Renewing York University's Full-time Faculty Complement


York University Provost & Vice-President Academic Lisa Philipps, issues the following announcement to the York University community:

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you that the Provost's Office is launching an initiative to develop a Complement Renewal Strategy for the University.

President Lenton has articulated a compelling vision for York:  to provide a broad socio-demographic of students with access to a high-quality research-intensive university committed to the public good.  A multi-year Complement Renewal Strategy is needed to support this vision.  The Strategy will be informed by detailed analysis of our current complement as well as comparative research on the size and make-up of the faculty complement at peer universities, especially in Ontario.  Importantly, it will also be shaped by discussion with colleagues about how over time we can build the full-time complement we need to prepare our students for success in a rapidly changing world, and to continue amplifying our research to have a positive impact on the communities we serve, both locally and globally.

I am delighted to let you know that Alan Harrison has agreed to assist us with the research and analysis that will ground this initiative.  A former Provost at three Canadian Universities, and former Dean of Social Sciences at McMaster University, Alan brings immense knowledge of higher education internationally and a wealth of experience with complement planning to this work (please see the full biography attached).

Last week in Senate I presented my Autumn Report on Enrolment and Complement, which shows that York has been making steady progress over several years toward renewing, diversifying and modestly growing our full-time faculty complement.  Bold action is now needed to accelerate this process, so that we can regain momentum on our academic priorities and address concerns about the proportion of teaching done by full-time faculty.  This is why I have authorized 160 searches for new full-time faculty to proceed in 2018-19, representing a 58% increase over last year's authorized appointments.  This level of commitment to faculty hiring, at a time when the University's overall enrolments are not growing, is unprecedented at York.  But it is only a first step.

Over the next several years York has an opportunity to recruit the next generation of talented full-time faculty from many backgrounds, who will propel the academic quality and mission of the University forward.  The purpose of the Complement Renewal Strategy will be to set out high level principles and goals for the complement that York seeks to build over time, taking into consideration the challenges that post-secondary education faces and other urgent pressures including the need to support faculty members with necessary infrastructure and technology.  The Complement Renewal Strategy will serve to guide and inform how we can best allocate available resources through the annual complement planning and budget processes in each Faculty and in the Provost's Office.

The research phase of this initiative is already underway and will lead to a Provostial Discussion Paper on Complement Renewal to form the basis for collegial consultations in early 2019.  I look forward to this important conversation and welcome hearing from colleagues who have thoughts or questions to contribute at any time.  Please feel free to write to and if possible, include the subject line COMPLEMENT RENEWAL.