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Appointments to More Than One Unit

CAUT Policy Statement

1.    The appointment1 of a member of the academic staff2 is at the institution, not a particular unit. Those holding appointments to more than one unit may have a primary affiliation with one of the units involved.  The Member with these appointments may retain residual rights in the primary academic unit to which they would return on a full-time basis should academic needs change.

2.    The terms and responsibilities of appointments to more than one academic unit in an institution, and the administrative arrangements, including budgeting arrangements, relating to them should be agreed to by the Member, the Association, the departments concerned and the  administration.  When an initial appointment is made, the letter of appointment should set out the terms and conditions of the appointments.  An appointment to more than one unit made during the course of a continuing appointment should require the Member’s consent.

3.    The academic administrator of the primary unit involved should have responsibility for all administrative matters affecting the person.

4.    The primary academic unit need not be the one in which in a particular year or on a continuing basis, the Member spends the greater part of their working time; however, steps should be taken by the respective units to ensure an equitable division of workload between the units so that the aggregate workload is equivalent to that of a single appointment and has the consent of the Member.

5.    All changes in administrative arrangements require consultation between the units involved and require the Member’s consent.

6.    Members are entitled to participate fully in the affairs of the units to which they are affiliated.

7.    Where there are different levels of compensation in different academic units, a Member should be paid at the highest rate in all units. Members appointed to more than one unit should retain any acquired seniority.

8.    The procedures and criteria for career decisions (appointment, reappointment, tenure and promotion, salary increments, seniority accrual and eligibility for benefits) should be consistent with the procedures and criteria for academic staff with appointments in a single academic unit. The procedures for evaluation of a Member with an appointment to more than one unit should involve colleagues from both academic units and should be set out in the collective agreement. Since academic units may have different criteria, the criteria for evaluation should be established in advance and the Member should be consulted about the procedures and criteria at the time of appointment.

9.    Contract Academic Staff who teach in multiple departments are considered to hold appointments to more than one unit.  When a Contract Academic Staff member’s total work at an institution is equivalent to that of a Regular Academic Staff member, that appointment should be automatically converted to a regular appointment to more than one unit.

Approved by CAUT Council, November 2019.

1 Appointments described in this policy statement are those for which more than one academic unit pays. This policy statement is not intended to discourage appointments between academic units (sometimes called “adjunct,” though terms may vary) that facilitate the interdisciplinary activities of Members, and that do not involve salary changes.
2 While there may be academic advantages to appointing academic staff to more than one academic unit within the institution, academic staff who hold appointments in more than one academic unit within the institution can be disadvantaged unless the appointment and procedures are carefully drafted and monitored. In addition, it is crucial that such appointments are not used as a substitute for Regular Academic Staff appointments, nor to reduce the complement in a unit or program. Associations should be aware that the movement of faculty between units may play a role in program loss through faculty attrition. This policy statement should be read in connection with policy statements on renewal of faculty and financial exigency.