Regulation on academic tenure at the University of Iceland, no. 1301/2020.
Article 1. Objective.
This Regulation applies to tenure for academic staff at the University of Iceland, cf. paragraphs 1 and 4, Article 17 of the Act on Public Higher Education Institutions no. 85/2008 and Chapter III of the Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009. Tenure following a temporary period of employment is granted based on a comprehensive and professional review of the academic staff member's performance and accomplishments in research, teaching, administration and service to the University of Iceland and society. The review shall be conducted in light of the fact that the University of Iceland is at once an international research university and a national university which sets high standards for professional performance.
This Regulation stipulates the minimum requirements for academic tenure. Faculties may, with the approval of the school, set further requirements beyond those outlined in this Regulation which must then be considered when evaluating applications for tenure. Schools may also determine that such requirements will apply for all faculties at that school. The school must submit school and faculty rules to the University Council for ratification.
Article 2. Temporary recruitment.
In accordance with Article 31 of the Regulation for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009, the initial recruitment of academic staff shall generally be temporary, for a period of five years, regardless of whether the position is full time or part time. In the case of sick leave, maternity/paternity leave or other reasonable circumstances that may affect productivity, the school dean is authorised to extend the pre-tenure period by up to two years. [Such an extension must be supported by specific reasoning. The supporting argument shall be submitted to the Payroll Office along with the request to extend the contract of employment. The supporting argument shall be saved in the University's project filing system and sent to the rector and the Promotion Committee.
At the end of the extended pre-tenure period, a statement from the school must be submitted to the Promotion and Tenure Committee if the employee wishes to apply for tenure.]1
1Amended by Article 1 of Regulation no. 1077/2022.
Article 3. Application for tenure.
[The Division of Human Resources and school administrators shall inform an academic staff member, a little over a year before the temporary contract expires, that if they wish to be hired on a permanent basis they need to apply to the rector for tenure up to twelve months but no later than nine moths before the temporary period of employment ends.]1 Staff members shall use an online tenure application form which specifies all required supporting documents. The applicant must include a statement, up to a maximum of 1500 words, detailing their work at the University of Iceland in research, teaching, administration and service from the beginning of the pre-tenure period. Applicants must also submit a bibliography and CV, up to five of the most significant works published during the pre-tenure period and details of the applicant's contribution to these works in the case of jointly authored publications. Applicants must also describe their research, teaching, administration and service, see Article 6 of this Regulation.
Only information that is relevant to the pre-tenure period shall be submitted. The application must identify four people who have agreed to provide a statement on the applicant's work. These people must be recognised specialists in the applicant's field and at least two of them must work outside the University of Iceland.
The rector sends the application for tenure to the school dean or, if applicable, to the chair of the board or the academic director of the research institute or University of Iceland research centre, who shall then obtain statements from the relevant faculty or unit and at least two of the four specialists named by the applicant. It is also permissible to obtain additional statements from other external specialists. In addition, the school dean or, if applicable, the chair of the board or academic director, shall also write a reasoned statement recommending for or against tenure. The application, along with all statements, shall then be sent to the University of Iceland Promotion and Tenure Committee. The committee shall submit a proposal to the rector recommending for or against tenure.
If the applicant has been promoted in the last 12 months, reference may be made to that application. The applicant is responsible for updating the application with relevant information from the pre-tenure period.
1Amended by Article 2 of Regulation no. 1077/2022.
Article 4. University of Iceland Promotion and Tenure Committee.
The rector appoints the Promotion and Tenure Committee at the University of Iceland. The committee shall have six members. To ensure that gender representation on the committee is as equal as possible, and not lower than 40% in accordance with the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men no. 10/2008, each school shall nominate two members, a man and a woman, and the rector shall select one of these two nominees. The rector shall also appoint a chair without a nomination. Alternates shall be nominated at the same time and in the same manner. The committee is appointed for a three-year term. The provisions of Section II of the Administrative Procedure Act no. 37/1993 shall apply concerning the eligibility of committee members. Only full professors are eligible for committee membership. Furthermore, those appointed to the committee should have extensive experience of research, teaching and academic administrative work. In the case of a tie vote in the committee, the chair shall cast the deciding vote.
Article 5. Decision on tenure.
The University of Iceland Promotion and Tenure Committee reviews the applicant's work on the basis of supporting documents and statements from the faculty, school dean/director and specialists. The committee then submits a reasoned proposal to the rector recommending for or against tenure. The committee is authorised to seek statements from specialists in addition to the statements already provided. [If the committee believes that there is cause to do so, it shall also give the applicant the opportunity to provide further information, perspectives and objections within a reasonable timeframe.
