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Faculty Promotion and Tenure Procedures

Faculty promotion decisions at Purdue are based upon peer review.  Each year, department heads provide written feedback to all untenured faculty summarizing the primary committee’s evaluation of their progress toward tenure (Memorandum from Thomas P. Adler, interim dean, 11/2/95).  Heads should also meet with untenured faculty annually and discuss the promotion process and the preparation of promotion documents.

Candidates are nominated and voted upon by departmental (primary) committees composed of tenured full and associate professors.  Tenured associate professors vote only on promotions up to and including the associate professor level.  Candidates who receive a majority vote or the endorsement of their department head are forwarded to a college-wide (area) committee consisting of all department heads and an elected senior faculty member from each department. Candidates receiving a majority vote from the Area Committee or the endorsement of the dean are forwarded to the University Promotion Committee, composed of equal members of faculty and administrators.  Their recommendations are forwarded to the President and the Board of Trustees for final approval.

There are three university level documents with which a department head should be familiar in order to understand the promotion process at Purdue and in the College of Liberal Arts. The first is "Academic Tenure and Promotion" (1.B.2) which describes conditions associated with tenure and faculty eligibility. The second is "Criteria for Tenure and Promotion for the West Lafayette Campus." In this policy, the documentation of excellence in discovery; teaching and learning; and engagement is discussed. The final university level document is "Procedures for Granting Academic Tenure and Promotion," which outlines the procedures to be followed by primary, area, and the Campus Promotions Committee. Click here for instructions for completing the promotion nomination form (form 36) and here for the form itself. Faculty members may request an extension of their tenure clock.  Click HERE for the policy, procedures, and guidelines. In addition, each year the Provost distributes a memo to all tenured and tenure track faculty and another to all research and clinical faculty describing, in short form, the procedure and policies for promotion. Copies of the memos for the 2021-22 academic year are HERE

In addition to the university promotion and tenure policies, there is a final document of importance in understanding promotion procedures, the “College of Liberal Arts Promotion and Tenure Procedures” endorsed by the Liberal Arts Senate in 1976 and amended most recently in 2012.  This document provides more specific information on the step-by-step procedures to be followed in the college for considering candidates for promotion and tenure.  It honors the spirit of the University procedures, but includes some policies that are unique to our college.  In addition to the Promotion and Tenure Procedures, in September 2018 the Area Committee adopted the new Guidelines in Discovery and Student Mentoring. In Spring 2023, the CLA senate adopted guidelines for evaluating clinical faculty for promotion. If you have questions about University or college promotion and tenure procedures, contact Dean Reingold or Senior Associate Dean Hong.