Tenure Definitions, Guidelines, and Criteria
TOPIC: Tenure Definition/Guidelines/Criteria (UMS)
EFFECTIVE DATE: 3/25/85
RESPONSIBLE OFFICE: Academic Affairs
The Board of Trustees Policy Manual (Section 310) defines tenure as follows
Tenure . . . an arrangement under which faculty appointments are continued until retirement or disability, subject to dismissal for cause, termination due to financial reasons, and/or termination due to change in the University program offerings.
The decision to grant or not to grant tenure rests solely with the Board of Trustees. Nothing in the administrative procedures, or in the criteria developed under those procedures, or in the approval of the criteria, shall limit or restrict that discretionary authority of the Board.
The Academic Affairs Procedures Manual (Section 310) states the following:
Procedures for Awarding Tenure
The decision to grant or not to grant tenure rests solely with the Board of Trustees. Nothing in these guidelines, or in the criteria developed under these guidelines, or in the approval of the criteria, shall limit or restrict that discretionary authority of the Board.
1. Each new appointee should receive a letter of appointment that includes, as a minimum, such data as:
a. academic rank and/or title of position;
b. general duties to be performed;
c. beginning and ending dates of appointment;
d. type of appointment – probationary, temporary;
e. indication of amount, if any, or prior service to be counted toward probationary period;
2. The specific assignment of prior credit will be part of the letter received at the time of initial appointment. The time credited as probationary years with regard to service at other institutions of higher education, whether units of the University of Maine System or not, shall not exceed three years.
3. A probationary appointment shall not exceed six consecutive academic years in a full-time position on a single campus. A leave of absence, sabbatical, or teacher improvement assignment shall not constitute a break in continuous service, nor shall it be included in the six-year period without prior written agreement between the faculty member and the President at the time of the request.
4. Individuals on probationary appointments shall normally complete the full term, i.e., the sixth year, before the Board awards tenure.
5. At the time of initial appointment, exceptionally qualified individuals may be awarded tenure at the rank of full professor, with the approval of the appointment by the Trustees. In other cases, as the institutions deem appropriate, full professors may receive an initial appointment without tenure but, with Trustee approval at the time of their appointment, may be given the opportunity to apply for tenure during the second year of their appointment.
6. Tenure shall not be awarded ordinarily below the associate professor level or its equivalent.
7. Each institution shall develop its criteria for promotion and tenure, and, once developed, a statement of such criteria shall be forwarded to the Chancellor and the Trustees for review and approval and thereafter be made available by the campus administration to all faculty members in the institution. These criteria shall include reference to teaching, public service, research, and scholarship activities as are appropriate to the University System and institution missions. Criteria may vary among units or departments, but shall be in accord with the overall campus criteria.
8. Student input is a desirable and meaningful part of faculty evaluation, and the contribution students make to the evaluative process is essential to the improvement of instruction. Student evaluations are to be secured on a regular, systematic, and equitable basis and made part of the official record.
9. Evidence should be obtained from outside the institution and from outside the University of Maine System, as appropriate, regarding the scholarship and research of candidates for tenure.
10. Tenured faculty, as well as nontenured faculty, shall be reviewed on an annual basis. Each institution shall develop its own criteria for faculty evaluation, and, once developed, a statement of such criteria shall be forwarded to the Chancellor and the Trustees for review and approval and thereafter be made available by the campus administration to all faculty members in the institution.
11. The tenure guidelines provide the policy framework for the process to be followed at each institution. Where exceptions are sought, it is necessary that the campus present its request in detail, including the rationale for the exception, to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees.
12. Tenure may be transferable among the institutions of the University of Maine System at the discretion of the Board of Trustees, consistent with the tenure policies of the institution to which transfer is sought.
13. Senior administrators shall not be awarded tenure as part of their administration contracts. However, the Trustees will consider, on an exceptional basis, a nomination to tenure for an academic dean, when presented under these conditions:
1. the nominee will have been accepted by an appropriate academic department and accorded faculty rank, at the time of appointment as academic dean;
2. the nomination will have been duly evaluated through the campus tenure processes.
14. A chief academic officer or other university employee in a position at the level of vice president may be considered for tenure to be effective upon assuming a full-time faculty appointment after completion of service in the administrative position. The employee must have been accepted by an appropriate academic department and accorded faculty rank at the time of appointment to the administrative position. Evaluation for tenure will occur under the university’s tenure process at the time of initial appointment, or, with approval of the President, during the final year of service in the administrative position. The final decision regarding the award of tenure is made by the Board of Trustees. If tenure is granted, it will not be effective until the date the employee assumes the full-time faculty position and the term in the administrative position ends.