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  • Tenure is a principle that entitles a faculty member to continuation of his or her annual appointment until relinquishment or forfeiture of tenure or until termination of tenure for adequate cause, financial exigency, or academic program discontinuance. The burden of proof that tenure should be awarded rests with the faculty member. Tenure is acquired only by positive action of the President or the Board of Trustees, and is awarded in a particular unit, department, school, college, or other department of a campus. The award of tenure shifts the burden of proof concerning the faculty member's continuing appointment from the faculty member to the University.

  • Typically, a faculty member on tenure track serves a probationary period prior to being considered for tenure (the exception is tenure upon initial appointment). In keeping with the UT Board of Trustees policy, the probationary period at UTHSC is six years. The faculty member will apply for tenure during the sixth year, and if tenure is not granted, the faculty member will be permitted to serve a seventh year as a terminal year. 
  • For each tenure track faculty member, the department and the Chair will conduct an enhanced review to assess and inform the faculty member of his or her progress toward the grant of tenure during the third or fourth year of the probationary period (with the year to be determined in the department chair's sole discretion). The purpose of the Interim Review is to establish a mutual understanding between the faculty member and the Chair regarding his or her progress towards attainment of tenure. (UTHSC Faculty Handbook, Section  
  • A brief review of the Interim Probationary Review is located in Section of the Faculty Handbook. A more complete description of the process is found in Appendix K of the Faculty Handbook.
  • Early tenure is a request for consideration for tenure prior to the sixth year of a faculty member's probationary period.  
  • A faculty member may request an early consideration for tenure before the sixth year of his or her probationary period but no sooner than the next regular cycle after completion of the first year of the probationary period. (UTHSC Faculty Handbook, Section 4.8.1) 
  • Faculty members who request an early consideration for tenure and who are not recommended for tenure by the Chancellor may seek tenure again on their regular schedule of the sixth year of probationary service, but may not request an early consideration for tenure a second time. (Board of Trustees' approved language for UTHSC Faculty Handbook, effective 11/2/2018) 
  • Request for Early Tenure Checklist 
  • Chart to calculate timeframes to meet Requirements for early consideration for tenure before the sixth year of the probationary period 
  • Expedited tenure, or tenure upon hire, can only be done upon positive action of the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the President. The Board of Trustees will grant tenure upon initial appointment only if (1) the proposed appointee holds tenure at another higher education institution and the Board determines that the President has documented that the proposed appointee cannot be successfully recruited to the University without being grated tenure upon initial appointment; or (2) the Board of Trustees determines that the President has documented other exceptional circumstances warranting the grant of tenure upon initial appointment. (Board Policy BT0006, Article III.D.) 
  • Request for Expedited Tenure/Tenure Upon Hire Checklist 
  • An extension of the tenure track means that additional years (a maximum of two additional years) are added to the tenure track. So, instead of the required six year probationary period, a faculty member would have a seven year or eight year probationary period. 
  • For good cause that is either related to procedural error or results from a significant disruption of University operations that has impeded the faculty member's opportunity to conduct required research or other scholarly activity, teaching, and/or service, the University and a tenure-track faculty member may agree in writing to extend a six-year probationary period for a maximum of two additional years. The proposed extension must be approved in advance by the chief academic officer, the Chancellor, and the vice president for academic affairs. (Board of Trustees' approved revision to Article III, Section E.2 of Board Policy BT0006, effective 3/27/2020). 
  • Tenure-track Extension related to Coronavirus Pandemic 
  • Request for Extension of Tenure Track
  • A suspension of the tenure track means that the faculty member's tenure probationary period is delayed for a period of time. So, the faculty member continues to have a six year probationary period, but may have a one-year or two-year suspension in the probationary period. Therefore, the total time between the start and the conclusion of the tenure probationary period would be seven or eight years. 
  • The UTHSC Chief Academic Officer shall decide whether the probationary period will be suspended when the faculty member (1) accepts a part time faculty position, (2) accepts an administrative position, or (3) is granted a leave of absence or modified duties assignment. The UTHSC Chief Academic Officer shall give the faculty member written notice of the decision concerning suspension of the probationary period. If the UTHSC Chief Academic Officer approves a suspension of the probationary period, an extension of that period will be granted. (UTHSC Faculty Handbook, Section 4.8.2) 
  • Transfers between tracks (tenure-track, non-tenure track) may be permitted per the UTHSC Faculty Handbook (2018). Sections 4.9.2 and 5.2 provide guidance to faculty members, department chairs, and deans as to such a request. 
  • To request a transfer from a tenure-track to a non-tenure track position, use this template letter. 
  • While a non-tenure track faculty member may request transfer to the tenure track, the process requires the department to post a new position for an appointment. The appointment process must follow the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action requirements. (UTHSC Faculty Handbook, Section 5.2) 


Jul 18, 2023