Senate Committee on Appeals Annual Report to Senate 1996-97

Senate Agenda - EXHIBIT VII - November 14, 1997


The membership of the Committee for the 1996-97 membership year was:

Members: R. Nuttall, A. Bode, S. Lupker (Chair), R. Brooke, D. Baer, D. Allison, D. Bentley (Vice-Chair).

Alternates: E. Maser, G. Kidder, J. McLeod, J. Good, C.L. Murison, H. Laschinger, M.J. Toswell.

The Senate Committee on Appeals (SCA) heard one appeal during 1996-97. It was an appeal from the decision of the Senate Committee on Promotion and Tenure II (SCPT-II) not to recommend the granting of tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. The appeal was denied.

There were a number of points of procedure that arose during deliberations on this case:

Timing of the Initiation of the Process: Departments are reminded that they are required to forward their recommendations to the Dean by the deadline set out in Conditions of Appointment (B.24). This deadline should be regarded seriously for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it will enable an appellant to have a timely hearing in a case where there is an appeal. The importance of adhering to the deadline becomes even more clear when an appellant is in the final year of a probationary contract. While events may intervene to make this deadline impossible to meet in some circumstances, the SCA is of the opinion that merely because it has not been part of the culture or tradition in the Department to forward the recommendations by the date mandated by Conditions of Appointment, this is not a sufficient reason to either request or grant an extension of the deadline. It is the responsibility of the Dean's Office to ensure that the deadlines listed in B.24 of Conditions of Appointment are closely adhered to.

Recommendations of the Dean and the Faculty Committee: As required under B.49(l) (ii) of Conditions of Appointment, recommendations must come from both the Faculty Committee on Promotion and Tenure and the Dean. More importantly, "such recommendations shall clearly indicate the basis on which a candidate is proposed for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor and/or tenure" [emphasis added]. This information must be included in the dossier forwarded to SCPT-II. SCPT-II should not have to write to the Dean and the Faculty Committee to request missing information. Such inquiries only serve to slow down the review process.

Inclusion of all relevant documentation: The SCA reaffirmed its previous statement relating to who should be responsible for the completeness of a dossier:

"It is the joint responsibility of the candidate, the Department Committee on Promotion and Tenure, and the Faculty Committee to ensure that a candidate's dossier is accurate and complete. This responsibility must be diligently exercised if the interests of both the candidate and the University are to be protected." (Senate Committee on Appeals 1989-90 Annual Report to Senate)

In the view of the SCA, SCPT-II bears none of the responsibility for the completeness of the dossier. If information has been inadvertently omitted by either the candidate or lower level committees, SCPT-II cannot be expected to somehow ascertain that such information must exist and, then, to ask for it during its review process.

In addition, it is the responsibility of the Dean and the Faculty Committee to include all correspondence that exists about the case (e.g., letters between the Faculty Committee and the Department Committee) in the dossier and not to decide unilaterally which letters are relevant and which are not.

S.J. Lupker,

Chair, Senate Committee on Appeals