Important Definitions & Information Pertaining to Academic Staff Classifications

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Definitions | Important Additional Information & FAQ ||


Contract Academic Staff (CAS) Not in the tenure stream. A contract academic staff appointment refers to an appointment for a definite or indefinite term that does not lead to tenure.
Cross Appointment There is no such official terminology in the McGill Regulations pertaining to academic staff classifications. An academic appointment of substantial weight in another academic unit can be as a "joint" appointment. Other units where an affiliation is desired can be done so via an "Associate Member" (for internal staff) or "Affiliate Member" (for external staff) appointment.
Indefinite Term Appointment Pertaining to Contract Academic Staff (CAS), an appointment of unlimited duration without a fixed end date. This does not lead to or equate to tenure. May be removed with sufficient notification as per the Regulations Relating ot the Employment of Contract Academic Staff.
See Important Additional Information & FAQ and note on Processing CAS Indefinite Term Appointments in Minerva where Soft-Funding or Grants pay or contribute to the Salary.
Joint Appointment An appointment in more than one Department and/or Faculty as indicated in the official letter of appointment. All units are equally responsible at time of review for reappointment, promotion, etc.
Reduced Load Refers to anyone in the tenure stream who is appointed less than full-load. What is meant by full-load can vary from Faculty to Faculty. More information on temporary Reduced Load appointments can be found on our page containing information on Temporary Reduced Load Appointments.
Tenure Stream This is an appointment of ranked academic staff either in the tenure-track (an appointment with a definite term that may lead to tenure), or with tenure (meaning the right of a staff member to hold his/her appointment and not to be removed therefrom except for just cause).
Usage of Acting vs Interim (Academic Administrative Positions) The designation “Acting” is to be used when a person is appointed to a position during the temporary absence of the incumbent. The designation “Interim” is to be used when a person is appointed to a vacant position while a search is underway for a new incumbent.

Important Additional Information & FAQ

Processing CAS Indefinite Term Appointments in Minerva where Soft-Funding or Grants pay or contribute to the Salary

The CAS Regulations provide for indefinite term appointments for ranked or unranked CAS “…who have been continuously employed in the same Department for six (6) years …”.

Such appointments must be processed via a Minerva Appointment Form with no end-date on the position.

The only instance where an end-date is allowed on indefinite appointments is for non-Canadians who are obligated to hold a work permit, and where Canadian law obligates us to have an end-date on the appointment matching the date on the work permit.

If a soft funded Grant is paying for this appointment, in part or in entirety, then please follow the procedure below:
  • The end-date on the soft-fund in the FOAPALS section of the appointment form should be the end-date on the grant/soft-fund,
  • An extra FOAPAL component needs to be added assigning a new FOAPAL to begin the day after the grant’s end-date has occurred.
  • This must be a valid Departmental FOAPAL.
  • You then have three choices:
    (i) Continue to pay the indefinite term appointment from the hard fund,
    (ii) If new soft funding comes in, send in a new FOAPAL Change appointment form and repeat all of the steps noted above in their entirety.
    (iii) Terminate the appointment with the required notice (as per the CAS Departures page on this site), and continue to pay the salary from the hard fund until the termination date arrives. Be prepared as you might have to pay severance (please visit the Severance of Contract Academic Staff page on this site).