NEW: Promotion for Teaching Stream Faculty

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The Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions in the Teaching Stream came into effect in late 2016. This document is intended to draw the attention of faculty, academic administrators, and unit staff to key considerations in the process governing the promotion of faculty in the teaching stream from the rank of Associate Professor, Teaching Stream to the rank of Professor, Teaching Stream.

Relevant Policies

Applicability

  • “This policy applies to full-time continuing status teaching stream faculty members.” (PPPTS, Section 5)
  • “…this policy does not apply to the following categories: contractually limited term appointments, Athletic Instructors, Senior Athletic Instructors, those holding the rank of Lecturer or Senior Lecturer, and those holding rank of Tutor or Senior Tutor.” (PPPTS, Section 5 – emphasis added)

Criteria

  • The policy identifies three elements: “Promotion to Professor, Teaching Stream will be granted on the basis of excellent teaching, educational leadership and/or achievement, and ongoing pedagogical/professional development, sustained over many years.” (PPPTS, Section 6 – emphasis added)
  • Service: “Administrative or other service to the University and related activities will be taken into account in assessing candidates for promotion, but given less weight than the main criteria: promotion will not be based primarily on such service.” (PPPTS, Section 6)
  • Please refer to your divisional guidelines for the assessment of effectiveness in teaching.

The policy provides the following additional detail about the three elements:

Attributes of Excellent Teaching

  • “Excellent teaching may be demonstrated through a combination of excellent teaching skills, creative educational leadership and/or achievement, and innovative teaching initiatives, all in accordance with appropriate divisional guidelines.” (PPPTS, Section 8 – emphasis added)
  • “Teaching includes lecturing, activity in seminars and tutorials, individual and group discussion, laboratory teaching, thesis and/or research supervision, and any other means by which students derive educational benefit.” (PPPTS, Section 8)
  • “Teaching effectiveness is demonstrated by the degree to which the candidate for promotion is able to stimulate and challenge the intellectual ability of students, to communicate academic material including professional knowledge effectively, and to maintain a mastery of his or her subject areas. It also involves maintaining accessibility to students, and the ability to influence the intellectual and scholarly development of students.” (PPPTS, Section 8)

Attributes of Educational Leadership and/or Achievement

  • “Sustained over many years, educational leadership and/or achievement is often reflected in teaching-related activities that show significant impact in a variety of ways, for example: through enhanced student learning; through creation and/or development of models of effective teaching; through engagement in the scholarly conversation via pedagogical scholarship, or creative professional activity; through significant changes in policy related to teaching as a profession; through technological or other advances in the delivery of education in a discipline or profession.” (PPPTS, Section 9)

Attributes of Ongoing Pedagogical Development

  • “Evidence of continuing future pedagogical/professional development may be demonstrated in a variety of ways, e.g., discipline-based scholarship in relation to, or relevant to, the field in which the faculty member teaches, participation at, and contributions to, academic conferences where sessions on pedagogical research and technique are prominent, teaching-related activity by the faculty member outside of his or her classroom functions and responsibilities, and professional work that allows the faculty member to maintain a mastery of his or her subject area in accordance with appropriate divisional guidelines.” (PPPTS, Section 10)

Overview of the Review Process

In a Multi-Department Faculty (MDF)

The following are the stages of a review for promotion under the PPPTS:

  1. Departmental Committee reviews and recommends to Chair
    • Composition of Departmental Committee: “The membership of the Promotions Committee will be made known to the teaching stream faculty members of the Department and where possible should change in membership over the years.” (PPPTS, Section 17)
  2. Chair recommends to Decanal Promotions Committee
  3. Decanal Promotions Committee recommends to Dean
    • Composition of Decanal Committee:
      • “In multi-departmental divisions this assessor [Provostial Assessor] will be added to the Decanal Committee” (PPPTS, Section 17)
      • “The membership of the Decanal Promotions committee will be made known to the academic staff of the Faculty” (PPPTS, Section 23)
  4. Final Approval by Dean1
  5. List of those approved for promotion sent to Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life. Please contact VPFAL for template.2

1 The PPPTS says: “The extent of the review at the Provostial level may vary and may be more extensive for candidates who have not already been considered by both Departmental and Decanal Committees.” In May 1996, a memo established that MDFs would no longer be required to submit individual promotion files for further review. Responsibility for the final review of promotion dossiers has rested at the decanal level in MDFs since that date.

