Program Handbook


1.1 Designation and Selection of Advisory Faculty
1.2 Designation and Selection of Co-ordinator
1.3 Cross-listed Courses
1.4 Procedures for Evaluation of Faculty for Rank and Tenure
1.5 Policy on Donations

1.1 Designation and Selection of Advisory Faculty


The members of the Advisory Faculty are selected by nomination. The Advisory Faculty is composed of:
i) The Women’s and Gender Studies Program Co-ordinator;
ii) Faculty members teaching interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies courses;
iii) At least one representative from the Faculty of Science; and
iv) At least two representatives from departments offering cross-listed courses.


Members will normally serve two to three year terms, the Co-ordinator and faculty teaching interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies courses serving for the term in which they fulfill these roles. Representatives from Science and departments offering cross-listed courses will be selected by the Co-ordinator in consultation with the currently serving Advisory Faculty, and in consultation with the departmental chairs of prospective candidates. Members will be selected according to the following criteria:
Faculty of Science:
i) Faculty member with demonstrated interest in, and commitment to, Women’s and Gender Studies;
ii) Available to serve.

Cross-listed Courses:
i) Faculty with demonstrated interest in and commitment to Women’s and Gender Studies;
ii) Normally faculty who teach cross-listed courses from departments not already represented by faculty teaching interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies courses;
iii) Available to serve.


The roles of the Advisory Faculty will be as follows:
1) Work closely with the Co-ordinator to establish direction of the Program.
2) Work closely with the Co-ordinator to conceive, design and implement Women’s and Gender Studies Program courses, requirements and criteria for cross-listed courses.
3) Work with the Co-ordinator to evaluate faculty teaching interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies courses.
4) Select and evaluate the Co-ordinator.
5) Nominate Advisory Faculty for two to three year terms as positions become available.

1.2 Designation and Selection of Co-ordinator


Acting in accordance with the established chair-selection process, Advisory Faculty will recommend to the Chair Selection Committee, the faculty member they deem most suitable for the position of Co-ordinator. The Chair Selection Committee will also poll Chairs of Departments offering cross-listed courses. The Co-ordinator will serve a two- to three-year term.


The roles of the Co-ordinator for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program are as follows:
1) Oversee operation of Women’s and Gender Studies Program.
2) Interact with University Administration and Department Chairs regarding budget, staffing, and cross-listed courses.
3) Work closely with the Advisory Faculty to establish direction of the Program.
4) Work closely with the Advisory Faculty to conceive, design and implement Women’s and Gender Studies Program courses, requirements and criteria for cross-listed courses.
5) Work with the Advisory Faculty to evaluate faculty teaching interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies courses in order to report to the appropriate Departmental Chairs for the purposes of regular departmental evaluations.
6) Advise students regarding program requirements and publicize program.
7) Consult with Development Office about visiting professorships, scholarships, bursaries, endowed chair, etc.


The Co-ordinator of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program should be a person with a demonstrated commitment to, and expertise in, Women’s and Gender Studies and gender-based scholarship and pedagogy.

1.3 Cross-listed Courses

Women’s and Gender Studies cross-listed courses complement Women’s and Gender Studies core courses. They are housed in various university departments and have been approved by individual departments and the Faculty of Arts or Faculty of Sciences Committees on Studies. In Women’s and Gender Studies cross-listed courses, feminist perspectives, current and past scholarship on women and gender, and women’s scholarship and writing, are central and crucial to the courses goals and objectives.


Women’s and Gender Studies cross-listed courses must meet the following criteria:
a) Include data and research about women and/or gender from a feminist perspective;
b) Analyse past and recent scholarship on women and/or gender, and feminist thought and theory of direct relevance to the course content;
c) Teach students to identify systems of domination and subordination that articulate with gender, such as those based on class, race, ethnicity, age, ability or sexual orientation;
d) Analyse stereotyped assumptions about women and/or gender and address past scholarly and methodological neglect of and bias against women;
e) Promote non-sexist methods in teaching and research including the use of gender-neutral language;
f) Incorporate gender as a significant category of analysis.

