Appointments to the full-time faculty are of four types: temporary, continuing non-tenure track, probationary, and tenured. Temporary appointments, which may be for one term or longer, are made primarily to replace faculty members on leave. Continuing non-tenure track appointments may be made where there is high performance by persons without terminal degrees or where other special circumstances may pertain. They also include the professional Library staff. Probationary appointments include initial appointments and all reappointments prior to the granting of tenure. Tenured appointments are normally made only after completion of a probationary period, though the awarding of tenure at the time of initial appointment is not precluded. In all instances a decision to grant tenure is based on a thorough review of professional promise and institutional needs. Such a decision can be made only by the Board of Trustees, acting on the recommendation of the President.

Probationary Appointments

All probationary appointments are made in consultation with the Department Chair and only with the unanimous agreement of the Division Chair (representing the division), the Department Chair, the Dean of Faculty, and the Provost. Such appointments are confirmed by written contracts that specify the terms and conditions.

The contractual pay period for full-time faculty is usually for the period of one year, beginning August 1 and ending July 31. Except for librarians, the teaching and scheduled responsibilities are performed during the nine months of the academic year (August 15th-May 15th), unless other arrangements are made on an individual basis. For full-time continuing faculty, salary letters are ordinarily issued in early June, approximately three months before the beginning of the contract period.

When the appointment of a probationary faculty member is not to be renewed, the faculty member is notified in writing by the Dean of Faculty. For persons in the first year of full-time appointment at Berea, notification is given no later than March 1; for those in the second year no later than December 15. Those who have taught full-time for two or more years at Berea receive notification at least twelve months before employment is to end. The letter of notification does not routinely state the reasons for non-renewal, but the faculty member may seek an explanation from the Dean of Faculty. Following that consultation the individual may ask for and receive an explanation in writing.

Tenured Appointments

A tenured appointment represents Berea College’s commitment to academic freedom, and its trust in the appointee’s promise as teacher and scholar. The granting of tenure is not automatic; it is the result of a considered judgment that the faculty member will make a significant, long-term contribution to the fulfillment of the College’s purposes. Tenure is a continuous appointment. It continues until (1) the appointee resigns or retires, or chooses to reduce teaching responsibilities below one-half of a normal teaching load, or (2) a situation develops that is demonstrably adequate cause for discontinuation of the appointment. Academic freedom is essential to the College’s success in meeting its educational obligations to its students and the larger society. A well-conceived and soundly administered tenure system is considered the best means to assure such freedom.