The Promotion and Tenure Committee shall submit its verdict to the rector, who shall make the final decision on whether to grant tenure. If the rector believes that the committee's verdict or handling of the case is in some way inadequate, the rector shall send the verdict back to the committee. The rector must state the ways in which the verdict or handling of the case is inadequate and request that these issues be resolved. If the rector believes that there is cause to do so, i.e. if the application for tenure may be rejected, the rector shall invite the applicant to respond before the final decision is taken. The applicant shall be granted a reasonable timeframe in which to submit a counterargument.
The rector's verdict shall generally be issued three months before the applicant's temporary period of employment ends.]1
1Amended by Article 3 of Regulation no. 1077/2022.
Article 6. Tenure review.
An application for tenure shall be reviewed comprehensively to determine whether the applicant has met all reasonable requirements during the pre-tenure period at the University of Iceland. It is important to consider all professional responsibilities of an academic staff member at the University (research, teaching, administration and services to society and industry), taking into account the applicant's focuses and the needs of the relevant organisational unit. [The faculty, school dean, or, if applicable, the chair of the board or academic director, and the Promotion and Tenure Committee shall consider points 1-4 below, with reference to the application and supporting documents as well as statements from specialists as applicable.]1 The applicant is not required to tick off all the points on the list. They are not listed in order of priority and are intended for reference only, to make it easier to review performance in a range of areas and help applicants to describe their work. [...]1
[The comprehensive evaluation shall also look at the applicant's communication skills, as appropriate based on the available information and data.
Consideration must also be given to specific school and faculty rules where applicable.]1
The applicant's research career shall be evaluated from the start of the pre-tenure period at the University of Iceland.
The following factors are considered, as applicable, based on professional title and the applicant's duties:
- Productivity, independence, initiative and impact in research.
- Number of research points and scope of research projects.
- Publication outlets that set rigorous academic standards.
- The applicant's contribution, in the case of jointly authored works.
- Completed reports issued by the applicant.
- Role in acquiring funding for scientific research in Iceland and internationally.
- To what extent the applicant has demonstrated leadership in collaborative projects.
- Experience, productivity and contributions to international and domestic research collaboration.
- The applicant's research plans and works in progress.
The applicant's teaching portfolio shall be evaluated from the start of the pre-tenure period at the University of Iceland.
The following factors are considered, as applicable, based on professional title and the applicant's duties:
- Quality of teaching, e.g. with reference to teaching evaluation surveys.
- Integration of teaching and research.
- Diversity of teaching methods.
- Participation in pedagogical development projects.
- The applicant's experience and performance in thesis supervision, including for research-based graduate students.
The applicant's administrative experience shall be evaluated from the start of the pre-tenure period at the University of Iceland. The following factors are considered, as applicable, based on professional title and the applicant's duties:
- Membership of committees, task forces or other administrative work for the faculty or department.
- Membership of committees, task forces or other administrative work for the school.
- Membership of committees, task forces or other administrative work for the rector or the University Council.
- Other academic administration in Iceland or abroad, based on the applicant's specialist knowledge.
- To what extent the applicant has taken on leadership roles in administration.
4. Service – links with society and industry.
Services to society and industry on the basis of the applicant's specialist knowledge from the start of the pre-tenure period at the University of Iceland. The following factors are considered, including how they relate to University of Iceland policy on active engagement and outreach:
- Reports written for a non-academic audience.
- Addresses at non-academic symposiums, seminars or meetings, in Iceland or abroad.
- Other methods of sharing specialist knowledge in non-academic settings, for the benefit of Icelandic and international society.
- Exploitation of research.
- Membership of editorial boards for non-academic books and journals on the basis of the applicant's specialist knowledge.
- Non-academic educational materials and translations based on the applicant's specialist knowledge.
- Involvement in professional organisations.
1Amended by Article 4 of Regulation no. 1077/2022.
Article 7. Legal basis and entry into force.
This Regulation is established in accordance with the authority of paragraph 1, Article 17 of the Act on Public Higher Education Institutions no. 85/2008. The Regulation shall enter into force 1 February 2021. At the same time Regulation no. 263/2010 on the promotion and permanent appointment of academic staff at the University of Iceland is repealed.
The Regulation shall be reviewed three years after entering into force.
University of Iceland, 7 December 2020.