This document establishes the procedures and adjudicating criteria for promotion and tenure to Associate Professor and for promotion to Professor in the Division of Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, as of May 2003. The Division intends this document to be consistent with the York University Tenure and Promotions Policy, Criteria and Procedures, approved November 27, 2003; October 16, 2006.
Part One: Procedures and Criteria for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor
Proceedings to assess a candidate for tenure and/or promotion will normally be initiated by the Chair of the Division. Proceedings may also be initiated by the candidate or by other interested parties within the academic body of the University. Except for applications for tenure in Candidacy II or III, which are required to be prepared and assessed, no file will be prepared without the consent of the candidate.
a. The Candidate applying for tenure and/or promotion will provide the following information to the Chair of the Adjudicating Committee (through the Division’s Administrative Assistant) for the use of the File Preparation Committee:
• The name of one faculty member, ordinarily but not necessarily from within the Division, to be the Candidate’s representative on the File Preparation Committee (see below, section III, first paragraph, for details of eligible faculty members).
• an up-to-date curriculum vitae (the Candidate should ensure that the date is indicated on the c.v.)
b. The Candidate may provide a personal statement that highlights his/her career path and goals in regard to Professional Contribution and Standing, Teaching and Service and/or explains anomalous aspects of the file (such as a period of ill health that interfered with publication). The use of personal statements is optional and cannot be required of the Candidate. The Candidate is encouraged to discuss, with the File Preparation Committee, the advisability of submitting such a statement.
c. Once the File Preparation Committee is in place, the Candidate will provide the Committee with the following information for the Teaching portion of the file:
• copies of course outlines, assignments and handouts and any other material the Candidate deems relevant
• the name of one colleague (normally a member of the Division) who will serve as a referee on teaching
• the names of former students who may be asked for letters on teaching (Important note: the Candidate should see the File Preparation Committee’s list of possible student referees before adding his/her own student names to it.)
• any teaching evaluation material not available to the Committee, for example: evaluations from institutions other than York or course evaluations no longer retained in the Division
• any other relevant material
d. The Candidate will provide the File Preparation Committee with the following information for the Professional Contribution and Standing portion of the file:
• one copy of each of his/her publications, or equivalent, as listed on the c.v.
• copies of reviews of his/her work and any other relevant material
• the names of referees who may be asked for letters on professional contribution and standing (Important note: the Candidate has the right to see the File Preparation Committee’s list of possible referees before adding his/her own names to it.)
• any other relevant material
e. The Candidate will provide the File Preparation Committee with the following information for the Service portion of the file:
• the names of colleagues who may be asked for letters on service (Important note: the Candidate has the right to see the File Preparation Committee’s list of possible referees before adding his/her own names to it.)
• any relevant material unavailable to the Committee
1. The File Preparation Committee will consist of three persons: one named by the Candidate (ordinarily, but not necessarily, from his/her home unit) and two named by (and normally from) the Adjudicating Committee. All members of the File Preparation Committee will be probationary or tenured members of faculty, and at least one member must be tenured.
2. At the commencement of its work, the File Preparation Committee will choose one of its members to be Chair of the Committee.
3. The File Preparation Committee has the responsibility of assembling a file which is complete and which fairly and accurately reflects the candidate’s academic career.
4. The only commentary provided by the File Preparation Committee will be factual information required to contextualize the evidence in the file. The candidate will be given the opportunity of reviewing any such contextualizing commentary (with names of referees suppressed) before the file goes to the Adjudicating Committee.
5. The File Preparation Committee will be guided by the principle that no more than one-quarter of the possible referees in all three portions of the file will be suggested by the Candidate. Given that the new procedures call for a smaller number of referee letters than was common under the old procedures, the Committee is advised to prepare its own list of potential referees, which will be shown to the Candidate before the latter is asked to provide his/her own list. Whether suggested by the File Preparation Committee or the Candidate, referees will be at “arm’s length” from the Candidate. It is understood that the proportions of one-quarter and three-quarters will be as close as possible but not always exact.
6. When the Candidate is cross-appointed to another unit, the File Preparation Committee will ensure that evaluation of the Candidate’s contributions in the other unit is included in the file.
7. In the case of a serious disruption to teaching, such as a strike, the Candidate may, without prejudice, choose not to have course evaluations for that particular year included in his or her file.
