Section 4 - Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures
Tenure is a continuous appointment without stated term that is conferred on a faculty member after review. The College recognizes the importance of academic freedom and a sufficient degree of economic security, and the granting of tenure is therefore a commitment on the part of the College that the faculty member will be employed by the College until retirement or resignation except as provided in the Faculty Manual. After the expiration of a probationary period, and after an affirmative tenure decision has been made by the Board of Regents, members of the faculty of St. Olaf College shall have tenure, and they shall be dismissed or their service terminated only for adequate cause and with due process.
Faculty members with tenure recognize that tenure conveys both privileges and responsibilities. They will regard themselves as a part of that group of faculty members who, because of the continuing relationships to the institution which their tenure involves, share responsibility for the total life and program of the institution. They will resign from their positions only after careful consideration of the effect upon the work of the College.
The granting of tenure is a recognition that the individual is a valued and productive member of the faculty as indicated by teaching effectiveness, scholarship, and service to the institution and profession. The decision to grant tenure reflects a comprehensive judgment about past performance and future potential based on strengths demonstrated by the individual in relation to the needs of the College. By granting tenure, the College is expressing confidence that a person with proven accomplishments in a tenure-track appointment will continue to perform in a way that is appropriate to the needs of the institution. Thus, the successive annual evaluations leading up to the tenure decision shall serve to identify the professional capabilities and achievements, future promise, and compatibility with anticipated institutional needs of those faculty who are eligible for tenure. Faculty who are granted tenure shall be responsible for their continued professional development.
- The award of tenure shall always be based on an explicit judgment by the College. Tenure shall not be acquired by default through the mere passage of time in the probationary period. During the probationary period an explicit decision concerning the granting of tenure shall be made for each faculty member, who shall be notified in writing of this decision. Normally, a faculty member holding a tenure-track appointment shall be a candidate for tenure in the final year of the probationary period. A faculty member may become a candidate for tenure prior to the final year of the probationary period upon nomination by a majority of the tenured members of the faculty member's department and with the faculty member's consent. A faculty member is considered for tenure only once.
- The probationary period of faculty members who hold academic rank will commence upon the first tenure-track appointment and shall not exceed six years of full-time equivalency. [For exception in instructor rank, see paragraph 4 below.] Service at other institutions of higher education or in prior years at St. Olaf shall be counted on the basis of the following conditions:
- The probationary period for any faculty member initially appointed to the rank of associate or full professor shall not exceed three years and shall be stated in the first letter of appointment.
- All service, up to a maximum of three years, at the rank of instructor or above at another institution of higher education may be counted for those initially appointed as instructors or assistant professors. The decision concerning the number of years to be counted shall be negotiated between the faculty member and the College during the first year of service at St. Olaf and shall be confirmed in writing in a letter from the Dean of the College to the faculty member on or before September 15 of the second year of service at St. Olaf.
- Prior service at St. Olaf may be counted towards the probationary period, with a maximum of three years full-time equivalency. The decision concerning the number of years to be counted shall be negotiated between the faculty member and the College at the time of the initial tenure-track appointment and shall be stated in the first letter of appointment.
- A faculty member with the rank of instructor may continue to serve in that rank beyond the sixth year and without tenure, provided such a relationship is agreeable to both St. Olaf College and the individual.
- The following minimum requirements are necessary conditions for tenure:
- All candidates must have demonstrated that they meet high standards of professional competence in their disciplines and that they possess the ability and interest to ensure continued growth.
- Except under unusual circumstances, all candidates must have attained a terminal degree in their disciplines (or equivalent professional distinction).
- All candidates must have either a tenure-track full-time appointment or a tenure-track part-time appointment to be eligible for tenure review.
- All tenure decisions shall be made by the Board of Regents according to the Procedures for Granting Tenure and Promotion (Section 4.XI).
Constraint is necessary in granting of tenure in order that St. Olaf College secure the best possible personnel to serve its program. Such constraint is to be observed by all participants in the process of awarding tenure.
- Tenure decisions shall be based on judgments in the following two areas, listed in descending order or priority:
- The candidate's qualifications as measured by the Standards for Faculty Evaluations (Section 4.VII).
- Considerations of personnel needs within the candidate's department (e.g., areas of specialization, unusual teaching styles, retirement plans, number of tenured persons) as they relate to the Department's Staffing Plan.
Any previous experience shall be considered insofar as it contributes to effectiveness in the specified criteria.
- Granting tenure does not imply promotion; however, a person may be considered simultaneously for tenure and promotion.
The granting of tenure to a part-time faculty member is assurance only of continued part-time employment.