All departments should have guidelines for tenure and promotion standards specific to their discipline. New faculty members should talk with their chair in the first year of their appointment about the departmental standards. In addition, the Faculty Handbook has general requirements for both tenure and promotion (see below). The departmental standards lay out the normative departmental and/or school considerations for appointment, reappointment, promotion, and tenure, but the ultimate authority for appointment, reappointment, and promotion rests with the President and the ultimate authority for the granting of tenure rests with the Board of Trustees, neither of which is bound by departmental standards. In addition, all voting bodies retain discretion and freedom of judgment in these matters.

Faculty Handbook Criteria for Promotion and Tenure 


II-D-3.143-145: On Promotion 

Associate Professor. Appointment or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor requires:  

  1. Sufficient experience, i.e., (i) four years of service as a regular Faculty member in this University or elsewhere; or (ii) acquisition by the candidate of such professional experience as may reasonably be considered the equivalent of the teaching service;  
  2. Possession of the appropriate academic degree, ordinarily the terminal degree; 
  1. Demonstrated competence as a teacher; and   
  1. Consistent research productivity, giving evidence of a high level of scholarly ability and the expectation of future recognition and advancement in academic achievement. Reasonable rates of publication on the part of a productive university scholar and teacher vary among fields of specialization, and such norms are to be given careful attention by the reviewing bodies. In case of publications with multiple authors the candidate’s contribution must be clearly defined.  


.144 In exceptional cases, appointment or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor may be based primarily on:  

  1. Outstanding and widely recognized achievement as a teacher and director of students; or  
  2. Other extraordinary contribution or service to the academic aims of the University or the scholarly community at large; or  
  3. Distinctive professional service related to the candidate’s field of competence.1
  4. Even in these instances, however, some scholarly publication appropriate to the academic field is required if the candidate teaches at the graduate level.  


.145 Professor. Appointment or promotion to the rank of Ordinary Professor requires: 


  1. Four years in the rank of Associate Professor in this University or elsewhere, or such professional experience as may be reasonably considered its equivalent; and  
  1. Fulfillment of the criteria listed above for the rank of Associate Professor; and  
  1. Achievement of recognized standing in the academic field or profession, evidenced by continuing research productivity acknowledged as significant by the scholarly community at large (C-11.120-124). 

For equivalent criteria in arts and the professions, please see II-D-4-147-157. 


II-D-8.160: Criteria for Tenure 

Conferral of tenure requires consideration not only of the qualifications of the individual Faculty member, but also of the needs and purposes of the institution. The judgment must be based on an aggregate assessment of the duties that the candidate will be expected to carry, and no single factor should govern, although research and teaching are primary. The following are important factors to be considered in all recommendations:  

  1. The purpose of the appointment in relation to the mission and needs of the Program, Department, School, and University;  
  2. The candidate’s present and projected competence and scholarly productivity at least at the level required of an Associate Professor (D-3.143-144), including his or her standing among scholars at comparable stages of their careers in the same field of specialization;  
  3. The candidate’s competence as a teacher, including where applicable ability as a director of dissertations or as a director of clinical or field training as well as such matters as the updating and introduction of new material into courses, the offering of new courses, and pedagogical soundness and effectiveness;  
  4. The indications that the candidate is not merely competent at a minimal level but is one of the most qualified among those available for the position; accordingly, the reviewing bodies must explicitly weigh the candidate’s qualifications against the advisability of seeking to recruit another Faculty member who might prove more promising and, in time, better qualified for tenure;  
  5. The candidate’s moral integrity, including respect for the ethical obligations of the teaching profession;  
  6. The candidate’s commitment to the stated aims and goals of the University, School and Department;  
  7. The candidate’s active participation in Departmental, School, and University activities and willingness to carry committee and other Faculty responsibilities;  
  8. The candidate’s ability to work in a collegial fashion with other members of the academic community, including students and other Faculty members;  
  9. The candidate’s participation in the activities of the appropriate learned societies and professional organizations, meetings, and conferences and, where applicable, professional registration, licensing, or certification.