Tenure is a foundation stone for the contemporary university. It is the primary procedural safeguard of academic freedom, and is essential for the maintenance of intellectual liberty and high standards in postsecondary education and in scholarship. The reasons for tenure are as important in health sciences as in any other discipline. Lives depend on the academic freedom of academic clinicians to be able to use their best professional judgment in clinical practice, teaching and research.
Tenure in medicine and other health sciences, as in every other discipline, means little if it does not ensure economic security. Without such security, tenure is a hollow shell. Economic security for academic clinicians1 requires that they have a significant portion of their income protected through tenure. As a minimum, the amount guaranteed should be at least equivalent to the salary of non-clinical faculty of equivalent rank.
Approved by the CAUT Council, May 2014.
1. “Academic clinicians” refers to clinical faculty who have a patient care and patient care teaching component to their duties, unlike basic scientists in clinical faculties who do no clinical work. The latter, for the most part, have terms and conditions of work similar to their non-medical school equivalents elsewhere in the university, often covered by the general academic staff association collective agreement. In most Canadian medical schools, the term “Geographical Full Time” or “GFT” is used to denote what we mean by “academic clinicians.”