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The Tenure Process 2010-2011. William F. Foster Associate Provost (Policies & Procedures). Overview. Levels of Tenure Review Some Limitations Basic Responsibilities Stopping the “Tenure Clock” Academic Duties &Tenure Criteria Tenure Timetable Tenure Dossier External Evaluators

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the tenure process 2010 2011

The Tenure Process2010-2011

William F. Foster

Associate Provost

(Policies & Procedures)

  • Levels of Tenure Review
  • Some Limitations
  • Basic Responsibilities
  • Stopping the “Tenure Clock”
  • Academic Duties &Tenure Criteria
  • Tenure Timetable
  • Tenure Dossier
  • External Evaluators
  • Tenure Committees
  • Tending to a “Negative Recommendation”

NOTE: References to Departmental Chairs include, where appropriate, Deans of Faculties without Departments & Director of Libraries

  • ASR – Regulations Relating to the Employment of Academic Staff
  • LSR – Regulations Relating to the Employment of Librarian Staff
  • DoL – Director of Libraries
  • D/LTC – Departmental or Library Tenure Committee
  • UTC – University Tenure Committee
a caveat
A Caveat

This presentation simply provides an overview of the Tenure Regulations.

It is important that Candidates and Academic Administrators also familiarize themselves with the relevant Regulations.

levels of tenure review
Levels of Tenure Review

Process involves three levels of review:

  • D/LTC - a departmental level committee - makes a recommendation to…
  • UTC – a University committee that - makes a recommendation to …
  • Principal (or delegate) – who makes a recommendation to the Board of Governors

NOTE: In the event the Principal decides not to recommend a Candidate for tenure, the Candidate may file an appeal


The Regulations do not confer on any person or committee the discretion to:

  • Provide extensions to the established deadlines
  • Redefine a staff member’s academic duties
  • Vary the criteria for tenure
  • Vary the elements of the tenure dossier
some basic responsibilities
Some Basic Responsibilities
  • Of Dept. Chair - assign academic duties (taking into account the pattern of such allocation within department, faculty and University) (ASR. 3.2; LSR 1.4.2)
  • Of Candidates – exercise due diligence in preparing and pursuing case for tenure (ASR 5.9; LSR 3.9)
    • Assembling the parts of the “dossier” for which they are responsible (the internal & external packages)
    • Establishing they have met the requirements for tenure
  • Of staff once tenured – maintain standards for which tenure conferred (ASR 5.59; LSR 3.59)
timing of tenure consideration
Timing of Tenure Consideration
  • Mandatory Consideration
    • Assistant Professor/Librarian – 6th year at that rank
    • Associate Professor/Librarian – 5th year at that rank
    • Full Professor/Librarian – 4th year at that rank
  • Early Consideration
    • Assistant Professor/Librarian – 3rd year at that rank
    • Associate/Full Professor/Librarian – at any time

NOTE: Chair can initiate process at any time with candidate’s consent

stopping the tenure clock
Stopping the “Tenure Clock”

Staff can elect to include or exclude as periods of service for tenure consideration periods of authorized

  • “Child related” leaves
  • Leaves of Absence
  • short-term disability leaves longer than 3 consecutive months
  • long-term disability leaves
  • Other leaves provided for by applicable legislation, longer than three consecutive months

(ASR 5.4.1 & 5.4.2; LSR 3.4.1 &3.4.2)


  • Election must be made by August 31 of Candidate’s “year of consideration” (ASR 5.4.3; LSR 3.4.3)
  • Effect of “stopping the clock” is to place candidate to the following year’s tenure cohort
the focus duties of academic staff
The Focus – Duties of Academic Staff

“Academic duties” of Academic Staff (ASR 1.3.2):

  • Teaching (graduate and undergraduate classes and supervision of individual student programs)
  • Research and other Original Scholarly Activities, and Professional Activities
  • Other Contributions to the University and scholarly communities
the criteria academic staff
The Criteria – Academic Staff
  • Focus - Candidate’s performance of academic duties (ASR 5.10)
  • Standard demanded (ASR 5.10)
    • Superior performance in any two of the categories
    • Reasonable performance in the third
the focus duties of librarian staff
The Focus – Duties of Librarian Staff

“Academic duties” of Librarian Staff(LSR 1.2.2):

