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2.1.4 Tenure

Last updated on:
Friday, September 1, 2017
Formerly Known As Policy Number: 
2.1.D

According to the Statement on Appointment and Tenure (see Chapter 4 of this handbook), tenure is defined as security of appointment which continues to the date of academic retirement. Tenure Line appointments (including reappointments and promotions) that are “without limit of time” carry tenure. Tenure may also be acquired by length of service.

2.1.4(1)  Appointment, Reappointment, or Promotion Without Limit of Time

Appointments (including reappointments and promotions) without limit of time automatically carry tenure. The papers recommending the appointment, reappointment, or promotion of a Tenure Line faculty member must state whether the recommended position is without limit of time.

2.1.4(2)  Tenure By Length of Service

Tenure may also be acquired by length of service.

Full time service in the Tenure Line faculty at Stanford at the ranks of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor (or a combination thereof) beyond seven years confers tenure by length of service. Individuals holding appointments “Subject to Ph.D.” do not accrue time toward tenure by length of service. As described below, various circumstances may extend the seven year tenure clock deadline (and thus the date on which tenure by length of service would be conferred).

For appointments beginning after August 31, 1996, however, untenured service in a Tenure Line rank may not normally exceed ten years, irrespective of the circumstances that might extend the seven year tenure clock deadline described below in Section 2.1.4(2)c. Accordingly, untenured service in a Tenure Line rank beyond ten years confers tenure by length of service. The ten year appointment clock deadline can only be extended by a Provostially-granted exception for extraordinary personal or institutional circumstances.

In determining tenure by length of service, both the seven year tenure clock deadline and the ten year appointment clock deadline must be calculated. Departments and schools are expected to accurately track and calculate both deadlines. Faculty members with questions about the seven year tenure clock and ten year appointment clock deadlines and clock policies and exceptions should contact their Dean’s Office or the Provost’s Faculty Affairs Office.

2.1.4(2)a  Principles Relevant To Calculating The Seven Year Tenure Clock And Ten Year Appointment Clock Deadline

Service in the Tenure Line: Only periods of service in the Tenure Line as an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor (or a combination thereof) count toward tenure by length of service. Persons holding acting or visiting appointments or “Subject to Ph.D.” appointments do not accrue time toward tenure by length of service.

Breaks In Tenure Line Service: Periods of service in the Tenure Line at Stanford University need not be continuous to count toward acquisition of tenure by length of service. For a faculty member who departs Stanford University and is subsequently rehired, all service at Stanford in the Tenure line counts toward the seven year tenure clock and the ten year appointment clock deadlines.

Service At Other Institutions: Academic service at other institutions does not count toward acquisition of tenure by length of service at Stanford University.

Initiation of Tenure Review: Periods of service after the initiation of the tenure review process do not count toward tenure by length of service.

 

2.1.4(2)b  Circumstances That DO Extend The Seven Year Tenure Clock Deadline
Part Time Appointments: Part time appointments are prorated on the basis of the fraction of service compared to a full-time appointment, and thus do extend the seven year tenure clock deadline. However, a total number of untenured years of service in a Tenure Line rank greater than ten years confers tenure by length of service, regardless of the percentage of time served.

Administrative Appointments: Academic appointments made specifically to coincide with an administrative appointment or a specific project do not accrue time toward tenure (under the seven year tenure clock) and thus do extend the seven year tenure clock deadline. This must be stated in the appointment papers and confirmed in writing by the Provost at the time of the appointment. Similarly, individuals serving under regular academic appointments accruing time toward tenure who subsequently accept full or part-time administrative appointments may, under certain circumstances, have the period of time (either full or prorated, as appropriate) deducted in computing length of service toward tenure under the seven year tenure clock; this must also be confirmed in writing by the Provost in advance of the period to be deducted. Although academic appointments made specifically to coincide with an administrative appointment or a designated project do not accrue time toward tenure under the seven year tenure clock (and thus do extend the seven year tenure clock deadline), they doaccrue time toward tenure under the ten year appointment clock.

