Dean's Office contact:  Ivy Mason

Qualifications for appointment.  Appointment with the rank of Assistant Professor requires a demonstration of teaching and research ability beyond that ordinarily required of an instructor.  Appointment with the rank of Research Assistant Professor or Assistant Professor WOT requires qualifications corresponding to those of an Assistant Professor but with primary emphasis on research.

 Length of term (full-time appointments).  Assistant Professors, Assistant Professors WOT, and Research Assistant Professors normally hold these titles for a total of six years.  The initial appointment is for a three-year term.  In the second year, a decision is made concerning renewal of the appointment for a second three-year term.  In the sixth year of appointment, the review for promotion to the Associate Professor level (and granting of tenure if applicable) takes place.  If promotion is denied, the appointment is extended for a seventh, terminal year.  These time periods may be shortened or eliminated if a person is reviewed and approved for "early" promotion/tenure.

Part-time appointments.  Faculty may be appointed to professorial or research professorial ranks on less than full-time basis.  The percentage of appointment must be clearly documented at the time of hire.  The percent of appointment may affect voting rights; see Voting procedures.

For an Assistant Professor with a part-time appointment of 50% or greater, the first term of appointment is three years.  The renewal procedures outlined above still apply, but the length of the second term of appointment varies according to the percentage of appointment. 

Percent of time

Length of second term

90% and above

Three years

Between 70 and 89%

Four years

Between 60 and 69%

Five years

Between 50 and 59%

Six years

In all cases, the mandatory review for promotion/tenure must be made during the last year of the second appointment term.

Adjustments in mandatory renewal year or promotion/tenure year.  The counting of appointment years may be adjusted in two ways.  First, the mandatory renewal and promotion/tenure dates are extended by one year if the faculty member takes a leave of absence that is both (1) more than 50% time and (2) six months or more in length during an academic year.  The extension is automatic, and no approval is necessary.  Second, a faculty member who becomes a parent may apply for a waiver of one year in the count toward renewal and promotion/tenure, with a possible extension of a second year.  To apply for the waiver, the faculty member should send a requesting memo, with the chair's approval, to the Dean's Office.

New appointment procedures

New appointment documentation

Summer appointment

Joint appointment

Reappointment procedures

Possible recommendations at time of reappointment.  When a departmental review is made concerning renewal of an Assistant Professor appointment, three alternative actions may be taken.

(1) Recommend renewal of the appointment for a period which extends through the academic year in which a decision on promotion (and tenure) is required.  This period is normally a second three-year term.

(2) Recommend nonrenewal of the appointment, with termination at the end of the third year.

(3) Recommend postponement of the decision for one year (the unit must specifically vote on a motion for postponement).  In such a case, mandatory promotion/tenure consideration in the sixth (or final) year still applies.  After a postponement, the department must consider the appointment renewal again in the third year of the candidate's initial term.  If, in the third year, a decision is made to terminate, the candidate's appointment is extended to a fourth and terminal year.

Reappointment documentation.  Reappointment recommendations are due in the Dean's Office in May.  See “Reappointment documentation” in the section on Reappointments.

Promotion to Associate Professor and tenure procedures.  A faculty member has tenure if he/she has held the full-time rank of Instructor and/or Assistant Professor for seven years and has not received a termination notice.  Therefore, Assistant Professors must be reviewed in the last year of the second appointment term.  This is normally the sixth year of a tenure-track appointment, although the year may differ if the appointment is a part-time one (see above) or if time was spent as an Instructor.  The granting of tenure and the promotion to Associate Professor are combined into one action for the departmental vote and recommendation.

Assistant Professors WOT and Research Assistant Professors must be reviewed in their sixth year of appointment (unless the appointment is a part-time one) and a recommendation made concerning promotion to the Associate Professor level.  These appointments are not eligible for tenure.

Promotion (and tenure) may be recommended prior to the sixth year; however, the candidate must have a strong, clearly demonstrated record of achievement in order to merit approval of an early promotion.

For general information, see Promotion and tenure procedures and Review committees for promotion/tenure.  For specific departmental actions in making a promotion/tenure recommendation, see Departmental actions for promotion and tenure.

Possible recommendations at time of promotion/tenure.  Three alternative actions may be taken concerning promotion (and tenure) when reviewed in the mandatory year.

(1) Recommend approval.

(2) Recommend denial.  The candidate's appointment is then extended to a seventh and terminal year. Reconsideration of promotion/tenure in the seventh year is not allowed.

(3) Recommend postponement of the decision (the unit must specifically vote on a motion for postponement).  A postponement can be made only in the sixth, mandatory year.  In such cases the candidate is notified in writing by the Dean that if promotion/tenure is not approved in the seventh year, the appointment will terminate at the end of the second succeeding academic year (the eighth year of appointment).

Promotion and tenure documentation.  Promotion/tenure recommendations are due in the Dean's Office in mid-October.  See Promotion and tenure documentation.