Article 16 – Tenure

16.1 Eligibility.

(a) Faculty with the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, and other faculty the Board may designate, will be eligible for tenure, unless appointed pursuant to section 9.4(f).

(b) The University may, by rule, make Assistant Professors ineligible for tenure. If the University explores this option, it will work through the system of shared governance. The UFF will be notified of any proposed rule and offered an opportunity to discuss such rule in consultation with the President or representative, as provided under Article 2 (Consultation). If the University promulgates a rule that makes Assistant Professors ineligible for tenure, such rule will only apply to faculty hired after the effective date of this Agreement.

(c) The Board may designate other positions as tenure-earning and will notify the faculty member of such status at the time of initial appointment.

(d) Tenure will be in a department/unit.

(e) Tenure will not extend to administrative appointments. 

16.2 Tenure Decision.

(a) A faculty member will normally be considered for tenure during the sixth (6th) year of continuous service in a tenure-earning position, including any prior service credit granted at the time of initial employment.

(b) A faculty member may seek to be considered for tenure earlier than the sixth (6th) year of continuous service if University policy permits, and as long as the faculty member complies with University policy.

(c) By the end of six (6) years of service at the University, a faculty member eligible for tenure will either be awarded tenure by the Board or given notice that further employment will not be offered.

(d) Decision by the Board. The Board will award tenure. This decision will normally be made at the first Board meeting following the end of the Spring semester, but no later than the following meeting.

(e) A faculty member being considered for tenure prior to the sixth (6th) year may withdraw from consideration on or before March 15 without prejudice.

16.3 Criteria for Tenure.

(a) The decision to award tenure to a faculty member will be a result of meritorious performance and will be based on established criteria specified in writing by the Board and the University. The decision will take into account the following:

(1) annual performance evaluations;

(2) the needs of the department/unit, college/division, and University;

(3) the contributions of the faculty member to the faculty member’s academic unit (program, department/unit, college/division); and

(4) the contributions the faculty member is expected to make to the institution.

(b) The University will give a copy of the criteria for tenure to faculty eligible for tenure, and each such faculty member will be apprised in writing once each year of the faculty member’s progress toward tenure. The appraisal will be included as a separate section of the annual evaluation and is intended to provide assistance and counseling to candidates to help them qualify themselves for tenure.

(c) The tenure appraisals are not binding upon the University.

(d) The faculty member may request, in writing, a meeting with an administrator at the next higher level to discuss concerns regarding the tenure appraisal which were not resolved in previous discussions with the evaluator.

(e) Tenure criteria will be available in the department/unit office and/or at the college/division level.

16.4 Modification of Criteria.

(a) Modifying criteria. The Board and the University may modify the criteria for tenure so long as the UFF has been notified of the proposed changes and offered an opportunity to discuss such changes in consultation with the University President or representative.

(b) Changes in criteria will not become effective until one (1) year following adoption of the changes, unless mutually agreed to in writing by the UFF and the University.

(c) The date of adoption will be the date on which the changes are approved by the Chief Academic Officer.

(d) Any proposal to develop or modify tenure criteria will be available for discussion by members of the affected departments/units before adoption.

(e) Effect on Faculty. The provisions of section 10.3(f) (Equitable Opportunity) are applicable to the modified criteria. Further, if a faculty member has at least three (3) years of tenure-earning credit as of the date on which the tenure criteria are adopted under section 16.4(a) through (d), above, the faculty member will be evaluated for tenure under the criteria as they existed prior to modification unless the faculty member has notified the University at least thirty (30) days prior to commencement of the tenure consideration that he or she has chosen to be evaluated under the newly-adopted criteria.

16.5 Recommendations and Procedures.

(a) Recommendations for awarding tenure will be made by the faculty member’s supervisor and will include a poll by secret ballot of the tenured members of the faculty member’s department/unit.

(b) The performance of a faculty member during the entire term of employment at the University will be considered in determining whether to grant tenure.

(c) Recommendations regarding tenure will include a copy of the applicable tenure criteria, the faculty member’s annual work assignments, annual evaluations, student evaluations, and, if the faculty member chooses, the faculty member’s tenure appraisals. The reviewers at any stage in the review process may request to view any tenure appraisals.

(d) Prior to the consideration of the faculty member’s candidacy, the faculty member will have the right to review the contents of the tenure file and may attach a brief response to any materials therein.

(e) Evaluative materials or summaries thereof prepared by peer committees may be placed in the tenure file when signed by a representative of the committee.

(f) It is the responsibility of the faculty member to see that the file is complete.

(g) The provisions of sections 12.2 through 12.7 of this Agreement will apply to the contents of the tenure file.

(h) If any material is added to the file after the commencement of consideration, a copy will be sent to the faculty member within five (5) days (by personal delivery or by mail, return receipt requested).

(i) The faculty member may attach a brief response within five (5) days of his or her receipt of the added material. The file will not be forwarded until either the faculty member submits a response or until the second five (5) day period expires, whichever occurs first.

(j) The only documents which may be considered in making a tenure recommendation are those contained or referenced in the tenure file or those required to verify or clarify statements in the tenure file.

16.6 Notice of Decision.

(a) The faculty member will be notified in writing by the University within ten (10) days or as soon as possible thereafter of the decision with regard to tenure.

(b) If the application for tenure is denied, the faculty member may request, in writing and within twenty (20) days of the receipt of the denial, a written statement by the University of the reasons for the denial.

(c) The written response will be provided by the University within thirty (30) days after the request.

16.7 Other Considerations.

(a) During the period of tenure-earning service, the faculty member’s employment will be governed by the provisions of Article 13 (Non-reappointment).

(b) Part-time service of a faculty member employed at least one (1) semester in any twelve (12) month period will be accumulated. For example, two (2) semesters of half-time service will be considered one-half (1/2) year of service toward the period of tenure-earning service.

(c) Where faculty members are credited with tenure-earning service at the time of initial appointment, all or a portion of such credit may be withdrawn once by the faculty member prior to formal application for tenure.

16.8 Transfer of Tenure. If transfer of tenure across State universities becomes possible, the University and the UFF will review options for such transfer during regular consultation as discussed in Article 2 (Consultation).

16.9 Tenure upon Appointment. Tenure may be granted to a faculty member by the Board at the time of initial appointment, upon recommendation of the appropriate administrator. The administrator will consider the recommendation of the department or equivalent unit prior to making his or her final tenure recommendation.

16.10 Leave. Authorized leaves of absence may, under the provisions of Article 19 (Leaves), be credited toward the period of tenure-earning service.

16.11 Termination/Layoff. Tenure guarantees annual reappointment for the academic year until voluntary resignation, retirement, removal for just cause in accordance with the provisions of Article 17 (Disciplinary Action) or Article 18 (Job Abandonment), or layoff in accordance with the provisions of Article 14 (Layoff and Recall), but does not extend to administrative appointments.

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