Policy on Appointment to Graduate Faculty Status
Authorization: Senate, on the recommendation of the Board of Graduate Studies
Approved: June 4, 2012; amended December 5, 2012; amended February11, 2013, amended June 6, 2022
The following policy and procedures document, to a large degree, parallels the processes with respect to review of Graduate Faculty status, which existed under Faculty Policies, prior to the certification of the University of Guelph Faculty Association (UGFA). The particular category of Graduate Faculty status recognizes the University’s expectations for, and the individual’s opportunity for, participation and contribution to graduate education at the University of Guelph.
[A] Categories of Graduate Faculty Status
There are three categories of Graduate Faculty at the University of Guelph. Each category of Graduate Faculty contributes to graduate education. The categorization of Graduate Faculty is to a large degree intended to ensure an appropriate and accurate accounting of those who have been approved for the opportunity to engage in the various aspects of graduate education, and also to ensure a clear articulation of the University’s expectations for an individual’s engagement in graduate education. The document recognizes and acknowledges that there will be times when an individual is meeting all other performance expectations and, through no fault of their own, may not be able to participate in some or all aspects of graduate education. In these circumstances, to ensure the continued appropriate and accurate accounting of the institutional capacity for engagement in graduate education, the status will not be revoked but may be placed in non-active status for a period of time. Such status, as detailed in this document, may be reactivated once the expectations and/or opportunities to engage in graduate education are re-established.
Regular Graduate Faculty:
Regular Graduate Faculty are tenured and tenure-track faculty at the University of Guelph. (Contractually-limited appointments are not included in this category — see Associated and Special Graduate Faculty.) In most cases, Regular Graduate Faculty are expected to hold a PhD or the most senior degree in their particular area of expertise with an appropriate level of scholarship. Exceptions to this guideline must be accompanied by justification to the Board of Graduate Studies outlining the nature and extent of the experience or other training that equips the nominee for membership of Regular Graduate Faculty. To retain active status, individuals nominated to Regular Graduate Faculty must be involved on a regular basis with aspects of graduate education including advising students (as principal advisor or as co-advisor) and examining students and teaching graduate courses. Departments, programs and schools are expected to provide support in the form of mentoring for faculty newly appointed to the University, especially individuals who do not possess previous experience advising students. As part of the commitment to mentoring, a newly appointed Faculty Member may be required to serve as co-advisor linked in the early part of their career with a more experienced Faculty Member. Such decision shall normally not extend beyond three years from the date of appointment, and shall be reviewed by the Dean in their annual meeting with the Faculty Member, and the dean shall decide, in consultation with the Faculty Member, when the Faculty Member may commence serving as principal advisor. It is expected that the performance of Regular Graduate Faculty will be assessed as an integral part of the Promotion and Tenure process. Where there are substantiated concerns in the Faculty Member’s performance of aspects of graduate education, the Faculty Member may continue to hold active Regular Graduate Faculty status; however, restriction(s) may be placed on some or all of their graduate education activities.
Associated Graduate Faculty:
Associated Graduate Faculty are appointed to serve as co-advisors and may participate in all other aspects of graduate education, but they may not serve as primary advisors. Associated Graduate Faculty status is not normally for tenure-track of faculty at the University of Guelph, but rather for individuals who are Professor Emeritus/Emerita, University Professor Emeritus/ Emerita, or hold a senior academic degree in their particular area of expertise and have appropriate research experience. Tenure-track Faculty Members who are not engaged in all aspects of graduate education may hold this status if they continue to be involved in some aspect of graduate education. Associated Graduate Faculty should have experience serving on graduate student advisory committees. Departments, programs, and schools are expected to provide support for Associated Graduate Faculty that is appropriate to their particular situation, graduate student advisory experience, and role(s) in the graduate program. Appointments are for a four-year term, or int the case of Contractually Limited Faculty a length of time commensurate with their appointment, renewable upon application and a satisfactory performance review conducted by the host program, department, or school.
Special Graduate Faculty:
Special Graduate Faculty are appointed for specific tasks in support of graduate programs, such as teaching graduate courses and serving on advisory and/or examination committees, but they may not serve as advisor or co-advisor. The roles and responsibilities of the nominee must be defined at the time of nomination, and each revision of the roles and responsibilities must be submitted for approval by the Board of Graduate Studies. Although senior academic qualification and experience is desirable for Special Graduate Faculty, this is not essential. The term will be consistent with the nature of the appointment.
With rare exception, graduate students are not permitted to serve as graduate course instructors. Graduate students are also not permitted to serve as members on either the advisory or examination committees of another graduate student. Research associates and post-doctoral fellows may not be nominated as advisory committee members for students supervised by their faculty advisor and/or supervisor.
