Office of the Provost

Appointment and Tenure: University of Pittsburgh Bylaws, Chapter II

The Faculty

Article I. Membership

1.1 Membership of University Faculty. The membership of the University Faculty shall consist of such officers of the Corporation or other persons as may be designated by the Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, and all members of the teaching staff with positions described in Articles IV and V.

1.2 Membership of Degree-Recommending Units. The membership of the Faculty of each degree-recommending unit shall consist of the Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, the Provost and the appropriate Senior Vice Chancellor, the Dean, and all other persons in the unit with positions described in Articles IV and V, and those full-time persons with positions described in Article VI.

Article II. Academic Tenure: Purposes and Obligations

2.1 Basic Mission of the University. The basic mission of the University of Pittsburgh is the advancement of learning. This purpose stems from the particular objectives of its founders and is carried out in the framework of tasks developed and shared by the community of higher education. The University seeks to discover knowledge and to transmit it to students in a fashion that not only will stimulate them to further pursuit of knowledge but may also prepare them for careers in the various professions. Autonomy and freedom of inquiry are required for the University to carry out its mission. The faculty must have high qualifications, academic standards should be challenging, and neither research nor teaching should be slighted.

2.2 Other Elements of Mission. In this country we have come to link the acquisition of knowledge with its application to the goals of society. The University's mission is also shaped, therefore, by a commitment to public service and to the development of individuals as free, responsible citizens.

2.3 Academic Tenure. The institution of academic tenure is an indispensable element in the environment of free inquiry required for a university to carry out its tasks. The purposes and obligations of tenured appointment at the University of Pittsburgh are set forth in the following paragraphs:

2.4 Purposes of Tenure. Academic tenure is a status accorded members of university faculty who have demonstrated high ability and achievement in their dedication to the 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. The University encourages the independence of the mind and the freedom to inquire. Therefore, 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: research, teaching, professional training, or creative intellectual activities of other kinds.

2.5 Obligations and Responsibilities of Tenure. Tenure entails special and important obligations.

a. The primary responsibilities of the tenured faculty are effective teaching and creative research throughout their careers, which advance their respective fields of learning and research, and initiate others into these fields through creative and effective teaching.

b. 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. This duty weighs most heavily on the tenured in their service on those bodies entrusted with responsibility 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.

c. 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 ambiance 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.

d. 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.

e. And lastly, the acceptance of an appointment, whether for a term or permanently, implies a commitment to the University as an intellectual community. The rights to membership on the faculty and to academic freedom carry with them the 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 faculty. 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 the 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.

Article III. General Policies of Appointment and Tenure

3.1 Non-Merit Considerations for Appointment and Promotion. 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 promotion 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 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.

3.2 Periodic Review. There will be periodic review (at least annually) of the faculty member's situation during probationary service. 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.

3.3 Assistance of Senior Colleagues; Decisions on Appointment and Promotion. 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 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 Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer can award tenure.

3.4 Power of Appointment and Dismissal. The power of appointment and correlative power of dismissal of any member of the faculty are committed to the Board of Trustees. However, it is the policy of the Board to delegate those powers to the Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer as head of the University Faculty, who may redelegate these powers except in the case of tenured faculty.

3.5 Tenure Policies. 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.

a. 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 Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer. The Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer takes into account recommendations of the Provost and, if the appointment is in a school of the Health Sciences, of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences.

b. Other appointments, promotions, and renewals of appointments 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 Chancellor for and the deans of the Health Sciences.

c. A faculty member who has retired may be reappointed on a yearly basis if the University has a special need for his or her services.

d. 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 Faculty Handbook which will summarize the policies governing faculty appointments which are in effect at the time.

e. In the following articles of this document, the word "year" refers to the length of a faculty member's contract for one academic year. A "year" may be of eight, nine, ten or 12 months' duration. Tenure for full-time faculty implies a minimum appointment of two academic terms in each academic year. The actual length of appointment in each year may differ. It is independent from tenure status and is specified by the letter of appointment.

Article IV. Full-Time Tenured or Tenure-Stream Faculty

4.1 Criteria for Appointment and Promotion in General. The ranks of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructor comprise the tenure stream. The University has established the following minimum criteria for each of the tenure-stream ranks. In rare instances, the requirement of a doctorate may be satisfied through accomplishments that can be considered a reasonable substitute for formal study. Faculty must demonstrate a capacity for cooperation with associates in meeting program needs and fulfilling their share of department responsibilities. Most schools or regional campuses and some departments have developed supplemental criteria for appointment, promotion, and tenure appropriate to their discipline or profession. Copies of these are available in the departmental or deans' offices.

