Tenure

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The University seeks to appoint and maintain a full time permanent teaching faculty that is 85-90% tenured/tenure track. Normally, tenure track and tenured appointments should be maintained at 85-90% departmentally and institutionally. These two percentage guidelines will enable the University to benefit from the stability of a core of tenured faculty and from the influx of new faculty. These guidelines will also provide flexibility to respond to enrollment and program changes that occur in the course of time. The administration is principally responsible for allocation of positions in accordance with the long-term direction of the institution and its obligation to manage resources so as to maintain the mission of the University. The faculty is principally responsible to provide information and evaluation regarding the individual’s competence and relevance of training and skills to the present and short-term programmatic needs of the University.

Additional information on tenure may be found elsewhere in this Handbook.

Granting of Tenure

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Eligibility for Tenure Track Positions

Tenure track positions are allocated to departments or programs by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Deans and Department Chairs. If a tenure track position is available, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the appropriate Dean, following consultation with the Department Chair and considering the overall needs of the University, determine that the position either be offered to a current member of the faculty or be advertised externally. When a tenure track position is offered to and accepted by a current member of the faculty, standard tenure review procedures will be followed.

When tenure track positions are announced by a department, qualified faculty members from continuing track, lecture track, and visiting appointments may submit their name as applicants. If successful in securing the tenure track position, faculty should consult the Chair and Dean to determine the length of the probationary period prior to their tenure decision.

For faculty on continuing track who accept a tenure track position, the annual cash supplement will terminate at the beginning of the tenure track appointment period.

Conditions for Tenure

The University recognizes the importance of having high quality faculty performance that is clearly demonstrated before tenure is awarded. For tenure, the burden of proof rests with the faculty member. The candidate is responsible for knowing the process and the requirements for tenure and for ensuring that his/her personnel file is complete. The process  and criteria associated with tenure may be found elsewhere in this Handbook.

Standards in the Tenure Process

Only the Board of Trustees of the University can grant tenure. The granting of tenure is reserved for those probationary faculty who have met the following University standards in the tenure process:

  • Possesses the terminal degree and at least six years’ experience as an Assistant Professor or, for people on tenure track without the terminal degree, at least six years’ experience as an Assistant Professor and significant professional experience
  • Serves at least four years on tenure track at Elon University
  • Demonstrates clearly an ongoing record of high quality in each of the following areas: teaching, contributions to the life of the University, and professional activity.

Only in exceptional cases will faculty members be granted tenure who have not met the preceding standards.

Stop the Clock Applying For Tenure

In exceptional circumstances a faculty member may request a one-year extension of the probationary period. The faculty member, following consultation with the Department Chair and Dean, must submit this request to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who makes the final determination.

Process for Hiring With Tenure

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In some unusual cases, tenure may be granted upon hiring. In the case where a candidate may be under consideration to receive tenure upon hiring, he/she must satisfy the criteria outlined in the Elon University Faculty Handbook for Associate Professor  or Professor  and be under consideration for hire at that rank. Additionally, he/she must have earned tenure or the equivalent at their prior institution.

The procedure for hiring with tenure involves the following steps:

  1. Following consultation with the department, the Dean of the hiring school/college and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will have a meeting to discuss the rationale for hiring with tenure.
  2. The search is initiated.
  3. The candidates meet with the President.
  4. The search committee makes a recommendation for hiring on behalf of the department/program to the Dean.
  5. The selected candidate’s commitment to pursuing the position is ascertained.
  6. The candidate is asked to provide the appropriate documentation for supporting tenure. These documents should mirror those outlined in the Elon University Faculty Handbook.
  • A current curriculum vita
  • A statement of teaching and evidence of effective and engaged teaching
  • A statement of scholarship and supporting pieces of recent scholarly work
  • A statement of service and documentation supporting a history of service
  1. The Dean consults with all post-probationary faculty from within the hiring department/program regarding the granting of tenure to the candidate.
  2. The Dean communicates his/her recommendation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  3. The applicant’s supporting materials are sent to the Promotions and Tenure Committee for review.
  4. The Promotions and Tenure Committee sends its recommendation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  5. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs makes his/her recommendation to the President.
  6. The President’s recommendation is sent to the Board of Trustees for approval.
  7. The offer is finalized.

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