  • Position Responsibilities, which require the exercise of professional expertise or practice;
  • Professional and Scholarly Activities, which may include research;
  • Other Contributions to the University and scholarly communities
the criteria librarian staff
The Criteria – Librarian Staff
  • Focus - Candidate’s performance of academic duties (LSR 3.10)
  • Standard demanded (LSR 3.10):
    • Superior performance in Position Responsibilities
    • Superior performance in one other category
    • Reasonable performance in remaining category
some considerations
Some Considerations
  • Performance, not promise:
    • “A candidate is … judged principally on performance, rather than promise”
  • Relevant period of performance
    • “the relevant period is the aggregate period of the candidate’s tenure track appointment …. duties performed prior to that time … explain the appointment [to tenure track] but … do not support grant of tenure”
    • Publications prior to McGill “are not relevant to the performance … of … academic duties at McGill and ought therefore not to be factored in …”
    • Exceptions:
      • Hires with tenure
      • Early tenure consideration
some considerations cont
Some Considerations (cont.)
  • Pre-tenure-track performance does not offset inadequate tenure-track performance
  • Whole record during tenure-track period is relevant
  • No overflow of merit or demerit from one category to another
  • No “double counting” of achievements
  • Comparison group: not necessarily a candidate’s own unit or another unit in the University (thus, use of external evaluators)
tenure timetable
Tenure Timetable
  • April

“Senate lists” of UTC members must be established

  • Mid-April

Candidate seeking early consideration must notify Chair and Dean/DoL fifteen working days before May 1 (ASR, 5.6; LSR, 3.6)

  • By May 1

Dean/DoL notifies Secretary-General of ALL tenure Candidates (i.e., mandatory AND early) (ASR 5.7; LSR 3.7)

tenure timetable cont
Tenure Timetable (cont.)
  • May-Early June:
    • Candidate and Chair/ Dean/DoL agree on listof eight (8)external evaluatorsand justifications for choice (ASR 5.32.1,; LSR 3.32.1,
  • By June 15:
    • Candidate submits a current curriculum vitae to Chair (ASR 5.32.8; LSR 3.32.8)
    • Chair sends Dean/DoL the list of external evaluators, justifications for choice and Candidate’s curricula vitae (ASR 5.32.1, 5.32.7, 5.32.8; LSR 3.32.1, 3.32.7, 3.32.8)
  • June 15 to September 1:
    • UTC ranks lists of external evaluators
tenure timetable cont1
Tenure Timetable (cont.)
  • By August 31:
    • Candidate must make election to stop “tenure clock” (ASR 5.4.3; LSR 3.4.3)
  • By September 1:
    • Chair and Dean/DoL inform Candidate of the composition of D/LTC and UTC (ASR 5.15; LSR 3.15)
    • UTC Chair forwards ranked list of external evaluators to Sec-Gen, with copy to Candidate and D/LTC Chair (ASR 5.32.10; LSR 3.32.10)
    • Candidate submits to Sec-Gen:
      • five (5) internal packages and
      • four (4) external packages (ASR 5.35; LSR 3.35)

NOTE: Format of submission - “hard copy” or “electronic format” – details available from the Secretariat

tenure timetable cont2
Tenure Timetable (cont.)
  • Early September:
    • Sec-Gen transmits internal packages to D/LTC and UTC Chairs (ASR 5.35; LSR 3.35)
    • Sec-Gen requests external evaluators’ reports and transmits “external package” (ASR 5.32.12; LSR 3.32.12)
  • November 20
    • Deadline for receipt by Sec-Gen of external evaluators’ reports (ASR 5.32.12; LSR 3.32.12)
  • November 15
    • Deadline for addition of material to dossier by D/LTC Chair (provided D/LTC has not completed consideration of Candidate’s case) (ASR 5.38; LSR 3.38)
    • Deadline for submission by Candidate of new material on research and scholarly activities (with explanation) (ASR 5.39.1; LSR 3.39.1)
    • November 25
      • Sec-Gen transmits external evaluators’ reports to D/LTC and UTC Chairs (ASR 5.37; LSR 3.37)

NOTE: Late external evaluations (ASR 5.32.12, LSR 3.32.12)

tenure timetable cont3
Tenure Timetable (cont.)
  • Post November 15

If requested by D/LTC Chair, Candidate may add new material to dossier but only to address new issue that has arisen during the consideration of the case (ASR 5.39.2; LSR 3.39.2)

  • January 25

D/LTC submits report to Secretary-General who forthwith transmits copy to Candidate and UTC (ASR 5.42; LSR 3.42)

tenure timetable cont4
Tenure Timetable (cont.)
  • April 30

Deadline for submission of UTC report to Secretariat for Principal, with copy to Secretary-General, Candidate, and Chair of D/LTC (ASR 5.48; LSR 3.48)

