University provides progress report on Policy 76, 77 changes
A message from James W.E. Rush, Vice-President, Academic & Provost; David DeVidi, Associate Vice-President, Academic; Anna Esselment, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts and President's appointee to the Policy Drafting Committee, and Ian VanderBurgh, Continuing Lecturer, Faculty of Mathematics, and President's appointee to the Policy Drafting Committee.
The University of Waterloo and the Faculty Association (FAUW) are engaged in important discussions to revise our policies on Faculty Appointments (Policy 76) and Tenure and Promotion of Faculty Members (Policy 77), to make related changes to the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the University and FAUW, and to reach a range of other agreements in the creation of new “Teaching Stream” faculty positions at Waterloo.
These changes are necessary to reflect the reality that we have two streams of faculty at Waterloo: tenure stream faculty and teaching stream faculty. While there are differences between these streams, faculty members in both streams make essential contributions to the educational mission of the University.
While discussions of Policies 76 and 77 have been underway for several years, in 2021 the decision was made to focus efforts on questions around the teaching stream, rather than on more general revisions to these policies. Since this more focused approach has been taken, the University has been and remains committed to changes that:
acknowledge the importance of teaching-stream faculty in our operations and our governance processes;
celebrate teaching at Waterloo and further promote a culture of teaching excellence;
create a path to permanence (I.e., the teaching stream analogue to tenure, with similar safeguards of ongoing employment and academic freedom) that involves different criteria but processes roughly parallel to those for tenure stream faculty; and
ensure that the responsibilities of teaching stream faculty members are appropriate across campus and when compared to the responsibilities of tenure stream faculty.
These changes matter to ensure that existing and future teaching stream faculty are excellent teachers and are well-placed to be successful and supported in their career path at Waterloo. Implementing changes to these policies will require thoughtful transitional arrangements, particularly for current Continuing Lecturers.
In December 2021, the University and FAUW outlined in a joint memo substantial progress that had been made. As conversations continued at Faculty Relations Committee (FRC) in Winter 2022, it became clear that not all of the items outlined in the memo could be implemented across campus in a way that was equitable for teaching stream faculty either within the same academic unit or between different academic units. FAUW asked to pause discussions at FRC in February 2022 in order to consult its membership.
In late spring and then in early fall, FAUW and the University jointly worked on a “Process for Completing Revisions to Policies 76 and 77” at FRC. Once agreed by both sides, the Senate endorsed a summary of this process in Fall 2022. The process involved setting up a new PDC that was tasked with building on the substantial agreement already worked out at FRC and reflected in the December 2021 joint memo. The committee met in December 2022 and early January 2023 to continue these discussions, to develop new policy language, and to sort out the other issues related to the launching of new teaching stream ranks keeping in mind the best interests of all faculty members and of the University.
Members of the PDC worked collegially to resolve outstanding issues related the creation of new professorial ranks in the teaching stream.
An example of progress that has been made regards consensus on the types of activities that will constitute pedagogical and professional development (PPD), a new term that encompasses much of the scholarly and educational work in which teaching stream faculty members already engage. Active participation in PPD will be one of the components that teaching stream faculty will demonstrate as part of their path to permanence and promotion. The University is confident that teaching stream faculty will embrace and appreciate the recognition given to these vital contributions that support student learning, teaching effectiveness, and the advancement of our collective educational mission.
Some significant matters remain unresolved and so, as described in the "Process for Completing Revisions to Policies 76 and 77", these conversations will continue with the assistance of an external mediator. If agreement is not reached during mediation, a process of interest arbitration with the same mediator/arbitrator will follow.
We understand that some are frustrated with the lengthy process so far to improve Policies 76 and 77, and to accomplish the other agreements necessary for the creation of these new teaching stream ranks. But we must get this right both for current and future faculty and for the University as a whole. As a research-intensive University that prides itself on its undergraduate and graduate teaching, there must be appropriate balance between and recognition of the contributions that faculty members of both streams make to ensure that the University is a sought-after institution at which to study and work.
John Cherry returns to Waterloo to deliver the 2023 WaterTalks opening lecture
A message from the Water Institute.
The Water Institute in collaboration with the Faculty of Science, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, is delighted to welcome Dr. John Cherry, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Hydrogeology, as the opening lecturer for the 2023 WaterTalks lecture series. The lecture will be presented on Wednesday, January 18 and is free to the campus community, alumni and the public.
A professor and world-renowned hydrogeologist in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences for more than three decades, Cherry was one of the outstanding faculty members who made the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences a world leader in hydrogeology.
He joined the University of Waterloo in 1971 as one of three pioneering scientists hired by Robert Farvolden, the former chair of Earth Sciences and Dean of Science. At the time, contaminant hydrogeology or field research on the migration and fate of contaminants in groundwater and their remediation was in its infancy.