4.2 Criteria for Instructor. The instructor should have an earned doctorate or the highest appropriate professional degree, or provide evidence that he or she is successfully pursuing such a degree and expects to receive it within reasonable time. In some technical fields, professional experience may bear considerable weight; in other areas, teaching experience is essential. Reappointment depends upon satisfactory scholarly progress and a demonstrated interest in and ability to pursue an academic career.

4.3 Criteria for Assistant Professor. An assistant professor should evidence demonstrated teaching ability, substantial experience in advanced study and research, or professional experience of a kind which would enable him or her to make a comparable academic contribution. The assistant professor should possess a doctorate or appropriate professional degree. He or she should exhibit promise of originality and excellence in some field connected with teaching, writing, research, or the creative arts, and should have demonstrated ability in guiding and counseling students. To be appointed or promoted to an assistant professorship, a person should have the potential for promotion to associate professor.

4.4 Criteria for Associate Professor. An associate professor should possess a doctorate or appropriate professional degree and have substantial experience in teaching and research or applicable professional experience. The person should show a capacity and will to maintain teaching effectiveness and the ability for continuing growth as a teacher, scholar, and member of his or her profession. He or she should also have progressed in attaining eminence in a scholarly or professional field. An associate professor must display consistently mature performance in course and curriculum planning, in guiding and counseling students and junior faculty members, and in participating in the activities of the University.

4.5 Criteria for Professor. The rank of professor recognizes the attainment of authoritative knowledge and reputation in a recognized field of learning and the achievement of effective teaching skill. The professor should have attained superior stature in his or her field through research, writing, professional practice, or leadership in professional and learned organizations, as well as having exceeded the standards described for ranks shown above.

4.6 Terms of Appointment and Tenure.

a. With the exception of physician faculty members in the School of Medicine with clinical responsibilities, the total number of years which a faculty member may serve without tenure in the tenure stream shall not exceed seven. If a person has served for seven years in the tenure stream, either he or she must be promoted to associate professor or professor with tenure or his or her service in the tenure stream must be terminated. Notification of termination must be made prior to the end of the sixth year in the tenure stream. The maximum allowable duration of service in the tenure stream without tenure shall be independent of previous service at another college or university. For physician faculty members in the School of Medicine with clinical responsibilities, the total number of years of service without tenure in the tenure stream shall not exceed ten. If a person has served for ten years in the tenure stream, either he or she must be promoted to associate professor or professor with tenure or his or her service in the tenure stream must be terminated. Notification of termination must be made prior to the end of the ninth year in the tenure stream. The maximum allowable duration of service in the tenure stream without tenure shall be independent of previous service at another college or university.

b. The terms of appointment of faculty members in the tenure stream below the rank of associate professor and professor may be for one, two, or three years. When a decision is made not to renew an appointment, the faculty member on a first one-year appointment shall be notified in writing no later than March 15; on a second or subsequent consecutive one-year appointment by December 15; by December 15 of the second year of a two-year appointment; and twelve months prior to the end of a three-year appointment.

c. A year of appointment in the tenure stream is recognized if the appointment became effective on or before December 31. In cases where the appointment became effective January 1 or later, the remainder of the academic year is disregarded for this purpose, and the next year is counted as the first year of appointment in the tenure stream.

d. Leaves of absence do not interrupt tenure-stream status but may prolong the maximum allowable period in the tenure stream. When a tenure-stream faculty member is granted a leave of absence, the official letter of notification from the Provost may state that the term or probationary appointment has been extended and that the period of leave will not be counted as a part of the term or probationary period of service. The minimum extension and period of non-counted service will be one academic term or semester, even though the leave was for a shorter period. Such an extension shall be made solely for the purpose of enabling the individual concerned to have an opportunity for evaluation substantially equivalent to that of persons not taking leave. A leave of absence for the purpose of professional enhancement is normally limited to one year. The leave may be renewed with the appropriate approval.

e. Except for physician faculty members in the School of Medicine with clinical responsibilities, a faculty member may receive a temporary appointment outside the tenure stream if the Provost determines that exceptional circumstances prevail that both prevent normal progress in the tenure stream and are beyond the control of the individual. A temporary appointment outside the tenure stream extends (by the duration of the temporary appointment) the allowable period before a tenure decision must be made. The extension of the probationary period under this provision shall be limited to two academic years. For faculty in the Health Sciences schools (other than the School of Medicine) who have clinical responsibilities, the probationary period may be extended by up to thirty-six months.

