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E05.0 Policies on Tenure

  1. Preamble
  2. Conditions of Tenure Appointment

    1. Appointment

      1. Contract

      2. Statement of Expectations

      3. Records Storage

    2. Tenure Location

      1. College

      2. Joint Appointments

    3. Probationary Period

      1. Length of the Probationary Period

      2. Reducing the Probationary Period

        1. Equivalency Credit

          1. Teaching

          2. Scholarship

          3. Evaluation of Equivalency Request

        2. Reduction in Equivalency Credit

      3. Hiring with Tenure

      4. Extension of Probationary Period

        1. Children

        2. Leave of Absence

        3. Research Faculty

        4. Extraordinary Circumstances

        5. Waiving Extension

        6. Documentation

        7. Expectations for Achievement towards Tenure

      5. Advanced Notice of Non-reappointment During the Probationary Period

    4. Criteria for granting tenure

      1. Criteria

        1. University Criteria

          1. Teaching

          2. Scholarship

          3. Service

          4. Balance

        2. College Expectations

      2. Statement of Expectations and Plan of Work

  3. The Tenure Process

    1. Documentation

      1. Content

      2. File Location

      3. Confidentiality

      4. Final Disposition of Documents

    2. Annual and Comprehensive Reviews

      1. Annual Review

      2. Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review

        1. Timing

        2. Documentation

        3. Department Head

        4. Input from Department Tenured Faculty

        5. Committee

        6. Schedule

        7. Evaluation

        8. Access to Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review Documents

    3. Tenure Review and Recommendations

      1. Department

      2. College Tenure Committee

        1. Membership

        2. Input from Department Tenured Faculty

        3. External Review Letters

        4. Evaluation

        5. Access to Tenure Review Documents

        6. Joint Appointment

      3. Dean

        1. Committee Membership Announcement

        2. Organizational Meeting

        3. Recommendation

      4. Provost

        1. Review

        2. University Tenure Review Committee

        3. Recommendation

      5. President

    4. Granting or Denial of Tenure

  4. Expedited Tenure Review

    1. Purpose

    2. Review Process

  5. Addendum for Implementation of Tenure Policy

1.  Preamble

Tenure is a fundamental pillar that supports and protects RIT faculty members' freedom of inquiry and expression in teaching and scholarship, conferring the right of self-direction for faculty members without concern for the stability of their position.

The RIT tenure policy is designed to encourage and reward excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service and to promote the atmosphere of critical inquiry and creative expression that is vital to the academic and cultural life of the university. Tenure is earned by demonstrated achievements and ongoing pursuit of advancements in teaching, scholarship, and service, guided by concern for students' and colleagues' personal worth and advancement. The most important factor in the tenure decision process is the evaluation of the candidate by his/her colleagues, made in light of the candidate's individual Statement of Expectations. Colleagues' judgment of such achievements is primary, informed by an individual's Statement of Expectations. 

The pursuit of excellence continues beyond the tenure decision. Tenured faculty, department heads, and other administrators share responsibility to ensure that all faculty continue to grow and develop professionally.

Tenure decisions shall be based upon documentation that meet the criteria outlined in the following policy.

2. Conditions of Tenure Appointments

  1. Appointment

    1. Contract

      Appointment to the RIT faculty shall only be consummated through a written contract approved by the provost. The contract shall clearly state whether the candidate is or is not to be offered a tenure-track appointment, and in the case of tenure-track appointments, in which college tenure would reside. In the case of a joint appointment the contract shall also clearly state in which college the secondary appointment would reside.

    2. Statement of Expectations

      If an appointment is to a tenure-track position, an initial written Statement of Expectations describing specific criteria for being awarded tenure shall be provided to the faculty member with the written contract provided at the time of hire. This Statement of Expectations shall inform the candidate of published tenure criteria, as well as any additional expectations specific to the candidate. The Statement of Expectations is based on an agreement made between the candidate and the dean of the college, with the recommendation from the head of the department into which the candidate is being hired, and with the approval of the provost and the president of the university. The signed Statement of Expectations document ensures that each party understands tenure expectations and clearly states how policy allows these expectations for tenure to evolve before a candidate's mid-tenure review.

