On March 24, 2005, the Board of Regents
approved a joint resolution from the president and with the
support of the faculty to “conduct a system-wide review
of the processes for awarding and maintaining tenure, including
the processes for awarding tenure at the time of initial
appointment and after a probationary period as well as the
processes for post-tenure review.”
The University of Colorado believes strongly that a public
higher education institution can and should take the lead
in examining and benchmarking its tenure-related processes
at regular intervals. Ultimately, we must assure the public
that tenure decisions meet the highest professional standards.
The group has spent for more than a year developing and
implementing what we believe to be the most comprehensive
study of the tenure system ever undertaken.
Part of our work includes an independent review, led by
retired General Howell M. Estes, III. Assisting General Estes
is an External Working Group from PricewaterhouseCoopers,
and a group of 14 distinguished faculty from CU’s three
The independent study will examine CU’s practices in
faculty hiring, mentoring, and development, the annual evaluation
process, the entire tenure process, including comprehensive
review, tenure, and promotion, and post-tenure review, including
the university’s policies on adequate cause for dismissal.
In addition to studying CU, the report will also benchmark
the university’s policies and processes with best practices
from among America’s best colleges and universities.
NEXT STEPS AFTER THE INDEPENDENT STUDY
After the completion of the independent study, the university
will undertake a month of briefings and public hearings,
including meetings with interested public officials. This
process is extensive and unprecedented. The public phase
of our study will begin in April and will continue through
the report’s presentation to the Board of Regents
at their June meeting.
We anticipate that the Regents’ Advisory Committee
will make several recommendations for changes in how the
university conducts its tenure-related processes, including
changes to the University’s current and extensive post-tenure
review process. We aim to assure our public leaders and the
community at large that the University of Colorado has a
tenure system operating with the highest standards. Colorado’s
citizens deserve a faculty that is second to none, and we
believe that the results of our work will assure that outcome.