Member poll: Hybrid events

Other than the Hagey Lecture, FAUW events have so far remained fully virtual. We are considering starting to offer hybrid workshops and other events (e.g., town halls, general meetings) in 2023, depending on member interest.

Please fill out this poll to help us start planning these events – and feel free to leave a comment to expand on your answer!

If the poll isn’t working for you, try turning off any anti-tracking or ad-blocking extensions.

Board meeting report: November 2022

Here’s what the Board of Directors has discussed at recent meetings:

The 2022 Hagey Lecture. The recording of this year’s lecture, delivered by the Stratford Festival’s Antoni Cimolino, is now available.

Council of Representatives: The Board discussed (and supported) suggestions from Council members for FAUW to conduct more surveys and discussions with members. Be sure to ask your representative for more information from the latest Council meeting and FAUW’s new mask posters. We are still looking for representatives from the School of Architecture and the Stratford School.

Meeting tips: FAUW Parliamentarian Katy Fulfer shared a Robert’s Rules tip that unanimous or general consent can be a quick way to dispense of “routine business” or “questions of little importance.” The chair would say something along the lines of “If there is no objection, can be minutes be approved by unanimous consent?” If so, great! No need to deal with Teams lag when looking for virtual hands in getting a seconder. If anyone objects, then the usual process ensues.

Our 2021-22 audit. Our auditor presented the results of the audit for fiscal year 2021-22. The audited financial statements will be presented at the fall general meeting on December 7.

MoA changes. The Board approved minor changes to our Memorandum of Agreement with the University that were necessitated by Tri-Agency funding requirements. The changes still need to be approved by the University President and will be sent to faculty once they’re finalized.

The FAUW governance review. The Board voted to proceed with having Canadian Association of University Teachers lead the governance review. We still need to sort out the details and structure of the review but expect it to get underway soon, so get your input and ideas ready!

Policies 76 and 77. The path forward for resolving these policies was endorsed by lecturers and approved at Senate. We have now exchanged policy drafts with the administration and are determining which items we agree on, and which items the policy drafting committee will work on.

Compensation negotiations. We will soon need to put together a three-person negotiating team to start preparing for our 2023-24 negotiations. We’re also interested in hearing suggestions for negotiating priorities from members—drop them in the comments!

Committee and other appointments. Zelalem Negeri from Statistics and Actuarial Science has joined the FAUW Equity Committee, and Kaishu Wu is now our representative on the OCUFA Contract Faculty Committee, to keep us up-to-date with what’s happening with contract faculty across the province.

Board meeting report (and other updates): September 29, 2022

Here’s what we talked about at the September 29 meeting—plus a couple other updates:

Adjourning meetings. You might find our parliamentarian’s ‘fun fact’ from this meeting useful for your own regular meetings. Because board meetings have a set end time, and a regular schedule, a motion to adjourn is not needed if the meeting has reached its scheduled end time. If there is pending business, it gets carried over automatically to the next scheduled meeting.

New Faculty Dinner. Lori Curtis (FAUW president) noted the success of this year’s New Faculty Dinner, which is co-sponsored by FAUW and the University. We also help coordinate New Faculty Orientation. It’s been great meeting new faculty members in person this year, and we look forward to continue seeing you all at FAUW events!

OCUFA Advocacy Day. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations holds an annual “advocacy day,” when representatives from faculty associations meet with members of the provincial parliament to raise awareness about key issues in the postsecondary sector.  This year’s Advocacy Day will be an important opportunity to raise faculty concerns with the newly elected members of the provincial parliament and make the case for meaningful investment in public university funding, supporting university research, addressing fairness for contract faculty, and protecting our public universities. This year’s Advocacy Day is November 15, and FAUW plans to send at least one member of the Board.

Six Nations scholarship funding. The second round of scholarship funding has been issued to the Grand River Post Secondary Education Office to support Waterloo students from the Six Nations of the Grand River.

