Higher Education / University Glossary


What does the academic term Tenure mean in higher education?


Tenure definition

Short Definition

Tenure is a status granted to a faculty member at a university, which provides job security and academic freedom.

In-depth Overview


Long definition: Tenure in higher education refers to a faculty appointment status that provides job security and academic freedom to professors and researchers. It is a long-term employment arrangement granted to individuals who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service to the institution. Faculty members awarded tenure are typically protected from arbitrary dismissal and have the freedom to pursue their academic interests and research without the fear of losing their positions. The process of earning tenure often involves a rigorous evaluation of a candidate's contributions to the university community, including teaching effectiveness, scholarly publications and service to the institution.

Etymology: The word tenure is derived from the Latin term "tenere", which means "to hold". In the context of academia, it signifies the faculty member's right to hold their position securely.

Synonyms or related academic terms:

  • Permanent Appointment
  • Academic Indefinite Appointment
  • Professorship

Examples of Use:

  • After a rigorous review process, Dr. Smith was awarded tenure in the Department of History.
  • Professors with tenure have the freedom to explore unconventional research topics without the pressure of short-term employment contracts.
  • The university's policies for granting tenure are outlined in the faculty handbook.

Spanish: Tenencia
French: Titularisation
German: Lehrstuhl
Italian: Tenure
Portuguese: Estabilidade
Japanese: 常任 (Jōnin)
Chinese (Simplified): 终身职位 (Zhōngshēn Zhíwèi)
Hindi: स्थायिति (Sthāyiti)

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unirank Glossary Classification

Miscellaneous higher education terms > University academic terms

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