University of Guelph Policies for Management of Canada Research Chairs Allocation

Updated in 2018, these policies outline the University’s processes for allocation, nomination, recruitment, and renewal of Canada Research Chairs. In all of these cases, the University is committed to recruitment and nomination processes that are transparent, open, equitable, and consistent with applicable equity and human rights legislation, the University’s Inclusion Framework and Employment Equity Plan (and targeted growth in representation of under-represented and equity-seeking groups), and with existing collective agreements between the University and the University of Guelph Faculty Association (UGFA). 

Policies were developed by the Offices of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) – known throughout the remainder of this document as Provost & VPA – and the Vice-President of Research (VPR), with consultation from the Office of Diversity and Human Rights, the Research Services Sub-Committee, and the CRC Advisory Committee. Policies align with current CRC Program guidelines for ensuring transparent recruitment and nomination processes. These policies take effect December 15, 2018. 

1.    Chairs Available for Allocation

The Office of Research Services maintains information about chairs allocated to the University of Guelph, as provided by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (e.g., total number of chairs, chairs by tier and granting agency, number of “flexible” chairs). Chairs are allocated to individual universities based on a national re-allocation exercise, occurring every two years. 

All University of Guelph CRCs that become vacant will be returned to the Provost & VPA and the VPR for reallocation. 

The Provost & VPA and the VPR, in consultation with the Dean(s), will make the decision to allocate a vacant CRC, and the general area of research they decide to allocate to will be in accordance with and relevant to the university’s Strategic Research Plan (SRP). The Provost & VPA and the VPR will solicit proposals (1-3 pages) from the Deans for CRC allocations, within 12 months of the targeted nomination date.

Proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. The importance of the proposed Chair to the department/school and college’s research capacity. When defining a targeted field of research, Deans are requested to consider the CRC program’s suggestion that “outlining a broader field of research is more likely to attract a more diverse pool of candidates” and to identify whether the search will be internal or external;
  2. The college’s ability to satisfy the second of two selection criteria: quality of the institutional environment; institutional commitment; fit of the proposal with the University’s Strategic Research Plan;
  3. A proposed recruitment plan that takes into account the University’s equity targets, the University’s policies for recruiting and nominating a CRC, and the CRC program’s requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Research Chairs. The recruitment plan must also include timelines and milestones to meet an October 2019 CRC nomination deadline, or a compelling case, plus timelines and milestones, for the April 2020 deadline;
  4. An Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) plan and measures for the entire proposed Chair program, i.e., in the conduct of the research, the recruitment of graduate students and others. 

Departments or schools that made internal appointments to fill a CRC will have made decisions about redirecting resources. It will be a departmental/school responsibility to recapture any dollars necessary to support a new base position necessary for a new hire. 

When a chair is vacant, any vacancy savings that accrue directly from the position will be reclaimed by the Assistant Vice-President (Finance) or Executive Director Budget. Positions that were filled by external and internal appointments will be closed. When a new appointment is made, even if it is in the original department, a new position number will be established.

2.    Decision to use a chair for emergency retention

The Provost & VPA and VPR may receive requests to use a CRC for emergency retention. Decisions to use a CRC for emergency retention will be made by the Provost & VPA and VPR in consultation with the CRC Advisory Committee and in accordance with CRC guidelines for ensuring a fair and transparent recruitment and nomination process. The Provost will decide whether a recruitment to fill the CRC will be a targeted recruitment in accordance with the University’s employment equity plan and goals. 

3.    Decision to use a corridor of flexibility

The Provost & VPA and the VPR may decide to use the corridor of flexibility in order to enable the University to meet its equity targets (e.g., by splitting a Tier 1 Chair into two Tier 2 Chairs), or to build capacity in a strategic research area (e.g., by converting from one Tri-agency to another). 

4.    Decision to advance individuals from a Tier 2 chair to a Tier 1 chair

The university will not advance individuals from a Tier 2 chair to a Tier 1 Chair.  