Cherry actively participated in the development of technologies for improving groundwater monitoring and remediation. In the 1980s, he established the Borden Groundwater Field Research Facility. The site continues to be used by international researchers to discover major scientific insights about groundwater flow, as well as the movement and fate of subsurface contaminants.
He is also known for co-authoring the textbook Groundwater with R.A. Freeze in 1979, which remains the standard text in hydrogeology courses taught worldwide.
“It is because of the legacy of John Cherry and others that the University established the Water Institute,” said Water Institute Director, Professor Roy Brouwer.
His major scientific findings include demonstrating the forces controlling groundwater flow and contaminant transport within confining aquitard layers, knowledge which policymakers have incorporated into selecting safe sites for hazardous waste disposal.
He also developed better ways to deal with dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs), a class of common yet difficult to remediate industrial contaminants because of their unusual behavior. His targeted in-situ treatment and risk management approach resulted in new groundwater remediation guidelines in the United States, replacing expensive, ineffective pump-and-treat remediation.
Although he retired from Waterloo with the title Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2006, he remains active in research and is a Principal Investigator at the Morwick G360 Groundwater Research Institute at the University of Guelph and Project Leader for the Groundwater Project, a project aimed at democratizing groundwater education globally. He is also the Director of the University Consortium for Field-Focused Groundwater Contamination Research.
Among his many career honours, he co-holds several patents, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Foreign Member of the U.S. Academy of Engineering. He was the Chair of the Canadian Expert Panel on the environmental impacts of shale gas development. He has received awards from the USA, UK, Switzerland, Canada, Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, 2016), IAH President’s Award (2019) and the 2020 Stockholm Water Prize.
There is no doubt that he has a major international reputation and continues to influence hydrogeologists around the world.
Join us on January 18 for his lecture: The Global Water Crisis Paradox: Groundwater, Food and Poverty, which is open to the public and free of charge. Visit the event webpage for details and registration.
Senate meets today; Map the System event coming up and other notes
The University's Senate convenes today for its first meeting of 2023 at 3:30 p.m. in NH3407. Among the agenda items:
From Senate Graduate & Research Council:
- A motion to approve updates to the non-degree graduate student definition, effective 1 January 2023;
- a motion to approve the deletion of the coursework study option for the Master of Arts (MA) in Economics, effective 1 May 2023.
From Senate Undergraduate Council:
- A motion to approve the academic program changes associated with the renewal of the joint academic agreement between Dalian Maritime University (DMU) and the University of Waterloo, effective as of the date of the last required signature on the signing page of the agreement;
- a motion to approve the proposed changes to the Technical Writing Minor for the Faculty of Arts, effective 1 September 2024; and
- a motion to approve the proposed Neuroscience Minor for the Faculty of Health, effective 1 September 2024.
From the Honorary Degrees Committee:
- A motion to approve the revised Terms of Reference for the Senate Nominating Committee for Honorary Degrees, and the revised Guidelines for the Awarding of Honorary Degrees.
From the Senate Executive Committee:
- A motion to elect members to Senate committees.
Senate is also voting on a measure to approve a one-time delegation of authority to the Senate Executive Committee to elect, on behalf of Senate, one faculty member of Senate to the Board of Governors, with said election expected to be completed in late January 2023.
Motions contained in the Consent Agenda section include:
From Senate Undergraduate Council:
- A motion to approve the proposed academic regulation revisions to the Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements and the Bachelor of Arts Co-op Requirements for the Faculty of Arts, effective retroactively for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic calendars; and
- a motion to approve the proposed academic regulation revisions to the Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements and the Bachelor of Arts Co-op Requirements for the Faculty of Arts, effective retroactively for the 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic calendars.
Senate will also be asked to approve the new degree hood for the Bachelor of Sustainability and Financial Management.
A number of reports and presentations will be delivered at Senate including an update on the Strategic Plan's Talent theme (as part of the President's Report), updates on Policy 30 and the Co-op Annual Report (from the Provost's report), and an annual report on intellectual property (as part of the Vice-President, Research and International's report).
All are welcome to come out to a Map the System Match & Learn event on Tuesday, January 17 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Map the System is a global research competition which empowers students to apply system thinking tools to complex issues. It encourages working across disciplines and in collaboration with the community. Attendees can:
- Learn more about Map the System;
- Meet potential teammates; and
- Discuss topics you are interested in.
Learn more. The event takes place in the Community Education Room at Conrad Grebel. RSVP here. Registration for the competition closes on January 31, 2023 so this is a great time to explore Map the System.
Information Systems and Technology (IST) reports that the University’s emergency communication system will be tested on Monday, January 23 around 1:15 p.m. More info is available at https://uwaterloo.ca/watsafe/news/test-universitys-emergency-communication-system-january-23.