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Rice University Faculty Policy No. 201-87

 

FACULTY APPOINTMENTS & TENURE AT RICE UNIVERSITY  

Note: Faculty appointed on or after July 1, 1995 are governed by Policy No. 201-97 and Sections 7 & 8 of the Policy No. 201-97 are applicable to all faculty regardless of appointment date. See also: Guidelines for Faculty Appointments, Promotion, Tenure and Renewal of Contracts .

Tenure is a means to help provide for 1) freedom in teaching, research, and extra-mural activities and 2) a sufficient degree of security to help attract and retain faculty of ability at Rice University. Specific sections on academic appointments and terms of appointment follow:

1. ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS  

a. This policy refers to the academic appointments of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer, instructor and adjunct appointments. Appointments to administrative positions such as dean, department chair, or college master are not included in this policy.

b. All academic appointments shall be made either for a stipulated number of years or with continuing tenure. An academic appointment made with continuing tenure, shall, except in cases noted in paragraphs 2 (m) and (n) below, be considered to extend from the effective date of the appointment to the date of the retirement or resignation of the appointee.

c. The precise time and conditions of every academic appointment shall be stated in writing, signed by the appointee and the President, and shall be in the possession of both the University and the appointee prior to the appointment beginning date. All members of, and new appointees to, the Rice faculty will receive two copies of this Academic Appointment and Tenure policy statement, one copy of which shall be returned, properly signed and dated, to indicate that he or she has read, understood and accepted the stated terms of the actual contract and the applicable University rules and regulations.

 

2. TERMS OF APPOINTMENTS

a. The rank of Professor and Associate Professor normally shall carry continuing tenure.

b. In those cases where promotion to Professor or Associate Professor is without tenure, the total length of appointment in Professorial ranks (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and/or Professor) without tenure shall not exceed nine years. In initial appointments to Associate Professor or Professor without tenure, the appointment term shall not exceed five continuous years. Appointment or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor does not imply commitment to further promotion. Any faculty member who has not been granted tenure as provided herein at the end of a total of nine years in Professorial ranks (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and/or Professor) will be removed from the Professorial ranks and shall not thereafter be considered further for promotion to tenured status or to any Professorial rank.

c. The rank of Assistant Professor at Rice normally does not carry tenure. Assistant Professors are appointed for an initial term not to exceed three years, and may be reappointed for an additional term or terms not to exceed a total of four years; total length of service as Assistant Professor may not exceed seven years. Appointment or promotion to Assistant Professor implies no commitment to further promotion or to reappointment. normally, the decision on the promotion of an Assistant Professor to Associate Professor will be made in the fifth year of the appointment at Rice as an Assistant Professor.

d. When an individual who has served at other institutions at the rank of Assistant Professor (or equivalent), or at a higher rank, is employed at Rice University, prior service at other institutions will not be counted in administering the above time limitations of seven years total untenured service in the rank of Assistant Professor and nine years total untenured service in Professorial ranks as a group. A leave of absence from Rice University without pay is not counted in the seven year limitation or the nine year limitation on untenured service in Professorial ranks as a group.

e. The rank of Instructor is an untenured position. Instructors may be appointed from year to year for a total period not ordinarily exceeding four years. Appointment as Instructor carries no implication of candidacy or eligibility for promotion.

f. Part-time appointments shall not carry continuing tenure and are not included in the limiting periods of service previously mentioned.

g. Adjunct and visiting appointments, such as unranked titles of Lecturer , Artist Teacher , Artist in Residence , Critic and Preceptor , shall not carry continuing tenure and are used for special appointments of various types. All such appointments may be for up to one year and may be renewed in one year increments without limitation on total service.

h. A faculty member who retires from the University at a Professorial rank will hold the Professor Emeritus rank and will be untenured. A Professor past the normal retirement age, in unusual circumstances, may be appointed on an untenured yearly basis to full or part-time service. Specific Board action will be required for each year of extension of service.

i. Written notice that an appointment is not to be renewed will be given to the non-tenured faculty member in advance of the expiration of his or her appointment as follows:


1) not later than March 15 of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that academic year;

2) not later than December 15 for those having two or more consecutive annual terms or a two-year term;

3) at least twelve months before the expiration of an appointment with duration of more than two continuous years at Rice;

4) visiting appointments automatically terminate at the end of the term of appointment. No formal notice of termination will be given.

