Understanding a Negative Tenure Recommendation

This page is intended to be helpful to faculty in cases where a tenure committee has reached a tentative negative or negative recommendation. It consists of a series of excerpts from the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments (PPAA, 2021). All references are to the PPAA, 2021, III, 16. Please refer to the PPAA, 2021 for complete details.

1 Key Resources

2 Negative Recommendation

  • “The tenure committee shall have the power to take only one of two possible decisions: to recommend that tenure be granted or that tenure be denied.” (PPAA, 2021, III, 16)
  • “If there are more than two negative votes or abstentions, this constitutes a decision to recommend that tenure not be granted. The decision must be taken on the basis of the evidence available at the time of the meeting and should be reasonable in light of the standards that were generally applied in the division in recent years.” (PPAA, 2021, III, 16)

2.1 Initial, Tentative, Negative

  • “Reasons for a proposed negative recommendation shall be given to the candidate who shall have an opportunity to respond to them, either orally or in writing, within fifteen days of notification.” [emphasis added] (PPAA, 2021, III, 16)
  • The Tenure Committee will reconvene to consider the candidate’s response.

2.2 Final Decision on the Recommendation

  • “Thereafter, the committee shall make its final decision on the recommendation for communication to the head of the division and shall prepare and adopt a statement of the reasons for the decision, and, in the case of a negative decision, a summary of the evidence.” (PPAA, 2021, III, 16)
  • “The summary of the evidence should be prepared in sufficient detail to enable the candidate to make a particular response to all of the significant components if he or she appeals to the Tenure Appeal Committee in Section 23 below.” (PPAA, 2021, III, 16)

3 Candidate Informed

  • “As soon as practicable after the tenure committee’s decision, the head of the division should inform the candidate whether or not tenure has been recommended and so inform the President through the Office of the Vice-President and Provost.” (PPAA, 2021, III, 16)
  • “At this point, in the event of a negative recommendation the candidate should be furnished with the statement of reasons for the decision and the summary of evidence.” (PPAA, 2021, III, 16)

4 Final Decision by the President

  • “After the President has made his or her decision on the recommendation of the tenure committee he or she shall notify the head of the division and the candidate.” (PPAA, 2021, III, 16)
  • “Where tenure has been denied, the division head or the chair of the department in consultation with the division head should recommend the duration of the candidate’s terminal contract which should be for either one or two years followed by automatic termination with no further review.” (PPAA, 2021, III, 16)

5 Appeal

For appeals against denial of tenure, see Understanding the Tenure Appeal Process in Cases of a Negative Tenure Decision.