      The Statement of Expectations may be updated to modify the candidate-specific expectations with the mutual consent of the candidate, the department head, and the dean. Before the Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review, the candidate, department head, or dean may initiate a modification. After the Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review, only the candidate may initiate a modification. In either case, a signed copy of the updated Statement of Expectations with the modified candidate-specific expectations, agreed to by all parties, shall be provided to the candidate. The initial Statement of Expectations, and any updates to that Statement, provides a frame of reference for those evaluating each faculty member throughout the tenure review process.

      All Statements of Expectations shall be governed by university criteria and individual college expectations for meeting the criteria.

    3. Records Storage

      The initial Statement of Expectations, along with all subsequent updated Statements of Expectations, shall be kept on file in the office of the dean of the respective college and in accordance with C22.0 Records Management Policy.

  2. Tenure Location

    1. A faculty member shall be granted tenure in one of the colleges of the university or in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. Throughout this policy, the word 'college' will include the Golisano Institute for Sustainability.

    2. In the case of a tenured faculty member changing from a single to a joint appointment or of a tenured faculty member who moves from one college to another, the location(s) and status of the faculty member's tenure shall be established by following the provisions of E.21 Policy on Assignment and Transfer of Tenure-Track Faculty.

  3. Probationary Period

    1. Length of the Probationary Period

      The probationary period before granting of tenure is normally six contract years for a faculty member who has had no teaching experience before appointment to the university faculty. For candidates with no reduction of the probationary period, the tenure consideration and evaluation shall be made in the sixth year. If tenure is granted, it is effective at the start of the following contract year.

    2. Reducing the Probationary Period

      1. ​Equivalency Credit

        1. For each year of equivalent teaching experience, the probationary period may be reduced by one year. Equivalent teaching experience normally shall be full-time teaching at the rank of Instructor or above in a regionally accredited institution of higher learning, or full-time teaching in a non-tenure-track position at RIT.

        2. A reduction in the probationary period may also be given for scholarship in the subject-matter field in which the candidate is expected to teach and conduct scholarship.

        3. The equivalency of previous teaching and/or scholarship shall be evaluated by the department head and dean, and approved by the provost.

        4. The probationary period may be reduced by a maximum of two years, except by action of the provost in special circumstances, or in accordance with the Expedited Tenure Process section of this Policy.

      2. Reduction in Equivalency Credit

        Faculty members with equivalency credit may reduce their initial equivalency credit by one year by written notice to the dean. Such notice must be made before the first day of the spring term before their scheduled tenure review. Further reductions in equivalency credit may only be granted with the written agreement of the dean. The dean shall notify Human Resources and the Office of the Provost of any reduction in equivalency credit.

    3. Hiring with Tenure

      A faculty member may only be hired with tenure under the provisions of Section 4 of this policy, "Expedited Tenure Process.

    4. Extension of Probationary Period

      1. A pre-tenured faculty member who becomes a parent by birth or adoption before the tenure documentation is due is automatically granted a one-year extension to the tenure probationary period upon providing written notice of each birth or adoption to the department head, dean, and provost within six months of the birth or adoption and before the tenure documentation is due. The automatic extensions may be waived if the faculty member so desires and so indicates in writing to the dean before the first day of the spring term preceding the requested tenure consideration date.

      2. An extension of the tenure probationary period shall be provided to tenure-track faculty who apply for and are granted an approved leave of absence as defined in E.17.0E.33.0, or E34.0. The extension of the probationary period shall be for a minimum of one year.

      3. Pre-tenured faculty who wish to focus on research activities and who secure external funding to support those activities (including full salary and benefits) may request temporary assignment to a non-tenure track research faculty position for one year (See E6.0). Tenure-track faculty who are accepted to research faculty positions will be given a leave of absence from their tenure-eligible faculty positions for a maximum of one year. They may also request a one-year tenure-clock extension during that period. Any scholarship completed in this period shall be considered towards tenure and promotion should the faculty member return to their tenure-track position.

      4. In extraordinary cases, tenure-track faculty may request an extension of the probationary period for extenuating circumstances. A confidential written request, detailing the reasons for the extension, shall be submitted to the department head. The department head forwards the request, along with his/her written recommendation to the dean. The dean forwards the request, the department head's recommendation, and his/her written recommendation to the provost. The provost shall review the request and recommendations and make a determination. The faculty member, department head, and dean will be notified in writing of the extension decision and in the case of a positive decision, the projected tenure review date.

