Articles of Governance

This document sets out the principles and procedures to be used in the School of Engineering Science. The document is supplementary to the policies and procedures established for Simon Fraser University and the Faculty of Applied Sciences. In the case of conflict between the principles set out here and those established at higher levels, the latter take precedence.

The Committee of the School includes all tenured or tenure-track faculty members, lecturers, lab instructors, limited-term faculty appointments with a duration of one year or more, the Manager, Academic & Administrative Services, the Manager, Instructional Research and Administrative Computing, Lab Facilities Engineer, the Co-op Program Manager, and one designated representative for each of the undergraduate and graduate student bodies. All the above are voting members. When the elected representative of a group is unable to attend, he or she may nominate an alternate representative. Other staff, professors emeriti, adjunct professors and visiting appointments are welcome to attend meetings of the School Committee. They may speak, but may neither propose motions nor vote on them.

The School's Committee of Faculty consists of all tenured or tenure-track faculty members, and lab instructors and lecturers with appointments of longer than one year. Faculty committee meetings are also attended by the Manager, Academic and Administrative Services (non-voting).

Notice of School and Faculty meetings are required at least one week in advance with full agenda. Minutes are taken by the Director's Secretary and will be circulated to all faculty, on and off campus and on sabbatical, all staff, and to student representatives. Minutes will be held on file for public reference by the Director's Secretary.

Meetings are called at the discretion of the Director.

1. Voting Procedures

Except where explicitly stated to the contrary, meetings will be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order.

1.1 Committee of the School

The following matters of policy require a two-thirds majority of the secret ballots of the Committee of the School:

  • Formulation of or Amendment to the Strategic Plan


1.2 Modifications to Articles of Governance

Ballots will be administered by the Director's Secretary. Ballots may be held at the discretion of the Director, or at the petition of ten or more members of the Committee of the School.

Aside from the matters mentioned above and those reserved for the Committee of the Faculty (see Section 1.1), policy decisions affecting the Department will normally be made by the Committee of the School. 40% of the eligible voters must be present for a quorum. If no quorum can be obtained for a decision on an issue, a written ballot will be used. Even where a quorum exists, the Director has the discretion to require a written ballot among all voters in place of a show of hands among those present.

1.3 Committee of Faculty

The following matters of policy require a majority of the votes of the Committee of Faculty.

  • Ratification of Tenure-Track Appointments
  • Changes to calendar entries, including all changes affecting graduate and undergraduate curriculum

Voting may be by show of hands or by secret ballot, at the discretion of the Director. For voting by show of hands to occur at a faculty meeting, the motion must gain the approval of the majority of all members of the committee, not just the majority of those present. [This effectively imposes a quorum of 50% on faculty meetings.

2. Appointment of Director

The appointment of the Director is governed by University policies A13.02 and AC 57. The duties of the Director include:

  • Chairing the Committee of the School, the Committee of Faculty, the DTC, Selection Committees, and the Equipment and Space Committees.
  • Final appeal on grades
  • Final appeal on teaching allocations
  • Budget management
  • Management of School Manager, Academic and Administrative Services and the Co-op Project Manager

3. Appointment of Associate Director

Subject to A 13.03, the Associate Director normally serves a three-year term. The Associate Director is appointed by the Director, subject to majority ratification by secret ballot of the Committee of the School.

Duties include:

  • Coordinating sessional appointments
  • Teaching allocations
  • Acting as Director in the Director's absence

4. Standing Committee Structure

Committees will normally be appointed by the Director at the beginning of the Fall semester, following the election of the DTC. Unless otherwise stated, members of a committee will normally serve for a year, committee chairs will normally serve for three years. Where a committee is concerned with the administration of resources normally used by all research groups, the Director will ask each group to nominate a member to the committee.

The secretary of each committee will keep minutes of each meeting, and file these with the Director's secretary. In those committees without a secretary, the Chair of the committee will be responsible for filing minutes with the Director's secretary.

4.0 Committee Policies and Procedures

The School distinguishes between major policies, which are recorded in the present document, and minor policies.

Complete listings of minor policies are available in reference binders kept in the laboratories and in the general office. Most policies belong to particular committees. Committees can adopt new policies or modify old ones by consensus or by majority vote. Copies of new or revised policies will be given to the Director's secretary, who will put them in the binders.

