The other day, we told you about the “teaching stream” professoriate at the University of Toronto. Today, we want to let you know about “teaching-track faculty” at McMaster University. Both universities provide models that are helping to guide ongoing discussions about the future of teaching faculty here at the University of Waterloo.
Here are some details from the 2012 McMaster University policy on “Academic appointment, tenure and promotion” (PDF).
- At McMaster, teaching-track faculty are expected to be “excellent teachers” and “to keep abreast of developments in the discipline in which they teach.”
- McMaster’s policy notes that teaching and scholarship are complementary activities in a “research-intensive institution.”
- Scholarship in the teaching track is to have a special focus on teaching and pedagogy, so that these faculty members are especially encouraged to engage in activities such as curriculum development and evaluation; mentoring; and research into the efficacy of different pedagogical approaches.
- In the fifth year of their appointment, Teaching-track Assistant Professors are evaluated for permanence, and they may apply for promotion to Teaching-track Associate Professor and, eventually, to Teaching-track Professor.
- For promotion to Associate Professor in the teaching track, candidates must demonstrate “significant external recognition” in such areas as: continuing excellence in teaching practice; having teaching innovations adopted by others; assisting or leading curriculum development; presentations and scholarship on teaching or pedagogy; mentoring of other teachers; research on pedagogical and related issues; and/or leadership in experiential learning beyond the classroom.
- Promotion to Professor in the teaching track requires that candidates demonstrate “a national or international reputation” for specific teaching and teaching related contributions.
Here at Waterloo, the policies on faculty appointments (#76) and tenure and promotion (#77) are both being updated. For FAUW, the aim of this process is to create a career path and clear expectations for teaching faculty members at Waterloo.
McMaster’s and Toronto’s well established policies are helpful to the policy drafting committee since each recognises and rewards the contributions of teaching-track faculty members, while providing models for fair and rigorous evaluation processes.