Probationary Period for Tenure

No. 8-23      Rev. 05-10-11          Date: 5-13-81 (formerly 8-21)       



Faculty members are eligible for tenure following the completion of the normal probationary period of six years. Beginning with appointment to the rank of assistant professor or higher rank, the probationary period shall include only full-time service in accredited institutions of higher education. Tenure may not be granted to anyone who has held a tenure track appointment (at Weber State University or other accredited institutions of higher education) less than three consecutive years and immediately prior to the award of tenure.

Exceptional candidates who have not completed the appropriate probationary periods shall also be eligible for consideration for tenure, provided they apply for early review or are recommended for early review by the department chair.

Candidates who are within two years of satisfying the probationary period may apply or be nominated for early tenure. Such candidates shall receive a positive recommendation for tenure at a level of review if at that level they receive ratings of excellent in all three of the categories of teaching scholarship and service.

Early tenure is also available for candidates who do not satisfy the above criteria but who meet criteria of national recognition and other established tenure criteria. Examples might include, but are not limited to, candidates who have published widely and abundantly; candidates having national or international reputation in some field of art, science or scholarship; or candidates achieving high office in national or professional organizations. It is left to the reviewers to decide such cases in their best judgment, with the understanding that successful early tenure cases are expected to be extraordinary.

Early tenure cases move forward from one review level to the next in the usual course even when the recommendation at a particular review level is negative. Successful early tenure cases remain possible despite negative recommendations by earlier reviewers.

In exceptional cases, the tenure process may be temporarily suspended (leave and re-enter at the same point), and the probationary period extended by a period not to exceed two years.  For example, when a faculty member becomes a parent through birth or adoption of a child below the age of six, great consideration shall be given to the faculty member's request to extend the probationary period for tenure for up to two years, in one year increments, provided the request is made in writing during the year following the birth or adoption. Other examples include but are not limited to death, divorce and illness.

A.  Process for extension of the tenure review period

The faculty member requests an extension in writing to their department chair with a copy to their dean for an extension of their probationary period.  This request can only be made prior to the completion of the professional file by the candidate.  The request should include the rationale for the extension.  The decision to extend the probationary period is made by the college Ranking Tenure Evaluation Committee, upon recommendation by the department chair and the dean, in consultation with the provost.  The dean ensures that this process is followed and completed in a timely manner.

If and when such a request is granted, the conditions of the extension shall be explained in writing by the provost, copies distributed to the candidate, the department chair and the candidate's professional file, and major reviews delayed accordingly.

During the probationary period, a faculty member has the academic freedom enjoyed by all other faculty members.

Time spent by faculty members on leave in pursuit of professionally related education or experience (beyond the minimum degree requirements as specified in PPM 8-14) may be counted as part of the probationary period only on the positive recommendation of the department chair, dean and approval of the provost. Up to one year for professionally related activities can be counted toward fulfilling this requirement. Non-professionally related leaves do not count toward the probationary period for tenure.