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 tenure 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.
  • During your probationary period, you may request a term free of teaching (Alternative Workload, clause 7).
  • New (2018): Probationary Members are not required to teach in more than two of three terms.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Your annual meeting with your dean is an opportunity to get feedback on your progress towards tenure: if you are unclear on anything, ask questions of your dean.
  • 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 Centre for Teaching and Learning 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.
  • New (2018): Be sure to include a research statement that contextualizes your research to date, future research directions, and shows an overall research program.
  • New (2018): Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching provide information about students' experience in the classroom, not teaching performance, so be sure to include other data in your teaching dossier.
  • Submit a clear, well organized file.
  • Thoroughly review your promotion and tenure file before signing off on the table of contents. If you notice something there that should not be, ask that it be removed.
  • New (2018): If your file contains any publicly solicited letters that contain unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing and/or misconduct, that if substantiated would warrant discipline, you can request that they be removed.
  • 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: January 2019.