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Renewal of Tenure-track Appointments

CAUT Policy Statement

A “tenure-track” appointment is an appointment with the expectation that the Academic Staff Member will demonstrate appropriate levels of scholarship, teaching, professional activities and service to be awarded tenure at the end of the period. The length of contracts varies across Canadian post-secondary institutions. In some cases there is only one contract that is followed by consideration for tenure; in others, there is an initial contract followed by a second appointment that terminates in consideration for tenure. Generally the length of the period, whether through one or two appointments, ranges from four to six years.

The duration, conditions, as well as the criteria and standards of renewal of tenure-track appointments should be clearly stated, in writing in the letter of appointment and consistent with the Collective Agreement.

The procedures and criteria used as part of the renewal process should be described in the Collective Agreement. When assessing Academic Staff Members for renewal, recognition must be given to different and diverse experiences of equity-seeking groups and those following alternative career paths.

Academic Staff Members should be renewed unless the Employer can demonstrate the Academic Staff Member has not met the criteria for renewal. In cases where the decision is not to renew, the burden of proof is on the Employer to justify that decision in writing and in accordance with the Collective Agreement. Budgetary considerations are not valid reasons for non-renewal.

The recommendation on the academic merits of renewal should be made within the Academic Staff Member’s unit by a collegial committee.

In cases where the Employer’s decision is not to renew, the Academic Staff Member must be given reasons in writing for that decision. Negative decisions on renewal should be grievable and subject to binding arbitration with the arbitrator having the right to consider both procedural and substantive issues, and to reverse the decision that renewal not be granted.

Appointment letters should not contradict the Collective Agreement.

Approved by the CAUT Council, May 2011;
Revision approved by the CAUT Council, November 2016.