Indiana University's policy on faculty tenure ensures academic freedom and economic security for its faculty. The policy was approved by the Faculty Council and the Trustees of Indiana University in 1969. (See DOCUMENTS E-II and E-III.) A similar policy for librarians was approved initially in 1972 and revised subsequently in 2009. (See DOCUMENTS E-IV.)
The policy provides for up to a seven-year probationary period, including appropriately negotiated credit for time spent at other institutions (as explained in Recruitment, Section B of this Guide). The amount of time to be credited is evaluated carefully at the time of initial appointment; no subsequent retroactive adjustment of tenure credit will be made.
Academic personnel actions which require the approval of the Trustees of Indiana University (appointment or reappointment with tenure, appointment to major administrative positions) will be received and acted upon by the Board only with the prior approval of the President. (See DOCUMENT E-I.)
The tenure policy provides that tenure shall be campus-specific: "The tenure of any faculty member, however, is specific to the campus...in which he/she is serving at the time of acquisition of tenure." (See DOCUMENT E-II.) This policy was reviewed and reaffirmed by the Bloomington Faculty Council in 1978 and the University Faculty Council in 1980. Subsequent changes in the locus of tenure must be agreed to in writing by the campuses involved and by the tenured faculty member.
Criteria for Tenure/Promotion/Reappointment
The criteria for judging tenure-worthiness and the granting of tenure were approved by the Faculty Council in 1968 and amended by the University Faculty Council in 1976 and 1991. In addition, the Bloomington Faculty Council approved a more detailed set of criteria in 1979. The two versions are not in conflict with one another (see DOCUMENTS E-V and E-VI) and both should be seen as applicable to faculty on the Bloomington campus. Both sets of documents incorporate the criteria for faculty promotions approved by the Faculty Council in 1960. (See DOCUMENT E-VII.) The University Faculty Council approved criteria for Librarian promotions in 1976 and revised those criteria in 2009. (See DOCUMENT E-VIII.)
Reappointments during the probationary period are made on the basis of the faculty member's progress toward meeting the criteria contained in DOCUMENTS E-V, E-VI, and E-VII. Reappointments beyond an initial one-year or three-year appointment are normally for one year at a time until the tenure decision.
In evaluating the performance of faculty members as these critical decisions concerning their careers are made, the mission of a campus/school/unit and the faculty member's contribution to that mission, must be taken into account. Candidates for promotion or tenure should normally excel in one of the three areas of teaching, research/creative activities, and service and be at least satisfactory in the others. In exceptional cases, however, a candidate may present evidence of balanced strengths that promise excellent overall performance of comparable benefit to the university. (See DOCUMENT E-VII.)
The primary difference in the criteria for tenure (and reappointment) and the criteria for promotion is that tenure is a more forward-looking decision. The criteria for both tenure and promotion take into account past achievements. However, in the case of tenure those achievements are used to evaluate future promise whereas in the case of promotion those achievements are used to evaluate distinction and stature in one’s field. (See DOCUMENT E-IX, 4c.)