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August Bulletin

Table of Contents:

  • Promotion and Tenure Applications
  • Recording Courses
  • Fall 2021 Course Syllabi
  • Grievance Team
  • Inter-Union Campaign on the Bimodal Teaching Format

Dear members,

It has been brought to the APUO’s attention that some faculties and units are placing demands upon members that contravene the Collective Agreement. The demands in question relate to promotion and tenure applications, the recording of courses, and Fall 2021 course syllabi. In this Bulletin, we review your rights as they pertain to these three issues and provide an update about recent changes to the APUO Grievance Team, and the Inter-union’s campaign on the Central Administration’s bimodal teaching plans for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Promotion and Tenure Applications

Some faculties are requiring that promotion and tenure applications be submitted electronically, and that A-Reports be included in the documents sent to the Dean. 

As per Article 25.4.2, APUO members are under no obligation to do so. The article does not prescribe a particular format in which promotion and tenure applications must be submitted. As such, you may submit your application in the format of your choosing, including electronically. Article 25.4.2 also specifies that promotion and tenure applications must be submitted between July 1 and September 1. As per the Article, the following documents must be included in the promotion and tenure and application:

(a)  the Member’s up-to-date curriculum vitae; 

(b)  a copy of the results of the Member’s scholarly activities, in one or more of the forms described in, that the Member wishes to have considered when her application is assessed; 

(c)  any relevant information regarding the Member’s participation in academic service activities; 

(d)  for applications for tenure or for promotion to the rank of Associate or Full Professor, a list of at least three (3) persons outside the University who could be called upon to evaluate the Member’s works, it being understood that this list is to be provided in accordance with the provisions of 23.3.2 of this agreement; 

(e)  any other information that the Member deems useful. 

Members are not required to submit copies of their A-Report to their Dean as part of their tenure and promotion application. 

We also want to make clear that, as a result of an agreement between the APUO and the Central Administration, A-Reports were not created for the 2020 Winter, Spring/Summer, and Fall terms. Members were only provided with copies of their P-Reports. For the 2021 Winter, Spring/Summer, and Fall 2021 terms, A-Reports will be produced and provided to members only. These particular A-Reports will not be added to members’ official employee files. 

Some members may wish to provide copies of their 2020 P-Reports (in whole or in part) or 2021 Winter A-Reports for consideration by their respective Dean and the FTPC. The APUO advises members that, in such instances, they should submit these documents separately from their official tenure and promotion application, and clearly specify that copies of these particular reports are not to be provided to the Department Teaching Personnel Committee (DTPC) and/or external evaluators. 

Recording courses

The APUO has been made aware that some Deans are pressuring APUO members to record their courses, with some even suggesting that not doing so amounts to systemic discrimination toward students. 

The APUO reminds members that courses and all associated course materials are your intellectual property, and that you have the right to refuse to record courses and/or share them with their students outside prescribed class times. Students who may require course recordings for reasons of academic accommodation must submit a request to the Student Academic Support Service (SASS). Such requests are then assessed and coordinated between SASS and professors. 

Fall 2021 Course Syllabi

Some faculties and units are requiring that particular statements, along with specific timelines setting out when assignments are due and when examinations will occur, be included in course syllabi for the Fall 2021 term. Some have also sent members course syllabi templates, claiming their use is mandatory. Imposing the inclusion of particular statements in, and/or the use of particular templates for, course syllabi, apart from those specified in the collective agreement, is an infringement on your right to academic freedom as outlined in Article 9 of the Collective Agreement. 

APUO members are in no way obliged to use faculty or unit course syllabi templates or to include statements or other information provided by their faculty or unit in these documents, nor are they required to submit their course syllabi to their faculty or unit for approval.  Your rights and responsibilities regarding course syllabi are governed by the APUO Collective Agreement. As per article 21.1.2 (b) of the Collective Agreement, members have the right and responsibility to “organize course content and classroom laboratory activities and employ methodology and didactic material, including textbooks for the courses assigned to her, in a manner appropriate to the course and consistent with relevant academic standards and course descriptions approved by the Senate, it being understood that in the case of a multi-section courses the Chair and the departmental assembly may jointly choose common didactic materials, including textbooks, where it can be shown that this choice is justified by valid academic reasons and does not impose ideological conformity on the members concerned.”

Further, as per article 21.1.3: 

(b) members shall “determine a reasonable number or regularly scheduled office hours when she will be available to students for consultation, post these at her office door, and communicate them to the students and to her chair”;

(c) members shall “inform her students, at the beginning of a course, regarding course requirements, instructional and evaluation methods, and the nature and timing of assignments, projects and examinations”;

(d) members shall“not schedule final examinations outside the period designated for that purpose by the appropriate authority.”

Put simply, members have the right to choose whether to include information produced by their respective faculty or unit in their course syllabi, or to disseminate such information by other means.

Grievance Team

There have been some recent changes to our Grievance Team. 

Our Grievance Officer, Brianne Carlson, started maternity leave at the end of March. We welcome Patrick Desjardins to our team for the duration of her leave. 

On June 30, 2021, François Rocher ended his term as the APUO Liaison Officer. We thank François for his many years of service and dedication to our union. 

We are pleased to welcome two new Liaison Officers: Julie Paquin from the Faculty of Law, section Droit civil, and Thomas Foth from the Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing. 

Inter-union campaign on the bimodal teaching format

Since learning of the Central Administration’s plans to introduce a bimodal teaching format for the 2021-2022 academic year, the APUO along with the Association of Part-Time Professors (APTPUO), the Support Staff of the University of Ottawa (SSUO), Local 2626 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 2626), the University of Ottawa IT Professionals (UOITP), the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU), and the Graduate Student Association (GSAÉD) have been campaigning for a safe return to campus, the implementation of pedagogically sound teaching practices in the 2021-2022 academic year, and the respecting of each union’s Collective Agreement. 

Following the Central Administration’s failure to address the inter-union coalition’s concerns as reported in our June 18 bulletin, and its continued refusal to meet the inter-union coalition, a press release was published in July that garnered positive media coverage. As the Central Administration moves ahead with its plans for the 2021-2022 academic year, the inter-union coalition will continue its efforts to find ways to have our collective concerns heard and acknowledged. 

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the issues discussed in this bulletin, we encourage you to communicate with the APUO.