University of Toronto Governing Council
Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions in the Teaching Stream
Effective January 1, 2021
To request an official copy of this policy, contact:
The Office of the Governing Council
Room 106, Simcoe Hall 27 King’s College Circle University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions in the Teaching Stream
- The University policy with respect to academic promotions in the teaching stream is setout in the following paragraphs as approved by the Governing Council on December 15, 2016.
- The awarding by the University of a given rank confers a status which, in a general way, is acknowledged and respected both inside and outside the academic community. There is a need to protect the qualifications for the rank in order that the status not be regarded as empty, once attained. These considerations require that the diversity of promotion practices among the various disciplines across the University be kept within reasonable limits. However, it is not necessary that all disciplines be forced into an absolute lockstep in their promotion policies. The policy herein allows for some degree of leeway in determining the point in a career when promotion is appropriate to permit flexibility in responding to competitive pressures for outstanding teaching stream faculty members. It includes sufficiently broad criteria to allow a discipline to bring into play, in the assessment of its teaching stream faculty, attributes which it considers particularly relevant for performance of its own academic role.
- In general terms the goal is to ensure, as far as is possible in a diverse community, that persons of a given rank may fairly be taken to possess certain attributes in common although not necessarily always in the same proportions. In what follows these attributes, and how the promotion process can be structured to safeguard the interests of both the individual teaching stream faculty member and the University community, are discussed.
- Individual promotion decisions should not be influenced by preconceptions about a desirable pattern of rank distribution. A discipline should not be alarmed at there being an unprecedented proportion of senior ranks among its faculty. This is exactly what a discipline blessed with a strong faculty should be experiencing, and any tendency to protect some historical distribution pattern should be resisted. Promotion to Professor is not automatic, but it is expected that the majority of teaching stream faculty at this University will attain this rank.
- This policy applies to full-time continuing status teaching stream faculty members as of January 1, 2016, including those who opted to convert to Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream or Associate Professor, Teaching Stream following amendments to the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments June 2015. This policy also applies to part-time teaching stream faculty members as of January 1, 2021. For greater clarity, 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.
Criteria for Promotion and Their Assessment
Professor, Teaching Stream
- 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, outlined more fully below in paragraphs 8, 9, and 10 and recommendation on their assessment are set forth in paragraph 11. 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. The criteria and procedures for promotion through the ranks for part-time teaching stream faculty shall be the same as for full-time faculty members with an appropriately reduced expectation as to the quantity of work.
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
- The same criteria apply to the promotion from Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream to Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, with a lesser level of accomplishment to be expected. Because the criteria for the granting of continuing status and the promotion to Associate Professor, Teaching Stream are so similar, and because the two decisions are usually made so closely in time, the granting of continuing status should be accompanied by promotion to Associate Professor, Teaching Stream. The only exception to this policy is promotion to Associate Professor, Teaching Stream prior to the continuing status review. Proposals for promotion to Associate Professor, Teaching Stream prior to the continuing status review should be approved only in exceptional circumstances and must be justified in writing to the Dean of the Faculty in multi- departmental divisions and in all cases to the Vice-President and Provost. For promotion to Associate Professor, Teaching Stream not linked with a continuing status review (ie., early promotions), the procedures followed should be those outlined below for promotion to Professor, Teaching Stream in order to ensure an equivalent level of assessment of a candidate's abilities.The criteria and procedures for promotion through the ranks for part-time teaching stream faculty shall be the same as for full-time faculty members with an appropriately reduced expectation as to the quantity of work.
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. 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. 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.
Attributes of Educational Leadership and/or Achievement and Ongoing Pedagogical/Professional Development
- 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.
- 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. Candidates will be assessed on educational leadership and/or achievement and ongoing pedagogical/professional development in accordance with section 9 and 10 and divisional guidelines.
Assessment of the Promotion Criteria
- 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. When a teaching stream faculty member is or recently has been cross- appointed to another division, assessments should be sought from the other division. 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. The Dean or Chair will solicit letters from at least three external referees and where possible these should include at least one referee suggested by the candidate and one referee suggested by the Promotions Committee. Where the Chair solicits the letters, the referee should send a copy of the response to the Dean.
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 the achievement of excellent teaching, educational leadership and/or achievement, and ongoing pedagogical/professional development, sustained over many years. All referees' letters will be transmitted to the Promotions Committee and held in confidence by its members.
