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Title I

Statement in Regard to Academic Freedom and Tenure

(Titles I and II were adopted by the University Board of Trustees on October 24, 1960, and have been amended through December 2, 1996)

I. Authorization by the Board of Trustees1

The Board of Trustees of New York University has authorized the following statement in regard to academic freedom and tenure at New York University. It reserves the right to amend this statement at its discretion, but no amendment shall take away a status of permanent or continuous tenure acquired before such amendment.

II. The Case for Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is essential to the free search for truth and its free expression. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student in learning. Academic freedom imposes distinct obligations on the teacher such as those mentioned hereinafter.

III. The Case for Academic Tenure

Academic tenure is a means to certain ends, specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research; and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession of teaching attractive to men and women of ability.

IV. Academic Freedom

Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties, but outside occupations and research for pecuniary gain, except in the case of sporadic and wholly unrelated engagements, should be based upon an understanding with the administration of the University.

Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should not introduce into their teaching controversial matter that has no relation to their subject.

Teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but this special position in the community imposes special obligations. As men and women of learning and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they at all times should be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others and for the established policy of their institution, and while properly identifying themselves to outside audiences as associated with the University should clearly indicate that they are not institutional spokespeople unless specifically commissioned to serve in such a capacity.

V. Academic Tenure

1. Part-time positions and other positions] A distinction is made between part-time and full-time members of the teaching staff. Unless their notices of appointment explicitly state that they are appointed for full-time teaching service, officers of instruction, of whatever rank, are considered part-time members of the teaching staff. The full-time members of the teaching staff are those teachers who give full-time service to the University and whose notices of appointment explicitly so indicate.

All part-time appointees to the University staff, irrespective of title, rank, or cumulative length of service, are entitled to no right of tenure, and their appointments are limited strictly to the periods stipulated in the official notices thereof. Likewise, all instructors, and all those receiving appointment in such temporary capacities as fellow, assistant, associate, lecturer, or as acting, adjunct, clinical, and visiting officers of instruction in the several ranks, whether rendering full- or part-time service, are ineligible for tenure on the basis of such service and are restricted in the duration of their connection with the University to the period stipulated in the official notices of appointment. The same stipulation applies to personnel appointed with professorial or other titles, whether on full- or part-time service, on subsidized assignments such as sponsored research, or in teaching programs where expense of the program is dependent upon a subsidy of limited duration. [Cf. Bylaw 84.]

2. [Tenure described] The general policy of the University with respect to probation and tenure for full-time assistant professors, associate professors, and professors is given below. After expiration of the stipulated probationary periods, full-time associate professors and professors are considered to have permanent or continuous tenure, and their services are to be terminated only for adequate cause, except in the case of retirement, or under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies, or because of the discontinuance of a considerable part of the University, such as a college, school, or division or a department in a college, school, or division. It is understood that the University has the right to reduce the length of the probationary period in specific cases.

3. [Assistant Professor] The rank of Assistant Professor should be granted only to those who have proved their worth as teachers and have given evidence of character and productive scholarship. The assistant professor should possess the maturity and attainment in the field of scholarship or professional practice of which the doctor’s degree is usually the testimonial. Appointment to an assistant professorship carries with it the possibility but no presumption of reappointment and includes no right to permanent or continuous tenure or to further reappointment, or to promotion to any higher rank.

A full-time assistant professor in any school, college, division, or department except the School of Medicine and its departments, the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and its departments, and the College of Dentistry and its departments and its College of Nursing, who is not promoted at the expiration of seven years as full-time assistant professor shall be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University. A full-time assistant professor in the School of Medicine or any of its departments and the College of Dentistry or any of its departments or its College of Nursing, who is not promoted at the expiration of ten years as a full-time assistant professor shall be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University. A full-time assistant professor in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business or any of its departments, who is not promoted at the expiration of nine years as a full-time assistant professor shall be ineligible for further full-time appointment in the University.

4. [Associate Professor] The rank of Associate Professor should be granted only to those who, in addition to all the qualifications for an assistant professorship, have an unusual contribution to make to the University through the excellence of their character, teaching, productive scholarship, or other educational service. There is no presumption in appointing an associate professor that he or she will later be promoted. Reappointment as an associate professor does not imply any subsequent appointment at higher rank. Under any of the following conditions the appointment or reappointment of an associate professor carries with it the right of continuous or permanent tenure if it is for: (1) the sixth year as a full-time associate professor at New York University; or (2) (a) in any school, college, division, or department except the School of Medicine and its departments, the College of Dentistry and its departments and its College of Nursing, and the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and its departments, the eighth year as a full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor or associate professor; or (b) in the School of Medicine or any of its departments and the College of Dentistry or any of its departments or its College of Nursing, the eleventh year, as full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor or associate professor; or (c) in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business or any of its departments, the tenth year as full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor or associate professor, or (3) (a) in any school, college, division, or department except the School of Medicine and its departments, the College of Dentistry and its departments and its College of Nursing, and the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and its departments, the fifth year as a full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor or associate professor and follows a term of more than three years, i.e., not less than seven semesters of full-time teaching in one or more institutions of higher education other than New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, except as provided in paragraph six of this section; (b) in the School of Medicine or any of its departments and the College of Dentistry or any of its departments or its College of Nursing, the eighth year as a full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor or associate professor and follows a term of more than three years, i.e., not less than seven semesters of full-time teaching in one or more institutions of higher education other than New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, except as provided in paragraph six of this section; (c) in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business or any of its departments, the seventh year as a full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor or associate professor and follows a term at more than three years, i.e., not less than seven semesters of full-time teaching in one or more institutions of higher education other than New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, except as provided in paragraph six of this section.

