Feedback requested: Impact on academic ranks?

University Council and the Board of Governors need to hear from you and from your Council representatives. If new policies and procedures proposed by the College of Medicine are approved, the academic ranks of Assistant, Associate, and full Professor will no longer be awarded only to academic employees of the University of Saskatchewan.

Submitted to University Council and on tomorrow’s agenda (Item 9.1) is a draft Policy for the appointment and promotion of Medical Faculty, with linked Procedures Manual. Input from Council members is being sought.

The College of Medicine is proposing that approximately 1500 clinicians who currently practice medicine in the province of Saskatchewan and who make contributions to the college’s academic mission will no longer have their appointments designated as “Clinical.” The majority will be re-appointed permanently, assigned the rank of assistant professor and provided with the opportunity to promote to associate professor and professor but without the academic rigor currently applied through our collegial processes.

As well, the College of Medicine has submitted for approval by the URC revised Standards for Tenure and Promotion. The proposed Standards blur the distinction between physicians who contribute to but are not employees of the university, and academic faculty who are employees of the university. The proposed standards expand the types of academic appointment to even allow for a “Teacher” to be promoted to full Professor.

The proposed Policy, Procedures, and Standards raise a number of significant concerns, including:

  • disregard for the teacher-scholar model of our University Standards
  • erosion of the academic qualifications and rigor attached to promotion through the ranks
  • diminishment of research expectations for faculty in the College of Medicine: for some “teachers,” “clinician teachers,” and “clinician administrators” in the medical faculty, the requirement for scholarly work or research is quite minimal
  • trampling of the collegial processes set out in our Collective Agreement
  • eventual elimination of the “Clinical” designation for ranks of those who are not employees of the University

What can you do?

  • Contact your Council representative to provide your input
  • Provide your input at tomorrow’s University Council meeting at 2:30pm in Room 241 Arts (Neatby-Timlin Theatre). You do not have to be a member of University Council to attend and participate in discussions at Council meetings.
  • Write to the Board of Governors. Let them know that academic rank is valuable and the College of Medicine Policy and Procedures in their current form should not be approved.