January 26th, 2015
I am a fourth-year assistant professor, and I’m hoping to move to another position at a more highly ranked institution. How much credit toward tenure can I expect?
Say that you were moving down in status for your second job, to a lesser-ranked university. In that case, you might get full credit for tenure—in other words, your four years at your first job mightcount as four years toward tenure at the second campus. But that’s unlikely. Most institutions simply do not grant full credit for years served toward tenure at a different institution.
And that is absolutely true if you move up to a higher-ranked institution. In that case, you will definitely lose years toward tenure. The only question is: How many?
In my departments at R1 universities, when we hired an assistant professor who had four years on the tenure track elsewhere, we tended to give that candidate two years of credit toward tenure on our campus. That was not a hard-and-fast rule, and, to be honest, I don’t remember every case. But I can say with certainty that in no cases did anyone get full credit. Everybody lost a year or more toward tenure by virtue of moving to a second job.