Academic Tenure and Promotion (I.B.2)

Volume I: Academics and Research Affairs
Chapter B: Faculty Affairs
Responsible Executive: President
Responsible Office: Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Date Issued: January 1, 2016
Date Last Revised: N/A

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contacts
Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Individuals and Entities Affected by This Policy
Exclusions
Responsibilities
Definitions (defined terms are capitalized throughout the document)
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
Website Address for This Policy
History and Updates
Appendix

CONTACTS

Subject 

Contact

Telephone

E-mail/Web Address

Policy Clarification

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

765-494-9709

www.purdue.edu/provost/about/facultyAffairs.html

Calumet Campus Questions

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

219-989-2446

webs.purduecal.edu/acadaffrs/about/

Fort Wayne Campus Questions

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

260-481-6103

www.ipfw.edu/offices/oaa/academic-affairs/

Indianapolis Campus Questions

Executive Vice Chancellor, Chief Academic Officer

317-274-4500

http://academicaffairs.iupui.edu/About/OfficeDirectory

North Central Campus Questions

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

219-785-5750

www.pnc.edu/academic_affairs/

West Lafayette Campus Questions

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

765-494-9709

www.purdue.edu/provost/about/facultyAffairs.html

STATEMENT OF POLICY

As an institution of higher education with a commitment to excellence and a diversity of missions, Purdue University values creative endeavor, research and scholarship; teaching and learning; and engagement in its many forms, including extension and outreach. Tenure helps to ensure academic freedom and should promote creative, innovative pursuits. It brings with it both rights and responsibilities for faculty members as participants in furthering the missions of Purdue University.

Tenure is a matter of policy and not a legal obligation binding on the University. Tenure policies are subject to change by the Board of Trustees, and it follows that all appointments to the faculty are subject to such changes. It is the policy of the University to renew appointments of faculty members who have attained Tenured status, subject always to the availability of funds, the continuance of activities in the area of employment or the absence of circumstances that would otherwise entitle the University to terminate the appointment for cause (as outlined in the Principles and Policies for Academic Freedom, Responsibilities and Tenure, and Procedures for Termination of Faculty Appointments for Cause (B-48), as amended or superseded).

Tenure is effective only at the particular campus of the University where it was acquired. However, when two campuses are merged, a campus undergoes a name change or some other organizational change is made, all faculty with Tenure will retain their Tenure and rank under the new campus name.Similarly, Tenure-track faculty will remain Tenure-track faculty under the new campus name and their Probationary Periods will continue uninterrupted. 

Criteria for Tenure and Promotion

Purdue University’s mission is to serve diverse populations of Indiana, the nation and the world through discovery that expands the frontiers of knowledge, learning that fosters the sharing of knowledge, and engagement that cultivates the application of knowledge. To be considered for Tenure and/or promotion, a faculty member must meet the minimum thresholds in each of the three mission areas – discovery, learning and engagement – as determined by the Provost (and VCAA on Regional Campuses) in collaboration with the faculty on the relevant campus (see Related Documents, Forms and Tools section for links to each campus’s Criteria for Tenure and Promotion). Further, the faculty member must have documentation of accomplishment and demonstrated excellence in at least one of the mission areas, with the understanding that, ideally, strength would be apparent in more than one. Tenure is acquired only as a result of positive action and never by default.

  • Promotion to associate professor: Tenure is acquired on promotion to this rank, unless otherwise specified (see the Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion). A successful candidate will have a significant record of accomplishment as a faculty member and show promise of continued professional growth and recognition.
  • Promotion to Professor: Successful candidates are recognized as authorities in their fields of specialization by external colleagues – regional, national, and/or international as may be appropriate in their academic disciplines and campuses – and be valued for their intramural contributions as faculty members.
Eligibility

Full-time faculty members who hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor are eligible for Tenure. Also eligible for Tenure are professors, associate professors, and assistant professors in designated Tenure-track positions who hold part-time appointments of not less than 50% of full-time and whose duties include the normal responsibilities of full-time faculty members, including teaching, research and outreach.

In certain cases Tenure may be granted upon appointment to the faculty. In all other cases, Tenure-track faculty members are allowed a Probationary Period in which to work toward attainment of Tenure. The Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion provide details regarding new appointments with Tenure and requests to extend the Probationary Period.

