Board of Regents Policy Manual, Section 8.3.7


Minimum expectations in all professorial ranks are:

  • Superior teaching, demonstrating excellence in instruction;
  • Outstanding involvement in student success activities, as evidenced by activities within 
    teaching and instruction, academic achievement, and service;
  • Academic achievement, as appropriate to the mission;
  • Outstanding service to the Institute, profession or community; and
  • Professional growth and development, within the context of rank and responsibilities.

More details are provided in Section 3.3.7

Noteworthy achievement is required in at least two of the above categories but is not required in all categories. A written recommendation should be submitted by the head of the unit concerned setting forth the reasons for granting tenure. The Faculty member's length of service with the institute shall be taken into consideration in determining whether or not the faculty member should be granted tenure. 

In addition to the minimum criteria above, tenure at the rank of Associate Professor requires the earned doctorate or its equivalent in training, ability, and/or experience. Neither the possession of a doctorate nor longevity of service is a guarantee per se of being granted tenure. 


Probationary Period and Credit 
Tenure may be awarded, upon recommendation by the President, upon completion of a probationary period which is normally at least five (5) years of full-time service at the rank of Assistant Professor or higher. A maximum of three (3) years credit toward the minimum probationary period may be allowed for service in tenure-track positions at other institutions or for full-time service at the rank of Instructor or Lecturer at the Institute. Such credit for prior service shall be defined in writing by the President at the time of the initial appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor or higher. 

Maximum Time in Rank without the Award of Tenure 
Except for the approved suspension of the probationary period due to a leave of absence, the maximum time that may be served at the rank of Assistant Professor or above without the award of tenure shall be seven (7) years, provided, however, that a terminal contract for an eighth year may be proffered if a recommendation for tenure is not approved by the Institute. The maximum time that may be served in combination of full-time instructional appointments (instructor or professorial ranks) without the award of tenure shall be ten (10) years, provided, however, that a terminal contract for the eleventh (11th) year may be proffered if a recommendation for tenure is not approved by the Institute. 

Except for the approved suspension of the probationary period due to a leave of absence, the maximum period of time that may be served at the rank of full-time Instructor shall be seven (7) years. 

Impact of Resignation on Tenure or Probationary Credit 
Tenure or probationary credit towards tenure is lost upon resignation from an institution, written resignation from a tenured position in order to take a non-tenured position, or written resignation from a position for which probationary credit toward tenure is given in order to take a position for which no probationary credit is given. In the event such an individual is again employed as a candidate for tenure, probationary credit for the prior service may be awarded in the same manner as for service at another institution. 

Extension of the Probationary Period for Tenure 

The five (5) year probationary period must be continuous except that a maximum of two (2) years interruption because of a leave of absence or alternative service may be permitted, provided, however, that an award of credit for the period of an interruption shall be at the discretion of the President. In all cases in which a leave of absence is based on birth or adoption of a child, serious disability, or prolonged illness of the employee or immediate family member, the five (5) year probationary period may be suspended during the leave of absence. Extension of the probationary period changes only the year in which consideration for tenure is required, not the year in which the individual is eligible to be considered for tenure. 

The Georgia Institute of Technology has a critical interest in attracting and retaining a Faculty of the highest quality. This interest is enhanced by ensuring that Faculty members are promoted and tenured in ways that are fair and humane. To ensure equity in administering the system of academic tenure, the Institute must provide consistent conditions and standards while supporting members in balancing personal and family obligations with professional and scholarly achievement. For these reasons, extensions of the probationary period for tenure are reserved for compelling circumstances which impair the ability of an individual to establish the stature expected of Faculty members at Georgia Tech within the normal time frame. 

Approvals of extensions of the probationary period are never automatic but may be granted when circumstances cause substantial impairment of a candidate’s ability to pursue their teaching and scholarly activities. Such circumstances may include severe personal illness, childbirth, adoption, or other significant obligations to a member of the family or household. The probationary period may not be interrupted for more than one (1) year per event with a maximum extension of two (2) years. 

If an extension is granted, no additional requirements for tenure can be imposed upon the candidate by virtue of the extension. Thus, the candidate continues to be subject to the requirements to which they would have been subject without the extension. 

The terms and conditions of this policy apply equally to all genders. 

Requests for an extension of the probationary period must be made in writing and submitted to the appropriate Unit Head (Dean/Chair) who will review the request. All requests must be made within twelve (12) months of the event related to the extension request. Any supporting documentation should be attached to the request. Requests are not granted automatically. Generally, however, Georgia Tech will attempt to provide extensions to all candidates who are making good progress and are requesting an extension due to childbirth or adoption. Other circumstances warranting extension are considered equally valid but must, necessarily, be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Every effort should be made to accommodate a request when it becomes clear that circumstances, consistent with this policy, will substantially impede the Faculty member’s progress toward achieving indefinite tenure or promotion. 

The Unit Head will forward the request to the appropriate Dean along with an evaluative statement addressing the Faculty member’s scholarly progress. The Dean will make a recommendation and forward this request to the Provost for final action. Consistency with Board of Regents’ policy dictates a required leave to be comprised of sick leave or other alternatives. 

Unit Heads who recognize the need for a Faculty member to request an interruption of the probationary period are encouraged to discuss this policy with that individual and to do so in a timely manner. Faculty members should feel free to approach their Unit Heads for information concerning this policy or with individual requests for extension. 

Administrative reviews will continue to occur on a regular basis and are unaffected by this policy. Critical reviews, however, will be delayed with the probationary period extension.