UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 02-02-03
CATEGORY: ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
SECTION: Faculty Appointment and Tenure
SUBJECT: Tenure: Obligations and Responsibilities
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 5, 1988
This policy affirms the special obligations and responsibilities of those who are awarded
tenure. The following is excerpted from the University of Pittsburgh BYLAWS. (See
The primary responsibility of the tenured, one that devolves upon them throughout their
careers, is to:
- Cultivate their respective fields of learning and research, and
- Initiate others into these fields through creative and effective teaching.
Secondly, tenured appointment imposes stringent concern for the quality of the faculty. It
is the duty of all members of the faculty to seek the best-qualified persons for appointment.
But this duty weighs most heavily on the tenured in their service on those bodies entrusted
with responsibilities for retentions and promotions.
- When none of the available candidates meets the standards of excellence, only an
explicitly temporary appointment should be made in order to prevent permanent
appointments of less than fully qualified faculty.
Thirdly, those who accept the rights and immunities of tenured appointment owe it to their
colleagues unfailingly and unflinchingly to defend independence and freedom of mind in
their field of competence.
- The tenured faculty should create and sustain an intellectual ambience in which their
non-tenured colleagues can think, investigate, speak, write, and teach secure in the
knowledge that their intellectual vitality is both essential and welcome.
Fourthly, it falls to all, but again most stringently to the tenured, to see that no improper
consideration enters into the appointive process.
- Academic freedom, no less than academic excellence, requires that academic
appointments be made on academic grounds alone.
And lastly, appointment, whether for a term or permanently, implies a commitment to the
University as an intellectual community. The right to membership on the faculty and
academic freedom carry with them the correlative obligations:
- To uphold academic freedom against invasion or abuse,
- To not violate the academic freedom of others, and
- To perform in a productive professional fashion so as to deserve membership on the
It is equally a responsibility of the officers of the University administration and of the Board
of Trustees to assure, to protect, and to defend academic freedom. The tenured faculty
and those officers and Board members should work together to that end.
Thus, the tenure system entails not only the maintenance of the highest standards by which
the merits of alternative candidates are to be appraised, but also the special obligations and
responsibilities of those who are awarded tenure.
University of Pittsburgh of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education - BYLAWS,
Chapter II, Article II, Section I, "Academic Tenure: Purposes and Obligations." Adopted by
the Board of Trustees, January 14, 1969, and as amended thereafter.