1. Evaluation by collegial referees: Two referees will be selected by the File Preparation Committee and one by the Candidate. Normally, such referees will be internal to York. Referees for teaching will be provided with copies of course outlines, assignments and handouts, and such other material as the Candidate deems relevant. Referees will visit classes taught by the Candidate to observe his/her teaching. The File Preparation Committee should take care to ensure coverage of the Candidate’s teaching in all relevant formats (e.g., lecture, seminar, workshop, etc.)
2. Besides letters from the referees included in (1), the File Preparation Committee may solicit a limited number of letters (up to three) from other faculty members and from teaching assistants with whom the candidate has taught.
3. Evaluations by students: The File Preparation Committee will
• ensure that teaching evaluation be obtained from wherever the Candidate has taught
• create a “blanket” list of student names from the Candidate’s most recently taught graduate and undergraduate classes and solicit letters on teaching from those students. Normally, the Candidate’s tutorial groups in multi-section courses, rather than the whole course, will be blanketed. The Committee should solicit letters from at least twenty-four students in all.
• invite graduate students who have been supervised by the Candidate to write letters of reference concerning the Candidate’s teaching
• compile the numerical results of course evaluations, together with relevant Divisional and Faculty means
• ensure, whenever possible, that every year the Candidate has taught be represented by student evaluation.
4. The Candidate may suggest former students that s/he wishes to be solicited to write letters for the file, but these names should comprise no more than one-third of the students eventually solicited for letters.
5. Only signed letters and comments will be included in the file.
6. Candidates may wish to prepare a teaching dossier for the use of referees, encompassing course materials, a statement of teaching philosophy, reflections on pedagogical strategies, and other relevant information. The teaching dossier will not ordinarily become part of the tenure and promotion file, even though referees may refer to the dossier in their letters.
c. Professional Contribution and Standing
1. The File Preparation Committee will compile a list of potential referees for professional contribution and standing, and the Candidate will be permitted to add further names, as outlined in III.a.4 above.
2. The File preparation Committee will solicit references from referees external to York and at “arm’s length” from the candidate. Referees are not at “arm’s length” if the candidate has had a prior professional involvement with them (e.g., as thesis supervisor, co-author, close colleague within the field, etc.) or has had a significant personal relationship with them.
3. Exceptions to the “arm’s length” rule shall be made only if in the opinion of the File Preparation Committee, the only referees available to assess work done in a particular field are persons with whom the candidate has had a prior professional involvement. The reasons for choosing such referees should be explained in the file.
4. When the breadth or interdisciplinarity of a candidate’s work is such that few, if any, referees will be expert in all areas of the candidate’s scholarship, it may be necessary to share responsibility for the assessment of professional contribution and standing among more than the minimum number of referees.
5. Candidates will be advised what material is being sent to external referees and may add such other material as they believe is relevant.
1. The File Preparation Committee shall compile a selection of referees (from both units, when a candidate is joint or cross-appointed) familiar with the Candidate’s service to the University. The Candidate may add more names (up to one-quarter of the total names on the list). Normally such referees will be internal to York; however there may be cases where it is appropriate to solicit the opinions of referees outside the University.
2. Unless the File Preparation Committee is of the opinion that the Candidate has an extraordinary breadth of service that should be reflected in full in the file, references need not be solicited from more than three referees.
a. The Adjudicating Committee will be elected by the Division of Humanities from a list prepared by the Divisional Nominating Committee. The election will take place at the last Divisional meeting of the academic year.
b. The Adjudicating Committee will consist of 6-8 members of the Division and, normally, 2-3 students, one of whom must be a member of the Graduate Program in Humanities and one of whom must be a Major in Humanities or in one of the Interdisciplinary Programs housed within the Division.
c. The Nominating Committee should try to ensure that the 6-8 faculty nominees for the Adjudicating Committee include one untenured faculty member; at least one full professor; at least one associate professor; at least one female faculty member; at least one male faculty member. A majority of the faculty members on the Adjudicating Committee must be tenured.
d. The Chair of the Adjudicating Committee will be appointed by the Chair of the Division, normally soon after the election of the members of the Adjudicating Committee.
