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Tenure and Promotion. The Process: Outlined in Article 15 of the FTCA. When you are granted tenure, you are also promoted to Associate (15.7.6). One application covers both.

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tenure and promotion
Tenure and Promotion
  • The Process:
    • Outlined in Article 15 of the FTCA.
      • When you are granted tenure, you are also promoted to Associate (15.7.6). One application covers both.
      • You must be considered for tenure by the third year of your Candidacy appointment. You will receive notification from the Dean at the beginning of your 3rd year of Candidacy.
        • Clock stops for maternity/parental and associated leaves (Article 32) and tenure clock can be extended by one year for those who have taken maternity or parental leave (32.6.3) and/or by those who have requested a reduced load for elder or child care reasons (Article 20)
        • A one year extension of the tenure clock can also be requested at the probationary stage (13.2.2)

Application and notification dates are listed in 15.6.6

  • Stage 1: DAPC recommendation
    • You apply to the Chair of your DAPC and cc the Dean by Sept 15th
    • You will receive an invitation to appear before DAPC (15.4.3). Usually candidates decline unless they anticipate problems and/or have additional supporting information they want to present. If you do appear you can have a representative from WLUFA accompany you
    • Your DAPC may request further information from you if they feel it is necessary or relevant to make a recommendation (15.4.3).

In the event that any negative information is presented to DAPC, you will be given a chance to respond before a vote is taken. You can be accompanied by a WLUFA representative (15.4.3).

  • DAPC makes its recommendation and report to SPAT and, by the same time, provides you with a copy of the decision, the vote count, and the reasons for the recommendation (15.4.5, 15.4.6) (Usually you just get a copy of the letter sent to SPAT).
  • See WLUFA if there are any negative votes at this stage

Stage 2 – SPAT recommendation

    • Your chair will be present at SPAT to present DAPC’s report and answer questions when SPAT considers your application.
      • The chair is not present for the vote, and does not know the result at this stage
    • SPAT may request additional information from you (15.5.4).
    • You will receive an invitation from SPAT to appear (or provide a written submission) to present any further information that you think is important for the committee to hear (15.5.4). You would only appear if there were negative votes or a serious problem with the DAPC report. Otherwise decline this invitation. If you do attend you can be accompanied by a WLUFA representative
    • You are to be notified and have a chance to respond if any negative information comes up at this stage as well (15.5.4)

SPAT makes its recommendation to the President and forwards this along with the file and the report from your DAPC.

  • You, your Chair, and your Dean are informed of SPAT’s recommendation, the vote count, and reasons for the recommendation by Nov 15.
  • If the recommendation is negative contact WLUFA.

Stage 3 – President and Board Decision

    • The President makes her/his recommendation to the Board and you receive a copy. At this stage the decision is subject to the grievance procedure (15.6.3)
    • While the decision in reality is made by the President, the recommendation still has to go through the board.
    • Final letter of notification comes after the Board’s decision (no later than December 15th).
      • Your work is likely to be described as “satisfactory” in your letter when you are granted tenure. This just reflects the fact that “satisfactory” is a term/category used in the CA.

The Criteria (15.7)

    • A “satisfactory record” of teaching, scholarship, and service. See 15.7.2 for details
      • Need to demonstrate consistent performance, demonstrated growth and future potential (15.7.4)
        • This means that what you came with when you were hired is important, but so is what you have done since, and where you are going (demonstrable plans for the future)

Note that excellence in teaching can lessen the usual standards for scholarship, and excellence in scholarship can lessen the usual standards for teaching or service, BUT excellence in service can NOT make up for any deficiencies in teaching or research (15.7.4 c).

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles are important. So is the quality of the journals.
  • The importance of research grants varies by discipline, but the product is more important than the grant itself.

Your Application and Package

    • What follows are guidelines only, be sure to seek advice from people in your discipline
    • Think about this as the presentation of your case.
      • Make it clear, accessible, well-organized and complete for your readers
      • There are no external referees commenting on the importance of your work, so it is your job to make sure that this is clear, and that everything the committees need to assess your case is included.
        • The committees cannot comment on or assess anything that isn’t in the application package, even if it would help you.

At minimum you need a letter of application, CV, a copy of all publications, and a teaching dossier. You may also include any other documentation that provides evidence or explanations of achievement or potential

    • E.g., book contracts, copies of emails from publishers, reviews of your work, a research statement or dossier.

The Letter

    • A summary of highlights and achievements
      • Suggested length – 2 pages, 2½ at the outside
      • If you need more than this, consider including a research dossier as a separate document
    • A qualitative (rather than a quantitative exercise)
      • A way of addressing why what is in the CV matters in terms of the 3 criteria
    • Address all 3 criteria in your letter
      • One to two paragraphs for teaching and service
      • Two to three paragraphs for research, summarizing what you had when you came, what you have done since, your future research plans.
      • This is where to link your achievements, foreground where your work is going, and how you will continue to build on these achievements – your future potential.

The letter is also the place to highlight things such as quality and reputation of journals, high citation counts, positive reviews of your work, exceptional service to the university or academic community, awards and nominations etc, and to address anything that might raise questions in your package.



    • The quantitative summary of your career
    • Clarity, organization, consistency and readability are important
    • See sample
  • Teaching Dossier
    • See CA Article 31.6.2 for items to include

Other points

    • In most cases it is not a good idea to go up early
      • You can only go up once
      • You are judged by the same criteria as those who wait until the “normal time” (third year of candidacy) (15.3.3).
    • When putting together your application seek advice from your Chair and Dean.
      • Provide them with draft copies of your letter and CV well in advance and ask for feedback
      • Consider asking respected colleagues for copies of their tenure application letters to use as models.

Make sure you communicate with your Chair during the tenure process and advise him or her of any additions or changes to your CV that occur after Sept 15th.

  • If these are early days for you, think about where you put your energies
    • Service is important, but it won’t mitigate shortcomings in research or teaching.
    • Prioritize the preparation of peer-reviewed journal articles.