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Early Consideration Protocol

Protocol for Approvals for Early Consideration of Tenure and/or Promotion

Current university-wide policy governing tenure and/or promotion consideration “earlier or later than that specified in the faculty member’s letter of appointment” or for “promotion after fewer than the normal number of years in rank” requires three levels of approval. Since all letters of appointment for tenure-track assistant professors establish a seven-year probationary period with tenure consideration “not later than” the end of the sixth year of the probationary period, this policy applies to any assistant professor standing for tenure before the sixth year. It also applies to any individual standing for promotion to full professor before the fifth year after promotion to associate rank. This document establishes a protocol that brings the College into compliance with university policy and insures uniformity in the approval process for early consideration cases. This document does not establish criteria for early consideration. It is assumed that each case will be judged according to its particular merits.

University policy statements governing early consideration are as follows:

“Faculty hired on the tenure track as assistant professors will be granted the full probationary period of seven years with tenure consideration in the sixth year. (The wording in the offer letter states that we will consider the person ‘no later than year X’ with X = 6th year.) Faculty hired on the tenure track at other ranks who have not previously earned tenure will receive the same probationary period.

“In cases of extraordinary accomplishment, individuals will be able to present themselves for tenure consideration prior to the sixth year with the approval of the department head and after the head’s consultation with the tenured faculty of the unit and with the dean. Only faculty demonstrating outstanding achievement in expectations for rank will be recommended for early consideration.” S. Martin, “Guidelines for Early Tenure Consideration,” February 14, 2007.

“A tenure-track faculty member with an extraordinary record of accomplishment may request to be reviewed early for tenure and promotion. This request must be approved by the department head, dean, and chief academic officer.” Manual for Faculty Evaluation, 3.B.1.b

“If the recommendation for tenure comes earlier or later than that specified in the faculty member’s letter of appointment (or for promotion after fewer than the normal number of years in rank), approval for early review shall have been requested and granted by the department head, dean, and chief academic officer. A copy of the approval must be attached to the summary sheet.” Emphasis added. Manual for Faculty Evaluation, Appendix B, A.1


Timing: Units are encouraged to begin discussion of “early consideration” of tenure at the retention review in the fall semester of the year prior to the anticipated P&T review. Under normal circumstances, the department’s request for approval of early consideration for both P&T and promotion only should arrive in the College office no later than May 30 of the year in which the review is to begin. Although the college will consider requests received after this date, department heads and directors are reminded that the approval process should be completed before they solicit external letters.


  1. Department head/director recommends early tenure consideration to tenured faculty.
  2. Tenured faculty meet to discuss recommendation and signify approval/disapproval.1
  3. Department head/director sends written recommendation and candidate’s CV to the college.
  4. Dean reviews request. Only approved requests will be sent to the provost for final approval.
  5. Upon approval by the provost, a written record will be attached to the summary sheet of the dossier, in accordance with the policy stated above.


Rev. 3/15/2012

1If tenured faculty members vote to approve early consideration, the vote shall not be construed as a positive vote for tenure/promotion or a promise of a positive vote. Such a vote means only that the tenured members in the department are willing to recommend early consideration to the head / director, dean, and provost.