Policies for faculty & staff
Overview and Purpose
UBC takes the quality of teaching in its programs seriously, and Vantage College is no exception. Guided by the Reports of the UBC-V Working Group on Peer Review of Teaching (2009 and 2020), Vantage College seeks to support faculty in strengthening their teaching through formative assessments, and decisions about appointment and reappointment are informed by summative assessments of teaching. These guidelines are intended to provide Vantage-specific context to the descriptions provided in the latest Collective Agreement between UBC and the UBC Faculty Association and is intended to be consistent with the criteria therein.
Link to download the Vantage College Conference Travel Fund application form
Vantage College promotes collaborative teaching and pedagogical innovation. It seeks to support its faculty members in disseminating their innovative and collaborative teaching practices as well as the Vantage-related scholarship of teaching and learning in which they engage. To that end, Vantage College has reserved $5,000 for a Conference Travel fund to support Vantage faculty in making public presentations of their teaching and educational leadership (including, but not limited to, scholarship of teaching and learning) at scholarly or professional events
Faculty members in all streams (AEP, Arts, Engineering, Management, and Science) and of all appointment types listed in Part 4, Article 2 of the UBC/UBCFA Collective Agreement 2019-2022 (Lecturers, Educational Leadership Stream, Professoriate Stream) are eligible to apply for up to $500 per person per year.
The Conference Travel Fund is intended to supplement the UBC Professional Development Reimbursement Fund (PDR, accrual $1,100 per person per year) which all faculty receive and any departmental or other travel funds to which some faculty may have access. Effective July 1, 2020, the amount of $1100 has been increased to $1700 per year. For more information about the PDR, see https://hr.ubc.ca/career-development/funding-employee-development/professional-development-funding
Depending on their home department or unit, faculty members have access to different levels of conference funding. We trust you will exercise discretion in applying for the Vantage College Conference Travel funds so that these funds can benefit colleagues who don’t have access to conference travel funding from another department or unit.
Applications are accepted year-round, on a first-come, first-serve basis, until the fund is depleted (the fiscal year is April 1 – March 31). Reimbursement must occur in the fiscal year in which the work is presented.
Eligible expenses include travel, accommodation, meals (excluding alcohol), and conference registration.
Per UBC Finance policy:
Travel by private vehicle may be necessary to save time and/or costs. Reimbursement for costs are made to the driver only and are calculated by applying the mileage (km) rate to the actual driving distance while on UBC business, by the most direct route. The amount claimed should not exceed the full economy airfare.
Travellers may be reimbursed for the cost of meals either by submitting receipts for actual meal costs or by claiming meal per diems. Receipts are not required to claim a meal per diem.
Travellers may claim a meal per diem for an entire day or partial day. Where a meal per diem is claimed, no additional amount may be claimed for the same meals. Per diems may only be claimed where meals have actually been consumed. Per diems cannot be claimed where meals are already included, such as through conference fees, meetings, etc.
The mileage rate and meal per diems policy is outlined in UBC Policy #83 - Travel & Entertainment Expenses and Administrative Directive (2019). Additional guidelines (effective per July 2019) on eligible and ineligible expenses and maximum amounts for various items can be found in the Expenditure Guidelines.
The funds are available for events at which Vantage faculty members present their work, not for only attending the event. Funds are paid after the event, for reimbursement of expenses, not as travel advance. The application should be submitted to Susanne Schmiesing and must include:
- the Vantage College Conference Travel Fund application form;
- evidence of the presentation (e.g., the conference program showing the name of the presenter);
- original, itemized and dated receipts for all expenses claimed; credit card receipts that are not itemized are not acceptable for reimbursement.
UBC, on both its Vancouver and Okanagan campus, has clear policies on academic honesty and academic misconduct. However, because the Vantage One programs have a complex structure involving courses from multiple Faculties and, sometimes, both campuses, these guidelines help to explain and interpret the general UBC policies for cases of suspected academic misconduct involving students in the Vantage One programs.
UBC disciplinary procedures for suspected cases of academic misconduct can be found at:
UBC-V: Discipline for Academic Misconduct and in particular Investigation: Dean's Office
UBC-O: Discipline for Academic Misconduct and in particular Investigation: Dean's Office
All incidents of suspected academic misconduct must be reported to the relevant Dean’s Office, with the exception of complaints arising through Enrolment Services and those no longer suspected following an investigation by the querying instructor. The relevant Dean’s Office is that of the Faculty of the course in which the student is enrolled and includes a faculty member designated by the Dean to represent the Faculty.
As per University procedures, when an instructor suspects that a student has committed academic misconduct, the instructor normally will be the first to investigate the incident and should give the student the opportunity to meet to discuss the suspected academic misconduct. (The student may not be available or willing to meet in person but should be given the opportunity to respond to the suspicion, whether in person, via email, or remote connection.)
If the instructor would like another person present during the initial meeting with the student, for example to take notes, the instructor may invite the relevant Vantage College Curriculum Chair, the Academic English Program Director, or the Academic Director.
