January 2020






PREAMBLE: This section defines tenure and sets out the procedure by which a faculty member is evaluated, at the department, college, and university level, for a possible award of tenure. In general, the material gathered here was all an original part of the 1979 Handbook. The material that provides the first sentence of what is now subsection F, H-1, I-1 through I-3 was added in July 1987. At that time what is now subsection D (criteria for tenure) and subsections I-4 and J-1 (specifying review at the university level) were added and what is now H-4 (concerning the formal tenure-review process) greatly enlarged. Substantial revisions to D, H-3, H-4, H-5, and I-4 were made in July 1998. The tenurability of lecturers and senior instructors was clarified (Section E) in July 2001. Subsections F, G, and H were revised and J-3 added in July 2002, G-1 and H-3 were substantially revised July 2005. In July 2007 the form underwent substantial revisions to address enforcement and accountability issues in the UI promotion and tenure process as well as align the form with the Strategic Action Plan. Minor rearrangements and clarifications were made January 2008. In January 2010 this section was again revised to reflect changes in the faculty position description and evaluation forms intended to simplify the forms while better integrating faculty interdisciplinary activities into the evaluation process. In July 2011 changes to F-9 were made to make automatic the one year extension for childbirth/adoption. In July 2012 the percentage requirement for student membership on tenure committees was removed to better align this policy with the Regent policy which states only that students be included.  In July 2013 the Regents no longer required students on tenure committees, thus the university revised its policy to allow units to determine and note same in their by-laws. In July 2017 changes were made to clarify the language in F-9 for tenure extensions. Except where specifically noted, the rest of the text was written in July 1996.

In January 2020, the university’s promotion and tenure policies were comprehensively revised in order to unify all provisions regarding procedure in the Faculty Staff Handbook and to help faculty and reviewers by clarifying the procedure. The following changes were approved: Deletion of FSH 3520, 3560, and 3570; revision of FSH 3530; and addition of new FSH 3500 and 3510. New policy FSH 3500 Promotion and Tenure will become effective April 1, 2020, and thereafter will govern all promotion and tenure procedure. Faculty hired before January 3, 2020, may elect not to be governed by the provisions of FSH 3500 C and instead be subject to the corresponding policies regarding the timing of promotion and tenure in place immediately prior to the approval of FSH 3500, specifically those in FSH 3520 and FSH 3560. Written notice of election not to be governed by FSH 3500 C must be provided to the unit administrator, dean and provost prior to April 1, 2020. See FSH 3500 I. After April 1, 2020, the text of FSH 3520 and FSH 3560 will continue to be available on the website of the Office of the Provost. For further information, contact the Office of the Provost. [ed. 7-97, 7-02, rev. 7-98, 7-01, 7-02, 7-05, 7-07, 1-08, 1-10, 7-11, 7-12, 7-13, 7-17, 1-20]




A.    General

B.    Definitions

C.    Criteria for Tenure

D.    Tenurable Ranks

E.    Tenure Eligibility

F.    Time Requirements for Tenure

G.    Evaluation for Tenure

H.    Review of Evaluations at the College Level

I.     Review of Evaluations at the University Level  


A. GENERAL. Tenure has as its fundamental purpose the protection of academic freedom in order to maintain a free and open intellectual atmosphere. The justification for tenure lies in the character of scholarly activity, which requires protection from improper influences from either outside or inside the university. A tenure policy strengthens the capability of a university to attract and retain superior teachers and scholars as members of the faculty. UI�s tenure policy improves the quality of the faculty by requiring that each faculty member�s performance be carefully scrutinized before tenure is granted and on an annual basis thereafter [see FSH 3320]. [ed. 7-98, ed. & ren. 1-10]  




B-1. Board. As used throughout this section, �board� refers to the State Board of Education and Board of Regents of the University of Idaho. [ren. 1-10]  


