Dec 6: Joint statement on Policy 76/77 agreement and next steps

The University of Waterloo and the Faculty Association are pleased to share that they have agreed on the terms of revisions to Policy 76 – Faculty Appointments and Policy 77 – Tenure and Promotion of Faculty Members, and related agreements concerning the establishment of a well-defined teaching stream at Waterloo. 

The goal to formalize a teaching stream at Waterloo is longstanding and has been the focus of previous policy development committees and extended discussion at the Faculty Relations Committee. This new agreement followed the work of the current Policy Development Committee and included a period of mediation.  

On Wednesday, December 6, the University and FAUW presented approved terms to the mediator, Michelle Flaherty. The agreement will now proceed through approval and governance processes according to the process jointly established by the University and FAUW at Faculty Relations Committee, and approved by Senate, when the current Policy Development Committee was established in Fall 2022.  

The University and FAUW hope to be able to implement these changes from September 1, 2024, subject to governance approvals. 

The agreement establishes three new faculty ranks 

Key to the agreement is the establishment of three new teaching stream faculty ranks:   

  • Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream; 
  • Associate Professor, Teaching Stream; and 
  • Professor, Teaching Stream. 

In addition, there will now be clear policy about processes for hiring into either definite-term or probationary positions in these ranks; for achieving permanence, a status with the same protections of academic freedom and job security as tenure for tenure stream faculty; and for promotion to higher ranks. 

Criteria for promotion to Professor, Teaching Stream will include achievement in ‘educational leadership’, which refers to contributions to teaching that have an impact beyond a faculty member’s own students or the program in which they teach. This is intended as a rough analogue of the national and international research profile expected for promotion to Professor in the tenure stream.  

These changes mean that the rank of Lecturer will disappear over time. As of the implementation date, no further appointments will be made at this rank. All Definite Term Lecturers will transition to the rank of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream (definite-term or probationary). Continuing Lecturers will have the option to become Associate Professors, Teaching Stream with permanence or will remain as Continuing Lecturers. 

Clarifying terms for course assignments 

For the first time, there will be maximum course assignment loads for teaching stream faculty.  The course assignment loads will be a maximum of 12 (0.5 unit) courses per two-year period. This ensures that more than 30 per cent of teaching stream faculty will see (or have seen) a reduction in their course load based on actual numbers of courses taught as of February 2022. 

This maximum course assignment load will be the same for permanent and definite-term teaching stream faculty.  While the maximum course load is the same for definite-term, probationary and permanent teaching stream faculty, the agreement establishes a system of credits that allows permanent teaching stream faculty to earn course assignment reductions so that they can pursue educational leadership activities and so progress towards promotion to Professor, Teaching Stream.  

The maximum course loads for teaching stream faculty match the lowest such loads at comparable Canadian universities and are lower than at many comparators; the maximum course loads for definite-term teaching stream faculty are lower than those at any comparable school.  

The agreement clarifies that teaching stream faculty are entitled to have at least one term in six without courses assigned to focus on outside-of-class teaching related duties, expanded service activities, educational leadership activities, or even the opportunity to take extended vacation, for those who have banked vacation time.  

While the norm is that teaching stream faculty will have non-zero weightings only in Teaching and Service, current Lecturers who also have a non-zero weighting in Scholarship will be able to keep it, whether they transition to the new ranks or not.  

Recognizing the value of a permanent teaching stream 

The University and FAUW believe this new agreement recognizes the value that a permanent teaching stream faculty will bring to the University. It assures a reliable and committed group of excellent teachers delivering education at Waterloo both inside and outside of the classroom. What’s more, through their educational leadership efforts, teaching stream faculty will enhance the culture of teaching and learning and help lead pedagogical innovations as the University evolves.  

Unlike other research-intensive universities in Canada with a professorial teaching stream, the agreed maximum teaching load for permanent and definite term teaching stream are the same. As such, financial incentives to hire definite term rather than permanent teaching stream faculty are minimized. Given the benefits permanent teaching stream faculty bring, it can be expected that definite term teaching stream appointments will occur only when there is a compelling practical or strategic reason for doing so. 

We also jointly believe that these terms and conditions of employment for current and future teaching stream faculty are among the best in Canada. This agreement not only facilitates rewarding and stable careers, but also ensures the wider University community will benefit from the talent and expertise Teaching Stream faculty members offer. 

We’ll share more information online 

We know that there is a lot to digest in this message. We’re pleased to share some questions we expect you may want answered. This includes more information on the transition arrangements for current lecturers, and more. The full agreement will be shared on the Provost Office website when our Faculty Relations Committee has received and reviewed the documentation. 

The University and FAUW will be making best efforts to obtain necessary approvals of the agreed changes (from the President, Senate, and the Board of Governors for policy revisions, and from Faculty Relations Committee, a vote of faculty members represented by FAUW, and the Board of Governors for required adjustments to the Memorandum of Agreement). We are optimistic that this agreement will be met positively by those committees and by the Senate so that we can begin the implementation of the policies as soon as practicable. 

We’d both like to reiterate our thanks to the members of the Policy Development Committee legal counsel for the University and FAUW, and the mediator for all their diligent work in reaching this agreement.

James W.E. Rush
Vice-President, Academic and Provost
Office of the Provost

David Porreca
President, Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo
Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo

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