Communicating Policy Requirements

PDAD&C#27, 2011-12

To:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors & Chairs
From:   Edith Hillan, Vice Provost Faculty & Academic Life
Date:   November 29, 2011
Re:   Communicating Policy Requirements


 

In the 2010-11 report of the University Ombudsperson, it was noted that the Office was aware of instances in which academic administrators failed to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with University policies in relation to conflict of interest. The report observed that the Policy on Conflict of Interest requires academic administrators to ensure that all faculty members – and in particular new faculty members and teaching assistants - are informed of key University policies in relation to conflict of interest so that they are aware of their obligations in this regard.

I would ask that you take this opportunity to communicate with all staff about some of the key policies which frame their employment relationship. You may wish to use or modify the text (drawn from the Statement on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment) below:-

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the standards of academic integrity which, as members of the University community, we must uphold. These standards include freedom from conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment as well as transparency in all process and relationships, ensuring that the public’s confidence in the University and in all activities carried out at the University, are maintained.

At the heart, lies the commitment to academic freedom as set out in the University’s Statement of Institutional Purpose, Statement on Freedom of Speech and in article 5 of the Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Faculty Association.
The University’s Policy on Conflict of Interest (for Academic Staff and for Librarians) describes conflict of interest and the procedures to be followed when faculty members and librarians engage in professional work from which they derive supplementary income, and establishes procedures for other situations which could give rise to apparent conflicts of interest.

The University also expects every aspect of research to be conducted in accordance with the University’s Policy on Ethical Conduct in Research. The results of University research are fully disclosable in accordance with the University’s Publication Policy. When publishing the finding of research, the Policy on Conflict of Interest – Academic Staff requires faculty members to disclose the source of funding in the publication unless the faculty member has obtained approval to do otherwise.

Integrity and honesty in the teaching and learning relationship are also central to the University’s mission. The University’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters is concerned with the responsibilities of faculty members and students as they co-operate in all phases of the teaching and learning relationship.

I would ask that you review these policies and are familiar with your responsibilities and obligations.

Finally, there are a number of policies which directly address your role as an academic administrator. Please review and familiarise yourself with the Conflict of Interest and Close Personal Relations Protocols for Chairs and Academic Administrators and the Guidelines Regarding Close Personal Relations between Senior University Administrators.

Links to Policies Referred to in the Memorandum
Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters - http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/Policies/PDF/ppjun011995.pdf
Conflict of Interest and Close Personal Relations Protocols for Chairs and Academic Administrators - www.provost.utoronto.ca/policy/academics.htm
Guidelines Regarding Close Personal Relations between Senior University Administrators - www.provost.utoronto.ca/policy.htm
Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Faculty Association - http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/Policies/PDF/memoagree.pdf
Policy on Conflict of Interest (for Academic Staff) - http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/Policies/PDF/ppjun221994.pdf;
Policy on Conflict of Interest (for Librarians) - http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/Policies/PDF/ppmar091995i.pdf
Policy on Ethical Conduct in Research - http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/Policies/PDF/ppmar281991i.pdf
Publication Policy - http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/Policies/PDF/ppmay302007ii.pdf
Statement of Institutional Purpose -http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/Policies/PDF/ppoct151992.pdf
Statement on Freedom of Speech - http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/Assets/Governing+Council+Digital+Assets/Policies/PDF/ppmay281992.pdf