Pacific Lutheran University seeks faculty with the highest possible qualifications, and offers them conditions of employment commensurate with their professional achievement and conducive to high-quality performance. The university thrives upon the commitment and energy of a diverse faculty. Its programs depend as well upon the variety of faculty appointments that are made, appropriately tenured and untenured, full-time and part-time, emeritus and honorary.

Decisions on appointments are made by the president of the university with the approval of the Board of Regents after consultation with the provost and with the department and the division, school or college. Decisions on promotions and the granting of tenure are made by the president of the university with the approval of the Board of Regents after consultation with the provost, the department, the division, school, or college, and the faculty committee concerned with rank and tenure. Decisions on the granting of credit toward tenure beyond the normal three-year maximum are made by the president of the university after consultation with the provost, the department, the division, school, or college, and the faculty committee concerned with rank and tenure.

The following system aims to lighten the burden of the administration in performing this complex task by setting up specific policies and by utilizing the faculty in the gathering and evaluating of evidence and in serving generally in an advisory capacity.

  1. Rules of Tenure
    1. Tenure confirms the right of individual faculty members to explore and profess the nature of truth in their disciplines without discriminatory action being threatened or taken against them. “Discriminatory action” may include unjustified loss of teaching position. It may also consist of arbitrary distinctions in the setting of salaries or the discriminatory provision of or the withholding of university services or facilities. Tenure means, therefore, that a teacher’s academic freedom or employment may not be restricted or terminated without observance of due process. Specifically, a tenured faculty member is guaranteed that their position will not be terminated except for the following reasons:
      1. Regular retirement.
      2. Financial exigency. In the event this should be demonstrated to exist, the decisions on which tenured faculty will be released must be made on the basis of duly established retrenchment policies. The faculty and administration are expected to provide input, counsel, and recommendations during the formulation and implementation of such policies.
      3. Discontinuance or reduction of an academic unit or sub-unit. Academic unit shall refer to a college, school, division, or department. Academic sub-unit shall refer to (a) a recognized program of study within an academic unit; (b) recognized subdivisions of an academic discipline. The university shall make an effort to relocate tenured faculty members in appropriate positions in the institution if such are available.
      4. For cause, which shall mean one or more of the following:
        1. Gross neglect of duties.
        2. Physical or mental incapacity.
        3. Moral turpitude.
        4. Conviction of a felony.
        5. Witting and incorrigible breach of the signed contract with the university.
        6. Unfitness to teach, e.g., because of incompetence in one’s subject, failure to communicate effectively, or lack of scholarly objectivity or integrity in the classroom.
    2. While the university must protect all faculty members’ rights, faculty members must be sensitive to the university’s needs and seek to fulfill the best ideals and expectations of the academic profession as a whole and one’s discipline in particular. Among the individual’s obligations are:
      1. To perform faithfully all the services for which one is engaged, in keeping with the main qualifications bearing upon tenure (see Bylaws, Article V, Section 1, Subsection B.2).
      2. To undergo thorough periodic review of one’s professional activities and cooperate in attempts to improve areas showing need of it.
      3. To make use of the provisions for sabbatical leaves of absence (see Bylaws, Article V, Section
    3. In any attempt to remove a tenured faculty member from their position or to take other disciplinary action against them, the burden of providing adequate cause lies with the university.
    4. Eligibility for tenure at Pacific Lutheran University is related primarily to the function of teaching. Teachers who are appointed to the rank of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor shall have the rights and privileges appropriate to their rank including tenure or the eligibility for tenure. The same rights and privileges apply to those appointed to the position of librarian.
      1. Tenure-eligible part-time faculty must also receive appointment to one of the ranks eligible for tenure. All other part-time teachers shall not be appointed to one of the ranks eligible for tenure.
      2. Academic tenure does not pertain to administrative positions. An administrator holds a position subject not to the rules of tenure but rather to the conditions of a contract. While no administrative appointment shall be considered tenured nor of itself confer eligibility for tenure, an individual already holding a tenured appointment at Pacific Lutheran University upon assuming an administrative position shall retain previously acquired tenure.
      3. Upon recommendation of the president and approval by the Board of Regents an administrator may be assigned faculty status with all attendant rights and privileges except rank or eligibility for tenure.
      4. Upon recommendation of a school or department and the approval of the president and the Board of Regents, an administrator may be assigned faculty rank within the school or department. Such an appointment to faculty rank and subsequent retention, promotion, or tenure shall be subject to normal procedures for evaluation of a candidate’s academic qualification.
    5. The terms and conditions of every appointment shall be stated in writing and be in the possession of both institution and appointee before the appointment is consummated. The contract for the initial appointment to a tenure-eligible position shall include a statement of the amount of probationary credit toward tenure to be allowed for service elsewhere and for service as contingent faculty at Pacific Lutheran University. Beginning with the appointment as regular faculty to the rank of assistant professor or a higher rank, the probationary period should not exceed the equivalent of six years of full-time service, including within this period full-time service in all institutions of higher education, but subject to the proviso that when, after a term of probationary service in one or more institutions, a teacher is appointed to Pacific Lutheran University it may be agreed in writing that this appointment provides for a probationary period of up to six years. Upon appointment to full-time service as regular faculty at the rank of assistant professor or a higher rank, a person shall be granted up to four years probationary credit toward tenure on a prorated basis in proportion to course-load equivalency. In ordinary circumstances, the probationary period shall include a minimum equivalent of three years as regular faculty at Pacific Lutheran University. A faculty member may at their own volition relinquish in writing all or part of any credit granted for service elsewhere but this written statement must be filed with the provost prior to the beginning of what would otherwise be the faculty member’s sixth year of credit toward tenure at Pacific Lutheran University. In cases where a faculty member takes leave, whether the period of leave shall be counted toward the probationary period shall be decided and specified at the time the leave is granted. Other terms and conditions relating to tenure shall be those specified in the Faculty Constitution and Bylaws at the time of the individual’s initial appointment to a tenure-eligible rank unless, at the date that formal consideration for tenure begins, they explicitly request, in writing, that the provisions in effect at that later date be applied to their case.
    6. In exceptional circumstances, more than three years of credit may be granted at any time, and tenure may be granted at any time prior to the completion of the usual six-year probationary period but only after full consultation with the department and division, school, or college concerned, the provost, and the faculty committee concerned with rank and tenure.
    7. Termination for a cause of a tenured appointment, or the dismissal for cause of a person previous to the expiration of a term appointment, shall be considered both by the appropriate faculty committee or committees, and by the Board of Regents. In all cases where the facts are in dispute, the accused person shall be informed before the hearing in writing of the charges against them and shall have the opportunity to be heard in their own defense by all bodies which pass judgment upon the case. They shall be permitted to have with them an adviser of their own choosing who may act as counsel. There shall be a full transcription of the hearing available to the parties concerned. In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of teachers and other scholars, whether from Pacific Lutheran University or other institutions. Persons on tenure who are dismissed for reasons not involving moral turpitude shall receive their salaries for at least a year from the date of notification of dismissal, whether or not they are continued in their duties during that time.