2 Under the memo from 1996, MDFs report the following to the Provost’s Office:

“Membership of the divisional [decanal] promotions committee;
Number of faculty considered for promotion;
Number recommended for promotion;
Number who were recommended unanimously;
Number who were recommended with more than one negative vote;
Number who were recommended on teaching alone;
Number of cases in which creative professional practice played a key role”

In a Single-Department Faculty (SDF)

The following are the stages of a review:

  1. Decanal Committee reviews and recommends to Dean.
    • Composition of Departmental Committee: “The membership of the Promotions Committee will be made known to the teaching stream faculty members of the Department and where possible should change in membership over the years.” (PPPTS, Section 17)
    • A Provostial Assessor sits on this committee.
  2. Dean recommends to the Provost.
  3. Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life reviews and provides final approval.

Initial Process (Within a Department, EDU: A, or SDF)

Annual Consideration

  • Responsibility: “Initiation of the promotional review of a teaching stream faculty member will be the responsibility of the division in which the individual holds his or her primary appointment.” (PPPTS, Section 15)
  • Preliminary review: “Each year the Department Chair will place before the Promotions Committee for preliminary consideration the names of all Associate Professors, Teaching Stream in the Department, together with their curricula vitae. The Committee will advise the Chair as to which faculty members should receive more detailed consideration for promotion” (PPPTS, Section 18 – emphasis added)
  • Request for detailed consideration: If a candidate requests that they be considered for promotion, “the Promotions Committee is obliged to give the faculty member detailed consideration along with any other candidates under consideration.” (PPPTS, Section 19 – emphasis added)

Timing of Consideration

  • Candidates are normally identified in the fall.
  • “Associate Professors, Teaching Stream may request that they be considered for promotion in any given year. Such requests are to be made in writing to the Chair of the department on or before October 15 of the calendar year preceding the possible promotion.”

See timelines.

Note: Please be sure to familiarize yourself with any internal deadlines.

Composition of the Promotions Committee

  • “There will normally be a single departmental Promotions Committee to review candidates for promotion in the teaching stream and in the tenure stream.” (PPPTS, Section 17 – emphasis added)
  • There should be at least five members. (PPPTS, Section 17)
  • However, it is critical to note: in the case of the review of teaching stream faculty members, the Committee cannot include faculty at the rank of Associate Professor in either stream.
    • “the membership of the Promotions Committee considering a teaching stream candidate will consist of at least five tenured or continuing status faculty at the rank of Professor, and/or Professor, Teaching Stream, with at least one faculty member at the rank of Professor, Teaching Stream.” (PPPTS, Section 17 – emphasis added)
  • The policy explicitly recognizes that the University has very few faculty in the teaching stream who have as yet attained the rank of Professor, Teaching Stream. “Until a sufficient number of teaching stream faculty members have attained this rank, this requirement shall be waived and the full committee shall be constituted by five (5) tenured faculty at the rank of Professor.” (PPPTS, Section 17 – emphasis added)
  • “In non-departmental divisions the Promotions Committee will be augmented by the appointment of a non-voting assessor appointed by the Vice-President and Provost. In multi-departmental divisions this assessor will be added to the Decanal Committee” (PPPTS, Section 17 – emphasis added)
  • “In Tri-campus departments, the Chair of the Promotions Committee may be the Graduate Chair.” (PPPTS, Section 17)
  • The policy is clear that the membership of the Committee should be known to colleagues: “The membership of the Promotions Committee will be made known to the teaching stream faculty members of the Department and where possible should change in membership over the years.” (PPPTS, Section 17 – emphasis added)

Note: Within MDFs, some tri-campus departments choose to have a single tri-campus Departmental Committee. The 2002 Tri-Campus Framework says: “In some cases, the Chairs of related departments on two or all three campuses may mutually agree to establish a single committee to rotate according to the campus base of the appointment.” (Section 7)3

3 Framework for a New Structure of Academic Administration for the Three Campuses, May 21, 2002

Documentation

  • The fullest possible documentation should be made available to the Promotions Committee for each candidate to be given detailed consideration… The responsibility for assembling the documents will be taken by the Chair of the department in multi-department divisions, otherwise by the Dean of the Faculty.” (PPPTS, Section 13 – emphasis added)

The Candidate’s Dossier (Prepared by the Candidate)