Leave Without Salary: Any period of leave from service (including childcare leave and Family Medical Care Leave) that is completely without salary paid by or through Stanford University does not count toward tenure by length of service under the seven year tenure clock. Such periods extend the seven year tenure clock deadline for the duration of the authorized leave unless there is advance written agreement by the Provost to the contrary. Periods of partial leave without salary stop the seven year tenure clock on a proportional basis. Periods of leave without salary do not extend the ten year appointment clock deadline.
Childcare Leave: Childcare leave is leave without salary that may be taken by any faculty member, male or female, who becomes a parent by birth or adoption. See Section 3.5.3. As leave without salary, it does extend the seven year tenure clock deadline (but not the ten year appointment clock deadline).

New Parent Tenure Clock Extension: A faculty member who becomes a parent, by birth or adoption, while holding a tenure-accruing appointment is entitled to a one-year extension of the date (under the seven year tenure clock) on which tenure would be conferred due to length of service for each birth or adoption event. This extension will normally have the effect of postponing for a year the initiation of the tenure review process. The New Parent Tenure Clock Extension, though it extends the seven year tenure clock deadline, does not extend the ten year appointment clock deadline.

This extension of the seven year tenure clock deadline is not tied to the number of weeks the faculty member is on pregnancy disability leave, whether he or she requested a reduced teaching or clinical load (see Section 3.5.2), or whether he or she subsequently takes a leave without salary for childcare purposes. The extension applies even if a faculty member becomes a parent during an off-duty quarter (such as summer quarter) and returns immediately to his or her regular work load.

To initiate the extension process, the faculty member must submit the form found at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/provost/faculty/policies/handbook/f.html to his or her Department Chair or to the School Dean’s Office for Schools without departments. Requests must be submitted prior to the commencement of the faculty member’s tenure review. The tenure review commences when the department chair or dean informs the candidate in writing that the review process has commenced. The School will then advise the Provost’s Office through the submission of a Recommendation for Amendment of Professorial Appointment form (Appendix C) and provide revised tenure clock and appointment clock calculations for the faculty member.

Other Personal Circumstances: In cases of extended leaves without service, such as long-term disability or other similar personal circumstances that significantly disrupt teaching and scholarly activities for an extended period, untenured Tenure Line faculty should contact their Dean’s Office to explore a potential extension of their seven year tenure clock deadline. Long term disability is generally considered to be a leave without service, and thus is non-tenure accruing. An extension for such personal circumstances requires a Provostially-granted exception in writing.

 

2.1.4(2)c  Circumstances that DO NOT extend the seven year tenure clock deadline

Sabbatical Leave: The sabbatical leave program is provided to free faculty members from their normal University duties, enabling them to pursue their scholarly interests full time and maintain their professional standing so that they may return to their posts with renewed vigor, perspective, and insight. Periods of sabbatical leave count towards tenure and do not stop the seven year tenure clock, regardless of the percentage of sabbatical pay during the leave.

Leave For Periods of Pure Research: A pure research period is defined as a designated leave from teaching and certain other institutional responsibilities during which the faculty member receives full or partial salary through Stanford, normally from sponsored research. Such periods when a faculty member is receiving salary, whether from sponsored research or a combination of sponsored research and regular sabbatical or other pay, count toward tenure and do not extend the seven year tenure clock deadline. Periods of pure research do not constitute leave without salary or leave without service, and the tenure clock does not stop.

Short Term Disability Leave: Short term disability leave does not extend the seven year tenure clock deadline as the faculty member is relieved of duties for a relatively short period of time. Short term disability leave can only extend the seven year tenure clock deadline if the Provost has granted an exception in writing. See above regarding “Other Personal Circumstances.”

Pregnancy Disability Leave: Pregnancy Disability Leave is short term disability leave for the period of time before and after childbirth during which a faculty member is relieved of all normal University responsibilities. This period of time does not normally extend the seven year tenure clock deadline as the faculty member is relieved of duties for a relatively short period of time. See, Section 3.5 for more information about pregnancy disability leave and childcare leave; see Section 2.1.4(2)b above for the New Parent Tenure Clock Deadline Extension.

 

2.1.4(2)d  Circumstances That DO Extend The Ten Year Appointment Clock Deadline

The ten year appointment clock deadline can only be extended by a Provostially-granted exception in writing for extraordinary personal or institutional circumstances.

 

2.1.4(2)e  University Emergencies

In the event of emergency circumstances that severely disrupt the regular operation of the University (such as an earthquake, pandemic, etc.), the Provost in his or her discretion may declare that the operation of the seven year tenure clock and the ten year appointment clock are stopped (and the deadlines correspondingly extended), until a further declaration by the Provost following the resumption of University operations.