If a member of the School not on the originating committee wishes to modify a policy, that member may request that the policy be put on the agenda of a School or Faculty meeting, as appropriate. The decision of that meeting then supersedes the decision of the originating committee.


4.1 Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

The UCC consists of a chair, who must be a registered professional engineer, five faculty members, a student representative appointed by the ESSS, the Manager, Academic and Administrative Services (non-voting), the Undergraduate Program Assistant (non-voting), and the School Director (ex-officio) The UCC chair and the five faculty members are appointed by the Director. Normally, the faculty members will be chosen to include representatives of each option, the laboratories, and the communications program. This choice must ensure that a majority of the voting members of the committee are registered professional engineers. The chair's term is three years; the other members normally sit for one.

The responsibilities of the UCC include:

  • Curriculum review and recommendations
  • Setting pedagogical standards
  • Handling complaints and appeals

Minutes of UCC meetings are noted by the Undergraduate Program Assistant and non-confidential policy items are circulated.

4.2 Graduate Program Committee

The Graduate Chair and three faculty members are appointed by the Director. One student representative is appointed by the Graduate Student caucus. All are voting positions; the chair's term is three years, the other members normally sit for one.

Responsibilities of the GPC include:

  • Graduate student admissions and orientation
  • Selecting T.A. appointments
  • Curriculum review and recommendations
  • Handling complaints and appeals
  • Review and Assign Scholarships

Minutes are noted by the Graduate Program Assistant and non-confidential policy items are circulated.


4.3 Tenure and Promotion Committee

The procedures for the TPC are fully specified in University policies section A11.01.

4.4 Laboratories Committee

The role of the committee is to manage labs and computer facilities for servicing courses and the research needs of the School. The lab staff report to the Chair of the Lab committee, who will make recommendations to the Director on personnel decisions.

The Chair of the Lab committee is appointed by the Director from tenure-track faculty members. The ESSS and the Graduate Student caucus will each nominate one representative to the committee. All lab staff are members of the committee. The Chair will normally serve one year.


4.5 Admissions Committee

The Chair of this committee is appointed by the Director.

4.6 Progress Review Committee

The review committee monitors student progress once they're in the program. The Chair of the committee is appointed by the Director; normally, the Chair of this committee will be the former chair of the Admissions committee. In addition to the Chair, this committee will have three faculty members, at least one of whom will normally be a member of the communications program, and two staff members, normally from the co-op office.

4.7 Research Groups

The School is focused on six core research areas: (1) Biomedical Engineering, (2) Communications, Signal Processing & Networking, (3) Microelectronics, (4) Systems and Robotics, (5) Computer Engineering, and (6) Engineering Physics. The governance of each group and the process whereby each group puts forward representatives to School committees will be determined by the members of that group.

5. Search Committees

The University distinguishes three kinds of appointment: Category A, or appointments made by the Board of Governors; this includes all tenure-track appointments. Category B, or appointments made by the Vice-President Academic, includes Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Lab Instructors Grades I and II. Category C, or appointments made by the Dean, includes all other faculty positions. Appointments in all these categories are governed by A10.01. 

5.1 Category A Search Committees

The Search Committee shall be composed of faculty, faculty and non-faculty staff, or faculty and non-faculty staff and students, (depending on departmental practice). Faculty shall constitute the majority of the Committee. Both genders shall be represented on the Committee. The Chair of the Department shall chair the committee unless the Dean approves an alternate arrangement. The Chair is a voting member of the Committee. According to A12. and A12.11, faculty on limited-term appointments longer than one year may vote and are eligible to be nominated to these ballots. Professors Emeritii may neither vote nor be nominated to these ballots. All members of the Committee shall be voting members. A10.01 requires that the final composition of the Search Committee be approved by the Dean.

The Committee shall report to the Committee of the School, which will vote on the selection of a candidate. The leading candidate, as established by a simple majority, will then be recommended to the Dean.

