Over the course of their careers, full-time UBC faculty, librarians and program directors will have opportunities for promotion, confirmation and/or reappointment. For faculty, this includes tenure, which provides job security and academic freedom for the study of problems or to test ideas that may challenge established ideas or practices.
Tenure, promotion, reappointment and confirmation
See the sections below for specific information for faculty, librarians and program directors.
Appointments and tenure for faculty
The timing of a faculty member’s regular reviews for tenure, promotion and reappointment will depend on their appointment and rank. Tenure is granted through a tenure review and on the basis of merit.
Note that UBC holds annual workshops on tenure and promotion procedures for faculty and administrators in Vancouver and Kelowna. You can view the most recent faculty workshop powerpoint (ppt) used in the workshops.
The SAC guide, procedures and criteria
The SAC guide to reappointment, tenure, and promotion at UBC is the primary and most comprehensive source of information on tenure and appointments. The summary of SAC revisions explains the most recent update from February 2020.
Procedures: The SAC guide documents procedures established through longstanding practice and through the evolution of the collective agreement, conditions of appointment for faculty, Articles #5 and #9.
Criteria: The criteria and procedures for tenure, promotion and reappointment reviews are detailed in the agreement on conditions of appointment for faculty, in particular Articles #3 and #4, which form the basis for these documents:
Tenure, promotion and reappointment schedules
The timing of a faculty member’s regular reviews for tenure, promotion and reappointment will depend on their appointment and rank. Section 2 of the SAC guide explains this process in detail, including when reviews for promotion and tenure are optional versus mandatory.
This is illustrated in the sample schedule (doc).For alternate examples, see Appendix 15 of the SAC guide.
Assistant professors: Please note that due to changes in the 2016-2019 collective agreement, assistant professors hired after July 1, 2017 may only receive tenure if promoted to a higher rank (explained in Section 2.4 of the SAC guide, which interprets Articles 2.03(j) and (k). Assistant Professors hired before the cutoff date remain eligible for tenure without promotion.
Tenure clock extensions may be possible. See the section below for details.
Tenure review date templates
The following templates are designed to help you identify the review dates for tenure track positions. All documents are up to date, unless otherwise noted.
- Assistant professor, tenure track (doc)
- Acting assistant professor, tenure track (doc)
- Associate professor, tenure track (doc)
- Senior instructor, tenure track (doc)
- Instructor, tenure track (doc)
Departments are required to track the timing of their faculty member's regular review for tenure, promotion and reappointment. For more information, view a sample schedule for a tenure track Assistant Professor. (doc)
Tenure clock extensions
Maternity or parental leave: When you go on maternity leave, the length of your pre-tenure appointment will be extended by one year, unless you inform the head of your academic unit in writing that you don't wish the pre-tenure period extended.
If you're only going on parental leave, you must inform the head of your academic unit in writing of the change in your family status and request the extension at the earliest possible date but no later than six months after the child is born or placed with you for the purpose of adoption.
Sick leave: If you're unable to perform your duties because of illness or injury, the university and the faculty association agree to consider whether, in the circumstance of each case, your period of pre-tenure appointment should be extended.
Please submit your written request for a tenure clock extension to the head of your academic unit. If your head approves the request, they will then seek approval from the dean or equivalent position, who will then seek approval from the provost. The provost will work with UBC's faculty relations (Vancouver campus) or with human resources (Okanagan campus) to seek approval from the faculty association.
Disability leave: If you're on full disability leave and on IRP benefits, your tenure clock is automatically frozen. The tenure clock will restart upon your return to work, whether full- or part-time. If your return to work is part-time, your tenure clock will be pro-rated. Requests for further tenure clock extensions can be made by following the process noted above for sick leaves.
The documents provided below or referenced in the SAC guide might also be helpful. All documents are up to date, unless otherwise noted.
