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Equity Committee Terms of Reference

1 Status and role

a) The Equity Committee shall be a Standing Committee of Council.

b) The Committee shall make recommendations to Council and the Executive Committee on policy matters and activities in relation to equity in post-secondary education.

2 Composition

a) The Committee shall be composed of twelve members (including the 2 persons co-chairing).

b) Two members from each of the following designated groups of marginalized academic staff shall serve on the committee:

     Women Academic Staff

     Racialized Academic Staff

     Academic Staff with Disabilities

     Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Trans, Queer and 2-Spirited Academic Staff

     Aboriginal Academic Staff

c) Members shall normally serve for three year terms, with the possibility of one renewal. Terms shall overlap in such a way that approximately one third of the membership changes annually. If the normal term needs to be altered in order to ensure the continuation of this changeover pattern, the Committee shall make suitable recommendations to Council at its Spring meeting.

d) The term of the 2 persons co-chairing the Committee shall normally be two years.

e) The President shall be an ex officio member of the Committee. The Executive Director shall be a non-voting member of the Committee. The Executive Director shall designate staff to provide support to the Committee.

3 Functions

a) To advise CAUT Council and Executive Committee concerning policies, guidelines, model clauses, best practices, actions and campaigns in regards to equity in post-secondary education.

b) To review and comment upon policy proposed from other CAUT sources in light of equity and inclusivity concerns.

4 Selection of committee members

a) Vacancies on the Equity Committee shall be advertised in the CAUT Bulletin and by direct mailing to local and provincial associations/unions by November 30. The equity networks will also be advised of vacancies at this time. The President, Vice-President, Past-President and Executive Director will follow-up the direct mailing with member associations to gather as complete a list of potential committee members as possible.

b) The President, Vice-President, Past-President and Executive Director will review the entire list of potential committee members and will recommend potential members to the Executive so that the Committee will have the requisite expertise required to fulfill its functions (See Article 3) and will reflect the diversity of CAUT in so far as possible along geographic, size of institution, linguistic, disciplinary, gender and equity lines. The rationale for the selection of each member will be presented to the Executive along with the names. The final list approved by the Executive will be approached to serve and will be advised that their selection will be dependent on the ratification of the CAUT Council. When someone declines, the Executive will be asked to name a replacement who will then be approached.

c) The final list of committee members will be presented to the Spring Council for ratification. Should Council refuse to ratify one or more candidates, the matter will be referred back to the Executive who will bring a revised list to the same Council meeting.

d) When a casual vacancy occurs on the Committee, the Executive will select a replacement after consultation with member associations and recommend the replacement for ratification at the next meeting of Council. The replacement will serve the remainder of the vacant term.

5 Nomination and election procedures for persons to Co-Chair

a) There shall be 2 Co-Chairs of the Committee. At least one shall be a woman.

b) The persons to Co-Chair the Committee shall normally have participated in one of the equity networks and be a member of one of the designated groups. The Co-Chairs shall serve for the term indicated in section 2(c).

c) The Co-Chairs of the Committee shall be elected by CAUT Council. The deadline for nomination shall be March 1 of the year that the incumbent's term expires. Any vacancy, howsoever occurring in the position of Co-Chair, shall be filled by Council electing a successor. Any person, so elected, shall hold office for the balance of the term of the office involved.

d) The election of persons to Co-Chair shall be conducted prior to the Council’s ratification of the members of the Committee.

e) When a casual vacancy in the position of person co-chairing occurs, the meeting shall be convened by the other Co-Chair. If both Co-Chair positions are casually vacant, the meeting shall be convened by the President. The first item of business shall be the election of an interim person to co-chair from among the members present, and the President shall chair the meeting for this item only.

6 Mode of operation

a) The Committee shall normally meet two times per year. There shall be provision for additional meetings by telephone conference call or in person, as the need determines.

b) The Committee may at its discretion delegate special tasks to its Co-Chairs, or to appropriate sub-committees, who shall report back to the full Committee for ratification of policies or intended actions, before these are put before the CAUT Executive Committee and Council.

c) The Committee will consult and share information with and receive advice from the equity networks.

d) A quorum for meetings of the Committee is 50% of the voting members.

e) The Committee shall be conscious of and sensitive to the issues of conflict of interest and apprehension of bias. A Committee member who perceives an issue of possible conflict of interest or apprehension of bias of their own, or on the part of another member, whether it arises from personal involvement or through the involvement of the members’ local or provincial association, shall raise it.  The matter shall be discussed and then resolved by the remaining members of the Committee who may direct the member to absent themselves, impose specified limitations on the member’s involvement, or conclude that no action needs to be taken.

7 Reporting

a)  The Committee shall report regularly to the Executive and Council through its Co-Chairs.

b) The Committee shall prepare a written report for the Spring meeting of Council.

8 Status of Academic Administrators on CAUT Standing Committees

Whenever a member of a Standing Committee accepts an appointment (whether temporary or continuing) to a senior administrative position (for example, President, Vice-President, Counsel or Advisor to the President, Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean) or, in the case of an academic staff association which has entered into a collective agreement, to any administrative position which excludes its occupant from membership in the bargaining unit, the member shall notify the Elections and Resolutions Committee.

After consulting with the member's academic staff association and the Standing Committee to which the member belongs, the Elections and Resolutions Committee shall report to the Council which shall determine whether or not the individual shall be replaced (using the usual procedure for choosing members to Standing Committees).


Approved by Council, May 2014.