2.9.1. Board of Supervisors Promotion and Tenure Policies

In its Rules, the Board of Supervisors mandates the following guidelines concerning promotion.

  • Levels of Rank. Levels of academic rank recognize progressive levels of achievement and stature within the profession.
  • Rank Distribution. Special care shall be exercised in assigning faculty ranks to new appointees and in making promotions in rank from year–to–year. The following table provides guidelines on assignments of rank within each institution:


Academic Rank Typical Range Maximum Range
Professor 20–30% 35%
Associate Professor 25–35% 35%


  • Promotion. Each institution shall establish a policy setting criteria for faculty promotion. The policy statement should state that very few persons who do not hold the doctorate will be promoted to the rank of full professor. (Recently, the Board has qualified the last statement by saying that the statement reflects a minimum standard; individual institutions may choose to exceed these standards.)

Board of Supervisors’ policies (in Chapter III Section XI) concerning tenure are as follows:

  1. Definition. Indeterminate tenure, hereafter referred to as tenure, is intended to ensure and enhance faculty members’ academic freedom and job effectiveness. Tenure assures the faculty member that employment in the academic discipline at the institution will be renewed annually until the faculty member resigns, retires, or is terminated for cause or financial exigency.
  • Faculty members shall not be eligible for tenure at the instructor level.
  • Each recommendation by an institution to grant tenure to a faculty member shall be submitted to the Board of Supervisors at a time designated by the System President, which shall be no later than the date to submit annual budgets for approval.
  1. Eligibility for Tenure. The probationary period for tenure consideration in the University of Louisiana System is six years. A tenure-track faculty member may apply for tenure during the sixth year. Full-time academic personnel at least at the level of assistant professor or equivalent shall be eligible for tenure after serving this probationary period.
  2. Recommendation for Tenure. Recommendation for tenure of those who have completed the probationary period shall originate in the various structural units, with tenured faculty and unit heads initiating the recommendations. The recommendation shall be submitted to the institution president for his consideration. His/her action shall be submitted to the System President. Final authority for granting or denying tenure shall rest with the Board of Supervisors. Under no circumstances shall tenure status be achieved without specific action of the Board of Supervisors.
  3. Notification of Tenure Decision. At the end of the probationary period, the result of each individual’s evaluation shall be provided to that individual. In the event tenure is to be denied, 12-month advance written notice of termination shall be given. If tenure is to be awarded, the affected faculty member shall be informed in writing and tenure will be effective with the next letter of appointment.
  4. Early Awarding of Tenure. In certain unusual cases, the institution may award tenure to faculty members of extraordinarily high merit prior to the end of the sixth probationary year. Any academic unit’s recommendation, with faculty input whenever possible, to award tenure before the end of the usual probationary period should be accompanied by an accounting of compelling reasons for this action.
  5. Decision Not to Grant Tenure. If the decision is made not to grant tenure in the sixth year, it shall result in a terminal appointment for the seventh year. The notice of terminal appointment shall be made in writing to the faculty member prior to concluding the sixth year.
  6. Credit for Prior Service. For the purpose of the probationary period, credit may be given for prior service at other institutions with the mutual consent of the individual institution and the Board of Supervisors.
  7. Faculty Initially Appointed as Professor or Associate Professor. Faculty members initially employed at the rank of professor may be granted tenure upon appointment or, at the discretion of the institution, may be required to serve a probationary period not to exceed four years. Faculty members initially employed at the rank of associate professor shall serve a probationary period of at least one year, but no more than four years. (Addition approved 6/25/99)
  8. Limitation of Tenure. Tenure shall be limited to persons in the faculty ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Administrators shall not earn tenure except as members of an academic discipline.
  9. Duration of Tenure. Tenured faculty shall retain their status until they retire, resign, or are terminated for cause or as a result of financial exigency. Tenure shall be granted and held only within an academic discipline that is offered at the institution and assures renewed appointments only within that discipline.
  10. Termination for Financial Exigency. Termination is at the institutional level, as determined by procedures which include faculty participation.
  11. Policy. This tenure policy shall supersede all existing policies with the following exceptions:
  • All persons holding tenure on the effective date of this policy shall retain their tenure.
  • Any person in the employment of an affected institution on the effective date of this policy shall be eligible to earn tenure under the terms and conditions of the policy in force and in effect at the time of that person’s employment at that institution.
  • This policy shall in no way affect any rights acquired by any person employed by an institution prior to the effective date of this policy.
  1. Tenure and Rank for Administrative Appointees. Academic administrators at the level of dean or higher are frequently appointed with academic rank (typically associate professor or professor) and tenure in a specific discipline. A request to offer tenure with appointment must have prior approval by the System President. In the employment of certain academic administrators such as department heads, directors, or deans where the offer of employment does not include immediate tenure, it should be stipulated that a tenure review shall be performed within one to three years by the administrator’s immediate supervisor. This evaluation should include, among other factors, a review of specific provisions stipulated at time of employment. The review of a dean shall be made by the vice president for academic affairs with possible input from department heads in his/her college or school, while the review of a department head shall be made by his/her dean with input from faculty within the department.
  2. Administrators (vice presidents, deans, directors) in non-academic areas (finance, student affairs, institutional advancement, and others) shall not be appointed with academic rank or tenure. Exceptions to this rule may include individuals appointed to such a position after having acquired rank and tenure in an academic discipline within the same institution, or in other exceptional cases specifically approved by the Board. (Addition approved 8/30/95)

Note: Faculty who were employed by the University before August 1993 should consult the previous Board of Supervisors promotion and tenure policy whenever they have questions about tenure. The old policy is available on the internal administrators’ drive (V drive).



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