  • The candidate prepares a single dossier.
  • The candidate… will prepare a dossier in accordance with Divisional Guidelines and this Policy for submission to the Promotions Committee.” (PPPTS, Section 13 – emphasis added.) See your divisional guidelines on the evaluation of teaching.
  • “The dossier should include a statement of teaching interests and teaching philosophy, and teaching awards received, if any.” (PPPTS, Section 13 – emphasis added)
  • “The dossier should also include a list of all courses taught by the candidate during at least the preceding five years and a description of teaching methods and samples of course outlines, where appropriate.” (PPPTS, Section 13 – emphasis added)
  • “If the candidate has had major responsibility for the design of a course, this should be stated. A list of students whose research work has been supervised should be included, together with their thesis topics and the dates of the period of supervision.” (PPPTS, Section 13)
  • “Documentation may include, but is not limited to, publications in a variety of media including but not limited to, scholarly and professional journals, non-peer-reviewed or lay publications, books, CDs, online publications, invited lectures and presentations given at conferences, design of and contribution to academic websites, examples of professional work, and any other evidence of professional development.” (PPPTS, Section 13)

Note: Candidates may be encouraged to seek advice on the development of their dossier from the Centre for the Support of Teaching and Innovation who offer a wide range of materials including dossier consultations.

The Candidate’s CV (Prepared by the Candidate)

  • The curriculum vitae should include:
    • “The academic history of the candidate”;
    • “[A] list of the candidate’s scholarly and/or creative professional work”;
    • “A list of creative professional activities including one or more of the following: professional innovation; creative excellence; exemplary professional practice; contributions to the development of the profession/discipline”;
    • “A list of all courses taught by the candidate during at least the preceding five years. If the candidate has had major responsibility for the design of a course, this should be stated. A list of students whose research work has been supervised should be included, together with their project or thesis topics and the dates of the period of supervision”;
    • “A list of administrative positions held within the University”.
  • See PPPTS, Section 14 for a complete list. Refer also to your divisional guidelines on the Assessment of Teaching.

External Assessments (Solicited by the Chair/Dean in SDF)

  • A file must include letters of external assessment. “Confidential written assessments of the candidate’s teaching, educational leadership and/or achievement, and ongoing pedagogical/professional development, should be obtained from specialists in the candidate’s field from outside the University and whenever possible from inside the University.” (PPPTS, Section 11 – emphasis added)
  • The external referees should assess the candidate against the full criteria: “These referees should be invited to assess the candidate’s work against the Divisional Guidelines and advise whether or not the candidate’s work demonstrates (1) the achievement of excellent teaching, (2) educational leadership and/or achievement, and (3) ongoing pedagogical/professional development, sustained over many years.” (PPPTS, Section 11 – emphasis and numbering added)
  • The policy requires a minimum of three letters. “The Dean or Chair will solicit letters from at least three external referees.” (PPPTS, Section 11 – emphasis added)
  • At least one letter should be from the candidate’s list. “The candidate will be invited to nominate several external referees. The Dean or Chair and the Promotions Committee (see paragraph 20) will whenever possible add to the list of referees and where possible these should include at least one referee suggested by the candidate and one referee suggested by the Promotions Committee.” (PPPTS, Section 11 – emphasis added)
  • The Chair’s letter should reflect the committee’s discussion of the appropriateness of the external reviewers. (PPPTS, Section 11 – emphasis added)

Note: The committee should actively reflect on what makes the assessors a good fit to assess the candidate, rather than simply reviewing their biography. This should be reflected in the Chair’s letter.

Internal Assessments (Solicited by the Chair/Dean in SDF)

  • A file should contain internal letters of assessment. “Confidential written assessments of the candidate’s teaching, educational leadership and/or achievement, and ongoing pedagogical/professional development, should be obtained from specialists in the candidate’s field from outside the University and whenever possible from inside the University.” (PPPTS, Section 11 – emphasis added)

Other Assessments – Consult Your Guidelines on the Assessment of the Effectiveness of Teaching (Solicited by the Chair/Dean in SDF)

  • Written assessments of the candidate’s teaching effectiveness will be prepared, in accordance with guidelines approved for the relevant department or division, and presented to the Promotions Committee. These guidelines specify the manner in which the division will provide the committee with evidence from the individual’s peers and from students, and will offer the candidate the opportunity to supplement his or her file.” (PPPTS, Section 11 – emphasis added)
  • These materials normally include a teaching observation, the report of a Teaching Evaluation Committee, solicited letters from students, etc. as specified in the relevant divisional guidelines.

