Initial Appointments (Full Time)

Faculty Handbook Information on Faculty Appointments

Final Approval Authority

President: ASCP*, PROF*
Provost: ASTP (ASCP in LAW), CLASTP, CLASCP, CLPROF, “of the Practice” ranks**, part-time instructional faculty***
Dean: INST, LECT, SRLECT, MSLECT, PREC, CLINST, Adjunct faculty, Research faculty, Visiting faculty

*Please visit Initial Appointments of Associate and Full Professors for instructions
**Please visit Initial Appointments for Associate and Full Professors of the Practice for instructions
***Please visit Part Time Instructional Faculty for instructions

Special Note on Calculating the Correct Tenure Clock/Probationary Period for Tenure-Track Faculty:

It is critical to communicate accurately about tenure review deadlines when developing offers for candidates for tenure track Assistant Professor appointments (Associate Professor appointments in the LAW School). The total standard probationary period, also known as the “tenure clock” at Boston University is 7 years, but a faculty member with prior tenure track service will not be assigned the full 7-year probationary period at BU – we take into account their prior service. Please see the following examples, and contact Julie Sandell or Steven Marois if you have any questions or uncertainty in a particular case. The Provost will not approve an initial appointment with a miscalculated or miscommunicated tenure deadline, so please check with us if there are any questions. The following examples are illustrative:

A candidate with no prior experience on the tenure track elsewhere: The new faculty member will be reviewed for tenure no later than in their seventh year of service at Boston University. The faculty member should be assigned the full 7-year probationary period. If they prefer a shorter probationary period, please advise them that they can always petition for earlier review, but there are very few reasons why we will extend the probationary period so it is far better to begin with the full 7 years. Note that the final decision is made in the Spring of year 7, even though the review process will begin some months earlier in your school or college. For example, if an appointment begins in Fall 2016, the tenure review year will be 2022-2023, with a final decision promised by May 15, 2023. Years spent in a postdoctoral capacity or some other non-tenure track position do not reduce the 7-year probationary period. Note that some foreign institutions have faculty positions that are equivalent in most respects to our domestic tenure track faculty positions, but the positions have non-professorial titles, such as “Reader” or “Lecturer.” In most cases, years spent in one of these positions should be counted as though they were years on the tenure track, but please be sure to consult with Julie Sandell or Steven Marois if you have any questions.

A candidate with some time on the tenure track at another institution: We do not “reset” the tenure clock to 7 years when a person with prior tenure track service joins BU unless they have held the tenure track position elsewhere for only 1 year. We credit the faculty member with any years spent on the tenure track at another university, minus one year to make an allowance for the disruption of moving. For example, if a new faculty member has spent 3 years on the tenure track at another university, we credit them for 2 of those years of prior service, and set a tenure review deadline for the end of year 5 at BU. That way, they have a full 7-year probationary period, not counting the year of disruption from moving. Please see the description above for faculty coming from foreign institutions.

Early review: Any tenure track faculty member may request tenure review before their mandatory tenure review year. The faculty member must have the support of the Chair and Dean to initiate the review process, and the review is standard in all respects, including being “up or out.” If the Chair and Dean support a request for early tenure review, please send a memo to that effect to Julie Sandell for approval and tracking. We will expect the candidate’s accomplishments and evidence of impact to be no more and no less than a candidate who is reviewed after the full probationary period.

Paperwork Required for Provost Review for an Initial Appointment

We reserve the right to hold paperwork until all required pieces are received

Initial Appointment Form

The most pertinent details about the appointment are listed here, such as appointment duration, work assignment, source of funding for the appointment, and a comments section. The comments section must include any special requests as outlined in the Dean’s memo. All sections of this form must be completed; areas that do not apply should be marked “N/A.” When the appointment has been reviewed and approved, a copy of the form with the Provost’s signature will be returned as official administrative approval.

Dean’s Memo

This should provide a brief overview of the appointment. This information would include the proposed rank and appointment period, tenure review year, if applicable, courses to be offered, any additional responsibilities, and the proposed salary and funding source. Please see the section above regarding calculation of the tenure review year. It is important that all special situations, funding requests, etc., are clearly stated in this memo; they must also be noted on the initial appointment form. All information on the Dean’s memo should be consistent with the rest of the appointment package.

Chair’s Memo

This should contain a descriptive, one-paragraph abstract of the appointment including a sentence on the educational background of the candidate, a sentence on the individual’s intellectual interests and contributions to the field, and another sentence or two on relevant experience. Where a Chair’s statement is not applicable or complete, the Dean needs to address these issues.

Affirmative Action Report Form (AARF)

  • Applicants tab – Email addresses for all individuals who applied for a position should be entered in this tab. This will trigger the system to send them an elective, confidential affirmative action survey. Response rates to the survey are higher when email addresses are entered shortly after individuals apply.
  • Candidates tab – Information for each interviewed candidate should be entered in this tab. You will be asked to identify if candidates received offers and if offers were accepted. For those who did not receive an offer, you will need to upload a CV and provide a brief explanation.
  • Recruiting Sources tab – Advertisement venues and other various recruitment activities should be listed here. PDFs of job postings should be uploaded here.
  • Approvals tab – When all other tabs are finished, the department chair (or representative) and dean (or representative) should approve the search to acknowledge that the information is complete and accurate.

Please contact Steve Marois (8-4843) with any access requests or questions regarding AARF.

    Signed Offer Letter

    External Letters of Recommendation

    These should not to be more than one year old. Please provide an English translation if any letters are in a foreign language.

    Candidate’s CV

    This must be up-to-date (no more than three months old).

    Board of Trustees Cover Page (ASTP, ASCP, and PROF only)

    This form pulls together a summary of the appointment to present to the Board of Trustees. Most of the information may be pulled from a candidate’s CV and the Chair/Dean memos. Chair and Dean signatures are required at the end of the form.

    For Paperwork Requiring Provost Approval:

    Please email PDFs or send hard copies of paperwork to Ellen Latsko (, 1 Silber Way – 8th Floor). You may contact her at 8-1683 with any questions or to check the status of paperwork.

    Once paperwork has received final approval from the Provost, the Provost Office will send a scan of the initial appointment form to the school/college. Individual deans should send letters of notification to faculty. New BUIDs will be generated via the new hire form in SAP.