1.3.2 PROCEDURES FOR ASSESSMENT OF CROSS-LISTED COURSES The following materials will be submitted to the Women’s and Gender Studies Advising Faculty by instructors who want their course listed as a Women’s and Gender Studies cross-listed course:
a) A detailed course syllabus outlining topics to be covered in the course and materials (readings, films, speakers, etc.) to be used;
b) A written statement discussing how the course fits the criteria for Women’s and Gender Studies cross-listed courses. These materials must be submitted by December 1 of the academic year prior to the one in which the course will first be taught as a Women’s and Gender Studies cross-listed course. Formal re-evaluations of cross-listed courses are not required on a regular basis, but the Co-ordinator must have on file syllabi for all cross-listed courses each year. In the event of a change in instructor for a cross-listed course, the new instructor must submit her/his course for cross-listing approval according to the established criteria.

1.4 Procedures for Evaluation of Faculty for Rank and Tenure


The spirit which guides departmental efforts to improve the level of teaching effectiveness, should be that of responsible collegiality.

The following are procedures for the Evaluation Committee (see 1.4.2 and 1.4.4). They are intended to supplement procedures outlined in the St. Francis Xavier University Faculty Handbook, Section II parts 2.2 (Evaluation) and 2.2.1 (Evaluation Criteria).


Evaluation procedures should be conducted as follows:
i) An Evaluation Committee comprised of the Co-ordinator and 2 members of the Advising Faculty be elected annually;
ii) That, in the case where the Co-ordinator is under evaluation, a third member of the Advising Faculty, normally a Women’s and Gender Studies course instructor, will take her place on the Evaluation Committee;
iii) That Women’s and Gender Studies faculty must request an evaluation when necessary by October 1;
iv) That the letter of evaluation be released to the faculty member being evaluated when the program sends its letter to the Dean;
v) That the evaluation be based on the faculty member’s contributions to teaching, research and service in Women’s and Gender Studies.


The Evaluation Committee shall follow the Faculty Handbook guidelines for the evaluation of teaching (see section 2.2.1 [Evaluation Criteria] clause 2 [Teaching Ability] and section [Methods of Evaluating Teaching]). The program emphasizes the value of reviewing all of the types of evidence listed in the Faculty Handbook section Note additional criteria applied to the award of tenure (Faculty Handbook 2.2.1_6). FORMAL CLASS VISITS: Candidates who wish a formal class visit should submit a written request to the Co-ordinator two weeks prior to the Evaluation Committee’s visit. The classroom visits shall normally be done by a minimum of two members of the Evaluation Committee. The faculty member shall have at least one full week’s notice of an impending class visit and shall be informed of the specific class hour during which a visit shall take place. She/he will be informed as to those on the Evaluation Committee who will be making the visit. Following the visit the committee will prepare a written report which will be made available to the faculty member within one month of conducting the visit. Formal class visits will not take place in the fall term before November 1. INFORMAL CLASS VISITS: Despite the emphasis on formal evaluation contained in this section it must be noted that classroom visits have the potential to produce more effective teaching. The program has always considered student feedback a critical part of pedagogy. While student course evaluations suffer from all kinds of imperfections they do provide us with a rough measure of student opinion. When all members participate in course evaluations, it is possible to draw up approximate norms and deviations from norms. As professional academics, the judicious interpretation of such vehicles as course evaluations ought to be our “stock in trade”. Anyone not wishing to conduct course evaluations endures an added burden of proof in demonstrating effective teaching. Class visits can be conducted by the members of the Evaluation Committee on a strictly informal and supportive basis. Should any person want informal feedback from this Committee she/he must contact the Program Co-ordinator to schedule an informal class visit by the members of the committee. STUDENT COURSE EVALUATIONS (quantitative): Since 2000/01 all courses taught at St. Francis Xavier University must be evaluated using a standard course evaluation questionnaire administered to students in each course. The evaluation is optional in cases where the course is being offered for the first time, 10 or fewer students fill out the form, or an instructor is in her/his first year of teaching. Scores are totalled for each class and professor, and “norms” calculated for each department and faculty by the Academic Vice-President’s Office. These results are distributed to the faculty member whose course is being evaluated, the Program Co-ordinator, the Dean, the Academic Vice-President and Provost (Faculty Handbook, section 2.2.4_4.3). STUDENT COURSE EVALUATIONS (qualitative): The standard questionnaire includes a number of open-ended questions. The responses to open ended questions from the course evaluations will be provided to the professor (and only to the professor) once final grades have been submitted. Candidates may submit copies of these answers as evidence of teaching performance. If the candidate decides to submit written comments for a particular course, all comments for that course must be made available. STUDENT COURSE EVALUATIONS (administration): The administration of course evaluations is to be standardized for all courses. Faculty are not to handle their own evaluation forms, administer their own evaluations or be present when evaluations are being administered in their courses. These tasks are to be carried out either by members of the Evaluation Committee or by an independent person hired by the program and under the guidance of the program Administrative Assistant and Co-ordinator. Normally, evaluations are to be administered in the penultimate week of classes in a course. AVAILABILITY: The Evaluation Committee shall also consider the availability of the faculty member for consultation with students. Such availability shall be assessed by: a) the use of a question relating to this issue on the student course evaluation form, adopted for use in the program; and, b) the Co-ordinator’s monitoring the degree to which the faculty member is normally available to students during the office hours which the faculty member has posted.


