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Assessing qualifications

Criteria for the appointment, renewal, and advancement of academic staff must not undervalue the contributions and potential of Indigenous and equity-seeking academic staff, and should not disadvantage applicants with non-traditional career paths or community-based scholarship and pedagogy.

QUFA has negotiated language that addresses the undervaluing of work and the impact of family responsibilities:

24.1.5 Consistent with principles of employment equity, the Parties agree that in the evaluation of applicants for renewal, tenure and promotion,

a) the criteria adopted must not systematically discriminate against members of equity-seeking groups and shall be reviewed periodically to ensure that they do not undervalue work which is done predominantly by members of the equity-seeking groups; and

b) applicants shall not be disadvantaged by reason of minor career interruptions caused by family responsibilities.36

Some agreements explicitly enumerate qualifications other than academic credentials. For example, Nipissing University Faculty Association’s (NUFA) agreement outlines several factors to be considered for appointments:

19.3 Academic Qualifications and Appointment Procedure

c. In assessing the academic qualifications of candidates for any position, the following will be considered as appropriate: academic credentials, including scholarships and awards; program fit within the relevant academic unit; teaching experience and teaching performance; scholarly research and publication record; professional and community service record; and Indigenous knowledge.37

The Simon Fraser University Faculty Association (SFUFA) has negotiated language to ensure that the contributions of candidates engaged in non-traditional scholarship are assessed fairly and by persons possessing the appropriate expertise:

Criteria for Assessing Non-Traditional Scholarship

28.18 Without diminishing the requirement of faculty to demonstrate a record of achievement consistent with the relevant provisions above, the parties recognize that certain faculty members or groups of faculty members may engage in non-traditional forms of scholarship.

28.19 Examples of such contributions include but are not limited to:

28.19.1 Indigenous or other non-Western forms of scholarship and/or teaching;

28.19.2 public dissemination of scholarly work through engagement with government or community organizations;

28.19.3 technology transfer of discoveries, innovations and inventions (including patents and licensing);

28.19.4 work that bridges traditionally academic and traditionally artistic forms of knowledge production;

28.19.5 products of community-engaged scholarship that bridge the boundaries of teaching, research, and service.

28.20 Faculty members who expect to engage in such scholarship are encouraged to consult with their TPC Chair well in advance of a contract renewal, tenure and/or promotion application to discuss how this work might be best presented for evaluation by the TPC.

28.21 In particular, consideration should be given to presentation of:

28.21.1 the complexity or time taken to produce the work;

28.21.2 the nature of peer or public review, the standards needed to appear in the chosen venue, and the view/usage rate of the product;

28.21.3 the impact made by the work.

28.22 A faculty member may request that one external referee have expertise consistent with the non-traditional work to be reviewed; where appropriate, and with agreement of the TPC, this referee may be a person with expertise and stature who may not have academic credentials.38

The Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) agreement provides another good example:

22.3.4 Equity in Tenure and Promotion:

The Parties recognize that there may be differences between the careers of men and women. These differences include, but are not limited to, the effects of primary responsibility for family care and related career interruptions, part-time education, and work history. The following measures shall be implemented to protect against forms of systemic discrimination which are a product of these career differences:

a. the University is committed to creating an environment where these differences in career histories and family responsibilities do not bias appointment decisions, the evaluation of candidates in peer review processes, University grants, merit awards, and salary adjustments. Where such barriers are proven to exist, the University, in consultation with the Association, shall eliminate such barriers to equal opportunity and career advancement;

b. an employment equity representative shall sit as a non-voting member of the Senate Promotion and Tenure Committee. This person shall be selected by agreement between the President and the President of the Association from a list of Members approved annually by the Joint Liaison Committee. This person shall act as a resource to the Committee on equity processes, procedures and issues, and shall submit an annual report to the President and the President of the Association with a copy to the chair of the Senate Promotion and Tenure Committee.39

The LUFA/APPUL has negotiated Aboriginal Equity Initiatives that aim not only to appoint Aboriginal academic staff, but also to support candidates in meeting the criteria for tenure:


5.30.1 The Employer and the Union agree that a series of active measures are required to appoint a larger number of qualified Aboriginal professors and librarians at Laurentian University, particularly outside Aboriginal-specific programs.

5.30.2 The Employer agrees to develop a “grow-our-own” program to recruit and appoint Aboriginal professors and librarians to probationary appointments, who, on the condition of agreeing to work at Laurentian as professors/librarians for a minimum of three (3) years, shall be supported in completing the academic qualifications needed for tenure (per Article 5.10 – Academic Qualifications Guidelines). The details of the program are to be agreed to by the Employer and the Union in consultation with the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic and Indigenous Programs.40

36 Collective Agreement between Queen’s University and the Queen’s University Faculty Association (May 1, 2019 – April 30, 2022).
37 Collective Agreement between Nipissing University and the Nipissing University Faculty Association Full-time Academic Staff Bargaining Unit (May 1, 2019 – April 30, 2022).
38 Collective Agreement between the Simon Fraser University Faculty Association and Simon Fraser University. (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2019).
39 Collective Agreement between Wilfrid Laurier University and the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association - RAS (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2020).
40 Collective Agreement between Laurentian University and the Laurentian University Faculty Association (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2020).

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