Establishment and Designation of Research and Teaching Chairs, Professorships and Distinguished Fellowships (Guidelines and Procedures)

Legislative History:

Approved by Senate Academic Policy, Planning and Research Committee: 2015/03/12; Approved by Senate: 2015/03/26; Approved by Board Academic Resources Committee: 2015/04/10; Approved by the Board of Governors: 2015/04/27. Effective: 2015/04/27.

Approval Authority: Board of Governors and Senate

Signature: Maureen Armstrong, Julia Foster


Description:  Has associated policy.

Guidelines

Funding

Research and Teaching Chairs, Professorships and Distinguished Fellowships may be funded through:

  • an endowment
  • fixed term funding from external sources
  • a combination of sources including eligible internal funds.

Funding for incumbents shall be commensurate with explicit academic goals and objectives, and shall be sufficient to cover 100 per cent of costs (which will vary with the nature of positions, expectations and areas of scholarship). Minimum amounts and financial terms shall be consistent with those promulgated by the University, which may be expected to be adjusted periodically.

Funding for fixed term Chairs and Professorships shall be for a minimum of five years. In the event that necessary additional funding is secured, a limited term Chair or Professorship may be converted to an Endowed Chair or Professorship without further review or approval. Similarly, should the necessary additional funding be realized, an endowed Professorship may be converted to an endowed Chair, without further review or approval.

Funding for limited term Distinguished Fellowships shall be for a minimum of 3 years. Distinguished Fellowships may only be converted to other Chairs or Professorships upon successful review and approval.

In addition to covering the salary and benefits of the holder, funding for Research and Teaching Chairs and Professorships shall include provide for an appropriate level of scholarly and research support that may include one or more of the following:

  • unrestricted or restricted accounts in support of the research and teaching goals
  • provisions for a stipend
  • funding for the relief of teaching
  • provisions for infrastructure requirements of an externally recruited appointee
Teaching Requirement

York University prides itself on being comprehensive in its approach to education and in the contact of all faculty members with undergraduate and graduate students. At the same time appointments may offer a number of means through which research intensity beyond normal expectations can be recognized through provision of teaching release time. Accordingly, Research Chairs and Professorships will be expected to include a teaching load that is not less than 50 per cent of the normal load for full time professors in the applicable discipline, and in any case not less than a course load of 1.0. Teaching Chairs and Professorships will be expected to maintain course teaching load equivalent to the norm for faculty members in their Faculties.

Leadership and Community Engagement

All appointees will be identified and recognized leaders of scholarship, research, creative activity, and teaching. As such, they are shall provide leadership in the overall development of the research and teaching mandate of the University and to be active mentors for their colleagues.

Research and Teaching Chairs

The establishment of a Research and Teaching Chair represents a major commitment by the University to the development of an area of research, scholarship and teaching. The holder of a Chair should be of great distinction and be an exceptionally productive well established scholar normally at the rank of Professor.

The normal appointment as Chair is for a fixed term of five years, renewable up to two times (for a total maximum appointment time of 15 years), contingent upon successful performance review. Upon approval of the Provost, there may also be provision to extend an outgoing appointee by one additional year to facilitate the completion of a body of work or to provide for a smooth transition to a new Chair holder.

Professorships

The establishment of a Research and Teaching Professorship represents a commitment by the University to the development of an area of research, scholarship and teaching. The holder of a Professorship should be of distinction and be a highly productive scholar normally at the rank of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor.

The normal appointment to a Professorship is for a fixed term of five years. A term may be renewed not more than once and renewal is contingent upon a successful performance review. Upon approval of the Provost, there may also be provision to extend an outgoing appointee by one additional year to facilitate completion of a body of work or to provide for a smooth transition to a new Professorship holder.

Distinguished Fellowships

Distinguished Fellowships may be established to assist the University in the development of new academic initiatives or in the further development of established areas of scholarship. They may be awarded to visitors from outside the University as well as to internal faculty members.

The appointment for Distinguished Fellowships shall be for a term of up to three years, and may be extended by up to two additional years upon approval of the Provost.

Reporting and other Expectations

All incumbents shall give a lecture to the University community in the first year of their appointment, and if renewed, the first year of subsequent re-appointments. They also will be expected to participate in activities that promote the University’s research and teaching or recognize its donors.

Incumbents will also submit an annual report of their activities to their Department Chairs and Dean/Principal that may be made available to the University Executive and to the donor(s) or their representatives. The format of reports will be determined by the Vice President Advancement in consultation with the Faculties.

Duration of Terms

Individual appointees shall hold their positions

  • for the term specified unless renewed according to the specified process
  • for the term specified unless it has been determined that they are not fulfilling the general criteria of this Policy and / or the explicit expectations associated with a position must relinquish the position
  • until such time as they retire or depart from the University, at which point they shall automatically relinquish the position

Procedures

Establishment of a Research of Teaching Chair or Professorship

 In accordance with the York Act, individual and program-based Research and Teaching Chairs and Professorships are formally established by the Board of Governors after consultation with Senate, normally through its Academic Policy, Planning and Research Committee.

