Information from Faculty Relations during COVID-19

Our office will be operating virtually between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays until further notice.  Contact information can be found here.

FOR CAMPUS-WIDE INFORMATION, PLEASE REFER TO WESTERN'S COVID-19 UPDATES AT UWO.CA/CORONAVIRUS/

The information on this page is available to assist and inform our Western leaders, faculty, librarians and archivists and may be changed and updated as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation evolves as related to the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The information on this page may be changed and updated as the situation continues to develop. Please check back. Thank you for your patience.

I am a Clinical Academic in Schulich and I am concerned the COVID-19 situation may negatively impact on my consideration for promotion and/or continuing appointment. What can I do?

We are aware the COVID-19 situation may create significant challenges which could impact Clinical Academics’ timeline to promotion and/or continuing status on account of the unusual demands in their clinical practice within the pandemic health care environment and their ongoing academic responsibilities.

In addition, we also recognize Clinical Departments may experience circumstances such that the ability to manage Promotion and/or Continuing files of faculty members is compromised.

In response to the potential impacts identified above, requests for a one year deferral of files to be considered in the 2020/21 Promotion and Continuing Appointment cycle may be made by the following:

  • A candidate being considered for Promotion and/or granting of Continuing Status
  • A Department Chair/Chief
  • A Department Appointments and Promotion Committee

Requests for deferrals of individual files or multiple files within the same department are to be made by August 1, 2020, in writing to the Dean for approval, if approved by the Dean, the request shall be forwarded to the Vice-Provost (APPF) for approval on behalf of the Provost. No request will be unreasonably declined.

Requests for deferrals of files where the one year deferral may impact immigration or licensure requirements will be made on a case-by-case basis.

I am involved in the development of courses receiving Tier 1, Tier 2 and/or KnowledgeOne supports. What happens with my intellectual property (IP) rights? Is there any additional compensation available for this activity?

As faculty members, you retain your intellectual property at all times, unless you choose to enter into either a Commissioned Works Agreement or a Course Authoring Agreement. It is your individual choice to enter into either of these agreements.

As a faculty member you do not have to enter into either of the above agreements in order to receive Tier 1, Tier 2 or KnowledgeOne supports. The attached COVID-19 Commissioned Works Agreement provides an avenue where part-time or full-time faculty members may enter into an agreement which provides compensation for the both the assignment of IP rights and either “additional payment” or workload credit (FT members only). Below are the options available:

1. Full Time Faculty: Where the workload involved in the preparation exceeds the volume of prep normally put into a course, the Dean can enter into an workload agreement with full-time faculty members and, if appropriate and reasonable,

i. the full–time faculty member could be granted a workload credit (say, .5 FCE) to be recouped at a time that is agreeable to the Department and the faculty member; or

ii. the full-time faculty member could enter into a Covid-19 Commissioned Work Agreement/Course Authoring agreement and receive the workload credit and a small stipend associated with the assignment of their IP to the university.

2. Part-time faculty: With Part-time faculty members, the ability to grant a workload credit is not available and the UWOFA Collective Agreement does not contemplate additional compensation for course prep. Where a part-time faculty member is not wishing to retain their IP rights, entering into a Covid-19 Course Authoring Agreement or a Commissioned Works Agreement may work.

Faculty members should discuss any workload implications with their Dean

I have caregiving responsibilities as a result of the COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency that are impacting my ability to carry out my Academic Responsibilities. What can I do?

We recognize the need to accommodate faculty, librarians and archivists on the basis of family status for circumstances that may arise as a result of the COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency. Accommodation requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis based on individual circumstances. You can request an accommodation from your Dean or Chief Librarian.

I am having trouble fulfilling my Academic Responsibilities for reasons other than caregiving responsibilities. What can I do?

We are aware that faculty, librarians and archivists may be experiencing difficulties in performing their work due to the COVID-19 situation. You can request a leave of absence from your Dean or Chief Librarian in a number of different ways:

  • Compassionate Leave under Clause 3 of the Article Income Security
  • Sick Leave under the Article Income Security, if you qualify medically
  • Reduced Workload with a reduced salary prorated to reflect the portion of Reduced Workload to Full-Time Workload under Clause 8 of the Article Reduced Workload. Timelines in Clause 3.1 shall be waived
  • Unpaid leave of absence under the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000

I was scheduled to go on a Modified Alternative Workload Leave in July 2020, what options do I have now?