 

j. The normal procedure for the approval of promotion and/or appointment to tenure is as follows:

1) The department recommends candidates for promotion and/or tenure to the divisional dean, using University Policy No. 215-82 to prepare information for review.

2) The deans submit this information together with their own comments and recommendations to the tenured members of the University Council who begin meeting early in the spring semester.

3) During the process of reviewing the candidates' dossiers, the tenured members of the Council invite the departmental chairmen to speak on behalf of their department's recommendations. In addition, every candidate is given the option of naming an advocate familiar with the candidate's qualifications who is invited to present the candidate's case to the Council. The tenured members of the Council subsequently present their recommendations on promotion and/or tenure to the President of the University.

4) The President examines the Council's recommendations and submits his or her own recommendations for promotion and/or tenure to the Board of Governors of the University.

5) Promotions to tenure become official after the Board of Governors has made its decision and the candidate has been officially notified by the Office of the President of the time and conditions of the promotion to tenure.

6) Appointments to tenure become official after the Board of Governors has made its decision and the candidate has been officially notified by the Office of the President and the time and conditions of the appointment to tenure have been reduced to writing and signed by the individual and the President.

 

k. A decision not to promote or recommend tenure will be transmitted to the faculty members in writing by the President. This decision by the President will be made after consideration of the recommendations of the University Council. Grievances may be brought to the Committee on Tenure and Ethics within twenty calendar days after the candidate has been notified that his or her promotion has not been approved by the President. The Committee on Tenure and Ethics will present its recommendation to the President who will subsequently recommend a course of action to the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors will have final and binding authority to resolve any grievance concerning Faculty Appointments and Tenure at Rice University.

l. Before any commitment is made by the University to appoint a new faculty member to a position with continuing tenure, the dossier, including information regarding the candidate's ability as a teacher and scholar, will be reviewed by the available tenured members of the University Council, in consultation with the department, the divisional dean and the Provost.

m. Except in cases of mental or physical impairment or disability, a faculty member may be completely dismissed from employment during a term appointment or a tenure appointment only for cause related to such faculty member's fitness in his or her capacity as teacher or scholar; provided, however, during a term appointment or a tenure appointment, a faculty member may be suspended from duty with pay at any time. During a term appointment or a tenure appointment a faculty member will be completely dismissed from employment only after specific written charges have been heard by a review committee and its recommendation forwarded to the President, whose decision on dismissal shall be final and binding. This review committee shall be named by the faculty or at its direction by the Faculty Council and shall consist of at least three members. The faculty member in question shall be informed before the hearing in writing of the charges against him or her and shall have the opportunity to be heard in his or her own defense.

n. Notwithstanding the terms of paragraph (m) above, it is specifically understood that termination of an appointment before the end of a specified term, or termination of a tenured appointment at any time, may result from a reduction in number of faculty members as a result of the good faith discontinuance or reduction in size of all or part of a program, department or other segment of University operations. The decision to discontinue or reduce in size all or part of a program, department or other segment of University operations will be implemented only after consideration of the educational, economic and other aspects of the decision, and shall include Board of Governors review. An effort will be made to ease any dislocation experienced by the faculty members involved.

o. A faculty member who intends to resign from the University at the end of the academic year should submit a written notification of his or her intention no later than April 15 of the year of resignation, or thirty days after receiving written notice of the terms of of the terms of reappointment, whichever comes later.

 

Date:_________________________

Signature of Appointee:__________________________________________


Policy No. 201-87
August 10, 1987

 
 
Issued: November 1, 1963
Revised: January 12, 1967
Revised: March 1 and July 1, 1971
Revised: January 2, 1973 (Paragraph 1 only)
Revised: December 7, 1978
Revised: August 10, 1987
Note: Faculty appointed on or after July 1, 1995 are governed by Policy No. 201-97 and Sections 7 & 8 of the Policy No. 201-97 are applicable to all faculty regardless of appointment date. See also: Guidelines for Faculty Appointments, Promotion, Tenure and Renewal of Contracts