[B] Application and Renewal Process
Graduate programs nominate individuals to one of the three Graduate Faculty categories, as outlined in Section [A] above, and make recommendations to the appropriate College Dean. Such nominations, which must be presented on the form available online must be accompanied by an up-to-date curriculum vitae and the approval signature of the appropriate College Dean. Nomination materials must be forwarded electronically to the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org). If there are concerns or questions about the categories, these should be forwarded to the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies).
To be granted and to retain some category of Graduate Faculty Status, all Faculty Members are expected to demonstrate and maintain a satisfactory record of sustained scholarly research and/or creative activity, and must teach at the graduate level and/or serve as primary Graduate Advisors or Co-advisors or members of Advisory or Examination Committees.
[C] Review Process
Regular Graduate Faculty:
Departments must review, against established and approved Departmental Guidelines and criteria, all tenured Regular Graduate Faculty Members’ scholarly productivity and mentorship of graduate students on at least a biennial basis, as part of the Performance Assessment process. For probationary Faculty Members, performance in the areas of scholarly productivity and mentorship of graduate students must be reviewed against established and approved Departmental Guidelines and criteria on an annual basis.
In addition to the biennial review (tenured members of faculty) and annual review (probationary faculty), a review of Regular Graduate Faculty status may be requested at any time by the Chair, Dean, Graduate Advisor, or Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies). Such review shall be conducted by the Dean, in consultation with the Chair and the Graduate Coordinator.
Associated Graduate Faculty:
Associated Graduate Faculty Members are appointed for an initial four year term, or in the case of Contractually Limited Faculty, a length of time commensurate with their appointment. Such appointment is renewable pending a positive review and recommendation from the Dean or their designate to the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies), with final approval by the Board of Graduate Studies. As part of the renewal process, and no later than six months prior to the end of their term, the Associated Graduate Faculty Member will be expected to complete and submit to the Dean a report which outlines their contributions to graduate training through involvement as a co-advisor of graduate students, member of graduate student Advisory Committees and examinations, or in the teaching of graduate courses, during the current term. The Dean’s review may also include consultation with the Department Chair, Graduate Program Coordinator, and considerations from a Review Committee. The Review Committee, when convened by the Dean, shall be chaired by the Dean and shall be comprised of at least three Faculty Members, in the same department as the Faculty Member, who hold Regular Graduate Faculty status. The review will be based on the information provided by the Associated Graduate Faculty Member and direct knowledge of performance of the Associated Graduate Faculty Member available from such individuals as graduate students, graduate student co-advisors and committee members, graduate coordinators and Chairs. Such input, to be considered as part of the review process, must be in writing and include an authenticated signature of the author.
Special Graduate Faculty:
Special Graduate Faculty are appointed for specific tasks in support of graduate programs. The Chair and Dean will be responsible for reviewing the performance of Special Graduate Faculty in the context of the specific task for which he/she was appointed.
[D] Unsatisfactory Performance
Should the Dean believe there may be sufficient grounds to support a finding of unsatisfactory performance of some or all aspects of the Faculty Member’s involvement in graduate education, the Dean will conduct an investigation. For Faculty Members who are covered by the terms and conditions of the UGFA Collective Agreement, such investigation shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the UGFA Collective Agreement (Article 39). The Dean will decide whether constructive action will be taken. Such action may include a recommendation to the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies) that restrictions be placed on some aspects of the Faculty Member’s graduate education activities; or that graduate advisor status be revoked.
[E] Amendment to Non-Active Status or Placement of Restrictions or Revocation of Graduate Faculty Status
Documented complaints (e.g. from graduate students, other members of an Advisory or Examination Committee, Graduate Students) regarding the performance of a member of the Graduate Faculty who is a member of the UGFA should be brought to the attention of the College Dean, and investigated in accordance with the terms of the UGFA Collective Agreement.
A Faculty Member’s Graduate Faculty status may be placed in non-active status, or have restrictions placed on some aspects of involvement in graduate education, or may be revoked for one or more of the following reasons:
i) The Faculty Member has not demonstrated adequate scholarly contributions, as defined by approved Department Guidelines for Tenure, Promotion and Performance Assessment; and/or
ii) The Faculty Member has been deemed not to have performed adequately and appropriately in her/his role.
iii) The Faculty Member has not taught at the graduate level or served as primary graduate advisor over the immediate past period of four years.
Following the Review Process outlined in [C] above, the Dean will make their recommendation to the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies) who will decide, in consultation with the Provost, if restrictions will be placed on aspects of the Faculty Member’s graduate education activities, or Graduate Faculty status is to be placed in non-active status, or revoked.
The Dean will be informed immediately, to ensure implementation of the decision. A Faculty Member placed in non-active status or whose status is revoked may not teach graduate courses or serve on Graduate Advisory or Examination Committees.
A Faculty Member whose Graduate Faculty status has been deactivated, or where restrictions on their graduate education activities have been in place, or where status has been revoked, may reapply for reactivation, or removal of restrictions, or reinstatement of their previous Graduate Faculty status, in accordance with the process outlined in [B] above.