Faculty: Hiring of Tenure-Related Faculty Without Terminal Degrees

Last Updated: 
Effective Date: 
Reason for Policy: 

To establish the terms and conditions of appointment for tenure-related faculty who have not completed their terminal degree. The proposed action is consistent with the desires to ensure that teaching faculty holding the rank of Assistant Professor actually possess a terminal degree, and that the tenure clock for Assistant Professors not start until they have received their terminal degrees.

On occasion it is both necessary and appropriate to extend offers of appointment to prospective faculty before they have formally received their terminal degree. In most cases this involves hiring of the new faculty member in the spring followed by awarding of the degree at the end of spring or during the summer. Although many successful examples of this process exist, there are cases in which faculty have been hired into tenure-related positions and have subsequently had conferral of their degree delayed.

Policy Statement: 

If, at the time of the initial hire, the faculty member has not been awarded his or her terminal degree, the individual shall be issued a tenure-related contract using the rank modifier "Acting". The transmittal letter shall contain the following paragraph:

"It is anticipated that you will have completed the requirements for your [degree name] degree and will be able to provide this office with a statement or certification from the granting institution of the completion of the degree requirements prior to September 16, [start first year]. (This institution will accept the statement or certification in lieu of actual conferral in recognition of the fact that in some instances actual conferral can be delayed.) The "Acting" designation will be removed upon completion of the [degree name] requirements. Should completion of the requirements not occur by September 16, a one-year, fixed-term contract will be issued to you for the period of September 16, [start first year]. Continuation of this appointment beyond June 15, [end first year] is contingent upon actual conferral of the degree by [end first year]."

The following statement shall be included on the initial contract:

"Continuation of this contract beyond the end of the first academic year is contingent on receipt of the [degree name] degree by [date of end of the end of the first year of the contract]. The "Acting" designation will be removed upon completion of the [degree name]."

If the individual completes the degree requirements and is issued a certification or statement of completion, the tenure-related contract remains in place. Should an individual who is issued the one-year fixed-term contract receive the degree during the first academic year, and upon the recommendation of the department and the dean, a tenure-related contract with a start date of September 16, of the second academic year will be issued, and the tenure clock will commence effective that date.

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

08 February 2010 - Policy number revised from 3.140 to 02.01.14

08 September 1999- Issued by the university president

Original Source: 
UO Policy Statement