T&P FAQs Section 4: Adjudicating Committees

Adjudicating Committee Responsibilities

The Adjudicating Committee makes the principal substantive assessment of a candidate’s file. The Adjudicating Committee’s report shall therefore contain a decision to recommend tenure and promotion, tenure without promotion, promotion (in the case where a candidate already has tenure), delay, or rejection, with detailed reasons for the decision. [Sections F.3.2.1.(a) and F.3.2.3.(a).] “Except in extraordinary circumstances, any promotion and tenure decision must be based solely on information contained in the candidate’s file.” (Section D.2.2.) .

4.1. What are the minimum required rankings for positive recommendations on tenure and promotion to Associate Professor?

All recommendations for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor require either demonstrated superiority (excellence) in a minimum of one of the three categories outlined above, with at least competence demonstrated in teaching and in professional contribution and standing, or at least high competence in all three categories. (Section B.4.)

4.2. Can members vote only on tenure and promotion?

No. Members of the adjudicating committee may not abstain from voting in one area but vote in the other two and vote on whether to grant tenure and promotion; if a member abstains from a vote, the member must abstain from all voting on the particular file. Consistent with section B.4. of the Policy, a vote on T&P must be informed by votes in the three criterion areas

4.3. What are the minimum required rankings for tenure and promotion to Associate Lecturer (Alternate Stream)?

The University’s need for specialized teaching skills in certain areas is the raison d’être of the Alternate Stream, and thus the consequent emphasis on teaching therein is reflected in the criteria for evaluating members of the stream. Indeed, this need is the basis for requiring that nothing less than excellence (superiority) in teaching and competence in service to the University be the required standard for the granting of tenure to an individual in the stream. (Section A, Alternate Stream Document)

As is noted in section B.1.2 of the Alternate Stream Document, with tenure, promotion to the rank of Associate Lecturer is also granted.

4.4. Under what circumstances might an Adjudicating Committee consider a recommendation of tenure and promotion on an application where the minimum standards for tenure and promotion have not been met?

Adjudicators are encouraged not to vote for delay in the second year of Candidacy where they consider that a tenure and promotion application is likely to meet the required standard in the coming year. The Policy states that “The Adjudicating Committee shall make a recommendation of delay in the second year of candidacy only when a file falls significantly short of the required standard. When the Adjudicating Committee concludes that a file falls short of the required standard but the shortfall is not significant or there is clear evidence that the file will be of satisfactory strength by the following year, it shall weigh that evidence against the disadvantage to the candidate of a delay and determine whether tenure should be recommended without delay. However, a shortfall in meeting the standards for tenure and promotion is not grounds for recommending tenure but delaying promotion which, in accordance with Section C.2., is to be recommended in exceptional circumstances and is normally reserved for candidates in their final year of Candidacy.” (emphasis added) (Section F.3.2.2.(b))

4.5. Under what circumstances might an Adjudicating Committee recommend tenure without promotion?

Tenure could be recommended without promotion in an exceptional case which may involve individual circumstances. Following are some examples of circumstances in which tenure might be recommended without promotion: medical circumstances which may have delayed a candidate from realising his/her promise, major change in field of academic concentration, documented high promise of excellence or high competence in the three criterion categories to be realised in the immediate future (i.e., no longer than two years), or exceptional conditions where extraordinary service was rendered.

However, it should be remembered that “Granting tenure and delaying promotion shall normally be reserved for candidates in their final year of candidacy.”

[Tenure and Promotions Policy, Criteria and Procedures, C.2., The Relation of Promotion to Tenure].

4.6. The Policy requires that the Adjudicating Committee report set out clear and detailed reasons for its recommendations (Section F.3.2.3.(a)). What is meant by detailed reasons?

The Adjudicating Committee report must address how the evidence in the file fulfills the unit-level standards in each criterion area, e.g., if the vote is for high competence in professional contribution and standing, the report will set out how the evidences meets the standards for high competence in PC&S as set out by the unit. If there are dissenting votes, the report should comment on how the minority assessed the evidence differently to come to a different conclusion.

4.7 What situations may make it impossible to establish a unit level Adjudicating Committee?

A. Size
Where a unit has fewer than six tenure stream faculty members, excluding the candidate, or has not enough tenured faculty to comprise the majority of a committee’s membership, it will not be possible to appoint enough members to a unit level Adjudicating Committee.

B. Interdisciplinarity
In some small interdisciplinary units, the varied scholarly expertise of the faculty members appointed to the unit may make it difficult to form a committee with sufficient expertise to make an informed judgment about the candidate’s work.

C. Other
There may be other circumstances that the unit and the candidate agree are appropriate where a unit level Adjudicating Committee cannot be established, e.g., 50/50 joint appointments.

Where units are unable to establish their own Adjudicating Committee, what options are available for consideration?

  • Option 1: Small and/or interdisciplinary units could consider establishing a “core” membership of the Adjudicating Committee. To this core membership, some additional members could be added to the core to constitute an Adjudicating Committee of appropriate size as indicated in the Procedures, Section F.3.2.1.(d), for each file being considered that year. This option would maintain consistency and continuity on the Adjudicating Committee while still providing necessary expertise to adjudicate each file which comes forward in a given year.
  • Option 2: In Faculties with small departments, the Adjudicating Committee could be constituted at the Faculty level, drawing on representation from across the Faculty to constitute a committee of appropriate size or sufficient disciplinary expertise to consider all tenure and/or promotion files from the Faculty’s various departments.

In both options above, it is recognized that there might be unusual situations where it could be necessary to solicit members of an Adjudicating Committee from outside a department or Faculty.

  • Option 3: In response to a specific set of circumstances (see Other, above), the option to establish an ad hoc Adjudicating Committee also exists. The Chair (where applicable) and the Dean, in consultation with the candidate, will strike a special Adjudicating Committee on an ad hoc basis [Tenure and Promotions Policy, Criteria and Procedures, Section F.3.2.1.(e)]. Such ad hoc Adjudicating Committees would be considered an unusual occurrence in response to a very specific set of circumstances, and such committees would have to be constituted by the Chair (where applicable) or Dean in response to each set of circumstances.


Section 1: General
Section 2: Unit Standards
Section 3: File Preparation
Section 4: Adjudicating Committees
Section 5: Roles and Responsibilities