Tenure Review Process

Appointments to tenure are made in the grades of Professor and Associate Professor following the process of peer review.” CU Faculty Handbook

Faculty on the tenure track can be reviewed at any time prior or at their 7th year (Research faculty) or 10th year (Clinical Faculty) of service. No officer of instruction shall be appointed or reappointed for full-time service for a period longer than eight (or eleven) consecutive years of counted service unless granted tenure. If nominated for tenure, they must be reviewed for a tenured appointment by their 7th or 10th year of counted service.  If the outcome of the review is negative, then the faculty member must be notified by May 31st of the 7th or 10th year of counted service.

Appointments to tenure are effective January 1st or July 1st based on when they are approved by the Trustees. Those approved after September and before February would be effective January 1st, and if approved after February and before August would be effective July 1st.

The tenure review process begins with a nomination from the candidate’s department. If approved by the department, materials are submitted for the Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CUIMC COAP) Review.

As part of the evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications, the Office of Academic Affairs solicits letters from experts in the candidate’s field as a way of obtaining candid and objective assessments of the nominees standing, achievements and productivity in her/his field, which will assist COAP’s deliberations. It is at this time that the department should be in the process of preparing the other sections of the tenure dossier for CUIMC COAP review.

The completed tenure dossier is submitted and reviewed by the Office of Faculty Affairs for completeness and the candidate’s chair or School Dean (if applicable) is then invited to present the candidate to the CUIMC COAP.

Upon approval by the CUIMC COAP, the tenure dossier is forwarded to the Executive Vice President of the Health Sciences for review and submission, as appropriate, to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.  The Provost’s Tenure Review Advisory Committee (TRAC) reviews the nomination and makes a recommendation to the Provost.  The Provost then reviews the materials and makes a decision.  The Provost’s decision and recommendation is then sent to the President of the University for review and approval.

Upon approval by the Provost and President, the nomination to tenure will be reviewed and as appropriate endorsed by the Trustees’ Academic Affairs Committee of Columbia University.

If the nomination is not approved by the Provost and President, the Dean is notified. At that time, the candidate must receive a letter of non-renewal. In rare instances, faculty on the 11-year clock may be transferred to the non-tenure track if the Provost grants an exception. Such exceptions are not guaranteed. This policy now accurately reflects the Provost’s policy changes effective January 2022.