It is understandable that new faculty members have reduced teaching load, but why some others have reduced teaching load just before filling for tenure? Isn't that late to do any progress?

  • Is this common? In my experience, you might get a course release after your 3rd year review (which gives you another 2 years until tenure review), but I haven't heard of 6th year course releases pre-tenure.
    – RoboKaren
    May 25, 2015 at 2:49

1 Answer 1


As I understand it, the point of such reduced teaching loads is to allow for more time for writing papers and research proposals, as well as preparing any "package" required as part of the tenure application. Ideally, such a reduction would be done a little bit preceding the last semester before submitting the tenure application, so that the papers and proposals can be reviewed and published (or accepted, as the case may be) before submitting the application.

  • Would it be a convincing case that a faculty has more publications and maybe a grant just in the last year?
    – Thomas Lee
    May 24, 2015 at 23:08
  • 3
    One or two additional grants can go a long way toward changing the complexion of a tenure case. One or two papers won't have nearly the same impact, unless they're in very prestigious venues for the given discipline.
    – aeismail
    May 24, 2015 at 23:21
  • 1
    @ThomasLee Bringing in an NIH R01 or the like can very reasonably run all the way up to the deadline, and would make for a vastly different case.
    – Fomite
    May 25, 2015 at 3:58

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