B-2.  Tenure  is a condition of presumed continuing employment accorded a faculty member by the board, usually after a probationary period, on the basis of an evaluation and recommendation by a faculty committee, by the faculty member�s unit administrator, by the college dean, and by the president. After tenure has been awarded, the faculty member�s service can be terminated only for adequate cause, the burden of proof resting with UI [see FSH 3910], except under conditions of financial exigency as declared by the board [see FSH 3970], in situations where extreme shifts of enrollment have eliminated the justification for a position, or where the board has authorized the elimination of, or a substantial reduction in, an academic program. [ed. 7-98, rev. & ren. 2-10]  


B-3. University. As used throughout this section, �university� and �UI� refer to the University of Idaho. [ren. 1-10]   


B-4. Faculty Member. For the purposes of this section and certain other sections that contain references to this subsection, �faculty member� is defined as any member of the university faculty who holds one of the following ranks: instructor, senior instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor.  


C. CRITERIA FOR TENURE. Tenure is granted only to faculty members who demonstrate that they have made and will continue to make significant contributions in their disciplines through effective performance in the responsibility areas (FSH 1565 C) as specified in their position description. The college and unit criteria [see G-1 and H-2] must also be met. [rev. 7-98, rev. & ren.  1-10].  


D. TENURABLE RANKS. The tenurable ranks are: senior instructor, assistant professor, assistant research professor, associate professor, associate research professor, professor, research professor, and librarian, psychologist/licensed psychologist, and extension faculty all with the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. The rank of senior instructor can be used with either a tenure or non-tenure track position but it is not a rank from which a faculty member may be promoted (see FSH 1565 D-1 b.)  [rev. 7-98, 7-01, ren. & rev. 1-10]  


E. TENURE ELIGIBILITY. The granting of tenure is based on the criteria formulated and described below and follows the procedures specified in subsections E, F, G, H, and I. Full-time faculty members who hold tenurable ranks are eligible for appointment to tenure under the conditions and through the procedures described in this section. [ren. & rev. 1-10]  


E-1. Tenure is not awarded automatically, but only on the basis of explicit judgment, decision, and approval. A faculty member who is eligible for consideration for tenure must be evaluated by the unit tenure-recommending committee [see G-4] in accordance with the schedule in G-1. That committee�s recommendation, together with the recommendations of the faculty member�s unit administrator, interdisciplinary leader and center administrator if appropriate, and dean, including all narratives, is forwarded to the president for review. In the event that the administrator submitting the recommendation has not had at least one year to evaluate the candidate, he or she will, except for reasons clearly stated in writing, rely on the evaluations and recommendations of the tenure-recommending committee when submitting his or her own recommendation. The candidate is responsible for demonstrating that she or he has met the criteria for tenure.  The authority to award tenure rests with the board, which has delegated its authority to the president.  [rev. 7-02, 1-08, ren. & rev. 1-10]  


E-2. A unit administrator is unable to be granted tenure in his or her administrative capacity. A faculty member with tenure in an academic department who is appointed to an academic administrator position retains tenure in that department. (RGP IIG6i) [rev. 7-02, ren. & rev. 1-10]  


E-3. The Board defines academic administrators who are eligible for tenure as the chief academic officer of the UI (provost), deans, department chairs, and their associates and assistants of academic units.  An academic administrator may be appointed with or without academic rank, except that an administrator of an academic department must hold academic rank in a discipline. If the appointment carries academic rank, evaluation for tenure is conducted by the department in which the rank is held. In such cases, tenure will be granted only upon favorable recommendation of the department or upon successful appeal of an unfavorable unit recommendation. In the event that tenure is not granted, the appointee may continue to serve in the administrative or service capacity (except as administrator of an academic department), but without academic rank. [rev. 7-02, ren. & ed. 1-10]    




F-1. Prior to the award of tenure, employment beyond the annual term of appointment may not be legally presumed. (RGP IIG6). Ordinarily a faculty member is not considered for tenure until the fourth full year of probationary service, and consideration is mandatory no later than the sixth full year of service. (RGP IIG6). Credit for prior experience may be given in accordance with the provisions of F-4. In this context, unless otherwise specified, the term �year� means the appointment year, whether that is an academic, calendar, or fiscal year. When the appointment begins after January 1, then the following fiscal year date is the start date to begin counting for consideration for tenure. A faculty member who is not awarded tenure may be given written notice of non-reappointment, or be offered a one-year terminal appointment, or be granted an additional short-term probationary appointment for not more than a twelve-month period by mutual agreement between UI and the faculty member. The decision to offer employment following a denial of tenure is in the sole discretion of the president (RGP IIG6j). [See FSH 3900.] [rev. 7-98, 7-02, 7-05, ren. & rev. 1-10]  


