Tenure is designed to be a rigorous, objective, peer-driven process in which specific criteria regarding the performance of each candidate is considered to evaluate the capacity and likelihood for continued intellectual, scholarly and professional vitality — using methods customary in higher education outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

Each faculty member applying for tenure is evaluated in specific areas by colleagues at the department and school levels, and by a minimum of three reviewers outside of the institution qualified to review the faculty member’s qualifications. Peer and student evaluations of teaching are taken into consideration. Reviewers use criteria that have been agreed upon both by faculty and senior administrators in the documents governing promotion and tenure. Effectiveness is measured in at least two of the following areas: teaching; scholarly activities; and service activities (See Section 2.10 of the UAB Faculty Handbook):

  • Effectiveness as a Teacher: Effectiveness as a teacher can be demonstrated by a review of the following considerations: the individual’s knowledge of a subject field, including current developments in that field, and the ability to develop effective curriculum materials, to organize and effectively present course work, to motivate student interest and participation, and to contribute significantly to the academic progress of students.
  • Effectiveness in Scholarly Activities: Although scholarly work takes many forms, including design, basic and applied research, and other creative activities, a faculty member’s effectiveness can be demonstrated by such achievements as publications, fine arts creations, personal presentations of formal papers, artistic performances, patents, and the like. The quality of the individual’s scholarly work, capacity for independent thought, originality, and products of scholarship must be addressed.
  • Effectiveness in Service Activities: Service functions can be those performed for UAB, the Birmingham community, the state of Alabama, and regional, national, or international groups. Service may include such activities as participation in committee work, fulfillment of administrative assignments, contributions to the improvement of student and faculty life, faculty consultation within or outside UAB, and professional service.

Faculty seeking tenure submit a detailed dossier providing documentation on how their teaching and scholarly activities and service meet the criteria for tenure. A review is provided within their school or college including the outside reviewers. Peer recommendations and feedback are sought because they are the subject matter experts and/or close to the actual performance of faculty members.

At a public university like UAB, faculty are entitled to academic freedom and constitutional rights to free speech and association, including in the review for purposes of promotion and tenure. The UAB Faculty Handbook provides that when exercising these rights, faculty should make it clear that they speak only for themselves and not for the institution. In the classroom, faculty are entitled to freedom in discussing their subject, but are cautioned not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject.


Preparing Promotion and Tenure Applications

Guidelines and instructions for preparing and submitting promotion and tenure applications to the office of the Provost.

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Timelines for Academic Year 2021-2022 Promotion and Tenure Actions

UAB’s promotion and tenure processes reside mostly in the separate schools and college, including deadlines for specific steps.

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Request for Extension of Tenure Earning Period (Not COVID-19 Related)

An extension of the tenure earning period may be approved on a discretionary basis for extenuating non-professional circumstances that have had a significant impact on the faculty member’s productivity.

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Procedures for Faculty Appointments, Reappointments, Promotions, and Awards of Tenure

Section 2.10 of the UAB Faculty Handbook and Policies requires that the university’s policies and the departmental, school, and/or library policies will be used in evaluating faculty members for appointment, promotion, and award of tenure.

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Promotion/Tenure Action Summary Form

Document the review and decision procedures for Faculty Promotion and Tenure awards.

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Newly Promoted and Tenured Faculty (2021)

A list of promoted and tenured faculty from 2021.

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Notification of Opt-Out from Tenure Clock Extension Due to COVID-19

Faculty with tenure-earning appointments eligible during the Spring 2020 semester remain eligible for the one-year extension provided in March 2020. Faculty who became eligible after that date but before March 31, 2021 will also be eligible. Faculty who were eligible in March 2020 do not get a second year of extension. See Section 2.15.2 of the UAB Faculty Handbook.

If eligible faculty do NOT wish to extend their tenure clock by one year, and intend to apply for tenure during the 2021/2202 academic year, they must use this Adobe Sign form to notify their chair and the Office of Faculty Affairs in the Office of the Provost, of their decision to opt-out of the Tenure Clock Extension due to COVID-19. Faculty not opting to select the one-year extension, which is the default status, must notify their chair and Faculty Affairs by September 1 or other agreed upon deadline of the academic year during which a tenure award will be applied for (e.g., September 1, 2021 for the those seeking tenure during the 2021-2022 academic year cycle).

FAQ: Modification of Tenure Processes

UAB announced in March 2020 that, beginning October 1, 2020, the University was automatically extending by one year the tenure-earning period for faculty on the tenure track at that time. In March 2021, the University also applied the one-year extension to faculty who were not at UAB or otherwise eligible for tenure as of March 2020 but were eligible as of March 2021 (because, for example, they joined the tenure track for the first time as of October 1, 2020). UAB made these decisions in recognition that the coronavirus pandemic has significantly disrupted academic and personal lives These disruptions include, but are not limited to: moving to on-line teaching of graduate and undergraduate courses, restricted access to research laboratories, restricted travel for professional activities, and increased demands at home for the care and education of children and caregiving responsibilities for vulnerable or sick relatives.

Below are answers to questions tenure-earning faculty may have about the one-year extension of the tenure period. Additionally, the FAQ addresses some common questions relevant to non-tenure earning faculty.

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