5.2 Category B and C Search Committees

These categories cover all non-tenure-track faculty positions. The Search Committee shall consist of the Director, who shall chair the committee, one representative from each of the graduate and undergraduate student communities, and four faculty members elected from the Committee of the School. According to A12. and A12.11, faculty on limited-term appointments longer than one year may vote and are eligible to be nominated to these ballots. Professors Emeritii may neither vote nor be nominated to these ballots. All members of the Committee shall be voting members. A10.01 requires that the final composition of the Search Committee be approved by the Dean.

The Committee shall report to the Committee of the School, which will vote on the selection of a candidate. The leading candidate, as established by a simple majority, will then be recommended to the Dean.

5.3 Appointment of Adjuncts 

The University policy on Adjunct Professors is set out in A 12.08. The School of Engineering Science policies are as follows:

Any faculty member in ENSC may nominate a candidate for an adjunct professorship. Nominees will be asked to write a proposal to the School, outlining how their adjunction will contribute to the School's activities. The nominee's proposal and c.v. will be reviewed by the Tenure and Promotion Committee. At least three-quarters of this committee must be in favour of the nomination for it to be approved.

For an adjunct professor to be re-appointed, it is expected that the incumbent will have annually either presented an lecture, participated in a School retreat, or attended an adjunct dinner, in addition to such further specific contributions as may have been outlined in the adjunct's original proposal.

Criteria for Tenure, Promotion and Salary Review

Criteria for Tenure, Promotion and Salary Review

School of Engineering Science

Originally approved: March 23, 2004

Last re-affirmed: June 2013


1    Preamble

This document outlines and clarifies the issues and criteria related to tenure, promotion, and salary review in the School of Engineering Science. The following serves as a supplement to the University's policies and procedures regarding tenure, promotion, and salary review which are outlined in a series of policies under A.11 series located at:


The School is committed to seeking continuous improvement in standards. Such improvement is usually a gradual process. The evaluation criteria must be adjusted so that the rigour with which they are applied realistically parallels the growing excellence of the School and of the candidates for appointment and advancement.


2    ENSC Evaluation Criteria

Engineering Science expects that all tenured or tenure track faculty members would actively participate and make significant contributions to the School and the University alike through research, teaching, and service.


Engineering Science offers degree programs that are accredited by the Canadian Engineering

Accreditation Board (CEAB). Professional Engineering (PEng) Registration of the engineering faculty is an important criterion that CEAB uses in making accreditation decision. Ideally, the CEAB would like to see the entire faculty registered as PEngs, but at the very least requires that a great majority of the faculty members be registered as professional engineers. The School therefore requires that by the time an eligible candidate for registration is being considered for tenure/promotion, he/she be registered or at least be able to prove that he/she has made a serious attempt to register as a PEng.


The following forms the basis of evaluation by the TPC.




2.1 Research

Scholarly activity in the form of seeking and disseminating knowledge are vital to the mission of the School. The fact that there exists a diversity of research areas within the School implies that there are likely to be differences amongst the norms for each area. For instance, based on one's area of research there may be differences in publication; availability of funding; type of research personnel including ratio of PhD to masters students; level of applied vs. theoretical research; etc. As a result, due consideration should be given to differences between research areas and comparison of research accomplishment between one area of engineering and another should be avoided. Rather, the evaluation of the research will be based on a comparison of the candidate's research accomplishments to that of local, national or international norms for the same or a closely related area of research expertise. The evaluation of research will use quantitative as well as qualitative assessment of such factors as number of publications, originality, significance and impact, and number of citations. The following lists a number of criteria for evaluating research:


·         Appraisal of the candidate's research by external referees of high academic stature is an important part of the TPC decision process. In particular, the School will give more weight to those external referee reports that contain a careful evaluation of the candidate's research in terms of details of its originality, significance, and the nature of its impact.


·         The School requires that the faculty seek knowledge and disseminate it to the engineering community. In Engineering Science, this is best accomplished through peer reviewed publication of significant research results in well recognized archival journals. This is also one of the clearest indicators of a successful research program. Other forms of publications such as peer reviewed publications in the proceedings of national or international conferences; reviewed research monographs published by a reputable publisher; invited or refereed book chapters; commissioned or reviewed technical reports; and finally unreviewed publications, are also important and should be considered in evaluation of research. Special consideration should be given to quality, quantity, as well as the level of peer review of such publications. Additionally, lifelong research contribution, as well as research accomplishments while at Simon Fraser, will be addressed.


