The procedures set forth in this section implement North Dakota State Board of Higher Education Policy 605.1, Section 3.a and Section 3.b, and Section 3.c.

In accordance with State Board policy, 605.1 and Section 4.a, Probationary Appointments are renewable annually and yield credit toward tenure. The probationary term is limited to six years of continuous academic service, excluding extensions to the term or exceptions to the continuous service requirement granted in exceptional circumstances. See section B, below, for Extension of the Probationary Period.

A recommendation to the President for early tenure (in year 5) may be made in exceptional circumstances. “Exceptional” in this context refers to two specific benchmarks, including ratings in the performance rubric (AA-20) that fall in the “excellent” column; and, in addition or as part of those ratings, the development of a national reputation, the earning of institutional or national awards and honors, or significant, peer-juried publication of scholarly or creative work. The department tenure committee and department chair/dean must both provide rationale consistent with this definition of “exceptional.”

A. Tenure Procedures

At the end of September each year, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) will announce to the faculty the list of faculty eligible for tenure consideration and those seeking promotion.

A faculty member undergoing tenure evaluation will complete the process described in this policy, V605.01.01, instead of the pre-tenure evaluation process described in V605.01.02

Standards for tenure are detailed in Forms AA-20 and 21 (EPT Rubric and Portfolio Help Document)

1.  The department chair/dean will appoint a departmental tenure committee and name the committee chair. Membership will include at least three full-time, tenured Faculty. department chair/dean may request the participation of a qualified faculty member outside the Department. Exceptions to this policy must be documented and approved by the VPAA. The department chair/dean may not serve on a tenure committee in their respective departments. If the tenure candidate is a department chair/dean, the VPAA or designee will assume the role defined for the Department Chair/Dean.

2.  By the first week in November, the departmental tenure committee will meet with the candidate(s) to discuss the tenure review process, timeline, and required materials.

3.  The department chair/dean will document all exceptions and meetings on AA-5a, and include this document as the cover page of the completed evaluation materials forwarded to University Tenure and Promotion Committee (UTP) (see #11, below).

4.  The individual faculty member will compile the materials needed to complete the self-assessment portfolio, using forms AA-20 and 21 to guide selection of materials, organization, and reflection.

5.  The faculty member will submit the completed portfolio to the departmental tenure committee, following the timeline specified by the committee (see #3, above)

6.  The departmental tenure committee will review the portfolio carefully to make certain it meets the requirements established for tenure in AA-20. Portfolios that are not complete and do not make a convincing case for tenure should not be forwarded to the department chair/dean.  The candidate should consult with his/her committee and can resubmit before the deadline

7.  The departmental tenure committee will review the portfolio and make a recommendation (Form AA-5b) and forward the recommendation to the department chair/dean.

8.  The department chair/dean will complete his/her recommendation on Form AA-5c.

9.  The departmental tenure committee and department chair/dean will meet with the candidate to review their recommendations.

10.   The candidate may write a response to the recommendation that is attached to the hardcopy tenure documents (Forms 5a-c) which are submitted to the VPAA.

11. The department chair/dean will submit the completed portfolio (or URL) and documentation to the VPAA office no later than February 10. At this point, the portfolio and documentation should be considered complete; additional materials may not be added or considered except in cases of appeal (see #16 below).  Therefore, all parties must take care to express ideas, concerns, and recommendations clearly and completely.

12.  The University Tenure and Promotion (UTP) committee will review each portfolio and make a recommendation (Form AA-6b). This recommendation and the portfolio should be forwarded to the President by no later than February 28. The Committee should make its decision based on the materials presented in the portfolio.  It is the responsibility of the reviewers to read carefully and thoroughly and exclude personal bias in making decisions.

a.  Committee members are not eligible to vote on faculty Promotion and Tenure candidates from their department.
b.  Committee members who are not eligible to vote (12a) may participate in the UTP discussion, always remembering that they are at-large members of the committee and must represent the faculty as a whole, not their department’s candidate.

13.  The President of the University will review each portfolio and make a decision.  If the President’s decision differs from the decision of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee recommendation, the President will meet with the chair of the committee prior to announcing his/her decision.

14.  The President will inform each candidate of the decision via letter or email, with copies to the department chair/dean and VPAA.  The President will forward his/her recommendation to the State Board for review and decision.

15.  The completed tenure documents ( AA-5a, AA-5b, AA-5c, and AA-6b forms) will be retained in the VPAA office; the candidate will receive a copy of the completed AA-6b.

16.  The candidate has the right to appeal the President’s decision.  The first step in this process should be a letter of appeal to the President.  Should the matter not be resolved satisfactorily within 20 working days, the candidate may appeal to the Standing Committee on Faculty Rights, using the process described in NDUS 605.4

B. Extension of the Probationary Period

A semester will count as part of the probationary period for tenure only if a faculty member is teaching full-time at Valley City State University. Summer school does not count as a semester, since it is difficult to teach a full load and to fulfill the University service commitment during the summer.

The required term for qualification for tenure may be extended beyond six years and the continuous service requirement waived to a maximum of eight years when an individual is officially granted leave under one of the following policies: V701.01 (Leave without Pay) or V607.04 (Faculty Sick Leave -- Long term leave or Family Leave)

1.  Application for tenure in these exceptional cases must be made no later than the end of the 15th semester of teaching at Valley City State University (for review and Board action during the 16th semester). The date of application will follow the tenure policy timeline if it is to be in the Spring. Tenure documents must be submitted to the UTP Committee by September 30th if application is made in the Fall.

2.  Exceptional circumstances not covered by this policy may be permitted on an individual basis through submission of a request to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Forms required:
AA-5a Faculty Evaluation, Tenure, Promotion Cover Page
AA-5b, Faculty Departmental Committee Recommendation
AA-5c Departmental Chair Recommendation
AA-6b Tenure/Promotion Review

Help documents:
AA-20 Evaluation, Tenure and Promotion Rubric
AA-21 Portfolio Help Document


  • Sept. 30—VPAA sends email to all faculty, informing them who will be up for tenure and promotion during the academic year.
  • Nov. 1—Departmental Committee meets to establish timeline, process, and required materials.
  • Feb. 10— department chair/dean submits Forms 5a, 5b, and 5c to VPAA office.
  • Feb. 28—UTP Committee makes recommendations to President
  • Late March or late April:  SBHE reviews tenure recommendations and awards tenure.
  • After the SBHE meeting:  President notifies faculty member and department chair/dean of SBHE tenure decision.

Sponsored by: Faculty Association
Reference: Approved by Academic Policy and Affairs Council and Faculty Senate in 1984.
Approved: Faculty Senate, 1984
Reviewed: Winter, 1996
Revised: March, 2002
Revised: January 2011 (Revised from "Faculty Promotion" to "VCSU Tenure Procedures." Faculty Promotion is now V605.1.3)
Revised: December 2012
Revised:  March 2015
Revised:  February 2018