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Administration 203
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4116

Promotion and Tenure: Tenure Policy, Contracts, Probationary Period

Academic Policies and Procedures


Promotion and Tenure:  Tenure Policy, Contracts, Probationary Period

Date of Current Revision:  March 2002

Primary Responsible Officer: Provost or designee


Promotion and Tenure:  Tenure Policy, Contracts, Probationary Period


Tenure Policy

The academic units of University of Central Missouri strive for excellence in all academic matters. In light of this quest for excellence the academic personnel process is designed to facilitate the evaluation of faculty in a fair and professional manner. To do so requires the exercise of informed professional judgments as well as respect for the rights and responsibilities of all persons involved in the process. University of Central Missouri is best served when personnel matters can be decided, and disagreements resolved, in an environment of informal cooperation and full discussion, based upon clearly stated criteria for evaluation. Tenure is a safeguard for academic freedom. Tenure also provides faculty with a certain degree of economic security and creates a faculty that has a strong, long-term commitment to University of Central Missouri.


a. Definition

Tenure at University of Central Missouri consists of membership in a protected class of faculty on long-term, indefinite and continuous appointment to the faculty whose members may be separated from the university against their will only after being afforded procedural due process of law and only in accord with the rights and procedures specified below. Tenure at University of Central Missouri exists as stated at the time of the awarding of tenure, i.e., either on a department-wide basis or as otherwise stated at the time of the awarding of tenure. Tenure is recognition of a faculty member's sustained and distinguished service to the department, college and university and is based upon accomplishments achieved. Tenure is awarded on the basis of merit which has been substantiated by academic credentials and by the results of a systematic evaluation of a faculty member involved.


b. Eligibility for Tenure

Qualified faculty members are eligible for tenure consideration the final year of the probationary period. Candidates must be full-time, tenure-track faculty and must, except in exceptional circumstances, hold a terminal degree appropriate to the discipline. Full-time faculty members are those Central employees who are under a full-time contract to teach or to serve as librarians. At times, these employees may have a special assignment in order to serve in some additional capacity, such as department chair; these alterations in assignment will not alter their status as full-time faculty.


If a faculty member holds a joint appointment in two or more departments, the President of University of Central Missouri will indicate at the time of the appointment the department or other organizational unit, in which the faculty member is eligible for tenure and which, therefore, will bear primary responsibility for evaluation and recommendation.


c. Authority for Award of Tenure

Tenure at University of Central Missouri may be awarded only by the University President under the authority of the Board of Governors to faculty who have been recommended for tenure in accordance with procedures set forth in the then current Academic Policy and Procedure.


d. Criteria for Awarding of Tenure

Considering the long-term commitment involved, the awarding of tenure should be based on an analysis of present and anticipated needs of the department and a careful and complete review of all aspects of the individual, keeping in mind the value of having persons with a variety of backgrounds, training, experience, viewpoints, and interests. Utmost care will be exercised by all individuals and bodies reviewing applications for tenure to exclude possible prejudice concerning such matters as age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, Vietnam Era veterans, and persons with handicaps and disabilities.


The criteria for the awarding of tenure include (1) effectiveness in teaching1 (2) scholarly performance involving discipline-related inquiry and/or creative activity and (3) service to and recognitions within the university community and the professional discipline. Evidence supporting these must be found in the candidate's dossier.


The candidate is expected to demonstrate excellence in teaching and also achievements in both scholarship and service. Although achievements in service and scholarship need not be balanced, collectively they must demonstrate activity at a level appropriate for someone at the candidate's current rank.


Faculty in each department and in those colleges where accreditation agencies' standards impact tenure decisions shall indicate in writing how the above criteria are operationally defined within their specific disciplines, using appropriate departmental, college, disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary forums. These operational definitions shall be distributed to all faculty members in those areas and shall be used by departmental and college promotion committees and administrators at all levels in their deliberations.


e. Individual Contracts

Individual contracts will state the terms and conditions for every appointment and will be in the possession of the institution and faculty member before the appointment is consummated. Any special terms and conditions of employment in the first contract will be restated in subsequent contracts until met or renegotiated.


