Continuing Stream, Teaching Stream: Career Milestones

1 Relevant Policies & Guidelines

2 Continuing Status Timeline: 6 Years

The initial appointment of a faculty member to a continuing stream, teaching stream position is normally six years, which consists of two components: an initial four-year appointment and a subsequent two-year renewal contingent on the successful outcome of a Probationary Review. Your original continuing status timeline will be set out in your Letter of Offer.

This is a visual representation of the probationary review and continuing status review dates set out by the PPAA, 2015.

3 Initial Four-Year Appointment: Leads to Probationary Review

3.1 Timeline for Probationary Review

Faculty members appointed to a continuing stream teaching stream position will undergo a Probationary Review in the final year of their initial four-year contract.

The policy sets out a number of dates in respect of Probationary Reviews as follows:

  •  “The performance of an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream should be reviewed no earlier than May 1 of the third year of the contract, by a committee appointed by the division head or, in the multi-departmental divisions, by the department chair.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, vii)
  • “Normally no later than the May 1, the appointee should be asked to submit their teaching dossier and an account of pedagogical/ professional activity which has been completed or undertaken since the time of initial appointment” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, vii)
  • “Notice that the contract will or will not be renewed on the following July 1 must be given in writing no later than December 31.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, vii)

This information is also presented visually in the following diagram:

This is a visual representation of the probationary review dates set out by the PPAA, 2015.

3.2 Criteria for Probationary Review

The Policies and Procedures on Academic Appointments (PPAA 2021) states:

“The review of such an initial appointment should be essentially different in purpose and procedures from a continuing status review.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, vii)

“The committee should consider two questions: a) Has the appointee’s performance been sufficiently satisfactory for a second probationary appointment to be recommended? b) If reappointment is recommended, what counselling should be given to the appointee to assist him or her to improve areas of weakness and maintain areas of strength?” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, vii)

3.3. Candidate Provides

In preparing for their Probationary Review, the candidate should provide the following:

  • The policy says: “Normally no later than the May 1, the appointee should be asked to submit their teaching dossier and an account of pedagogical/ professional activity which has been completed or undertaken since the time of initial appointment” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30 vii)
  • Also see your Faculty’s Guidelines on the Evaluation of Teaching.

3.4 Chair Collects

  • “Written comments from other department members, formally or informally acquainted with the appointee’s teaching or pedagogical/professional activity, should be solicited.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30 vii)
  • “Course evaluation should be considered.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30 vii)
  • “Opinions of individual students [should be considered] if these are available.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30 vii)
  • Also see your Faculty’s Guidelines on the Evaluation of Teaching.

4 Renewal of Your Contract: An Additional Two Years

“If an Assistant Professor, teaching stream is granted a renewal of his or her contract, that renewal should be for a period of up to two years, and he or she must be considered for continuing status in the terminal year of this contract.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, viii)

4.1 Term of Adjusted Workload

Successful candidates are eligible for a term of adjusted workload:

“Upon reappointment, the faculty member will be offered an academic term to focus on preparing for continuing status review and to address any advice from the interim review. Normally this term will not include assigned teaching above 1/2 of the normal teaching assignments or service, but with the candidate’s agreement the term may include more than 1/2 of the normal teaching assignments or some assigned service, in order to reflect feedback from the interim review.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, viii)

5 Continuing Status Review

5.1 Timeline

The policy sets out a number of dates in respect of Continuing Status Reviews:

  • The continuing status review normally occurs in the “sixth” year (academic year July–June) of a faculty member’s appointment.
  • “The candidate, with appropriate assistance and advice from the division or department head, will prepare a dossier in accordance with Divisional Guidelines for submission to the continuing status committee by June 30th.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, x, emphasis added)
  • “The division head or chair shall prepare and provide a written summary of the content of the external assessments and other evaluations, without identifying their source, to the candidate at the time of submission of the dossier to the continuing status committee normally at least one week prior to the first meeting of the committee.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, x, emphasis added)
  • Candidate notified of outcome: “The continuing status review should be completed and the candidate notified by December 31st.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, x, emphasis added)

This information is also presented visually in the following diagram:

5.2 Criteria for Continuing Status Review

Excellence in teaching: “Excellence in teaching may be demonstrated through a combination of excellent teaching skills, creative educational leadership and/or achievement, and innovative teaching initiatives in accordance with appropriate divisional guidelines.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, x.a)

