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American Mathematical Society
Policy Statement on Tenure

The American Mathematical Society strongly supports the institution of tenure. Tenure plays an essential role in guaranteeing academic freedom and institutional integrity, benefiting institutions, students, faculty, disciplines and society at large.

  • Tenure maintains the strength of academic institutions, as it is the permanent faculty that provides leadership and direction. Tenure provides stability and mitigates the effects of fads and fashions.
  • Tenure helps to renew academic disciplines by ensuring the continued supply of individuals who will dedicate their careers to advancing those disciplines.
  • Tenure helps maintain academic quality by establishing a set of high standards that must be met for continued employment. Standards for ongoing contract renewals are typically less stringent.
  • Tenure supports work on significant long-term projects.
  • Tenure provides strong protection for free flow of ideas, guaranteeing the right to express views without fear of dismissal.
  • Tenure provides the benefit of job security, which helps attract highly talented individuals to teaching and research.

Tenure has played a central role in establishing and maintaining the strength and quality of American higher education. Individual abuses of the tenure system should be addressed directly, rather than by eliminating one of the cornerstones of our educational system.

Adopted by the Council in March 1999 so as to speak in the name of the American Mathematical Society.