November Grievance Corner – Navigating the Tenure Process

Criteria and Expectations

The Collective Agreement

Articles 30 and 31 of the Collective Agreement set out the application process for QUFA members in the RTP and RCAP process.  Members should review those provisions carefully, to ensure they have a clear understanding of both the timeline for when documents must be submitted, and how those documents will be assessed in the evaluation of the application.  The criteria for success should not be a surprise.

Speak With Your Colleagues

In addition to reviewing the provisions of the Collective Agreement, QUFA suggests you seek out a respected colleague who has recently served on an RTP or RCAP committee or is  a few years ahead of you in the process, to discuss both  their experiences and understanding of the expectations in your department. For example, you could ask what would typically meet the standard of “clear evidence of high quality scholarly or creative work” referenced in article 30.6.1 in your department.  If your field of research means you don’t meet those expectations, is there a reason for this that you should share with the committee?

QUFA Can Help

The intent of the tenure process is to ensure an objective review and assessment of the material you provide, and to allow you the opportunity to demonstrate you have met the required standards.  Feedback and comments received at the committee level should be read carefully for indicators of concerns that should be addressed at the next level. You will have the opportunity to add material and comments at each further stage in the process: to the Department Head (if applicable), the Dean, and the Principal.

QUFA can play an active role in  assisting you throughout the application process.

  1. QUFA has developed a summary timeline chart to help you plan your application in advance, including considering referees and compiling materials;
  2. QUFA holds an information session open to all Members each spring,  where Collective Agreement processes are explained;
  3. QUFA can advise you on how and when to request an extension to your tenure clock, or how to address a previously approved extension in the application process;
  4. QUFA cannot edit your submissions, write letters responding to the file, assess the validity of referees’ assessments or advise Members as to the academic norms of their discipline. However,  QUFA can assist you if you  think there may be flaws in the process  or if you have identified any conflicts of interest with regards to RTP/RCAP Committees;
  5. QUFA cannot change the final decision through the grievance process. The the only possible remedy is a re-run of the process to give the Univesristy the opportunity to correct any procedural errors. Therefore, if you have concerns about process and Collective Agreement provisions, notify QUFA as soon as possible, as we may be able to help remediate those errors in a timely way,  ensuring you recieve the objective, full and fair review of your application you are entitled to.

Peggy Smith
QUFA Grievance Officer