e. If the Candidate is cross-appointed to another unit, a member of the other unit’s Adjudicating Committee (or its designate) will join the Adjudicating Committee for the discussion of and vote on that Candidate’s file. The size of the Adjudicating Committee, including the member from the other unit, shall not exceed eight faculty members.
f. The Adjudicating Committee receives the completed file from the File Preparation Committee and, after due consideration of the material provided, votes to recommend tenure, tenure and promotion, or delay.
g. Only members of the Adjudicating Committee who are present at a meeting may vote on the Candidate’s file. A quorum of at least six faculty members is required for a vote to be held, and all members present at the meeting of the Committee must vote. Voting is to be done by a secret ballot.
h. After the Adjudicating Committee has voted on the file, the Chair of the Adjudicating Committee will prepare a written report on the Committee’s decision. The report will provide a record of the voting by the Committee, including the number of eligible voters at the meeting, the number absent and the reason for their absence, the number of ballots received from tenured members for tenure, tenure and promotion or delay, and the total number of votes received for each category. The report should make as clear as possible the reasons why the Committee has voted for particular rankings.
i. The Adjudicating Committee’s report for the Dean of the Faculty will be placed in the Candidate’s file and a copy (with names of referees suppressed) sent directly to the Candidate and the Chair of the File Preparation Committee.
j. In accord with Senate Policy F.2.5 and F.1.3, the Candidate may forward additional material for the file to the Adjudicating Committee or request reconsideration if the Adjudicating Committee tenders a negative or delay recommendation. (These provisions also apply at each point where recommendation is made to the next higher committee.)
k. Normally, members of the Adjudication Committee will not be asked to serve as referees for any aspect of a candidate’s file. Procedural fairness is normally understood as requiring that those responsible for judging a case not be involved in the preparation and submission of evidence. However, where this principle is difficult to apply, a File Preparation Committee may ask a colleague who is also on the Adjudicating Committee to assess teaching or service. This arrangement would be appropriate where there are not enough qualified faculty members independent of the Adjudicating Committee to serve as referees, or where only a member of the Committee can properly assess a candidate’s contributions.
a. As noted above, the Chair of Humanities selects the Chair of the Adjudicating Committee.
b. It is permissible for the Chair of the Division to be a member of the File Preparation Committee and/or the Adjudicating Committee.
I. Minimum criteria for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor
A favourable recommendation for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor requires “either demonstrated superiority (excellence) in a minimum of one of the three categories outlined above [Professional Contribution and Standing, Teaching and Service], with at least competence demonstrated in teaching and in professional contributions and standing, or at least high competence in all three categories.” (Senate Tenure and Promotion Policy, Criteria and Procedures, Section A).
II. Important principle guiding evaluation in all sections of the file:
The following guidelines for the evaluation of tenure and promotion files are advisory rather than prescriptive. Qualitative evaluations are encouraged over quantitative evaluations in order to properly address the diversity and richness of a candidate's contributions in the areas of Professional Contribution and Standing, Teaching, and Service. The Adjudicating Committee will interpret the available data within the context of the Candidate's field. Even when quantitative measures are suggested (for example, in regard to teaching evaluations as measurements of “excellence” in Teaching) the principle of overall quality is to be the controlling one.
III. Expectations for Probationary Candidates: Teaching
1. The expected teaching load for any new appointment to the Division is 2.67 courses (8 hours) per year. In the case of cross-appointments, in consultation with the Chair of the Candidate’s other unit, the Chair of the Division works out, on a yearly basis, a balance of teaching that reflects this norm. It is expected that the candidate will have taught in the Division’s 1000- or 2000-level Foundations Courses, as well as in upper year courses or graduate courses.
2. The following items are important aspects of teaching that may be evaluated for purposes of tenure and promotion: preparation and teaching of courses, including graduate courses and reading courses of all types; contributions to teaching teams (directing, co-directing, co-teaching, leading a team, engaged participation in a team); the teaching of critical skills; graduate supervision; and the mentoring of graduate students, either as Teaching Assistants or students in graduate programs.
3. Candidates may have contributed to the Humanities Graduate Program, or other graduate programs, through courses, directed reading courses, and membership on supervisory or comprehensive examination supervision and committees. Depending on a candidate’s area of expertise, absence of these contributions may or may not indicate a degree of commitment. The File Preparation Committee should contextualize the relation between the candidate’s field and stage of career and his/her contributions to graduate programs.