We recognize that there are many ways the COVID-19 pandemic could put academic activities planned for an upcoming Modified Alternative Workload Leave (MAWL) in jeopardy. Perhaps you have increased family responsibilities due to loss of childcare or due to elder care needs. Perhaps you have travel plans that have been interrupted. Or perhaps you are not able to attend the locations where you collect data for your research.

You can request through your Dean to defer the start of your 2020-2021 MAWL by 6 months or 12 months. Your Dean will re-assign normal workload to you during the deferral period.

The fillable version of the MAWL Delay Form can be accessed by department administrators via the Administrator Tools (Intranet - Secure LOGIN) and sent to requesting faculty:

Can I still retain ownership of my Intellectual Property if the Centre of Teaching and Learning is involved in moving my course online?

There have been some questions coming forward with respect to whether a faculty member retains their IP rights if they are receiving Tier 1 or Tier 2 support with respect to moving their courses online.

Kindly be assured that our faculty members retain the ownership of all intellectual property created during the course of their academic duties unless they choose to enter into an separate agreement to transfer ownership. Any purchase of intellectual property by Western involves a very transparent process and the faculty member would be fully engaged in the negotiation of any proposed such agreement.

Under the UWOFA collective agreement, all UWOFA Faculty members retain Intellectual property rights to their course materials unless they enter into either a Commissioned Works agreement or a Course Authoring Agreement. Precedents of such agreements are available online at Information from Faculty Relations during COVID-19

Further, Western’s MAPP 7.16 Intellectual Property policy confirms a faculty member’s right to retain ownership of intellectual property created during the course of their academic duties. https://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/policies_procedures/section7/mapp716.pdf

Unlike Faculty, staff persons are not entitled to retain or claim ownership of any intellectual property conceived or created during the course of their employment.

Engaging the assistance of the Centre for Teaching and Learning in moving their course online would never automatically limit a faculty member’s right to the ownership of intellectual property created during the course of one’s academic duties.

Please do not hesitate to contact OFR if you have any additional questions.

I am concerned that the COVID-19 situation may negatively impact on my consideration for promotion and tenure or continuing appointment. What can I do?

We are aware that probationary faculty, librarians and archivists may be impacted by the current COVID-19 situation. You can request an extension on your promotion and tenure or continuing appointment timelines if you have been adversely affected.

There are a number of important timelines under the UWOFA Collective Agreement and the Covid-19 situation may interfere with some of them. How is this being managed?

In collaboration with UWOFA on March 23rd, we developed the following information table that outlines specific details regarding the Faculty Collective Agreement deadlines and timelines. We have identified the deadlines for processes and have suggested alternative mechanisms to consider to, where possible, complete the process by the required timeline. In situations where it is difficult to meet a deadline or timeline, mutually agreed upon extensions will be necessary.

UPDATE: There are a number of important timelines under the UWOFA-LA Collective Agreement and I am concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic may interfere with some of them. How is this being managed?

In collaboration with UWOFA on April 9th and 14th, we developed the following information table that outlines specific details regarding the Librarians and Archivists Collective Agreement deadlines and timelines. We have identified the deadlines for processes and have suggested alternative mechanisms to consider to, where possible,  complete the process by the required timeline. In situations where it is difficult to meet a deadline or timeline, mutually agreeable extensions will be necessary.

UPDATE: July 17, 2020 After mutual agreement, timelines in regards to ARR deadlines have been adjusted. Please see table for updated dates.

I am currently under consideration for promotion and/or tenure in 2020. I am concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic may impact on my ability to complete that process. How is Western able to accommodate?

Extensions to deadlines and timelines within the 2020 promotion and tenure cycle may be necessary. These extensions will be granted if you have challenges preparing your dossier as a result of circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be for a number of reasons including increased family responsibilities or remote technology challenges. Individually, the impact of COVID-19 will vary, but we want to be sure this does not put your promotion in jeopardy.

We worked with UWOFA in March to identify a number of accommodations for the promotion cycle currently underway. A table of these is presented below.

We will continue to work with UWOFA to ensure that issues are promptly considered and will adapt as necessary.

I am currently under consideration for promotion and/or continuing appointment in 2020. I am concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic may impact on my ability to complete that process. How is Western able to accommodate?

Extensions to deadlines and timelines with this year’s Promotion and Continuing Appointment cycle may be necessary. These extensions will be granted if you have challenges preparing your dossier as a result of circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This could be for a number of reasons including increased family responsibilities or remote technology challenges. Individually, the impact of COVID-19 will vary, but we want to be sure this does not put your promotion and/or continuing appointment in jeopardy.

We worked with UWOFA in April to identify a number of accommodations for the cycle currently underway. A table of these is presented below.

