Revised: January 2018

Post-tenure review is required of all tenured faculty at an interval of five years. These reviews are conducted by departments and dean's offices, and submitted to Faculty Affairs. Faculty Affairs is also charged with annual reporting of post-tenure review results to System Administration.

While in normal circumstances reviews will occur every five years, when it is in the best interest of the individual and the campus, the provost, upon petition of the individual with agreement from the chair and/or dean, may delay post tenure review.

Boulder Campus Process

On the basis of a decision by the Board of Regents in 1997, CU’s tenured faculty undergo post-tenure review (PTR) every five years. This document describes the Boulder campus’ implementation policies associated with the University of Colorado Administrative Policy Statement on Post-tenure Review dated November 1, 2006. The System Policy.

When tenure is granted, there is an expectation of continued professional growth and productivity in the areas of research/creative work, teaching, and service. In accordance with CU System policy, the purposes of PTR are: (1) to facilitate continued faculty development, consistent with academic needs and goals of the University and with the most effective use of institutional resources; and (2) to ensure professional accountability by a regular, comprehensive evaluation of every tenured faculty member’s performance.

The post-tenure review process begins with the award of tenure, and the first PTR occurs five years after the faculty member is continuously tenured and continues to occur at five year intervals unless a promotion review takes place. A promotion will re-start the PTR clock. The Office of Faculty Affairs, working with the schools and colleges, maintains a calendar for post-tenure review. Reviews can be delayed for a year upon the concurrence of the chair, the dean, and Academic Affairs. 

As part of System post-tenure review policy, all faculty are required to prepare and regularly update their Professional Plan. Faculty members are to prepare their initial professional plan within twelve months of the award of tenure. System policy regarding Professional Plans. Samples of the Professional Plan form used by the Boulder campus may be downloaded from the Faculty Affairs forms.

Each tenure-bearing unit should have a Post-Tenure Review Committee, comprised of members of the tenured faculty. During the year in which a faculty member is undergoing PTR, she or he should not serve on the PTR evaluation committee. This committee will review the faculty member’s vita, professional plan, annual merit reviews, multiple measures of teaching, and other relevant information about the faculty member’s efforts in research, teaching, and service. In addition to the regular five-year review, faculty members may undergo a triggered or extensive review, as described below.   Faculty members shall be informed in writing of the results of the evaluation by the department chair or dean, depending on whether PTR is managed by the primary unit or school/college.   Copies of these evaluations will be kept by the Office of the Dean and the Office of Faculty Affairs.

The outline below describes the steps followed by the Boulder campus in fulfilling the University’s policies on Professional Plans and Post-tenure Review. Questions concerning application of these policies can be directed to the Office of Faculty Affairs.

I. Annual Review and Post Tenure Review  

  1. The Primary Unit conducts its annual merit evaluation process according to the rules of the unit. In making this review, the unit should consult the Professional Plan written by the faculty member for the year under review.
  2. Each faculty member will update his/her Professional Plan for the upcoming calendar  year, as needed.

  3. Faculty receiving an overall (or composite) annual performance rating of "Below Expectations" will prepare a Professional Improvement Agreement (PIA).

    1. The PIA is an agreement between the faculty member and the Primary Unit chair or a review committee. The PIA details a plan which the faculty member and unit will follow to improve performance in the problem area or areas.

    2. Usually, the PIA will be established for one year. But, if research deficiencies warrant a longer period, the PIA may be set for two years.
    3. If the goals of the PIA are being/have been met, as evidenced in the next annual evaluation, the faculty member continues in the regular five-year post-tenure review cycle. If the goals of the PIA are not met at the next annual merit evaluation, an extensive review process shall be initiated. (See Section III.)

  4. Faculty members receiving a rating of "Below Expectations" who do not agree with the finding may request a peer review of their annual performance through the standard process set by the primary unit. Subsequently, faculty members who believe the finding of the primary unit is mistaken may appeal to the appropriate review committee at the next administrative level. Appeals must be submitted in writing by the first day of the following fall semester. Appeals should be resolved by the primary unit by October 15. Any further appeal process should be completed within six weeks or less from the date it is initiated by the faculty member.

  5. Faculty members who have signed a formal and binding retirement contract shall undergo post-tenure review as scheduled until their retirement begins.

II. Regular Review

Faculty members receiving annual evaluations of “meeting expectations” or better since their last PTR (or since undergoing tenure if this is the first PTR) will undergo Regular Review.

The PTR evaluation will be conducted by appropriate faculty peers within the campus, either the primary unit faculty or the faculty of the appropriate college personnel review committee. This committee will be called the Post-Tenure Review committee. The Post Tenure Review committees will be composed of faculty approved by members of the primary unit. Size and composition may be defined by the primary unit. 

  1. The Post Tenure Review Committee will examine at least the following:

    1. Five Year Annual Review history

    2. Five Year FCQ history
    3. Peer Evaluations of Teaching and other multiple measures of teaching, as available
    4. Professional Plan(s) from last cycle
    5. Updated Professional Plan for upcoming year.

