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Smathers Libraries Faculty Handbook

II. A. Tenure

Tenure is a status granted by the Board of Trustees after nomination by the President of the University of Florida which is “attained by the faculty member through distinction in teaching, research, extension, or other scholarly or creative activities, and service and contributions to the University and to the profession. It assures the faculty member immunity from reprisals or threats due to an intellectual position or belief which may be unpopular.” (See UF Rule 6C1-7.019 )

  1. Characteristics of the tenure decision. Tenure is a "more critical action" than promotion because it is evidence of a firm and enduring commitment by the university to the individual. The distinctive characteristic of tenure is permanent employment status. The permanent nature of the employment is conditional, however, not absolute. The guarantee of annual contact renewal depends on the availability of funds to honor the commitment. A librarian who is granted tenure has the status of a "permanent member of the faculty," and may remain in the employ of the university until he/she
    • voluntarily resigns
    • retires
    • is removed for just cause
    • is subject to a layoff

    The characteristics of the tenure decision are similar to those of the promotion decision. The same criteria is used to evaluate a candidate’s qualification. Both the tenure decision and the promotion decision represent an evaluation on the part of the university of the librarian’s value to the university and of the potential for future contribution based on past performance. Both decisions require that in addition to performing assigned responsibilities, candidates effectively fulfill all responsibilities attendant to membership in the university community and that candidates understand the concepts of academic freedom and academic responsibility.

  2. Tenure as an element in the career path. Normally a librarian should not be granted tenure without promotion to the rank of Associate Librarian or higher. Only rarely and in the case of special circumstances should tenure be granted without this concurrent promotion. As a corollary, the award of promotion without concurrent or prior award of tenure should occur rarely. While the grant of tenure is coupled with promotion from Assistant University Librarian to Associate University Librarian, a candidate may apply for tenure independent of an application for promotion from Assistant University Librarian to Associate University Librarian. The departmental vote for tenure is always separate and distinct from a departmental vote for promotion. In most cases, the tenure application is coupled with application for promotion to Associate Librarian.

    Although it is not standard practice, tenure may be granted at the initial appointment, if the librarian is being appointed at the rank of University Librarian.

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