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Sustainable Agriculture Institute


Sustainable Agriculture Institute Promotes Sustainable Education through Permaculture Design


Working Committee Three (WC-3)

Faculties Committee

Terms of Reference


Part I: Mandate and Responsibilities


The mandate of the Faculties Committee is to ensure that the e-campus Education Faculty Management is designed, managed, evaluated, and revised in a coherent and coordinated fashion, consistent with accreditation and current educational standards.

Major Responsibilities

The committee has authority for oversight of all Faculty aspects.  This encompasses the following general areas of responsibility:

  1. The purpose of the Faculties Committee is to provide a direct channel of two-way communication between Institute administration and Faculties for information and advisory purposes;
  2. The Faculties Committee will serve as a means for Institute administration to disseminate information concerning plans and programs affecting Faculties;
  3. It will also serve as a forum by which Faculty can discuss issues of general concern to them;
  4. Faculty Committee members may be called to serve on review panels to address formal employee grievances and will generally serve as Faculty advocates to promote a positive and productive work environment;
  5. The Faculty Committee will have oversight of the Faculty Performance Review Process;
  6. All faculty staff should receive a face-to-face review of their performance on an annual basis. The review may take place in person or on an online forum such as Skype or the e-campus platform.
  7. Employees on an approved leave of absence should be evaluated within one month of return from leave.
  8. Newly hired Faculty should receive an evaluation of their general performance and a review of prospective goals and development opportunities at the end of their three-month probationary period.
  9. The review period for staff performance evaluations is the previous calendar year, January 1st – December 31st.
  10. Administrative Support Services will ask employees to complete a self-evaluation of the employee’s performance. (The Faculty Self Evaluation Form may be used for this purpose; the Faculty Performance Report and Development Proposal Form may also be used by the Faculties discretion.
  11. The Director of Faculty Support Services completes the Performance Review Summary Form. Evaluation should be based on the employee’s performance during the review period, which is the previous calendar year. The review may include feedback and information in addition to what is specifically included on the Performance Review Summary Form.
  12. Additional forms relating to Faculty curricular development goals, professional development request form, request for coaching are accessible at the e-campus website.
  13. A written Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is required for any Faculty who receives an overall performance of not recommended for an inflationary salary increase. The PIP should clearly identify areas where improvement is needed, a timeline for improvement, and an explanation of how progress will be evaluated.
  14. The Director schedules a meeting with the employee to discuss the written performance review and provides the employee with a copy of the performance review prior to the meeting.
  15. The Director and employee meet to discuss the employee’s performance during the previous calendar year, job duties, performance expectations, any specific objectives to be achieved, and professional development goals for the employee.
  16. Following the meeting, the Director makes any necessary adjustments to the written performance review, signs the performance review, and presents it to the employee for signature. After the employee has signed the performance review. The Director uploads the document to the e-campus platform for retention in the employee’s personnel file.

The Faculties Committee functions under the authority of the Chancellor, which reviews, approves, and disseminates policies and procedures relevant to the overall program.

Specific Functions

  1. Development of Policy:  The Faculties Committee develops policies that direct the Faculties and recommends them to the Chancellor for review and approval.  Such policies include those supporting faculty control, financial reporting, and financials for the Annual Report.
  1. Establishment of Faculty Goals. The Faculties Committee is responsible for the establishment and continuing review of overall faculty goals, the faculty goals are listed in the Annual Report.
  1. Design and Content of Faculty Controls.  The Faculties Committee is responsible for the design and structure of the Faculties so that it meets the established Faculty Goals and so that it allows for the appropriate coordination of faculty improvement.
  1. Managing the Ongoing Evaluation and Revision of the Faculty Control Procedures:  The Faculties Committee reviews the Faculties as a whole.
  1. Faculty Administration.  The Faculties Committee is responsible for establishing an appropriate Faculty and administrative leadership structure to ensure that all financial goals are met.


Part II: Leadership & Membership


The Faculties Committee is chaired by the Chancellor.

Where the Chair is absent for any reason, an Acting Chair may be appointed by the Chair, or in the absence of such an appointment, by the committee members present.