  2. The Post Tenure Review Committee pursues the following process:

    1. The committee writes a brief summary report that addresses teaching, research/creative work, and service and assigns an overall evaluation rating as either outstanding, exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, or below expectations. The committee submits the draft to the faculty member for review.
    2. The faculty member reviews the report, and approves or appends comments
    3. The Unit forwards the report and any comments to dean
    4. A copy of the report is placed in the “Personnel File” within Dean's Office and in OFA
    5. The Dean reports to Provost on Annual PTR results 

III. Triggered Review

A Triggered Review is required when a faculty member receives a “Below Expectations” rating during the five year PTR cycle.

  1. Faculty who receive a summary evaluation of “below expectations” at any time during the five year PTR cycle are required to meet with members of their primary unit and/or the unit head, as determined in the by-laws of the primary unit, to identify the causes of the unsatisfactory evaluation and to plan and implement a written Performance Improvement Agreement (PIA) to address the situation. (See Section I.C.)

IV. Extensive Review

An Extensive Review is required whenever a second overall (or composite) "Below Expectations" in five years is earned.

  1. The Post Tenure Review Committee will examine at least the following:

    1. Five Year Annual Review history
    2. Five Year FCQ history
    3. Peer Evaluations of Teaching and other available multiple measures of teaching
    4. Evidence of research/creative work
    5. Professional Plan(s) and the PIA from the last cycle
    6. Any differentiated workload agreements
    7. Faculty member’s written self-evaluation of performance
    8. Any other material submitted by the faculty member
    9. An assessment of research or scholarly work may include use of reviews external to the University if either the Primary Unit or faculty member requests external reviews.
    10. When external reviews are used, primary unit and faculty member will recommend a list of reviewers, which will be invited by the Primary Unit Review Committee (external reviews shall remain confidential, i.e., the faculty member shall not have access to this part of the file). 
  1. The Post Tenure Review Committee shall write a summary Evaluative Report of teaching, research/scholarly work and service and it shall share this report with the faculty member.

    1. The report must contain an enumerated list of Deficiencies.

    2. This report is not subject to approval by the faculty member.

    3. The form used by the Boulder campus for the Evaluative Report is available on the Faculty Affairs forms.

  2. Upon receipt of the Evaluative Report, the faculty member must write within 20 calendar days a Development Plan, covering one or two years, which must

    1. describe performance goals, strategies for attaining goals, and a timeline for attaining goals for each deficiency listed in the Evaluative Report; and must

    2. describe specific means of measuring progress towards or achievement of goals.

    3. The Development Plan form used by the Boulder campus for the Development Plan is available on the Faculty Affairs forms.

  3. The Post Tenure Review Committee must review a draft of his/her plan and provide written feedback to the faculty member and to the primary unit head.

    1. The Post Tenure Review Committee shall review a second draft (if necessary) and make a recommendation to the primary unit head to accept or not accept the Development Plan.

    2. The Primary Unit head shall accept the plan, or work with the faculty member to develop an acceptable plan. In the case where either the primary unit head or the faculty member feels that an impasse has been reached, both parties shall be subjected to the provisions defined in E, below.

  4. Disagreements between the faculty member and either the primary unit review committee or the primary unit head will be subjected to the following arbitration process:

    1. When either the primary unit head or the faculty member feel that an impasse has been reached after following the steps described in C, above, the matter shall be referred to the College/School Personnel Committee (in units where the college or school is the primary unit, the VCAC shall serve this function). The College/School Personnel Committee shall consider the materials assembled for the extensive review, the recommendation of the primary unit review committee, and any additional materials submitted by the two parties or requested by the Personnel Committee, and issue a binding set of findings which will constitute the Approved Development Plan. 

      1. At the completion of the Development Plan period (1 or 2 years), the head of the primary unit, in consultation with The Post Tenure Review Committee, will assess the progress of the faculty member towards meeting the goals of the Development Plan and then shall submit to the dean (or to the Provost in cases when the primary unit head is the dean) a report and recommendation as to whether or not the Development Plan Goals have been satisfactorily met. 

      2. Following consultation with the school or college personnel committee, the dean shall make a recommendation to the Provost.
      3. The Provost, following consultation with the Vice Chancellor's Advisory Committee (VCAC), shall determine whether or not the faculty member has met the Development Plan goals. If the goals have been met, the faculty member shall prepare a new Professional Plan and begin a new five-year PTR cycle.

  5. Sanctions In cases where the faculty member is judged by the Provost not to have attained the goals of the Development Plan, the Provost will recommend appropriate sanctions to be applied to the faculty member by the Chancellor.

    1. Possible sanctions are defined in the Administrative Policy Statement on post-tenure review dated 11/1/2006 and include reassignment of duties; loss of eligibility for sabbaticals or for campus travel funds; salary freeze; salary reduction; demotion of rank; and revocation of tenure and dismissal.

    2. The Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee shall make recommendations to the Provost with regard to sanctions. The Provost will then consider the recommendations of the Provost’s Committee in making his or her final recommendation to the Chancellor.The Chancellor will review the recommendations of the Provost and impose appropriate sanctions.  If the Chancellor decides to recommend the revocation of tenure and dismissal of the faculty member to the Board of Regents, the Laws of the Regents provide the faculty member with an opportunity for a hearing and set other conditions for handling such cases (Article 5.C.1 and 5.C.4; and Regent Action 8/27/86).