Promotion & Tenure Process


For tenure-track faculty the promotion and tenure process can feel like one of the most daunting of your career. Your work will be submitted for scrutiny by your colleagues, external reviewers, and senior academic administrators. As you prepare to move through the process at UBC, though, you can be confident that we work hard to ensure that it is fair and thorough, with numerous checks and balances to protect your rights.

Please see this chart which outlines voting eligibility.

The process made simple

As you approach your review year you will be contacted by your Head to discuss the upcoming review. This meeting, covered by Article 5.02 of Part 4: Conditions of Appointment for Faculty (p. 67) is the opportunity for you and your head to discuss your progress thus far, the procedures to be followed and next steps you should take. Following this meeting you should receive a summary letter from your head to describing the contents of your meeting; this is to ensure that you have a clear understanding of what materials you should collect, any possible issues or advice given, how your documents ought to be arranged and when they are to be submitted.

Materials: Normally these will include an up-to-date CV, samples or other evidence of research, professional, and teaching work, and your list of potential referees. It may be helpful to consult with others about what to include and in what form.

Once your materials have been submitted your file will be sent to your department’s P&T committee for consideration. Should any concerns arise which may jeopardize a positive vote you will be informed in writing and given an opportunity to respond before the committee casts its vote. (See Article 5.06 of Part 4: Conditions of Appointment for Faculty – page 70.)

Your Department Head will then prepare a letter for the Dean, indicating the results of the department’s deliberations and will provide a copy to you. If there are concerns you may then respond in writing before the next level, the Faculty Committee, meets on your case.

Faculty Committee: at this level too, if the Dean’s recommendation is negative you will be provided details in writing and given an opportunity to respond. At this stage of the process your chances to respond to concerns are complete. Your file will be forwarded to the Senior Appointments Committee, a university-level panel of colleagues, which will submit their recommendation to the President. You will not be informed, however, until the President has made his or her final decision and a letter is prepared for the Board of Governors.

Important Considerations

As you prepare your dossier it is strongly recommended to seek the guidance of both senior faculty in your unit and others who have recently been through the process.

You can and should update your CV throughout the process if new relevant information (i.e. publications, conference presentations, grants) is available. New accomplishments, publications, etc. can be added until your file goes to the President.

Normally the Faculty Association does not intervene formally until after the President’s decision has been made. If, however, you have concerns about fairness or transparency in the process, or if you need help responding to matters that have been raised in letters from the Head or the Dean, please contact the Faculty Association.