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Immediate Tenure Application Process

Immediate tenure requests are appropriate only for persons being hired for senior faculty or academic administrative positions. The immediate tenure process is not appropriate for faculty members or academic administrators already employed at Penn State. The immediate tenure process must begin prior to the candidate’s start date.

Before beginning this process, please consult with Dr. John Boehmer, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, regarding the candidate’s appropriateness for an immediate tenure application. Usually, the candidate should have held tenure at another University or an equivalent high-level position at an institution that does not grant tenure. The information provided with requests for immediate tenure must be comprehensive and provide evidence of sustained scholarship meriting award of tenure at Penn State.

Information To Be Provided by Department

Please contact Cindy Devine to obtain application section dividers.

  • Candidate’s Curriculum Vitae to include the date of previously awarded tenure and academic rank. Department Chairs are strongly encouraged to ensure that the CV is comprehensive and includes the candidate’s most recent scholarship relevant to the new position at Penn State.
  • Copies of the Promotion and Tenure Criteria for Penn State College of Medicine and the Department.
  • External Letters of Reference. Letters that address the candidate’s qualifications for tenure that were written for the search process may be used in lieu of external letters solicited by the department; all should address the candidate’s qualifications for tenure. External letters must be written by letter writers who are external to Penn State. A minimum of four letters is required. Department Chairs are strongly encouraged to ensure that letters are from external experts who are independent of the candidate. When reference letters were not solicited by the Department during the recruitment process, or the department wishes to obtain additional letters, the names and contact information for external reviewers must be submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs for solicitation of letters. Reviewers will be asked to evaluate the candidate for award of tenure. The letters will be provided to the Department upon receipt in the Dean’s Office. This step may take up to three to four weeks, so please plan accordingly.
  • Evidence of Teaching Scholarship. This section must include a two- to three-page narrative (written about the candidate) describing the candidate’s past teaching activities and providing evidence of teaching effectiveness. Evidence of effectiveness may include summaries of student evaluations, peer evaluations, and information about teaching awards received. The narrative could begin with a paragraph explaining the types of teaching the candidate has done (e.g., classroom teaching of medical students or graduate students, preceptorships of medical students, training residents, supervision of graduate students or fellows, invited lectures, mentoring junior faculty, continuing medical education courses) and the most recent teaching relevant to the new position at Penn State. Department Chairs are strongly encouraged to seek comments about teaching effectiveness in the external letters obtained as part of the recruitment process. See AC-23 Administrative Guidelines, Appendix I, for more information.

After collection of the above items, the following reviews occur within the department:

  • Department Promotion and Tenure Committee Evaluation (provides a letter addressed to the Dean, which must include the rank and title of the faculty member)
  • Department Chair Evaluation (provides a letter addressed to the Dean and clarifying any prior tenured positions)

Upon completion of the departmental reviews, the materials listed above are submitted as a packet to the Office of Faculty Affairs for coordination of the following review levels:

  • College of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee
  • Dean, College of Medicine

Upon completion of the review at the College of Medicine, and upon approval by the Dean, the immediate tenure request is submitted to University Park for review by the University Immediate Tenure Committee, Provost and President of the University. A decision is typically announced within two to three weeks AFTER the application has been received at University Park.

Additional information regarding immediate tenure is available in Appendix I of Administrative Guidelines for AC-23: Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations.


Updated Feb. 8, 2013
Updated June 13, 2013
Updated Oct. 17, 2014
Formatting updated August 2016
Revised July 2017
Revised July 2018
Revised July 2019