The tenure-track is designed to offer the teacher-scholar a path to an enduring relationship of mutual commitment between the faculty member and the University. The process from an initial appointment to the tenure decision and beyond is intended to support the development of the faculty member, create clear expectations for achievement along the faculty member’s career path and to allow regular and fair consideration of each faculty member’s progress through promotion, tenure and maintenance of professional credentials. The specific tenure requirements and rules for each school are outlined in the school-specific sections of this handbook.
The faculty and administrators involved in promotion, tenure and review processes shall operate with a policy of strict confidentiality regarding deliberations. Confidentiality is a critical procedural safeguard that ensures the most robust consideration of the faculty portfolios reviewed for third-year, promotion, tenure, and periodic review. It also ensures that the process will be focused on the information included in the portfolio and file. Further, confidentiality is necessary to protect against possible pressure that might be exerted on the relevant committees or on individual faculty members at critical points in the process. Faculty members subject to review retain the right of access to all materials in their third-year, promotion, tenure, and periodic review files, subject to the limitations imposed in the school-specific sections of this handbook as applicable.
Proceedings of the relevant committees related to any individual candidate are not to be discussed outside the committees, but committee members retain the right to discuss general procedural or policy matters outside of the committees. The file of all materials related to a candidate’s case during its deliberation is to be held by the department of the candidate, chair(s) of the PTR committee, or the office of the dean of the school. Committee members may have access to the file, but the materials are not to be generally circulated. Only committee members may be present during deliberations. Only the committee chair is authorized to communicate the decisions of the committee. Any committee member who believes procedures have been violated has the responsibility to inform the committee chair.
The dean will make an independent judgment regarding the merits of any tenure and/or promotion review after consultation with the chair of the PTR Committee that considered the case.
By July 1 of each year, the Office of the Provost will publish a University Faculty Calendar indicating the specific deadline dates for the third-year review, tenure review, and promotion review processes for the year starting July 1 and ending the following June 30.
Employing the criteria outlined in Section Seven, and the school-specific sections of this handbook as applicable, the third-year review is a cumulative evaluation of a faculty member on a probationary appointment in order to assess progress toward tenure and promotion. The review is both formative and evaluative, providing the faculty member with a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of his or her tenure progress.
The third-year review reports issued by the department, chair, any appropriate faculty committee and the dean each become part of the faculty member’s portfolio for tenure and promotion.
An eligible candidate initiates the tenure and/or promotion review process by delivering a written request for such review to the dean by April 1 of the year before the academic year in which the necessary decanal recommendation will be produced. The dean will notify the provost, the department chair, and the appropriate faculty committee of the faculty member’s request for review. Absent extraordinary circumstances, approved by the dean, failure to meet this deadline will preclude consideration for tenure.
Tenure is conferred solely by a positive action of the Board of Trustees after a comprehensive review by the appropriate faculty, department chair (CAS and SBS), the school-level Promotion and Tenure Review Committee (PTR), the dean, the provost and the president.
Faculty members seeking tenure who do not gain a favorable recommendation from the PTR committee and also do not gain a favorable recommendation from the dean will not proceed further and will be considered to have been denied tenure. Faculty members seeking tenure who are recommended by the PTR committee and/or the dean will be submitted for review to the provost. The provost will make a recommendation to the president regarding each faculty member who has not been denied tenure. The president reviews the recommendations of the provost. The provost presents to the Board of Trustees only those faculty members that the president concludes are appropriate for tenure.
A faculty member must seek a tenure decision within six years of initial appointment unless that period has been extended in writing in accordance with University policies and the time limits contained in each school’s tenure procedures as laid out in the school-specific sections of this handbook. The Board of Trustees will consider a faculty member for tenure only one time. A faculty member denied tenure will receive a terminal appointment for the next academic year, unless that denial is the product of a special tenure process after appeal described in Paragraph I below.
The substantive decision whether to grant tenure is non-reviewable in any forum. Any complaint or appeal alleging inappropriate denial of tenure, as described Paragraph I below, is limited to whether the proper procedure was followed.
General information on the criteria for promotion from assistant to associate professor, or associate professor to professor, is found in Section Six. Detailed information on the criteria for promotion from assistant to associate professor, or associate professor to professor, within the individual schools is outlined in the school-specific sections of this handbook.
