Request of Renewal

Introduction and Purpose of this Document

The University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine aims to be a top academic performer. The Dean delegates, to the Department Chairs, the responsibility for monitoring and ensuring the academic performance (teaching, research and other academic endeavours) of their Faculty to meet a high standard. As such, faculty evaluations must be conducted at least annually. New recruits and those having difficulty meeting expectations will require more frequent monitoring to ensure activities meet the Faculty of Medicine expectations but also to provide advice and assistance to the faculty members recognizing the importance of promotion to their careers.

The Faculty of Medicine recognizes that decisions affecting individual faculty members must be made in a consistent manner according to established principles and standards, applied through fair and reasonable procedures. The standard policy and procedures contained in this document describe the academic review process for clinical faculty within the Faculty of Medicine. In addition, it outlines key principles that guide the academic review process, and a set of criteria to clarify expectations for reappointment well in advance.

These procedures concern full-time clinical faculty (MD) and clinical scientists (PhD) at the Faculty of Medicine, including current faculty and new appointees. The objective is to ensure consistency among departments within the Faculty of Medicine, and to support clinical faculty members to achieve academic goals that contribute to promotion throughout their academic careers.

Preamble

Background

The policy and procedures contained in this document were developed by the Faculty of Medicine Relationship Committee as a part of a formal mandate given by Dean Bradwejn in November 2010 to address issues rooted in the relationship between the Faculty of Medicine and its clinical faculty members. The Committee is chaired by Sharon Whiting, Vice Dean of Health and Hospital Services, and comprised of over 12 faculty, including department chairs and senior faculty administrators.

Since the Committee received its mandate, many steps have been taken toward continuously raising the standard of excellence within the Faculty of Medicine. This has included the development and application of robust criteria and processes for appointment, reappointment and promotion of clinical faculty members.  The goal is to create and sustain an environment that encourages excellent academic performance throughout the organization.

Over the past few months, the Committee has been working to standardize the process of reviewing clinical faculty’s academic performance. As a part of this process, a standard process and set of criteria for reappointment were developed – they are described herein. Underlying this document is the desire to assist faculty to achieve academic success.

Overview

Academic appointments for clinicians (MD) and clinical scientists (PhD) are governed by the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine Appointments Policy. This policy articulates that the progress of each faculty member must be periodically reviewed against the established terms and expectations set out at the time of the appointment through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

The policy further articulates the frequency of the academic performance review process:

  • Annual Reviews: Routine annual reviews of all clinical faculty members will be conducted.
  • Formal Reviews:
    • Summative 3-Year Review: A new appointee in the final year of his or her initial 3-year appointment term is entitled to be considered for renewal of appointment for a further period of five years. A summative review will be conducted at the end of the 3-year term, following which a decision for reappointment will be made.
    • Summative 5-year Review: Following reappointment, the academic performance of faculty members will continue to be routinely assessed annually and formally reviewed every 5 years.

A more frequent assessment may be conducted at the discretion of the Department Chair or his or her designate.

Key Definitions

In the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  • ‘Appointee’ means a person holding a University Faculty of Medicine appointment.
  • ‘Continue’ means a recommendation that the individual be reappointed for a further period of five years.
  • Departmental Teaching Personnel Committee (DTPC)
  • Letter of Reappointment - issued by the Dean following a decision to reappoint a faculty member for a further period of 5 years.
  • Memorandum of Agreement (MOA): An agreement, along with any appendices, that stipulates the academic job description, working conditions and expectations of the appointment. It is prepared by the Division Head and/or Department Chair, and signed by the clinician, the academic head of the applicable Division and Department and the Dean.
  • ‘Non-Renewal’ means refusal to renew a Faculty appointment at the University of Ottawa at its expiry.
Guidelines

The following key principles guide the academic review of clinical faculty members at the University of Ottawa:

  • The annual review process presents an opportunity for the Department Chair, Division Head or designate, to indicate to an appointee whether or not he or she is on track for reappointment, identify notable achievements, highlight areas of concern and provide guidance on how to improve performance.
  • Evidence of academic performance must be documented continuously over time. The documentation of annual reviews is critical to the process of reappointment.
  • Once achieved, an individual’s academic rank cannot be lowered.
  • Professionalism issues will be addressed as part of the academic review.
  • Documentation related to the review of an individual’s academic performance is confidential. It will be securely stored and available only to the Dean and his specified designates.
  • Given that Division and Department Heads are expected to ensure coaching, mentoring and support of appointees from the beginning, and that specific feedback is provided at the annual review, it is expected that faculty will be reappointed.  It will be an exceptional case where reappointment is not achieved.
  • In cases where an appointee’s performance is less than satisfactory, Department Chairs will bring this to the attention of the appointee and work with them to identify the issues and provide support and an opportunity to improve his or her performance before considering not renewing the appointment.
Academic Renewal Process

Overview

On initial appointment to a full-time (FTA) or part-time (PTA) academic position at the Faculty of Medicine, a faculty member appointed at the rank of Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Full Professor is typically offered an initial 3 year appointment term. An appointee in the final year of this term participates in a summative review leading to renewal of appointment for a further period of five years.

