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Tenure Track: Probationary Period ("Tenure Clock")

Individuals are appointed in the Tenure Track (APP, Section 4.5) with a Probationary Period. During this time, they are expected to conduct activities and scholarship in an Area of Distinction, engage in education and provide academic service to establish an academic record to be considered for the award of tenure.

Appointment in the tenure track does not carry any assurance of reappointment, promotion, or the eventual award of tenure (APP, Section 4.5.b). During the probationary period, appointment and employment can be terminated with the same notice period provided to non-tenure track faculty (APP Section 5.2).

The last year of the probationary period is the Tenure Decision Year (TDY) during which a Faculty Member must be reviewed for the award of Tenure. Usually the TDY is usually the eight year of the probationary period and is defined by written agreement at the time of appointment (APP, Section 4.5.c). The probationary period may be extended, as described below.

Tenure Probationary Period Timeline

During the probationary period, a faculty member in the tenure track,

Extension of the Probationary Period ("Stopping the Clock")

A faculty member may submit a written request to their chair to extend the Probationary Period at any time prior to the start of their TDY in the following circumstances:

  • When the individual is assigned clinical, educational and/or administrative duties that total more than 25% of their time and effort;
  • When the individual is granted an approved leave with or without pay (APP, Sections 5.7 and 5.8);
  • When the individual temporarily transfers from full-time to part-time employment; or
  • In other compelling circumstances, as determined in the sole discretion of the Provost.

Extensions are usually requested in increments of 1–2 years but multiple or longer extensions may be requested. The Probationary Period including all extensions must not exceed a total of 12 years.

The chair reviews the request and, if approved, makes a recommendation to the Provost. If the Provost approves the request, a new TDY is confirmed by written agreement between the faculty member, chair and Provost. Subject to the terms and conditions listed above, a request for an extension must not be unreasonably refused and must not adversely affect the final tenure decision. (APP, Section 4.5.e)