The following applies to Regular Faculty: Tenure/Tenure-Track



Faculty Titles and Ranks

For a full list of faculty titles and ranks, please refer to the website for the Office of Faculty Affairs.

Conferral of PhD

If the hire is contingent upon the conferral of the PhD degree, proof needs to be submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs no later than the start of the semester. If PhD 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 the degree. The appointment will be converted to the rank of Assistant Professor at the beginning of the semester after the one in which the requirements for PhD 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

For information on benefits eligibility, please review the Benefits Matrix. [When you click the link, the file will download to your computer.]

Background Checks

Per CU Boulder's background check policy, 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 faculty member 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 every three years after initial hire requirement.

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

Tenure Clock Delay Option for Spring Hires

When a tenure-track faculty member begins their appointment in the spring semester (January), they can request that their tenure clock start 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 8, 2024, by filling out the request to delay the tenure probationary period, the tenure clock would then start during academic year 2024-25 (fall 2024), moving the mandatory comprehensive review to academic year 2027-28 and the mandatory tenure review to academic year 2030-31. Faculty should be aware that the initial offer letter dates are not altered, but rather follow the standard template. Instead, the revised tenure probationary clock is tracked by the Office of Faculty Affairs in the Faculty Information System (FIS database).

To request a tenure clock adjustment, the tenure home HR liaison should email Jessica Rosso ( who will complete the online submission form. This delay request is required to be submitted during the faculty member's first semester of service in a tenure-track position.

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 to 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 Elsewhere or are Being Offered a Position at a Higher Level

Incoming faculty members who have not received tenure at a comparable institution and those who are coming in at a higher level (e.g., those leaving their current institution at the rank of associate professor but being offered a position at CU Boulder as a 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 letters from external referees must be included in the file; three 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 that specifically address the promotion/tenure questions included in the following sample template. Please see below for guidance regarding the preparation of the dossier.

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

Faculty Who Are Joining CU after Receiving Tenure / at the Same Level from a Comparable Institution

This category includes faculty whose hold/have held a tenured appointment at a comparable institution and similar rank, 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 external referees are necessary for most of these cases. The Dean may, in some instances, request up to three letters from independent reviewers via this sample template. 

Preparation of the Dossier

For both types of hire with tenure, the department prepares a dossier documenting the candidate’s qualifications, following the appropriate VCAC checklist.

Candidates are to be given copies of the chair and PUEC 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 assembled dossier is sent to the Dean's Office for review by the First Level Review Committee (FLRC). After the addition of the FLRC report and recommendation, and the dean's letter of recommendation, the dossier is sent by the Dean’s Office to the Office of Faculty Affairs. The offer of tenure must be approved by the Board of Regents before the candidate may begin their 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 dossiers should be received by the Dean’s Office shortly after the candidate has accepted the position, but no later than mid-April for a fall semester hire with tenure. If this timeline cannot be accomplished, the new faculty member may need to wait until the spring semester to start their tenured appointment. Alternatively, a temporary, non-tenure-track appointment could be used to allow the individual to start work at CU prior to the approval of tenure by the Board of Regents.

Records Retention Period

For information on CU Boulder records retention policies, please refer to the “Personnel Records” section of the University of Colorado Boulder Records Retention Schedule.


Recruitment Authorization

  • Every spring, the Dean will send out a call for units to submit hiring proposals for the upcoming academic year.
    • Position requests will be evaluated within each department, then by the college, with decisions on hiring ultimately made by the college.
  • Position numbers are created by the CEAS HR Coordinator for Faculty.
  • The HR Coordinator for Faculty completes the prior year's Faculty Search Summary and upcoming Academic Year Faculty Search Plan Report for the Provost and submits it to the Office of the Provost and Office of Faculty Affairs by the deadline, which is typically early July.
  • Once approval of the Faculty Search Plan Report is received from the Office of the Provost, the Dean and/or HR Coordinator for Faculty notifies departments of the status of approval with instructions to submit the Search Plan Checklists and position advertisements. The HR Coordinator for Faculty obtains the dean's approval. 
  • Upon approval of RAF(s), the HR Coordinator for Faculty routes for signatures with copy to:
    • Associate Dean of Faculty Advancement
    • Budget Office
    • Department

Search Committee

Job Posting/Advertisement

  • Department submits a draft position advertisement to the CEAS HR Coordinator for Faculty.
    • Department emails draft position advertisement to the Director of International Student and Scholar Services,, in International Student and Scholar Services, if expecting international candidates.
  • Draft advertisement is reviewed by the HR Coordinator for Faculty, CEAS Human Resources Senior Director, CEAS Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement, CEAS Director of Faculty Advancement, and is then submitted to the Dean for approval.
  • Once approved, the HR Coordinator for Faculty notifies department of approval status and works with Campus HR to have job posting posted on CU Careers.
    • The CEAS HR Coordinator for Faculty posts advertisement to CU Careers.
  • Unit posts advertisement on discipline-specific recruiting sites per Search Plan Checklist.

Search and Selection of Finalists

  • Search committee conducts the search and selects finalists (generally the top three candidates from the pool of applicants) and submits the following to the Dean for approval of on-campus interview for each finalist:
    • CV
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Research and teaching statements
  • Finalists interviewed by Dean and/or Associate Deans
  • Top finalist identified by Search Committee and terms of offer discussed between Dean and Chair/Director. 

Offer Letter

  • Department submits the following to the CEAS HR Coordinator for Faculty:
    • Draft offer letter and MOU if the hire will be affiliated with an institute
    • CV
    • Three letters of recommendation
  • Draft offer letter reviewed by the CEAS HR Coordinator for Faculty, CEAS Human Resources Senior Director, and sent to Dean for review/approval.
  • Once approved by the Dean, the HR Coordinator for Faculty submits draft offer letter to Office of Faculty Affairs ( for approval.
  • Once approved by the Office of Faculty Affairs, the HR Coordinator for Faculty routes offer letter for all signatures with cc: to the following:
    • Department HR Liaison
    • Human Resources Service Center
    • Personnel File
  • The HR Generalist for Faculty prints a copy of the fully-executed offer letter and sends to the Office of Faculty Affairs along with the following:
    • CV
    • Three letters of recommendation
  • The department submits welcome/onboarding email to candidate and begins the hiring and background check process.
  • The College of Engineering and Applied Science HR team organizes the college new faculty orientation, and tracks attendance.
  • Appointment entered in HCM (Human Resources software) by the Human Resources Service Center and approved by Office of Faculty Affairs.

Dispositioning of Candidates and Posting Closure in CU Careers

  • In compliance with the Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy, it is critical that all candidates are dispositioned correctly in CU Careers.
  • Department dispositions candidates in conjunction with Campus HR, per the CU Careers Faculty Candidate Process Flow.
  • Department submits request via email to the CEAS HR Coordinator for Faculty to close the posting in CU Careers no later than June 30 annually. 

Search Record Retention

In compliance with the Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy, it is critical that all candidate materials are retained for a period of three years. Records for the finalist who is hired must be retained for 10 years after they leave the university. The CU Careers system will be used to maintain all submitted application materials, but the department is responsible for maintaining all materials used outside of the CU Careers system, including the evaluation forms/rubrics, interview questions, and interview notes from search committee members. Search documents also include any recordings of interviews if the department created any such recordings during the search process that are not maintained in the CU jobs system. For details, please refer to the Records Retention section of the Search Guidebook, Chapter 5.