TJU Tenure Policy¹
Definition of Tenure
Tenure provides qualified faculty members a guarantee of academic freedom, faculty rank, and continued employment opportunity including a minimum salary guarantee and associated fringe benefits. The formula for the minimum salary guarantee is set forth in Addendum A, hereto. Tenure does not guarantee full salary. Rather, it provides the guaranteed right to earn a salary. The University provides the salary guarantee in recognition of ongoing institutional commitment, with the remainder of the faculty member’s salary generated by such faculty member through sponsored research, provision of structured educational instruction, clinical service, and/or through provision of administrative services (collectively, the “Services”). Thus, tenured faculty members are required to contribute to the goals, objectives and mission of their College and the University, as established from time to time, at the functional level of effectiveness of faculty members of their respective rank and status, through provision of some or all of the Services, as deemed appropriate by their supervisor. The supervisor will review, at least on an annual basis, the effort of the faculty member with respect to the Services, and modify the roles and/or responsibilities in any or all of the areas of research, education, patient care and administrative services based on the faculty member’s areas of contribution, strength, productivity, or other applicable parameters considered in light of the then goals, objectives and mission of his/her College and the University. Faculty members may lose tenure based on a failure to contribute to the University, or pursuant to the provisions regarding resignation, retirement, dismissal for cause or corporate compliance of their respective College’s Bylaws. Faculty members may also lose tenure due to extreme financial exigency of the University as determined by the Board of Trustees. As tenure is a privilege of full-time faculty only, tenured faculty who reduce their effort from full-time to part-time will lose their tenured status.
- This Tenure Policy is intended to supplement and amplify the tenure provisions of the College Bylaws of each of the respective Colleges of TJU. The College Bylaws should be consulted in tandem with this Policy, and in the event of any inconsistencies, the College Bylaws provisions will prevail.
- For purposes of this Policy, a faculty member’s “supervisor” will be the faculty member’s Department Chair, Division Director or Program Director, as applicable, or, in the event that the tenured faculty member is a Department Chair or other senior administrative staff member, that individual’s identified supervisor.
Preamble for Tenure
As an institution dedicated to the advancement of health and the health sciences, it is imperative that the appointment, promotion and tenure systems at Thomas Jefferson University appropriately recognize the creative work of the faculty that leads directly or indirectly to the improvement of health and health education. As such, the institution accepts a broad definition of scholarship that includes the advancement, transformation, translation, and dissemination of knowledge by the application of one’s intellect in an informed, disciplined, and creative manner. Such scholarship should be subject to peer review and should be in the public domain. With this in mind, faculty are encouraged to think and act creatively as they begin their scholarship journey. An individual’s scholarship portfolio should ultimately be judged on the impact of the work on health, health education, and/or the health sciences.
At Thomas Jefferson University, innovation is encouraged and rewarded, as is the importance of team science and its potential for greater impact on health, health education and the health sciences which are specifically recognized in the appointment, promotion and tenure systems of the university.
Criteria for Tenure
As tenure represents a lifetime commitment of Thomas Jefferson University to a faculty member’s professional career, the award of tenure will be considered for individuals who have reached the eligible rank within a tenure track and, at a minimum, have sufficiently demonstrated:
- Sustained original scholarly contributions to medicine, the health professions, the biomedical sciences, and/or to education in these fields that have had an outstanding and enduring impact on the field, thereby earning the candidate national and/or international recognition, as judged by peers
- Service to the profession as evidenced by national committee leadership, provision of expert peer review, membership on an advisory panel, or other equivalent service
- Meritorious contributions to the missions of the University through research, education, patient care, innovation, commercialization of intellectual property, or provision of administrative services
- Adherence to high ethical and moral standards in the performance of professional duties
Eligibility for Tenure
- The initial and continuous award of tenure is available only to faculty who are full time employees of Thomas Jefferson University and who have achieved the rank of Associate Professor or Professor in a tenure eligible track.
- Promotion to the Associate Professor level or higher in a tenure eligible track does not guarantee tenure.
- All recommendations regarding faculty rank within a tenure track and faculty promotion within a tenure track shall be made by the Appointment and Promotions Committee of the College and forwarded to the committees and persons set forth in the respective College’s Bylaws and ultimately to the Board of Trustees for final action.
- In accordance with the respective College’s Bylaws, recommendation for the appointment of a faculty member to a tenure track shall be made by the supervisor to the Dean of the College, who shall take final action in the matter.
- Faculty in a tenure track shall have eight (8) years from initial appointment at the Assistant Professor level in the tenure track to achieve successful promotion to Associate Professor, with extensions of up to two (2) additional years as set forth in paragraph 7, below.
