Board of Governors, October 28, 1999 - APPENDIX VI, Annex 3



Annual Report to Senate - 1998-1999

The membership of the Committee for the 1998-99 membership year was:

Members: D. Bentley (Chair), D. Allison (Vice-Chair), C. Dhavernas, A. Oosterhoff*, R. Shivers, A. Pearson, S. Galsworthy

Alternates: N. Curtis, H. Laschinger, J. Toswell, J. Rylett, M. Spence, J. Stokes, D. Hair

* A. Oosterhoff resigned during the year and was replaced by P. Haase.

The Senate Committee on Appeals (SCA) heard two appeals in 1998-99. Both appeals were denied. The appeals were from decisions of the Dean and Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee in a departmentalized Faculty. One appeal was against a decision not to recommend tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. The other appeal was against a decision not to recommend promotion to the rank of Professor.

Since the issue of "new evidence" was again raised this year, the SCA offers the following clarification of its policy in this regard.

In accordance with its function as an appeal body beyond the discipline- and standards-based assessments for the granting of promotion and tenure as set out in Section B.1-49 of Conditions of Appointment, the Senate Committee on Appeals does not assess cases afresh (de novo), but, rather, considers whether the Senate or Faculty committee whose negative recommendation is under appeal followed the proper procedures in arriving at its decision and whether, on the basis of the evidence available to that committee, the decision was fair and reasonable. Therefore, the SCA does not, ordinarily, entertain "new evidence" --that is, evidence, such as recent teaching evaluations and letters of support, that was unavailable to the committee at the time of the negative recommendation either because it did not then exist or because of a lack of due diligence on the part of the appellant. In the course of an appeal, the SCA examines, hears, and weighs the statements and arguments of all parties in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the nature and background of the appeal, to identify any errors of fact, interpretation, and process, and, hence, to determine whether the recommendation under appeal was properly informed, reasonable, fair, and consistent with stated procedures and accepted conventions. It also hears and weighs the statements of witnesses on the understanding that the purpose and limit of such statements is the elucidation or clarification of materials available (as defined above) to the committee whose recommendation is being appealed. All the parties and ancillaries to an SCA hearing should remember that the question uppermost in the minds of the Committee is "Was the negative recommendation fair, reasonable, and procedurally correct on the basis of the available evidence and according to the terms of Section B.1-49 of Conditions of Appointment?"

D. M. R. Bentley
Chair, Senate Committee on Appeals