Tenure Policy


Tenure is the assurance of a continuing full-time teaching position at the University unless the faculty member resigns, retires, or is dismissed for cause; the University declares a bona fide financial exigency which affects the faculty member’s position; or the University renders the faculty member’s position unnecessary by discontinuing, reducing, or restructuring an academic program or department.  Any such decisions in these instances must result as a consequence of strict adherence to the procedures outlined in §4.1-.3 of this Handbook regarding termination of a tenured appointment in the instance of financial exigency that threatens the University or because of the discontinuance of a specific program or department of instruction within a college.  Dismissals for cause must follow procedures specified in §4.4-.10.

7.6.1  Purpose of Tenure    The purpose of tenure is to protect academic freedom.  It provides a measure of job security to faculty members who have served the University faithfully and with professional excellence, and it enables the University to retain a faculty of distinction in order to accomplish its educational mission.  Tenure creates a mutual obligation between the University and the individual faculty member.

7.6.2  Authority to Grant or to Withhold Tenure   The Rector and Visitors of the University of Mary Washington have the sole authority to grant or withhold tenure.  The Board of Visitors fully supports and abides by the statements regarding requirements, criteria, and procedures that follow.  However, the Board does retain the authority, on its own initiative, to grant faculty tenure without adhering to the prescribed requirements, criteria, and procedures when it is deemed to be in the best interests of the University to do so.  Such action is rarely taken, and it is never taken in such a way as to circumvent the normal procedures for individual members of the faculty on the tenure-track who have applied to be considered for tenure. In the case of a faculty hire or an administrative faculty hire, where the administrative faculty member will also be hired with tenured, faculty status (for example, a dean who will also be tenured in an academic department), absent any special circumstances, the proposed home academic unit (department and/or college) would be informed of the intent to award academic rank (and tenure) to the new faculty member and will be given the opportunity to review the person’s CV and any other supporting information and to express its response to the Provost. The relevant college Promotion and Tenure Committee will be asked to review the person’s CV and any other supporting information to determine if the person’s academic record qualifies him or her to be a tenured member of the college’s teaching faculty; they will present the results of their review to the Provost.