Tenure and Promotion

Scope: Who is Covered by this Policy?



Purpose of Tenure and Promotion

The best faculty members combine intense intellectual curiosity with a talent for high-quality teaching, active prosecution of research, scholarly and/or creative work, and a demonstrable commitment to productive professional service. The University seeks to reward through tenure and promotion those persons who exhibit the highest standards of teaching, research, and service.

Tenure is a means of assuring academic freedom: that is, the freedom to teach, to inquire, to create, to debate, to question, and to dissent (see policy “Principles of Academic Freedom”).  Such activity is the essence of the search for truth and knowledge, and is primary to the University. This atmosphere is necessary as the University seeks to attract, maintain, and nurture a diverse and exceptional faculty. Promotion is a means of recognizing meritorious performance and professional accomplishment.

Each candidate for tenure and promotion is judged individually on the criteria, not relative to other candidates. Fulltime members of the faculty serving with a rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, or Senior Instructor either are tenured or are serving a prescribed probationary period. The probationary period is intended to give the individual an opportunity for professional growth and to give the University an opportunity to assess the individual’s qualifications for a continuing appointment. If a candidate demonstrates the high quality of professional performance expected by Miami, tenure will be conferred, regardless of how many other candidates may be considered in a given year. However, it is not anticipated that all individuals will be able to demonstrate the high quality of professional performance required to achieve tenure.

Eligibility for Tenure

Tenure at Miami University is conferred by the Board of Trustees upon the positive recommendation of the President. Eligibility for tenure requires that a person:

  1. Serve as a fulltime member of the faculty;
  2. Be engaged at least fifty percent (50%) of his or her appointment in regular teaching assignments and research, except when in the judgment of the department, the department chair, the program director (when appropriate), the divisional dean, and the Provost, a faculty member’s responsibilities warrant the protection of tenure; and
  3. Have an appointment with a tenure-eligible rank.

Eligibility for Promotion

Eligibility for promotion, unlike tenure, does not require that the person be engaged at least 50% of his or her appointment in regular teaching assignments or research.

A person with a fulltime tenure-eligible appointment who has not attained the rank of Associate Professor will be promoted to that rank upon the award of tenure. However, a person with a fulltime tenure-eligible appointment may apply for promotion to Associate Professor without making a simultaneous application for tenure. 

Anyone seeking promotion to Professor must meet the criteria as outlined by their departments, divisions, and the university. While there is no minimum time in rank required for Associate Professors, faculty members will typically need to spend enough time in rank to achieve a cumulative record of teaching, research/creative activity, and professional service as defined in Miami's policy regarding requirements for Professor. All faculty members planning to apply for promotion to Professor are strongly encouraged to engage in a formative evaluation with their promotion committee prior to seeking promotion. 

If a candidate seeking promotion to Professor is denied, eligibility for promotion and re-submission will re-open after one academic year following receiving the denial. 

Related Form(s)

Not applicable.

Additional Resources and Procedures

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Policy Administration

Next Review Date


Responsible Officers

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Legal Authority

Not Applicable.

Compliance Policy


Recent Revision History

 Edited July 2018; Amended July 2023

Reference ID(s)

  • MUPIM 7.3
  • OAC 3339-7-03

Reviewing Bodies

  • Miami University Senate
  • Miami University Board of Trustees
  • Administrative