F-2. Tenure evaluation procedures must be started in sufficient time to permit completion by the end of the time periods indicated in F-1. When authorized by the president or his or her designee, the year in which the tenure decision is made may be the terminal year of employment if the decision is to deny tenure. (RGP IIG6k). [rev. 7-02, ren. & ed. 1-10]  


F-3. Satisfactory service in any tenurable rank may be used to fulfill the probationary periods required for awarding tenure. A maximum of two years of satisfactory service in the rank of instructor at UI may be recognized in partial fulfillment of the time requirement in the tenurable ranks. [rev. & ren. 1-10]


F-4. In cases involving prior equivalent experience, tenure may be granted following less than the usual period of service. In particular, a new faculty member with comparable experience (see FSH 3050 B) from other institutions in relation to the expectations set forth in his/her position description may be granted credit for such experience up to a maximum of four years and may be considered for tenure after a minimum of one full year of service at UI. A faculty member initially employed as an associate or full professor, having already attained tenure at another college or university may be appointed with tenure.  However, before any negotiations for appointment with tenure can begin, this action must be supported by a majority vote of the tenured faculty in the department or equivalent unit and by the university administration.  If an associate or full professor is not appointed with tenure, they are considered for tenure not later than the fourth full year of service. [ed. 7-98, rev. & ren. 1-10, rev. 1-14]  


F-5. In the event that a nontenured faculty member�s service at UI has been discontinuous, prior years in the same or a similar tenurable rank may be counted toward tenure eligibility, subject to the limitation stated in F-3 with respect to instructors, and subject to the conditions that: [rev. & ren. 1-10]  


a. Not more than three years have passed since the faculty member left UI. [ed. 1-10]  

b. Applicability of the prior service toward tenure must be stated in writing before reappointment.  

c. At least one additional year is to be served before tenure is recommended.  


F-6. If a tenured faculty member leaves UI and later returns to the same or a similar position after not more than three years, the appointment may be with tenure, or he or she may be required to serve an additional year before a tenure decision is made. Notification of probationary or tenure status is to be given in writing before reappointment.  


F-7. When a nontenured faculty member holding academic rank moves from one department to another within UI, the faculty member must be informed in writing by the provost, after consultation with the new department, as to the extent to which prior service will count toward tenure eligibility. (RGP IIG6l) [rev. 7-02]


F-8. When a tenured faculty member moves from one position to another within UI, or accepts a change from full-time to part-time appointment, his or her tenure status does not change. While a tenured faculty member is serving as a unit administrator, college dean, or in some other administrative or service capacity, he or she retains membership, academic rank, and tenure in his or her academic department. Should the administrative or service responsibilities end, the faculty member resumes duties in his or her academic discipline.  


F-9.   Extensions:


a.  Childbirth/Adoption:  A faculty member in a tenure track position who becomes the parent of a child by birth or adoption, may request an automatic one-year extension of the probationary period for tenure. Childbirth or adoption shall be considered an exceptional case justifying an extension under Regents� Policy II.G.(4)(b) and will not prejudice a subsequent contract renewal decision. In the event that the extension is requested and granted before the third year review, the review is also automatically delayed for one year. [add. 7-11, rev. 7-17]

b. Other Circumstances: An extension of the probationary period for tenure may be granted in certain other circumstances that may impede a faculty member�s progress toward achieving tenure, including significant responsibilities with respect to elder/dependent care obligations, disability/chronic illness, or other exceptional circumstances.   [rev. 7-11, ed. 7-17]


c. Procedure for Requesting an Extension:  


