Adler University, a private, nonprofit university educating master’s and doctoral students in Chicago, Vancouver, and online, will offer a tenure program to full-time faculty for the first time beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year.
Tenure supports educational integrity, academic freedom, and sound research practices. Adler’s approach to tenure will value and recognize all facets of faculty work, not only peer-reviewed publication, and the tenure process will be separate from promotion in rank. All full-time Adler faculty will have the opportunity to apply for tenure upon completing five years of service at the University and achieving the rank of associate professor. Thus, all full-time faculty will be tenure-eligible positions.
Access to tenure in higher education is decreasing as universities report fewer tenure or tenure-track positions available. According to National Center for Education Statistics data, tenured faculty members have declined from 39% in the fall of 1987 to about 24% in fall 2021. Although 87% of the nation’s public and private universities offer tenure, very few faculty receive the honor and benefit of tenure.
“As an institution whose mission is to graduate socially responsible practitioners, the addition of a tenure program enhances support and protection for the courageous work of the faculty who make this mission possible,” said Jeannine Diddle Uzzi, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs at Adler University. “Through tenure and its offering to all full-time faculty, the University strives to promote the optimal development of our faculty while standing behind their teaching, scholarship, and social justice work.”
The tenure program at Adler will acknowledge excellence in all criteria: teaching, University service, student advising, research, scholarship, grant writing, and other significant projects. All full-time faculty who meet the years of service and rank criteria are eligible to apply for tenure, although they may choose not to. Those who seek and do not earn tenure will not be terminated and can re-apply.
“At a time when tenure is under attack at many institutions and opportunity for tenure is shrinking, we aim to offer benefits to our faculty and protect academic freedom,” said Raymond Crossman, Ph.D., president of Adler University.
The addition of tenure honors excellence among current faculty and offers benefits for future faculty members. Adler University intends to create the most inclusive path to tenure by allowing all full-time faculty to apply.