Information for lecturers

Why a separate page for lecturers?

FAUW represents lecturers with continuing and definite-term appointments of one year or longer. These lecturers are regular faculty whose appointments are typically focused on teaching and service, though the relative weightings of those components varies.

Until recently, there have been few regular lecturer appointments at Waterloo and they were not often accounted for in University policies. Lecturers now make up approximately 19% of all Faculty Association members, and there are currently some gaps in policy where lecturers are not adequately considered.

These gaps—and the actual differences between lecturer and tenure-track appointments—mean that lecturers have a different experience at Waterloo and sometimes need different information and advice. 

Who is a lecturer?

The term “lecturer” is often indiscriminately applied to everyone from sessional instructors hired by the course to permanent teaching faculty. At Waterloo, “lecturer” is one of the four faculty ranks (the others are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor). While sessional instructors are also hired at the rank of lecturer, they have adjunct orspecial (vs regular) appointments and are administratively very different from the lecturer-rank regular faculty members. As of 2023, 53% of Lecturers have continuing status; the rest are on definite-term contracts.

Key resources

Most of the information for all faculty, including our Faculty Guide to Working at Waterloo and information for new faculty, is equally applicable to lecturers and tenure-track faculty. The main exception is the career progression sections of the Guide, which will be updated once the Policy 76 review is done.

Here are some key resources particularly relevant to lecturers:

Yes, lecturers are eligible for that

Frequently asked questions

What service opportunities am I eligible for?

Service is an integral aspect of shared University governance, as well as an opportunity for lecturers to have representation and help to shape University programs and environments. The ease of finding service opportunities varies by department, but it’s important for lecturers to be represented in service activities at all levels of the University community. Learn more about the kinds of service opportunities available to lecturers on our blog.

How do I get a new computer?

You may claim the purchase of a computer used for work-related purposed on your Faculty Professional Expense Reimbursement (FPER) plan. Some departments/Faculties also provide financial and/or technical support.

  • Arts: The Faculty of Arts has a computer rollover program. Every four years, each faculty member can return their computer (desktop or laptop) to the Arts Computing Office to be replaced with a new one.

  • Engineering:  Policies vary between departments. In the department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, contact the Information Technology staff. In all other departments, you should contact your administrative officer or the head of your unit.

  • Environment: In the Faculty of Environment, the Mapping, Analysis, and Design (MAD) help desk will assist you with purchasing a computer.

  • Health: In the Faculty of Health, you should contact the administrative officer for your academic unit. They will connect you to a member of AHS Computing to assist with your purchase.

  • Math: In the Faculty of Math, the Math Faculty Computing Facility (MFCF) Help Centre will guide you through the process of purchasing a computer.

  • Science: In the Faculty of Science, you should contact your administrative officer or the head of your unit.

How do I fit all my vacation time in?

The year-round teaching schedule for lecturers can admittedly make it a challenge to fit all your vacation time in. (Find out more about vacation time in section 11.2 of the Memorandum of Agreement between FAUW and the University.) Here are some strategies that you might use to make sure you get all your vacation:

  1. Spread your vacation time around. It will be easier to take a week or two after each semester rather than trying to manage an entire month all at once.

  2. Talk to your chair about course assignments or teaching requirements that might better allow you to take the vacation time you’re entitled to.

  3. Be proactive about getting your exam scheduled at the beginning of the exam period (talk to the scheduling rep for your department). Or, if it’s pedagogically appropriate, consider alternate final assignments. If you use alternate end-of-term assignments, be sure to follow the University guidelines for course weights and due dates.

  4. Take your vacation during a non-teaching term. Not having regular teaching duties will make it easier to take larger blocks of vacation during that time. You can carry forward two weeks of vacation each year until you have a non-teaching term.