The UNC Policy Manual

Academic Tenure


 The UNC Policy Manual
Chapter 100.1 - The Code
Section 602

SECTION 602.                   ACADEMIC TENURE.[8]

(1)           To promote and protect the academic freedom of its faculty, the board of trustees of each constituent institution shall adopt policies and regulations governing academic tenure. Policies adopted by a board of trustees regarding academic tenure and promotion shall be effective upon review by the senior vice president for academic affairs and the vice president and general counsel, and approved by the president. The chancellor shall review the constituent institution’s tenure policies periodically, but at least every five years, and shall report to the president whether or not amendments or revisions are appropriate. The chancellor shall involve the faculty in this review.

(2)          In all instances, the tenure conferred on a faculty member is held with reference to employment by a constituent institution, rather than to employment by the University of North Carolina.

(3)          The tenure policies and regulations of each constituent institution[9] shall prescribe the procedures by which decisions concerning appointment, reappointment, promotion, and the conferral of permanent tenure shall be made. The length of terms of appointment that do not carry permanent tenure and those faculty ranks or titles whose holders shall be eligible for permanent tenure shall be prescribed. The institutional policies and regulations also shall prescribe the intervals at which the review of candidates for reappointment and promotion, including the conferral of permanent tenure, shall occur. The tenure policies and regulations of each institution, which shall include the complete text of Chapter VI of The Code, shall be published by the institution and distributed to its faculty members.

(4)          The tenure policies and regulations of each institution shall set forth the general considerations upon which appointment, reappointment, promotion, and permanent tenure are to be recommended. The institutional regulations shall provide that these considerations shall include an assessment of at least the following: the faculty member's demonstrated professional competence, the faculty member’s potential for future contribution, and institutional needs and resources.

(5)          The institutional policies and regulations shall specify that permanent tenure may be conferred only by action of the president and the Board of Governors, or by such other agencies or officers as may be delegated such authority by the Board of Governors.[10]

(6)          Institutional tenure policies and regulations shall distinguish among the following:

(a)          the nonreappointment (or nonrenewal) of a faculty member at the expiration of a specified term of service;

(b)          the discharge from employment of a faculty member with permanent tenure or of a faculty member appointed to a specified term of service before that term expires only for reasons of (i) incompetence, (ii) neglect of duty, or (iii) misconduct of such a nature as to indicate that the individual is unfit to continue as a member of the faculty, as specified in Code Section 603;

(c)           the termination of employment for reasons of institutional financial exigency or major curtailment or elimination of a teaching, research, or public-service program of a faculty member who has permanent tenure, or of a faculty member who has been appointed to a specified term of service before that term expires; and

(d)        retirement.

(7)          Institutional tenure policies and regulations shall provide that the appointment, reappointment, or promotion of a faculty member to a position funded in whole or in substantial part from sources other than continuing state budget funds or permanent trust funds shall specify in writing that the continuance of the faculty member's services, whether for a specified term or for permanent tenure, shall be contingent upon the continuing availability of such funds. The institutional tenure policies and regulations may make one or more of the following exceptions to the foregoing contingency requirement:

(a)          That such a contingency shall not be included in a promotion to a higher rank if, before the effective date of that promotion, the faculty member had permanent tenure and no such condition is attached to the tenure.

(b)          That such a contingency shall not be attached to the faculty member’s contract if the faculty member held permanent tenure in that institution on July 1, 1975, and the contract was not contingent upon the continuing availability of sources other than continuing state budget or permanent trust funds.

(c)           That such a contingency may be waived for health affairs faculties because of the unusual dependence of programs in the health professions on income from sources such as clinical receipts.

If a faculty member's appointment is terminated because of the nonavailability of these funds, the institution will make every reasonable effort to give the same notice as set forth in Section 605 B (1). This notice shall include the pertinent data upon which the termination is based.

(8)          The tenure policies and regulations of each institution shall be subject to approval by the president. The president periodically shall review and re-evaluate these policies and regulations and report findings and recommendations, if any, to the Committee on Personnel and Tenure and through the committee to the Board of Governors.


[8]Pursuant to NCGS §116-11(13), and notwithstanding The Code or any other Board of Governors policy, the Board of Governors delegates certain authorities to the President of the University. See Policy 200.6, Delegation Authority to the President of the University, adopted 11/13/06, amended 06/08/07.

[9]Because of the unique character and mission of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, the requirement that the institution adopt tenure policies will be satisfied at those institutions by an employment system based on renewable contracts, which system need not provide for the traditional faculty ranks. Wherever the phrase “tenure policies and regulations” is used in this chapter, it shall mean, for the School of the Arts and for the School of Science and Mathematics, the faculty employment policies of those schools. Wherever the phrase “tenured faculty” is used in this chapter and in the Policies of the Board of Governors, it shall mean, for those schools, a faculty member holding a fixed-term contract.

[10]See Footnote 8.