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3.1 TENURE TRACK ACADEMIC RANKS

Approved by University Council May 10, 2012.

3.1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define those faculty ranks at UHCL which are tenured or which lead to a tenure decision.  All appointments to tenure track rank shall be effective only upon approval by the Board of Regents.

3.1.1  Definitions

3.1.1.1 Proof of completion of a terminal degree
This shall be either an official transcript showing the conferral of the degree or a proof of completion from the university which confers the degree.

3.1.1.2     Probationary Appointment
This shall be an appointment in a tenure track position prior to the award of tenure.  The maximum term for the probationary appointment must be stated explicitly in the letter of appointment.  However, in exceptional circumstances, the term of any probationary period can be extended at the request of the appointee with the approval of the provost.

3.1.2  Policy

3.1.2.1 Ranks
The following ranks are considered part of the tenure track at UHCL: instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor.

3.1.2.2 Mandatory Review
For probationary appointments, the final and mandatory review for tenure shall take place in the year prior to the final probationary year (e.g., year six where there is a seven year probationary period.)

3.1.2.3     Any faculty member appointed for a
probationary period should understand that the number of years designated is a probationary period and not a minimum commitment of employment.  A decision to terminate the services of a faculty member on a probationary appointment may be made at any time during the probationary period subject to appropriate date of notification and does not require or imply charges or demonstrated professional unfitness.

3.1.2.4 Limitations & Conditions by Rank

3.1.2.4.1 Instructor     

Instructor is a tenure track rank. 

Upon completion of a terminal degree the instructor will be promoted to assistant professor.  Such completion is required for the promotion.

Instructors cannot be tenured at that rank.

The maximum probationary appointment at the rank of instructor will be three years starting with the first fall semester of the appointment.  The proof of completion of a terminal degree must be presented by December of the last academic year of the probationary appointment.

Time spent as an instructor at UHCL will count toward the probationary period as an assistant professor.

3.1.2.4.2 Assistant Professor

Appointment as an assistant professor will be a tenure track appointment.  Completion of a terminal degree is required for the appointment.

3.1.2.4.2.1 Probationary Period
Appointment will normally contain a probationary period not to exceed seven years.  This period may be reduced by any time spent at UHCL as an Instructor.

As many as three years of prior experience as an assistant professor or above at another institution may be credited toward the probationary period.  Prior years credited toward the probationary period must be approved by the Provost and must be specified in the letter of appointment.

3.1.2.4.2.2 Normally, a decision to tenure will coincide with a promotion to associate professor.  However, in exceptional circumstances the president may request that tenure be granted to an assistant professor.

3.1.2.4.3 Associate Professor

Appointment as an associate professor will be a tenure track appointment.  Completion of a terminal degree is required for the appointment.

Appointment will normally contain a probationary period of three years but may be made with tenure or for a lesser period. 

3.1.2.4.4 Professor

Appointment as a professor will be a tenure track appointment.  Completion of a terminal degree is required for the appointment.

Appointment will normally be tenured but may contain a probationary period of up to three years. 

A candidate for an appointment or promotion to professor should have a record of accomplishment and evidence of a continuing commitment to professional growth and development of the highest quality.

3.1.2.5 Extension of Probationary Period

3.1.2.5.1 Extension of Probationary Period for Childbirth and Adoption.
An untenured tenure-track faculty member who becomes a parent due to the birth or adoption of a child and who is responsible for the primary care of that child will be given upon request a one year extension of the probationary period, with or without a leave of absence. The faculty member is responsible for notifying his/her dean in writing of a request for extension within six months of the birth or adoption of the child. The dean will acknowledge the request for the extension of the probationary period and will send the request to the provost. The provost will then notify the faculty member in writing of the new mandatory tenure review date.
The extension of the probationary period may occur at most twice (for a total of two years extension), with each extension occasioned by the birth or adoption of a child, and by timely notice as defined above.
For purposes of this policy, a child is defined as a newborn or, in the case of adoption, a child under the age of six. Also, a tenure-track faculty member who is responsible for the primary care of the child is one who is responsible for significant and continuous care of his or her newborn or adopted child. If both parents are tenure-track faculty members, only one may qualify as the primary caregiver.
If a faculty member takes a leave of absence, this policy shall be applied in conjunction with relevant leave statutes and policies. 

3.1.2.5.2 Policy on Extension of the Probationary Period for Emergencies.

An untenured tenure-track faculty member has the right to request an extension of the probationary period because of serious illness, family emergencies or other serious personal circumstances. Circumstances that may justify an extension include, but are not limited to, serious illness and injury, or other serious disruptions or unexpected reasons beyond the faculty member’s control.
Requests must be made in writing and submitted within six months after the emergency circumstances or personal circumstances occur. The request must be forwarded through the dean to the Provost. The Provost will inform the dean of his or her decision and the year of tenure review. These decisions should be made as soon as practicable.

3.1.2.5.3 A request for extension of the probationary period normally will not be considered after March 1 of the academic year prior to the tenure review period.

3.1.2.6 This policy does not address faculty development leave, nor does it affect any existing policy or policies relating to faculty leave.

 

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