UW’s draft Electronic Monitoring Guideline. The administration shared a draft of this new guideline with FAUW, asking for feedback from FAUW. This is not the first time that FAUW has pointed out that, had employee groups been involved earlier in the process, we could have raised concerns earlier so they could be addressed more easily. This is also not the first time we’ve pointed out that a guideline should probably be an FS-class policy because it very directly concerns our terms of employment. You can expect to see this guideline in place by the provincial deadline of October 11, 2022.

A note on masks: Research shows that providing free masks and giving reminders are effective ways of getting people to wear masks. If you want, you could have your department order free surgical masks, N95s, or cloth masks and filters from Central Stores, and then place a box at the front of your classroom.

Board meeting report: September 15, 2022

The FAUW Board of Directors met for the first time in the 2022–23 academic year on September 15. For those new to the blog, we (try to) provide updates after (most) board meetings, to keep members up to date on what we’re working on.

At this meeting:

The board welcomed new directors and FAUW’s new executive manager, Matthew Root. If you missed it in our latest newsletter, Matt’s background is in labour relations, specifically in the broader public sector and post-secondary education fields, and he started in August. New directors this year are Nancy Worth (Geography), Shannon Majowicz (School of Public Health Sciences), and Paul Wehr (Psychology). See the full list of directors here.

Parliamentarian Katy Fulfer gave a refresher on what a parliamentarian is:

A parliamentarian is an advisor to an organization, including but not limited to the president, a meeting chair, officers, committees, and members, on rules of order (47:46). Their advice is non-binding. The president or (in a meeting) the meeting chair gets to make the final decision about procedure.

I imagine the parliamentarian like an angel on your shoulder, whispering advice. In the lingo of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, this angel is lawful neutral. The lawful part is probably obvious. The neutrality speaks to the parliamentarian’s role as a consultant. They do not participate in debate, and Robert’s Rules of Order goes as far to say they should abstain from voting unless ballots are used, where their vote will not be seen by members (47.55). 

Policy updates

FAUW President Lori Curtis expanded on some updates delivered at the August general meeting about the status of some policy issues. While we hear a lot about Policy 76/77, Policy 57 (Accommodations), Policy 12 (Compassionate Care Leave), and Policy 33 (Ethical behaviour) also remain incomplete. Our FAUW reps are pushing for movement on P57 and P12 at their PDCs. It is our understanding that Policy 33 is with the Secretariat. Lori also noted that FAUW brought up the Salary Anomaly Review again at the last Faculty Relations Committee meeting. While administration states they are fully supportive of the process beginning, we will keep pushing for this to actually move it forward. We also reminded the administration about the letters from the Equity and Lecturers committees with recommendations for improving the review process.

Continue reading “Board meeting report: September 15, 2022”

Fact Check: How to Fix Policy 76 in 19 minutes

—FAUW Lecturers Committee, August 19, 2022

A recent guest post on this blog outlined, in a video, a potential solution to Policy 76. Using the 2021 Lecturers Survey, the FAUW Lecturers Committee would like to add data points that are relevant to this discussion. The survey achieved an 80% response rate (192/240) lecturers.

Assumptions in the video

The proposed solution in the guest blog was based on several key assumptions:

Assumption 1:  A “common rule of thumb” that one teaching task = 10% of workload.

Response: Such a rule of thumb is not written in any policy or document that we are aware of. A clear definition of a “teaching task” does not currently exist for either Lecturers or tenure-track faculty. Such a definition would fall under the purview of a workload policy, which UW does not have. Other institutions, such as the University of Toronto have workload policies.

Assumption 2:  The majority of Lecturers have an 80% teaching, 20% service load.

Response: Based on the 2021 Lecturers Survey results only 43% of respondents actually have an 80% teaching/20% service load. Although 80/20 is the most popular type of lecturer contract, it does not apply to the majority of lecturers. The table below shows which contract types exist among survey respondents and how many lecturers fall into each contract type:

Continue reading Fact Check: How to Fix Policy 76 in 19 minutes

Update on the AODA Education Standard

As you may recall, FAUW was invited to provide feedback on the draft of the new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) education standard in October 2021. The draft outlined 179 recommendations proposed to inform accessibility standards for education across Ontario under the AODA.