  • May

Principal, if tending to a negative communicates final decision to Candidate within 25 working days of receipt of UTC report (ASR 8.5, 5.50.3-5.50.5; LSR 3.5, 3.50.3-3.50.5)

tenure dossier asr 5 33 lsr 3 33
Tenure Dossier (ASR 5.33; LSR 3.33)
  • Curriculum vitae*
  • Personal statement*
  • Record of research & scholarship*
  • Record of teaching (see Teaching Portfolio: Appendix A)*
  • Record of professional activities and contributions*
  • General contributions to University & scholarly community*
  • Any other materials the Candidate may wish to submit*
  • Written justifications for choice of external evaluators
  • External evaluator reports
  • Items added by Chair prior to D/LTC completing review
  • Items on research and scholarship may be added by Candidate with explanation (post-Sept. 1- pre-Nov. 15)
  • New material on new issues if requested by D/LTC Chair from Candidate (post-Nov. 15)

*Bolded Items: Candidate must submit by Sept. 1

NOTE: Candidates have choice as to format (“hard copy” or “electronic”) of dossier – see Secretariat guidelines

tenure dossier cont
Tenure Dossier (cont.)
  • Additions to Dossier (till Nov. 15):
    • By D/LTC Chair (Candidate must be given copy: ASR 5.38; LSR 3.38)
    • By Candidate (but only on research and scholarly activities with explanation: ASR 5.39.1; LSR 3.39.1)
  • Additions to Dossier (post-Nov. 15):
    • By Candidate - but only if requested by D/LTC Chair to address new issue that has arisen (ASR 5.39.2; LSR 3.39.2)

NOTE: Candidate does not control all contents of dossier and Candidate and Chair must comply with deadlines

external evaluators
External Evaluators
  • Role - provide an evaluation of the candidate’s research and scholarship (ASR 5.32; LSR 3.32)
  • Evaluators must be of recognized standing & accomplishment, and qualified to provide an evaluation (ASR 5.32; LSR 3.32)
  • Evaluator must be “external” to:
    • University – “not in the employ of the University”
    • Candidate – not “current or former thesis or research supervisors, students, or individuals with whom the Candidate has or has had a close personal or professional relationship, or individuals who, in the past six years, have been departmental colleagues or collaborators (ASR 5.32.5; LSR 3.32.5)

NOTE:Need for “full disclosure” by Candidate

external evaluators cont
External Evaluators (cont.)
  • List of at least 8 evaluators agreed to by Candidate and Dept. Chair and approved by UTC (ASR 5.32.1; LSR 3.32.1)
  • Joint-appointments agreement of Candidate & all Chairs needed (ASR 5.32.2; LSR 3.32.2)
  • All must agree to written justifications for each choice (ASR,; LSR,
  • If no agreement, UTC makes up list from lists submitted by Candidate & Chair(s) (ASR 5.32.3; LSR 3.32.3)
  • UTC ranks names on list (ASR 5.32.10; LSR 5.32.10)
external evaluators cont1
External Evaluators (cont.)
  • 3 evaluations must be solicited (ASR 5.32; LSR 3.32)
  • Only the Secretary-General may communicate with evaluators (ASR 5.32.13; LSR 3.32.13)
  • Both D/LTC and UTC receive evaluators’ reports if received by the deadline (ASR 5.37; LSR 3.37)
  • No one can approach other evaluators or outside parties concerning a Candidate (ASR 5.14; LSR 3.14)


UTC - where it lacks sufficient information on research & scholarship UTC can approach additional evaluators on list (ASR 5.32.13, 5.46.2; LSR 5.32.13, 3.46.2)

tenure committees general
Tenure Committees - General
  • Committee Chair
    • DTC – “normally” Dept. Chair (ASR 5.16)
    • UTC – “normally” Dean/DoL (ASR 5.24; LSR 3.24)

Note: Faculties without departments & Libraries (ASR 5.16.1; LSR 3.16)

  • “Normally” = default setting except where Dept. Chair or Dean/DoL has valid reason be recused
    • Not tenured
    • “Cause” exists - conflict of interest, bias, etc.
    • Incapacity
  • Committee Members – all must be tenured (ASR 5.20, 5.20.1, 5.28.1, 5.28.2; LSR 3.20, 3.20.1, 3.28.1, 3.28.2)
tenure committees general cont
Tenure Committees – General (cont.)
  • Once consideration of merits of Candidate commenced (ASR 5.22.1-5.22.3, 5.31.3-5.31.5; LSR 3.22.1-3.22.3, 3.31.3-3.31.5):
    • If Chair/member has to be recused – committee proceeds less the Chair/member
    • If Chair/member absent from meeting he/she must be recused – committee again proceeds less the Chair/member
  • Where necessary Chair’s role assumed by another committee member (ASR 5.16.2, 5.24.1; LSR 3.16.2, 3.24.1)
tenure committees general cont1
Tenure Committees – General (cont.)
  • Reasonable efforts to ensure committees reflect gender balance of unit (ASR 5.15.1; LSR 3.15.1)
  • No individual can simultaneously serve on D/LTC and UTC considering a Candidate (ASR 5.13; LSR 3.13)
  • All Candidates from a given Dept. must be considered by the same D/LTC and UTC – except:
    • For joint-appointees (ASR 5.23, 5.30; LSR 3.23, 3.30)
    • Where alternate required to serve in a particular case (ASR 5.21.1; LSR 3.21.1)
dept tenure committee
Dept. Tenure Committee
  • 1 D/LTC per Department
  • Minimum membership – 4 plus alternates

