New Study on Tenure from AAUP

Today, AAUP announced the publication of a new study on tenure. From Joerg Tiede, director of research at AAUP:

“Today, we released the2022 AAUP Survey of Tenure Practices, the first survey of its kind since 2004. The findings offer a snapshot of prevailing tenure practices and policies at four-year institutions with tenure systems. Among those findings, the survey found that tenure is highly prevalent throughout US higher education, with 87 percent of four-year institutions that have a Carnegie Classification of bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral institution reporting having a tenure system.

Additional central findings include:

  • 82 percent of institutions permit probationary faculty members to stop the tenure clock for reasons of childbearing or child rearing, which represents an enormous shift in institutional policies over the past twenty years. A 2000 study of institutional regulations found that 17 percent of the same types of institutions provided that opportunity. This is a strong trend toward AAUP recommended practices.
  • Of those that offer policies to stop the tenure clock, almost all (93 percent) make the option available to faculty members regardless of gender, in recognition that partners can be coequal caretakers of newborn or newly adopted children. Only 51 percent of institutions explicitly permit stopping the tenure clock for elder care.
  • There has been an increase of institutions that have a post-tenure review program: 46 percent of institutions had a post-tenure review policy in 2000, and 58.2 percent of institutions have one now. Only 27 percent of four-year institutions with a tenure system have post-tenure review programs that can result in termination.
  • Tenure criteria related to diversity, equity, and inclusion can be found at 22 percent of institutions; 39 percent of institutions’ criteria for tenure had been reviewed for implicit bias in the last five years; and 40 percent of institutions had provided training on implicit bias to members of promotion and tenure committees in the last five years.

The survey was administered to a stratified random sample of 515 chief academic officers and had a response rate of 52.8 percent. Here’s the link to the survey once again.

And a brief note about our work: the AAUP’s research department has been making a special effort to produce research on academic freedom, tenure, and governance, and this survey on tenure practices is one example of a study on these issues. More to come.”

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