Professorial Conduct

Purdue is committed to maintaining an inclusive environment that recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of every person; fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding and mutual respect; and encourages its members to strive to reach their fullest potential. To this end, all faculty members are encouraged to embody collegiality and good citizenship, treating all members of the University community (faculty, staff, students) with respect, and being entitled to respectful treatment by these others. Such conduct contributes to the University’s core mission of discovery, learning and engagement. Faculty members are afforded the right to academic freedom. At the same time, the right of faculty to express dissent and to enjoy academic freedom must not be interpreted to allow professional misconduct or malfeasance nor should it been read as allowing faculty to obstruct the ability of colleagues to carry out their normal functions or to violate ethical standards. Criticism of and opposition to others’ ideas or extant policy or proposals is not evidence of a lack of collegiality, and may in itself be important evidence of engagement and good citizenship in the University community. The expectation for collegiality and good citizenship by faculty does not constitute a separate criterion for promotion, rather it is one aspect of meeting minimum thresholds in discovery, learning and engagement.

Review Procedures

The Tenure and promotion process is fundamentally a system of faculty review. The University is committed to the promotion of excellent faculty, using the highest standards of fairness and equity in the evaluation process. Candidates are subject to a multi-stage review by faculty and professional peers. Tenure and promotion ultimately are granted by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the President.

The associated Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion provide detailed steps for the process. Changes to the procedures may be made by the Provost, in consultation with the Chancellors. Changes to the Criteria for Tenure and Promotion applied on each campus may be made by the Provost, in consultation with the appropriate Chancellor (as applicable), or his or her designee, and with the University Senate or appropriate Regional Campus senate. If or when the criteria for promotion and tenure change, expectations for those in the Tenure and promotion process to meet the new criteria will be gradual and based on time in rank. Criteria in effect while an individual has been preparing for Tenure and promotion will be taken into consideration, especially for those in the last years before the Tenure decision.

REASON FOR THIS POLICY

This policy describes the criteria and procedures for attaining Tenure and promotion at Purdue University.

INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY

  • Tenured faculty members
  • Non-Tenured faculty members who are eligible for Tenure
  • All faculty and staff involved in the process of reviewing and recommending Tenure and promotion

EXCLUSIONS

The following positions are not eligible for Tenure:

  • Limited-term lecturers
  • Continuing lecturers
  • Clinical/Professional faculty
  • Research faculty
  • Visiting faculty
  • Affiliate faculty
  • Administrative officers
  • Administrative titles including the phrase “with the rank of”
  • Postdoctoral residents, research assistants and research associates

Some of these positions may be eligible for promotion.

RESPONSIBILITIES

President

  • Review nominations for promotion from the Provost and Chancellors and forward recommendations to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Provost

  • Administer this policy; review, update and improve associated procedures and criteria, as appropriate and with appropriate input.
  • Review and forward recommendations for promotion to the President.
  • Monitor progress of Tenure-track faculty as reported by deans or Vice Chancellors for Academic Affairs, as the case may be.
  • Review and make a determination on requests for faculty members in the final year of their Probationary Period to be reviewed for Tenure (West Lafayette).

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

  • Attend the Campus Promotions Committee meeting (WL) in an advisory capacity.
  • Review and make a determination on requests for faculty members to extend their Probationary Period.

Chancellor

  • Review and forward recommendations for promotion on his/her campus to the Provost.

VCAA

  • Review and forward recommendations for promotion on his/her campus to the Chancellor.
  • Review and make a determination on requests for faculty members to extend their Probationary Period (Regional Campuses).
  • Publish a timetable of deadlines and meeting dates prior to each academic year.

Dean

  • Establish college/school policies and procedures for promotion within the faculty ranks in collaboration with the faculty.
  • Communicate the approved policies and procedures to directors and department head/chairs within their area.
  • Advise Tenure and promotion candidates of their progress following both the Area and Campus Promotions Committee reviews.
  • Inform Tenure-track faculty of the process for requesting an extension to the Probationary Period should relevant circumstances arise.

School/Department Head/Chair

  • Assume responsibility for the professional development of faculty.
  • Assure compliance with this policy and approved college, school and departmental policies and procedures.
  • Conduct reviews regarding progress toward promotion based on criteria determined by the department faculty and provide written feedback (annually for assistant professors and at intervals not to exceed two years for associate professors).
  • Advise Tenure and promotion candidates of their progress following the Primary Committee review.
  • Inform Tenure-track faculty of the process for requesting an extension to the Probationary Period should relevant circumstances arise.