4. “Excellence” and ”high competence” in teaching need to be demonstrated by strong collegial and student letters. However, the occasional negative letter should not foreclose the possibility of high rankings for teaching.
b. Criteria for “excellence:” For candidates to receive a ranking of excellence in teaching, the Division expects that numerical course evaluations be substantially above the Divisional mean in most categories. It also expects letters that reflect a high degree of enthusiasm on the part of collegial referees and students and that indicate both a deep knowledge of course material and a high degree of skill in presenting that material to students. Other aspects of the teaching portion of the file that may suggest a ranking of ”excellence,” but are not required, include teaching awards; participation in courses or colloquia on pedagogy; lectures or contributions to panels on pedagogical issues; scholarly work on pedagogy; and administrative positions (such as Foundations Program Coordinator) with a direct relation to teaching.
c. Criteria for “high competence:” High competence in teaching is demonstrated by favourable letters from colleagues and students and course evaluations that are at or somewhat above the Divisional mean. A difference in rankings among teaching formats – a candidate may do very well in seminar courses and be less successful as a lecturer – should be contextualized in terms of the candidate’s overall teaching performance but would not necessarily preclude a ranking of “high competence.” In such cases, the Adjudicating Committee will look for evidence of development in teaching and for some sign that the candidate has taken steps to improve his or her performance in less satisfactory areas. A ranking of high competence in teaching may also include evidence of successful contributions under several of the areas outlined in the paragraph on “excellence” in teaching.
Note: For both excellence and high competence in teaching, the Adjudicating Committee will look for demonstrated achievements in many of the following areas: clarity of course syllabi; quality of teaching materials supplied by the candidate; communication skills in the classroom; organizational skills; knowledge of subject matter; capacity to stimulate discussion; capacity to develop critical skills and learning in general; effective integration of new technologies; supervision and training of teaching assistants; contributions to curricular development; availability to students.
d. Criteria for “competence:” The ranking of competence for teaching will be awarded in the case of files that indicate that the Candidate is seeking to teach effectively and considerately, but needs more time or assistance to develop good pedagogical skills. This would normally be indicated by letters that express reservations or dissatisfaction in regard to teaching performance, tempered by positive observations, as well as by course evaluations below Divisional means.
e. Criteria for “competence not demonstrated:” The ranking of competence not demonstrated will be given in cases in which the Candidate demonstrates unfairness to students, negligence in class preparation, or careless administration of courses.
The expectations of the Division in regard to the professional contribution (scholarship) of candidates for tenure and promotion are sensitive to the extraordinary diversity within our unit and our commitment to interdisciplinary work. The Division houses the Creative Writing, Classics, Religious Studies, Science and Society, and European Studies Programs and contributes substantially to the Programs in East Asian, Latin American and Caribbean, and South Asian Studies and to the Information Technology Program. Clearly, this diversity demands that the Adjudicating Committee recognize professional contributions beyond books, refereed articles and conference papers, as normally understood. It also means that the Adjudicating Committee’s report on the candidate should explain as carefully as possible the nature and status of professional contribution in the files of candidates from the Division. Examples of professional contributions that may require explanation include:
• For members of the Creative Writing Program, novels, volumes of poetry, and other creative works would in most cases be equivalent to “books” or “monographs” in more traditionally academic areas.
• In Religious Studies and Classics, among other fields, edited texts and exegetical works of various kinds are highly valued.
• In the field of Folklore, strongly represented in the Division, oral histories, the collection of material for archives, and similar activities are central to work in the field.
• In a number of fields, including study of the media, computer- or internet-based production may have a value and status equivalent to publications as usually understood.
