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Performance Metrics

CAUT Policy Statement

Performance metrics include, but are not limited to, the application of quantitative analysis and statistics to assess the effectiveness of teaching, research, creative activities, service and professional practice of academic staff members. These metrics are applied to publications such as books, journal articles, and conference proceedings to assess impact and quality of works, by including factors such as number and size of research grants or funding, citation counts, and ranking in journal publications. Utilization of these performance metrics are subjective and often misleading.

The work of academic staff is best assessed through peer review and not by performance metrics. Reliance on performance metrics can violate academic freedom, interfere with collegial governance, hiring, performance assessment, tenure and promotion decisions, compensation, working conditions, as well as disciplinary and termination actions.

Measuring teaching, research, creative activities, service, and/or professional practice with an exclusive or excessive emphasis on performance metrics neglects the diversity and totality of scholarly activity.

Performance metrics can especially disadvantage Aboriginal scholars, members of equity-seeking groups, those publishing or disseminating knowledge in languages other than English, those who are on non-traditional career paths, as well as those who conduct unconventional teaching, research, creative activities, service, professional practice, and/or research.

If an academic staff member choses to provide performance metrics, such metrics should be subordinate to the peer review process in accordance with principles of academic freedom and collegial governance.

Academic Staff Associations are urged to bargain for language in their collective agreements that protects their members against the use of performance metrics.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2019.