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Your First Six Years

This guide describes key events during the first six years for a “typical” faculty member. In what follows, please substitute Area or School for Department and Dean for Chair as needed. This Guide will be less accurate for Law School Faculty because of a number of differences in procedure. This is a quick guide. The University Statutes and your Department Chair should be consulted for more detailed information. A current copy of the Statutes is available on the University Web Site.

Year One

Faculty Research Grant: The program provides small research grants with priority for those developing external grant proposals. Applications are due January 15. Please see the Office of Research web pages for detailed instructions about this and other programs.

Merit, Promotion, and Tenure Norms: You should receive a copy of the departmental norms from your chair. Keep it for your records as these tenure norms will apply to you through your tenure decision. The University Statutes, which cover general personnel procedures as well as faculty benefits, are available from by selecting the “Faculty and Staff” audience link at the top of the page.

Faculty Activity Report (yearly): You will receive an email notification in December from the Provost’s Office (please notify us if you don’t). All faculty are expected to enter information on their activities over the previous calendar year into the Faculty Activity Report database by February 1. The database is accessible all year from the faculty tab on the Fordham Portal. We encourage you to regularly update your information. Some information such as teaching assignments will be entered automatically. The database can also be used to automatically fill in your Application for Reappointment and for Tenure when the time comes.

Merit (yearly): In addition to regular increases, up to half of the faculty receives merit increases each year based on merit norms that are voted on each fall at the unit level. These merit norms are available to all faculty in the unit following review by the dean(s). The merit application is part of the Faculty Activity Report.

Year Two

First Reappointment: If you are on an initial 2-year contract you will receive a notice from our office in late August that you must prepare an Application for Reappointment and submit it to your Department Chair by October 1. The application will include a synopsis of your first year, your CV, copies of publications, grants, and other works, copies of teaching evaluations, and other supporting materials. Always check with your Department Chair/Area Chair/Personnel Committee Chair for any additional requirements.

The tenured members of your department/area/school will meet as a personnel committee to review and discuss your progress in the three areas of Teaching, Research, and Service. They will then vote by secret ballot on your reappointment. In general, a majority of the personnel committee must vote in favor of reappointment. This material will then pass to the dean(s) for their review and recommendation. While each case is unique, a departmental vote that is only weakly positive may result in a negative vote from the deans. The reappointment materials then pass to the Provost and the President for their decision.

The results will be mailed by December 15. The first reappointment normally covers Year 3 and Year 4. Your tenure clock and contract years may be different if you were given credit for prior teaching, an initial 3-year contract, or a tenure clock extension associated with unpaid leave, a medical leave, a maternity leave, or course load relief.

Next Steps: You will receive a redacted copy of the personnel committee report and of the dean’s report. Read these reports carefully and request a follow-up meeting with your chair and Dean of Faculty to learn as much as you can about your standing. Each member of the Personnel Committee is required to submit an individual recommendation directly to the dean which you will not see but the dean’s report may contain additional useful information based on any concerns raised in those individual recommendations. While there are generally research benchmarks that you must meet to get reappointed and eventually tenured, it is also important to know that teaching weighs heavily in the decision. Poor teaching can lead to a denial of tenure at Fordham even if you exceed the research benchmarks. If concerns are raised about your teaching take advantage of mentoring by faculty colleagues to rectify the problem.

In the rare event that you are turned down for reappointment (or tenure) carefully read the Statutes for rules and time limits for appeal. You may also request a meeting with the Provost’s Office to review the appeals process.

Year Three

Faculty Fellowship: This is normally the first year that you are eligible to apply for a Faculty Fellowship. Applications are due by September 15 for a Faculty Fellowship that would be taken in your fourth year. Please see the Office of Research web pages for detailed instructions.

Second Reappointment: You will receive a notice from the Provost’s Office in mid-December that an Application for Reappointment is due to your Department Chair by February 15. The second reappointment normally covers years five and six. The results will be mailed by May 15. You should again carefully review both the Personnel Committee Report and the Dean’s Report. Take appropriate steps to address any concerns that are raised.

Year Four

First Faculty Fellowship: If you applied and were successful in year three, you will be on leave for one semester at full pay or the academic year at half pay to pursue your research projects.

Year Five

Final Reappointment: You will receive a notice from the Provost’s Office in mid-December that an Application for Reappointment is due to your Department Chair by February 15. The third reappointment normally covers year seven. The results will be mailed by May 15. You should again carefully review both the Personnel Committee Report and the Dean’s Report and take appropriate steps.

Year Six

Tenure: You will receive notice from the Provost’s Office in early November that your tenure application is due to your Department Chair by January 15. Your Department may also ask you to provide materials for review, along with names of potential outside reviewers, early in the fall semester. The results will be mailed by May 15.

Promotion: Promotion is not allowed in the year immediately preceding your tenure decision year. You may apply for promotion in the year you are applying for tenure, however. You should discuss this option in advance with your chair. Your application for promotion in your tenure year is due to your Department Chair by January 15. Note that this date only applies if you are requesting a promotion at the same time that you are applying for tenure. (An application for promotion is normally due by October 15 with notice to your chair by the preceding May 15) The application for promotion cannot be acted upon until after the tenure results are announced. While we strive to complete the promotion process by June 15 if you apply, it can sometimes be delayed until the beginning of the next Academic Year due to the difficulty of scheduling Personnel Committee meetings. If a positive decision is delayed into the new Academic Year it will be applied retroactively to September 1 of that year.