The Final Recommendations Report was released on April 22, 2022 and is comprised of 183 recommendations for government, educational governing bodies, and post-secondary education institutions. The standard is extensive and will have direct and significant implications for the University’s current governance and infrastructure, teaching and learning practices, research and funding principles, and student experience operations. While the standard is not yet enacted into legislation, it is expected that it will be within the next year.

Waterloo’s workplace accessibility specialist, Joyce Barlow, has created a summary of the final recommendations, “Upcoming to Changes to Accessibility for the AODA.” You can download a copy of the summary here (PDF).

There is currently no formal plan for gathering feedback from individual stakeholders (e.g., faculty members) as the standard is being discussed at administrative levels. We will share further updates as we have them. If you have questions or feedback to share in the meantime, please contact me: zara.rafferty@uwaterloo.ca 


Zara Rafferty is a continuing lecturer in Recreation and Leisure Studies, and the faculty representative on the UW Accessibility Committee.

How to Fix Policy 76 in 19 minutes

This is a guest post from Dave Tompkins, a continuing lecturer in the School of Computer Science.


In July, FAUW’s status update regarding policy 76/77 revisions mentioned the possibility of mediation, and arbitration if necessary.

As an exercise, I sat down and thought about what solution I would come up with if I was an arbitrator, and I created a video that describes my solution:

My intent was to help shape the conversation around policy 76/77 and nudge negotiations forward so that mediation/arbitration won’t be necessary.

I want to be clear that I am doing this solely as an individual, and not on behalf of FAUW, the Lecturers Committee, the Faculty of Mathematics or any other group.

I am also now updating an FAQ to respond to any questions you may have.

Keeping Our Foot on the Equity Gas Pedal

A post from the FAUW Lecturers Committee and FAUW Equity Committee.

The University of Waterloo made an important commitment to make progress towards gender equity by joining the HeForShe initiative in 2014 and meeting its faculty HeForShe commitments in 2018. Of particular note for this blog post is the goal of 30% female faculty representation. Efforts towards gender parity, particularly in faculty positions, need to be long-term and sustained to ensure that equity considerations in the hiring process, promotion process, and general work culture become and persist as the norm. What is more, equity needs to occur at the micro level (i.e., faculties and departments) in addition to the macro level (i.e., university-wide). When looking at gender parity in our faculty members since 2009, university-wide, the impact of the HeForShe campaign and other equity initiatives is clear. Faculty-wide female representation has increased steadily from 25% in 2009 to almost 31% in 2021. While this is indeed progress, there are some areas for improvement. In this post, we would like to track UW’s gender parity, but it is important to note that the data we draw from is limited in that it retains cis-gender binary distinctions. 

Looking at specific faculty roles, it is clear there is a need for sustained long-term equity efforts. First, female representation at the full professor level is much lower compared to other faculty roles. While there was a fairly steady rate of female representation at the associate professor level (~31.6%), there was a decline in female representation in assistant professors and continuing lecturers from 2018 to 2021. These could be early warning signs that we are taking our foot off the metaphorical equity gas pedal. The decline in assistant professor female representation is particularly worrisome, given that this is the beginning of the current professorial ranks (i.e., assistant, associate, and full professor) and declines in female representation at this rank will make it impossible to achieve the long-term change needed at the full professor rank. We all need to keep our foot on the gas pedal to ensure that equity gains are sustained in the long-term across all faculty ranks.

Graph depicting female representation in different faculty types in 2009, 2014, 2018, and 2021. For all faculty, female representation was 25% in 2009, 29% in 2014, 30% in 2018, and 31% in 2021. For full professors, female representation was 14% in 2009, 18% in 2014, 21% in 2018, and 23% in 2021. For associate professors, female representation was 27% in 2009, 32% in 2014, 32% in 2018, and 32% in 2021. For assistant professors, female representation was 34% in 2009, 40% in 2014, 41% in 2018, and 38% in 2021. For continuing lecturers, female representation was 41% in 2009, 28% in 2014, 38% in 2018, and 33% in 2021. For all lecturers, female representation was 35% in 2009, 42% in 2014, 37% in 2018, and 45% in 2021.
Figure 1. University Level Gender Parity Across Faculty Types 2009 – 2021. Data Source: Statistics Canada University and College Academic Staff System (UCASS)
Continue reading “Keeping Our Foot on the Equity Gas Pedal”

The Full Promotion of Teaching

What one professor learned while applying for promotion with an emphasis on teaching.