      5. A previously granted extension shall be reversed upon the candidate's request. Such a request must be made in writing to his/her dean before the first day of the spring term preceding the requested tenure consideration date. Once such a reversal is requested in writing, the extension is automatically reversed.

      6. Documentation associated with extensions of the probationary period for a pre-tenured faculty member as described within this section shall be maintained in the dean's office of that faculty member's college and access to it shall be governed by the university's policy on "Access to Official Professional Staff Files" (E31.0).

      7. Extensions to the probationary period for a pre-tenured faculty member as described within this section shall not increase the individual faculty member's expectations for achievement towards tenure.

    5. Advanced Notice of Non-reappointment During the Probationary Period

      Except in situations of financial exigency (E22.0) or program discontinuance (E20.0), written notice of non-reappointment to the tenure-track or of intention not to recommend reappointment to the tenure-track shall be given to the affected faculty member by the dean as follows:

      1. In the first year of a tenure-track appointment, notice of non-reappointment must be given:

        1. Before the start of classes in the spring semester.  In this case, the faculty member's contract ends at the end of the current contract period.

        2. If notice is not given by the start of classes for spring semester, notice of non-reappointment must be given before June 30. In this case, the faculty member will be offered a contract for the following fall semester only.

      2. In the second year of a tenure-track appointment, notice of non-reappointment must be given before the start of classes in spring semester.  The faculty member’s contract ends at the end of the current contract period.

      3. After two or more years of tenure-track service, notice of intent not to reappoint to the tenure-track must be given by 30 June of the current contract year; in which case the tenure-track faculty member will be offered a terminal contract for one additional academic year.

  4. Criteria for Granting Tenure

    The view that teaching is the foremost activity of the RIT faculty is deeply rooted in the university's traditions. While teaching will continue to be a hallmark of RIT, scholarship is of significant importance, and service is also central to the academic endeavor.

    1. Criteria

      1. University Criteria

        1. Teaching

          Teaching, see E4.0: An effective teacher, among other things, communicates special knowledge and expertise with sensitivity towards students' needs and abilities. This entails selection and use of appropriate instructional methods and materials and providing fair, useful and timely evaluation of the quality of the learner's work.

          Evaluation of teaching must include a conscientious effort to obtain and consider information that relates directly to teaching and learning and makes effective classroom performance possible. This includes the review of student and peer evaluations.

        2. Scholarship

          Scholarship, (see E4.0): Documented, peer-reviewed, and disseminated disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship of discovery, teaching/pedagogy, integration, and/or application form a foundational component of a faculty member's career activities.

        3. Service

          Service, (see E4.0): While teaching and scholarship are the fundamental tenure-track faculty responsibilities, service performed by faculty members is also an indispensable part of the university's daily life. Tenure-track faculty at all ranks are expected to engage in service, though the type and amount of service will vary over a faculty member's career.

        4. Balance

          No faculty member has to be deeply engaged in all of the foregoing activities at any one time. Rather, specific forms of endeavor should be planned and agreed upon to the end that full opportunity is provided for individual and professional development and enhancement.

      2. College Expectations

        Each college shall develop and publish its own specific tenure expectations, as well as acceptable forms of documentation based on the general criteria of this policy. Expectations shall be approved by the tenure-track faculty of the individual colleges and then be approved by the Academic Senate. College expectations for tenure and for acceptable forms of documentation shall be no less specific than, and must be consistent with, this policy. The expectations used for granting tenure, including specific qualities sought and achievements shall be defined in each college's published tenure policies. Faculty within each administrative unit may define specific standards or qualities related to scholarship that are consistent with college policy.  All college tenure policies shall be reviewed by the university president and made available through the provost's office.

    2. Statement of Expectations and Plan of Work

      The initial Statement of Expectations provides the framework, or general parameters, for the faculty member's agreement for hire and initial appointment. Updated Statements of Expectations may modify the candidate-specific expectations, and changes to university and college tenure policy that take effect before a candidate's Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review may affect the policy and criteria used in evaluating that candidate. Changes to university and college tenure policy that take effect after a candidate's Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review will not be used in the candidate's tenure evaluation process. The annual Plan of Work (E7.0) includes specific annual goals toward meeting the Statement of Expectations. In the Statement of Expectations, the dean, department head and the tenure-track faculty member might choose to weight items for subsequent annual Plans of Work. Each year, tenure-track faculty should reflect on the past year's teaching, scholarship and service. In a written assessment, they should show how those activities met goals in the previous Plan of Work.

