Retention, Tenure, and Promotion


Retention, Tenure, and Promotion are actions that apply to permanent faculty members only. While temporary faculty members may have multiple-year appointments and subsequently be re-appointed, even where they are long-term faculty members, the terms ‘retention,’ ‘tenure,’ and ‘promotion’ do not apply to temporary faculty members. 

Generally, probationary (i.e., untenured but tenure-track or permanent) faculty members are appointed to an initial two-year appointment, at the end of which they are considered for retention. If retained, probationary faculty members are appointed to subsequent two-year (or in some cases, one-year) appointments. Probationary faculty members are considered for retention at the end of each probationary appointment until their sixth probationary year, in which they are considered for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor.

Once tenured, a faculty member will normally be considered for promotion to the rank of Professor during their fifth post-tenure year (unless they opt not to be considered). 

In addition to RTP reviews, permanent faculty members will also undergo periodic evaluations. For more information on periodic evaluations, please see the Faculty Handbook policy on evaluation of permanent instructional faculty (available on the Policies and Procedures page).

Annually, the Office of the Provost publishes an RTP calendar that governs the evaluation schedule of all faculty members under consideration for retention, tenure, and promotion. Faculty members who are candidates for retention, tenure, or promotion should familiarize themselves with this calendar—file closure dates signify the last day on which a faculty member may submit their material (the Working Personnel Action File, or “supplemental file”) for review. 

File closure dates are listed on the RTP calendar. At the time of file closure, files will be considered complete for the purpose of evaluations. If a faculty member wishes to submit additional materials during the review cycle, he or she must petition the appropriate Committee (as identified in College policy) for permission to do so. That committee will be asked to determine whether the material to be added to the file is both new (i.e., became available only after the file closure date) and substantive (i.e., likely to influence the evaluation in progress).  A Committee will approve such additions only in exceptional cases; thus, every effort should be made to ensure that the file is complete by the closure date.  In such cases in which the Committee approves the addition of materials after the file closure date, the entire file must return to the first level of review, and all reviews are then re-opened to consider the additional material.