    8. Notice of non-reappointment, or of intention not to recommend reappointment to the Board of Regents, shall be given in writing according to the following standards for all tenure eligible faculty, full-time and part-time:
      1. Not later than March l of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if a one-year appointment expires during an academic year, at least three months in advance of its termination.
      2. Not later than December 15 of the second academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if an initial two-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least six months in advance of its termination.
      3. At least twelve months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more years at Pacific Lutheran University.
  2. Appointment, Promotion, and Rank
    1. General Policies Concerning Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure
      1. Every faculty member is expected to be committed to the mission and objectives of the university; this is a sine qua non of appointment and retention.
      2. The university values as its highest priority excellence in teaching.
      3. Decisions about tenure involve a judgment about the overall, long-term value of a candidate to the university and its mission. Such judgments are based upon recognition of significant accomplishment and promise of continued achievement. The criteria given below are of paramount importance in arriving at these decisions, and are to be applied jointly and in a qualitative fashion. Other relevant factors may also be considered.
      4. Decisions about promotion are likewise qualitative and global, and involve a judgment about the accomplishments of a faculty member. Years of service shall be considered, but shall not compensate for inadequate performance.
      5. Budgetary factors will not be considered by the faculty committee charged with evaluating candidates for tenure or promotion.
      6. The specific criteria for tenure and promotion are as follows. Strength in each area is expected, although an overall appraisal of a candidate’s qualifications is the final consideration.
    2. Criteria for Tenure and Promotion
      1. Teaching
        1. Faculty shall provide evidence of excellent teaching and a concern for improving the quality of their teaching.
        2. Excellent teachers display a variety of qualities; they challenge their students intellectually, communicate effectively, show commitment to learning, remain current in their disciplines, and demonstrate personal and professional integrity.
        3. Excellent teachers
          1. (a.)  Challenge learners intellectually;
            They invite students to ask questions, confront limits, recognize complexities, discriminate values, pursue alternatives, see new possibilities, and seek
          2. (b.)  Communicate effectively;
            They plan and organize, express expectations clearly, listen carefully, and act with respect, enthusiasm, and empathy toward students.
          3. (c.)  Show commitment to learning;
            They create an interactive, cooperative, mutually respectful environment, and consider alternative methods of teaching and assessment.
          4. (d.)  Remain current in their disciplines;
            They design, review, and revise courses, reflecting developments in their academic areas.
          5. (e.)  Demonstrate personal and professional integrity;
            They are truthful and ethical in selecting content, interacting with students and colleagues, and in assessing self.
      2. Scholarship
        1. Faculty shall provide evidence of competence and continued growth in professional activity.
        2. Professionally active faculty demonstrate accomplishment in scholarship. Scholarship may take any of the four forms described below, all of which involve interacting with peers in ways that benefits students, colleagues, communities, disciplines, and faculty themselves. The university values all of these kinds of scholarship. Faculty are not expected to demonstrate accomplishment in all forms of scholarship.
          1. (a.)  Scholarship of Discovery
            Demonstrates a commitment to making particular and unique contributions to knowledge within a discipline. It involves the process of confronting the unknown, seeking understanding, looking freshly, probing new ideas, and answering the question, “What is to be known and made known?” It may be evidenced by publication, artistic products, and other forms of professional dialogue with one’s peers.
          2. (b.)  Scholarship of Integration
            Demonstrates a commitment to interpreting knowledge, making connections across disciplines, and placing knowledge in perspective. It involves illuminating, interpreting, critically analyzing data, and sharing with colleagues answers to the question, “What do the findings of research mean?” It may be evidenced by publication, artistic production, and other forms of professional conversation with colleagues in one’s own and in other disciplines.
          3. (c.)  Scholarship of Application
            Demonstrates a commitment to using knowledge responsibly to solve problems of consequence to human welfare. It may be evidenced by publication, artistic production, and other forms of professional involvement and leadership beyond the academic community.
          4. (d.)  Scholarship of Teaching
            Demonstrates a commitment to understanding and improving the process of teaching and learning. It involves critical inquiry into the development of effective approaches and methodologies to communicate one’s discipline, and seeks to raise as well as answer questions. It may be evidenced by publication, artistic products, and by other forms of intellectual and professional exchange among colleagues. As with all other forms of scholarship, the demonstration of interaction with professional peers is integral to the scholarship of teaching.
      3. Service
        1. Faculty shall provide evidence of substantial and sustained service. Service may take any of of the forms described below. Service to the university is expected.
        2. Faculty engage in activities that benefit the university, their profession, and the community through lives of thoughtful inquiry, work, leadership, and care.
          1. (a.)  Service to the University
            Includes general and major advising; personal and career counseling of students; participating in committee work and curriculum development; performing administrative tasks; fostering collegiality among faculty; supporting student-centered extracurricular activities; speaking to student groups; recruiting and recommending students.
          2. (b.)  Service to the Profession
            Includes participating in professional organizations and accrediting activities; serving on regional/national/ international committees and boards; giving presentations or lectures.
          3. (c.)  Service to the Community
            Includes doing civic, religious, educational, or other charitable work, and may involve contributions in the private as well as the public sphere.
    3. New Appointments
      1. New appointments will be made by the president in consultation with the provost, with the department, and with the division, school, or college.
      2. The appointee is to be given a written statement of the conditions of appointment.
  3. Qualifications Concerning Appointment and Promotion to Ranks Eligible for Tenure
    1. Rank
      1. Assistant Professor
        1. (a.)Shall have earned the terminal degree in the relevant field, or equivalent recognition or achievement.
        2. (b.)Shall have demonstrated competency as a teacher or shown promise of ability to teach at the university level.
        3. (c.)Shall have evidenced ability to do scholarly work.
        4. (d.)Shall have demonstrated or shown promise of responsible service to the university.
      2. Associate Professor
        1. (a.)Shall normally have an earned doctorate. Justifiable exceptions may be equivalent recognition or achievement.
        2. (b.)Shall have demonstrated competency and continued growth as a teacher on the university level.
        3. (c.)Shall have evidenced a continued development in scholarship.
        4. (d.)Shall have evidenced influence and leadership in the academic development of the university.
      3. Professor
        1. (a.)Shall have an earned doctorate. Justifiable exceptions may be equivalent recognition or achievement.
        2. (b.)Shall have established a record and reputation as an excellent teacher.
        3. (c.)Shall have evidenced a record of continual growth in scholarship.
        4. (d.)Shall have contributed distinct academic influence and leadership.