The following are the legislative steps to the formal establishment of a new designation:

  • The Vice-President Academic and Provost, having determined that a proposal is consistent with York’s academic interests and all relevant policies and agreements, shall make a recommendation to the Academic Policy, Planning and Research Committee of Senate seeking its concurrence.
  • Upon concurring with a recommendation, the Academic Policy, Planning and Research shall inform Senate of its decision and transmit a record of its action to the Board of Governors.
  • The Academic Resources Committee of the Board shall be responsible for making recommendations to approve proposals to the Board.

A change in the name of a Chair or Professorship fellowship shall follow the same pathway.

Establishment of a Distinguished Fellowship

The establishment of a Distinguished Fellowship is approved by the Provost, who must be satisfied that a proposal is wholly consistent with the aims of this Policy, articulates appropriate expectations, and has a sufficiency of resources to ensure its sustainability for the term specified. Senate and the Board of Governors shall be informed of the establishment or disestablishment of Distinguished Fellowships.

Proposals

The Deans/Principal or academic Vice Presidents may propose the establishment of a Research and Teaching Chair, Professorship or Distinguished Fellowship through the Office of the Provost and Vice President Academic.

Proposals shall include:

  • a rationale for the Chair or Professorship
  • a description of the scope of the proposed position
  • a description of its alignment with all relevant University and Faculty academic plans

Proposals shall also be accompanied by detailed terms of reference for the position that will include the Faculty / unit of appointment, general requirements and specific expectations, and guidelines for the use of funds.

Proposals must also include a funding plan that demonstrates the presence of funding sufficient to cover 100 per cent of all costs.

Confidentiality Provision

If the University or benefactor(s) wish to maintain the confidentiality of a proposal until a public announcement, the Academic Policy, Planning and Research Committee shall exclude any identifying information from its reports to Senate, and the Board of Governors shall consider proposals under its confidentiality procedures.

Selection, Review and Renewal: Principles

Positions that are fully funded through external sources are expected to be primarily oriented towards external recruitment to enhance York’s research and teaching capacity, although highly qualified internal candidates will also be eligible in all instances.

Selection processes must be open, transparent, and respectful of all normal hiring processes for the University when external recruitment is sought. Specific qualifications and expectations must be approved by the Provost prior to engaging in a selection process.

Similarly, review of incumbents in cases where renewal is permitted, must follow a clear, transparent, and collegial process led by the Dean/Principal of the Faculty(ies) in which the position resides.

If at any time during the period, incumbents are not meeting objectives, the Dean/Principal, in consultation with the Provost and unit head, may make a recommendation to the Provost and President to terminate the term of the holder.

Appointment of Research and Teaching Chairs and Professorships

The Dean(s)/Principal shall appoint an appropriate selection committee. In instances where an interdisciplinary focus extends across Faculties, the selection committee will be formed in consultation with the relevant Deans/Principal, and the Provost. For external hires, the Dean/Principal must submit a detailed description of the qualifications and expectations of the individual to be sought as part of the normal complement planning process. The enhanced expectations for the position also must be clearly articulated in advertising, and throughout the selection process, with approval of all advertisement by the Provost.

Nominations to the Provost by the Dean/Principal must respect in full the criteria of this Policy and the expectations of the position, and shall include a clear and detailed rationale for the recommendation.

Appointment of Distinguished Fellows

The Faculty Dean/Principal will ensure the appointment of an appropriate selection committee.

Nominations to the Provost by the selection committee must respect in full the criteria of this Policy and the expectations of position and shall include a clear and detailed rationale for the recommendation.

 Selection of Incumbents: Eligibility and Authorization

Positions that are fully funded through external sources shall be primarily oriented towards external recruitment to enhance York’s research and teaching capacity, although highly qualified internal candidates will also be eligible in all instances.

Processes for the selection of honorees must be open, transparent, and fully respect all applicable hiring protocols and procedures for the University when external recruitment is sought. Prior to a search, specific qualifications and expectations for candidates must be approved by the Provost.

The Provost shall be responsible for recommending individuals for the awarding of a designation by the President of the University.

Renewal of Incumbents

If incumbents occupy a position for which renewal is provided for, the process of review and renewal must be clear, transparent, and collegial. Such processes are normally led by the Dean or Principal of the Faculty(ies) to which the position is attached.

Review of Chairs and Professorships

Where the terms of reference allow for renewal of incumbents, the review process for consideration of renewal will commence one year prior to the end of the current appointment.

The Dean(s)/Principal establish an appropriate review committee of the incumbent. In instances where the interdisciplinarity extends across Faculties, the review committee will be formed in consultation with the relevant Deans/Principals and the Provost. For Research Chairs and Professors, the review committee shall include a representative of the Vice President Research and Innovation. The review process shall be open and transparent and shall allow for a response by the incumbent to the findings of the review before a recommendation is finalized.

Recommendations to the Provost based on the outcome of the review must be received at least eight months prior to the expiry of the term of the incumbent

Request for an Extension

Requests for extensions of an appointment must be made in writing to the Provost and Vice President Academic by the holder and must be supported by the relevant Dean(s)/Principal

Termination of an Appointment

The applicable Dean(s) / Principal, finding that an appointee has manifestly not fulfilled the terms of the appointment, the may recommend that the Provost terminate incumbency at any time prior to the end of a term or the normal review.