f. Tenure may be held only by professors and associate professors. Tenure shall be held by a faculty member only in the School or Regional Campus where the tenure is granted. Once it has been awarded, tenure is obligatory for the University, optional with the faculty member. Tenure does not apply to administrative positions which may be for indefinite terms, and are terminable at any time.

g. Promotion to the rank of associate professor may be made without the award of tenure. Usually the individual will have completed at least three years in the tenure stream. With the exception of physician faculty members in the School of Medicine with clinical responsibilities, the appointment shall be for a minimum of two years and not longer than four years. For physician faculty members in the School of Medicine with clinical responsibilities, the appointment shall be for a minimum of two years and not longer than seven years. If there is no intention of awarding tenure, the individual must be given at least twelve months' notice of termination prior to the end of the appointment.

h. Initial appointments at the rank of associate professor or professor shall be for a probationary period of three or four years. The award of tenure may take place at any time during the probationary period. If tenure is not to be awarded, the probationary appointee at the associate professor or professor level must be given at least twelve months' notice prior to the end of probationary appointment. Under exceptional circumstances, the initial appointment of an associate professor or professor may be made with tenure.

4.7 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 and continue as tenured, or in the tenure stream at a proportionately reduced salary and fringe benefits. These requests are approved by the Provost, who acts upon the recommendation of the relevant dean or campus president, and, if in a school of the Health Sciences, of that Senior Vice Chancellor. No person holding a full-time tenured or tenure-stream appointment, however, shall be required to accept less than a full-time appointment.

4.8 Termination of Appointment for Cause.

a. Termination of any appointment, other than by expiration of term, may be made for cause. The University recognizes the right of the individual concerned to be informed of the reasons for the termination of his or her appointment. Prior to such termination, the Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer shall seek the advice of a hearing board.

b. The procedure for selecting the membership of the hearing board is as follows:

(i) The hearing board will be composed of five members of the faculty, selected from the elected faculty on Senate Council, and a chairperson appointed by the Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, who may, but need not, be a member of the faculty. The chairperson may not vote on the outcome, but otherwise may participate fully in the proceedings.

(ii) When a hearing board is needed, the Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer shall ask the President of the Senate to select twelve nominees from among the elected faculty on Senate Council. The faculty member and the senior administrator involved shall each have three peremptory challenges against any of the twelve persons selected, and the Clerk of the Senate shall reduce the list by lot to five names.

c. The hearing board shall transmit its findings and recommendations to resolve the matter to the Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer and to the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, for consideration and action by the Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or after review of the process by a committee of the Board of Trustees.

d. A hearing may also be arranged at the discretion of the Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer when a faculty member makes a specific claim within thirty days following completion of prescribed administrative procedures that there has been unfair practice with reference to the terms and conditions of appointment, such as failure to reappoint and award tenure.

4.9 Financial Exigency. The Board of Trustees may, upon due notice, terminate the service of any member of the Faculty because of a financial exigency that is demonstrably bona fide, subject to the right to a hearing as provided in Section 4.8 of this Chapter.

Article V. Part-Time Tenured or Tenure-Stream Faculty

5.1 Criteria for Appointment and Promotion. Part-time faculty who serve at least on a half-time basis are eligible for tenure or tenure-stream appointments at the same ranks and under the same criteria described in Article IV of this Chapter.

5.2 Terms of Appointment and Tenure.

a. The total number of years which a part-time faculty member may serve without tenure in the tenure stream may not exceed thirteen. If a person has served for thirteen years in the tenure stream, either he or she must be promoted to associate professor or professor with tenure, or his or her services in the tenure stream must be terminated. Notification of termination must be made prior to the end of the twelfth year of service. The maximum allowable duration of service in the tenure stream without tenure shall be independent of previous service at another college or university.

b. The terms of appointment of part-time faculty members in the tenure stream excluding those appointed at the rank of associate professor and professor may be for one, two, or three years. When a decision is made not to renew an appointment, the faculty member on a first one-year appointment shall be notified in writing no later than March 15; on a second or subsequent consecutive one-year appointment by December 15; by December 15 of the second year of a two-year appointment; and twelve months prior to the end of a three-year appointment.