- Faculty in a tenure eligible track, who have not been awarded tenure, shall have ten (10) years from initial appointment at the Associate Professor level in a tenure track to achieve successful promotion to Professor, with extensions of up to two (2) additional years, as set forth in paragraph 7, below.
- The time frames set forth in paragraphs 5 and 6 may each be extended for up to two (2) additional years for compelling reasons such as the birth or adoption of a child, personal illness, caring for ill family member, or heavy clinical or teaching loads. The supervisor, shall review each such request and forward it, along with his or her recommendation, to the Appointments and Promotions Committee of the College. The Committee shall review the request and make a recommendation, which shall be forwarded to the Dean of the College for final action.
- Failure to achieve promotion to the rank of Associate Professor or Professor (if the faculty member is non-tenured) within the allotted time frames #5, #6 and #7 above, shall result in non-renewal of the faculty member’s contract or reappointment to a non-tenure track, at the recommendation of the supervisor to the Dean of the College who shall take final action in the matter.
- Faculty may transfer into a tenure track from a non-tenure track upon the recommendation of the supervisor to the Dean of the College, who shall take final action in the matter.
- Faculty may transfer from a tenure track into a non-tenure track upon the recommendation of the supervisor to the Dean of the College, who shall take final action in the matter.
- Faculty who have transferred from a tenure track into a non-tenure track may not transfer back into a tenure track.
Awarding of Tenure - University Tenure Committee
- The University Tenure Committee shall consider requests for tenure and make its recommendations to the President of the University, who shall present his/her recommendations to the Board of Trustees for final approval.
- The University Tenure Committee shall be composed of at least seven (7) tenured faculty members who hold the rank of Professor, the Dean of the Medical College, and at least two other Deans of Colleges of the University.
- The term of a faculty member’s appointment on the University Tenure Committee shall be three (3) years. A faculty member may be reappointed for one (1) additional successive term of three (3) years.
- A faculty member may be reappointed for a nonsuccessive term to the committee after an interval of at least three (3) years from a prior term.
- Members of the University Tenure Committee will be appointed by the President of the University, upon recommendation of the faculty in each College, with an equal number appointed from each College, and one additional member selected by the President. (If there are not sufficient numbers of tenured faculty from each College to fill committee positions, members will be chosen from available Colleges).
- The Provost shall be the Chair of the Tenure Committee.
- The University Tenure Committee shall meet at least quarterly to consider requests for tenure and other tenure-related issues.
- The committee may form working subcommittees, and will obtain consultation from experts when necessary, in its deliberations. However, recommendations regarding tenure shall be made only at meetings of the full committee, when a majority of committee members are present and voting.
- The University Tenure Committee’s recommendation for tenure shall be supported with a 2/3 majority affirmative vote of the members present and voting, and shall be documented in a written positive recommendation to the President.
- The President shall consider the written positive recommendation of the University Tenure Committee and, if the President agrees, shall make a written positive recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
- The Board of Trustees will consider the written positive recommendations of the University Tenure Committee and President, and make a final decision regarding the tenure application.
- The faculty member, his/her supervisor, and the Dean of the College will be notified of the Board of Trustees’ tenure decision in writing. A tenure applicant who is not granted tenure will be advised of the reasons why tenure was not granted, and in the notice, will also be advised as to whether he/she is eligible to remain on the tenure track and re-apply for tenure as set forth below.
- An otherwise eligible faculty member who has been denied tenure may re-apply after two (2) years have elapsed from the tenure denial, as follows: a faculty member may apply for tenure a total of two (2) times at the Associate Professor level and, if promoted to Full Professor, a total of three (3) times at the Full Professor level.
Post Tenure Review
Tenure is a guarantee of an opportunity for employment. However, that guarantee is accompanied by the responsibility to continue to contribute to the institution’s missions through some or all of the Services which the faculty member must carry out with competence and diligence as expected by virtue of one’s faculty status and rank. All tenured faculty will continue to receive annual performance evaluations administered by their supervisor. In addition, all faculty who are granted tenure on or after the effective date of this Policy will be subject to a periodic formal Post Tenure Review process that will occur at least every five (5) years from the date tenure was granted as outlined in the TJU Post-Tenure Review Policy.
Approved by SAAC Committee of the Board of Trustees 9-18-06
Revisions approved by SAAC Committee of Board of Trustees 9-21-09
Further revisions approved by AAC Committee of Board of Trustees 9-10-15
The minimum salary guarantee formula is: 50% of the median of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reported salary for a PhD faculty member in a Basic Science Department by rank for the most recent year available.