Office of the Provost


TO: Deans and Regional Campus Presidents
FROM: James V. Maher
DATE: July 12, 2004

Faculty Recruitment: Offer Letters to Tenure-Stream Faculty

Since 1988, acting on a recommendation from the Senate, appointment letters from the Provost to newly-hired faculty members in the tenure stream have attached a statement entitled Criteria for Appointment, Promotion, and Conferral of Tenure. This statement indicates that faculty members are to be informed of the criteria that will be used in consideration of promotion, including promotion and tenure, and refers them to the Faculty Handbook for the minimum criteria; it also notes that most academic units have developed additional criteria. The statement also includes a verbatim paragraph from the University’s Bylaws (Article III, 3.1), “Non-Merit Considerations for Appointment and Promotion.” A concern has arisen with regard to the timing of the inclusion of this statement as part of the offer and acceptance process.

On advice of the General Counsel’s Office, I have concluded that, effective immediately, prospective tenure-stream faculty members should be informed in the initial letter of offer of the conditions for promotion and tenure at the University of Pittsburgh. This can be accomplished, in part, with the following statement: “Should you accept this offer, your appointment will be subject to the conditions as set forth in the University of Pittsburgh Bylaws, Chapter II, The Faculty, which includes Article III., General Policies of Appointment and Tenure, and Article IV., Full-Time Tenured or Tenure-Stream Faculty. These provisions are reproduced on pages 25-30 of the PDF version of the Faculty Handbook, which is available online at” The initial letter of offer should also include a statement referencing any documents and/or websites setting forth specific criteria that have been developed at the school/regional campus level. This can be accomplished with the following statement: “You should also be aware that the [name of School or Regional Campus] has developed specific criteria and guidelines for tenure and promotion. These can be found [at website address and/or in the document (title and date), which can be obtained from the office of the Dean/Regional Campus President or Department Chair].”

As a result of this action, appointment letters from the Provost for those in the tenure stream will no longer contain a separate statement on this subject. Please confirm that this statement will be contained in initial letters of offer extended by your academic units.


cc: Dr. Arthur S. Levine, Senior Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences

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