  5. The Tenure Process

    The administration of the tenure granting process shall be consistent with university policy and under the direction of the provost.

    1. Documentation

      1. Content

        All tenure recommendations shall be supported by available documentation. At a minimum, this shall include:

        Additional information and guidance may be provided by the Office of the Provost. The candidate's complete tenure review file will be assembled by his/her dean's office.

        All documents provided by the candidate will be available to all internal reviewers until the tenure decision is made. Review committees and recommending administrators shall use this documentation at the appropriate and necessary points in the tenure process.

        • all agreements relating to the faculty member's conditions of employment (provided by dean's office);

        • the current and if applicable previous version(s) of the Statement of Expectations and requirements with respect to tenure (provided by dean's office);

        • annual reviews on record (provided by dean's office);

        • appropriate and reliable documentation related to the faculty member's teaching performance, academic and professional qualifications, scholarship, and service (provided by candidate);

        • materials submitted by the candidate for mid-tenure review (provided by candidate);

        • other material as specified in college tenure policies.

          Additional information and guidance may be provided by the Office of the Provost.  The candidate's complete tenure review file will be assembled by his/her dean's office.

          All documents provided by the candidate will be available to all internal reviewers until the tenure decision is made.  Review committees and recommending adminstrators shall use this documentation at the appropriate and necessary points in the tenure process.

      2. File Location

        The documentation, as defined above, for each faculty member with a tenure-track appointment shall be maintained by the dean's office of that faculty member's college and access to it shall be governed by the university's policy on "Access to Official Professional Staff Files" (E31.0).

      3. Confidentiality

        In order to assure that recommendations are completely candid and accurate, all letters and recommendations for or against the awarding of tenure shall remain confidential and shall be made accessible only as specified in Tables 1 and 2. For access to Comprehensive Mid-tenure review documentation see Sec. 3.b.(2)(i) and for tenure review documentation see Sec. 3.c.(2)(e).

      4. Final Disposition of Documents

        At the candidate's request, the provost shall summarize the content of all letters of review or assessment with the candidate while maintaining the confidentiality of all internal and external evaluators. At the conclusion of the Mid-Tenure Comprehensive Review and the tenure review processes, all documentation shall be kept on file in the Office of the Dean of the respective college and in accordance with C22.0, Records Management Policy.

    2. Annual and Comprehensive Mid-tenure Reviews

      1. Annual Review

        The content and process for annual reviews are given in E7.0. Although tenure-review committees are not bound by any tenure implication contained in annual reviews, such reviews made during a candidate's probationary period are an important measure of a candidate's progress toward tenure and must be considered along with all other evidence. If the college has special areas of competence to be emphasized or if there is any change in the original Statement of Expectations with respect to tenure, candidates must be clearly informed of this and they must be consistent with Section 2.a.2 of this policy.

        During the tenure probationary period, the annual reviews will conclude with a statement indicating whether current performance would normally lead to a recommendation for tenure. Colleges that have their own annual tenure review process that leads to a separate annual tenure review letter for tenure-track faculty may use that letter in lieu of a statement in the annual review referenced in E7.0.

      2. Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review

        ​The purpose of the comprehensive mid-tenure review is to provide preliminary feedback to the candidate midway through his or her probationary period on the degree to which the candidate is making satisfactory progress towards tenure. The review shall cover all performance in all the areas required for tenure. It will provide advice and counsel regarding achievement of tenure. [These provisions apply only to those who enter the tenure track in fall 2009 and beyond.].

        1. Timing: As part of the tenure process, tenure-track faculty members will undergo a comprehensive review process during the third year of their six-year probationary period. Tenure-track faculty who were granted credit towards tenure will undergo the comprehensive review process during the second year of their probationary period.

        2. Documentation: Candidates will provide documentation as specified in the college's tenure guidelines.  External letters shall not be a component of the required documentation for mid-tenure comprehensive review.

