Updates from recent Board meetings

As we announced in December, FAUW’s Executive Manager is on an 18-month secondment in the Office of Research. We are currently hiring a temporary replacement and expect to be working without an Executive Manager for around 6–8 weeks. With another staff member on leave, we’re down to just our Communications Officer and will need to triage FAUW activities for a couple of months.

That said, we’re still trying to keep members informed with updates as often as we can, starting with this catch-up post about topics discussed at the last few Board meetings. Some of this was included in the reports for the Fall General Meeting. If you didn’t receive those reports, make sure you’re a voting member and you’ll get them next time!

  • Member feedback is now being collected and shared anonymously with the Board routinely, as a report in Board meeting packages. Most recent comments are related to the pandemic, specifically 2021 performance reviews and returning to campus, which we will be discussing at the next meeting on January 20. You can send feedback and suggestions to your Council representative, a Board member, or fauw@uwaterloo.ca. Note that this pertains to general concerns only; if you have an individual concern, please contact the Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee for support with your specific situation.
  • The new Nominating and Elections Committee is close to having its terms of reference finalized and approved, and will soon start its work helping the FAUW leadership and staff find suitable members for committee roles. If you’re interested in helping to represent your colleagues on a University committee, you can reach out to a member of the committee at any time to talk about how you might be able to help. The Nominating and Elections Committee itself will also soon need more members and is a great way to start getting involved with FAUW.
  • FAUW will be undertaking a comprehensive review of FAUW’s governance documents and procedures, once we have sufficient staff to support this. If you have expertise that you think would be helpful, get in touch!
  • The drafting committee for the new policy on compassionate care and bereavement leave has started meeting. Those benefits will be in place May 1, 2022.
  • As we reported in December, we’ve made what we believe to be a strong case to the administration for why 2021 performance reviews should use the same modified process as last year. The effects of the pandemic are clearly ongoing (and compounding, for many people) and returning to a normal evaluation process is inequitable for the probationary and definite-term faculty being evaluated this year. We presented more evidence of this inequity to the administration in January but, disappointingly, they still do not agree that a modified process is necessary and believe a case-by-case approach is sufficient. We will continue to push the message that the pandemic has had an impact on faculty over the last year and this needs to be taken into consideration in the review process. We also encourage all of our members on review committees to ensure that these effects (on workload, mental health, the ability to conduct research, the teaching environment, and so on) are meaningfully and equitably accounted for in performance reviews.
  • The Lecturers Committee has completed its report on the 2021 survey of lecturers. The report is on the agenda for the January 20 Board meeting and we expect to share it with members shortly after that.

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