews.
Under exceptional circumstances, the provisional period of a faculty member may be less than seven years, subject to the concurrence of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the President. University guidelines are in place that describe procedures for nominating candidates for review for early tenure.
EQUIVALENCE OF RANK AND POSITIONS:
6. Librarian, Associate Librarian, and Assistant Librarian: appointments to these positions correspond to other faculty appointments concerning promotion and grant of tenure as follows - the rank of librarian corresponds to professor, associate librarian to associate professor, assistant librarian to the rank of assistant professor, and affiliate librarian to the rank of instructor.
Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, Assistant Research Professor, and Researcher: appointments to these positions correspond to faculty appointments concerning promotion as follows - the rank of research professor corresponds to professor, the rank of associate research professor corresponds to associate professor, the rank of assistant research professor corresponds to assistant professor, the rank of researcher corresponds to lecturer and instructor.
COMPUTING YEAR OF CREDIT TOWARD TENURE:
7. In order to facilitate the administration of tenure review procedures, the following apply:
There shall be a common tenure anniversary date of July 1 for all tenure eligible academic appointments. This tenure anniversary date will not necessarily coincide with the faculty member's date of initial appointment. A year of credit toward tenure is earned in any year in which a tenure-eligible faculty member has full-time active employment status for more than six months between July 1 and June 30. Since the purpose of the provisional period is to provide an opportunity for observing the faculty member, the time spent on leave of absence will not be considered as part of the provisional period.
Upon the written request of a faculty member, the Executive Vice President and Provost may grant a temporary staying of the tenure provisional period, if in their judgment, the academic performance of the provisional faculty member would be adversely affected by: the responsibility as primary care giver after the birth or adoption of a child, the placement of a foster child in the home, a serious personal illness, the provision of care for a seriously ill family member, or any similar situation.
Faculty are eligible to stop the tenure clock for one year for each occurrence during the period leading up to tenure, for a maximum total of two years. During this period the faculty member would not be evaluated according to the tenure guidelines, and the year would not be counted toward the provisional period.
When promotion and tenure committees are being charged, the statement below should be included as part of the charge. Also, the dean must include this statement in their letter when soliciting evaluations from external reviewers.
“The time period for achieving tenure and promotion to associate professor can vary, including one or more extensions of the tenure clock. A faculty member who stops the tenure clock must be evaluated according to the number of years on the tenure clock, not the number of years since being hired. The faculty member should not be held to a standard higher than the one he/she would have had to meet if the tenure decision had been made in the year it was originally scheduled.”
This staying of the tenure provisional period is not necessarily linked to a leave of absence with or without salary.
At the end of the stayed year the faculty member would continue on the tenure track.
NOTICE OF NON-REAPPOINTMENT AND TERMINATION:
8. Standards for notice of non-reappointment for tenure-eligible positions are as follows:
Faculty members who will not be continued in tenure-eligible positions shall be notified in writing. Notification must come no later than March 1 of the first academic year of tenure eligibility if termination is to occur by June 30 of that year. Thereafter, notification must come at least 12 months before June 30 of the following academic year.
B. Transmittal of Notice
In case of negative decisions at the University level, the Executive Vice President and Provost shall inform the appropriate dean or deans informally regarding the reasons for the negative judgment. These reasons shall, if requested by the faculty member, be conveyed to the faculty member informally by the appropriate dean or department chairman.
In cases of negative recommendations at the college level, the dean, department head, or campus executive officer shall convey the reasons to the faculty member informally, if requested to do so by the faculty member. The objective for both of these procedures is to assure that ultimately the faculty member may be informed in private by their dean and/or department head as to why tenure was denied and at what stage of the review process. Likewise, the relevant college, department, and campus review committees shall be informed in private, if they so request, by the appropriate administrator as to the reasons for tenure denial and the level of tenure denial.
STANDING JOINT COMMITTEE ON TENURE:
9. In the event that a tenured faculty member may be dismissed for adequate cause, or if a tenure-eligible faculty member is released during the provisional appointment period with less advance notice than that specified in Section IV.8 ("out of time" dismissal), the faculty member shall be afforded due process, as required by applicable law, and an opportunity for a hearing before the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure, prior to termination. Cases of substantive dispute involving the termination of a tenured appointment for reasons of financial exigency or program elimination or revision as specified in Section IV.10, also shall be considered at a hearing by the Committee. The operating procedures for all cases considered by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure are set forth in AC-70.
The Standing Joint Committee on Tenure will act in an advisory capacity to the President, who shall be the final decision-maker in all cases considered by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure.
FINANCIAL EXIGENCY AND PROGRAM ELIMINATION OR REVISION:
10. A tenured or tenure eligible appointment may be terminated for demonstrated financial exigency and the affected faculty member may seek review of this termination by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure under the "Committee Procedural Rules" described in AC-70. Termination of a continuous appointment because of financial exigency should be demonstrably bona fide. If a tenured appointment is terminated because of financial exigency, the released faculty member's place shall not be filled by a new appointee within a period of three years from the date of actual termination unless the released faculty member first has been offered and has not accepted the reappointment.