        3. Department Head: The department head shall provide a written assessment of the candidate's appropriate progress towards tenure from the perspective of colleague, supervisor, and administrator based upon the candidate's documentation. The department head's written assessment of whether the candidate is making satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress toward tenure shall be forwarded with the candidate's documentation to the college tenure committee.

        4. Input from Department Tenured Faculty: The committee shall seek letters from tenured department members that contain comments that can be substantiated regarding whether or not the candidate is making satisfactory progress towards tenure. Input from each tenured faculty member within the department shall be sought. If letters are not received from all tenured faculty members, the tenure committee should make an additional attempt to obtain input from all tenured faculty.

        5. Committee: The review will be conducted by the college tenure committee or by another equivalent committee established by the college. The exact model for an equivalent committee must be developed and approved by the college faculty and dean.

        6. Schedule: Each college will establish its own dates and process for receiving documentation from candidates and for communicating with them. The schedule shall ensure that input is received by the provost no later than April 1. Upon initial communication with the candidate regarding collection of documentation, the Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review begins.

        7. Evaluation: In its review of the faculty documentation, the committee shall prepare a letter that discusses its analysis of the candidate's strengths and weaknesses, stating whether current performance would normally lead to a recommendation for tenure under current guidelines and offering guidance for continued improvement. The committee's letter shall include a summary of the departmental faculty letters. The committee letter should contain no information that could reveal the identity of an individual departmental faculty member because the letter will be made accessible to the candidate at the end of the mid-tenure review process. If the faculty member had received a tenure probationary period extension, the reasons behind this extension will not be disclosed within the committee's letter. The committee shall forward its letter of review and all documentation to the dean.

          After review of the candidate's complete file, the dean will forward the committee's letter, the candidate's documentation, the department head's letter and a separate dean's recommendation letter to the provost.  

          After review of the candidate's complete file, the provost's comments on the candidate's progress toward tenure will be sent in letter form to the dean.  The dean and the candidate's department head will discuss the Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review with the candidate.  

          Like annual reviews, a Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review is a measure of a candidate's progress toward tenure and an opportunity to provide guidance for continued growth.   It cannot, however, predict the eventual tenure decision, whether positive or negative.

        8. Access to Comprehensive Mid-Tenure Review Documents: The letters of review or assessment from the department head, dean, committee, and provost shall be made accessible to the candidate by the dean at the end of the mid-tenure review process. However, all other letters, including those from individual department members shall remain confidential and will not be made accessible to the candidate. The purpose of the Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review process is to provide advice and council regarding the achievement of tenure. To maximize the value of that advice and council, at the conclusion of the process, the candidate's department head shall receive the department faculty letters. The letters of review or assessment from the department head, dean, committee, and provost from the Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review shall be included in the tenure documentation at the end of the probationary period when the candidate is considered for tenure. See Table 1 of this policy for a table describing access to documentation.

          1. Table 1: Access to Documentation for Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review

             

            Access of each party:

            Documentation

            Candidate

            Department Tenured Faculty

            Department Head

            Tenure Committee 
            (or equivalent)

            Dean

            Provost

            Candidate's Portfolio

            -

            Yes

            Yes

            Yes

            Yes

            Yes

            Department Faculty Letters

            Summary provided by Tenure Committee (or equivalent)

            No

            Yes (at conclusion of review process)

            Yes

            Yes

            Yes

            Department Head Recommendation

            Yes

            No

            -

            Yes

            Yes

            Yes

            Tenure Committee (or equivalent) Recommendation

            Yes

            No

            Yes

            -

            Yes

            Yes

            Dean Recommendation

            Yes

            No

            Yes

            No

            -

            Yes

            Provost Evaluation

            Yes

            No

            Yes

            No

            Yes

            -

    3. Tenure Review and Recommendations

      When an Assistant Professor is being evaluated for tenure, s/he must be simultaneously evaluated for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. Each college will establish a procedure to ensure that it recommends to the provost either approval or denial of both tenure and promotion. In addition, each college will establish a schedule consistent with university policy to receive and process materials that support the review for tenure and simultaneous promotion (when appropriate) of the tenure-track faculty within the academic unit. This schedule shall ensure that the College Tenure Committee's recommendation is forwarded to the college dean no later than 15 January and the dean's letter is forward to the provost no later than 8 February.

