Is there a way or website to find the tenure and tenure denial rates by universities and departments? I heard from some faculty that the tenure rate at X university is Y%, so I wonder if there is a way to find the statistics for all universities.

  • 10
    I would be surprised if this exists. Tenure decisions are normally a personnel matter that is considered private, not public. In general, I doubt that many universities would announce in any way that a candidate was denied tenure. And given small numbers in a given year and a given university, aggregate numbers would be pretty easy to disambiguate. At best, any results would be spotty.
    – Buffy
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 12:36
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    It is my understanding that people are often not officially denied tenure - they are informed some time in advance that "their tenure case isn't looking good" and they consequently quit and look for a different job.
    – xLeitix
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 13:45
  • 3
    Even if you have numbers, there is often a story behind them. In my undergraduate department, many moons ago, there was a long standing political stink between two factions. The upshot was that no professor was granted tenure for quite some time, since one faction or the other would veto it. Eventually, the main actors either (a) died/retired, or (b) realized that not having new tenured professors was a real problem for the health of the department. Tenure rates abruptly rose in the next few years.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 14:39
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    @Buffy: In practice, the result of a tenure decision is easily seen by the public: you look at the department webpage the next year and see if the candidate has the title "Associate Professor", or you look one year after that and see if they are listed at all. Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 17:54
  • 4
    Actually, @NateEldredge, it isn't nearly so easy. People leave for a variety of reasons. Some leave having been granted tenure. Some people change their names. And, to get numbers you have to track it over time, which means maintaining lists of provisional and tenured faculty, by university, by department, over a range of time. And, you need to depend the websites being updated in a timely manner.
    – Buffy
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


No. Most institutions would consider tenure denial to be a confidential personnel matter. This information probably cannot even be obtained using freedom of information laws.

A small portion of institutions have their newly tenured faculty announced in Inside Higher Ed.

You can estimate faculty retention rates by viewing archive.org's records of the list of faculty on the university website. In practice, tenure rates are not as important as retention rates. There's no point in getting tenure at an institution you don't want to work at.

  • 5
    _ In practice, tenure rates are not as important as retention rates._ - For an pre-tenure or prospective faculty, I'm not sure. There's are lots of reasons people leave, and there's a big difference between being forced out and choosing to leave.
    – Kimball
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 14:24

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