If a full-time teacher at the time of his or her first appointment at New York University has formally disclosed to the appropriate dean or officer of central administration the fact that he or she has gained permanent or continuous tenure in another institution of higher education in the United States having tenure regulations similar to those in effect at New York University and leaves that institution to accept appointment as a full-time associate professor at New York University, it is assumed that he or she has permanent or continuous tenure at New York University unless it is agreed in writing that his or her appointment is for a probationary period of not more than four years. It shall be the responsibility of the University official hiring the teacher to raise the question of tenure possibly achieved elsewhere.

5. [Professor] The rank of Professor should be granted only after careful consideration of the individual’s character, scholarship, productivity, teaching ability, and reputation among peers in his or her own field, as well as his or her capacity for inclining students toward noteworthy attainments. It should be granted only to men and women who have been so tested that there is reasonable certainty of their continuing usefulness throughout the remainder of their working years. It should never be granted as the reward of seniority and should be reserved as a mark of distinction in the field of scholarship and instruction. It should never be granted as a recognition of usefulness in administration.

Under any of the following conditions the reappointment of a professor carries with it the right of continuous or permanent tenure: (1) if the reappointment is for the fourth year as a full-time professor at New York University; or (2) if the reappointment is for the sixth year as a full-time professor or associate professor at New York University; or (3) (a) in any school, college, division, or department except the School of Medicine and its departments, the College of Dentistry and its departments and its College of Nursing, and the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and its departments, if the reappointment is for the eighth year as a full time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor; (b) in the School of Medicine or any of its departments and the College of Dentistry or any of its departments or its College of Nursing, if the reappointment is for the eleventh year as a full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor; (c) in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business or any of its departments, if the reappointment is for the tenth year as a full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, or (4) (a) in any school, college, division, or department except the School of Medicine and its departments, the College of Dentistry and its departments and its College of Nursing, and the Leonard N. Stern School of Business and its departments, if the reappointment is for the fifth year as a full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor and follows a term of more than three years of full-time teaching in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor in one or more institutions of higher education other than New York University except as provided in paragraph six of this section; (b) in the School of Medicine or any of its departments and the College of Dentistry or any of its departments and its College of Nursing, if the reappointment is for the eighth year as a full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor and follows a term of more than three years of full-time teaching in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor in one or more institutions of higher education other than New York University except as provided in paragraph six of this section; (c) in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business or any of its departments, if the reappointment is for the seventh year as a full-time teacher at New York University in the rank or ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor and follows a term of more than three years of full-time teaching in the ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor in one or more institutions of higher education other than New York University except as provided in paragraph six of this section.

If a full-time teacher at the time of first appointment at New York University has formally disclosed to the appropriate dean or officer of central administration the fact that he or she has gained permanent or continuous tenure in another institution of higher education in the United States having tenure regulations similar to those in effect at New York University and leaves that institution to accept appointment as a full-time professor at New York University, it is assumed that he or she has permanent or continuous tenure at New York University unless it is agreed in writing that his or her appointment is for a probationary period of not more than three years. It shall be the responsibility of the University official hiring the teacher to raise the question of tenure possibly achieved elsewhere.

6. [Exclusion of prior full-time teaching service at another institution] When full-time teaching service at another institution of higher education does not meet the criteria recognized for service at New York University, that service may be excluded from the probationary period under paragraph 4, clause (3), or paragraph 5, clause (4), of this section. In determining whether prior service at another educational institution should not be included, consideration shall be given to whether or not the prior service: (a) was in an Association of American Universities institution or equivalent; (b) followed the attainment of the terminal degree; (c) was in a tenure earning position; and (d) related factors. Recommendations that service at another institution of higher education not be included within the probationary period should be predicated on a written agreement between the prospective faculty member and the dean, and should be submitted by the dean to the Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and for approval before the initial appointment is effective. The faculty member will be notified in writing by the Office of the Chancellor of the University and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs whether or not prior service will be included within the probationary period at New York University.