The tenure and/or promotion or periodic review file will comprise materials submitted by the faculty member, the school, and the University.
The faculty member must provide, as appropriate to the review:
This statement will provide a concise narrative that reflects on, characterizes, contextualizes and assesses the candidate’s accomplishments in teaching, scholarship and service. The narrative will include a self-assessment of how the candidate’s teaching has evolved; an explanation of what motivates his or her research, creative and/or professional activity and its significance to the discipline; and a reflection on the cumulative service contribution of the candidate as a member of his or her department, school and University. The statement should also discuss the candidate’s goals and expectations as an educator, scholar and colleague.
A comprehensive CV allows the reviewer to trace the candidate’s achievements and experiences through a coherent time line. The CV will clearly delineate the following, including dates for each:
a) Educational history
b) Relevant employment history
c) Honors, awards, and recognitions
d) Grants received (including agencies and amounts)
e) Conference paper and poster presentations (specifying those included in conference proceedings, and any invited addresses)
f) Scholarly publications, including refereed articles (including full citation, or noted as in press, and page numbers), book chapters, and books
g) Recitals, exhibitions, readings, and performances (including locations, and indicating juried or invitational)
h) Press reviews of scholarly or creative work
i) Professional activities
The teaching portfolio allows the reviewer to understand the type, amount and breadth of teaching performed by the faculty member during the period of review. The teaching portfolio will include, as available:
a) Full list of courses taught, with dates or semesters offered
b) Course syllabi for each course taught during the period under review
c) Sample assignments, exams, or course activities
d) Samples of online teaching materials
e) Available student teaching evaluations
f) Peer teaching evaluations
g) Audiovisual records of teaching activities
h) Archived blogs, discussion forums, or other online interaction with students
i) Summary of student mentoring activities
j) Summary of student advising activities
The scholarship portfolio will include all research, creative works, or professional activities that the candidate has accomplished in support of tenure, including as appropriate:
a) Copies of all literary or research publications—articles, essays, stories, poems, monographs, book chapters, and books
b) A portfolio of creative work—film/video pieces, film/video as documentation of work, paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, photographs as documentation of work, and exhibition catalogs. This portfolio should be accessible online
c) Evidence of professional work understood as equivalent to research such as briefs, case studies, and research reports
d) A list with dates for all presentations, panels, planning committees, online work, etc. that demonstrate the public life of the faculty member’s scholarship
e) Other evidence of scholarly activity appropriate to the review as described in the school-specific sections of this handbook.
The service portfolio will include all relevant materials that demonstrate the faculty member’s contributions to the department, school, University and broader community. The service portfolio will include, as appropriate:
a) Departmental service information including committees or other service to a department and the time or duration of that service
b) School service information including a list of membership on appointed or elected CAS, SBS or Law School committees including the time or duration of that membership
c) University service information including a list of membership on University committees including the time or duration of that membership
d) Professional service information listing service activities to the profession (e.g., editorial boards, juries, professional committees, elected offices, uncompensated professional work) indicating the time and duration of that service
e) Community service information indicating professionally related service to the wider community/ies
f) Student-focused service information (e.g. group or club advising, competition organization or judging, special program development) indicating the nature and duration of such service
g) Alumni activities service including attendance at alumni events, unremunerated collaboration with or assistance to alumni, alumni development, etc.
h) Any other relevant service in an individual or group capacity appropriate to the review as described in the school-specific sections of this handbook.
Other relevant material the candidate wishes to include, if permitted by the school-specific sections of this handbook.
Any school-specific materials described in the school-specific sections of this handbook as applicable.
Individual school criteria for the responsibilities of departmental chairs and relevant committees are outlined in the school-specific sections of this handbook.
In any review, the dean’s office may provide additional materials relevant to the case under review, which the candidate has the right to review unless specifically excluded from candidate review in the school-specific sections of this handbook as applicable. The dean may meet with the chair or the review committee to discuss the review committee’s recommendation.
For each third-year review, tenure review, and separate promotion review, the dean independently evaluates the candidate’s file based on the departmental and/or school criteria as required in Section Six and the school-specific sections of this handbook as applicable, and submits a recommendation to the provost for or against:
In the case of a periodic review, the dean will review the faculty member’s file based on the general criteria outlined in Section Six and the departmental and/or school criteria as required in the school-specific sections of this handbook as applicable. The dean will then prepare and send a report and ranking as outlined in Section Six.
