University Libraries Promotion and Tenure Recognition

​For the Penn State faculty member who receives a tenure or promotion letter in May of their sixth year at the University, it is a long-awaited, significant event. Beyond its importance to the faculty member, tenure also ensures the principles of academic freedom, a prerequisite of our free society. Most colleges and universities nationwide, including Penn State, have adopted the American Association of University Professors’ tenure process at their institutions.

Each newly tenured or promoted faculty member is asked to select a book for the University Libraries' collection that would include a bookplate to commemorate her or his achievement along with a personal statement reflecting why the book was chosen. During the following fall semester, the recognized faculty are invited to join a celebration with members from Penn State's administration, the Libraries, colleges, and departments in the Paterno Family Humanities Reading Room in Pattee Library, where the selected books and personal statements are displayed during a reception.

Books chosen reflect wide-ranging professional and personal interests among Penn State's faculty. This recognition program began in May 2003. Prior to that time, when newly tenured or promoted faculty members were notified of their achievement, no University-wide ceremony acknowledged this personal milestone. To address this situation, then-Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson created this initiative. It was first suggested by former Vice Provost Robert Secor, who encountered the idea, implemented at the University of Illinois, during a Big Ten Academic Alliance meeting.

For more information, contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, 814-863-7494.