UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURHG POLICY 02-02-02
CATEGORY: ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
SECTION: Faculty Appointment and Tenure
SUBJECT: General Appointment and Tenure
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 5, 1988
This policy affirms the University's position on faculty appointment and tenure, including
the purposes of academic tenure, and the rights of tenured or tenure-stream faculty
regarding change of status. The following is excerpted from the University of Pittsburgh
BYLAWS. (See Appendix A.)
The following policies that regard tenure shall not be applied retroactively to those who
hold tenure; and insofar as these change prior or existing policies of tenure, they shall
have prospective application only.
The work of the University requires a wide variety of talents, balanced among specialized
fields. Because these needs change over time, the University must be capable of
responding to these changes. Therefore, all recommendations of appointment and
- Not only must be evaluated in terms of the individual merits of the candidate,
- But also must take into account the current standards of the relevant discipline or
profession at large,
- And the requirements of the candidate's department or school at the time of the
recommendation and for the then foreseeable future.
Because it is necessary to retain flexibility within the anticipated resources of the University,
the proportion of tenured to non-tenured faculty must not rise to a level that would impair
the University's or the school's capacity to respond to changing demands for its services.
- When a faculty member becomes eligible for consideration for promotion with tenure,
this factor may be important to those who participate in the decision on whether or not
tenure will be awarded.
There will be periodic review (at least annually) of the faculty member's situation during
The faculty member will be advised of the time when decisions concerning renewal and
tenure are to be made, and submit material so as to assure adequate consideration of
questions of renewal and tenure.
The non-tenured faculty member should seek advice and assistance from senior
colleagues; the ability of senior colleagues to advise, assist, and ultimately to make a
sound decision on renewal or tenure will be enhanced by an open opportunity for regular
review of the qualifications of non-tenured faculty members.
- A total separation of the senior faculty roles in counseling and evaluation will not likely
be possible, but review of a faculty member can be presented by a colleague and
received by the subject faculty member in such a manner as to assist the subject
faculty member's professional development.
The initial locus of consideration for faculty appointment is at the department or school
level, by peers; however:
- Concurrence by his or her dean and the Provost is required
- In addition, only the President can award tenure.
Conferral of tenure, promotion to professor, and an appointment in the tenure stream at
the rank of associate professor or professor are made by the President.
- He takes into account recommendations of the Provost and, if the appointment is in
a school of the Health Sciences, of the Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences.
Other appointments, promotions, and renewals of appointment are made by the Provost,
- Who takes into account recommendations from the appropriate dean or campus
president or, if the appointment is in a school of the Health Sciences, from the Senior
Vice President and deans of the Health Sciences.
The University shall send to each new Member of the Faculty a letter setting forth the terms
and conditions of his or her appointment.
Each newly appointed person shall receive a copy of the Handbook for Faculty, which will
summarize the policies governing faculty appointments which are in effect at the time.
PURPOSES OF ACADEMIC TENURE
Academic tenure is a status accorded members of the University faculty who have
demonstrated high ability and achievement in their dedication to growth of human knowledge.
Tenure is intended to assure the University that there will be continuity in its experienced
faculty and in the functions for which they are responsible.
Promotion to tenured rank constitutes recognition by the University that a person so
identified is qualified by achievements and contributions to knowledge as to be ranked
among the most worthy of the members of the faculty engaged in scholarly endeavors:
- Professional training
- Creative intellectual activities of other kinds
FULL-TIME TO PART-TIME STATUS
A tenured or tenure-stream faculty member may request to diminish his or her University
responsibilities to no less than half-time and be permitted to:
- Retain membership in the University Faculty
- Continue as tenured, or in the tenure stream at a proportionately reduced salary and
These requests are approved by the Provost, who acts upon the recommendation of:
- The relevant dean, regional campus president, and, if in a school of the Health
Sciences, the Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences.
No person holding a full-time tenured or tenure-stream appointment, however, shall be
required to accept less than a full-time appointment.
University of Pittsburgh of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education - BYLAWS,
Chapter II, Article II, Section II, "General Policies of Appointment and Tenure", Chapter II,
Article II, Section I, "Academic Tenure: Purposes and Obligations", Chapter II, Article II,
Section III, Paragraph C, "Full-time to Part-time Status." Adopted by the Board of Trustees,
January 14, 1969, and as amended thereafter.