Note: We strongly recommend that the Chair meet with the members of the Teaching Evaluation Committee before they begin their work to provide them with an up-to-date copy of the relevant teaching evaluation guidelines, to highlight the full scope of the criteria that their assessment should properly address, and to reinforce the importance of a fulsome and substantive evaluation.

The Committee Deliberation

  • “The Departmental Promotions Committee will recommend candidates for promotion to the Chair of the Department, who is responsible for making recommendations with respect to promotions to the Dean of the Faculty.” In an SDF, this is the Promotions Committee chaired by the Dean or their representative. (PPPTS, Section 21)
  • Informing the candidate: “Each candidate who was given detailed consideration by the Departmental Promotions Committee will be informed by the Chair of the Department of the recommendation in his or her case.” (PPPTS, Section 22)

The Final Promotions Dossier (Prepared by the Chair/Dean in SDF)

In the case where promotion is recommended, a final Promotions Dossier is prepared and submitted to the Decanal Promotions Committee (MDF) or to the Vice-President & Provost (SDF).

Download the checklist for the final dossier.

Chair’s Report

  • All files that go forward recommending a candidate for promotion should include a detailed letter that outlines the thought process of the Committee and how it weighed the material in the dossier in reaching the final decision to recommend the candidate based on the three criteria for promotion.

Note: Where the Chair of the Promotions Committee is not the Chair of the Department or the Dean of the SDF, it is the Chair of the Promotions Committee who writes the report that accompanies the file recommending promotion. The Department Chair or Dean in an SDF in this instance is responsible for forwarding the file to the Dean (in the case of an MDF) or the Provost’s Office (in the case of an SDF) and should include a formal letter indicating their support of the recommendation.

Submission of Final Dossier

  • “The submissions must be made at least five months before promotion is intended to take place.” (PPPTS, Section 21)
  • Promotion is effective the following July 1.

Note: If a file from an SDF recommending promotion is received by the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life after July 1, promotion will be effective July 1 of the following year.

Final Approval (See Section 10 in Case of a Negative Recommendation)

In an MDF

  • In an MDF, the Dean has final approval.4
  • “The Dean will inform the Chair of the Departments of the names of those to be recommended for promotion.” (PPPTS, Section 24)
  • “The Chair will inform the candidates who were considered by the Decanal Promotions Committee of the Dean’s recommendations.” (PPPTS, Section 24)
  • The Dean will provide a list of those faculty who have been approved for promotion to the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life, who will report these to Academic Board under the authority of the Provost. (PPPTS, Section 24)
    • MDFs do not need to wait for promotions to be reported to Academic Board before making them public.

4 See footnote 1 concerning the memo of 1996.

In an SDF

  • In an SDF, the final approval lies with the Provost. Once the final approval letter is received, the decision may be made public.
  • VPFAL reports all changes in faculty status to Academic Board.

In Case of a Negative Recommendation

Where a candidate has not been recommended for promotion, they remain eligible for consideration in any subsequent year.

MDF

  • At the Departmental Committee: “Candidates who received detailed consideration and who were not recommended for promotion will be given the reasons.” (PPPTS, Section 22)
  • By the Chair: “If the Chair did not accept a positive recommendation from the Promotions Committee, the candidate shall be informed of this fact.” (PPPTS, Section 22)
  • By the Dean:
    • “The Dean will inform the Chair of the Departments of the names of those to be recommended for promotion. Department Chairs have the right to appear before a subsequent meeting of the Decanal Committee to support the case of any candidate they have recommended but who has not been included in the Dean’s recommendations.” (PPPTS, Section 24)
    • “The Chair will be given the reasons for decanal decisions not to recommend promotions which were recommended by the Chair and the Chair in turn will inform the candidate of the reasons.” (PPPTS, Section 24)

SDF

  • At the Promotions Committee: “Candidates who received detailed consideration and who were not recommended for promotion will be given the reasons.” (PPPTS, Section 22)
  • In the case of a negative decision by the Promotions Committee, files are not submitted to VPFAL.

Right of Appeal

  • A candidate not recommended for promotion at any stage of the review process may appeal. (PPPTS, Sections 26 and 27)