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Edited for clarity: I am an assistant professor in the US. I will be applying for tenure next year and, barring something unforeseen, I expect to get it. However, I live in a state that is having (ahem) issues with academic freedom recently. I am therefore considering going back on the job market and moving to greener pastures.

My question is: is it possible to apply for an Associate Professor position during one's tenure year? I.e., when tenure is expected by the end of the year but has not yet been granted? Specifically, I am wondering whether search committees will look seriously at an application from an assistant prof, and whether departments will vote to hire someone with tenure if it hasn't been formally awarded by the home institution yet. Or do I have to wait another year in this state?

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    It is actually the optimal year for such an application. Nov 26, 2023 at 16:09
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    There are so many questions on this forum about this topic already. Have you tried to search for answers? Nov 26, 2023 at 16:35
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    See: academia.stackexchange.com/q/204118/75368
    – Buffy
    Nov 26, 2023 at 19:14
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    @Buffy, my question is not so much about my home institution finding out, but rather about whether committees will look seriously at an application from an assistant prof, and whether departments will vote to hire someone with tenure if it hasn't been formally awarded by the home institution yet. Nov 27, 2023 at 18:52

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It is unlikely that you would be hired "with tenure" at a new place, even if you already have it at the old place unless you are already an academic superstar in some sense.

You might be hired at the rank of Associate Professor, though, but have something like a two (three?) year probationary period before you actually have tenure. Not guaranteed, but possible. It is unlikely that your tenure clock would be reset to zero, however.

One of the reasons that an institution might want a probationary period is to get a sense of "institutional fit" and general mutual comfortability with the existing faculty and students. It helps the institution recover from errors they may make, hiring incompatible people.

I was once hired as a full professor at a new place with such a probationary period.

I doubt that there is any reason that you wouldn't be considered, at least, assuming you have an appropriate record. Nor is there any reason you shouldn't apply if you can find a better situation - especially if academic freedom is a growing problem where you are.

And, you might even wind up with some bargaining power at both places.

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