UM Tenure Probationary Period Extended

At its April 21, 2011 meeting, the University of Michigan board of regents approved a change to Regents’ Bylaw 5.09 that will extend the maximum allowable tenure probationary period to 10 years. It has been set at 8 years since 1944. Seven faculty spoke during the meeting’s public commentary, most of them in support of the change. Regents had previously heard from faculty – most of them from the UM Medical School – at their Feb. 17, 2011 meeting. The change does not impose the longer period, but allows faculty governing groups at UM’s various schools and colleges to extend it, if they choose.

From a memo accompanying the proposed revision: “The changing nature of scholarship, with its emphasis on interdisciplinary projects, more complex research models requiring the setting up of sophisticated equipment and laboratories, and increased regulatory and compliance requirements, increases the time necessary for completion and evaluation of initial research results. These factors, combined with the fact that many faculty members, especially those from two-career and single-parent households, find it increasingly difficult to balance their teaching and
research commitments with family obligations, have led to the conclusion that a more flexible tenure probationary period is warranted.”

This brief was filed soon after the meeting’s adjournment from the regents boardroom in the Fleming administration building. A more detailed report will follow: [link]