Additional policy information can be found at:

Boulder Campus Policy:


In most cases, probationary faculty are considered for tenure and promotion at the same time. For faculty starting their appointment at CU Boulder without credit for prior academic experience, the mandatory promotion and tenure review occurs during the seventh year of appointment, and in successful cases, promotion to associate professor and award of tenure occur at the end of the seventh year. The standard for promotion and tenure in these usual cases is defined as "...demonstrated meritorious performance in each of the three areas of teaching, research or creative work, and service, and demonstrated excellence in either teaching, or research or creative work."
The definitions of meritorious and excellent performance in each area are defined by the nature of the discipline and the criteria within the primary unit, college or school, and University. These criteria represent an assessment of both the rate of accomplishment over the probationary period, and the attainment of an absolute level of accomplishment at the end of the period.


(Approved by Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano, May 26, 2006) 
CU Boulder remains committed to keeping its high standards and criteria for the evaluation of candidates for tenure and promotion. The current policy, insisting on a "higher absolute level of accomplishment," inhibits many units as they seek to recruit and retain top faculty. We already have a longer probationary period than many of our peers, we have strict rules about awarding credit for years served at other institutions, and we discourage faculty from seeking "early" tenure even when they have served a full probationary period over the course of their career. We are thus looking for a way to maintain our high standards without the drawbacks of the current system.
Under the new policy, faculty would be eligible to be reviewed for tenure following their comprehensive review. (University policy requires that faculty undergo comprehensive review; Boulder campus policy sets that review in the fourth year. That year is adjusted when time towards tenure is granted upon hiring.) Review for tenure is, of course, mandatory in the seventh year if it has not occurred earlier. A request for a review prior to the seventh year may come from the individual faculty member or from his/her unit(s), but faculty members coming up for tenure prior to the seventh year should seek advice from their chair(s) and other mentors and would be advised not to proceed if they do not believe they have the backing of their unit. All levels of review will use the same standards and criteria in reviewing such a faculty member as they would in the seventh year; there is no higher standard or different set of criteria for early tenure.

N.B. Units that use criteria involving rate/year metrics will need to adjust those metrics for early tenure decisions (i.e., if a unit wants to see 2 articles/year over a 7 year probationary period, someone coming up in the fifth year would still need roughly 14 articles not 10). All units should revise early tenure rules that matched the old policy.