Standards for Notice of Nonreappointment

The statement that follows was adopted by the Association’s Council in October 1963 and endorsed by the Fiftieth Annual Meeting in 1964. In 1989 and 1990, the appropriate Association bodies adopted several changes in language in order to remove gender-specific references from the original text.

Because a probationary appointment, even though for a fixed or stated term, carries an expectation of renewal, the faculty member should be explicitly informed of a decision not to renew an appointment, in order that the faculty member may seek a position at another college or university.1 Such notice should be given at an early date, since a failure to secure another position for the ensuing academic year will deny the faculty member the opportunity to continue in the profession. The purpose of this statement is to set forth in detail, for the use of the academic profession, those standards for notice of nonreappointment which the Association over a period of years has actively supported and which are expressed as a general principle in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.
The Standards for Notice

Notice of nonreappointment, or of intention not to recommend reappointment to the governing board, should be given in writing in accordance with the following standards:

Not later than March 1 of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if a one-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least three months in advance of its termination.
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.
At least twelve months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more years in the institution.


1. For renewable term appointments not specifically designated as probationary for tenure, see “The Applicability of the ‘Standards for Notice of Nonreappointment’ to All Full- Time Faculty on Renewable Term Appointments,” Academe 81 (September–October 1995): 51– 54, which states,

While academic institutions commonly adhere to the Association’s Standards for Notice of Nonreappointment with respect to faculty appointments that they recognize as probationary, in many cases they have not considered those standards to be applicable to those full- time faculty members whose ser vice under non- tenure- track appointments has involved more than “a brief association with the institution” and who continue to serve on annual appointments that are indefinitely renewable at the discretion of the administration. Typically, although the terms of their appointments may stipulate that they are for one year only, the faculty members are given reason to expect that, so long as they perform creditably and so long as enough courses remain available, the appointments will be renewed. Frequently, however, at or near the end of an academic year, these individuals are suddenly notified that their appointments are not in fact being renewed for the following year. Despite what may have been an extended affiliation with the institution, the faculty members are not viewed as entitled to the notice of nonreappointment that would be given to colleagues who hold appointments designated as probationary.

Committee A considers all full- time faculty members holding renewable term appointments, what ever their title or status, to be entitled to notice of nonreappointment as called for in the Association’s recommended standards. We do not view it as necessary, or indeed as equitable, to deprive full- time “non-tenure-track” faculty members of the safeguards that the standards for notice are intended to provide.


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