Promotion, Tenure, & Review

Tenure is the keystone for academic freedom and excellence, awarded for academic and professional merit. The Regents Policy on Faculty Tenure (tenure regulations) is the comprehensive institutional code that articulates the formal relationship between the University and its faculty. The tenure regulations were adopted by the Board of Regents in 1945 and continues to uphold "the conviction that a well-defined statement of rules is essential to the protection of academic freedom and to the promotion of excellence at the University of Minnesota. A well-designed promotion and tenure system ensures that considerations of academic quality will be the basis for academic personnel decisions, and thus provides the foundation for academic excellence." (Preamble, Regents Policy on Faculty Tenure)

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Annual Appraisal of Probationary Faculty

The UM Form 12 is required for each probationary appraisal. The annual appraisal is based on the unit’s criteria and standards for tenure and/or promotion (the unit’s 7.12 Statement). The report on UM Form 12 should address the performance of the probationary faculty member in the context of the unit’s 7.12 Statement. After the probationary faculty member is reviewed according to the Procedures document, the chair or head of a unit is responsible for meeting with the candidate and discussing the outcome of the review. The report of this review is recorded on the Form 12, which is signed by both the unit head and the probationary faculty member. The form is then sent to the collegiate dean or to the campus chancellor and finally to the Executive Vice President and Provost. These annual reviews become part of the promotion and tenure dossier. 

Annual Review of Tenured Faculty and Post-tenure Review

Post-tenure review refers both to the annual reviews of tenured faculty and to special reviews outlined in Section 7a. of the Regents Policy on Faculty Tenure. All faculty members, including those with tenure, are expected to be reviewed annually; most often, this takes place during a merit review each spring. Each unit has established a set of goals and expectations for performance in the three areas of research or creative work, teaching, and service. One of the goals of post-tenure review (as part of the annual review) is to determine if faculty members have met the goals and expectations established by the unit. It may also provide a means of assisting faculty members who are experiencing difficulties in achieving the goals and expectations of their individual units.  Each spring, units are asked to provide their results from annual reviews for tenured faculty from the previous academic year to the Executive Vice President and Provost. These overall results are presented to the Board of Regents each year.

Extension of Probationary Service Period

According to the Tenure Policy and the Procedures for Reviewing Candidates for Tenure and/or Promotion: Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty, a probationary faculty member may extend their probationary period for one year at a time for:

  1. the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child
  2. for caregiver responsibilities
  3. for personal illness or injury.

An extension of the probationary period is not a leave; during the extended period, a faculty member continues their teaching, research, and service responsibilities in the unit. The probationary period may be extended for no more than three years total for any combination of the three conditions above (excluding pandemic-related extensions).

For information about promotion and/or tenure at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, see UMD Tenure Code. Tenure and promotion processes for UMD differ from those on the other campuses because of their contract with the University Education Association.

All probationary tenure system faculty who were in year 1 or later during spring semester 2020 were granted a one-year extension to their probationary clock. New faculty who did not receive the automatic extension may request one using the request form below.

  • Form UM 1910: Extension of Maximum Period of Probationary Service for Tenure-Track Faculty 
  • Forms may be signed electronically using these instructions and routed via email.
  • For those who have already received an automatic extension, requests for a second extension will take into consideration the extent of disruptions experienced by the individual during 2020 and subsequent years. These requests will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Faculty are encouraged to read this FAQ prior to submitting an extension request.

Promotional Review of Tenured Associate Professors

Reviews of tenured faculty for promotion to professor are governed by the Procedures for Reviewing Candidates for Tenure and/or Promotion: Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty. Although there is no university-wide annual review of associate professors providing them with information about their progress toward promotion to the rank of professor, individual units may specify this procedure in their 7.12 Statements. The unit must review the progress toward promotion of each associate professor with tenure no less than every four years. The four-year review must be reported in writing by the unit head using UM Form 13. The Procedures document provides some guidelines for this review.