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.
Procedures: Reappointment/Non-Reappointment (including tenure)
The Affirmative Action Plan approved by the Trustees of Indiana University in June of 1974 requires that policies relating to reappointment and tenure shall be under constant review to ensure that women and members of minority groups are accorded equal opportunity. It also provides that an equity review shall be conducted to ensure that women and members of minority groups have been so treated. (See DOCUMENT E-XV.)
General procedures for reappointment/non-reappointment (as well as tenure) were approved by the UFC and the Trustees of Indiana University in 1991. (See DOCUMENT E-XVI.) Procedures for making recommendations for librarians are described in DOCUMENT E-IV.
Review of Non-Reappointment After the First Three Probationary Years
Tenure-probationary faculty members or librarians who have been reappointed after their initial contracts are normally expected to be given an opportunity to establish their qualifications for tenure by their sixth year. Based on this expectation, in 2003 the Bloomington Faculty Council approved a policy which subjects non-reappointment decisions made after the third probationary year to an enhanced review process. (See DOCUMENT E-XVII.)
The policy requires that faculty members or librarians who are being considered for non-reappointment be notified of that possibility and given sufficient time and guidance to prepare a dossier adequately representing their qualifications, similar to the dossier submitted for tenure review. A review committee consisting of at least two faculty members other than the chair or, in non-departmentalized schools, other than the dean and associate deans, will prepare a written report and a full review of the case will be conducted and the decision voted on by the unit tenured faculty. Any documents on which the non-reappointment was based originating from the unit must be included in the dossier and be open to the faculty member or librarian’s review. The written report of the review committee and the chair or dean’s written report of the assembled faculty review and vote become part of the enhanced review dossier.
Unless the faculty member or librarian requests in writing to the chair or dean that no further action be taken following the unit review, the enhanced review dossier will be forwarded to school and campus tenure committees and administrators, using procedures analogous to the tenure process. In non-departmentalized schools the dossier will be forwarded directly to the campus tenure committee. Appeals of non-reappointment decisions may be made to the Mediation Committee and/or the Faculty Board of Review.
Tenure and Promotion to Associate
The granting of tenure to IUB faculty shall, by Bloomington Faculty Council action effective since the 1976-77 academic year, also constitute promotion to associate professor for those not already holding that rank. (The promotion shall become effective at the beginning of the academic year following the one in which the positive tenure decision is taken.) (See DOCUMENT E-II.)
The Faculty Council in 1952 approved the general procedures to be used in making recommendations concerning faculty promotions. (See DOCUMENT E-XVIII.) Analogous procedures for librarian promotions were approved by the Trustees of Indiana University in 1972 (see DOCUMENTS E-IV and E-XIX) and by the APPC. (See DOCUMENT E-XIX)
In order to prevent inequities in promotions the Faculty Council in 1952 directed the Dean of the Faculties (now the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs) to review all faculty below full rank who have not recently been accorded a formal review for promotion. (See DOCUMENT E-XVIII.) Accordingly, the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs requests information from units about faculty members who have not been recommended for promotion in the last two years and who have been in the following ranks for at least the indicated period of time:
Associate Professor . . . . 7 years
Assistant Professor . . . . 5 years
Lecturer, Research Scientist/Scholar, Clinical Professor . . . . 3 years
Such information may then be taken by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs to the Campus Promotions Advisory Committee for advice.
Reappointment Procedures (including tenure)
The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs sends reappointment lists and a reminder of procedures about one month before recommendations are due. Where tenure decisions are involved, lists are sent prior to the end of the 5th year of service.
1. The Chairperson or unit head advises faculty member that
a) department/school will soon make a recommendation concerning reappointment;
b) he/she may submit materials within a specified time; and
c) in preparation for a tenure review, she/he shall submit a list of names of outside referees (this list, together with a list compiled by the Chairperson, is forwarded to the Dean of the school).
2. The Chairperson or unit head is responsible for assembling the dossier.
a) Materials are assembled.
b) A checklist is completed, with one signed copy placed in the dossier, and another given to the faculty member.
c) The dossier is reviewed by the appropriate committee in the department/ school, which arrives at a recommendation.
