Guidelines: Circulating Tenure Dossiers

Updated October 4, 2023

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to academic units on appropriate ways to make tenure dossiers available to Tenure Committee members and then submit the dossiers to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life (VPFAL).

Guiding Principles

The primary concern is to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of the tenure process and tenure dossiers. The tenure dossier is the set of documents provided to the Tenure Committee for its consideration and then forwarded to VPFAL, on behalf of the Provost, for the President’s decision. A complete tenure dossier includes all the elements indicated in the Tenure Dossier Checklist.

The final tenure dossier must be provided to the Tenure Committee securely so that it cannot be viewed by anyone outside of the Tenure Committee or altered in any way. Of equal importance, the versions of the documents in the tenure dossier reviewed by the Tenure Committee must be the same versions that are included in the final dossier submitted to VPFAL.

Overarching Principles

  • It is important for each Tenure Committee Chair to keep a clear and accurate record of the final contents of the tenure dossier as it was provided to all Tenure Committee members.
  • There must only be one version of the tenure dossier, regardless of how the tenure dossier is circulated.
  • Each Tenure Committee Chair must keep a copy of record of the tenure dossier, which is a complete copy of the materials shared with the Tenure Committee and then forwarded to VPFAL.
  • Materials circulated and submitted electronically should be PDFs.
  • Other solutions such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or email are not appropriate because they are not sufficiently secure and should not be used to share tenure dossiers.
  • Individual Tenure Committee members may request printed copies of specific materials from the Tenure Committee Chair.

Sharing the Tenure Dossier with Committee Members

1. A Secure OneDrive or SharePoint Folder

OneDrive and SharePoint platforms within Microsoft 365 allow for easy, quick, and secure online sharing of confidential tenure materials. Tenure Committee Chairs may reference the OneDrive and SharePoint guide for further details on how to set up secure files.

Items of note:

  • Chairs should ask Tenure Committee members not to download materials. Instead, members should be instructed to access the materials within their secure Microsoft 365 environment.
  • When the tenure process is complete, tenure materials should be deleted from each folder in OneDrive or SharePoint for which you are the administrator, with the exception of the copy of record, i.e., the master copy to be kept by the Tenure Committee Chair as outlined above. For the copy of record, ensure the Tenure Committee members no longer have access to the folder/tenure materials.

2. Hardware Encrypted USB Key (Ironkey)

The Ironkey encrypted storage drive is the only USB key recommended by IT Services that provides the necessary security for the circulation of the tenure dossier to Committee members. Please do not use other USB keys. More details about Ironkey. 

Items of note:

  • Materials should be copied to the Ironkey USB key as PDFs only. Committee members should not download materials but instead leave them on the key.
  • When the tenure process is complete, materials must be deleted on each USB key, while ensuring you retain a copy of record of the full tenure dossier on file as outlined above.

3.  Hard Copy Files

The traditional mechanism is to provide Tenure Committee members with full hard copy files of the tenure dossier. This method is consistent with confidentiality and file integrity. More details about hard copy files. 

Academic units should always keep one complete copy of each tenure file. If you are distributing hard copies to Tenure Committee members, Chairs should collect and securely dispose of all extra hard copy files when the tenure process is complete.

Submission of the Final Tenure Dossier to VPFAL

Dean’s Offices must submit final tenure dossiers electronically to VPFAL for review and final decision by the President. Dean’s Offices may submit tenure dossiers via the secure VPFAL Document Submission Portal.

Please ensure:

  1. That the Tenure Dossier is submitted as a single PDF – minus the full teaching and research dossiers.
  2. That the Tenure Dossier is bookmarked according to the Tenure Dossier Checklist.

Submission of files as outlined above will avoid the need for follow-up requests by VPFAL and resulting delays in the review of Tenure Dossiers.