Governing Council approval of agreement between the University of Toronto and UTFA

PDAD&C #67, 2014-15

To:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs 
From:         Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost
Date:   February 26, 2015 
Re:   Governing Council approval of agreement between the University of Toronto and UTFA 

I am very pleased to inform you that earlier this evening, the Governing Council approved the agreement reached by the University of Toronto administration and the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA). This agreement includes changes to the University’s Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with UTFA and to the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments, and introduces a new Policy and Procedures for Faculty and Librarians on Academic Restructuring. Based on input from our faculty and librarians, these changes will strengthen collegial decision-making, clarify and improve the tenure process, and further recognize excellence in the teaching stream of our faculty.

 

The new agreement strengthens the voice of faculty and librarians by establishing two new mechanisms for collegial oversight by faculty and librarians: a non-binding facilitation and fact-finding process to assist in making changes to certain University-wide policies that significantly affect the work of our faculty and librarians; and the aforementioned Policy and Procedures for Faculty and Librarians on Academic Restructuring that will ensure collegial consultation when proposals arise for certain types of restructuring of academic units.

 

In response to those faculty members who have expressed concern about the tenure process, we have agreed to revisions to the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments to ensure that excellence in tenure appointments continues. Timelines for decision-making have been clarified and the time to tenure has been increased from five to six years. In addition, following successful interim review, candidates will receive an adjusted workload so that they can focus on their preparation for tenure review. Pre-tenure faculty will be receiving individualized letters in the coming days to explain revisions to their time to tenure should they choose to opt in to the new tenure process during the one-time-only window of April 1 to June 30 of this year. Moreover, the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life has developed resource materials to explain the changes to pre-tenure faculty and posted this information on its website.

 

Our teaching stream faculty make an enormous contribution to the University through their superlative teaching skills, creative educational leadership, and effective innovations in teaching that enhance undergraduate and professional graduate education. To recognize this excellence, changes to full-time teaching stream appointments including professorial ranks and titles have been approved in principle. We are drafting the detailed policy language corresponding to these changes and will be providing more information on transition in the coming months once the revisions to the policy are agreed to and approved.

 

The results of this process demonstrate that by carefully attending to the concerns of faculty and librarians and by working collegially we can continue to build upon the outstanding reputation of our University, ensuring that U of T remains a great place to work and maintains its position as one of the world’s pre-eminent public universities.

 

I will continue to keep you apprised of upcoming information sessions pertaining to these changes such as faculty and departmental presentations to be scheduled in the coming weeks.

 

As always, I welcome your comments at provost@utoronto.ca.