Academic Restructuring, Policy and Procedures for Faculty and Librarians on [February 26, 2015]

University of Toronto
Governing Council

Policy and Procedures for Faculty and Librarians on
Academic Restructuring

February 26, 2015

To request an official copy of this policy, contact:

The Office of the Governing Council
Room 106, Simcoe Hall
27 King’s College Circle
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1A1 

Phone: 416-978-6576
Fax: 416-978-8182

Policy and Procedures for Faculty and Librarians on Academic Restructuring

This Policy is consistent with and supports the University’s commitment to collegial processes for academic planning and consultation on various matters that include faculty and librarians and include students and staff and other interested members of the University community.  Within the wide scope of such collegial processes and consultations there is a need for a specific process for faculty members and librarians dealing with Academic Restructuring as set out below.

  1. Academic Restructuring must include the opportunity for the meaningful involvement of faculty members and librarians.
  2. From time to time, Divisions, Faculties, Departments, Institutes, Centres or Schools with Extra Departmental Unit A or B status, and Colleges where the primary appointment of a faculty member is held within the College (collectively “Academic Units”)1 are disestablished, amalgamated, or relocated from one campus to another campus.  In a university setting, this is normal and necessary to the evolution of the institution and is vital to maintaining a standard of excellence in teaching and research.  This Policy applies to the disestablishment, amalgamation, or relocation from one campus to another campus of Academic Units requiring the recommendation or approval of the Academic Board, the Executive Committee of Governing Council or the Governing Council as the case may be (referred to hereinafter as “Academic Restructuring”).
  3. While all University constituencies have an interest in Academic Restructuring, the direct and meaningful involvement of faculty and librarians requires that they bring their academic expertise to bear on shaping the conditions under which they perform their activities and duties.
  4. A proposal for Academic Restructuring may only be sent for approval by University Governance bodies provided that the procedures in this Policy have been followed.
  5. Prior to an Academic Restructuring being proposed, faculty members and librarians of potentially affected Academic Units must have had a reasonable opportunity to participate in a collegial, inclusive and deliberative process in which the context and parameters of potential Academic Restructuring could be explored and during which their input was sought.  This includes Academic Unit self-study prior to any required external review.
  6. If, following the process described in paragraph 5, an Academic Restructuring is proposed, the proposal must be accompanied by a clear academic rationale in relation to the University’s overall mission and the relevant Academic Units’ academic priorities and objectives, including explicit consideration of alternatives.  The proposal shall also consider and include relevant information and implications, including budgetary and financial.  Information pertaining to the rationale for a proposed Academic Restructuring shall be made available to all faculty members and librarians of the Academic Units for which Academic Restructuring has been proposed.
  7. All faculty members and librarians of Academic Units for which Academic Restructuring has been proposed must be notified in writing no less than 120 days before the proposal is to enter formal processes of University Governance for consideration.  During that period of time, the Academic Unit head shall establish and communicate a process to engage unit faculty members and librarians in collegial discussion.  In consultation with the faculty members and librarians of the unit, the Academic Unit head shall be given the opportunity to propose academically sound and fiscally responsible alternatives to the academic administrator proposing the Academic Restructuring for their consideration.
  8. In addition, in the case of the proposed establishment of a new Academic Unit or in the case of a proposed program that establishes significant new academic directions for a Faculty or which is anticipated to have a substantial impact on relationships amongst divisions or with the public, reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that faculty and librarians in affected or cognate Academic Units have been given the opportunity for meaningful consultation, prior to a final decision being made.
  9. Nothing in this Policy shall constrain the existing rights of faculty and librarians to make representations before all relevant levels of decision-making in University Governance.

1For the purposes of this Policy the Central Library, the UTM Library and the UTSC Library will be treated as “Academic Units” and references to “faculty” in this paragraph will be deemed in those units to be references to “librarians”.