A tenured or tenure eligible appointment may also be terminated on the basis of program elimination or revision. Elimination on this ground may be effected only in the most extreme cases where the University demonstrates that for compelling reasons and after due academic consideration, including consultation with an appropriate Faculty Senate body, elimination or substantial revision of the program in which the faculty member's normal range of duties falls is necessary. Careful advance program and academic personnel planning, with phased adjustments over time, should operate to limit the necessity of terminating a tenured appointment. In the case of program elimination or substantial revision affecting a tenured faculty member's appointment, a good faith effort shall be made to continue the faculty member concerned in a comparable capacity with the University in any of its campuses based upon the individual's competencies and the capabilities of the University.
A tenured faculty member terminated for reasons of program elimination or revision shall receive one year's notification prior to the date of the impending termination and may seek review of this termination by the Standing Joint Committee on Tenure under the "Committee Procedural Rules" described in AC-70. If a tenured appointment is terminated because of elimination or substantial revision, the released faculty member's position shall not be filled by a new appointee within a period of three years from the date of actual termination unless the released faculty member first has been offered and has not accepted reappointment.
11. A tenured faculty member may be dismissed for adequate cause (see Section IV.9). Similarly, when adequate cause exists, a tenure-eligible faculty member may be terminated without adherence to the standards of notice specified in Section IV.8. Adequate cause shall mean lack of competence or failure to perform in relation to the functions required by the appointment, excessive absenteeism, moral turpitude, or grave misconduct. Dismissal will not be used to restrain or otherwise affect faculty members in the exercise of their individual or collective academic freedom or in contravention of other legal rights. Standards of notice as specified in Section IV.8 are not required in cases of dismissal for adequate cause.
12. Administrative personnel who hold academic rank may qualify for academic promotion and tenure by virtue of their academic merit and promise, according to the criteria of the University and the appropriate academic unit. Tenure applies only to the faculty appointment and not to the administrative position. Appointment to affiliate academic ranks outside of the tenure system may also be appropriate (see Section IV.2).
GENERAL POLICY AND PROCEDURES:
13. A. The precise terms and conditions of every appointment shall be stated in the contract and be in the possession of both the University officer making the appointment and the faculty member being appointed before the appointment is consummated. Prior to appointment, all faculty members should be informed by the appropriate officer of the University's policies and the procedures concerning promotion and tenure and, at least annually, as to the faculty member's responsibility to teaching, research and/or scholarly activity.
B. All tenured or tenure-eligible appointments are made in an academic college or the University Libraries. With the mutual consent of the individual and the appropriate academic officer, and subject to the concurrence of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the provisions of Section IV.10, tenured faculty members may retain their tenure upon transfer among academic units of the University. In addition, tenured appointments may be held at two or more of the academic units if the tenure conditions and procedures applicable to each are fulfilled.
C. Promotions to the rank of assistant professor, or the equivalent, are made by the appropriate dean of the college or University Libraries. The award of tenure and promotions to the ranks of associate professor and professor, or the equivalents, are authorized by the President of the University. Faculty members shall be notified in writing by the appropriate dean in cases of promotion to assistant professor or the equivalent, and by the President of the University in cases awarding tenure and of promotion to associate professor or professor.
D. At the time of appointment of a faculty member to a tenured position in the University, the appointment must be covered in the total General Fund Budget of the college or campus in which the appointment is held. In the case of an appointment to a tenure-eligible position, the appointment must be capable of being covered in the existing total General Fund Budget of the college or campus in which the appointment is held by the time the appointed faculty member is to receive tenure. Exceptions to this provision may be made by the Executive Vice President and Provost when it has been adequately demonstrated that other funding sources exist which indicate full continuing coverage of costs associated with tenure.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF POLICY:
14. The effective date of this policy shall be July 1, 2005. This policy shall apply in its entirety to all full-time regular academic personnel.
POLICY REVIEW AND AMENDMENT:
15. The provisions of this policy shall be reviewed periodically by the University administration and the University Faculty Senate.
AC-70 Dismissal of Tenured or Tenure-Eligible Faculty Members
December 14, 2021: Removed section pertaining to Interdisciplinary and Defense-Related Research Units.
April 30, 2021: Changed "Fixed-Term Multi-Year, Fixed-Term1, Fixed-Term II, or Visiting" to "non-tenure line." Made editorial changes to include gender-inclusive language.
February 4, 2021: Changed link under Cross References
September 19, 2019: Changed Vice President for Research to Senior Vice President for Research
September 6, 2018: Computing Year of Credit Toward Tenure, Section 7A - modified anniversary date to "more than six months."
May 17, 2017: Change to Composition of Review Committees section title to Composition of Unit Review Committees and clarify language added regarding eligibility to vote.
July 1, 2016: Computing Year of Credit Toward Tenure, Section B. Staying of the Provisional Tenure Period revised to include maximum of two years of stay, placement of a foster child in the home, and language for inclusion in promotion and tenure committee charge as well as deans’ letters to solicit evaluations from external reviewers.
January 1, 2010: The title Senior Vice President for Research was changed to Vice President for Research.
July 1, 2002: Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations - Revised (Incorporated the UniSCOPE Model in the "Expectations and Standards of Each Unit" and "General Criteria" sections.)
Date Approved:December 14, 2021>
Date Published:December 14, 2021>