      1. Department

        The candidate's department head assesses the candidate's performance throughout the probationary period as part of the annual review process. The department head shall provide a written assessment of the candidate's progress towards tenure from the perspective of colleague, supervisor, and administrator based upon the candidate's documentation. The department head's letter shall include a clear vote (yes or no) in regards to tenure attainment of the candidate followed by an explanation of the vote. The department head's written assessment of the candidate's progress toward tenure shall be forwarded to the college tenure committee according to the college schedule that ensures the committee can complete their review and letter to the college dean no later than 15 January.

      2. College Tenure Committee

        The committee shall evaluate the dossier, weighing the strengths and weaknesses of the tenure candidate in fulfilling their personal Statement of Expectations and with respect to university tenure criteria, expectations of the candidate's college expressed in college tenure policy, and administrative-unit specific standards or qualities, where applicable.

        1. Membership: When there are candidates for tenure in a college, a committee shall be assembled - six tenured members from the candidate's college and another appointed by the Academic Senate from a list of nominees elected by the tenured and tenure-track faculty of each college. Department heads may serve on tenure committees except in cases where the faculty candidate's appointment resides within the same department as the department head. Each college shall determine its procedure for electing the members, ensuring that there is at least one continuing member to provide for continuity over time. The Academic Senate shall determine its procedure for appointing the outside member specified above. The committee shall hold its initial meeting according to college policy. It is recommended that the initial meeting be held by the end of the spring semester prior to the academic year in which the tenure evaluation is to occur, but no later than 15 September of the evaluation year. The committee shall select its chair from its membership.

          Elections for each tenure committee shall be conducted before 1 March of the prior academic year. The college tenure policy shall ensure that the composition of the college tenure committee has broad representation and avoids undue weighting of a single unit.

          In the case of a college with fewer than eighteen (18) tenured faculty eligible to serve on a tenure committee and with fewer than six departments or academic units, a special tenure committee shall be formed. The special committee shall be comprised of four tenured members of the faculty of the college, two tenured faculty with at least two years' experience on tenure committees from other colleges appointed by the Academic Senate from a list of nominees elected by the tenured and tenure-track faculty of each college, and another faculty member appointed by the Academic Senate from a list of nominees elected by the tenured and tenure-track faculty of each college. Colleges with fewer than eighteen (18) tenured faculty shall not provide representatives to other small college special committees, but those colleges may choose to nominate tenured faculty to serve as external members on other college tenure committees if desired.

        2. Input from Tenured Department Faculty: It is the responsibility of the tenured faculty to participate in the tenure process at RIT. The tenure committee, therefore, shall solicit a confidential letter from each tenured faculty member within the candidate's department. The letter should include a clear recommendation for or against tenure accompanied by a supporting explanation. If letters are not received from all tenured faculty members within the department, the tenure committee shall attempt to obtain input from those faculty who did not respond.

        3. External Review Letters: The committeeshall obtain a list of five names of external reviewers from the candidate.  After consultation with the candidate's department head, the committee shall seek to obtain a minimum of four letters from external reviewers in the candidate's field of scholarship.

          The committee shall seek letters two letters from the list of reviewers suggested by the candidate and at least two letters from reviewers not on the candidate's list. A maximum of one reviewer may be a co-author and all other external reviewers shall not have personal ties or conflicts of interest (C4.0) with the candidate. In all cases, the reviewers should have fields of study within the candidate's expertise. Letters from thesis advisors are not to be used in the official list of external letters; they may, however, be included in the dossier as further evidence of the candidate's work.

          Each reviewer will be requested to evaluate the candidate's scholarship according to university tenure criteria and college tenure expectations. If fewer than four letters are received, the committee chair should make an additional attempt to obtain four letters, making a reasonable effort to ensure two letters are from the candidate's list of potential reviewers. The external review letters will be received by the dean's office of the candidate.

        4. Evaluation: Recommendation for approval for tenure by the college tenure committee shall require a minimum 2/3 majority in favor as determined by secret vote. All members of the committee must vote; there shall be no abstentions or avoidances of voting by absence. Recommendation for approval or non-approval of tenure, a written statement of reasons for approval or non-approval, and the vote shall be forwarded by the chair of the tenure committee to the dean of the college by 15 January. If the candidate for tenure had received an extension to his/her tenure probationary period, the reasons behind this extension will not be disclosed within the committee's letter.