Demonstrated and continuing future pedagogical/professional development: “Evidence of demonstrated and 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; professional work that allows the faculty member to maintain a mastery of his or her subject area in accordance with appropriate divisional guidelines.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30, x.b)

5.3 Candidate Provides

  • A CV
  • A Teaching Dossier – see Faculty Guidelines for the Evaluation of Teaching
    • “The candidate, with appropriate assistance and advice from the division or department head, will prepare a dossier in accordance with Divisional Guidelines” (PPAA, 2021, VII, 30, x.b)
  • Suggestions for 2-3 external assessors
    • “Written specialist assessments of the candidate’s teaching and pedagogical/professional activities should also be obtained from outside the University; the candidate should be invited to nominate several external referees, and the division head or chair should solicit letters of reference from at least one of them and from one or more additional specialists chosen by himself or herself.” (PPAA, 2021, VII, 30, x.b)

5.4 Chair Collects1

  • Teaching Evaluation Committee Report
  • Course Evaluations (See Faculty Teaching Evaluation Guidelines)
  • External letters
    • “Written specialist assessments of the candidate’s teaching and pedagogical/professional activities should also be obtained from outside the University;”
    • “These referees should be invited to assess the candidate’s work against the Divisional Guidelines for the granting of continuing status and advise whether or not the candidate’s work demonstrates the achievement of excellence in teaching and evidence of demonstrated and continuing future pedagogical/professional development.” (PPAA, 2021, Part VII, 30 x)
  • Solicited Student Letters (See Faculty Teaching Evaluation Guidelines)
  • Collaborator Statements (if appropriate)

1 The chair should inform the candidate of the composition of the Continuing Status Review Committee: “The chair shall formally notify the candidate as to the individuals whom he or she intends to ask to serve on the continuing status committee. If the candidate has reason to believe that any member of the committee cannot make his or her decision solely on the basis of the evidence available at the time of the continuing status committee meeting, he or she should indicate this to the division head or the appropriate Vice-Provost.” (PPAA, 2021, Part IIV, 30 x)

6 Summary of Evidence

  • “The division [unit] head or chair shall prepare and provide a written summary of the content of the external assessments and other evaluations, without identifying their source, to the candidate at the time of submission of the dossier to the continuing status committee normally at least one week prior to the first meeting of the committee.” (PPAA, 2021, Part IIV, 30 x)
  • “It is important that the summary be sufficiently detailed that the candidate knows the evidence before the committee and could, if desired, supplement the dossier with a written response, or by appearing before the committee to make a statement. The summary should include extracts of any significant information from all letters and reports while maintaining confidentiality.” (PPAA, 2021, Part IIV, 30 x)

7 Adjustments to Continuing Status Review Timeline

Provisions in policy allow for teaching stream faculty to apply for a delay in their review timeline. The Provost must approve all changes to a faculty member’s review timeline. Any potential adjustments to a candidate’s timeline should be discussed with the unit head.

7.1 Delay

The PPAA, 2021 includes a provision for faculty to request a delay to their Continuing Status Review. Faculty members who are experiencing a significant life event that might warrant a delay should speak to their unit head as soon as possible.

“Candidates may make a written request for a delay in the probationary review or consideration for continuing status based on pregnancy and/or parental or adoption leave or serious personal circumstances beyond their control such as illness or injury. Delays may be granted for one year but no more than 2 years with the approval in writing of the Vice-President and Provost.” (PPAA, 2021, VII, 30, ix)

“Written requests by a candidate for further delays based on the provisions of Ontario Human Rights Code as amended from time to time (the “Code”) will be considered by the Vice-President and Provost on a case-by-case basis, it being understood and agreed that such requests must be made by the candidate in writing at the earliest opportunity in a probationary review or consideration for continuing status process (i.e. as soon as a candidate knows or reasonable ought to know that their interim review or consideration for continuing status may warrant a delay based on the provisions of the Code.)” (PPAA, 2021, VII, 30, ix)

7.1.1 Review Delay versus Employment Leave

An application for a review delay is separate from any application for employment leave (e.g., parental leave). Faculty taking, for example, a parental leave who also wish to request a review delay must apply for a review delay separately.

You can find information about employment leaves for faculty and librarians by logging into your Human Resources Service Centre portal.

7.2 Clarifying Your New Timeline

If your request for a Continuing Status Review delay is approved, your unit head will communicate your adjusted timeline to you in writing.