Board of Trustees Policy
The Board of Trustees Policies Governing Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Tenure, adopted in 1998, and all subsequent amendments, govern appointment, evaluation, promotion, tenure, and review for all tenure‑track and tenured faculty members. The following sections are intended as a general summary of those areas. In the event of any conflict or inconsistency between board policy and this handbook, board policy will control.
This chapter concerns the academic status of tenure‑track and tenured faculty. In the typical case, a faculty career begins with appointment as a tenure‑track assistant professor with a probationary period of six years. The probationary faculty member will apply for tenure during the sixth year, and if tenure is not granted, the faculty member will be permitted to serve a seventh year as a terminal year. Faculty may apply for early consideration for tenure, may have their probationary period extended, or may petition for a suspension of one or more years of the probationary period, as described in the pertinent sections of this chapter of the handbook, below; in 6.4.2, and the Knoxville Faculty and Family Care Policy. Tenured associate professors may be promoted to full professor after at least five years at the rank of associate. All faculty members are expected to achieve a sufficient level of accomplishment in teaching, research / scholarship / creative activity, and service to merit promotion to full professor. Throughout this career path, all faculty members have annual reviews and appropriate reviews for promotion and tenure.