Tenure Clock Considerations

Probationary Period 

The University of Oregon has established a six-year pre-tenure (probationary) period, with one major ("midterm") review required prior to the actual review for tenure. Successful midterm review results in a contract that establishes the date by which a final tenure decision is required. For faculty hired without credit for prior service, the midterm review generally occurs during the third year of employment, and the final tenure decision is required by the conclusion of the sixth year of employment.  

Credit for Prior Service 

When credit for prior service is agreed upon, the terms of hire will state the number of years of credit granted, the earliest date for tenure consideration, and the required date for tenure consideration. Scholarship, research, creative activity, and teaching completed by the faculty member during the period of prior service will receive full consideration during the promotion and tenure process if the faculty member elects the earliest date for tenure review. Should a faculty member who received credit for prior service at the time of hire choose to delay the review for the full six years of full-time appointment at the University of Oregon, teaching, scholarship, research, and creative activity completed prior to arrival at the university will be of secondary consideration during the promotion and tenure process. Should the faculty member choose to use some, but not all of the credit for prior service, the focus of the review of teaching, scholarship, research, and creative activity will adjust appropriately so that, for example, four years of full-time appointment at the university would mean that at most two years of prior service will receive full consideration. 

Early Tenure 

A tenure review may occur prior to the sixth year of employment if a meritorious case has been developed by the faculty member, as determined by the dean and/or department or unit head. While review for promotion to full professor commonly occurs during the sixth year as associate professor, such a review may be initiated earlier if an associate professor has compiled a meritorious dossier of post-tenure scholarship/creative practice, teaching, and service. The decision of when to undergo review for promotion to full professor is made by the faculty member, with guidance and consultation from the appropriate department or unit head and/or dean.

Exceptions to the Probationary Period ("Stopping the Clock") 

The tenure review clock may be stopped, at the faculty member’s discretion, for one year upon pregnancy or the birth or adoption of a child. Faculty members are advised to request stopping the tenure review clock as soon as possible.

The tenure review clock may also be stopped, at the faculty member’s discretion for up to two years for approved leaves of absence without pay or in other extraordinary circumstances as approved by the provost or designee. In these cases, the faculty member must elect whether to opt to stop the tenure review clock at the start of the leave of absence, or the tenure review clock will not be stopped. The faculty member, however, may later opt to restore the period when the clock was stopped and may apply for tenure review at the time they would have become eligible without the stopping of the clock. 

See the Human Resources website for more information about parental leave and other leaves of absence .

Timely Notice 

Successful candidates are granted tenure and assume their new classification and rank at the start of the next academic year, or sooner at the discretion of the provost. Candidates who are denied tenure will receive a notice of appointment which expires at the end of the academic or fiscal year following the one in which the application for tenure was submitted. 

If the faculty member fails to submit materials required for a tenure review in a timely manner, the department or unit head will notify the faculty member of the missed deadline by university email and the primary phone on record in the Banner system. If the faculty member does not respond within 14 days, tenure may be denied. If the faculty member responds within 14 days, the department or unit head will establish a new deadline for submission of all materials. The new deadline must allow the University adequate time to complete the tenure review process by June 15th. If the faculty member misses the new deadline, tenure will be denied. 

Promotion to Full Professor 

Consistent with practice at many universities, the University of Oregon views as "timely" a review of a tenured associate professor for promotion to full professor during the sixth year post-tenure. Because this is not a required review, however, a tenured associate professor, in consultation with his/her department or unit head and dean, may choose to defer the review. This decision should be made in consideration of expectations for promotion to full professor as established by the departmental promotion criteria document. Contextually, it is important to note that unsuccessful review for promotion does not lead to issuance of a non-renewable contract, but rather continuation as a tenured associate professor. 

Early Promotion to Full Professor 

As in the case of consideration for tenure, review for promotion to full professor may occur prior to the sixth year of service as a tenured associate professor in particularly meritorious cases as determined by the Provost or designee in consultation with the appropriate dean, department or unit head, and faculty member.