Feb 162012

The University Standards for Tenure and Promotion state that for tenure as an Assistant or Associate Professor or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor a candidate must demonstrate a “defined program of research or scholarship”.  But what does this mean?  Will a faculty member with a very narrow focus of research on a highly […]

Feb 162012

A few years ago, senior administration clawed back unit budgets to the tune of $10 million, claiming it was necessary to deal with the global financial crisis and, amongst other things, to shore up the pension plans. These budget reductions were difficult for units and resulted in cuts to academic programming. A change in legislation […]

Feb 162012

There is no question that your Head of department is a vital cog in the academic wheel. At U of S and just about every other institution in Canada, the head is ‘in scope,’ that is, a member of the faculty association and therefore protected by the collective agreement.  The role of the Head should […]

Jan 252012

One long-standing feature of the Collective Agreement has been the Reduced Appointment Plan (RAP), which allows faculty members over 55 with at least 10 years of service to gradually downsize their careers by reducing to part-time without a corresponding reduction in benefits. The Collective Agreement states “[e]mployees who wish to participate in the Reduced Appointment […]

Dec 222011

The Executive and Staff of the USFA wish you a happy holiday and prosperous New Year. Our offices will be closed on December 23, 2011 reopening on Tuesday, January 3, 2012. In the event of an urgent matter, feel free to contact any of the following table officers by email: Doug Chivers (doug.chivers@usask.ca) Eric Neufeld […]

Dec 202011

The Executive Committee of the Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA) announced last week that, following a 45 day strike, the BUFA Membership ratified a new collective agreement. The margin of acceptance was 93 percent. The issues under dispute by Brandon faculty are important and relevant to Universities across Canada.  University administrations are moving to weaken […]

Nov 172011

If you have ever wondered why faculty might choose to unionize, read the University of Saskatchewan Act and the University of Regina Act. Neither piece of legislation contains the word "tenure". It does appear in the Collective Agreement, where it is defined as "the appointment of an employee to a permanent position on the academic […]

Nov 172011

The Faculty Association has been in a three year battle, investing considerable time and expense fighting an attack on the integrity of the collegial process at our University. A few years ago, the tenure case of a faculty member received mixed reviews as it went through the collegial process at the departmental, college, and university […]

Nov 142011

Is a faculty member who publishes six peer-reviewed articles more or less meritorious than a faculty member who publishes one peer-reviewed article, but also has large teaching and administrative responsibilities? It depends. Six top quality publications in outstanding venues could represent a career achievement, even given teaching and administrative offloads. However, six papers published in […]

Nov 082011

Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA) has been on strike since October 12th, 2011. BUFA represents both tenured faculty and non-tenured sessional instructors and is dealing with four main issues. Quality of learning – BUFA's position is that there should be guaranteed replacements when members go on sabbatical to ensure continuity of program delivery. They are […]

Nov 072011

The merit pool for this and next year is quite large – 785 CDIs for each year. After that, it will likely go back to 600 CDIs per annum, subject to the outcome of collective bargaining. At the last round of bargaining, the parties agreed that the merit system at the U of S was […]

Nov 022011

The total merit pool for 2011-2012 is 785 CDIs. The current agreement states that at least two-thirds of these must be full merits, making it possible to award a maximum of about 1050 awards (525 full and 525 halves). The new merit system is intended to be transparent. Decisions must be made by a committee […]

Oct 312011

The Saskatchewan provincial election is an opportunity for you to support and elect candidates who you believe will best represent you. Here's what you can do: Talk to family, friends and co-workers. Urge them to get out and vote. Go to candidate forums and ask questions. Where do candidates stand on issues that are important […]

Oct 182011

For close to a decade now the USFA has hosted events for faculty in the first few years of their appointment at the U of S. Getting to meet new members and hear from them about their views on our workplace is an enriching experience. Each year, while the information we provide can seem quite […]

Sep 202011

So you’re all set to teach your courses… course syllabus complete, lecture notes in place and posted on PAWS/Blackboard, reading lists done, and assignments prepared. But have you thought about copyright?   Much information has been circulated recently about changes to copyright policy on campus. Out of concern for implications for our members, USFA is alerting […]

Jul 042011

Sorry, no substitutions! Something to be aware of during your qualifying period for tenure or promotion is that no special arrangements can be made regarding meeting the standards. As a hypothetical example, suppose a Dean asks you to become a Department Head and offers to champion your promotion/tenure case if your research suffers as a […]

Jul 042011

Practice of professional skills remains a troublesome category for members in many units, particularly the professional colleges. When the university standards for tenure and promotion were last revised, there was a wish to distinguish recognize practice of professional skills, but still require practitioners to show ability in research, consistent with the teacher/scholar model. Unfortunately, the […]

Jun 092011

Discussing the teachers' job action, a local columnist commented that the arguments of the teachers' union for "sharing the wealth" is flawed. The author writes that "fair share" "implies someone has contributed directly to creating what is they want to share" and that such reasoning "smacks of an entitlement mentality". (Star-Phoenix, "Sharing the wealth not […]

Jun 072011

It is surprising how often we evaluate a colleague's research career by metrics like publication counts, page counts, or order of authorship, which border on numerology, rather than considering the actual contribution. Although time is the true test of research, the reason we do this is that the practicalities of our processes force us to […]

Jun 012011

Today is the best day to start thinking about your promotion/tenure case. You have a lot of resources to help you in the preparation of your case file. By May 31, your Department Head or Dean should have met with you to discuss your progress in meeting the approved standards, which you should make yourself […]