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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.

“When a candidate for tenure has served fewer years than stipulated in the appointment letter, or when a candidate for promotion has served in rank fewer years than the normal time stipulated in the Faculty Handbook, the department head must explain why tenure and/or promotion is warranted at this time.” Tenure Guidelines for Department Heads, Section V.

“If tenure review 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 must have been granted by the department head, dean, and chief academic officer. A copy of the approval must be attached to the summary sheet.” Emphasis added. Faculty Handbook 2021, Section 3.11.4.


Timing: Units are encouraged to begin discussion of “early consideration” of tenure/promotion 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 March 1 of the year in which the review is to begin. 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
  2. Tenured faculty meet to discuss recommendation and signify approval 1
  3. Department Head/Director sends recommendation to the College (single pdf to Required Materials:
    • Written recommendation from Department Head on Departmental Letterhead detailing how the individual has met the department’s criteria for tenure and/or promotion;
    • Copy of the Department’s tenure and/or promotion criteria, as published in the Department’s bylaws;
    • Candidate’s most recent peer evaluation (full document, not just date of review)
    • Candidate’s current CV
  4. Dean reviews 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. 2/24/2021

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.