    5. Promotions

    1. Since the quality of the faculty is of prime importance to the university, each faculty member recommended for promotion shall be carefully considered according to the criteria set forth under Bylaws, Article V, Section 1.B.1, General Policies Governing Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure. Each member of the faculty below the rank of professor may be considered annually for promotion. However, several years of teaching are ordinarily needed for adequate evaluation.
    2. All promotions in rank are to be made by the Board of Regents upon recommendation of the president of the university. The recommendations of the president shall be based upon prior recommendation of the provost, appropriate deans, school, college, and departmental administrators, and in consultation with the faculty committee concerned with rank and tenure. To facilitate consideration, a promotion request shall be initiated in writing, normally by the person’s immediate administrative superior. A recommendation may be made by any administrative superior in consultation with the person’s immediate superior, or faculty members may themselves request consideration.
    3. Such promotions are to be verified through a special letter from the president to the individual concerned. A copy of such letter is to be sent to the administrator of the person’s immediate academic area.
  4. Qualifications Concerning Appointment to Non-Tenure Eligible Rank
      1. Instructor
        Instructors are untenured faculty who teach at least half-time and who otherwise perform the entire range of activities expected of regular full-time faculty. Time spent at the rank of instructor shall not accrue eligibility for tenure. Candidates for appointment to the rank of instructor:

        1. Shall have a master’s degree or its equivalent,
        2. Shall have evidenced particular knowledge or skill appropriate to the appointed position, and
        3. Shall have evidenced or shown promise of ability to teach and to contribute to academically related activities of the university.
      2. Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor
        1. Qualifications for each of these ranks are specified in Bylaws, Article V, Section 1, Subsection B, 4.a.
    1. Tenure-Eligible Faculty on Less Than Full-Time Load
      Faculty appointments made to meet ongoing needs of the university that are at least half-time but less than full-time may carry a rank as specified in subsection b(3)(i) above, and be eligible for tenure. Such part-time faculty perform the entire range of activities expected of full-time faculty, including teaching, advising of students, committee participation, and professional development. They receive the benefit of regular professional evaluation in the same manner as full-time faculty. They have voice and vote within their department, division, school, and/or college, and in the Faculty Assembly.

        1. Appointment, tenure, and promotion for part-time tenure eligible faculty carry the following provisions:
          1. Qualifications and procedures for appointment are the same as those specified for full-time faculty.
          2. Procedures and criteria for tenure and promotion are the same as those specified for full-time faculty, though applied proportionately in the areas of scholarship and service.
          3. Eligibility for tenure and sabbatical leave are accrued proportionate to the level of appointment.
          4. Salary and fringe benefits based on salary are proportionate to the level of appointment, relative to a full-time load.
          5. Faculty holding part-time tenure eligible positions may apply for full-time openings for which they are qualified. Proportionate credit toward tenure and sabbatical leave carry over should they receive a full-time appointment.
          6. The procedures for termination or reallocation of part-time tenured faculty positions shall be the same as those for full-time tenured faculty.
          7. Tenure for a part-time faculty member commits the university to a half-time continuing appointment. Additional teaching responsibilities, up to full-time, may be mutually agreed to on a year-to-year basis.
          8. The above conditions shall also apply to the appointment of two persons equally sharing one full-time position.
          9. Such positions are to be created only in exceptional circumstances, when neither full-time, tenure-eligible positions nor part-time positions not eligible for tenure suffice to serve the best interests of the university.
    2. Department Administrators
      Department administrators shall have demonstrated or shown promise of administrative ability and shall be appointed by the president of the university after consultation with the provost and the school or college administrator and consideration of the candidate recommended by the faculty of the department.


Provision for sabbatical leaves and any other kinds of leaves to be made available shall be made in accordance with the following requirements:

  1. The granting of any leave shall be made on the basis of published eligibility and selection criteria established via regular provisions for joint faculty-administration-board action. The basic eligibility criteria for sabbatical leaves shall be achievement of tenure and completion of a minimum period of six years of full-time service as a prerequisite for each such leave.
  2. The requesting and granting of any leave shall be done in accord with published procedures established via regular provisions for joint faculty-administration-board action.
  3. The terms of any type of leave program shall be established via regular provisions for joint faculty-administration-board action and shall be published. Basic provisions shall be:
    1. During sabbatical leaves the rank, tenure, and salary increment status of the faculty member shall not be impaired. If this is not true also during other kinds of leaves, this shall be indicated in writing as part of the leave program description or the individual agreement on terms.
    2. Faculty members on sabbatical leave shall receive 75% of their full regular salary for the duration of their leaves, either half-year or full-year. Sabbatical recipients shall also receive all fringe benefits for which they would ordinarily be eligible, although those based on salary level (retirement and social security contributions) shall be reduced accordingly.
    3. Faculty members on leaves of any kind shall submit a written report on their activities to the president on completion of the leave.
    4. The nature of any leave of absence, of the post-leave status of the faculty member (if not already tenured) in terms of years of tenure probationary period met, and of any other variable terms of leaves shall be agreed upon in writing at the time a leave is granted.


  1. Provision for reduced load and phased retirement for faculty shall be made in accordance with the following requirements:
    1. The rank, tenure, and base salary of the faculty member shall not be impaired.
    2. The requesting and granting of any reduction in load or phased retirement shall be done in accordance with published procedures.
    3. Ordinarily all non-teaching activities such as advisement of students and committee assignments remain the privilege and responsibility of the faculty member on reduced load.
    4. Salary and benefits for the faculty member shall be provided in accordance with published policies.