NOTE:No maximum membership

  • Members chosen by documented, decanally approved & publicized process

NOTE: Process must be in place & publicized by MAY 1

university tenure committee
University Tenure Committee
  • UTCs per Faculty
    • Number determined by Dean (ASR 5.28) OR
    • Dictated by circumstances in faculty with two departments (as no member of a UTC can come from Candidate’s department)
  • Members – derived from 2 lists
    • “Faculty/Libraries list”
      • Faculties - 6 members (ASR 5.28.1)
      • Libraries - 3 members (LSR 3.28.1)
    • “Senate list” (ASR 5.28.2; LSR 3.28.2):
      • Faculties with departments - 9 members
      • Faculty without departments - 6 members
      • Libraries - 4 members
university tenure committee cont
University Tenure Committee (cont.)
  • Size of UTC – 6 members (5 plus the Dean/DoL)
  • Appointment of Members from Lists (ASR 5.28, 5.28.1; LSR 3.28, 3.28.1)
    • Dean/DoL appoints 2 members from “Faculty/Libraries list”
      • Members cannot be from same Dept. as Candidate (ASR 5.31.1) except for faculties without departments and Libraries
    • Secretary-General (ASR 5.28.2, 5.28.3; LAR 3.28.2, 3.28.3)
      • Assigns 3 members from the “Senate list”
      • No 2 “Senate list” members can come from the same faculty (ASR 5.31.2; LSR 3.31.2)

NOTE: Other members on both lists serve as alternates

tenure committees joint appointees
Tenure Committees – Joint Appointees
  • D/LTC (ASR 5.17-5.17.2, 5.21-5.21.2; LSR 3.17-3.17.2, 3.21-3.21.2):
    • Chair determined by Dept. Chairs/Dean/ DoL
    • Membership determined by Dept. Chairs/ Deans/DoL
    • If no agreement – Dean(s)/DoL decide – if Deans/DoL cannot agree Provost decides
  • UTC (ASR 5.25-5.25.2, 5.29-5.29.1; LSR 3.25-3.25.2, 3.29-3.29.1):
    • Chair determined by Deans/DoL
    • “Faculty list” Members determined by Deans/DoL
    • If no agreement – Provost decides
    • Secretary-General appoints “Senate list” members
committee recommendations
Committee Recommendations
  • Recommendation of committee may
    • Be unanimous
    • Contain a majority and one or more minority recommendations
  • Recommendations must be supported by reasons
  • Where not unanimous, all recommendations and supporting reasons must be
    • Seen and reviewed by all members of the committee
    • Submitted at the same time
  • Reports of D/LTC and UTC must be signed by all members of the committee

NOTE: No committee member can seek to independently communicate his or her views to the next level(s) of the process

tending to negative
“Tending to Negative”
  • General considerations:
    • Candidate’s obligations of due diligence
    • Burden of proof
    • Whose “interests” at stake?
  • Responsibilities of committees
    • Comply with regulations
    • Be objective and impartial
    • Base recommendations solely on criteria
    • Base recommendations solely on the record of the Candidate’s case before the committee
    • Provide substantive reasons to support assessment of Candidate’s performance in each of three areas
    • Ensure Candidate receives a “fair hearing”
tending to negative meeting
“Tending to Negative” Meeting
  • Meeting with candidate must be held before a negative recommendation is reached (ASR 4.2, 4.2.1, 5.41, 5.46, 5.47, 5.50; LSR 3.41, 3.46, 3.47, 3.50)
  • Candidate must be:
    • Candidate must be advised in writing of the concerns/reasons for the committee’s “tending to a negative”
    • Reasons must be provided for each area of performance that committee is tending to rate “reasonable” or “less than reasonable”
    • Candidate must be given access to substance of external evaluators’ reports
    • Candidate must be given reasonable time to prepare response to concerns
    • Candidate must be given opportunity to address these concerns in person
    • Candidate must be allowed advisor of choice