The continuation of the appointment for a subsequent 5-year term is conditional upon the clinician making satisfactory progress in areas associated with the activities identified in their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and through his or her annual reviews. The reappointment decision is made at the end of the 3-year term following a summative review process.

Coaching, mentoring, direction, feedback and support toward academic promotion is offered throughout the appointment term by the Department Chair/ Division or designate, and as a result, summative reviews are expected to result in reappointment.

The academic review process for full time staff is summarized here and described in more detail in subsequent sections of this document. The conduct of performance reviews of part-time staff will be at the Chair’s discretion.

Note that the review and reappointment processes for term-limited appointments (Adjunct, visiting professor, etc.) follow the same guidelines as new appointments to these categories.

Routine Annual Review

The performance and contributions of full-time clinical faculty members will be annually reviewed by the Chair, Division Head or delegate. The review process will examine the academic contributions of the faculty member and compliance with faculty and university policies (e.g. conflict of interest, professionalism).

The annual review is critical to letting an individual know that they are on track and headed for renewal of appointment.  A check box on the annual review form reads: ÿ  On track for renewal”. Appointees that do not receive a check in this box will be offered guidance to improve their performance. Mutual expectations will also be revisited in a discussion between the individual and the Reviewer.

Summative 3-year and 5-year Review

The 3-year mark is an important juncture in a new faculty member’s academic career.  At this point, the new appointee will have had sufficient opportunity to demonstrate academic achievement and potential for moving up the professorial ranks of the University.

A summative review of academic performance will be conducted at the end of the 3-year term, the purpose of which is to answer the following question: Given the terms and expectations set out throughout the appointment, and the professional and academic standards of the Department and Faculty, does the candidate’s performance merit a recommendation that the faculty member be reappointed?

Following renewal of the appointment for a further period of five years, the performance of faculty members will continue to be reviewed annually, and a summative review conducted every 5 years.

The Annual Review Process

The annual review of faculty members is conducted by the Division Head. In the case where there is no university Division Head, this responsibility falls to the Department Chair or his or her designate.

In addition, the Department Chair will meet with all new appointees in the first year of the appointment.

A standard self-assessment form (available on Uniweb) outlines required information for the annual review and provides general guidance for completion.

Process steps for the annual review:

  • Faculty Member Informed of Upcoming Review: The annual review process shall be initiated 60 days before the review is due - when the appointee is informed in writing by the Department of the upcoming annual review of his or her academic performance. The appointee shall be emailed the self-assessment form, advised as to which portions of the form require completion, and notified of deadlines for completion.
    • For new appointees, the annual review process will coincide with the anniversary start date of their faculty appointment (for the first 3 years of their term).
    • The academic review of all other faculty members will take place annually in coordination with the department’s performance and credentialing review schedule.
  • Faculty Member Completes Self-Assessment Form: The appointee will complete the self-assessment portion of the academic review form to provide an account of his or her academic work undertaken during the period under review. This completed form, along with an updated C.V., will be submitted to the Reviewer (typically the Division Head and/or the Department Chair).
  • Submission is Reviewed:  The Reviewer will review the submission and provide preliminary comments on relevant sections of the self-assessment form (with particular attention to the section on the outcome of the previous year’s goals). If the appointee is on track for renewal of appointment and promotion of rank, the Reviewer will check the appropriate boxes on the form.
  • Meeting Between the Reviewer and Reviewee: The Reviewer and Reviewee will meet in person to discuss the results of the annual review, promotion planning and mutual expectations for the coming year.
  • Reviewer Portion of the Form Finalized:  The Reviewer will finalize his written comments, sign the annual review form and send a copy of the review to the Department Chair for final review.

    All individuals who are not on track for appointment will be required to meet with the Department Chair and will be offered guidance to improve their performance.

    If the annual review is satisfactory, the Department Chair signs the submission and notifies the Office of Professional Affairs of the outcome of the review. The report is then placed in the individual’s personnel file, and will be made available if requested at the time of the 3 or 5-year summative review and decision for reappointment.

    If the annual review is deemed to be unsatisfactory, the Chair will notify the Office of Professional Affairs and flag the issue(s) that requires further attention or guidance from the Dean’s office.