We will continue to work with UWOFA to ensure that issues are promptly considered and will adapt as necessary.

UPDATE: Will the COVID-19 pandemic impact this year’s Annual Review and Report (ARR) process for Librarians and Archivists?

The upcoming 2020 ARR cycle may be impacted by the current situation related to COVID-19. Most steps in the process can be completed virtually, if necessary. By way of mutual agreement, the upcoming ARR cycle timelines have been modified. Please see link below for key dates and deadlines for this year’s ARR cycle. If you prefer to provide your submission prior to the adjusted timeline, you are welcome to do so.

For any questions related to the 2020 ARR cycle, please speak with your immediate supervisor.

I was planning to go on sabbatical this July. What options do I have now?

In these extraordinary times, we recognize that there are many ways the COVID-19 pandemic could put your upcoming sabbatical in jeopardy. Perhaps you have increased family responsibilities due to loss of childcare or due to elder care needs. Perhaps you have travel plans that have been interrupted. Or perhaps you are not able to attend the locations where you collect data for your research.

You can request through your Dean to defer the start of your 2020-2021 sabbatical leave by 6 months or 12 months. Your Dean will re-assign normal workload to you during the deferral period. This will not have any negative effect on the eligibility period for subsequent sabbaticals.

The fillable version of the Sabbatical Delay Form can be accessed by department administrators via the Administrator Tools (Intranet - Secure LOGIN) and sent to requesting faculty:

I am a Librarian and/or Archivist and was planning to go on a Professional Leave this year, what options do I have?

Due to the current extraordinary situation, should a Librarian and/or Archivist need to delay an approved Professional Leave scheduled to begin from May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020 as a result of barriers related to COVID-19 (e.g. canceled arrangements at host institution, travel issues, …) they should make request for a deferral to the Chief Librarian. The Chief Librarian, in consultation with the relevant supervisor (if applicable), and subject to Provost approval, may recommend a delay of the Professional Leave up to one year. This process will be similar to that which is outlined in Clause 13 of Professional Leave in the 2010 to 2023 Librarian and Archivist Collective Agreement.

A deferral request form, provided below, which describes the impact COVID-19 has had on the Leave plan must be submitted to the Chief Librarian. Each case will be assessed on its own set of facts and the operational needs of the unit taken into account and the Member will be expected to continue previously assigned workload during the period of delay. Any deferred Professional Leave in these circumstances will not be counted within the maximum approved Professional Leaves identified in Clause 12, however for operational reasons, Clause 12.3 will apply.

The fillable version of the Professional Delay Form can be accessed by department administrators via the Administrator Tools (Intranet - Secure LOGIN) and sent to requesting faculty:

Will the COVID-19 pandemic interfere with my 2020 annual performance evaluation?

The 2020 APE assessment process is in its final stages. Most individual assessments will have been completed by January 31, 2020, however, there may be some faculty members that have requested a meeting with their Dean regarding their annual assessments. Similarly, there may be Deans that have requested meetings with faculty members to discuss their annual assessments. As per the table in the link below, these meetings may occur virtually if possible. Where this is not possible, timelines will be extended so that meetings may occur, virtually or in person, at a time that is mutually agreeable. In some cases, the finalizing of APE scores may be delayed due to the inability to conduct these meetings. This may have a delay on July 1st compensation adjustments. However, once complete, compensation adjustments will be retro-active to July 1, 2020.

Any questions related to the 2020 APE cycle, please speak with your Chair/Director or Dean.

I have questions about Immigration considerations.

The Office of Faculty Recruitment and Retention is available to answer your questions if you are:

  • Hiring international faculty or librarians and archivists at this time;
  • Inviting an international academic visitor to Western;
  • Considering engaging or employing international post-doctoral fellows; or
  • An international academic or post-doctoral fellow currently in London with a concluding appointment.

For additional information, please refer to the memorandum below.

I am working to move my classes online. Where can I get help with that?

Several excellent resources have been developed to support faculty transitioning courses online. Please visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning for more information.

What are the intellectual property considerations when I develop an online course or convert an existing course to an online format?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the potential for an accelerated move of some materials to online formats or the development of new materials for an online course. The memo below addresses some of the issues raised with respect to developing a new online course or adapting existing courses to move online temporarily or permanently.

I am moving my class online and worried about protecting my copyright materials from being used without my consent. What can I do?

With the move to a virtual environment due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that there are concerns about placing your intellectual property online. Course content created by a faculty member is considered the faculty member’s intellectual property; it should not be distributed, shared in any public domain, or sold by a student or other third party without prior written consent of the faculty member. The attached memo outlines strategies to help protect your Intellectual Property.