The Evaluation Committee shall follow the Faculty Handbook guidelines for the evaluation of research (see section 2.2.1 [Evaluation Criteria] clause 3. [Ability in Research and Creative Activity]). The program emphasizes the value of reviewing all of the types of evidence listed below in section 1.4.6. Note additional criteria applied to the award of tenure (Faculty Handbook 2.2.1_6).


The Evaluation Committee shall follow the Faculty Handbook guidelines for the evaluation of contributions to the University community and to the wider community (see section 2.2.1 [Evaluation Criteria] clauses 4 and 5). Note additional criteria applied to the award of tenure (Faculty Handbook 2.2.1_6).


Every faculty member shall maintain a personal dossier as described in the Faculty Handbook section 2.1.4 [Personal Dossier]. In addition to copies for the Office of the Academic Vice-President and Provost (Faculty Handbook 2.1.4_2), faculty members shall provide a copy of their dossier for the program. Faculty in probationary appointments shall submit to the Evaluation Committee an updated copy of their dossier by October 16 of each year in which they are to be reviewed (see Faculty Handbook section This deadline is earlier than the University deadline. The deadline for submission of the dossier for candidates for tenure and advancement in rank is November 1, the same as for the University (Faculty Handbook section and section

The following elements should be included in the dossier for the program:
• Table of Contents
• Summary of Dossier Contents
• Curriculum Vitae
• Teaching Materials:
i) Course outlines for each course (see below).
ii) Thesis supervision: Names of students whose theses she/he has supervised over the past three academic years. The committee may request the faculty member to supply it with copies of one or more of these theses.
iii) Tests and assignments: Include an example from each recent course.
iv) Teaching evaluation data: Include numerical scores. The submission of written student comments (in answer to open-ended questions) is encouraged, but not required. If the candidate decides to submit written comments, all comments submitted must be made available.
v) Grading practices: The candidate should include "grade analysis" data (showing CAVG, XAVG etc.) for each course.
vi) Enrolment patterns: List enrolments for each course for each year.
• Research Accomplishments:
i) Refereed publications: List separately and include copies of forthcoming articles in refereed publications and books. Articles listed as forthcoming must be accompanied by a copy of the contract and/or letter from the editor/publisher expressing intent to publish. Articles/books identified as submitted must be accompanied by a letter of acknowledgement of receipt from the editor/publisher.
ii) Non-refereed publications and conference proceedings.
iii) Book review essays and book reviews.
iv) Reception of work in the academic community: List reprints of articles, citation of work, reviews of books, work used in a university course in another institution.
v) Work in progress.
vi) Internal and external grants: Provide a list of grants received, plus copies of applications made.
vii) Peer review: List journals, presses, granting agencies for which the candidate has acted as a reviewer.
• Service to the University: List University committees, departmental/program committees, professional committee work pertaining to the discipline and/or academic community.
• Service to the wider community: List professional services, volunteer work.

