Faculty Handbook

Operating Principles of the Tenure System

Last updated: 4/24/2009


The following policy was revised by the Board of Trustees on May 18, 2007 and on April 24, 2009.

  1. Probationary appointment periods for tenure purposes are calculated from August 16 of the calendar year in which the appointment is effective.
  2. A faculty member granted a leave of absence for six to twelve months will have the probationary appointment period extended appropriately.  See "Extending the Reappointment/Promotion/Tenure Review Timeline" for additional reasons and procedures for extending the probationary appointment period.
  3. A faculty member who is not to be recommended for reappointment by the department chairperson and dean must be so notified in writing by the department chairperson by December 15 preceding the expiration of the appointment. Copies of the notification are to be sent to the dean and provost. Upon written request of the faculty member, the administrative unit making the decision shall transmit in writing the reasons for not recommending further appointment.
  4. If a faculty member is not given proper notification, as stated in 3., an extension of one year is automatic, and the faculty member shall consider this arrangement as official notification of separation from the University at the end of the one-year extension.
  5. A tenure system faculty member who is not reappointed or resigns may not be appointed in the tenure system, except as approved by the University Committee on Faculty Tenure upon written request by the faculty member, department/school and college.
  6. A Foreign National holding non-immigrant status may be appointed within the tenure system; however, he/she may not be appointed with tenure unless (a) he/she has acquired permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship or (b) he/she enters into and complies with the terms of a Faculty Tenure Policy Exemption Agreement approved by the Provost.
  7. Questions about the interpretation of the tenure rules are referred to the University Committee on Faculty Tenure. The Committee renders a decision and communicates it to the president, the provost or other appropriate administrative official. In every case, final decision rests with the Board of Trustees.  The University Committee on Faculty Tenure also considers the resolution of tenure issues/problems arising from situations not covered in the tenure rules and proposes solutions to the Provost.  As appropriate, the Provost may recommend new policies or policy revisions to appropriate academic governance bodies.  Changes in the tenure rules require action by the Board of Trustees.
  8. Tenure at Michigan State University resides in the University and tenured faculty have "tenure in the university."  (See "Principles of Faculty Reassignment").

Footnote  :

In those situations where the Foreign National chooses not to execute a Faculty Tenure Policy Exemption Agreement but has otherwise been endorsed by the Provost as having met all of the requirements for promotion and tenure, he/she will be placed on a fixed term appointment or have his/her appointment period extended on an annual basis, whichever is appropriate, until permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship is granted, at which time a tenure recommendation will be made to the Board of Trustees.

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