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. Changes to divisional guidelines must be approved by the Vice-President and Provost and reviewed by Academic Board.
Attributes of Service
- a. Service to the University and Similar Activities. Service to the University means primarily administrative or committee work within the University. Consideration will also be given to activities outside the University which further the scholarly and educational goals of the University. Such activities might include service to professional societies directly related to the candidate's discipline, continuing-education activities, work with professional, technical or scholarly organizations or scholarly publications, and membership on or service to governmental committees and commissions. Outside activities are not meant to include general service to the community unrelated to the candidate's scholarly or teaching activities however praiseworthy such service may be.
Assessment of Service
- b. When appropriate, written assessments of the candidate's service to the University and to learned societies or professional associations which relate to the candidate's academic discipline and scholarly or professional activities will be prepared and presented to the Promotions Committee. When a candidate for promotion is or has been cross-appointed, assessments will be sought from all of the divisions in which the candidate has served and should be taken fully into account by the Promotions Committee.
- The fullest possible documentation should be made available to the Promotions Committee for each candidate to be given detailed consideration (see paragraphs 18 and 19). 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. The candidate, with appropriate assistance from the division or department head, will prepare a dossier in accordance with Divisional Guidelines and this Policy for submission to the Promotions Committee.
The dossier should include a statement of teaching interests and teaching philosophy, and teaching awards received, if any. 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. 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.
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.
- The preparation of a curriculum vitae will be the responsibility of the candidate. The curriculum vitae should include:
- The academic history of the candidate giving a list of all teaching appointments held, other relevant experience and achievements, and a list of all research or other contracts and grants obtained during the preceding five years, at minimum. Part-time teaching stream faculty members should include their percentage appointment during at least the preceding five years.
- a list of the candidate's scholarly and/or creative professional work. This should include books, chapters in books, research papers, articles, and reviews, including work published, in press, submitted for publication, completed but not yet published, and in progress. It should also include such scholarly or creative professional work as the presentation of papers at meetings and symposia, original architectural, artistic or engineering design, or distinguished contributions to the arts or in professional areas.
- 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, major committees and organizations in which the candidate has served within or outside the University, and participation in learned societies and professional associations which relate to the candidate's academic discipline and pedagogical or professional activities or educational leadership. The list should indicate in each case the period of service and the nature of the candidate's participation.
Responsibility for Recommendations
- 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. Chairs and Deans must ensure that Promotions Committees are established and consulted as described below. Paragraphs 16 through 22 below are written for Chairs in the multi-departmental faculties. In divisions without a departmental structure the Dean will have the responsibilities described. In these instances, Faculty should be read for Department and Vice-President and Provost should be read for Dean.
Curriculum Vitae on File
- Each Department will maintain a curriculum vitae file for each teaching stream faculty member who has continuing status or is in the continuing status stream. Chairs should remind faculty members to revise their curricula vitae annually. It is thus a joint responsibility of the Chair and the teaching stream faculty member to ensure that this file is kept current. A teaching stream faculty member may revise his or her curriculum vitae at any time.
- There will normally be a single departmental Promotions Committee to review candidates for promotion in the teaching stream and in the tenure stream. However, 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.1 Normally the Chair of the Promotions Committee will be the Chair of the department or his or her designate. A committee member who is being considered for promotion will withdraw from that part of any meeting in which he or she is being discussed. 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. The deliberations of the Committee, and the appraisals presented to it, will remain confidential. 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 referred to in paragraphs 23 and 24 below. In Tri-campus departments, the Chair of the Promotions Committee may be the Graduate Chair. A clear written record shall be kept by all promotions committees of the basis for each recommendation.
- Each year the Department Chair will place before the Promotions Committee for preliminary consideration the names of all part-time Assistant Professors, Teaching Stream with continuing appointments and 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.
Requests for Consideration
- 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. In this case, the Promotions Committee is obliged to give the faculty member detailed consideration along with any other candidates under consideration.
Assembling of Information
- When a candidate is to receive detailed consideration for promotion, it is the responsibility of the Chair in multi-departmental faculties to provide the Dean of the Faculty with a list of external referees. The Dean or Chair will then solicit the appraisals. Where the Chair solicits the appraisals the referee should send a copy of the response to the Dean. It is also the responsibility of the Chair to assemble information as described in paragraph 11. When a candidate is cross-appointed to another division of the University, the Chair of the home division will solicit the list of external referees from the Chair of the other division to which the candidate is appointed.
