Academic & Student Affairs Handbook

Academics Affairs Division

4.5 Award of Tenure

(Last Modified February 9, 2022)   Report a broken link


All criteria and expectations for faculty performance, including the criteria for tenure, should be stated in writing and available in a faculty handbook posted on an institution’s website. Note that the BOR has set minimum criteria for tenure that must be met by all institutions. These minimum criteria, including specific degree requirements, vary across institutional sectors (see BOR policy 8.3.7).

Institutions can set additional standards and requirements above these minimum criteria, but they must be approved by the Board. Any BOR-approved changes to tenure criteria at an institution must be updated annually in the faculty handbook on the institution’s website, and a summary of the changes made must be submitted to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs.

The institutional timeline for the review of faculty for tenure must be completed by early February of a given academic year in order to meet the data entry deadline of the end of February for the annual report to the Board of Regents. A copy of the president’s written notification of the award of tenure to an individual must be forwarded to the University System Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer.

In exceptional cases, an institution president may grant the award of tenure upon initial appointment of a faculty member (see BOR Policy 8.3.7 for conditions necessary to justify the award of tenure on appointment). The Chancellor’s approval is required to award an individual who has not previously held tenure and is being appointed to an administrative position.

Institutions must annually submit the number of tenure appointments awarded in a fiscal year. Reports should include gender and race of all such appointments and must be submitted to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs by June 30 of each year.

4.5.1 Probationary Credit Toward Tenure

(Last Modified February 9, 2022)   Report a broken link


A maximum of three years probationary credit toward tenure for service at other institutions or service at the rank of Instructor or Lecturer within the institution can be established only at the time of the individual’s initial appointment to or promotion to the rank of Assistant Professor. Individuals serving in part-time, limited term or full-time temporary positions are not eligible for probationary credit toward tenure.

If, due to an error of omission, a request for awarding of probationary credit toward tenure was not made at the time of the initial appointment, the President should consider a request only if it is submitted within the first few months after employment.

Probationary credit toward tenure cannot be established during leaves of absence.

Probationary credit awarded on appointment may be used toward determining an individual’s eligibility for tenure, but the individual is not required to do so.

4.5.4 Guidelines for Awarding of Emeritus/Emerita Status

(Last Modified January 25, 2024)   Report a broken link


Board of Regents Policy 2.11 Title of Emeritus or Emerita allows the President at his or her discretion, to confer the title of emeritus or emerita on any retired faculty member or administrative officer who, at the time of retirement, had ten years of honorable and distinguished University System of Georgia (USG) service.

Institutions must develop and publish their own guidelines for award of emeritus/emerita status. The Board of Regents policy specifies only that the retired faculty member must have “had ten or more years of honorable and distinguished service.” The following are expectations for institutions developing their guidelines for award of emeritus or emerita status.

• The conferral of emeritus/emerita status is considered a distinctive honor, not a right, and is not automatic.
• The criteria for awarding the honor of emeritus/emerita status must be clear.
• There must be a clear process for informing retirees of the requirements to apply for emeritus/emerita status.
• Information about conferral of emeritus/emerita status should be readily available on the institution’s website and in information generally provided to eligible persons planning for retirement.
• Emeritus/emerita status can be awarded to both retired faculty and administrators.
• Conferring of the emeritus/emerita title may be based on the candidate’s faculty or administrative rank at the time of retirement.
• Institutions must specify the institutional office or offices involved in the management of requests for emeritus/emerita status.
• Institutions must specify who initiates the request for emeritus status, all of the processes that must be followed to result in the president of the institution recommending awarding of emeritus/emerita status.
• The timetable to be followed in applying for emeritus/emerita status must be clearly specified.
• Institutions must establish a time limit for applying for and awarding emeritus/emerita status.
• While the Board of Regents policy specifies a minimum of “ten years of honorable and distinguished University System of Georgia (USG) service,” institutions must specify whether the service must be full-time, continuous leading up to retirement, and whether or not all or the ten years must have been served at the institution awarding emeritus/emerita status.
• Institutions may specify whether emeritus/emerita status is available to faculty and administrators in both tenured and non-tenured status.
• Institutions must specify the benefits, privileges and recognition associated with emeritus/emerita status at the institution (see below).
• Nothing in the institutional guidelines may usurp the authority of the president of the institution to manage emeritus/emerita appointments and privileges.

Benefits, Privileges, and Recognitions that may be Associated with Award of Emeritus/Emerita Status

The following is a list of possible benefits, privileges, and recognitions that may be associated with emeritus/emerita status. None of these are binding on institutions, and institutions are not restricted to the listed benefits, privileges and recognitions.

• Certificate showing emeritus/emerita award and rank
• Inclusion in faculty/administrator listing on institutional emeritus/emerita web pages and the catalog
• Emeritus/emerita institutional photo identification card
• Continued use of institutional email, contingent upon participation in the same cybersecurity trainings as active employees
• Use of institutional software and technology resources, contingent upon participation in the same cybersecurity trainings as active employees
• Full library access (the same as active faculty), including remote access to electronic resources
• Eligibility to serve on graduate thesis or doctoral dissertation committees, project committees, or as non-voting members of institutional committees as appropriate.
• Continued use of institutional office space as appropriate when available
• Parking privileges
• Use of institutional fitness facilities at no charge
• Invitations to participate in public ceremonies of the institution
• Invitations to certain departmental, college, and institutional events
• Complimentary copies of institutional publications
• Ability to enroll and attend classes at no charge, subject to space availability and approval of the instructor and institution

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