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Appointment Procedures

CAUT Policy Statement

The process for hiring academic staff is of critical importance to the future of an academic institution.  Sound appointment decisions require a process of peer assessment and review, and that process must be consistent with fair hiring practices and with CAUT policies on employment equity and Canadianization. A hiring process that includes an effective advertising strategy and a fair and transparent assessment of candidates will help to ensure that a new hire will have qualities consistent with the needs of the institution. All applicants should be provided with an opportunity to self-identify as a member of an equity-deserving group.

The size of the academic staff complement, including the renewal of academic staff and creation of new positions, should be subject to the terms of the collective agreement with the academic staff association.

Academic units should have the right and responsibility for strategic planning, including making recommendations to the Dean or other appropriate administrative officer for all new and vacant positions.  The Dean or appropriate academic administrator should only deny the filling of such positions upon the demonstration of sound academic or financial reasons.

For all such positions, the academic unit should provide the Dean or appropriate academic administrator with the job description which includes an outline of the qualifications and specific duties.  

When the academic unit has been authorized to fill a vacancy or to fill a new position it should establish a selection committee.  The selection committee should be constituted according to CAUT policies on equity. The committee should be representative of the members of the academic unit. The selection committee should be constituted in accordance with collective agreement provisions.

At its first meeting the committee should review the collective agreement, legal standards of conflict of interest and bias, human rights legislation, and other government regulations on hiring.

Ideally, the committee should first consider conducting an internal search by providing notice to contract academic staff employed by the institution of the availability of the position. 

Advertisements for an academic position should be based on the job description and clearly explain the minimum rank, the nature and responsibilities of the position, and the minimum qualifications required, including the preferred area(s) of expertise.  The advertisement should be consistent with the relevant clauses in the collective agreement, including employment equity policies. 

The advertisement should appear in the CAUT Bulletin and/or its associated website in a timely fashion as well as any other relevant venues.  All reasonable and sufficient efforts should be made to ensure that advertising reaches all potential applicants including members of all equity-deserving groups.

The academic unit to which the position is attached should evaluate candidates through a representative selection committee.

The employer should provide a copy of the collective agreement, including all documents relevant to the institution’s equity policies, to all candidates who are to be interviewed.  The academic staff association should meet with candidates and candidates should meet with the relevant academic administrators during the interview process.

The development of the short list is the most important step in the appointments process in the selection of qualified candidates.  All candidates who meet the minimum qualifications should be systematically evaluated with respect to only the qualifications in the job description.  The evaluation and ranking of the candidates should be consistent with the criteria listed in the job description.  An evaluation grid outlining the qualifications and weights should be used to evaluate each candidate.  This evaluation ought not be a relational evaluation, but rather an evaluation of each candidate against the criteria.  Interviews should thoroughly assess the candidate on all facets of the position. Interview questions and procedures should be consistent for all short-listed candidates. The interview and selection process should be as inclusive as is reasonably possible of all members of the academic unit.

The selection committee should make its recommendation to the appropriate administrator or administrative committee, usually the Dean or equivalent.  The recommendation should include the selection committee’s recommendations for rank, credited years of experience, and other relevant considerations. At all stages the administrative approval process should ensure that the recommendation is consistent with the advertisement, and that collective agreement language on appointments and employment equity are adhered to throughout the process. Once the recommendation is received by the employer they should accept the recommendation, request further information from the candidate, or reject the recommendation with written reasons and refer back to the committee for reconsideration. The employer should only offer an appointment to an individual recommended by the committee. The employer should not suggest alternative candidates, different hiring criteria, or make any other significant changes to the nature of the appointment. Members of the selection committee should consult with the academic staff association at any time on any concern regarding process.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are found qualified should be offered the position before it is offered to a candidate who is neither a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident. Prior to making any final decision or offer of appointment, recommendations should be reviewed by a jointly appointed committee to ensure compliance with the collective agreement.

If the search has not produced a successful appointment, the search process should begin anew.

All signed and final offers of appointment should include the starting rank and salary and the method for determining the starting salary, the first date of any salary increment, the academic unit to which the individual will be assigned, the starting date and termination date (if applicable), as well as any additional terms relevant to the appointment and should be copied to the academic staff association.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2012;
Approved by the CAUT Council, April 2024.