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CAUT Policy Statement

In post-secondary education settings, tenure is a defining feature of academic work and a key safeguard and promoter of academic freedom. In preserving and promoting academic freedom, tenure sustains and maintains intellectual liberty while creating the conditions for achieving high standards in post-secondary teaching, research, scholarly, and creative work, and in public service. Tenure ensures that academic staff can fully exercise their academic freedom without fear of reprisal or retribution.

Tenure processes should be available to all academic staff.

Similarly, so-called “post-tenure review” is an unacceptable practice that undermines the very academic advantages that tenure alone provides. There is no place for such gratuitous and damaging evaluation in post-secondary institutions.

Tenure ensures continuous employment with appropriate salary and benefits. Tenure continues to protect and enable those who have achieved it, even when they move from one position to another within their institution or when they accept an appointment at another institution.

A tenured member of academic staff can be terminated only for just cause. This is limited to financial exigency or grave misconduct proven through grievance and arbitration procedures. The phasing out of courses or programs by an institution is not a reason for terminating a tenured appointment. In such circumstances the institution is obliged to transfer a member with a tenured appointment to another tenured position for which the member is qualified, or can obtain credentials, to fill.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2015.