7. [Administrative posts; promotions] Appointment to administrative posts may be terminated or modified by the University Board of Trustees without prejudice to the teaching rights of officers holding such positions. If a teacher gains permanent or continuous tenure at New York University in one rank, his or her tenure will not be invalidated by subsequent promotions in rank.

VI. Termination of a Tenure Appointment

1. When a member of the teaching staff has permanent or continuous tenure or is serving an appointment for a term of years which has not expired, his or her services may be terminated by the University only for adequate cause, except in the case of retirement, or under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies, or because of the discontinuance of a considerable part of the University, such as a college, school, or division or a department in a college, school, or division2.

2. Termination for cause:

a) [Adequate cause] Adequate cause includes (but is not limited to) one or more of the following: incompetent or inefficient service; neglect of duty; repeated and willful disregard of the rules of academic freedom as set forth in this statement; physical or mental incapacity; or any other conduct of a character seriously prejudicial to his or her teaching or research or to the welfare of the University. [Cf. Bylaw 87, Removal.]

b) [Rules; notice; record] Proceedings for termination of service for cause shall be conducted in accordance with such rules as may from time to time be adopted by the Board of Trustees, and shall be initiated by service upon the person involved of a written notice setting forth clearly and directly all charges preferred against him or her and informing him or her of his or her rights under this section and under relevant University bylaws and rules regulating proceedings on such charges. The person charged shall be entitled to a hearing before a hearing panel of the Faculty Tenure Committee of the University in accordance with the regulations pertaining thereto. A full stenographic record of the hearing shall be given to the parties concerned. In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony should include that of teachers or other scholars, whether from this University or from other institutions.

c) [Appeal to the Tenure Appeal Committee] Upon the request of either the faculty member charged or the charging party, the record, findings, conclusions, and proposed sanctions of the hearing panel of the Faculty Tenure Committee shall be forwarded to the Tenure Appeal Committee for review and final determination. In the absence of such request, the findings, conclusions, and proposed sanctions of the hearing panel shall be final.

d) [Rules bind all parties] The rules regulating proceedings to terminate service for cause shall be binding upon all parties.

e) [Summary suspension] Summary suspension pending termination proceedings is an extraordinary remedy, but nothing in this statement shall be interpreted as precluding such action by the President and Chancelloror the dean of the college, school, or division involved with the assent of the President and Chancellor whenever, in his or her judgment, continuance of the person in service threatens substantial harm to himself or herself, to others, or to the welfare of the University. Unless legal considerations forbid, any such suspension shall be with full base pay. At any time during the pendency of termination proceedings, the President and Chancellor may lift or modify any suspension in the interest of substantial justice.

f) [Review of suspension] In the event of summary suspension, the propriety and effect of such suspension shall be reviewed by the hearing panel of the Faculty Tenure Committee when it commences its proceedings on the merits of the charges made, and the panel may recommend to the President and Chancellor that the suspension be revoked or limited in its effects pending the outcome of the proceeding.

g) [Salary following dismissal] A person having permanent or continuous tenure who is dismissed for cause may, upon the recommendation of the hearing panel of the Faculty Tenure Committee and, in the event of an appeal, upon the approval of the Tenure Appeal Committee, receive his or her salary for up to one year from the date of mailing to him or her, by registered mail, of a notice of such dismissal.

VII. Existing Commitments

This statement, while applicable generally to all members of the teaching staff of New York University at the time of its adoption, is not intended to modify existing commitments, as in the case of assistant professors previously appointed without reference to non-tenure restrictions.

VIII. Notification of Resignation

The following provisions shall apply to notifications of resignation:

1. [Early notice] Notification of resignation ought, in general, to be early enough to obviate serious embarrassment to the University, the length of time necessarily varying with the circumstances of the particular case.

2. [Minimum notice] Subject to this general principle it would seem appropriate that a professor or an associate professor should ordinarily give not less than four months’ notice and an assistant professor or instructor not less than three months’ notice.

3. [Notification before transferring] It is assumed that a teacher may answer an informal inquiry about whether he or she would be willing to consider transfer to another institution under specified conditions without previous consultation with University officials, with the understanding, however, that if a definite offer follows he or she will not accept it without giving such notice as is indicated in the preceding provisions. A teacher is at liberty to ask his or her superior officers to reduce, or waive, the notification requirements there specified, but he or she is expected to conform to their decision on these points.

IX. Whom Tenure Cannot Protect

Nothing in this statement is to be interpreted as giving the protection of tenure to anyone who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States by force, violence, or any unlawful means.

 

1 The reference to the Bylaws and a number of bracketed sectional headings have been added.

2 The Board of Trustees has approved resolutions concerning “Procedures for Termination and
   Reorganization of Programs
” dated December 10, 1979 and December 1, 1997

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