Over the past several years, Auburn University has recognized an increased need for providing tenure on hire in filling certain faculty positions with highly qualified individuals. Examples include the very successful Strategic Hiring Initiative (aka Cluster Hires) and in recruiting diverse faculty. As a result, the Provost’s Office and the Senate leadership have developed the following Provost guidelines for tenure on hire requests to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee. Please note that deciding faculty rank (e.g. associate professor, professor) has always been the purview of the hiring college within the normal hiring processes. Therefore, these guidelines address tenure on hire only. Moreover, these guidelines are for external hires only and are not applicable to internal hires at Auburn University
For clarity, the process is divided into two separate processes determined by the reason for the tenure on hire request.
Reason 1: An external search has been conducted for a faculty member who currently holds tenure at the rank of associate professor or professor at an accredited university or college. This includes hiring for administrator positions such as chair or director of a department or school.
1. Information to Be Supplied by the Candidate:
A comprehensive CV that must include:
The candidate should present his or her work as informatively and accurately as possible. Librarians and archivists should interpret teaching to apply to performing as a librarian or archivist and adapt the following outline accordingly.
2. Information to Be Supplied by the unit leader:
A. All recommendation letters supplied during the search process. Additional letters from the candidate’s current colleagues as well as from Auburn faculty members are strongly encouraged. These should address the quality of the candidate’s scholarly work and the candidate’s potential to contribute as a productive and collegial member of the academic unit in all relevant areas.
B. The unit’s Promotion and Tenure Guidelines.
C. The unit leader and/or Dean’s Recommendation
After a review of the candidate. A secret ballot shall be taken at the meeting of eligible faculty members to determine the final tenure recommendation of the unit faculty. Faculty members may participate in the tenure recommendation in one of the following ways:
a. present and voting;
b. present and abstaining;
c. absent but submitting a written vote prior to the meeting; or
d. absent and not voting (this response does not count as part of the total vote).
The unit leader, dean, and any other faculty member serving as an administrator who has an official vote on the candidate at a higher administrative level shall not vote at the unit level. Faculty members who serve on committees at the school, college, or university level may choose to vote at the unit level or at higher levels, but they may vote only once on candidates from their units. Immediate family members shall excuse themselves from discussion and voting.
The unit head/chair shall announce the vote at the meeting. The vote shall be transmitted itemized as a, b, c, and d as listed above in writing, first to the dean of the candidate's college or school and the appropriate college committee, then to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee along with the other information requested in this document.
The eligible unit faculty who voted on a candidate's tenure will write a summary letter that reflects the vote and represents all aspects of the discussion leading to that vote. The unit leader will also write an evaluative letter (that will count as his/her vote) with an explicit recommendation for or against tenure. In addition to these two required letters, individual faculty members may write letters explaining why they do or do not favor tenure.
If there is a college committee, its members will review all the materials and they will vote by secret ballot. The committee will write a summary letter that reflects the vote and represents all aspects of the discussion leading to that vote. The dean will also write an evaluative letter (that will count as his/her vote) with an explicit recommendation for or against tenure.
3. Once collected, all of this material will be submitted in a single PDF document to the Provost’s Office by the Dean with a request for tenure on hire.
Reason 2: An external search has been conducted for an assistant and/or associate professor. The selected candidate does not currently hold tenure at the rank of associate professor at an accredited university or college. While hiring an untenured candidate with tenure at Auburn should be an exception, it may be appropriate in cases of a strategic hire. When hiring an untenured candidate with tenure at Auburn the process should resemble as closely as possible the standard tenure process at Auburn, including letters from external reviewers and the inclusion of teaching evaluations in the dossier (see below).
The process is the same as the process for Reason 1 (above) with the addition of teaching evaluations for the last three years (if the candidate has been teaching for three years) and confidential external letters as described below:
Confidential Letters from Outside Reviewers:
The unit leader shall solicit information from outside referees. These evaluators (at least three) shall be people outside of Auburn University who are nationally acknowledged experts in the candidate’s field and can comment on the quality and reputation of the candidate’s work. If the evaluator is from an academic institution, he or she shall be of higher academic rank than the candidate. Letters from the candidate’s major professor for a graduate degree, from former graduate students, and from ongoing research partners are unacceptable. Evaluators may be associated with industry, government agencies, foundations, etc. If these letters arrive in time, they shall be made available to the voting faculty and/or the college committee, and/or dean; otherwise, they shall be sent directly to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee with the dossier. The letters from these outside referees shall remain confidential and shall not be made available to candidates at any time.
Last Updated: October 15, 2018