        5. Access to Tenure Review Documents: All letters of review or assessment shall remain confidential and will not be made accessible to the candidate. See Table 2 of this policy for a table describing access to documentation.

          Table 2: Access to Documentation for Tenure Review

           

          Access of each party:

          Documentation

          Candidate

          Department Tenured Faculty

          Department Head

          Tenure Committee

          Dean

          Provost

          Candidate's Portfolio

          -

          Yes

          Yes

          Yes

          Yes

          Yes

          Department Faculty Letters

          No

          No

          No

          Yes

          Yes

          Yes

          Department Head Recommendation

          No

          No

          -

          Yes

          Yes

          Yes

          Tenure Committee (or equivalent) Recommendation

          No

          No

          No

          -

          Yes

          Yes

          External Review Letters

          No

          Yes

          Yes

          Yes

          Yes

          Yes

          Dean Recommendation

          No

          No

          No

          No

          -

          Yes

          Provost Evaluation

          Yes

          No

          Yes

          No

          Yes

          -

        6. Joint Appointments: In the case of a joint academic appointment that crosses two colleges, a joint tenure review committee shall be formed and hold its initial meeting according to college schedule of the candidate's primary appointment. The joint committee shall be comprised of four tenured members of the faculty of the college in which the candidate's primary appointment resides (and in which tenure will reside, if granted), two members from the college in which the candidate's secondary appointment resides, and another appointed by the Academic Senate from a list of nominees elected by the tenured and tenure-track faculty of each college. The committee shall review the candidate based on university tenure criteria and college tenure expectations of the primary college, the candidate's documentation, and the letters of review or assessment from the department head, dean, committee, and provost from the Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review.

      3. Dean of the College

        1. Shortly after the membership of the college tenure committee is determined by the above process, the dean shall announce to the college the names of the committee members. (The records of the election process shall be kept on file in the dean's office until 15 November and be placed at the disposal of those who wish to examine the process.)

        2. The dean will also call the committee to its initial organizational meeting. This meeting shall be called according to college schedule of the candidate's primary appointment, but no later than 15 September of the academic year in which the tenure evaluation is to occur, and preferably by the end of the spring semester prior. During that meeting, the dean shall:

          • Announce to the committee the names of the candidates for tenure.

          • Provide the documentation, the written recommendation of the department head and the letters of review or assessment from the department head, dean, committee, and provost from the Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review.

          • Instruct the committee to elect a chair from the faculty elected in 3.c.2 above. The dean shall depart before the election of the chair.

        3. The dean of the college shall prepare a tenure recommendation, separate from that of the college tenure committee recommendation. The dean shall write a recommendation, based upon university and college tenure policy, an assessment of the candidate documentation, the tenure committee's analysis and the opinions of the external evaluators consulted during the external review. That document shall be forwarded with the committee's letter, the department head's letter, and the candidate's documentation to the provost by 8 February.

      4. The Provost

        1. The provost shall review the candidate's documentation, the recommendations of the college tenure committee, department head, and dean and form a tenure recommendation. The provost may call upon the candidate, the department head, the college tenure committee, and/or the dean for clarification or additional information and may meet with any of them to reconcile opposing views.

        2. University Tenure Review Committee: If a college tenure committee and dean are in dispute over a candidate's viability, and/or the provost disagrees with the conclusion reached by the dean as representative of the college regarding the candidate's viability, the provost may convene a meeting of the chairs of all the college tenure committees. That group shall review all the available documentation and advise the provost toward a final decision, guided by the specific tenure expectations outlined by the candidate's college. The group shall relate its findings in writing to the provost.

        3. When satisfied on all points, the provost shall make an official recommendation to the president that includes all prior recommendations received.

      5. The President

        The president shall make the final decision to grant or deny tenure.

    4. Granting or Denial of Tenure

      The granting or denial of tenure shall be in the form of a written communication from the provost to the candidate no later than 15 April. In the case of denial, the letter shall set forth the specific reasons, the college tenure committee vote, the university tenure review committee vote, if it was involved, and the recommendations from the department head and dean.

      If granted, tenure becomes effective on the first day of the following contract year; if tenure is denied, the candidate shall have the option of a one-year contract for the following academic year.