5.    Decisions involved in re-allocation 

In the case where the institution loses a chair due to the re-allocation process, the Provost & VPA and the VPR will decide which chair(s) will be phased-out. Criteria included in decisions include timing (where possible, chairs nearest their ends of term will be selected for phase-out) and consideration of EDI targets.   The VPR will communicate decisions to Deans.  

6.    Decision to Renew a Chair 

A CRC may be renewed once, for a maximum of two terms. The Provost &VPA and VPR will receive and review requests for renewal, as per process outlined in section 9.  The Provost &VPA and VPR will decide whether to commence the renewal process or to instead fill the CRC through the recruitment and nomination process. 

7.    CRC Advisory Committee – Membership and Mandate

Mandate

The CRC Advisory Committee will review recommendations for nomination and renewal and will advise the Provost & VPA and the VPR as to the following: 

  1. The proposal’s and/or the candidate’s ability to address any underrepresentation among the four designated groups identified by the CRC program.
  2. The likelihood of success against CRC selection criteria
  3. The fit of the proposal’s and/or candidate’s research program with the university’s Strategic Research Plan;
  4. Composition, training, assessment process, and other modus operandi was consistent with TIPS requirements. 

Membership 

Membership on the committee will be determined by the Provost & VPA and VPR through a call for interest from qualified faculty members, faculty members currently serving in the CRC College of Reviewers, and/or the CRC Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee, and through a selection process that recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of CRC nominations and the university’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. The committee is chaired by the Associate Vice-President Research Services (AVPR) and includes the Assistant Vice-President, Diversity and Human Rights.

8.    Use of chairs for recruitment or retention 

The following procedures apply to CRCs used for recruitment or retention, i.e. they apply to all searches whether external or internal.  The Provost & VPA and the VPR will decide whether the search to fill the CRC will be a targeted recruitment in accordance with the university’s employment equity plan and goals

Recruitment plan

In keeping with the practice of recruitment for all faculty positions, the Dean(s) with approval from the Provost & VPA will be responsible for developing a CRC recruitment plan that is fair, transparent, and ensures equity. The recruitment plan must include the following: 

  1. Search committee membership established in accordance with the procedures outlined in this document and consistent with the collective agreement between the University and the University of Guelph Faculty Association (UGFA); 
  2. Orientation of the search committee members for human rights and unconscious bias will be conducted by the Office of Diversity and Human Rights;
  3. Development and analysis of the position requirement including reference to employment equity data and goals; 
  4. Development by the search committee of the advertisement and proposed areas/methods of advertising the position, including any employment equity and outreach strategies, and accessibility supports; 
  5. Description of the candidate assessment process. 
  6. Open search process with the approved advertisement for the CRC opportunity posted at minimum on the university’s faculty recruitment site, CAUT, and AUCC, for a minimum of 30 days. 

Search Committee – Composition, Orientation, and Mandate

Search committee will be constituted as per Article 19 of the Collective Agreement between the University and the University of Guelph Faculty Association (UGFA). 

Search Process

All CRC positions must be openly advertised as widely as possible to ensure that the university’s CRC program accesses the largest possible pool of qualified candidates. 

  • CRCs designated for recruitment (i.e. external searches) must be advertised internationally and to professional societies and associated of designated groups.They must be posted on the University’s faculty recruitment website, as well as in the AUCC and CAUT, and Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology; Pride at Work Canada; Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada; and Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women for a minimum of 30 days. Where deemed by the Provost & VPA, in consultation with the AVP Diversity and Human Rights, as an opportunity for increasing representation of designated group members, a proactive and targeted recruitment process will occur.
  • CRCs designated for retention (i.e. internal searches) must be posted on the Faculty and Academic Staff Relations webpage for a minimum of 30 days, noting that this is an internal search. 
  • CRCs designated for emergency retention must be posted on the Office of Research CRC page, with a justification for emergency retention and explication of the decision-making process. 

