Cherry Blossoms

Promotion and Tenure Guidelines


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The decisions to grant tenure or promote a faculty member are some the most important decisions that we make.  When promoting, we are making a decision that combines an assessment of the individual’s records to date as well as a projection of a career into the future.

The precise opportunities and expectations vary widely over the units within the College and across the University, but they all involve some measure of quality, quantity, and trajectory in the record. There is no single scale that can be used even within a unit, as the possible combinations of quantity, quality, and trajectory are innumerable. However, there are general principles that are applied as uniformly as possible across all cases, by the College Council and the Dean.

The promotion and tenure procedures are set forth in the faculty code and administered by Academic Personnel. As such, units should refer to the Academic Personnel promotion and tenure pages for details about the process.

Please see the College's COVID-19 Impact Statement with Respect to Promotion and Tenure Review.

College Guidelines

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The College of Arts and Sciences has crafted specific guidelines that address promotions from Associate Professor to Professor and from Associate Teaching Professor to Teaching Professor. Links to these guidelines are below. 

Department Guidelines

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The Deans of the College, along with the Elected Faculty Council (our "College Council") have also begun working with departments to allow them to craft guidelines which are specific to their unit, and which are consistent with the College of Arts and Sciences guidelines and Promotion Considerations, as expressed in these pages, as well as the faculty code.  These "Departmental Guidelines" are developed within each department, in collaboration with their divisional deans, approved by their faculty and then approved by the divisional dean,  and the College Council.  The approved Departmental Guidelines are linked below.  Subsequent ones will be added as the are created and approved.

The following departments have voted to adopt the College of Arts & Sciences guidelines without change or addition:

  • Applied Mathematics (February 11, 2021)
  • Chemistry (March 11, 2021)
  • Biology (May 12, 2020)
  • Germanics (April 15, 2020)
  • Physics (January 6, 2021)
  • Psychology (April 9, 2020)


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Please note that:

  • Scholarship is not an explicit component of most teaching professor’s or artists’ positions.  However, where scholarship is considered as part of the promotion case, it should be clearly connected to the faculty member’s contribution to teaching excellence.
  • Teaching is not an explicit component of most Research positions.  However, where teaching is done, it should be documented and mentioned in the promotion discussion.