We’re a growing department and over the last years of hiring, we’ve discovered that many of applicants have a number of common questions. If you have other questions that aren’t answered here, please feel free to contact the chair of the search committee for the position you are interested in.
1. How does the Tri-Campus System work?
The University of Toronto has three campuses. The oldest one is downtown and is called the St. George campus (because it is centred on St. George St.). The other two campuses are in the suburbs, one in the west (UTM) and one in the east (UTSC). The three campuses have distinct undergraduate programs but faculty from all three campuses come together for graduate teaching and research activities. Decades ago, the suburban campuses envisioned themselves as distinct liberal arts colleges without a research mandate. Now, however, all three campuses have the same research and teaching expectations and all carry the same degree of prestige.
Together, we form the largest sociology department in the world. It might seem disingenuous to claim this if we are spread out over three campuses but we really do operate as one department and have a truly vibrant intellectual community that spans the campus distinctions.
Each job advertisement lists an undergraduate campus. The campus departments make their own decisions about hiring priorities and the search committees are dominated by members from that campus (though people from all campuses come to job talks and provide feedback on searches in their areas of interest). If you are invited to an on-campus interview, you can expect to spend one day at the St. George campus where the graduate program operates and the other day at the undergraduate campus of appointment.
2. Are there citizenship issues?
Our goal in hiring is to find the best candidate for the position. Many of our faculty members hail from outside of Canada and only receive permanent residency in Canada after receiving a job offer. This provides the department with a rich international atmosphere.
Practically, there are sometimes visa issues that need to be resolved, often even before candidates can arrive for on-campus interviews. If you are applying to one of our positions and you are not a Canadian citizenship, you should look into visa requirements as these can affect the timing of on-campus interviews. If you are offered a position, the University of Toronto has staff who are experienced helping new faculty from around the world with immigration issues.
3. What are research and teaching expectations in Canada (or at U of T in particular)?
The University of Toronto is a research intensive university and its research expectations for tenure are on par with R1 universities in the United States. To allow time for research, we have relatively light teaching loads. Our faculty regularly teach 2:2 courses and we provide enough flexibility in scheduling to allow for terms spent away in field work.
Many faculty find the research funding environment in Canada attractive. The major funding agency for social science research (SSHRC) has success rates around 30-35% and the University of Toronto rates of success are typically around 50%. The department offers support in seeking and writing grants.