The search committee will submit to the FASR the standard Request to Advertise. Ads will include the date of posting, and will use inclusive, unbiased, and ungendered language, and will encourage applicants to identify strengths and experiences in increasing diversity in curriculum and/or their institutional environment. They will additionally acknowledge the potential impact that career interruptions can have on a candidate’s record of research achievement and encourage applicants to explain in their application the impact that career interruptions may have had on their record of research achievement. Tier 2 CRC advertisements must refer to the Tier 2 justification process, in accordance with CRC program expectations. Faculty and Academic Staff Relations (FASR) and the Office of Research will review CRC position advertisements to ensure that they meet the CRC Program requirements for advertisements/ job postings.   

Applications are received by the chair of the search committee, and the position will stay open and advertised until such time that it is filled. The chair of the search committee, or designate, will ensure applicant tracking through the Office of Diversity and Human Rights is in place for all qualified applicants. The purpose of the applicant-tracking process is to track representation of candidates attracted to the position. 

 Search Committee Process

Search committees will conduct each search process that includes the following: 

  • a detailed methodology for creating job descriptions that accurately identify the necessary skills, abilities, experience and qualities;
  • advice on how to evaluate applications that include nontraditional components (e.g., community-focused research);
  • the CRC selection criteria
  • the CRC Best Practices in Recruitment
  • advice and training in recognizing unconscious bias; this may be provided via the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat unconscious bias training module or by the University of Guelph Office of Diversity and Human RightsMinimizing Implicit Bias in the Search Process training module; 
  • a list of internal contacts at the institution who can provide further advice;
  • the institution’s targets for designated groups as set by the CRC program, current representation, equity commitment and action plan;
  • a list of suggested effective interview questions (as well as a list of impermissible questions);
  • accommodation considerations; and
  • key steps for making the decision-making process open and transparent.

 Interview Process 

CRC search committees will conduct the interview process as follows:

  • Rank selection criteria prior to screening the applications, to ensure an unbiased, consistent and transparent selection process. Establish clear expectation with committee members before the interviews begin. Use an evaluation matrix.
  • Ensure all parts of the process are accessible. Invite candidates to identify any accommodation needs prior to the interview. 
  • Account for differences in communication and presentation styles by using a variety of evaluation formats (e.g., a lecture or evaluation of scholarly works could complement an interview). 
  • Be explicit that career breaks for family or medical needs or community responsibilities will not negatively impact the hiring decision.
  • Ask the same questions of each candidate. Do not tailor questions to an individual candidate. The interview must be as objective as possible.

CRC Recommendation

The search committee will be expected to develop a short list of candidates. Broad representation on the short-list will be strongly encouraged. The proposed short-list must be accompanied by: 

  1. Analysis of the recruitment process including reference to the balance of diversity among the candidates that should be expected in the context of the applicant tracking data; 
  2. Aggregate details of the candidates who applied for the position; and 
  3. Rationale for the chosen candidates recommended for the short-list;
  4. Attestation by the Dean that the search process met the EDI Requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Research Chairs.

The CRC search committee will be expected to make a final recommendation to the Dean. The recommendation must be accompanied by a full Request to Negotiate (as set out in the Guidelines on Faculty Recruitment) that must include a rationale when a member of a targeted group is unsuccessful. This rationale should be approved by the committee member with equity expertise. 

If the search committee or the short-list of candidates for consideration by the selection committee does not meet the expectations, including from an employment equity perspective, the Dean will be able to take the following action: 

  1. Return the proposal to the originating department or school for reconsideration and/or extension and further outreach of the advertisement; or 
  2. Halt the selection process and, with approval from the Provost & VPA and VPR, reallocate the proposed chair to a different area prepared to address the strategic needs of the university and address equity issues. 

If the Dean is satisfied with the process, the short-list and the recommendation, the Dean will sign a form attesting that the committee has met employment equity requirements, including recognition that leaves can contribute to a career slowdown.   