·         In Engineering Science, an important pre-requisite to sustaining a successful research program is the ability to secure research funding through external sources. Such funding is necessary for support of students and research personnel; attendance of the candidate and his/her students at conferences, technical workshops, and meetings; research infrastructure and laboratory equipment. The level of need, source, and availability of funding may differ depending on the candidate's area of research, but nevertheless, some level of external funding is necessary for a healthy research program. Success in obtaining research funding from competitive peer-reviewed granting agencies such as NSERC, or from industrial sources, is also an indication that the research is deemed worthy of support.


·         Ability to attract and successfully train graduate as well as undergraduate students in research. The calibre of theses/dissertations supervised, research productivity of students through publications, and when possible, students' career performance should be considered.


·         Evidence of impact and stature through such means as honors bestowed upon the candidate in relation to his/her research work such as best paper award; fellowship of technical societies such as IEEE, ASME, AIAA, ACM, etc.; membership on committees or editorial board of journals and conferences; membership on grant selection committees or advisory boards; etc.


·         Patents awarded. Consideration should be given to patents that are licensed to industry, and especially to those that are used in industrial products.


·         Industrial interaction and technology transfer are encouraged in the School of Engineering Science. If such activities can be shown to have enriched the teaching and/or the research of a candidate for tenure or promotion, the TPC will include them in its considerations. Evidence of industrial interaction and technology transfer can include commissioned technical reports and other consulting work, software that has come into widespread use and sabbaticals or leaves spent in industry. Indications of success of this work can include licences of technology and commercial availability of industrial products or services based on the candidate's work.


·         Invited seminars such as keynote speeches or tutorials at a conference, invited talks at other universities, industry, research laboratories, or government agencies.


·         Any other well documented evidence of research contribution supplied by the candidate.


2.2  Teaching

Teaching is an important function of a faculty and the School places high value on excellence in teaching. Apart from regularly assigned teaching duties, the School expects that all faculty members participate in some non-assigned teaching activities such as: supervision of undergraduate theses, directed study courses and special project laboratories, evaluation of work term reports and presentations.


In evaluating teaching, consideration shall be given to one's effectiveness in teaching. Consideration should be given to:


·         the history of students' course evaluations

·         course material (exams, homework, syllabus, handouts, project(s))

·         continual development, improvement and modernization of courses taught

·         written textbooks or supplementary notes/course material

·         originally developed laboratory experiments or software material

·         on line (web based) resources for the course

·         written comments from other faculty members who may have attended one of the candidate's lectures or the entire course

·         attendance at teaching effectiveness workshops

·         articles published in peer reviewed journals or conferences on engineering education

·         supervision and mentoring of both undergraduate and graduate students

·         recognition of teaching through teaching awards

·         registration as a Professional Engineer in British Columbia

·         relevant industrial experience or practice of engineering

·         standards imposed, and consistency in class grade point average with other similar courses in the School, and

·         range of courses developed or taught.


The TPC will use the above as well as any other appropriate avenue to evaluate the candidate's mastery of subject matter as well as currency in his/her field; ability to organize the material and communicate it skillfully; ability to motivate, arouse curiosity and inspire students; ability and willingness to teach a range of subjects at undergraduate and graduate levels with a wide range of enrollment; and finally the candidate's enthusiasm, preparation, diligence, and commitment to teaching. Candidates are encouraged to submit any material that would support and strengthen their case.


2.3  Professional Service to School, University, and Community

It is expected that each faculty member will be an active participant in the collegial governance of the School. This expectation however increases with the faculty member's professional growth. As such, the School shall not assign a great deal of administrative duties to an untenured faculty member although membership of such faculty in some School's Committees will be required. Candidates should outline especially significant elements of their professional service which may include chairing or being a member of various School Committees; serving on the University Committees; providing service to external professional organizations such as the IEEE, ASME, etc.; serving on the editorial boards of journals and conferences; organizing or serving on the organizing committees of technical conferences and workshops; serving as a reviewer for journals, conferences, and granting agencies; serving as a professional consultant to community, industry, and government agencies. The TPC will make every effort to assess and evaluate the candidate's performance in this area and not just list them.