While I am working from home, can some of my expenses be reimbursed or claimed on my 2020 income tax return?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, all non-essential faculty, librarians and archivists and staff have been working from home. You may be eligible to claim certain expenses under your Personal Expense Reimbursement (PER) or, for those expenses that are not reimbursed as a professional expense, there are tax rules to allow you to claim a deduction for certain home office expenses on your 2020 personal income tax return. The memo below provides additional details for your consideration.

I had to postpone my professional development plans. Can I carry forward the funds in my Professional Expense Reimbursement (PER) to use once the Pandemic is over?

If you do not incur the maximum eligible expenses during a calendar year, the remainder allocated to your Professional Expense Reimbursement (PER) account will be carried forward and may be utilized for eligible expenses in a subsequent year during the term of your Collective Agreement, but not beyond. For example, if you do not attend a conference in 2020 and have not incurred any eligible expenses, then your PER funding can be used for eligible expenses during 2021.

When you do incur an expense, and if you want to use your PER funding, you must submit the claim associated with the eligible expense no later than March 31 of the following year.

UWOFA Members may obtain additional information on PER, Health Care Spending Account and Taxable Wellness Spending Account at 2020 Flex Credits for Faculty Members and the Professional Expense Reimbursement Article in the UWOFA Collective Agreement.

UWOFA-LA Members may obtain additional information on PER, Health Care Spending Account and Taxable Wellness Spending Account at 2020 Flex Credits for UWOFA Librarians and Archivists and the Professional Expense Reimbursement Article in the UWOFA-LA Collective Agreement.

How do I access my office during the pandemic?

If faculty members, Librarians or Archivists require access to Western offices to retrieve equipment or files while under the Essential Services Act, please speak to your Dean or Chief Librarian who will determine whether the access is essential and they will facilitate access.

I am finding this situation difficult and challenging. What supports are available to me?

Supports are available to all Western employees through Western’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) and can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Clinical and Dentistry Faculty in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in London and Windsor may access additional supports through Schulich’s Wellbeing Program. The Faculty Resources webpage provides specific information regarding the supports available for these faculty during the pandemic.

I am concerned about the status of my grant application. Who can I ask to find out about an extension?

Western Research’s website has helpful FAQ’s which provide current information relating to the impacts of COVID-19 on research activities, including communications from granting agencies which are regularly updated. Please visit COVID-19 Grant Updates or Research - COVID-19 the following sites for the most current information.

I worry about whether my research funding may be in jeopardy on account of COVID-19. Where can I find information on the status of my existing grant?

Western Research’s website has helpful FAQ’s which provide current information relating to the impacts of COVID-19 on research activities, including communications from granting agencies which are regularly updated. Please visit Western Research COVID-19 Updates for the most current information.

Information Regarding Limited Duties Advertising

The Faculty Collective Agreement (FCA), Appointments Clause 15.1 requires anticipated Fall/Winter Limited-Duties Appointments be posted no later than April 30th for at least 30 days.

Designated Department/Faculty Administrators are required to post Limited Duties Appointments through Working at Western system. Please advise via email (cphilpit@uwo.ca) by April 13th of the Units that will be posting Limited Duties Appointments.

Deadline Summary for all Units:

By April 13th – Identify Units that will be posting Limited Duties Appointments via email to: cphilpit@uwo.ca

By April 30th – Post Limited-Duties Appointments through Working at Western system

The rollover for fall/winter Graduate courses in Student Centre/HE has now taken place.  They are now available in Working at Western to facilitate creation of Limited Duties/Standing job openings, with the exception of brand-new graduate courses (which would not have been part of the rollover). New courses will be added after April 20.

For summer courses, just a reminder to contact mpoiri@uwo.ca to change the section/mode for graduate courses and the mode for undergraduate courses to online before completing a hire if they still show as in-class. Errors will occur when a hire is submitted if these changes do not occur.

How do I complete forms and provide the necessary signatures to the Office of Faculty Relations remotely?

A number of business processes have been adapted to allow for an electronic submission process to facilitate the virtual exchange of documents previously exchanged in paper format. The submission process applies to the following documents:

  • Advertisements (full-time)
  • Offer Letters
  • JRAFs
  • Leave Applications
  • Sabbaticals/Deferrals
  • Termination Notices
  • Retirement Emeritus/a Notices
  • Administrative Appointments
  • Alternative Workloads
  • Course Authoring and Commissioned Work Agreements
  • FAN Revisions