The FMC is a Dean’s Advisory Committee composed of the following members:
The Dean shall be the Chair, voting only in the case of a tie .
The Dean may delegate the Chair position to a Vice-Dean (Large Faculty) or an academic staff member in the Faculty for some or all the cases to be considered. When the Vice-Dean (Large Faculty) is assigned the Chair, she or he shall be considered the Dean for all purposes related to those case(s) and the FMC shall be advisory to him/her. However, when the Chair is any person other than the Vice-Dean (Large Faculty), the committee shall not be advisory to the Dean or the Chair — the recommendations of the FMC shall go directly to the GMC unchanged.
Three academic staff members, elected by academic staff in the Faculty (except in Large Faculties of more than 200 Continuing, Contingent Term, Limited Term, Special Limited Term, or Pre-Tenure Track Appointment members, which may elect four (4) members). The members are only eligible for immediate reappointment to the FMC once, to allow for variation in the committee membership over time. In departmentalized Faculties, there will normally not be more than one member from any department. Voting members will include both genders; however, this is not a quorum requirement.
One or two academic staff members appointed by the Dean (specifically, to ensure rank, gender, disciplinary, professorial/instructor stream, or other representation, when necessary). In Faculties where the number of Continuing, Contingent Term, Limited Term, Special Limited Term, and Pre-Tenure Track Appointment members exceeds 200, the Dean may appoint a third member.
- Any person who acted in the role of Head shall not be elected or appointed to the FMC.
One student appointed by the Students’ Union (except in the Faculty of Environmental Design where the student is appointed by the Graduate Students’ Association).
One member appointed by the Faculty Association. Where the number of Continuing, Contingent Term, Limited Term, Special Limited Term, and Pre-Tenure Track Appointment members exceeds 200, the Faculty Association may appoint an additional member.
No member of the FMC other than the Dean may send a substitute representative to any meeting.
The FMC may not meet unless the following members are present:
- The Chair
- More than half of the academic staff members elected or appointed as voting members (CA 29.7.2).
- One member appointed by the Faculty Association.
Deviations to FMC Composition
Deviations are normally approved for the current year only. You will be required to request the same deviation each year until the Faculty Guidelines have been revised.
If the Faculty is unable to meet the provisions of the agreement to strike a Faculty Merit Committee, the Dean shall request a deviation to the committee compositions via the faculty HR Advisor, Academic and the Merit Team (CA 29.7.2). Following consultation with the Faculty Association and the Provost, a resolution will be implemented.
There are two options for FMC review:
- Every academic staff member in the Faculty
- Only those cases where the Head has recommended an increment of 0.6 or less, or 1. 6 or greater
Unless appealed, the recommendation of the Head or Equivalent is forwarded directly to the Dean who may increase but not lower the recommended increment.
In either case the FMC hears all appeals.
The Dean informs the Provost’s Office and the Faculty Association of the Faculty Council’s decision in this regard, and any subsequent changes made to that decision.
The FMC ensures that the performance criteria used by the Head or Equivalent is appropriate for the rank of the academic and aligns with the GFC Academic Staff Criteria and Faculty Guidelines.
Points to keep in mind
- Comparative consideration of the assessments of all academic appointees for function and form of assessment
- Assessment of merit is progressively more rigorous with seniority within the rank (29.2.6)
- Merit is assessed on the full duties (teaching, research and service) performed by the academic staff member. A zero in one area does not result in a zero overall.
The onus is on the FMC members to disclose any conflict of interest they may have with regard to any of the cases being considered by the committee as soon as they receive the list of cases being considered.
- Access to review documents is restricted electronically in these situations. Any items submitted physically, shall be manually withheld, which is managed by the HR Advisor, Academic.
- Committee members are asked to remove themselves from the meeting during discussion or voting on the assessment of the academic staff member with whom they have a conflict.
- The academic staff member should be informed of any adjustments to the committee composition.