c. A year of appointment in the tenure stream is recognized if the appointment became effective on or before December 31. In cases where the appointment became effective on January 1 or later, the remainder of the academic year is disregarded for this purpose, and the next year is counted as the first year of appointment in the tenure stream.

d. Tenure may be held only by professors and associate professors. Tenure shall be held by a faculty member who serves on a part-time basis only in the school or at the regional campus where the tenure is granted. Part-time tenured faculty appointments may be for no less than half-time. Once it has been awarded, tenure is obligatory for the University, optional with the faculty member. Tenure does not apply to administrative positions which may be for indefinite terms and are terminable at any time.

e. A part-time person may be promoted to the rank of associate professor without receiving tenure. Usually the individual will have completed at least six years in the tenure stream. The appointment shall be for a minimum of four years and not longer than six years. If there is no intention of awarding tenure, the individual must be given at least twelve months' notice prior to the end of the appointment.

f. Initial part-time appointments at the rank of associate professor or professor shall be for a probationary period of six years. The award of tenure may take place at any time during the probationary period. If tenure is not to be awarded, the probationary appointee at the associate professor or professor level must be given at least twelve months' notice prior to the end of the probationary appointment. Under exceptional circumstances, the initial appointment of an associate professor or professor may be made with tenure.

5.3 Termination of Appointment for Cause. Termination of any appointment, other than by expiration of term, may be made for cause, as provided for in Section 4.8 of this Chapter.

5.4 Financial Exigency. The Board of Trustees may, upon due notice, terminate the service of any member of the Faculty because of a financial exigency that is demonstrably bona fide, subject to the right to a hearing as provided in Section 4.8 of this Chapter.

Article VI. Full- and Part-Time Non-Tenure-Stream Faculty

6.1 Nature of Non-Tenure-Stream Appointments. Among the various faculties there are persons who possess special skills contributing substantially to the mission of the University who are not hired to devote full-time effort to the University, or whose positions are funded for a finite period, or whose professional and academic preparations are not complete, or who are not expected to perform the same range of duties expected of a tenure-stream member of the faculty or to make the same contributions to the University community, and who are agreeable to a non-tenure-stream appointment without implication of tenure.

6.2 Titles and Ranks. Under these or other exceptional circumstances, appointments outside the tenure stream and without tenure may be made at the ranks and with the title of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and instructor. In exceptional cases, and with good reasons, a person may apply to leave the tenure stream to seek an appointment outside the tenure stream. Appointments with the following prefixes to the above ranks, and the following other ranks, are outside the tenure stream:

Prefixes

VISITING: One whose appointment is on a temporary basis; usually for not more than one academic year.

RESEARCH: One whose primary assignment or contribution is investigative, and who is not ordinarily expected to undertake regular teaching responsibilities.

ADJUNCT: One whose primary employment is outside an academic unit of the University, but who is fully-qualified professionally and who performs on a part-time basis, duties which would otherwise be assigned to members of the full-time faculty.

CLINICAL: One whose major contribution is as a preceptor of students and trainees in clinical skills, whether within the University or in another setting.

FIELD: One whose primary assignment or contribution is in supervising student field-work, who is geographically removed from the University, and who does not undertake class responsibilities.

Ranks

SENIOR LECTURER: A title reserved for persons of considerable professional attainment, of eminence, or with recognized expertise in their fields of scholarship or in the creative arts.

LECTURER: The term should be used to designate the "occasional" teacher, whose responsibilities are limited and defined in the letter of appointment.

PROFESSOR, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, OR INSTRUCTOR OF CLINICAL (SUBJECT, e.g., Medicine): One whose major contribution is usually limited to clinical practice and teaching.

6.3 Terms of Appointment. The terms of appointment of full-time faculty members outside the tenure stream may be for one to five years and are renewable. When a decision is made not to renew an appointment of a faculty member who has completed less than five full years of continuous service, the faculty member shall be notified in writing no later than three and a half months prior to the end of the appointment. When a decision is made not to renew an appointment of a faculty member who has completed at least five full years of continuous service, the faculty member shall be notified in writing no later than five and a half months prior to the end of the appointment. Faculty members outside the tenure stream who are supported in whole or in part by grants must be notified by the applicable time before the termination of the grant as to whether or not they will be reappointed should a supporting renewal or replacement grant be obtained.

6.4 Termination of Appointment. Full-time, non-tenure-stream members of the faculty who are terminated prior to the expiration of appointment may avail themselves of the appeals process described in Section 4.8 of this Chapter.


End of excerpt from the University of Pittsburgh Bylaws