Professorial Faculty with Unmodified Titles
Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, Professors
These are the standard professorial titles, unmodified by any prefix such as “Clinical” or “Research,” or suffix such as “of the Practice.” At Boston University faculty with unmodified titles may have term (contract) appointments, as in the case of non-tenure track faculty and tenure track faculty prior to the award of tenure, or they may be appointed without term, as in the case of tenured faculty. Many of our schools have a mixture of tenure track and non-tenure track faculty with unmodified titles, although one track usually predominates. The promotion procedure for all faculty with unmodified titles is the same within a given school or college, although Assistant Professors on the tenure track have a required timetable for promotion. There are also procedural differences for the promotion of CRC faculty and Medical Campus faculty. Note that tenure is not awarded on the Medical Campus.
FAQ for Tenure Track Faculty
1. Where can I find information about the timetable for tenure review and the circumstances that can affect the length of service before a mandated tenure review? The Faculty Handbook describes the tenure review process and timetable.
2. Can tenure track faculty “stop the clock” so that promotion review occurs later than the date specified at the time of initial appointment? Yes, tenure review can be delayed if a faculty member has taken a leave of absence for a semester or more, for example, a maternity leave or medical leave. This delay must be requested at the time of the leave and must be mutually agreed upon by the faculty member and his or her Dean. A delay cannot be requested retroactively.
3. Can a tenure track faculty member request early consideration for promotion and tenure? Yes, after consultation with the faculty member’s Chair, the candidate’s Dean can approve early tenure review, however once the Dean has approved the early review it becomes mandatory and the request cannot be withdrawn once the review has begun.
4. What is a 3-year extension of the tenure clock? Prior to the 2012-2013 academic year, Boston University had a policy that stated that in exceptional circumstances a candidate for tenure could be denied tenure but given a 3 year extension prior to reconsideration. This was intended to recognize that a promising candidate needed additional time for scholarly efforts already underway to come to fruition, e.g. to allow publication and review of works in press, or to receive a funding decision on a pending grant application. The 3-year extension was eliminated as a possible outcome for any faculty member hired in Fall 2012 or later, at the same time that the probationary period was extended from 6 to 7 years for all new faculty members who are eligible for a full probationary period. Tenure track faculty members who were hired under the old process were asked to choose whether they wished to be reviewed for tenure under the old clock, with the possibility of a 3-year extension, or the new clock, without possibility of extension.
5. Can a faculty member switch from tenure track to non-tenure track or vice versa? Yes, a faculty member is always free to discuss with their Chair and Dean whether they are on the appropriate track and changes may be considered. Note however that a switch from tenure track to non-tenure track must occur prior to the initiation of the tenure review process, and requires consultation between the Dean and the Provost or Associate Provost. A candidate who withdraws during the tenure review process is awarded a terminal one year contract. Boston University is committed to filling tenure track slots through an open, vigorous, national or international search process, so while NTT faculty members may apply for open TT positions, they will not simply be re-assigned to a tenure track slot without a search.
FAQ for Non-Tenure Track (NTT) Faculty with Un-modified Titles
1. Do NTT faculty have a promotion timetable? Promotion review is not required after a specific length of service for faculty who are not on the tenure track.
2. Who decides when it is time for promotion? The promotion review process may be initiated by the faculty member, although the decision to pursue promotion is usually arrived at by mutual agreement between the faculty member and his or her Chair. Details about procedures for promotion not related to tenure decisions can be found in the Faculty Handbook for the Charles River Campus, or the Medical Campus.
3. Do the same review panels consider tenure track and non-tenure track promotions? Yes, promotions for all faculty with un-modified titles go through the school or college Appointment and Promotions committee and the University Appointments Promotion and Tenure committee (UAPT) on the CRC. Promotions for Medical Campus faculty do not go through the UAPT. Please contact the Office of the Medical Campus Provost for more information.
4. How long is the contract for non-tenure track faculty and how much notice will I receive if my contract will not be renewed? All aspects of the contract are negotiated between the faculty member and his or her Chair and should be specified in the appointment and re-appointment letters. The Faculty Handbook details the separate appointment and non-reappointment procedures and timetables for the CRC and Medical Campus faculty.