- Tenure stream tanks at a glance (docx)
- Tenure and promotion summary map (pdf)
- Tenure and promotion checklist for heads and directors (pdf)
- Reappointment checklist for heads and directors (pdf)
- Voting eligibility (pdf)
- Sample department ARPT procedures version #1 (pdf)
- Sample department ARPT procedures version #2 (pdf)
Letters of reference material
- Letters of reference chart (docx)
Senior appointments committee
- SAC cover sheet (docx.)
Confirmation for librarians
Librarians go through confirmation, which is equivalent to tenure for faculty members. Confirmation criteria and procedures for librarians are found in the agreement on conditions of appointment for librarians. In particular, the criteria are set out in Article 3, and the procedures are set out in Article 4.
Confirmation for Program Directors
Program Directors go through confirmation, which is equivalent to tenure for faculty member. Confirmation criteria and procedures for program directors in Extended Learning are found in the agreement on conditions of appointment for program directors in Extended Learning.
In particular, the criteria are set out in Article 3 and the procedures are set out in Article 4.
Maintaining benefits for sessional lecturers between appointments
As a sessional lecturer, you're eligible to maintain your current benefits and pension for up to eight months between appointments, if:
- You previously held an appointment eligible for pension and benefits (FEP002 or FEP010), or
- You held an appointment eligible for pension and benefits (FEP002 or FEP010), within the previous 24 months and have been making continuous benefit contributions.
Maintaining your benefits between appointments is optional.
If you're reappointed to a position eligible for health benefits only (FEP005), your coverage for the other benefits (e.g. basic group life, pension, disability) may continue when you return to your sessional position, provided that you maintained these benefits in between appointments. If you did not maintain these benefits, you won't be eligible to reapply until you hold an appointment eligible for pension and all benefits (FEP002 or FEP010).
If you previously held an appointment eligible for a modified benefits package (FEP005), you are not eligible to maintain your current benefits in between appointments.
How to keep your benefits
At the end of your sessional appointment, you have the option to maintain some or all your current benefits at your own cost. This means that you will be responsible for both the employee and employer portions of the premiums. You may not sign up for additional benefits while you are in between appointments. If you are teaching during the summer, UBC will pay the employer portion of the benefits and pension you wish to maintain for any months in which you hold an appointment.
Financial Services will send you an invoice detailing the cost of maintaining your benefits. You can select which benefits you wish to maintain at that time. If you have questions regarding your invoice, please contact the leave of absence desk in Financial Services:
- 604 822 9290 for last names beginning A-K
- 604 822 8979 for last names beginning M-Z
How to maintain your pension
To maintain your pension, you must pay both the employee and employer contributions of your pension for each month (or portion of a month) when you are in between appointments. Since this may or may not be to your advantage, contact the UBC Faculty Pension Plan to discuss your options. If you hold a sessional appointment during the summer, you must be contributing the full employee portion in order to receive the employer portion.
The Benefits Cost Calculator can tell you what it will cost you to maintain your benefits.
Cancelling your benefits
You may cancel all of your benefits at the end of your active sessional appointment. If you choose this option, some of your benefits will be automatically reinstated upon your return to your sessional position, while you will have to reapply for others. Re-enrolment in cancelled benefits will be based on the appointment to which you return.
Reapplying for benefits (optional life, accidental death and dismemberment)
If you decide to not maintain your optional life insurance or your optional accidental death & dismemberment benefits, and then later re-enroll when you start a new term, you will need to re-apply for coverage by submitting a health questionnaire. A medical examination may be necessary at your own expense.
Automatic reinstatement of other benefits
If you decide to not maintain your extended health, dental, Employee & Family Assistance Program or basic life insurance benefits, they will be automatically reinstated the first day of the month on or after the date you return to work, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.
Income Replacement Plan (effective July 1, 2004)
If you choose to not maintain your Income Replacement Plan benefit, it will automatically be reinstated the day you return to work, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.
Faculty pension plan
Upon return to work, your Faculty Pension will be automatically reinstated, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.