3. The Chairperson forwards the unit's recommendation for pre-tenure reappointments to the school Dean and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. For negative pre-tenure cases and all tenure cases, the Chairperson or unit head
a) adds the solicited letters of reference to the dossier (see 1.c above);
b) prepares a written statement describing the procedures followed, the votes of the committee and its recommendation;
c) adds his/her own recommendation;
d) if the recommendation is negative, advises the candidate in writing at once (copies to Dean and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs); and
e) sends dossier containing the above items to the Dean of the School.
4. The Dean of the School adds her/his recommendation on negative pre-tenure reappointment cases and forwards all materials to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, advising the candidate at once in writing (copy to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs). For all tenure cases, the Dean
a) seeks a recommendation from the School Advisory Committee;
b) adds the committee's and the Dean's recommendations to the dossier and forwards it to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs; and
c) if the recommendation is negative, advises the candidate at once in writing (copy to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs).
5. The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs
a) reviews negative pre-tenure reappointment cases and makes a recommendation;
b) reviews tenure cases with consistently positive recommendations at earlier levels and adds a recommendation, or takes the case to the Tenure Advisory Committee (all dossiers with differing recommendations at earlier levels are also reviewed by the Committee);
c) transmits the Committee's and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs’ recommendations to the Provost; and
d) if the recommendation is negative, and after conferral with the Provost, advises the candidate in writing as soon as the decision is final.
6. The Provost transmits the positive recommendations to the President and to the Board of Trustees, and advises the successful candidates after Board approval.
1. Chairperson or unit head advises faculty member that
a) a promotion review is forthcoming;
b) she/he may submit materials within a specified time; and
c) under conditions specified in 4.a, he/she shall submit a list of names of outside referees (this list, together with a list compiled by the Chairperson, is forwarded to the Dean of the School).
2. The Chairperson or unit head is responsible for assembling dossier.
a) Materials are assembled.
b) A checklist is completed, with one signed copy placed in the dossier and another given to the faculty member.
c) The dossier is reviewed by the department/school promotions committee, which arrives at a recommendation.
3. The Chairperson forwards promotion cases to the Dean of the School after adding the following:
a) a written statement describing the procedures followed, the votes of the committee and its recommendation;
b) the solicited letters of reference; and
c) her/his own recommendation.
4. The Dean of the School forwards all promotion dossiers to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs after completing the following steps;
a) seeks a recommendation from the School Advisory Committee; and
b) adds the Committee's and the Dean's recommendations to the dossier.
5. The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs
a) seeks a review and recommendation from the Campus Promotion Committee; and
b) transmits the Committee's and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs’ recommendations to the Provost.
6. The Provost adds a recommendation and transmits the positive cases to the President and to the Board of Trustees.
7. The summary evaluation at the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs’ level is returned to appropriate administrators to provide feedback to all faculty members whose promotions were considered at that level.
Promotion and Tenure Committees
Faculty Council and Bloomington Faculty Council actions direct that there shall be campus-wide advisory committees to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs for both tenure and promotion. (See DOCUMENTS E-XVIII and E-XX.) In the case of the Tenure Advisory Committee the Bloomington Faculty Council has indicated the composition of the committee and the types of cases to be referred to it. As a matter of administrative practice, the Promotions Advisory Committee is constituted according to the same procedures. While not required by the Bloomington Faculty Council, all schools on the Bloomington Campus have promotions and tenure committees advisory to the Deans of the schools. (In the College of Arts and Sciences, each department either functions as a committee of the whole or acts through a promotions and tenure committee in arriving at recommendations.) In 1976 the BFC passed a resolution that the membership of all committees concerned with promotion and tenure should be made a matter of public record at the time of appointment. The unit criteria and procedures collected by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs are also to be made available to Deans' promotion and/or tenure advisory committees. (See DOCUMENT E-XX.)