3    Tenure Criteria

All candidates for tenure will be expected to demonstrate that, since the commencement of the tenure-track appointment,


1.      There has been continued growth as an established scholar, as evidenced by the development of a significant program of independent research and scholarship;


2.      That there has been a sustained commitment to undergraduate and/or graduate teaching and supervision; and


3.      That he/she has become a responsible and contributing member of the University/academic community.


The decision to grant tenure implies the School's long term commitment to the candidate. A positive recommendation from the Tenure and Promotion Committee (TPC) should imply that, based on the presented evidence, it is the judgement of the committee that there will be continued growth and productivity and that the candidate has established the potential to be promoted to Full Professor in due course. It should be noted however that a promotion does not guarantee future promotions.


4    Requirements for Assistant Professor

Appointment to the rank of Assistant Professor presumes a strong academic record and completion of academic or professional training. There should be clear indications that the individual has the aptitudes of a successful teacher, the potential to grow in stature as a scholar as well as a willingness to play an active role in the University. These views should be supported by strong referee reports.


5    Requirements for Associate Professor

Appointment as an Associate Professor is based on a record of successful teaching, scholarly achievement, and participation in service to the University and the community. Appointment of a candidate to this rank requires a research and teaching record that would indicate that the candidate is a leading scholar and a teacher and that he/she will exhibit continued growth and productivity and is expected to be promoted to Full Professor in due course. External referees of high academic stature must assess the individual's research contributions.


Promotion of an Assistant Professor to the rank of Associate Professor is based on a record of successful teaching, scholarly achievement, and participation in service to the University and the community. Satisfactory performance in each of research, teaching, and service areas is necessary for tenure/promotion. However, a mere competency in all of these areas is not regarded as sufficient grounds for granting tenure/promotion. For tenure/promotion the candidate must have excellent performance in either research or teaching. An important criterion is the demonstration of continued professional growth of the individual in his/her field(s) including recognition as an established scholar. External referees of high academic stature must assess the individual's research contributions.

Evaluation for promotion to Associate Professor is conducted in the manner outlined in Sections (2.1), (2.2), and (2.3).


6    Requirements for Professors

For promotion to the Professor rank the total overall career contributions of the faculty member in areas of teaching, research and service to the School, University, and the community shall be taken into consideration. The rank of Professor is designed for those who have excelled in teaching and research. In particular emphasis shall be placed on evidence of substantial and continued growth and accomplishments in teaching, and research since appointment or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. Appointment or promotion to this rank requires evidence of national or international reputation in their area of expertise, supported by letters from external referees of high academic stature.


Evaluation for promotion to Professor is conducted in the manner outlined in Sections (2.1), (2.2), and (2.3). Furthermore, it is recommended that a candidate for promotion to Full Professor should have graduated PhD students.


7    Requirements for Lecturers

Engineering Science expects that all Lecturers and Senior Lecturers would make significant contributions to the School through undergraduate teaching and service. A Lecturer may apply for promotion to Senior Lecturer if he/she has demonstrated superior abilities as a teacher across a range of courses, leadership in curriculum development or innovative pedagogy, and a satisfactory level of service. Graduate teaching and supervision is not expected of the Lecturers or Senior Lecturers. Other than that, evaluation of teaching is conducted in a similar manner to that outlined in Section (2.2).


8    Salary/Career Progress Review

Faculty members are reviewed biannually based on their performance in research, teaching, and service. Same criteria as outlined in Sections (2.1), (2.2), and (2.3) will be used for the purpose of this evaluation.

Dr. J.L.Wighton Professor of Laboratory Studies Guidelines, August 1990

Dr. J.L. Wighton Professor of Laboratory Studies Guidelines, August 1990

The overall objectives of the Wighton Professorship are contained in the agreement with Dr. Wighton of 10 August 1984. The present guidelines relate to the specific activities of the first incumbent, which are:

  • to teach a one-half normal load of regular classes and to devote all remaining teaching activity to the Wighton Professorship;
  • to utilize, specifically, student projects to attain the goals of the Professorship;
  • to submit each September to the Director, School of Engineering Science, an acceptable annual report, on activities and accomplishments; and
  • to administer an annual fund of $25,000, drawn from the income from the Wighton Endowment, under the supervision of the Dean of Applied Science for the purposes of the Professorship.