For a person initially appointed as a full-time Assistant Professor, the total
duration of his or her tenure-track, special or teaching track appointment shall not exceed six years from the date of that
For a person initially appointed to this University as a full-time Associate Professor, the total
duration of his or her tenure-track or special appointment shall not normally exceed four years, and in no
case shall it exceed six years, from the date of that first appointment. Those appointed in the teaching-track category have six years in which to acheive Permanence.
For a person initially appointed to this University as a full-time Professor, the total duration of his
or her tenure-track or special appointment shall not exceed three years from the date of that first
appointment. Those appointed in the teaching-track category have six years in which to acheive Permanence.
Classes of Appointment
There are three streams of appointment at McMaster University: tenure-stream (tenure-track and tenured), special-stream (special and continuing appointment without renewal), and teaching stream (teaching-track and permanent teaching). In addition, there are contractually limited appointments.
Those appointments that imply that, at the end of a stated period, the University will confer tenure on the candidate, or extend the period of appointment, or allow the appointment to lapse.
A tenure-track appointment shall be made only at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate
Professor or Professor.
Tenured appointments are those that confer tenure.
An appointment to McMaster University that confers tenure from the date of appointment normally
may be made only at the rank of Professor. However, an outstanding candidate who already holds
tenure at another university may be considered for an appointment that confers tenure from the date
of appointment at the rank of Associate Professor.
Special appointments are for persons who receive their salary support from funds other than those allocated by the University; these are similar to the tenure-track appointments except that continuation of the appointment, for the length of the designated period, is contingent upon the member’s receiving continuing salary support from his or her outside funding agency for that designated period.
Such appointments imply that at the end of a stated period and the University will either confer CAWAR
on the candidate, extend the period of appointment, or allow the appointment to lapse.
A special appointment shall be made only at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor.
Those full-time appointments that are similar to
appointments that confer tenure in every respect, save one: the continuation of the appointment is
contingent upon the member’s receiving and continuing to receive salary support from his or her
outside funding agency.
An appointment to McMaster University that confers continuing appointment without annual review
from the date of appointment normally may be made only at the rank of Professor. However, an
outstanding candidate who already holds tenure or the equivalent at another university may be
considered for an appointment that confers continuing appointment without annual review from the
date of appointment at the rank of Associate Professor.
Those made for teaching purposes specifically. Teaching will be the primary expectation of these positions. Teaching–track faculty are expected to keep abreast of developments in the discipline in which they teach, and are to consult colleagues with relevant specific research expertise. While there will be no requirement to engage in research, those teachers who have an interest are encouraged to enhance their classroom teaching and broaden the scope of their educational activity by engaging in such scholarly activities as curriculum development and evaluation, mentoring, and research into the efficacy of different pedagogical approaches; and to share this expertise with their colleagues. These appointments will most likely focus on teaching introductory or other non-specialized courses.
The positions create opportunities for individuals who are prepared to devote themselves
primarily to teaching within an academic environment. Such appointments are made in the first instance for a stated period, similar to tenure-track appointments. At the end of that period, the University will grant permanence to the candidate in the teaching-track position, or extend the period of appointment, or allow the appointment to lapse.
These appointments shall be made only to the ranks of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor.
Those made only for teaching purposes that confer a permanent position. They
may be made only at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor.
Permanent teaching appointments
may be terminated without fault or cause by reason of curricular change or removal of an area or field.
It is not possible to make an appointment to McMaster University that confers a permanent teaching
position from the date of initial appointment to the University.
Contractually Limited Appointment
Those made for a contractually limited period which shall carry no implication of renewal or continuation beyond the period and no implication that the appointee will be considered for a tenure-stream, special-stream, or teaching-stream appointment.
Appointments can be made at the rank of Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor.
A contractually limited appointment shall be made only:
- to fill a special instructional need, especially when there is no reasonable assurance of a
long-term need in the area concerned;
- to staff a new course or Program for a trial period as determined by the appropriate
- to allow for appointments to the rank of Lecturer;
- to provide for visiting appointments;
- to fulfil functions as determined by a research contract or award covering a specific period
only and for which renewal or continuation is not assured;
- to allow for the appointment in the Faculty of Health Sciences of faculty members whose
primary responsibilities lie in the areas of clinical service and/or administrative duties in the health care delivery system; and/or
- to provide for an appointment at a time when the University’s financial position is so severe and uncertain that the normal commitment to a tenure-track or teaching-track appointment would be imprudent.
It is in the best interest of the University to encourage persons to participate when appropriate, in the work of more than one Department. Extensive participation in the work of two Departments should be recognized by a "joint appointment". Joint appointments should be reserved for those who participate fully in the undergraduate (or undergraduate and graduate) work of two Departments.
For faculty members with joint appointments, it is the responsibility of both departments to make recommendations concerning tenure/CAWAR, permanence and promotion to the appropriate Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee.
Policy on Joint Appointments and Associate Membership
Faculty members who participate in the work of a second Department can receive an associate membership in that Department.
Associate memberships are granted by the Provost
after the approval of the following:
- Chairs / Associate Deans of both Departments / Schools
- the Dean(s) of the Faculty
- the Dean, Graduate Studies
Policy on Joint Appointments and Associate Membership
Recommendation Form for Associate Member Appointment/Reappointment