On occasion, it may be advantageous for the university to employ persons with tenure; for example, a faculty member with a prestigious national reputation or a high ranking administrator. The president may approve such an appointment to the Board of Governors after recommendations have been received from the appropriate department and chairperson, dean, and provost. Faculty contracts are only valid upon signature of the President or an authorized designee.


f. Probationary Period

The purpose of a probationary period is to allow reasonable time for full-time tenure-track faculty members to establish their academic performance and potential and for the university to establish projected institutional needs in order that a proper assessment may be made regarding the award of tenure.


Although the maximum probationary period for full-time faculty is six years of full-time employment, faculty members are eligible to apply for tenure as early as the fifth year of full-time service (for the award of tenure with the sixth contract.) Faculty may apply for earlier consideration of tenure if that was negotiated at the time of hire or if the departmental faculty, chair and dean endorse an earlier candidacy because of exemplary performance. The President reserves the right to determine at the time of appointment whether prior service in institutions of higher education or other professional experience shall reduce the probationary period. Any such arrangement will be stated in writing at that time. Generally, prior service is computed at a rate of two years of prior service to one year of University of Central Missouri credit not to exceed three years credit. Consequently, in such cases, tenure review could not take place before the second year of University of Central Missouri service. If an application for tenure before the end of the maximum probationary period is denied, the applicant may reapply.


Stopping the Tenure Clock

When a probationary faculty member believes that his/her academic performance may be adversely affected because of a medical condition, personal emergency, or family care issues, the faculty member may request a “stopping of the tenure clock,” which is, in effect, an extension of the probationary period, for up to one academic year.  If granted, the faculty member’s work during this period, including the annual evaluation, will not be counted toward tenure nor shall the year be counted toward tenure eligibility.  After the end of this period, the faculty member will resume the role of a tenure-track appointment with all of the inherent expectations and responsibilities thereof.  The President may grant the extension upon the request of the faculty member, with the recommendation of the Department Chair, Dean and Provost.


The request should be submitted in writing to the Department Chair and should be made, whenever possible, prior to the start of the academic year in question.  The Department Chair is expected to then engage in conversations with the Dean and Provost to determine whether they will disapprove the request or make a recommendation to the President that it be approved. Requests will be reviewed in a timely manner and the faculty member will be notified of approval or denial as expeditiously as possible.


Additional considerations applicable to stopping the tenure clock include the following:


In cases of non-teaching faculty, such as librarians, professional performance is to be substituted for teaching.


If approved, tenure is awarded with the issuance of the next contract. Full-time tenure-track faculty members who have not been awarded tenure are required to apply in the final year of the maximum probationary period. In the event that tenure has not been awarded by the end of the sixth year of full-time employment, the seventh contract will be a terminal contract.


Grievance procedures of the FS Grievance Committee are available to all faculty members. Academic freedom is to be guaranteed in teaching and research for all faculty members during the probationary period.


g. Notification of Non-Reappointment during the Probationary Period.

Until tenure is granted, full-time faculty employment may be terminated at the conclusion of any contract by letter from the president. First-year full-time faculty members are notified on or before March 1, and second-year full-time faculty members are notified on or before December 1, prior to the expiration of the contract. After the second year, notice of termination for full-time faculty is a terminal contract for one academic year.


Revision History:

Established and archived prior to 1999

Edited per Faculty Senate Motion 2001-2002-12, President Patton approved March 6, 2002.

Edited to reflect Academic Freedom and Tenure Board of Governors Policy 2.2.030, 2005.

Edited by Academic Affairs (cover page forms) March 12, 2008.

Edited for due dates by Academic Affairs 2004.

Edited for web links, formatting and plain language. Approved December 2015.

Edited to add statement for authorized signature to individual contracts by Academic Affairs. Approved March 2016.

Edited to add statement regarding university policy and procedures to Section III.B.1 by Academic Affairs. Approved March 2016.

Edited for formatting. Approved by Vice Provost of Academic Programs and Services April 2016.

Previously annotated as III.B.3. Promotion and Tenure: Tenure Policy, Contracts, Probationary Period:  Renamed Promotion and Tenure: Tenure Policy, Contracts, Probationary Period for alphabetical listing, grammar and spell check, and transitioned into policy library April 2017.

Edited to add provisions to stop the tenure clock. Approved by Provost. Oct 2017.