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Title Descriptions


Professors (job code 1100, also called “Full Professors”) should have the terminal degree appropriate to their field or its equivalent, and; (a) a record that, taken as a whole, may be judged to be excellent; (b) a record significant contribution to graduate and/or undergraduate education, unless individual or departmental circumstances can be shown to require a strong emphasis, or singular focus, on one or the other; and (c) a record since receiving tenure or promotion to Associate Professor that includes substantial, significant, and continued growth, development, and accomplishment in teaching, research/creative work, and service.

Associate Professor

Associate Professors (job code 1102) should have the terminal degree appropriate to their field or its equivalent, considerable successful teaching experience, and promising accomplishment in scholarship or in research. Normally the award of tenure accompanies appointment to or promotion to associate professor, except at the School of Medicine where tenure may be granted at any point in the faculty member's career when he/she meets the School’s standards for tenure.

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professors (job code 1103) appointed to tenure track positions should have the terminal degree appropriate to their field or its equivalent, plus some teaching experience. They should be well-qualified to teach at the undergraduate or graduate levels and possess qualifications for research or scholarship in a special field or clinical discipline.

Conferral of Ph.D.

If the hire is contingent upon conferral of Ph.D., proof needs to be submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs no later than the start of the semester. If Ph.D. requirements are not met in time, the appointment will be at the rank of Instructor with a reduced compensation amount and the faculty member will be allowed up to two academic years to complete Ph.D. The appointment will then be converted to the rank of Assistant Professor at the beginning of the semester after the one in which the requirements for Ph.D. are met and the compensation will be adjusted at the same time.

Teaching Limitations

Full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty may teach one additional course per semester above the standard teaching expectation for their department, including courses taught on all CU campuses and through Continuing Education with one exception; self-paced courses taught through Continuing Education do not count against teaching limits. Faculty members holding Chair and Associate Chair appointments are not eligible for overloads.

Benefits Eligibility

Tenured and tenure-track faculty with 50% appointments or greater are eligible for benefits, including retirement benefits, and are eligible for leave as outlined on the "Leave of Absences & Sabbaticals" page.

Background Checks

Per the Background Check Policy found on the University of Colorado website, a background check must be conducted at reappointment or promotion review if a background check has not been processed within three years. The College interprets this to mean that if the background check was passed more than three years prior to the start of the reappointment period, the instructor must undergo a criminal background check at time of offer letter for the reappointment.

Note: The standard progressions from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor to Full Professor are not considered to be "promotions" and are exempt from the background check requirement every three years after initial hire.

The date in which the most recent background check was processed is found in HCM in Personal Information on the "CU Personal Data" tab.

Campus Human Resources Recruitment Team will handle all Background Checks for hires within Avature. To ensure this happens, when you have identified a finalist, notify your Recruitment Coordinator by advancing the candidate to the "Offer Accepted," step in the portal/Avature.

Personal Information Worksheet/Emergency Contact forms are no longer required for hires transacted through Avature. Avature captures all of the information that can then be uploaded to HCM. If a hire is not executed through Avature, please notify the Faculty Affairs Manager to initiate these required documents via DocuSign.

Moving Expense Reimbursement

The standard moving expense funding, provided by the College, is $6,000, which will be transferred by the college to the unit. This funding will be available to the faculty member after their effective start date. For more information, please visit the Moving Expense Policy

Tenure Clock Delay Option for Spring Hires

When a tenure | tenure-track faculty member begins in the spring semester (January), they can request that their tenure clock be delayed by one semester, per the Boulder Campus Policy pertaining to Adjustments to the Tenure Clock. For example, for a start date of January 6, 2020, by filling out the request to delay tenure clock, the tenure clock would then start in Fall 2020, moving comprehensive review to Academic Year 2023-24 and tenure review to Academic Year 2026-27. However, it is mandatory (per the Office of Faculty Affairs) that the initial offer letter dates are not altered, but rather follow the standard template. 

To request a tenure clock delay, the faculty member completes the Tenure Clock Addendum, 6 ½ years. Once department-level signatures are obtained, unit to submit to the Faculty Affairs Manager via email for further processing.

Hires with Tenure

In addition to an offer letter, candidates must have the tenure portion of the appointment approved by the Board of Regents prior the start of the appointment. There are two slightly different sets of documentation required for hires with tenure, depending upon the type of hire as outlined below:

Faculty Who Have Not Yet Been Tenured / Being Offered a Position at a Higher Level  

Incoming faculty members who have not received tenure at comparable institutions, and those who are coming in at a higher level (those going from associate to full professor), must go through a process similar to the University’s standard promotion and tenure review process.

As is the case for the standard review, at least six (6) letters from external referees must be included in the file; three (3) of which may be the same people who wrote letters of recommendation for the candidate’s application for the position.  The Unit is responsible for contacting and requesting letters, from all six referees, which specifically address the promotion/tenure questions via the following template.  Please see below for guidance regarding preparation of the dossier.

Please note:  the identities of all external reviewers must be kept confidential.

Faculty Who Are Joining CU with Tenure at the Same Level from a Comparable Institution

This category includes faculty whose newly tenured appointment has been approved at the highest level at a comparable institution, regardless of the effective date.

Units with faculty that have been tenured elsewhere at the same level (Associate or Full Professor) must prepare a slightly different set of documentation for review. For these hires, the Unit follows the VCAC Checklist for Appointments (Hires) with Tenure.

For those who have previously been tenured at the same level, the requirement for external letters of recommendation may be met with the same letters that were received with the application. No additional letters and no vitae from the external referees are necessary for most of these cases. The Dean's Office may, in some instances, request up to three (3) letters from independent reviewers via the following template.

Preparation of the Dossier

For both types of hire with tenure, the department prepares two dossiers (one original and one copy) documenting the candidate’s qualifications, following the appropriate checklist.

Candidates are to be given copies of the Chair and Subcommittee letters by the department, just as any candidate undergoing comprehensive, promotion, and/or tenure review.

Be sure to read both the checklist and the description for the checklist, which follows immediately after the checklist. The Regents require a document called "Justification for Tenure" that includes an explanation of how the personnel action fits into the unit’s plans, a statement of the specific merit of the candidate, the unit’s tenure ratio, and the faculty vote. This is separate from the "Statement of Primary Unit," and also is written by the Department.

The assembled notebooks, along with a disk containing the documents as shown on the checklist, are sent to the Dean's office for review by the Arts and Sciences Personnel Committee. After addition of Personnel Committee and Dean’s letters of support, the original dossier is sent by the Dean’s office to the Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs. The offer of tenure must be approved by the Board of Regents before the candidate may begin his or her tenured appointment with the University. It takes several months before the tenure offer is reviewed by the Board of Regents. In order for the tenure approval to be in place by the start date, the notebooks should be received by the Dean’s office shortly after the candidate has accepted the position.

Faculty hires with tenure who have not had their dossier reviewed and approved prior to their effective start date must have a visiting appointment. Please notify the Faculty Affairs Manager to initiate this required additional appointment.

Records Retention Period

Search records specific to the search committee's process should be retained by the Unit for a minimum of three years. All applicant materials are retained in CU Careers.