      If a candidate wishes to appeal a tenure denial, the Institute Faculty Grievance Procedures are available to the extent provided in E24.0. Such appeal shall be limited to the question of whether the policies and procedures set forth in this tenure policy have been followed in the candidate's case.

4. Expedited Tenure Review

  1. Purpose

    An expedited tenure review may be requested in the infrequent case where the university, as part of a faculty search process, wishes to hire a faculty member with tenure (see E4.0.1 and E8.0).

  2. Review Process

    The request for an expedited tenure review shall be initiated by the person who would become the candidate's immediate administrative supervisor, and the request for review must be approved by either the provost or the president. Upon approval, the provost or the president will ask the dean of the college in which the tenure will reside to have the college's tenure committee evaluate the candidate for tenure in an accelerated time frame.

    During the evaluation process, input from committee members can occur electronically however, if one or more members of the college's tenure committee are not available during this accelerated time frame, each such member shall be substituted by an alternate elected by the faculty of the college. If one or more members of the college's tenure committee are at a faculty rank lower than that sought for the incoming candidate, each such member shall be substituted by an alternate from the college's promotion committee or elected by the faculty of the college. Each college shall ensure that a full tenure committee can be assembled as needed for the purpose of this expedited tenure review and that the committee will be available to complete the expedited review process. If the tenure committee's external member is not available during the accelerated time frame the Academic Senate shall appoint a substitute.

    This expedited process is normally considered in the case where the candidate currently holds tenure at an accredited institution of higher education. In these instances, the dean will provide the tenure committee with all the application materials collected by the search committee, including at a minimum the candidate's CV, list of scholarly work, reference letters, and teaching evaluations. The tenured faculty with equivalent or higher rank (of that sought for the faculty candidate) from the academic unit where this candidate would reside will be notified by the committee that the candidate's file is available for their review. Within seven (7) business days of the notification, each invited faculty member may submit a written recommendation (paper or electronic) to the committee. The letter should include a clear recommendation for or against expedited tenure at hire accompanied by a supporting explanation.

    Within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the complete application materials from the dean, the tenure committee shall evaluate the candidate and provide the dean with a recommendation on tenure for the candidate, along with the committee vote and the signatures (physical or electronic) of all committee members. Recommendation for approval for expedited tenure by the college tenure committee shall require a minimum 2/3 majority in favor as determined by secret vote. The committee may alternatively make a recommendation for an appropriate expedited period of review for tenure upon hire.

    The dean will forward the tenure committee's evaluation and recommendation as well as his/her recommendation to the provost. Based on those recommendations, the provost shall make a recommendation and forward it along with the other recommendations to the president. The president shall make the final decision on granting tenure or granting a reduced tenure probationary period in accordance with Section 2.c.2.i of this policy.

    In rare and unusual cases where the candidate does not currently hold tenure at an accredited institution of higher education, the dean will provide the tenure committee with all the application materials collected by the search committee, as well as additional material provided by the candidate that is viewed by the tenure committee as necessary and consistent with the college's tenure policy. Within four weeks of the receipt of the complete application materials, using the process stipulated previously in this section, the tenure committee shall evaluate the candidate and provide the dean with a recommendation on tenure for the candidate. The dean will forward the tenure committee's evaluation and recommendation along with his/her recommendation to the provost. Based on those recommendations, the provost shall make a recommendation and forward it along with the other recommendations to the president. The president shall make the final decision on granting tenure or granting a reduced tenure probationary period in accordance with Section 2.c.2 of this policy.

5. Addendum for Implementation of Tenure Policy

  1. Faculty hired prior to May, 2009 shall be evaluated for tenure according to the E5.0 policy in effect on the date of hire as the Comprehensive Mid-tenure Review was not required through E5.0 prior to May 2009.

  2. Faculty granted tenure in two colleges under former tenure policy may retain it.

Responsible Office:
Academic Senate and Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President

Effective Date:
Approved September 23, 1963

Policy History:
Revised May 2009
Revised October 2009
Revised April 22, 2010
Edited August 2010
Revised April 15, 2014; effective with the start of the 2015-2016 academic year; with the exception of section 2.c.4.a which is effective immediately.
Revised October 16, 2014 Advanced Notice of Non-reappointment During the Probationary Period
Revised November 6, 2014 to remove external recommendation letters from the Mid-tenure Comprehensive Review and to clarify process for requesting external review letters for the tenure review process

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