Peer Review

Purpose

Peer Reviews are used to assess overall performance and make recommendations concerning promotion of rank and conferral of tenure.

The Peer Review process is separate and distinct from Performance Reviews, which are used to assess performance during a specific review period and to identify and develop recommendations concerning performance issues and/or professional development. Performance Reviews are considered as part of any Peer Review process.

Eligibility for Peer Review

Tenured and continuing faculty holding the rank of assistant professor or associate professor may apply for promotion to the next rank after a minimum of three years at their current rank at the university. Such application must be made by submitting a completed Application for Peer Review form to the dean of home faculty no later than October 1 for promotion in the following academic year. Candidates who are unsuccessful in applying for promotion of rank may reapply after a minimum of two years.

Probationary faculty may apply for tenure during their probationary term. Such application must be made by submitting a completed Application for Tenure form to the dean of home faculty no later than October 1 for promotion in the following academic year. These forms can be acquired through a member's home faculty. Unless extended by approved leaves, probationary terms are for a maximum of five years, after which the appointment must be terminated or become tenured.

Faculty Peer Review Committee

Peer Reviews are conducted by a Faculty Peer Review Committee consisting of:

  • Dean of faculty or designate appointed by the VP Academic (Chair, non-voting except in case of a tie);
  • Assistant dean of faculty, or designate (voting);
  • Two faculty selected by the chair from the home faculty’s tenured and continuing faculty, both of whom must be of equal or where possible higher rank than the candidate (voting); and
  • Up to one additional faculty member who may be added at the discretion of the committee for diversity and/or specific expertise (voting).

Peer Review Process

1. Preparation

In making its evaluation, the Faculty Peer Review Committee will consider the following:

  • the Application for Promotion of Rank or Application for Tenure;
  • Performance Reviews;
  • Annual Activity Reports submitted each year;
  • Additional materials relating to the review period submitted by the faculty member and/or the Chair of the Peer Review Committee. Only materials which have been brought to the attention of the faculty member under review will be consiered, including published course evaluations and written communication on file;
  • In cases of tenure and of promotion of rank to full professor, the Faculty Peer Review Committee, in consultation with the candidate, shall request referees external to the university to comment on the candidate’s contributions in the area of professional practice/research. Solicited or unsolicited letters of support (e.g., from students, faculty and externals) will not be considered; nor will anecdotal evidence be considered;
  • Classroom visits may be conducted at the request of the faculty member under review or the Chair of the Peer Review Committee to be scheduled by mutual agreement, and are a mandatory part of the review process for probationary faculty.

2. Committee Review

The Faculty Peer Review Committee meets to discuss the above-listed materials and to conduct its review. The criteria for review are the Standards for Performance for Academic Ranks, as outlined in Schedule B of the Memorandum of Agreement. The results of this review are documented on the Recommendation for Promotion of Rank Form or Recommendation for Tenure Form.

3. Communication with the Faculty Member

Following the committee’s review and finalization of the form, the Chair of the Peer Review Committee meets with the faculty member to discuss his/her Peer Review and provide the Recommendation for Promotion of Rank Form or Recommendation for Tenure Form. In cases of Promotion of Rank, the faculty member may choose to withdraw their application at this stage.

4. Approval by the College Peer Review Committee

The Faculty Peer Review Committee submits its recommendations to the university Peer Review Committee, which consists of the Vice-President, Academic (Chair, voting), the Chair of Academic Council, and a faculty member of Academic Council normally holding the rank of full professor. The recommendations of the College Peer Review Committee shall then be subject to approval by the President and the Board of Governors.

5. Appeal Process

A faculty member who disagrees with the Peer Review and/or its decision to deny promotion of rank or conferral of tenure is encouraged to discuss the matter with the Chair of the Faculty Peer Review Committee. In the event that a satisfactory resolution is not found, the faculty member may submit a written request for Peer Review appeal to the Vice-President, Academic within 14 calendar days following notification of the Peer Review decision to be appealed.

The Peer Review Appeal Committee consists of the following:

  • VP Academic, or designate with the approval of the President (Chair, non-voting);
  • Dean (or designate) from another faculty with approval of the VP Academic; and
  • Two faculty selected by the Chair from the home faculty’s tenured and continuing faculty, who were not members of the Faculty Peer Review Committee which made the decision being appealed, both of whom must be of equal or where possible higher rank than the candidate.

The Chair of the Peer Review Appeal Committee will make every effort to convene a meeting of the Committee within 30 days of the receipt of a request for Peer Review, and to communicate the Committee’s decision in writing to the faculty member in a timely manner. The decision of the Peer Review Appeal Committee is grievable only to the extent outlined under Article 24.5.5 of the Memorandum of Agreement..