1.  The faculty member must request the extension from the Provost in writing by June 1st before the review process begins and must include appropriate documentation of the childbirth, adoption, or other circumstance. [rev. 7-17]

2.  Except to obtain necessary consultative assistance on medical or legal issues, only the Provost will have access to documentation pertaining to a request related to disability or chronic illness.  The provost will, at his or her discretion, determine if consultation with the dean and/or department is appropriate. The provost shall notify the faculty member, department chair, and dean of the action taken. [ren. 7-17]

3.  In most cases, extension of the probationary period will be for one year. However, longer extensions may be granted upon a showing of need by the faculty member. Multiple extension requests may be granted. [rev. & ren. 7-17]

4.   If a probationary period extension is approved, a reduction in productivity during the period of time addressed in the request should not prejudice a subsequent contract renewal decision.  In the event the probationary period is approved before the third year review, the review is automatically delayed. [rev. 7-11, ren. 7-17] 




G-1. Unit Criteria. The faculty of each unit or equivalent unit establishes specific criteria for tenure. The criteria shall include a statement regarding the role of interdisciplinary activity. The unit criteria may be revised at any time by a majority vote of the unit faculty, and they must be reviewed for possible changes at intervals not to exceed five years (see FSH 1590). Revisions may not be retroactive but, for tenure evaluation purposes, are considered proportionately in conjunction with criteria that were previously in force.  Unit criteria must be consistent with the college criteria and are subject to review by the college committee on tenure and promotion. [rev. 7-06, 1-08, ren. & rev. 1-10]  


G-2.  College Criteria.  College criteria must be consistent with university criteria. [add. 1-10]  


G-3. Annual Review (FSH 3320). The basis for the annual review is performance in relation to the position descriptions for the period under consideration where such descriptions have been developed according to the policies stated in FSH 3050 and in relation to the unit criteria for tenure and promotion. In the case of members of instructional faculty, the annual student evaluation of teaching is carefully weighed in this review. Each college must have procedures that guarantee that the student evaluations are considered (college procedures are subject to review and approval by the president and the board). The unit administrator�s annual evaluations, including all narratives and any evaluative comments provided by interdisciplinary/center administrators or from those administrators of faculty holding joint appointments  together with the judgments of higher administrators, are used as one of the bases for recommendations concerning salary, reappointment, nonreappointment, promotion, tenure, or other personnel actions, as appropriate. [ren. & rev. 1-10]


G-4. Third Year Review. A more thorough review by a non-tenured faculty member�s colleagues is held during the 24 to 36 month period after beginning employment at UI.  The candidate creates a professional portfolio (see FSH 3570). A committee is appointed, in accordance with procedures determined by each unit, to consider the progress of each faculty member. The detailed procedures for appointing the committee and conducting the third-year review are developed by the faculty of each unit and made a part of the unit bylaws. In case of a conflict, the below requirements in a. supersede college and unit bylaws. [rev. 7-98, 7-05, 1-08, ren. & rev. 1-10]  


a. At a minimum, the candidate must submit the following materials:   

1. Current curriculum vitae;  

2. Annual evaluations and other progress reviews from unit administrator(s), dean(s) and center administrator(s) where applicable;  in the case of joint appointments and appointments where interdisciplinary activities are part of the faculty member�s position description, or in cases where faculty are located at centers or offsite locations, the secondary unit administrator and dean and/or center administrators� evaluative comments shall also be included; [rev. 1-10]  

3.  Professional Portfolio (see FSH 3570); [add. 1-10]  

4.  At the candidate's discretion, additional material may be prepared and made available to all who are evaluating his/her suitability for tenure and/or promotion. Materials from the following areas, should also be included as appropriate: advancement, interdisciplinary activity, professional development and professional service. [add. 1-10]    


b. The faculty member is given a copy of the committee�s report and is informed in writing by the unit administrator of strong and weak points that are brought out by this review. The following materials are then submitted to the Provost's Office: [rev. 1-10]  

1.  Analysis, recommendations and narratives from: [rev. 1-10]        

a) Dean,

b)  Unit chair and, where applicable, interdisciplinary program administrators (those listed on the faculty member�s narrative attached to his/her position description) and center administrators, and/or administrators of faculty in joint appointments, and [rev. 1-10]        

c) Review committee(s).

