UW, Faculty Association of UW come to agreement on policy 76, policy 77


Yesterday, the university and the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) met to agree on the terms of revisions to policy 76, which focuses on faculty appointments, and policy 77, pertaining to faculty tenure and promotions. According to a memo from James W.E. Rush, vice-president, academic and provost, and David Porreca, president of FAUW, the changes establish new teaching stream faculty ranks and maximum course assignment loads for teaching stream faculty. 

“Teaching stream faculty” refers to those in short-term positions with increased teaching responsibilities and reduced research responsibilities, while “definite-term” teaching stream faculty refers to those hired for a limited period with a fixed end date.

The new ranks established for teaching stream faculty are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. The criteria for a promotion to professor in the stream will include achievement in “educational leadership”, demonstrating an impact outside of the candidate’s students as well as the program in which they teach. There will also be “clear policy” about processes for hiring into definite-term or probationary positions (those on track to receive tenure) in those ranks, achieving permanence, and promotion to higher ranks. 

The new maximum course assignment load is 12 (0.5 unit) courses over a two-year period, which will be the same for permanent and definite-term teaching stream faculty. According to the memo, this will reduce financial incentives to hire definite-term rather than permanent teaching stream faculty, such that hiring definite-term faculty will only occur if there is a “compelling practical or strategic reason for doing so.” This establishes a system of credits to allow faculty to work towards “educational leadership activities” and progress towards the position of professor, teaching stream. 

This maximum course load is among the lowest of “comparable Canadian universities” for teaching stream faculty, and lower than those at “any comparable school” for definite-term teaching stream faculty.

Teaching stream faculty will be entitled to have at least one term out of six with no courses assigned to focus on teaching-related obligations such as “expanded service activities, educational leadership activities” and extended vacations.

Discussions have been ongoing since 2014, when revisions on policy 76 began. In February 2021, a new committee was formed to review working conditions, advancement, and hiring of teaching stream faculty, and to propose changes accordingly to both policy 76 and 77. 

According to the memo, UW and FAUW hope to implement the changes beginning Sept. 1, 2024, subject to governance approvals.