1.4.7 EVALUATION COMMITTEE CONSULTATION AND RECORD KEEPING DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE: Only documented evidence will be referenced in evaluation decisions. PRIOR EVIDENCE: The members of an Evaluation Committee may utilize all information about a faculty member which was supplied to previous Evaluation Program/Departmental Committees at the University and also copies of all reports written by such previous committees (subject to rights specified by the Faculty Handbook 2.1.4_4). NOTICE OF EVIDENCE: The Evaluation Committee shall notify the candidate of any evidence under consideration that has not been submitted by the candidate in her/his dossier or previous submissions. In such a case the committee shall, two days before its consultation with the candidate (see below), notify the candidate in writing of the types, sources and substance of this additional evidence. CONSULTATION: The Evaluation Committee shall meet with the candidate to discuss the merits of the candidate’s case and provide an opportunity, either at the meeting or within two working days of the meeting, whereby the candidate can address the issues raised by the Evaluation Committee. For faculty in probationary appointments undergoing annual review this meeting shall take place on or before November 10. For faculty applying for tenure or advancement in rank the consultation meeting shall take place on or before November 16. The candidate will receive a copy of the draft of evaluation at least one day prior to the consultation. This draft letter will include the recommendation (see below). ACCESS TO DOCUMENTATION: The Evaluation Committee shall send a copy of its evaluation report to the faculty member being evaluated. The faculty member shall receive the report, including all recommendations, within the deadlines specified in the Faculty Handbook for the communication of the type of decision in connection with which the evaluation was carried out [i.e. January 15 for probationary appointments (Faculty Handbook, January 31 for applications for advancement in rank (Faculty Handbook and December 15 for applications for tenure (Faculty Handbook2.2.3.2_8.1)]. At this time, all evaluation reports from the Evaluation Committee and the Program Co-ordinator are open on request to the candidate being evaluated. Any written response to these reports by the candidate will, upon request, be added to her or his file. Should any letters from the Program Co-ordinator to administrative officers or the Rank and Tenure Committee be written, these, too, will be made available upon request. RECORD KEEPING: The Evaluation Committee shall keep careful and detailed permanent records of all evaluations it has carried out. The committee shall likewise keep in its records all information supplied to it by a faculty member and by the Co-ordinator.

1.5 Policy on Donations

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program welcomes gifts that maintain its integrity, autonomy and academic freedom and which enable it to carry out its mission in a manner consistent with the program’s philosophy.

This philosophy understands that Women’s and Gender Studies as a discipline engages in the study of women and gender in a framework that takes account of race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, ability, and other conditions of social location. In keeping with this disciplinary paradigm, we understand our mission to be about educating women and men to work toward the creation of a society and a culture in which people of all genders, races, sexual orientations and abilities can find acceptance and respect; we undertake to practice a pedagogy that is inclusive, anti-discriminatory and which fosters a critical engagement with our social world.

When a gift offer involves conditions which are judged to be administratively difficult or not in the program's best interest, or if there is a question about whether the gift offer is consistent with the program’s philosophy, the Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Faculty, in consultation with the senior administrative committee, will meet to consider the donation and may request that the terms of the gift be revised, or recommend that the gift be declined. The final decision will be made by the Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Faculty.

The Advisory Faculty will always meet to consider a donation when gifts:
• Might expose the program or the university to an uncertain and potentially significant liability
• Are precedent-setting or involve sensitive issues
• Are believed to have come from illegal activities
• Involve a proposal to name
• Because of their unusual nature, present questions as to whether they are within the role and scope of the program
• Come from sources that may infringe upon human rights and those rights protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
• Raise a concern for any member of the Advising Faculty

The program also recognizes a responsibility to donors and undertakes to maintain transparency in the designation of the use of donations and to respect donor privacy.