2.  Complete portfolio of 3rd year review materials.  


G-5. Formal Tenure Review.  


a. The formal evaluation for tenure requires assessing the faculty member�s performance in meeting the criteria for tenure. To initiate the formal evaluation for the granting of tenure to a faculty member, the unit administrator (or college dean if the unit administrator is under consideration for tenure) obtains the position descriptions and annual evaluations (including all narratives) for the relevant period, the third-year review (all maintained in the unit office), the professional portfolio (from the faculty member, see FSH 3570), summary scores of student evaluations from all classes taught (Institutional Research and Assessment), and the curriculum vitae and reviews all of the previous listed documentation for its completeness and accuracy with the candidate. [rev. 7-98, 7-02, 1-08, 1-10]


b. The unit administrator will request an evaluation of the candidate�s performance from three to five appropriate external reviewers, who should include tenured faculty at peer institutions. Persons asked to write peer reviews should be at, or above, the rank the candidate is seeking. The names of at least two of these reviewers will be selected from a list suggested by the candidate. See also External Peer Review Guidelines on the Provost website at http://www.uidaho.edu/provost/faculty/tenure.) Final selection of external reviewers should take place at the unit level, in accordance with college policy. The letter of request will include the candidate�s curriculum vitae, position descriptions (including narratives) for the relevant period, the professional portfolio, and up to four examples of the candidate�s scholarly work. In addition, the letter of request shall include instructions that the candidate be evaluated in relation to the candidate�s personal context statement and unit and college criteria. When all deliberations within the university have been completed, the external reviewers� evaluations will be shown to the faculty member after every effort has been made to ensure the reviewer�s anonymity. [add. 7-98, rev. 7-02, 1-08, 1-10]  


c. Copies of position descriptions, unit tenure criteria, annual evaluations including all narratives, the third-year review (if applicable), the professional portfolio, summary scores of the student evaluations, the curriculum vitae, and external peer review letters are forwarded to each person participating in the review at the unit and higher levels. Supplementary material, if any, shall be available for review in the unit office. The results of the student evaluations of teaching must be carefully weighed and used as a factor in assessing the teaching component in tenure determinations. The unit administrator making the recommendation concerning tenure will solicit, and address in his/her summary,  the evaluative comments regarding the candidate from all tenured faculty members of the unit, and from interdisciplinary program directors and center administrators (if applicable),  and from the unit tenure-recommending committee (see G-5-d). The unit administrator�s summary should assess the candidate�s record in light of the criteria established at the unit, college and university level. Any person having a familial or other similar significant relationship with the candidate is not permitted to serve in any capacity in the review process. Each unit is responsible for developing procedures in its bylaws that meet the requirements of this subsection (unit bylaws are subject to review and approval by the provost, see FSH 1590). A copy of the form to be used in transmitting the recommendations made at each stage of evaluation for tenure appears as the last two pages of this section.  [See also FSH 3380 D.] [rev. 7-98, 7-02, 1-08, 1-10]  


d. The unit tenure-recommending committee includes the following: one or more tenured faculty members, one or more nontenured faculty members, and one or more persons from outside the unit.  In cases involving the evaluation or review of members of the instructional faculty, inclusion of students shall be determined by the unit's by-laws. Student members may include one or more students sufficient to ensure equity of representation and who have had experience in the unit with which the faculty member being evaluated is associated. Each member of the tenure review committee has an equal vote.  If a unit decides not to include a student member(s), the unit by-laws will address how sufficient student input will be accomplished, e.g. formal teaching evaluations, student testimonials, open forums for comment.  In cases involving the evaluation of individuals involved significantly in interdisciplinary activities, one or more members of the appropriate interdisciplinary program(s) faculty shall be included on the committee.  No faculty member serves on the unit tenure-recommending committee when it is considering his or her own case. The dean is excluded from the unit committee�s process. Each unit is responsible for developing procedures, including protocols for voting, in its bylaws that meet the requirements of this subsection (unit bylaws are subject to review and approval by the provost, see FSH 1590). [rev. and ren. 1-08, rev. 1-10, 7-12, 7-13]  


