Tenure Track Project

The purpose of this project is to capture in one public document all of the key policies, protocols and best practices related to tenure and promotion at Cornell. Currently, information of this kind is sometimes hard to find, incomplete, inconsistent or otherwise problematic. Here is a 1-2-3 plan for producing improved documentation that works for both the candidate and the faculty, chairs, and others who review the case:

  1. The Senate’s AFPSF Committee  in consultation with others reviews every  process and procedure that is associated with the tenure track.  It produces an FAQ “Study Guide” that frames the issues in a way that facilitates faculty discussion and  input. (This work is done. Browse the 70-item FAQ)
  2. After the commenting period is over the FAQ is  updated in a way that exposes issues where there is broad  consensus and issues where there is a variation in thinking. (Feb-Mar)
  3. Depending upon the topic, FAQ prose is used to develop (a)  practical  advice documents, e.g., how to write a good research statement,  and (b) guideline text for inclusion in the Faculty Handbook  (e.g., procedure for selecting external reviewers). The latter requires  an approval process that simultaneously engages the Senate, the Chairs, the Deans, and the Provost. (Mar-May)

It is understood throughout that tenure-related  processes mandated by the university cannot be too prescriptive given variations that exist across the colleges.  However, the university can and should  be insistent in matters that concern transparency and objectivity.

The FAQ Study Guide

The FAQ is partitioned into these sections and is available in three formats:

A. Recruitment  (online, pdf, word )
B. The Probationary Period (online, pdf, word)
C. Launching the Tenure Review (online, pdf, word )
D. External Reviewer Selection (online, pdf, word)
E.  Letters from Students on Teaching and Advising ( online, pdfword)
F.  Department Deliberations (online, pdf, word)
G. College Deliberations (online, pdf, word )
H. University Deliberations (online, pdf, word)

Comments can be uploaded and shared anonymously online. You can also communicate your thoughts via marked up versions of the word docs  to deanoffaculty@cornell.edu.


The FAQ comes equipped with pointers and excerpts from these tenure-related  sections in the Faculty Handbook:

Reappointment Not Involving Probationary Tenure Status
Faculty Members in Probationary Tenure Status
University Criteria
Time Period to Review for Tenure
Review Process for Tenure
Faculty Advisory Committee on Tenure Appointments

While these sections stipulate university rules and expectations, implementation details tend to be documented at the college level. The FAQ also provides excerpts from this widely disparate body of information.  Sharing how the colleges think about tenure is somewhat difficult because most colleges have chosen to store their procedure documents on local  intranets that block public viewing. ( CALS and  Engineering are the exception.)

This brief powerpoint presentation gives a quick overview of the tenure track project. Read more on why the project is necessary and how it is structured.

The Project is also concerned with improving the three appeal processes that relate to the tenure track:

Appealing a decision not to renew a nontenure appointment.
Appealing a decision not to initiate a tenure review.
Appealing a decision not to grant tenure.

The AFPSF will be taking up the appeal part of the project during the Spring 2020 semester.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email