Merged and System-wide School Procedures
The Bloomington Faculty Council has approved a number of resolutions concerning faculties in multi-campus units which bear on promotion and tenure reviews. (See DOCUMENT D-XV.) The University Faculty Council has accepted an alternative ad hoc procedure which involves both campuses in the review process in the following way:
"First, tenure and promotion recommendations undergo the first systematic review at the school or departmental level. Review by merged and system schools permits representation on committees by faculty members from whatever campuses the schools deem appropriate and allows rigorous application of uniform standards across all candidates. The recommendation from the school passes to the local campus on which the candidate is or is to be tenured. Local campus procedures are followed in consideration of the dossier, resulting in a campus recommendation. This procedure allows application of uniform procedures across the campus and contributes to the sense of academic community. Third, the recommendation from the campus passes to the reporting line executive vice president, who makes the final recommendation to the President. This procedure clearly defines the role and authority of the executive vice president to recommend promotion or tenure on another campus. It removes the aspect of double jeopardy."
The first step in the preparation of dossiers for reappointment, tenure, or promotion consideration is to invite candidates to submit relevant materials. In all cases the candidate will have been advised of the upcoming review. Faculty members should be encouraged to supply the kind of information which the Dean or Chairperson knows will be important to the administrators and committees who will evaluate dossiers. Responsibility for the preparation of the dossier rests with the Chairperson, the Dean, or a senior member of the faculty, such as individual who chairs the promotions committee.
It is not the responsibility of the individual faculty member to prepare a dossier but rather to supply information which may be utilized in its preparation. The faculty member cannot be assumed to have the expertise appropriate to this role. The compilers of a dossier should keep in mind that the objective evidence in the dossier should present the case for promotion or tenure. It is not sufficient for the individual preparing the dossier to simply state that in her/his opinion the candidate is satisfactory. Specifically, university policy requires that each candidate should normally excel in at least one of the three categories (teaching, research/creative activity, service) and be at least satisfactory in each of the other two. In exceptional cases, a candidate may present evidence of balanced strengths that promise excellent overall performance or comparable benefit to the university over time. In all cases the candidate's total record should be assessed by comprehensive and rigorous peer review. All relevant evidence, both positive and negative, must of course be included in the dossier. In order to have the requisite information all units should begin to accumulate information about the candidate's teaching and service performance as soon as the candidate becomes a faculty member. The administrative officer of the unit should routinely gather this kind of information.
The dossier constructed in consultation with the candidate provides the evidence upon which the tenure decision is to be made. If additional information is sought or received during the review of the dossier at any level, the candidate and all previous committees and reviewers must be notified and given the opportunity to respond to the additional information. The information and the responses shall then become part of the dossier. (See DOCUMENT E-XVI.)
Guidelines and Checklist
The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs has prepared guidelines and a checklist for the preparation of dossiers. It should be noted that some dossier materials are retained in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs for the permanent record following the completion of the tenure and promotion processes. Evaluations from the various administrators, committees, outside referees, colleagues, and students (where sent directly to administrators), summaries of teaching evaluations, and the candidates' statements and lists of activities (asterisked items on the checklist) generally are retained in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. Materials clearly supplied by the candidates are returned to the units to be given to the faculty members. Materials for successful candidates are returned in the summer; dossiers for unsuccessful candidates are retained longer to facilitate discussions with these faculty members if they wish to secure additional information.
Dossier for Tenure and Promotion to Associate
For Assistant Professors who are considered for tenure, a single tenure dossier will suffice. If these candidates receive a positive tenure decision, they will at that time, by the same committee, also be considered for promotion to Associate rank.
Access to Dossiers
Effective January 1, 1984, access to employee records shall be governed by State law (Indiana Code 5-14-3), commonly referred to as the Access to Public Records Law. (See DOCUMENT A-IX.) Previous campus policy that provided academic employees the option to waive their right to inspect letters of evaluation solicited by the University for purposes of recommendation on initial appointment, reappointment, promotion, or tenure was repealed by action of the Bloomington Faculty Council on March 1, 1994. (See DOCUMENT E-XXI.)
Once the dossier is prepared, the unit will decide upon its recommendation based on the evidence in the dossier. If the decision is negative, the faculty member should be informed so that he may request that the dossier be forwarded even though the unit has not made a positive recommendation.
Review of Negative Recommendations
The last section of the Policies Governing Reappointment and Non-Reappointment During the Probationary Period covers the review or appeal of negative recommendations on reappointment and tenure. These are not elaborated on here. Please refer to the Policies document (DOCUMENT E-IX) and the Governance and Review Section of this Guide--Section D.