As per the collective agreement, the Dean will send the Request to Negotiate to Faculty and Academic Staff Relations (FASR) for review of requested salary against comparators, equity and data from the applicant tracking questionnaire, and Labour Market Impact Assessment (if required).  This review ensures that individuals from the FDGs are not disadvantaged in negotiations related to the level of salary and benefits. 

Simultaneously, the Dean will provide a recommendation, the recommended candidate’s CV, and Request to Negotiate from the search committee, including equity data collected confidentially by the DHR, to the Provost & VPA and the VPR.  

The VPR will send the recommendation and Request to Negotiate from the search committee to the CRC Advisory Committee for feedback in accordance with the committee’s terms of reference. The Provost & VPA and VPR will consider CRC Advisory Committee feedback before approving a candidate for nomination to the CRC. 

If the candidate recommended by the selection committee is not recommended for nomination by the CRC Advisory Committee, or if the Provost & VPA and the VPR are not prepared to accept the recommendation for nomination, the Provost & VPA and the VPR will have the option to take the following action: 

  1. Return the proposal to the originating department or school for reconsideration; or 
  2. Halt the selection process and, in discussion with the Dean(s), reallocate the proposed chair to a different area prepared to address a strategic area of research and address equity issues. This may include making use of University of Guelph’s allocation of “flexible” CRCs.

 University Procedures to Submit CRC Nominations

Once the CRC candidate has been identified and approved for nomination by the Provost & VPA and the VPR, the Office of Research Services will work with the originating department or school, the college and the nominee to prepare and submit the nomination in accordance with CRC program guidelines. 

9.    Use of CRCs for Renewals 

CRC Program Guidelines for Renewals 

CRCs will become eligible for renewal approximately one year before the end of the appointment. Universities have two consecutive nomination cycles in which to submit renewal nominations for review by the chairs program, according to the CRC Program guidelines. Renewal nominations for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 chairs must be submitted at least six months prior to the end date of the chairholder’s term.

Chairs in their second term will not be renewed and will be treated as a vacancy for re-allocation. 

Requests for CRC Renewal Nominations 

The Office of Research Services will notify the Provost & VPA, the VPR and Deans when CRCs in their colleges are eligible for renewal, approximately 18 months prior to the end of the current chairholder’s term. 

The college in which any chair is eligible for renewal will have the first right to request retention of the CRC in order to renew the chairholder. Deans must prepare a statement (1-3 pages) which addresses the considerations below in (4). The statement provided by the Dean will be sent to the Provost & VPA, the VPR, along with the chairholder’s updated CV and a draft CRC performance report, as described in the CRC renewal form. The VPR will send the complete package to the Chair of the CRC Advisory Committee.

Review of Requests for CRC Renewals

The CRC Advisory Committee will provide the Provost & VPA and VPR with feedback in accordance with the committee’s terms of reference. 

The Provost & VPA and the VPR will review requests for CRC renewals, taking into account the following considerations: 

  1. Performance of CRC chairholder in previous term, based on the draft CRC performance report;
  2. Importance of the CRC renewal to the nominating unit’s and college’s research goals; 
  3. Support available to the CRC from the unit and the college; 
  4. Alignment of the proposed renewal with the university’s strategic directions and University of Guelph’s SRP; 
  5. Budget implications for college, should it not be approved for renewal; and
  6. Contribution of CRC chairholder to meeting the CRC Program equity targets for the university 
  7. an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) plan and measures for the entire proposed Chair program, i.e., in the conduct of the research, the recruitment of graduate students and others. 

For the request to be approved for renewal nomination, the following conditions must be met: 

  1. satisfactorily meet the criteria listed above; 
  2. satisfactorily fit with University of Guelph’s SRP; 
  3. receive recommendation by the CRC Advisory Committee; or 

If the request for renewal does not meet these conditions, it will be treated as a vacancy for consideration as a new allocation.

Procedures to Submit CRC Renewal Nominations

For CRCs approved for renewal, the Office of Research Services will work with the originating department or school, the college and the CRC chairholder to prepare and submit the renewal nomination in accordance with the CRC Program guidelines.