In all cases, except for third year reviews, the dean will submit a written recommendation to the provost.
A faculty member applying for tenure and/or promotion has the right to withdraw his/her application by September 1 of the review year. Except in extraordinary circumstances approved by the dean, a faculty member who fails to meet deadlines set forth in this section will be considered as having withdrawn from the tenure process.
If the faculty member who withdraws is in the final year of a probationary appointment then the faculty member will receive a terminal appointment for the next academic year.
The provost reviews all applications from faculty members for tenure with or without promotion, promotion to professor and periodic reviews. The provost will consider the file based upon accumulated reviews and any responses of the faculty member at the department and/or school level.
The provost will not independently review a third year review with or without promotion.
In the case of a tenure review with request for promotion, a tenure review without request for promotion, or a request for promotion to professor, the provost concludes her or his review by sending a recommendation to the president.
The president will bring those cases in which he or she recommends tenure or promotion to professor to the Board of Trustees or the committee designated by the Board for such consideration. Following a presentation by the provost regarding each file including the recommendations from the school and the provost, the president will make a recommendation to the Board or appropriate committee for tenure and/or promotion to professor. If the presentation is made to a designated committee of the Board, that committee will vote for or against awarding the faculty member tenure or promotion to professor and will report its vote to the whole of the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Board by-laws.
The Board of Trustees will vote for or against awarding a faculty member tenure and/or promotion to professor. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final. The Board will direct the provost to send notification of the Board’s decision to the dean and the faculty member within five business days after the vote.
If the Board of Trustees votes to award tenure or promotion to professor, the appropriate dean will issue a continuous appointment letter at the appropriate rank commencing the next academic year. If the Board of Trustees votes to deny tenure, then the provost will direct the dean to issue a terminal appointment for the next academic year.
The substantive decision whether to grant tenure is non-reviewable in any forum. An unsuccessful tenure candidate may request that the provost review a final decision to deny tenure only in circumstances in which the denial of tenure was the result of improper procedure(s).
For the purposes of any review under this section, the tenure process is defined as beginning with the faculty member’s submission of an application for tenure and ending when the faculty member is informed of the denial. The events that occur during this time period are within the scope of this procedural review.
A faculty member who has been denied tenure initiates the tenure denial review by requesting in writing a review by the provost within thirty days of the notification of denial. For the review to proceed, the request must identify a particular procedure during the tenure process that the faculty member believes was improper.
There are three situations in which the procedures employed might make the tenure process improper
a) When the tenure process failed to include a required procedure,
b) When the tenure process included a procedure that was not permissible during the process, and/or
c) When there was some aspect of the tenure process that was so improper as to be fundamentally unfair to the candidate.
If the faculty member identifies a procedure which appears on its face to suggest that any of these three preliminary situations occurred, then the provost will notify the dean of the school, the chair of the PTR committee and the faculty member that a further inquiry will occur.
The provost may delegate her or his responsibilities under this process to a designee.
When an inquiry occurs, the provost will examine the relevant parts of the record of the tenure process and the procedures used during that process. The purpose of the inquiry is to determine first whether the identified procedural error did in fact occur. If such a procedural error is found to have occurred during the tenure process, the provost will then determine whether the procedure likely had an impact on the decision to deny tenure. Only in those circumstances where both a procedural error is found and the error is likely to have had an impact on the decision to deny tenure will the provost determine that a procedure was improper.
The provost will conclude the review by conveying his or her decision to the dean of the school and the faculty member by the first of August after the tenure decision was made. The decision of the provost regarding whether a procedural error was likely to have had an impact on the decision to deny tenure is final.
The only remedy available is the commencement of a special tenure review. If such a special tenure review is granted, the faculty member’s application will be considered de novo, which means the special tenure review will be heard by a committee chaired by and composed of faculty other than those who were on the PTR Committee that considered the original application. This special tenure review committee will be selected by the provost in consultation with the dean of the school from which the denial arose.
If a special tenure process is granted, it will take place in the academic year following the denial pursuant to the regular UFC schedule. Insofar as possible, the process in the new tenure review will be the same as that outlined in this Handbook. The teaching, scholarship and service record of the faculty member will be reviewed as if the special tenure process were the original tenure process.
The grant of a special tenure review process does not affect the faculty member’s appointment which may be a terminal year appointment.