In all of these cases, and others that may arise, the Adjudicating Committee is enjoined to recognize the particular nature of the professional contribution in question and to explain its status in the field.
b. Criteria for “excellence:” A rating of excellence normally requires that the curriculum vitae of the Candidate demonstrate sustained and continuing contribution to scholarly research, creative and artistic productivity and/or professional activity in his/her Humanities field during the probationary period. Sustained and continuing contribution to Humanities is understood to include, above all, written scholarly publications and/or creative and artistic presentations which are refereed. It also includes conference papers or the equivalent. A rating of “excellence” normally requires that the corpus of the Candidate’s work be rated by referees as being “excellent,” in terms of either the quality of innovation found in it, or in terms of its broad contributions to knowledge in the field. Referees will reveal this by using terms such as “very substantial,” “extremely important,” or “highly significant” when describing the quality of the work and its impact on the Candidate’s field. Excellence will often involve a more voluminous publication or equivalent output, but this will not always be the case. The assessment will depend on overall quality of work, within a flexible range of quantity of output.
c. Criteria for “high competence:” A rating of high competence in professional contribution and standing normally requires that the curriculum vitae of the Candidate demonstrate sustained and continuing contribution to scholarly research, creative and artistic productivity and/or professional activity in his/her Humanities field during the probationary period. Sustained and continuing contribution to Humanities is understood to include, above all, written scholarly publications and/or creative and artistic presentations which are refereed. It also includes conference papers or the equivalent. A rating of “high competence” normally requires that the corpus of the Candidate’s work be rated by referees as being “highly competent” in terms of either the quality of innovation found in it, or in terms of its broad contributions to knowledge in the field. Referees will reveal this by using terms such as “substantial,” “very good,” or “valuable” when describing the quality of the work and its impact on the Candidate’s field. The assessment will depend on overall quality of work, within a flexible range of quantity of output.
d. Criteria for “competence:” A ranking of competence in professional contribution and standing will be awarded when the scholarly production of the candidate falls below the level assigned for “high competence,” either in quantity or quality. The publication record (or equivalent) and comments of referees should nevertheless indicate that the candidate is pursuing a coherent and worthy program of research. Again, the assessment will depend on overall quality of work, within a flexible range of quantity of output.
e. Criteria for “competence not proven:” A ranking of competence not proven will be given to a Candidate whose file has no publications or equivalent production or whose output has received consistently negative evaluation from referees.
a. Introductory points:
1. Candidates for tenure and promotion in the Division of Humanities, as in other units, have the opportunity to join committees at the Divisional, Faculty and Senate levels, or with the York University Faculty Association, as well as to serve the larger community. Given this wide range of service opportunities, the Adjudicating Committee should consider the overall service commitment and achievement of a candidate rather than his/her contributions, or lack of them, at particular levels or areas.
2. All candidates are expected to attend monthly meetings of the Division of Humanities on a regular basis.
3. When a candidate is cross-appointed to another unit, it is understood that s/he will not, in any one year, be expected to serve on committees in both units if by doing so s/he takes on more service work than expected for a candidate appointed to the Division alone. The candidate’s curriculum vitae should make the amount of service clear, but the Adjudicating Committee report is expected to comment on the total service contributions of the candidate.
b. Criteria for “excellence:” A ranking of excellence for service is associated with having performed in a significant position, such as Director of Undergraduate Studies, Program Coordinator (at a particularly important juncture), or Chair of a taskforce or other important committee. Such a ranking could also be granted to candidates who are clearly recognized as instrumental in the establishment of a Program. The ranking should be substantiated by referees’ letters, rather than depending on the simple fact of having occupied a certain position. The Division recommends that the Adjudicating Committee not “shy away” from awarding the rank of “excellence” for service, on the assumption that service is a less important aspect of a candidate’s performance than teaching or scholarship: the ranking should depend on the quality of the service record.
c. Criteria for “high competence:” A ranking of high competence for service assumes a service load that amounts to membership on more than one committee per year during the probationary period, although not necessarily more than one committee in a given year, at any level of the University, along with letters from referees that describe the regular, consistent and conscientious carrying out of duties. A time-consuming or important contribution to a particular service activity, such as significant assistance with the inauguration of a Program, or the running of a seminar series, may also gain a ranking of “high competence,” even if in terms of quantity the amount of service is less than usual for this ranking.
d. Criteria for “competence:” A ranking of competence for service should be awarded to candidates who have served on at least one but not more than one committee a year during the probationary period and for whom referees’ letter describe at least “acceptable” or “competent” performance of duties.
e. Criteria for “competence not demonstrated:” Competence not demonstrated is a ranking to be awarded to candidates who have failed to participate in one committee a year during the probationary period, or who, although performing the quantity of service outlined for “competence,” are demonstrably deficient in terms of quality. An example of such a performance is failure to attend meetings of committees of which one is a member.
