Post Tenure Review

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Effective Date: 
Reason for Policy: 

To state the University's policy and to outline the procedures for implementing post-tenure review of the faculty as directed by OAR 580-21-0140.

Policy Statement: 

The University provides for a comprehensive post-tenure review of its faculty every three years to encourage, to reward, and to support the continuous development of tenured members of the faculty, and through the process of peer review to identify faculty members who merit special recognition or need special assistance. Two levels of regular, developmental review are required of all tenured faculty who are not evaluated through the established Administrative Review process:

  1. A substantive review at the three-year point after a prior major review or after promotion. Other reviews (such as those undertaken for regular salary or merit-pay adjustments) may contribute to the third-year review, but may not be substituted for it.
  2. A major review every six years after a prior major review or after being promoted or receiving tenure.


A. Faculty Governance and the Responsibility of Educators: The University of Oregon Charter. The Charter of the University of Oregon, adopted in 1872, places the governance of the University in the hands of its faculty, with the President at its head. According to the Charter, "The Faculty, consisting of the President and professors, shall be entrusted with the immediate government and discipline of the University." This system of governance imposes a solemn collective responsibility on the professors of the University of Oregon that is in addition to their individual responsibility to their students, their profession, and the larger society. The procedures described here are prepared with that responsibility of faculty governance in mind. Commitment to faculty governance requires substantial service obligations that must be recognized. The procedures are designed to help each professor, as an educator, more effectively discharge her or his individual responsibilities toward students, profession, and society.

B. The Responsibility of Educators, Academic Freedom, and Tenure

  1. Individual Professional Responsibility. Society entrusts individual professors in its institutions of higher education with tasks of immense sensitivity: the education of its young people; the search for knowledge, wherever that search may lead; and the use of knowledge to help individuals and institutions in society progress and improve. To perform these tasks well requires a lifetime commitment to the profession of the scholar.
  2. Academic Freedom. To persuade the best scholars to devote their lives to this profession, the University guarantees a healthy measure of freedom in their professional lives. The protection of that freedom -- which is called academic freedom -- is both the precondition to excellence in the professoriate and the precondition to the education of continuing generations of free citizens, in a free society. Therefore, academic freedom is guaranteed not primarily to benefit the professors, but to ensure benefits to society as a whole.
  3. Academic Tenure. The primary method by which academic freedom is guaranteed is through a conditional grant of tenure with indefinite term. This grant of tenure is offered only to those professors who make it through a rigorous, probationary period. During that period, they bear the burden of proving their potential for lifelong excellence in teaching, research, and service. Those who sustain this burden of proof are then offered, in return, a commitment that the University will not later dismiss them without itself bearing a burden of proof that they are not performing as expected. Tenured professors are not guaranteed their jobs. They are, however, guaranteed that they will not be dismissed without academic due process. This guarantee is central to academic freedom and the societal benefits that it generates.
  4. Evaluation. In addition to the rigorous evaluation undergone by professors who obtain tenure, professors are continually evaluated by their students, by their local peers, and by a wide range of peers in their profession on a national or international basis after they have obtained tenure. Few professions are practiced as "publicly" as the profession of a University professor. Evaluation and review is therefore a continuing feature of the life of every professor.
  5. The Dynamics of Professorial Careers. The focus of a faculty member's professional activities may shift over time. The nationally recognized criteria for obtaining indefinite tenure place approximately equal emphasis on demonstrated excellence in teaching and research, and considerably less emphasis on service. As tenured faculty progress through their careers, however, some may redirect their energies. Some may, for example, devote proportionately more time to teaching, advising, administration, and University service than they did as assistant professors. Consequently, expectations for, and the goals of, individual faculty members may also change. For the purpose of post-tenure review, the fundamental criterion is demonstrated excellence in meeting the expectations and goals established jointly by the faculty member and his or her department or program. If, for example, it is in the department's and University's best interest to have a tenured faculty member focus more on teaching and service than upon research, post-tenure review for that faculty member should emphasize, acknowledge, and reward demonstrated excellence in those areas. A key aspect of this program is therefore the collaborative establishment of professional expectations for each faculty member under review.
  6. Collective Professional Responsibility for Faculty Development. In addition to their individual responsibilities, the faculty members in each unit (department, program, school, or college) of the University of Oregon have a collective responsibility to help individual colleagues achieve excellence. The purpose of this procedure is to promote a high level of dialogue among individual faculty members, their colleagues, and heads of units, so that each faculty member can draw upon the advice and resources of others in her or his pursuit of professional excellence.


1. The third-year substantive review. This review shall be conducted jointly by each individual faculty member and the appropriate dean, department, or program head. The faculty member shall submit by March 15th of the review year an updated vita and bibliography, and a summary statement of activities and accomplishments in the areas of research, teaching and service covering the previous three years.

2. The sixth-year major review. The review should occur during the winter and spring terms. The faculty member to be reviewed will be notified of such by the appropriate dean, department, or program head no later than October 15th of the review year.

a) The procedure for this review relates closely to the regular review process for faculty. In addition to the review for promotion and tenure by the Faculty Personnel Committee, yearly evaluation of faculty members is made by many department heads, deans, or other supervising officers. The sixth-year major review shall be conducted by an elected standing committee of the unit (department, program, school, or college) including three or more tenured faculty members of whom one may be outside the unit. The total number of members shall be determined by the unit. The committee shall include no department head or dean.

b) Each school or college must have an elected, standing oversight committee. In the case of those schools or colleges which have formal departments, the sixth-year major review shall be conducted by an elected committee of the department. In the case of those schools or colleges that do not have formal departments, the sixth-year major review shall be conducted by the elected, standing oversight committee of that school or college, which may be an existing committee or one newly devised for that purpose. In the case of units so small that the creation an elected standing committee of the unit is impractical, the larger unit's oversight committee will make arrangements for the sixth-year major review.

