Tenure Denial Appeal Process

Tenure Denial Appeal Process

Faculty members who have been denied tenure typically appeal the denial through the Promotion and Tenure Retention Appeals Committee (PTRAC). The PTRAC is a Senate Committee and its members are elected by the Senate. The PTRAC will consider the appeal and make a recommendation to the Provost. The Provost considers the PTRAC recommendation and either change his or her decision or reaffirms the original decision. There is a final appeal to the President, if necessary.

United Academics and the University have the joint responsibility to guide faculty members through the appeals process.

[From the Academic Affairs website]:

The provost has plenary authority to award or deny tenure. By May 1 whenever possible, the candidate will be notified in writing of the provost’s decision.The letter accompanying the decision will contain an explanation of the reasons underlying the provost’s decision, if the decision is to deny tenure or promotion. Successful candidates are granted tenure and assume their new classification and rank at the start of the next academic year, or sooner at the discretion of the provost. Candidates who are denied tenure will receive a notice of appointment which expires at the end of the academic or fiscal year following the one in which the application for tenure was submitted.

The notification from the Provost should include information about the appeals process, including information about how to contact United Academics for guidance through the appeal process. At the request of the faculty member, United Academics will provide a representative to help through the process. Using a United Academics representative is completely optional.

There are, generally speaking, four grounds for appeal. A decision of the Provost to deny tenure may be appealed only on the following grounds: (1) whether the Provost was presented with errors of fact that materially affected his or her decision; (2) whether the Provost disregarded or overlooked material evidence that was provided to him or her; (3) whether material information was unavailable to reviewers through no fault of the candidate; and (4) whether the Provost's decision was arbitrary or capricious.

There has been a tendency to try to interpret these grounds on a narrow basis, but we believe the intent is to ensure that all facts that could affect a faculty member's appeal should go before the PTRAC.

A bargaining unit faculty member who is denied tenure may seek review of the decision by sending a written statement of appeal to the Provost no later than 90 days following receipt of the written decision. A decision denying tenure is deemed received on the day sent to the official uoregon.edu email address of the bargaining unit faculty member.

To be considered, the appeal statement must be signed and dated and must include the following: the ground(s) for appeal being alleged; all arguments and supporting evidence the bargaining unit faculty member wishes to be considered; proposed resolution; designation of a union representative (if desired); and whether a formal or informal process is requested.

In short, the informal appeals process is completed by sending a written statement of appeal and documents to the PTRAC for consideration. The formal appeal ensures a hearing, potentially with witnesses, before the PTRAC. The PTRAC will hold a hearing within 60 days of the receipt of the appeal, or within 30 days of the start of the Fall term classes, whichever is later. During the appeal hearing, the faculty member has the right to have an representative/colleague and a lawyer present at the hearing. The PTRAC will prepare a written report based upon the evidence and submit it to the Provost and the bargaining unit member within 15 days of the conclusion of the hearing.

The Provost will make his or her final decision within 21 days of receiving the PTRAC report.