—James Skidmore, Professor and Director, Waterloo Centre for German Studies

I recently applied for and received promotion to full professor. People have asked why I didn’t do this earlier, and I usually gave one of two responses. I would either say that I was under the impression that at UW, you first had to win the Nobel Prize in Physics to be promoted, or I would point out that I’ve been full of myself for years and didn’t think I needed a letter from the President of the University to tell me something I already knew.

The thing is, I’ve always been more interested in my work than in my career; fixating on “rank” was a distraction I’ve tried hard to avoid. Besides, I assumed my somewhat nonconformist academic path might prevent committees from supporting the submission. My work at universities shows a stronger-than-usual commitment to teaching and service than is the norm, and I wondered if that wouldn’t prove to be a dealbreaker.

After attending the FAUW workshop on applying for promotion, and then seeking out the advice and guidance of Lori Curtis (at the time chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure committee) and Katie Damphouse (the AF&T and Policy officer), I was able to confirm that putting forward a promotion dossier where the emphasis would be on teaching was actually possible under Policy 77. But it’s certainly not the conventional approach, and it required some careful handling.

Thankfully, it seems to have worked. The application went through without a hitch. There were no requests for further information, no off-the-record discussions about holding off on applying, no security personnel arriving at my office to escort me off campus (though I’ve been working from home since the pandemic started, so perhaps they did come by but couldn’t find me). And since I kind of had to figure this out on my own—I didn’t know anyone who had emphasized teaching when applying for promotion—I’d like to share what I learned about the process and how I went about it. Perhaps it will prove useful to you if your situation is similar to mine, but also to anyone putting together a promotion dossier.

Continue reading “The Full Promotion of Teaching”

What are Pedagogical and Professional Development activities?

We have heard concerns from some current lecturers about what we are calling “Pedagogical and Professional Development activities,” or “PPD.” They are worried that, in the Policy 76/77 revision process, FAUW is pushing for research to be a required part of the job for lecturers who move into the new professorial teaching-stream ranks.

This is not the case.

What are Pedagogical and Professional Development activities?

FAUW and the administration have not agreed to specific lists of activities yet. Here is just a sample of some activities that FAUW believes should count as PPD:*

Pedagogical development activities:

  • Exploring, developing, and/or implementing new teaching practices;
  • Designing or redesigning a course;
  • Participating in curriculum development or review;
  • Participating in teaching initiatives in your department or faculty; at the university; or at other universities;
  • Attending or participating in workshops and conferences on pedagogy;
  • Taking on internal or external educational leadership roles (e.g. teaching fellowships or invited teaching at other universities);
  • Performing disciplinary or pedagogical research/scholarly work (see “Where traditional research fits in” below).

Professional development activities:

  • If applicable, maintaining professional licences or accreditations (e.g. in engineering, pharmacy, accounting);
  • Other activities required to maintain professional standing in a field.

Where traditional research fits in

Policy 77 currently states about both professors and lecturers:

University teaching is informed and enriched by the research and scholarship of the professoriate. The University expects its regular faculty members to be active participants in the evolution of their disciplines and professions, to keep academic programs and courses current with developments in their fields, and to communicate both their discoveries and their commitment to scholarship and research.

FAUW believes that, to be “active participants in the evolution” of their fields, teaching-stream faculty should be encouraged to, for example, attend disciplinary conferences. And, if teaching-stream faculty want to engage in traditional forms of dissemination of research/scholarly work—either in their discipline or in the scholarship of teaching and learning—it too should “count” as pedagogical development.

But, to be clear, FAUW is not advocating that teaching-stream faculty must do research.

Continue reading “What are Pedagogical and Professional Development activities?”