The University of Oregon has established a six-year pre-tenure (probationary) period, with one major ("midterm") review required prior to the actual review for tenure. Successful midterm review results in a contract that establishes the date by which a final tenure decision is required. For faculty hired without credit for prior service, the midterm review generally occurs during the third year of employment, and the final tenure decision is required by the conclusion of the sixth year of employment.
Credit for Prior Service
When credit for prior service is agreed upon, the terms of hire will state the number of years of credit granted, the earliest date for tenure consideration, and the required date for tenure consideration. Scholarship, research, creative activity, and teaching completed by the faculty member during the period of prior service will receive full consideration during the promotion and tenure process if the faculty member elects the earliest date for tenure review.
Should a faculty member who received credit for prior service at the time of hire choose to delay the review for the full six years of full-time appointment at the University of Oregon, teaching, scholarship, research, and creative activity completed prior to arrival at the university will be of secondary consideration during the promotion and tenure process.
Should the faculty member choose to use some, but not all of the credit for prior service, the focus of the review of teaching, scholarship, research, and creative activity will adjust appropriately so that, for example, four years of full-time appointment at the university would mean that at most two years of prior service will receive full consideration.
A tenure review may occur prior to the sixth year of employment if a particularly meritorious case has been developed by the faculty member, as determined by the provost or designee in consultation with the appropriate dean, department or unit head, and faculty member. The university standard for these early cases is “all-around excellence” and requires clear evidence of excellence in research and teaching. Service is somewhat less important in cases of early tenure review, but even in relation to service, we would ideally like to see evidence of excellence in early cases.
Exceptions to the Probationary Period ("Stopping the Clock")
The tenure review clock may be stopped, at the faculty member’s discretion, for one year upon pregnancy or the birth or adoption of a child. Faculty members are advised to request stopping the tenure review clock as soon as possible. Faculty members who wish to make such a request should notify their department head, dean, and the Office of the Provost (OtP@uoregon.edu) by email. Once approved, they will receive a letter from the Office of the Provost revising the timeline for tenure review and specifying the new date by which a tenure decision must be made.
The tenure review clock may also be stopped, at the faculty member’s discretion for up to two years for approved leaves of absence without pay or in other extraordinary circumstances as approved by the provost or designee. In these cases, the faculty member must elect whether to opt to stop the tenure review clock at the start of the leave of absence, or the tenure review clock will not be stopped. The faculty member, however, may later opt to restore the period when the clock was stopped and may apply for tenure review at the time they would have become eligible without the stopping of the clock.
One-Year Tenure Clock Extension Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic
In recognition of the extraordinary disruption in both professional and personal lives caused by COVID-19, all currently untenured faculty may request a one-year extension by simply communicating their preference to add an additional year to their tenure clocks. All requests will be honored.
Faculty should forward requests to their department or unit head and dean’s office so that the new date will be recorded in Banner. Faculty scheduled for tenure reviews in 2020-21 must do so by May 1, 2020. All others must do so by January 1, 2021. These extensions will be documented by Human Resources. Faculty who elect to keep their existing tenure decision date may also do so.
See Frequently Asked Questions about this extension.
Successful candidates are granted tenure and assume their new classification and rank at the start of the next academic year, or sooner at the discretion of the provost. Candidates who are denied tenure will receive a notice of appointment which expires at the end of the academic or fiscal year following the one in which the application for tenure was submitted.
If the faculty member fails to submit materials required for a tenure review in a timely manner, the department or unit head will notify the faculty member of the missed deadline by university email and the primary phone on record in the Banner system. If the faculty member does not respond within 14 days, tenure may be denied. If the faculty member responds within 14 days, the department or unit head will establish a new deadline for submission of all materials. The new deadline must allow the university adequate time to complete the tenure review process by June 15. If the faculty member misses the new deadline, tenure will be denied.
Promotion to Full Professor
Consistent with practice at many universities, the University of Oregon views as "timely" a review of a tenured associate professor for promotion to full professor during the sixth year post-tenure. Because this is not a required review, however, a tenured associate professor, in consultation with his/her department or unit head and dean, may choose to defer the review. This decision should be made in consideration of expectations for promotion to full professor as established by the departmental promotion criteria document. Contextually, it is important to note that unsuccessful review for promotion does not lead to issuance of a non-renewable contract, but rather continuation as a tenured associate professor.
Early Promotion to Full Professor
A review for promotion to full professor may occur prior to the sixth year of service as a tenured associate professor if a particularly meritorious case has been developed by the faculty member, as determined by the provost or designee in consultation with the appropriate dean, department or unit head, and faculty member. The university standard for these early cases is “all-around excellence” and requires clear evidence of excellence in research and teaching and service. The decision of when to undergo review for promotion to full professor is made by the faculty member, with guidance and consultation from the appropriate department or unit head and/or dean.