Chair of Primary Committee

  • Establish attendance requirements for members of the committee and publish a timetable of deadlines and meeting dates prior to each academic year.
  • Prepare a brief but substantive report on the discussion and vote for each candidate considered for Tenure and/or promotion.
  • Determine whether to recommend candidates for Tenure and promotion and record the decision.
  • Present the case of any candidates recommended by the Chair of the Primary Committee or a majority vote of the faculty, or both, to the Area Committee for review.

Chair of Area Committee

  • Establish attendance requirements for committee members.
  • Prepare a brief but substantive report on the discussion and vote for each candidate considered for Tenure and/or promotion.
  • Determine whether to recommend candidates for Tenure and promotion and record the decision.

Chair of Campus Promotions Committee

  • Prepare a brief but substantive report on any case in which the outcome of the Campus Promotions Committee decision deviates from the outcome of either the Primary or Area Committee.
  • Make a recommendation for approval or non-approval of Tenure and/or promotion following the Campus Committee vote.

Candidate for Tenure and/or Promotion

  • Submit dossier for review by Primary Committee in accordance with deadlines.
  • If requesting an extension to the Probationary Period, do so within required timeframe.

Members of Primary, Area and Campus Promotions Committees

  • Adhere to committee attendance requirements.
  • Actively participate in discussions and vote on all candidates.
  • Recuse himself/herself if a Conflict of Interest with a candidate arises.
  • Maintain confidentiality of comments made during discussions of candidates.

DEFINITIONS

All defined terms are capitalized throughout the document. Additional defined terms may be found in the central Policy Glossary.

Area Committee
A college/school-level committee (typically) that reviews recommendations from the Primary Committee. See Appendix A of the Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion for the make-up of this committee on each campus.

Campus Promotions Committee
A standing, campus-level committee that reviews recommendations from the Area Committee. See Appendix A of the Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion for the make-up of this committee on each campus.

Conflict of Interest
A Conflict of Interest may be financial (as defined in and governed by policy III.B.2, Individual Financial Conflicts of Interest), personal or professional. An individual must recuse himself/herself in the case of a Conflict of Interest. The Vice President for Ethics and Compliance may be consulted for assistance in determining whether such a personal or professional conflict exists. 

Primary Committee
The first-level committee tasked with reviewing candidates for Tenure and promotion. See Appendix A of the Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion for the make-up of this committee on each campus.

Probationary Period
For full-time appointments, the period not exceeding:

  • Three years for professors
  • Four years for associate professors
  • Seven years for assistant professors and instructors

These maximum Probationary Periods include a one-year notice of non-renewal for those faculty members who are not successful in obtaining Tenure.

Each year of a Probationary Period begins at the start of the academic year (typically August). Faculty members who start their positions in January through July begin their Probationary Period at the start of the subsequent academic year. Faculty members who start their positions well after the beginning of the academic year, but before January, may request an exception from the Provost (West Lafayette) or VCAA (Regional Campuses) to begin their Probationary Period at the start of the subsequent academic year.

Faculty members with part-time appointments for part or all of their contract may apply for and extension of the Probationary Period to take this into account.

Refer to the Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion for details of extensions of the Probationary Period.

Tenure or Tenured
A status of continuous appointment granted to an eligible faculty member upon meeting the requirements set forth in this policy and its supplemental documents. Tenured appointments are subject to the policy on Terms and Conditions of Employment of Faculty Members.

VCAA
The individual who holds the title of Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs on the Regional Campuses.

RELATED DOCUMENTS, FORMS AND TOOLS

Policies

Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion (PDF)

Criteria for Tenure and Promotion on each campus

Forms

WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY

www.purdue.edu/policies/academic-research-affairs/ib2.html

HISTORY AND UPDATES

January 1, 2016: This policy supersedes section II of the Principles and Policies for Academic Freedom, Responsibilities and Tenure, and Procedures for Termination of Faculty Appointments for Cause (Executive Memorandum No. B-48), dated July 1, 1977, and section VIII of the Terms and Conditions of Employment of Faculty Members (Executive Memorandum No. B-50), dated March 16, 1979.

APPENDIX

There are no appendices to this policy.

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