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Early Review of an Academic Administrator's Performance

CAUT Policy Statement

Early review is defined as the process by which an academic administrator's performance is reviewed, when that review might result in the removal of the administrator, up to and including the university president, from their administrative post for just cause before the completion of the normal term of office.

Procedures for regular review of the administrator's performance should be negotiated by or have the approval of the academic staff association or union, and be incorporated in the collective agreement.

If the administrator holds a concurrent academic appointment, a review of the administrative performance of the incumbent must have no effect on the continuing academic appointment. The termination of a continuing academic appointment for an administrator must be governed by the same contractual provisions that protect the academic freedom and tenure of all academic staff.

The procedures established under this policy should provide opportunities for mediation, conciliation or other informal methods for the resolution of conflicts that might otherwise provoke a request for formal review. Even if a formal review is initiated, there should be procedures established for terminating the review process if an informal resolution of the matters at issue is achieved. Fairness and natural justice should be scrupulously observed, and provision should be made for a comprehensive assessment of performance, with adequate provisions for input from all those affected by the performance of the administrator.

Just cause

Academic administrators are entitled to academic freedom, whether or not they are members of the academic staff association. Academic freedom includes the right, without constriction by prescribed doctrine, to freedom of teaching and discussion, freedom in carrying out research and disseminating and publishing the results thereof, freedom in producing and performing creative works, freedom to engage in service to the institution and the community, freedom to express freely their opinion about the institution, its administration, or the system in which they work, freedom from institutional censorship and freedom to participate in professional or representative academic bodies.

Examples of just cause for removing an administrator from office include, but are not limited to, gross misconduct, gross mismanagement, serious violation of the statutes of the University, harassment of staff or students, inappropriate interference in the scholarly work or teaching of the academic staff, a pattern of leadership that jeopardizes the academic life of the unit under the administrator's direction. Just cause may be a single instance of particularly problematic behaviour, or a pattern of behaviours taken together.

Approved by the CAUT Council, April 2005:
Editorial revision, November 2019;

Reviewed, no changes, April 2024.