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 status confers on its holder: (1) protection against arbitrary dismissal through abrogation of their freedom in teaching, scholarly and creative activities, and service and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession of college teaching and a teaching career at Illinois State University attractive. Freedom and economic security as provided by tenure are indispensable to the success of the University in fulfilling its obligations to its faculty members and students and to society.
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.
Tenure appointments shall be for an indefinite term and may be terminated only by (1) retirement, (2) acceptance of resignation, (3) demonstrable University financial exigency, (4) dismissal for cause as outlined in ASPT, XI.B.1 (lack of fitness to continue to perform in the faculty member’s professional capacity as a teacher or researcher, failure to perform assigned duties in a manner consonant with professional standards, and/or malfeasance), or (5) the reduction or elimination of a department or program (see Illinois State University Constitution, Article III, sect. 2, B and Article III, sect. 4).
Eligibility for Administrative/Professional Employee
Administrators and appropriate staff members of non-instructional 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 held. Tenure applies to faculty appointments. See Policy 3.2.14 Assignment of Person Holding Faculty Rank to Administrative or Other Non-departmental Positions for more information.
Tenure cannot be acquired automatically by length of service without approval 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.
Policies, Evaluative Criteria, and Procedures
All policies and procedures for tenure and probationary tenure-track faculty, including evaluative criteria, are contained in the Appointment, Salary, Promotion and Tenure (ASPT) document (see Illinois State University Constitution, Article III, sect. 2, B).