Evaluation, Promotion, and Tenure

The entrance stairs of Pattee and Paterno Library with text on the righ that reads Evaluation, Promotion, Tenure Your next steps at the libraries.


Librarians are considered faculty at Penn State, and are either tenure or non-tenure-track.

Promotion is available for both tenure and non-tenure-track faculty. Tenure-track faculty members are expected to participate in librarianship, research, and service as part of their employment. Evidence from each area is used to evaluate performance for both annual reviews and promotion and tenure.

Non-tenure-track faculty are evaluated for promotion on the criteria of the scholarship of librarianship, professional engagement, creative accomplishment, and service. 

Quick Summary: Tenure-track Process

Tenure-track faculty alternate between yearly performance reviews (first, third, and fifth years), and tenure reviews (second, fourth, and sixth years). Tenured faculty also participate in extended tenure reviews every five years, post-tenure.

Penn State policies and University Libraries policies guide the tenure process, with a strong culture of support for successful promotion and tenure.

Quick Summary: Non-tenure-track Process

Unlike the tenure process, the promotion process for non-tenure-track faculty isn’t required.

Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty are invited to consult with their supervisor and associate dean to opt-in to be considered for promotion to the associate level after at least five consecutive years of employment. Excellence in scholarship of librarianship is the most important criteria for promotion. See Guideline UL-ACG16 Promotion of Full-time, Non-Tenure-Track Faculty for details.

Promotion and Tenure Resources

Our Researcher Publications


All Penn State employees engage in a yearly review process where they work with their managers to establish manageable goals, mid-year check in to manage/evaluate goals, and year-end review for evaluating success. Visit Penn State’s Human Resources Performance Management webpage for details about and what you can expect from the process.