Only voting members may serve as Acting Chair. The Chair, or Acting Chair, will only vote in order to break a tie.


Executive Administration

  1. Committee Chairman (Chancellor)
  2. Committee Secretary (Assistant to the Chancellor)
  3. Director of Faculties & Institutes
  4. Director of Institute Administrative Service

Faculty Members

  1. Dean of Institute
  2. Institute Faculty

Appointed Members

The Chair may invite such guests as are necessary to conduct the meeting.

All new members will receive these Terms of Reference and will be oriented to the position by the Chair.

Responsibilities of Members

All members will participate actively in the committee by:

  • Reviewing all pre-circulated material
  • Attending at least 70% of the meetings
  • Participating in working groups, as required
  • Communicating committee activities and decisions as appropriate

Term of Membership

Appointed members will normally serve a three-year term, renewable once.


Part III: Meeting Procedures

Frequency and Duration of Meetings

Meetings will be held biweekly during the academic year and otherwise at the call of the Chair.


The quorum for the purpose of approving minutes or passing motions will be 50% plus one of all voting members, either present in person or via teleconference.

Meetings may be held in the absence of a quorum, but no decisions will be made.

Conflict of Interest

Members are expected to declare a conflict of interest if their real or perceived personal interests might be seen to influence their ability to assess any matter before the committee objectively.  They can do so either by personal declaration at a meeting or in writing to the Chair.  They will be excused from any discussions regarding the matter in question.  The declaration and absences will be recorded in the minutes.


Decisions that establish program policy changes or directions to subcommittees or faculty members will be discussed in the context of specific motions, passed by a majority vote of members, and recorded in the minutes.  The Chair will aim to build consensus, if possible (see Appendix A), but the final decision will be made by voting. Votes may be conducted electronically, if necessary.


Part IV: Administrative Support & Communication

Administrative Support

The Secretary will be the assistant to the Chancellor.

Agenda & Minutes

  • Agenda and minutes of committee meetings are to be distributed to the committee members by the recording secretary.
  • Minutes are normally distributed electronically to all members within one week of meetings.
  • Minutes will be uploaded to the committee’s Web site.

Reporting Relationship

The Faculties Committee reports to the Chancellor, which reports to the Board of Governors.

The Faculties Committee will produce an annual report of its activities to be submitted to the Board of Governors.  That report will be written by the Chair and reviewed and approved by the committee before dissemination.

Recommendations for changes in policies and practices should initially be reviewed and approved by the Chancellor and then submitted to the Board of Governors for final approval.


Part V: Evaluation

These terms of reference will be reviewed by the Faculties Committee on an annual basis and as required.


Part VI: Policy References

The policies are posted on the Institute’s website.


Part VII: Consensus-Based Decision Making

Rules for Building a Consensus  

A consensus requires that everyone involved in the decision must agree on the individual points discussed before they become part of the decision.  Not every point will meet with everyone’s complete approval.  Unanimity is not the goal, although it may be reached unintentionally.  It is not necessary that everyone is satisfied, but everyone’s ideas should be reviewed thoroughly.  The goal is for individuals to understand the relevant data, and if need be, accept the logic of differing points of view.

The following rules are helpful in reaching a consensus:

  • Avoid arguing over individual ranking or position.  Present a position as lucidly as possible, but consider seriously what the other group members are presenting.
  • Avoid “win-lose” stalemates.  Discard the notion that someone must win and, therefore, someone else must lose.  When an impasse occurs, look for the next most acceptable alternative for both parties.
  • Avoid trying to change minds only in order to avoid conflict and achieve harmony.
  • Withstand the pressure to yield to views that have no basis in logic or the supporting data.
  • Avoid majority voting, averaging, bargaining or coin-flipping.  These techniques do not lead to a consensus.  Treat differences of opinion as indicative of an incomplete sharing of information — so keep probing.
  • Keep the attitude that the holding of different views by group members is both natural and healthy.  Diversity is a normal state; a continuous agreement is not.
  • View initial agreement as a suspect.  Explore the reasons underlying apparent agreement on a decision and make sure that all members understand the implication of the decision and support it willingly.