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Chapter 4
Tenure and Promotion

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Board of Trustees Policy on Tenure and Promotion

The full text of the "Policy on Academic Freedom, Tenure and Retirement of the Board of Trustees of Tufts University" is available here. The following is a summary.

Eligibility for Tenure

To become eligible for tenure, an individual must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be serving the university as a full-time faculty member.
  • Hold the unmodified rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor.

Probationary Period

The probationary period is seven years of full-time service. Normally, during the sixth year of the probationary period, a full-time, tenure-track faculty member either makes application for tenure review or formally withdraws from consideration in writing. If the university notifies the faculty member in writing by the end of the sixth year of the probationary period that tenure has not been awarded, the faculty member may serve a seventh year, which will be the terminal year of his/her contract. The School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering do not usually reduce the probationary period for a faculty member who has been employed in other institutions of higher education. Tenure-track faculty members, however, may request consideration for tenure before completing six years of full-time service at Tufts in a tenure-track position. A full year of unpaid leave counts as part of the probationary period leading to review for tenure, unless otherwise agreed upon at the time the leave is approved. The probationary period may be extended for a period not exceeding three years for a faculty member who at the time of employment did not have his or her Ph.D. or its equivalent, if the university and the faculty member agree in writing at the time of the initial employment to such an extension.

Under certain circumstances, tenure review may be deferred. See the "Policy on Automatic Tenure Review Deferral for Family Illness and Medical Leave" and the "Policy on Automatic Tenure Review Deferral for Parental Leave," which appear elsewhere in the Handbook.