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  • Higher Ed

Good Practice in Tenure Evaluation

March 2009

Why Read This

Flawed tenure processes can exact a heavy toll on unsuccessful candidates, their colleagues, and your institution. The practices detailed in this report, which originated at a meeting convened by the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and United Educators (UE), are designed to avert problems that can detract from the hard work of evaluating professional academic achievement. It addresses:

  • Clarity in standards and procedures for tenure evaluation
  • Consistency in tenure decisions
  • Candor in the evaluation of tenure-track faculty
  • Caring for unsuccessful candidates

Key Takeaways

  • Tenure decisions must be consistent over time among candidates with different per­sonal characteristics such as race, gender, disability, and national origin.
  • Periodic probationary evaluations must be candid, expressed clearly, and include specific exam­ples illustrating the quality of performance, constructive criticism of any potential areas for improvement, and practical guidance for future efforts.
  • The person respon­sible for conveying disappointing news to unsuccessful candidates should use compassion, and colleagues shouldn’t isolate the person socially.

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