Overview of the Tenure Process

Tenure Clock (FPP 7.04: “maximum probationary period”)

  • set at hire
  • maximum = 7 years
  • time for decision = end of year 6

Extending the Probationary Period (“stopping the tenure clock”)

Mentoring & Annual Evaluation (“guidance” & “oversight”)

The departmental executive committee is required to establish procedures for guidance, annual evaluation, and tenure evaluation. A copy of the procedures must be given to each assistant professor at the time of hire.

Mentor or Mentoring Committee (“guidance”)

  • required, structure varies by department/division
  • one or more members of department’s executive committee
  • advice on teaching, research, outreach/service

Evaluation Committee (“oversight”)

  • required
  • one or more members of department’s executive committee
  • department chair must inform you of committee’s membership
  • committee prepares written annual evaluation
  • department’s executive committee must approve written annual evaluation and provide that written annual evaluation to you
  • you may respond to the written annual evaluation

Tenure Review Process


  • executive committee votes on appointment renewal and on tenure
    (approve tenure and promote, denial of tenure with renewal, denial of tenure with nonrenewal)
  • you may appeal a nonrenewal decision
  • department chair prepares tenure dossier in consultation with executive committee and you
  • department chair sends dossier to dean


sends dossier to divisional executive committee and requests the committee’s advice

Divisional Executive Committee
(Arts & Humanities, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences)

  • publishes guidelines (updated annually)
  • evaluates dossier (review procedures vary by committee)
  • votes (appointment with tenure, promotion to tenure, deferral)
  • communicates vote to dean, informs department


  • considers divisional executive committee’s advice
  • accepts or acts against divisional executive committee’s advice (latter is rare, requires provost’s approval)
  • approves or does not approve tenure (department can request reconsideration if tenure is not approved)


approves tenure

Board of Regents

grants tenure (for all University of Wisconsin system institutions, annually, in June)


Information and Support During the Tenure Process