G-6. Forwarding Materials. The unit administrator forwards his or her completed copy of the recommendation form for each person being considered to the dean along with the recommendation of the unit tenure committee, including all narratives and external review letters. A summary of votes, and any comments by tenured faculty members are also forwarded. Before forwarding the materials to the college, the findings of the unit faculty and unit administrator are relayed in writing to the candidate indicating strengths as well as weaknesses as perceived at the unit level. The candidate has one week from receipt of the findings to provide written clarification if he or she believes his or her record or the unit criteria for tenure have been misinterpreted. Any such clarification is forwarded with the rest of the candidate�s materials to the college. [rev. 7-98, rev. & ren. 1-10]  


G-7. Unit Administrator under Review for Tenure. If a departmental administrator is under consideration for tenure, the forms completed by the departmental tenure committee and the tenured faculty members concerned are forwarded directly to the dean and the dean is responsible for making the summary. (See also FSH 3320 D) [ren. & ed. 1-10, 7-10]  



H-1. College Standing Committee. In each college there is a standing committee on tenure and promotion. The members serve terms of not less than three years on a staggered basis. The membership of the committee and the method of selection are prescribed in the bylaws of the college. [ed. 7-98, ren. 1-10]  


H-2. College Criteria. Each college shall have bylaws, adopted by the college faculty, specifying criteria consistent with FSH 1565 C for granting tenure (and promotion to specific ranks) in that college. The criteria shall include a statement regarding the role ascribed to interdisciplinary activity. College criteria must be compatible with the university-wide criteria as specified in FSH 1565 and C above, and are subject to approval by the provost. The dean or the faculty (by petition of 20 percent or more of the faculty members of the college) may initiate consideration for revision of the criteria at any time. [ed. 7-98, 7-01, rev. 7-06, ren. & rev. 1-10]  


H-3. College Standing Committee Recommendations. The College standing committee makes recommendations to the dean and the provost on the tenure of individual faculty members. [rev. 1-08, ren. 1-10]  


H-4. Dean�s Recommendation. The dean considers the recommendations made by the college�s committee on tenure and promotion and makes his or her own written recommendation that assesses the candidate�s record in light of the criteria established at the unit, college and university level. It is advisable that the dean confer collectively with the unit administrators about the merits of the faculty members whom they are recommending for tenure. Before forwarding the materials to the provost, the findings of the college committee(s) and the dean are relayed to the candidate in writing indicating strengths as well as weaknesses as perceived at the college level. The candidate has one week from receipt of the findings to provide written clarification if he or she believes his or her record or the college criteria for tenure have been misinterpreted. Any such clarification is forwarded with the candidate�s materials to the provost. [rev. 7-98, 1-08, ren. & rev. 1-10]  




I-1. The individual recommendations, together with the summary recommendations of the unit administrator, the recommendations of the college committee and those of the dean, including all narratives, are forwarded for review by the provost. Any individual signed recommendations are placed in the faculty member�s personnel file. [rev. 7-02, ren. & ed. 1-10]  


I-2. The awarding of tenure to an eligible faculty member is made only by a positive action of approval by the president. The president gives notice in writing to the faculty member of the granting or denial of tenure by proffered written contract, of appointment or nonappointment to tenure not later than June 30 (see also FSH 3900 B)  after the academic year during which the decision is made. (RGP IIG6c). Notwithstanding any provisions in this section to the contrary, no person is deemed to have been awarded tenure solely because notice is not given or received by the prescribed times. No faculty member may construe the lack of notice of denial of tenure as signifying the awarding of tenure. If the president has not given notice to the faculty member as provided herein, it is the duty of the faculty member to make inquiry to ascertain the decisions of the president. [rev. 7-02, ren. & ed. 1-10]  


I-3. The board requires the president to provide a list of the faculty members granted tenure in the university�s regular semi-annual report to the board. (RGP IIG4b). [add. 7-02, ren. 1-10]  






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