Description of a Tenure Track Position

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    • The job description should contain a set of objectives on how the college or university goes about granting tenure to faculty members. This is most likely set forth in a contract signed by both parties upon accepting the job. Not every faculty position is tenure track -- some are one-year contracts while others are just for one or two semesters. Ask the dean about the tenure process and talk to other faculty members.


    • The college or university will institute a probationary period of anywhere from one to four years for new faculty. This means following the rules specified in the faculty handbook. It is important that faculty do not neglect their teaching responsibilities, even though there may be an emphasis on research work for tenure-track appointments.


    • The tenure process varies. Some colleges and universities require publishing in peer-reviewed journals, serving on faculty committees and being involved with student groups. Some institutions may require the presentation of papers at conferences, coauthoring papers with fellow faculty members and being involved in preparing grant applications. Colleges want to see how their faculty members integrate into the college community and how well they interact with the students. Once the school grants a faculty member tenure, he is usually promoted one level -- for example, from assistant professor to associate professor. This is usually accompanied by a pay raise.


    • Should the college or university move to dismiss a tenured faculty member, a hearing is usually held in front of a special committee made up of other faculty members and university administration. This committee then makes a recommendation on whether the faculty member should be dismissed. If faculty members don't like the decision, they can appeal.


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