University-level Tenure Review Processes

Roles of Provosts and Committees

Topics: Promotion and Tenure Policies, Faculty Affairs, Academic Affairs

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Research Questions

  • What is the role of the provost in tenure review?
  • What other university-level administrators or committees are involved in the tenure review processes and what are their roles?
  • How are university-level committees structured?
  • On average, how many tenure dossiers are reviewed at the university level each year and how many pages do reviewers typically read?
  • What is the relationship between the faculty union and the tenure review process?


Administrators carefully consider the process by which professors receive tenure because each tenure decision represents a large investment and shapes an institution’s future. This report profiles university-level tenure review processes at six research universities with faculty unions. The brief details workloads associated with university-level tenure review and time allocated by committee members, associate provosts, and provosts. Additionally, university-level tenure review committee composition, selection, and meeting operations are described. Finally, the report considers the role of faculty unions in the tenure review process.

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