Modification to Tenure Committee Meeting Protocols for the Academic Year July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 (PDAD&C #17)
From: Heather Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life
Date: August 27, 2021
Re: Modification to Tenure Committee Meeting Protocols for the Academic Year July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 (PDAD&C #17)
Further to PDAD&C #45 (dated February 12, 2021) and PDAD&C #24 (dated November 19, 2020), and in light of the continued public health concerns associated with the pandemic, the University and the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) have agreed as part of the COVID-19 specific Letter of Understanding (COVID LOU) that all Tenure Committees should convene virtually until in-person meetings of ten or fewer people are permissible in accordance with Ontario regulations, applicable guidelines from provincial and local public health units, and the University’s commitments under its Health and Safety Policy.
Thereafter, and, if applicable for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic year, the decision about whether or not to hold a Tenure Committee meeting in person or virtually is a decision that should be made by the Tenure Committee Chair in conversation with Committee members.
If Tenure Committees convene virtually
- Academic units should schedule meetings using on-line tools that allow secure ‘face to face’ meetings in a virtual space including ‘Teams’ or ‘Zoom’.
- It should continue to be the rule that all members must participate in the tenure committee meeting throughout the meeting. The Tenure Committee Chair should be firm in clarifying, at the outset of the meeting, the expectation that if one member leaves the meeting, the conversation will be suspended and will only resume when all members are present. Best practice:
- Suggests all members should remain on camera during the meeting.
- Includes having a plan (and communicating the plan) for what to do if a call is dropped.
- It continues to be the rule that only tenure committee members should be present.
- It is recommended that all tenure committee members participate virtually or all members participate in-person and that hybrid meetings (with some members participating virtually and some participating in person) be avoided.
Circulation of tenure dossiers as soft copies
- Over the past 4 years, we have allowed academic units to share the tenure dossier as soft copy files via One Drive or on an approved memory stick.
- Going forward, academic units may continue to share soft copies of tenure materials via OneDrive which will support virtual meetings.
- See Appendix A below for important details.
- The Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments (PPAA) says: “Voting is to be by private ballot. When the voting is concluded, the chair of the tenure committee will announce to the committee how each member of the committee voted, and the total number of votes for and against the granting of tenure.”
- Where members are attending virtually, they would submit their formal ballot individually to the chair via email.
- Otherwise, the committee should conform to all normal processes.
Submission of tenure dossiers as soft copy to the Office of the Vice-Provost Faculty & Academic Life (VPFAL)
- Tenure Committee Chairs or their staff should submit the final tenure dossier electronically to VPFAL.
The tenure dossier must be provided to the Tenure Committee securely so that it cannot be viewed by anyone outside the Tenure Committee or altered in any way. Of equal importance, the version of the materials in the tenure dossier that is submitted to the Office of the Vice-Provost Faculty & Academic Life for Provostial review and final decision by the President must be exactly the same as the version of the materials that were made available to the members of the Tenure Committee.
A Secure OneDrive folder within Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 (Office 365) is being rolled out across campus. This includes the OneDrive platform that will allow for easy, quick, and secure online sharing of confidential tenure materials. Units that can be certain that all members of the Tenure Committee have already been transitioned to Office 365 may use this option. More details about OneDrive.
- It is important that materials be posted to the site as PDFs.
- Please ask that Committee members not download materials but rather leave them within the secure environment. If the members choose to download materials for review offline, the materials must be deleted after the tenure review is concluded.
- When the work of the Tenure Committee is complete, please be sure to delete the posted materials from each tenure folder within OneDrive for which you are the administrator, being careful to retain a full copy of the dossier for your records.