University Committee on Rank and Tenure
“Georgetown is a global university that excels in research, teaching, and service. The rank and tenure system is critical to the achievement and maintenance of that stature. Tenure is the most fundamental commitment that the University can make to its faculty, as it encompasses the commitment to academic freedom and the untrammeled quest for knowledge. It provides the security, continuity, and academic freedom necessary to sustaining life-long projects. Through the institution of tenure, the University is able to attract and retain outstanding faculty and protect the academic freedom essential to the best research, teaching, and service.”
The University Committee on Rank and Tenure (UCRT) serves as the President’s advisory body on all matters pertaining to the granting of tenure and promotion. The UCRT’s deliberations are confidential. All decisions on tenure and promotion rest with the President of the University.
The UCRT evaluates each candidate’s record of teaching, scholarship, and service. In arriving at its recommendations to the President of the University, the committee is guided by the Faculty Handbook and considers all information relevant to the assessment of candidates in those three categories.
The UCRT brings the ability to do an arm’s-length review and the benefit of having reviewed cases from across the University. The UCRT review is unconflicted by departmental/school interests and uncomplicated by personal relationships with the applicant that might influence a reviewer for reasons other than merit.
The UCRT carefully reviews the full dossier, including the departmental and school reviews, the external letters, and the decanal recommendations. In the process, the UCRT gives substantial weight to the expertise in the field reflected in the reviews done at the departmental and school levels, the external letters, and decanal recommendations, but the UCRT does not give unconditional deference to their recommendations.
The UCRT is careful to evaluate applications from across the University consistently, ensuring that the overall standards of the University are upheld and that the process set out in the Faculty Handbook and the UCRT Guidelines have been followed.
Members on the committee are elected for three-year terms either by presidential appointment (half of the membership) or the Faculty Senate. Although it is customary for members of the committee to be drawn from a variety of academic divisions of the university, committee members are not considered “representatives” of particular schools or departments. An individual may serve on the committee for no more than two terms in succession and must remain off the committee for at least one term between reappointments.
At its initial meeting of the academic year, the committee elects its officers – the chair, the corresponding secretary, and the recording secretary(ies). The chair should come from a different campus each year if possible. The officers as well as other members of the UCRT are not available to discuss the business of the committee except with the President of the University and those designated by the President.
For more information about the UCRT, please refer to the Faculty Handbook (Section III.D.).
Rules and Guidelines
Faculty appointments are governed by the Faculty Handbook (Sect. III.D). Additional guidance is provided in the following:
- Guidelines for Submission of Rank and Tenure Applications by Tenure-Line Faculty (PDF)
- Expedited Process for Lateral Appointments (PDF)
Dossier Preparation Resources
We have developed a Dossier Preparation Resources page to house documents and information related to the promotion and tenure process. You will find additional information under Campus-Specific Guidance, below.
Lisa Krim, J.D.
Senior Advisor to the President for Faculty Relations
204 Maguire Hall