 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.
Submission of Recommendation
- 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. Along with the names of those recommended for promotion, the Chair will forward the files on which the Departmental decision was based. If the Chair of the Department does not follow the recommendations of the Promotions Committee in submitting his or her recommendations to the Dean, the Chair must report the reasons in writing to the members of the Promotions Committee and to the Dean. A substantial disagreement within the Promotions Committee concerning the recommendation forwarded from the Committee will also be reported to the Dean. The submissions must be made at least five months before promotion is intended to take place. The Dean will then forward the divisional recommendations to the Vice-President and Provost as described in paragraph 24 below.
- 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. Candidates who received detailed consideration and who were not recommended for promotion will be given the reasons. If the Chair did not accept a positive recommendation from the Promotions Committee, the candidate shall be informed of this fact.
- Paragraphs 23 and 24 apply only to multi-departmental faculties. The Dean of such a faculty, in consultation with Chair, will establish annually a Decanal Promotions Committee to consider recommendations for promotion under this Policy and the Policy and Procedures Governing Promotions. The membership of the Decanal Promotions committee will be made known to the academic staff of the Faculty. The Decanal Promotions Committee may obtain additional information about or appraisals of the candidates as it deems necessary. The deliberations of the Committee and the appraisals will remain confidential except among the Vice-President and Provost, the Dean and the Chair of the candidate's Department. The Decanal Promotions Committee is advisory to the Dean. Where a candidate for promotion has his or her primary academic appointment in a Tri-campus department, the Chair of the Decanal Promotions Committee may be the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.
- 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. The Dean will submit to the Vice-President and Provost the names of all those he or she is finally recommending for promotion and will inform his or her Promotions Committee and the Departmental Chair of these recommendations. The Chair will inform the candidates who were considered by the Decanal Promotions Committee of the Dean's recommendations. 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. The Dean's recommendations for promotions must be forwarded to the Vice- President and Provost at least three months before promotions are to take place. The Dean will make available to the Vice-President and Provost upon request any information used in reaching the decisions to recommend at the departmental and faculty levels.
- The Vice-President and Provost, advised by the Decanal Promotions Committee assessors, will examine all recommendations to ensure that a reasonable and equitable standard for promotion is applied across the University, taking into account the differing patterns of activity which characterize each division. 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. If the Vice-President and Provost does not approve a recommendation for a promotion, the reasons shall be given to the Dean who in turn will inform the Chair of the Department and the candidate. Recommendations approved by the Vice-President and Provost will be reported to Academic Board for information. The promotion will take effect July 1 following the approval unless otherwise specified by the Vice-President and Provost and the new rank will apply to all academic appointments held by the individual in the University.
Grounds for Appeal
- Appeals against the denial of promotion may be launched on either or both of two grounds:
- that the procedures described in this document have not been properly followed, or
- that the candidate’s accomplishments in excellent teaching, educational leadership and/or achievement, and ongoing pedagogical/professional development have not beenevaluated fully or fairly.
Appeal for Reconsideration
- Appeals against the denial of promotion will follow the Grievance Procedure set forth in the Memorandum of Agreement between the Governing Council of the University of Toronto and The University of Toronto Faculty Association as amended from time to time, except as follows: at Step No. 2 and Step No. 3, the Dean and the Vice-President and Provost respectively will have thirty (30) working-days to notify the grievor in writing of the decision; if a grievance which involves promotion contains issues other than promotion, these other issues will also be subject to the time limit of 30 working-days at both the decanal and Provostial levels. Appeals against the denial of promotion at the departmental level will commence at Step No. 1 of the Grievance Procedure; those against denial at the faculty level at Step No.2; and those against denial at the Provostial level at Step No. 3.
Approved by the Governing Council on December 15, 2016. Effective on December 16, 2016.
Section 5 was amended to include part-time teaching stream faculty following facilitated negotiations with UTFA as approved by Governing Council October 29, 2020.
RELATED DOCUMENTS (Added for reference by the Secretariat, March 6, 2020)
Memorandum of Agreement between the Governing Council of the University of Toronto and The University of Toronto Faculty Association