Academic Tenure: Definition/Implication/Termination

No.  8-21   Rev. 11-09-10      Date   9-4-79 (old PPM 8-14)    



POLICY

 

Tenure is the contractual right to permanent and continuous appointment.  Tenure faculty are not subject to termination or substantial reduction in status until the faculty member resigns, retires, or the University exercises its rights in proven cases of adequate cause, medical incapacity, institutional financial exigencies, or discontinuance of a program or department of instruction.

The University shall extend tenure to approved members of the teaching faculty who hold tenure track appointments and to others as hereafter defined. Tenure track appointments shall be given only to faculty who at the time of such appointment meet the minimum degree requirements specified below in this policy.

Granting tenure implies a commitment by the University. Likewise, the faculty members who are granted tenure makes an equally strong commitment to serve students, colleagues, their discipline and the University in a manner befitting the position. Tenure also carries an expectation that those granted tenure are competent in their disciplines and are capable of scholarly contributions.

Any faculty member or administrator may petition the Appointment, Promotion, Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee of the Faculty Senate to consider changes in tenure policy as provided in PPM 8-11. Petitioners for tenure policy changes in a particular college must invite comments from faculty, the department chair and the dean of that college.

A tenured instructor specialist may move to another tenure-bearing rank. However, this constitutes a move to a new position. Tenure is neither retained in the old position nor automatically transferred to the new position. Years of service may be negotiated at the time of the move. (See PPM 8-24)

A faculty member's official resignation or retirement terminates that faculty member's tenure.  However, a retired faculty member may continue to serve without tenure upon invitation of the institution, but service may be terminated at any time following the completion of the faculty member's last (most recent) annual contract.

A tenure faculty member may be involuntarily terminated for the following reasons:

A.  Cause

Continuation of academic tenure requires maintenance of reasonable care in the faculty member's performance as a teacher and scholar and performance pursuant to the standards described in PPMs 9-3 through 9-8.  Failure to meet such standards shall be reason for disciplinary proceedings.  Dismissal for cause shall be made only after proper investigation by the administrative officers of the institution, committee hearings as outlined in PPMs 9-9 through 9-17, if requested, and action by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the president.

B.  Medical Incapacity

A tenured faculty member may be dismissed or given a contract with substantially reduced status for medical incapacity which does not allow the faculty member to perform duties and responsibilities.  Procedures shall follow those described in PM 9-16.

C.  Institutional Financial Exigencies

A tenured faculty member may be dismissed or given a contract with substantially reduced status for demonstrated institutional financial exigencies.  Procedures shall follow those described in PPM 9-16.

D.  Discontinuance of Program

A tenured faculty member may be dismissed or given a contract with substantially reduced status in the event of a bona fide discontinuance of a program or department of instruction.  Procedures shall follow those described in PPM 9-16.