Tenure and Promotion Package Outline

It is the candidate's responsibility to prepare a submission which is adequately documented. In preparing a submission, attention should be paid to the ENV Tenure and Promotion Schedule 2024-2025 (PDF) and Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion Applicants (PDF).

The Faculty of Environment Tenure and Promotion Regulations and Procedures were prepared by the Dean and the Faculty Executive Committee and were approved in April 1981; revised in 1996; and further revised in February 2001 to match changes at the University level. They are to supplement the University Policy on Tenure and Promotion, and to indicate how certain University policies and procedures will be interpreted or applied in the Faculty of Environment.


Considerable academic judgment is exerted in tenure and promotion decisions, and advisory committees are chosen with this in mind.


1. Teaching

Teaching is a major role of faculty members and satisfactory performance must be attested to in the form of course evaluation and peer review according to ENV Teaching Evaluation Regulations. Alumni commentary and other evidence may also be included. Faculty members are referred to the Statement on Teaching Evaluation for guidance.

2. Collegiality and Service

In University Policy 77, professional service is mentioned as a factor for consideration in tenure and promotion consideration at all ranks. University policy on promotion places strong emphasis on scholarship and teaching, but University policy in general allows for recognition of exceptional professional service and achievement. Administration will also be recognized to the extent that it is reflected in the advancement of scholarship and teaching. Collegiality and academic freedom equally are hallmarks of tenure policy at this university.

3. Scholarship

Scholarship in the Faculty of Environment will be viewed as more comprehensive than the concept of research. It includes the idea of reflective and critical inquiry where this is communicated in publications and other media.

Perceptions, attitudes and values regarding scholarship vary among units in the Faculty. These variations must be taken into account in Faculty judgments on scholarship. No single model of scholarship will be followed.

Faculty members are advised, however, that significant publications in refereed journals or books are expected of faculty who are not specifically devoted to innovative design work.

The University policy on promotion will also be clarified by adding the following definitions of scholarship as found in Policy 77:

Research reports to government and other agencies. Innovative design.

Among the criteria to be used in judgment on innovative design are:

i. Positive discussion of a design in a journal, review or related publication.
ii. Awards or prizes for design.
iii. Publication of design and related scholarly work in journals with an adjudication system.
iv. Invitation to exhibit work or to enter into architectural or professional competitions.
v. Commentary by invited critics on the overall work of a candidate.

Graduate supervision will be considered as scholarship where it results in communication in a journal or other acceptable forms.

Joint research is encouraged, especially where it contributes to student education. Attempts should be made to encourage publication of good thesis work.

For promotion to professor, evidence of considerable individual scholarly contribution of a synthesizing or theoretical nature is expected.

4. Consulting

Emphasis will be placed on conceptual or innovative work for industrial, labour, government and non-government organizations. Unusually effective application of existing knowledge to significant environmental problems will also receive recognition.

The School or Department will seek some assessment of the nature and significance of consulting work from knowledgeable persons. It is the responsibility of the applicant to point out the theoretical, methodological, social or other significance of their consulting and present evidence on the matter. Judgments on quality will be based on analytical skill, creativity, valuable applications, and other criteria.

5. Minimum Level of Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion

To set a specific minimum in terms of quantity or quality is very difficult and probably not desirable. If a faculty member applies for tenure and promotion and is denied, reasons for denial will be given in terms of tenure and promotion criteria, as well as an indication of what would be acceptable performance for promotion or tenure.

6. Timing of Application for Promotion

In principle, faculty members can apply for promotion to full Professor in any year. They should, however, carefully discuss their prospects with the unit head before doing so. By May 1, the Chair or Director will determine those who are eligible for tenure and promotion. Those who are eligible must be consulted and complete the Tenure and/or Promotion Intent Form (PDF).

7. External Referees for Tenure and Promotion Candidates

A list of at least five prospective referees outside the University will be submitted to the unit head. Referees should have no personal or professional contact with the candidate, i.e., no joint authors, members of same research group, advisory group, former colleague, thesis advisor, personal friend, etc. A final list of at least 10 referees will be determined as a result of discussions in the School/Department Tenure and Promotion Committee, who will recommend an additional five referees, and submit to the Dean. The final list will be determined in discussions between the Dean and the Department Chair/Director. Letters from six referees external to the University will be solicited by the Dean for consideration.

Tenure and promotion candidates are expected to submit their curriculum vitae, copies of publications, a candidate's statement and/or other evidence of scholarship for use by external referees, as well as University assessment bodies.

External referees will be sent:

  • University Tenure and Promotion Policy 77
  • Faculty Tenure and Promotion Regulations and Procedures
  • Guidelines for External Referees
  • Publications (or evidence of creative design work)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Candidate's Statement

8. Tenure and Service at other Universities in Consideration for Tenure

A candidate who has academic experience at another University can ask that credit for this service be applied to his/her requirements for tenure at Waterloo.

9. Timing of Application for Tenure

By May 1, the Chair will determine those who are eligible for tenure. Those who are eligible must be consulted and complete the Tenure and/or Promotion Intent Form.

10. Record and Reports on Tenure and Promotion

i. All recommendations should be made in writing with reasons given as explicitly as possible.
ii. Any documentation relating to tenure and promotion recommendations will be retained in the Dean's Office following deliberations.
iii. Minutes of Tenure and Promotion Committee meetings at all levels will be kept. Such meetings and minutes are confidential. Recommendations from the Department/School Committee must be signed by each member of the Committee. A minority report may be included if necessary.
iv. Committee composition and procedures are outlined in Policy 77.

11. Procedural questions

Procedural questions arising from interpretation of these guidelines will be referred to the Faculty of Environment Tenure and Promotion Committee for a recommendation.

September 1996
Revised February 2001
Office of the Dean

Files are provided as PDF and Microsoft Word files:

Policy 77