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.)
The Teaching Criterion
A Bloomington Faculty Council resolution passed in 1983 (DOCUMENT E-X) required each unit to develop a plan for evaluation and improvement of teaching and for assuring that teaching is accorded significant weight in promotion, tenure and salary determination. The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education is to monitor the plans and assist units in complying.
Commission on Teaching, 1992
The BFC approved the work of the Commission on Teaching by endorsing the principle that teaching be accorded status and rewards equivalent to those for research, asking that the college and the schools implement standards and procedures to achieve equivalency, recommending salary supplements for teaching award winners, and requesting a departmental and public record of teaching assignments and enrollment data. (See DOCUMENT E-XI.)
The BFC has mandated that each unit develop teaching evaluation policies and procedures (DOCUMENT E-XII). While evaluations are useful in many ways (e.g., for teacher self-improvement, in the salary-setting process, in assessment of learning, and in measures of institutional effectiveness), they become critical to the individual case in a promotion or tenure dossier. The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education monitors departmental compliance.
Unit Criteria and Procedures
The Bloomington Faculty Council has further stated (see DOCUMENT E-X) that each unit head, in cooperation with the members of the unit, shall describe in writing the procedures and criteria used by that unit in arriving at recommendations concerning tenure and promotions. These written documents are to be made available by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs at the Graduate Library Reference Desk where all Bloomington faculty shall have access to them. The procedures and criteria for appropriate units are also sent by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs to all new appointees in faculty rank, and to those converting from lecturer to faculty rank. All documents explaining and interpreting promotion and tenure criteria statements, including letters to referees, are also to be reviewed and approved by the faculty of the unit and are to be discussed with tenure-track faculty as part of the annual review. (See DOCUMENT E-XIII.) For matters of tenure, each faculty member may choose to be evaluated under the unit statement in existence at the time of initial appointment or the statement in effect at the time of the tenure review.
Policies for Reappointment/Non-reappointment
The University Faculty Council and the Trustees of Indiana University approved in 1972 the Policies Governing Reappointment and Non-Reappointment during the probationary period. (See DOCUMENT E-IX.) These policies cover notice of the terms of the initial appointment, annual reviews, notice of impending recommendation for reappointment or tenure, and provisions for review of a negative recommendation. These policies are incorporated in the procedures to be followed in the various evaluative processes involved in making tenure and promotion decisions as set out in this section.
An annual review regarding reappointment and tenure prospects must be conducted for each full-time, non-tenured librarian and faculty member. The University Faculty Council approved in 1977 a policy which provides that all assistant and associate professors, and all affiliate, assistant, and associate librarians be given an annual review relative to promotion prospects. (See DOCUMENT E-XIV.)
Tenure Track Reviews
No specific date for annual reviews is established. The reviews of tenure-track faculty and librarians may occur at any time during the academic year, although many units find it convenient to conduct the re-appointment reviews before the bulk of their reappointment recommendations are due (March 1). The results of these reviews may best be transmitted orally in the first instance, but for all tenure-track faculty a summary must be recorded in writing. The summary should speak to progress in the three areas of responsibility-teaching, research/creative activities, service. One copy of the written summary is to be given to the candidate and the other copy is to be placed in the unit's files. For the benefit of the candidate and the University, it is recommended that the review state two things in addition to the evaluation per se: first, that the review reflects the evaluation of the unit only, and second, that subsequent evaluations at any level of the University may differ from the evaluation of the unit.
The annual reappointment review shall be conducted each year for all full-time, non-tenured faculty members and librarians regardless of the length of time the person has been on the faculty, whether they have an appointment which exceeds one year, or whether they may be temporarily on leave of absence. Even though the review conducted during a faculty member's first year in residence is probably based on less information than subsequent reviews and may therefore not seem as useful, it is imperative that such a first-year review occur.
Reviews of Tenured Appointees
The procedures are slightly different for annual reviews relative to promotion prospects required for all tenured faculty and librarians below full rank. The fact that a review or discussion has taken place must be confirmed in writing to the appointee and to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. The appointee may request a written summary of the substance of the review or discussion, or the reviewer may independently decide to provide a written summary. In either event, if the statement is put in writing, copies must be both placed in the file and given to the appointee.
Notice of Reviews
Well in advance (2-4 weeks) of any review, the faculty member must be invited to assemble and submit materials relevant to his or her teaching, research/creative activities, and service.
Notice Requirements for Non-Reappointment
The University adheres to the AUUP statement on the amount of notice faculty members should be accorded if they are not to be reappointed or granted tenure. (See DOCUMENT E-II). Faculty members are to be given at least three months' notice during their first year of service (by February 1), six months' notice during their second year of service (by November 15), and twelve months' notice after two or more years of service (by May 1). To accommodate these deadlines, recommendations are due in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs by the following dates:
1st year . . . . ..January 10 . . . . for 2nd year reappointment
2nd year . . . . October 15 . . . . for 3rd year reappointment
2nd year . . . . March 1 . . . .for 4th year reappointment
3rd-5th year March 1 . . . . for 5th-7th year reappointment
6th year . . . . November 1 . . . for 8th year--tenured status.
Originally these deadlines applied only to faculty members. On 12/3/68 the Faculty Council approved the extension of these requirements to include lecturers and in 2001 the Academic Officers’ Committee adopted the extension of these requirements to Academic Specialists. Trustees' action (see DOCUMENT E-IV), provides that the same requirements shall apply to librarians.
Resignations by Faculty
The AAUP has also issued a statement concerning a faculty member's obligation "not to resign in order to accept other employment as of the end of the academic year, later than May 15 or 30 days after receiving notification of the terms of his continued employment the following year, whichever date occurs later." The complete AAUP Statement appears in DOCUMENT B-XV.