- In all cases where there is a conflict of interest, the FMC may proceed with the meeting as long as quorum is maintained when the individual with the conflict leaves the meeting.
- If a deviation is required to maintain quorum, contact your HR Academic Advisor.
Refer to NSERC Guidelines for clarification. Examples of conflict of interest include recent collaboration on research or publications, holding a supervisory role for an applicant, family relationships, etc.
The FMC will meet between October 7 - 31. Specific dates will be set by your HR Advisor, Academic in consultation with the Dean and the Faculty Association. Details will be forwarded to all members when confirmed.
Late September – FMC members will receive the agenda and instructions for preparation. They should self-disclose any conflicts of interest that they may not have previously mentioned and recuse themselves for the review of these individuals during the meeting. Absences should be kept to a minimum.
Minimum of one week prior to FMC meetings – all committee members will be given access to Academic Portfolio to review the cases in advance.
October 7 to October 31 – FMC meets to individually review the merit recommendations forwarded to the committee by the Head. Exact dates are set within the Faculty.
The appellant will submit a written appeal letter, and possibly supporting documentation, on or before the deadline per the process timeline. These are distributed to the committee for review via Academic Portfolio.
The appellant is invited to attend the FMC to provide clarification of factual information. An advisor may accompany the appellant. The Head or Equivalent is given an opportunity to respond to that information. (CA 188.8.131.52)
The Committee deliberates and votes after the appellant, Head, and Advisor leave the room.
The Committee may recommend to the Dean in favor of or to deny the appeal. Recommendations will be communicated to the academics, and FMC decisions may escalate to the General Merit Committee (GMC) for consideration.
The Dean holds the final authority within the faculty and may change the Head or FMC's recommendation.
Contact your HR Advisor, Academic if you have questions.
The proceedings will be paused when the FMC and/or a Dean is seriously considering lowering an increment to zero in a specific case (possible outcome of the vote may be discerned through a ‘straw vote’) where the Head or equivalent did not recommend a zero (CA 29.7.7).
- The FMC and/or the Dean must notify the academic in writing and give reasons for their concerns.
- The academic must be given opportunity to respond in writing or by appearing before the FMC at a reconvened meeting, or both, at their discretion. They have at least one week (five working days) to respond. An advisor of their choice may accompany them.
- If the academic appears before the FMC, the committee shall provide the academic with the opportunity to make a presentation, and may ask the academic questions.
- The Head is also invited to the meeting to defend his/her original recommendation.
The following members must be present for a quorum:
- The Chair
- More than half of the academic staff members elected or appointed under 29.7.2 b) or c)
- One member appointed by the Faculty Association
While there is a requirement for representation of both genders with respect to committee composition, both genders are not required to be present to maintain quorum.
Deviations to Quorum
- Without Faculty Association agreement, if a member of the committee will not be attending and quorum is lost, a deviation to the membership may be required to replace this person, or permission to carry on without quorum. An alternate cannot automatically make up this deficiency.
- The meeting may not continue without quorum.
In all cases where a change in membership or timelines affects the academic, the academic must be notified of the change and given opportunity to disclose a conflict of interest or timing as applicable.
- Members should notify their HR Advisor, Academic as early as possible if they cannot attend the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
- Each voting member of the committee has one vote.
- Decisions are by majority vote.
- The Chair does not cast a vote, except to break a tie.
- Members may vote on a particular candidate only if they have taken part in the Committee's deliberations on that candidate.
- Record all votes (numbers only, not names) - for/against/abstained.
- Votes must be by public display of hands.
The Dean retains the final authority with regard to increment assignment within the Faculty.
Except as noted in 29.7.8, the Dean, as Chair of FMC, may modify the recommendation of an FMC before submitting it to the GMC. The affected academic is to be informed in writing of the change and the reasons thereof, with copies to the FMC, GMC and Head. The Dean may not lower a recommendation to an increment of zero unless the provisions of 29.7.7 have been met.
The Chair of the FMC shall provide written notice to each academic staff member of the recommendation being forwarded to the GMC.