3. Scheduling. The sixth-year major review should occur during the sixth-year following the last promotion in rank, receipt of tenure, or the last sixth-year major review. The appropriate dean, department, or program head shall determine the schedule for years in which faculty members shall undergo third year and sixth-year reviews in accordance with the guidelines outlined in this document, noting the following:

a) Associate Professors. The review will be timed so that the first third-year substantive review takes place in the third year after the awarding of tenure. Any review for promotion shall be substituted for the third-year substantive review or the sixth-year major review.

b) Any faculty member within three years of retirement or on the 600-hour program may choose not to undergo review if that is the policy of the school or college.

c) At the option of the faculty member, the department head, or the dean, an earlier review may be requested. The request for review, submitted in writing, shall include reasons for the earlier consideration. Copies shall be sent to the faculty member, the department head, and the dean. The time for review shall be determined by the review committee.

d) A faculty member may request, in lieu of the sixth-year major review, a special review by the Faculty Personnel Committee be conducted through the regular review process.

e) In practice, some deviations from normal scheduling may occur for a variety of reasons, including hiring, promotion, and sabbatical cycles.

4. Statements and reports.

a) The third-year substantive review. The dean, department, or program head reviews submitted materials then prepares a brief statement evaluating the performance of the faculty member and, for associate professors, commenting on the degree to which the faculty member is on target for promotion. This statement shall be given to the faculty member and signed by the faculty member to indicate that he or she has read it. The faculty member may submit a written response to the statement within thirty days. A copy of the statement and any response by the faculty member shall be filed in the faculty member's personnel file no later than June 15th of the review year.

b) The sixth-year major review. The report of the elected standing committee is submitted to the department head who then reviews all relevant information and prepares a summary sixth-year major report. These two reports shall be given to the faculty member and signed by the faculty member to indicate that he or she has read it. The faculty member may submit a written response to these reports within thirty days. A copy of these two reports and any response by the faculty member shall be filed in the faculty member's personnel file and a copy of these two reports and any response by the faulty member shall be forwarded to the appropriate dean no later than June 15th of the review year.

5. Appeal process. Within the period specified in OAR 571-03-0000 et. seq. the faculty member may appeal to the University Faculty Grievance Appeal Committee after receipt of the statement or report described in 4a or 4b above.


1. The following criteria (elaborated in the Faculty Handbook) will be used in post-tenure review:

a) Maintenance of high quality of teaching.

b) Continuing professional growth, scholarly activities, creative and artistic achievement.

c) Exercise of leadership in academic and administrative service.

d) Service and activities on behalf of the larger community.

e) Additional criteria as may be established by individual departments.

2. The information to be considered in decisions concerning post-tenure review will include the faculty member's statement of scholarly, scientific, professional or artistic accomplishments, goals, and plans; an up-to-date vitae and bibliography; accumulated annual faculty evaluation reports; the faculty member's responses, if any. Additional information including any of the following may be requested:

a) A statement from the department head, dean or provost summarizing the past duties and responsibilities of the faculty member, including pertinent information concerning the conditions of appointment.

b) Student evaluations and other materials relating to the quality of teaching or administration.

c) In appropriate instances, letters of evaluation from individuals both on and off campus, with particular attention to evaluations by persons specially qualified to judge the contributions of the faculty member over the period of review.

d) Supportive documents such as copies of publications, manuscripts, photographs of art objects, musical compositions, or reviews of performance.

e) Other evaluation statements.


1. The third-year substantive review. This review shall be an element of annual salary adjustment decisions.

2. The sixth-year major review. A positive evaluation at the sixth-year major review of a faculty member holding the rank of Full Professor or Tenured Senior Instructor shall result in the recommendation to the Provost of an increase to the base salary of that faculty member comparable in amount and funding source to that given for promotion. Other faculty rewards should also be considered by the review committee for recommendation to the dean or department head. Faculty rewards may include but need not be limited to the following:

a) reallocation of departmental resources on a temporary basis to allow opportunity for development of new sources to enrich the curriculum, or to allow additional research opportunity;

b) additional research or clerical support; and

c) University recognition of individual faculty members for outstanding achievement.

3. Career Support Program. Upon the recommendation of the review committee, the University shall provide to the faculty member such opportunities to improve the performance as the following:

a) consultation with colleagues for purposes of assistance in problem areas,

b) appropriate reallocation of department assignments to facilitate updating an improvement in teaching or research,

c) access to a center for improvement of instruction or scholarly effort, and

d) personal counseling.

4. The University of Oregon shall "deal firmly but humanely with situations in which a faculty member's competence or vitality have diminished to such an extent that formative opportunities are unable to sufficiently stimulate or assist the faculty member's return to a fully effective state." (IMD 4.002). To preserve the constructive intent of post-tenure review, however, summary post-tenure statements or reports shall not be used in procedures for disciplinary sanctions. The procedures and criteria for sanctions are addressed separately under existing statutes ( OAR 580-021-0320, OAR 580-021-0325, and OAR 580-022-0045).

Reviewed and Approved By: 
President's Staff
Issued by: 
President's Office
Revision History: 

08 February 2010 - Policy number revised from 3.150 to 02.01.17

Original Source: 
UO Policy Statement