Whether you're going up for tenure next year, or you've just started your first probationary term, it's never too early to learn about the tenure process!

What you need to know

  • The players: Tenure cases go through departmental and faculty-level committees, and then the university president, who also gets input from a university-level comittee.
    • DTPC = Department Tenure and Promotion Committee (forwards your file to the Dean/FTPC)
    • FTPC = Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee (forwards your file to the president)
    • UTPC = University Tenure and Promotion Committee (advises the president on individual cases and on the comparability of standards across the University)
    • UTPAC = University Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee (members sit on FTPCs in an advisory, non-voting capacity; also advises Senate re: tenure and promotion standards, policies and procedures)
  • The deadlines: Your notice of intent to apply is due to your chair on June 1, and you need to submit your tenure package by July 1, along with the names of at least three (ideally 5 or 6) arms-length external referees. You can do that either one year or two years after you start your second probationary term.
  • The extensions available: There are many reasons for extending your probationary period (parental leave, illness, a delay setting up lab equipment, COVID...). If you think this applies to you, it may be helpful to check in with FAUW. For extensions related to illness or disability, talk to Occupational Health. Note that extensions do not increase the committees' expectations of you; that is very explicit in policy. 
    • The COVID-19 extension is available to anyone who was hired before July 1, 2021.
  • The warning signs: If you get negative comments on an annual performance review, take the comments to heart and come check in with us.
  • Your options: You have recourse to challenge an unfavourable decision, though proactive strengthening of your tenure file will ideally avoid this step. You can also challenge the involvement of particular referees and DTPC/FTPC members on your file, for bias or conflict of interest (i.e., that the person will benefit or be perceived to benefit from the decision).

Where to find information