    Should there be any significant change arising from an annual review that affects duties or sources of income, these changes shall be set out in an amended MOA and signed by the appointee and the Faculty. The Dean’s office must be notified of such changes.

  • Final Review by Department Chair.  The Department Chair reviews the submission and may follow up with the Reviewer and/or clinician if there are any issues to address.
  • The Vice-Dean of Professional Affairs Reviews Submissions where further action is needed and will inform the Dean. The Dean, in consultation with the Department Chair and Vice-Dean Professional Affairs, may take additional steps to resolve any identified issues or propose further action as needed.

The Summative Review and Reappointment Process

A summative review will be conducted at the end of a 3 year initial appointment term and every 5 years thereafter. It is conducted by the Department Chair or his designate, and will result in a recommendation on the renewal of the appointment.

The following describes the 3-year review process:

  • Notification of Faculty Member and Department Chair. Six months prior to a term expiring, the Office of Professional Affairs will notify the Department Chair and the faculty members whose term is set to expire of the upcoming summative review and associated deadlines. The Department Chair will notify a designate (the Reviewer) if appropriate.

A faculty member who has taken formal leave may elect to have this renewal decision postponed for a period of up to one year.

  • Conduct of Summative Review. The faculty member will complete the self-assessment portion of the academic review form and submit it, along with an updated C.V., to the Reviewer. The Reviewer will review this information, as well as the results of the previous 2 annual reviews, and assess the performance of the faculty member as per the criteria set out in Section 4 of this document to determine eligibility for reappointment.

A meeting will take place between the faculty member and the Reviewer to discuss the results of the review.

Following this meeting, the Reviewer will finalize the relevant section(s) of the academic review form, highlighting notable achievements, identifying areas of concern and offering suggestions for improvement. He or she will also at this time provide his or her recommendation for reappointment. If the recommendation is for non-renewal, the Reviewer will provide a rationale. The completed submission and recommendation will go to the Department Chair for final review.

  • Chair’s Recommendation for Reappointment.  Based on the results of the review, the Chair makes a recommendation of “Continue”, “Continue with Conditions” (where the appointment term can be extended with conditions), or “Non-Renewal” (with discretion to extend the appointment term for up to one year to facilitate transition from the university).
    • ‘Continue’: If the faculty member’s academic contributions are satisfactory in quality and quantity, and the member is in compliance with all faculty and university policies; reappointment for another five years will be recommended.
    •  ‘Continue with Conditions’: If the faculty member has made progress towards their initial objectives, but there are areas of concern that require attention and improvement, these will be highlighted, and reappointment for a specific term period of less than five years (followed by another formal review) will be recommended.

This recommendation is at the discretion of the Department Chair and can be offered in circumstances where he/she feels that sufficient potential for academic performance exists and more time is needed.

  • ‘Non-Renewal’: If the faculty members’ contributions to the academic goals are not satisfactory and/or serious violations of faculty policies have been noted; non-renewal of appointment will be recommended. In this case, the Department Chair will recommend the appointment terminate on the pre-determined date of expiry.

The Department Chair may grant a one-time appointment extension beyond the expiry of the term if it is agreed upon with the Hospital. This extension is not to exceed 12 months.

Note: An appointee’s rank cannot be lowered once achieved and is not an option for consideration on the form.

  • Reappointment Decision. The Department Chair will forward his or her reappointment recommendation to the Dean’s Office, with supported rationale, no later than 3 months prior to the end of the appointment term. Where recommendations of ‘Non-Renewal’ and ‘Continue with Conditions’ are put forth, the Dean’s office will take appropriate action in collaboration with the Chair. The Dean and Department Chair will have the option and flexibility of consulting the DTPC on a case by case basis if desired.
  • Letter of Reappointment: The Dean’s Office will issue a Letter of Reappointment outlining the reappointment decision to the Faculty Member, with a copy sent to the Department Chair. The contract with the faculty member will be renewed for the specified period.

Appeals

This part applies to any appointee affected by an adverse decision.

Within one week of receiving an adverse decision on re-appointment (i.e. ‘non-renewal’), an appointee may request a meeting with the Department Chair to discuss the decision.

The Chair shall make every effort to arrange a meeting within 1-2 weeks of receiving the request.

If the appointee remains dissatisfied with the adverse decision, or with any action proposed as a result of the meeting, the faculty member may appeal to the Dean in accordance with provisions of the Faculty of Medicine’s bylaws by submitting a written request for an appeal within 2 weeks of the meeting, and/or of receiving the adverse decision if a meeting is not requested.

The Dean may review the appeal or have it reviewed by a separate committee, at his or her discretion.

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