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3.2.6 Tenure


Tenure is an important means of protecting the rights of members of the faculty to freedom of inquiry, research, discourse, teaching, learning, publications and to speak or write on matters of public concern as well as on matters related to professional duties, the functioning of the University, and university positions and policies subject to academic standards and the University Code of Ethics.

Tenure entails the faculty member's obligation to strive continuously to improve competence and to cooperate with colleagues in an effort to improve the quality of scholarship and teaching at the institution. The freedom and security provided through academic tenure are fundamental to the success of a university in fulfilling its obligations.

General Provision

Tenure appointments shall be for an indefinite term and may be terminated only by (1) retirement, (2) acceptance of resignation, (3) demonstrable financial exigencies, (4) discharge for cause as outlined in ASPT policy XI.B.1 (lack of fitness, failure to perform assigned duties, and/or malfeasance), or (5) the reduction or elimination of a department or similar academic unit. Only faculty that hold full-time tenure-track appointments at the rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor shall be eligible for tenure appointments. 

Eligibility for Administrative/Professional Employee

Administrators and appropriate staff members of noninstructional divisions, departments or other service units, may be appointed with faculty status. However, such individuals become eligible for academic rank only upon the recommendation of the academic unit in which such rank is to be held. Tenure applies to faculty appointments. Full-time administrative/professional personnel are eligible for tenure only if they hold academic rank and are recommended for tenure by a department or other academic unit after an evaluation based upon the same rigorous criteria that are applied in faculty tenure decisions. An individual holding academic rank at the time of assumption of administrative/professional duties may retain such rank and eligibility for promotion and/or tenure. Tenure, if previously granted such administrators, shall be retained; however, in such cases the tenure status of the individual shall be reviewed through the process established for periodic review (See below).

Tenure Acquisition

Tenure cannot be acquired automatically by length of service without action by the President. No appointment shall entail tenure unless the contract or official notification of appointment explicitly states this.

Locus of Tenure

Tenure is granted by the University under the authority granted to the President by the Board of Trustees. Tenure appointments shall be held only in academic departments or similar academic units. All changes in the locus of tenure require specific approval of the President

Probationary Service Expectations

Newly appointed faculty members shall not be offered immediate tenure except under highly unusual circumstances and then only after advance permission has been received from the President. Such permission shall be requested prior to serious discussion of contract terms between the University and the prospective faculty member.

Faculty members normally will not be granted tenure prior to the completion of six years of full-time experience at the rank of Assistant Professor or above at one or more accredited institutions of higher education, including at least three years experience at Illinois State University.

Faculty members with full-time experience at the rank of assistant professor or above at accredited institutions of higher education may elect to apply up to three years of credit for such service at other institutions toward their total of six years. Acceptance of credit from other universities shall be agreed to by both the faculty member and the University in the initial appointment agreement but may be modified according to ASPT Policy IX.B.2.

Time served on full-time appointments at accredited institutions of higher education other than Illinois State University may be applied toward completion of tenure probationary requirements. Under no circumstances shall the tenure probationary period be less than three years in length.

Time served on nontenure track appointments at Illinois State University shall not count toward completion of the tenure probationary requirements.

Evaluative Criteria and Procedures

1.  In deciding whether to recommend awarding tenure, the University and its academic units shall give major attention to the quality of individual performance, but shall also consider other appropriate criteria, including whether there is sufficient program staffing need based upon both short- and long-term considerations to warrant the addition of a tenured faculty member to the department or similar academic unit. The University shall establish procedures that are both fair and efficient and which utilize appropriate criteria to make this decision. Evaluations of the quality of teaching shall take into consideration student input and a University policy on student evaluations of teaching shall be established.

2.  The University shall, at regular intervals, review and evaluate the performance of tenured faculty in order to offer constructive guidance and to encourage a continuing high level of faculty accomplishment. The University shall establish the policies, procedures and criteria needed to accomplish such periodic evaluations.

Probationary Service and Leaves of Absence

Time spent on any type of a leave of absence shall not be counted toward the probationary period of service unless the University and the faculty member agree at the time the leave is granted that the purpose of the leave is such that it should count in the probationary period. Ordinarily a leave of absence to pursue political activity will not count toward the fulfillment of the probationary period of service.

Additional policies related to tenure may be found in the ASPT Policies manual under IX. Tenure Policies; X. Post-Tenure Reviews Including Cumulative Post-tenure Reviews; and XI. Termination of Appointment of Probationary and Tenured Faculty.

Initiating body: Vice President and Provost

Contact: 309-438-7018

Revised on: 4/2012

2018-01-29T14:21:04.694-06:00 2018