Part Two: Procedures and Criteria for Promotion to Professor
I. Initiation of file:
Same as in Part One, except for the following: Candidates for promotion to Professor should write to the Chair of the Division (by letter, not email), indicating their desire to begin the application process, preferably in the winter term before the file preparation is to begin.
II. Documentation to be provided by the Candidate
Same as in Part One
III. File Preparation Committee
Same as in Part One
IV. Adjudicating Committee
Same as in Part One
I. Overall considerations
a. The Senate document states that
“A Professor is an eminent member of the University whose achievements at York and/or in his/her profession have marked him or her as one of the scholars from whom the University receives its energy and strength. Clearly this level of achievement cannot be identified with serving several years as an Associate Professor; nevertheless, the rank should not be considered a form of apotheosis. The rank of Professor should be within the expectancy of all Associate Professors.”
b. Considerations of the diversity of professional contributions and forms of service open to candidates from the Division, as outlined in Section A, will apply to candidates for promotion to Professor.
c. The Division recognizes that the rank of Professor is not restricted to candidates whose greatest strengths lie in the area of Professional Contribution and Standing. Both outstanding Teaching and outstanding Service may result in promotion to Professor. It is understood that in all cases a Candidate will have substantial achievements in all three areas, although promotion may be recommended on the basis of particular contributions in any one of them.
II. Expectations for candidates for Promotion to Professor: Teaching
a. The Division expects that Candidates for promotion to Professor will have clear teaching objectives and strategies and consistently receive teaching evaluations that are at or above the Divisional norm. Due weight should be given to participation in courses or colloquia on pedagogy, lectures or contributions to panels on pedagogical issues, scholarly work on pedagogy, and administrative positions (such as Foundations Program Coordinator) with a direct relation to teaching. Teaching awards will normally be taken as evidence of excellence in teaching, although the absence of a teaching award is not to be taken as indication of a lack of accomplishment.
b. The Adjudicating Committee will consider the success of the Candidate in stimulating and challenging students to academic understanding and achievement. It will also assess the Candidate’s success in increasing students’ analytical and communication skills. The Adjudicating Committee will assess the Candidate’s teaching in both the classroom and in the broader context of student supervision, including, where appropriate, the supervision of graduate students, either as Teaching Assistants in undergraduate courses or as members of graduate programs. Contributions to the development of teaching will not necessarily be measured through the direct teaching or supervision of students but may also take the form of involvement, for example, at the Centre for the Support of Teaching and in the programs offered by the Centre. Achievements in teaching may be reflected in the leadership shown by a candidate who participates actively in working committees or conference panels on curriculum development organized by professional associations at the national or international levels.
III. Expectations for candidates for Promotion to Professor: Professional Contribution and Standing
a. Candidates for promotion to the rank of Professor will normally have continued, since receiving tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, to develop a systematic research program, accompanied by substantial publications (as stated in Part One, “publications” are not restricted to books and refereed articles) by which they have gained national or international recognition. As senior scholars in professional organizations, candidates for promotion to Professor may be expected to hold administrative and advisory positions, to have served on Executive and other Committees of professional organizations, and/or to have received fellow status in such organizations as a result of professional contributions over a number of years. These and other indicators will mark the achievements of the Candidate and the professional standing within a field and will be weighted accordingly by the Adjudicating Committee.
IV. Expectations for candidates for Promotion to Professor: Service
a. The Division’s focus in the assessment of Service is normally service to the University that occurs through the Candidate’s participation in Divisional and University committees and bodies. The Adjudicating Committee will consider service to professional organizations when participation in positions of leadership reflects the Candidate’s university position and/or scholarship.
b. While it is anticipated that a candidate for Promotion to Professor will have served on a variety of committees within the Division and the University, particular weight is given to evidence that the Candidate’s service has included significant positions of service responsibility. These might include chairing a committee or a body with a particularly important mandate of change and innovation, such as a Divisional curriculum committee during a period of major curriculum renewal. The particular significance of service is recognized when the Candidate effectively chairs a Faculty, YUFA or other University committee that has an important mandate. This is also the case when the Candidate has performed an important leadership or active supporting role in the early stages of building a significant new academic program.