Promotion and Tenure Process Tips

The following are suggested tips for those going through the promotion and tenure process.

  • Read the Promotion and Tenure Article in the Faculty Collective Agreement
  • Find one or more mentors, to guide your career but also to specifically assist you in getting tenure. Press your mentor for candid feedback as to whether you are on track for tenure. 
  • Understand that the focus for your probationary period is research and teaching - you can't get tenured by having a great service record. You must establish a sufficiently strong record in both teaching and research.
  • Keep the normal 40-40-20 workload split. Having a higher percentage for research is an acceptable variation.
  • Taking on overload teaching or service may hurt you as you may not be able to devote the necessary energy to establishing the required research and teaching record.
  • During your probationary period, you may request a term free of teaching (Alternative Workload, clause 7).
  • Take the path of lesser resistance. Know what the standards are in your discipline and meet them. If you want to do something else, wait until after you have tenure. If you want to write a textbook, do it after you receive tenure. If you want to promote your students' publication record by listing their names as first author, do so after you receive tenure.
  • Understand TriCouncil processes and how your grant application gets rated. Pay attention to the guidelines.
  • Have a mentor review your grant applications and provide feedback.
  • Keep all your information organized so that you can easily access it when it comes time to submit your dossier.
  • Understand the relationship between your APE scores and the departmental average. You will be able to get a sense of where you sit in the department relative to others.
  • Contact UWOFA if you have any concerns about your annual letter and to request assistance with providing a response.
  • If you get advice for improvement, follow it! If you need to improve your teaching, go to the Teaching Support Centre and attend a workshop. It is very important to heed the advice of the dean.
  • Start thinking about identifying potential external referees. Develop a relationship with those people. When at a conference and doing your day-to-day academic work, think about whether those people would be good external referees and foster those relationships.
  • Interdisciplinary work can be challenging due to the need to develop relationships in all areas. Make sure you have external referees who know your work in multiple fields.
  • Be proactive. If you are struggling, have a conversation with your chair and dean. If you are unwell, utilize the leave provisions to which you are entitled.
  • Keep the communication lines open with your chair and dean. They want to see you succeed.
  • In your application, you need to educate the Promotion and Tenure Committee on your career. Don't assume that your colleagues know what you've been up to.
  • The application is your opportunity to be clear about your accomplishments. You want to make the case as to why you deserve to be promoted and receive tenure.
  • Submit a clear, well organized file.
  • If you are asked to provide additional information to your Promotion and Tenure Committee, contact UWOFA for assistance. Preparing a response takes time and review by others. Your response must not be angry or defensive.
  • If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact UWOFA's Professional Officer, Cindy Cossar-Jones, at Ext. 86960 or uwofapro [at] uwo [dot] ca


Content last updated by Cindy Cossar-Jones, UWOFA Professional Officer: December 2017