Depending on the results of the investigation and the meeting with the student, the instructor may do one of the following (please refer to Departmental/Faculty procedures for guidance):
- require the student to re-do his/her work or to do supplementary work,
- assign a grade of zero or a failing grade for the work,
- assign a mark higher than failing for the work, or
- dismiss the allegation.
(Click HERE for full policy)
It should be noted that assigning a grade of zero or a failing grade for the work is the maximum penalty an instructor can impose. An instructor cannot assign a grade of zero or a failing grade for the course as a penalty for academic misconduct.
A report of the investigation and outcome of the meeting with the student is submitted per the procedures established by the relevant Dean’s Office, or where none exist, then directly to the Dean’s Office.¹
Regardless of the course in which the academic misconduct occurred, a copy of the report is also sent to the Vantage College Academic Director, who will maintain a record of all misconduct cases involving Vantage College students. For all cases of (suspected) academic misconduct involving Vantage College students, the Vantage College Academic Director makes a recommendation to the relevant Dean’s Office. However, the final authority to dismiss the allegation, give the student a warning, or refer the matter to the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline (PACSD at UBC-V or UBC-O) for possible disciplinary measures by the President rests with the relevant Dean’s Office (including, in the case of VANT courses, the Vantage College Principal).
¹ For example, in the Faculty of Arts, the unit Head or Director should also be sent the report. If the suspicion/allegation of misconduct remains after the instructor meeting, the Faculty of Arts requires a meeting between the student and Head/Director or their designate. For Vantage One Arts students, a meeting with the Vantage College Academic Director replaces the meeting with the unit Head/Director. All cases in which an instructor confirms that academic misconduct has occurred and in which a penalty is assigned must be reported to the Dean’s Office.
Provisionally approved with amendments November 21, 2017
Vantage College Dogs in the Workplace Policy
The policy has been designed to contribute to wellness at Vantage College policy on research discussed in the rationale section of the policy. The policy, its implementation and monitoring, should be a collegial and collaborative process. Colleagues who do bring their dogs into work should be mindful of this. Any colleagues who are at all uncomfortable with dogs in the workplace should feel free to discuss their concerns with individual colleagues/dog owners or anonymously via the Wellness or Executive committees.
Vantage College acknowledges the increasing recognition of the role that dogs play in improving human’s ability to deal with stress in the workplace. Randomized controlled trials of pet ownership have demonstrated reduced blood pressure responses to stress.1 Observational studies have demonstrated improved job satisfaction, and lowered perceptions of workplace stress associated with bringing their dogs to work.2 Improved communication and morale among workers have also been reported,3 as has reduced turnover.4 The Dogs in the Workplace Policy acknowledges the value of bringing dogs to the workplace but views this as a privilege and a responsibility rather than a right.
The policy does not apply to service dogs brought to campus to provide assistance to persons with disabilities and where the dog is certified as a guide animal pursuant to the Guide Animal Act of British Columbia. Nor does it apply to certified therapy dogs, or emotional support animals when medical documentation has been supplied and approved by the Vantage College Executive.
This policy is intended to set parameters whereby Vantage College faculty and staff may bring their dogs to work in an environment that is safe and acceptable for all persons and dogs in the building.
Implementation of Policy:
- Vantage College staff and faculty wishing to bring their dog to work shall fill out the Vantage College Dogs in the Workplace Agreement. The agreement also requires that staff who work in a shared office, obtain prior permission from their co-workers sharing the space.
- Owners will post a photograph of their dog at their workspace and on days when their dogs are in the office, will post a notification at the main entrance to Vantage College offices (Orchard, 2nd Floor).
- When dogs are outside of the owner’s workspace, and within the Vantage College Building, they will be leashed.
- Dogs will be kept out of areas utilized heavily in day-to-day Vantage College activities, including: kitchens/lunchrooms, shared restrooms, mail and photocopy rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, and open cubicles (except with prior permission of co-workers working in this space). Dogs should not be present in teaching rooms or during regularly scheduled weekly office hours. Staff in shared common areas will take appropriate measures to ensure that dogs cannot freely roam the space. Colleagues that share spaces will go through appropriate negotiations to ensure that everyone is comfortable with dogs in their spaces. This can include:
- Posting signs by the entrance area indicating which dogs are present in the office (with pictures)
- Owners are to ensure that their dog is licensed when applicable, and that standard veterinary care is maintained, including up-to-date vaccinations, and a flea management program. Documentation regarding vaccinations must be made available on request.
- Dog owners are responsible for any personal or property damage caused by their dog, including: damage from accidents, excessive dog hair and odor. Owners of dogs must clean up after their dog while on Vantage College or campus property.
- Should there be a complaint regarding a dog, the complaint will be forwarded in writing by the complainant to any member of the Vantage College Wellness Committee (H&W) Vantage College or a member of the Executive Committee (who will inform the Wellness Committee). An ad-hoc H&W meeting will be called to discuss an appropriate mitigation strategy and make recommendations to all parties involved. If the strategy does not resolve the situation, the complaint will be referred to the Principal of Vantage College for resolution.
- If a dog causes a significant disturbance/distraction or poses a health or safety risk, the dog will be removed from the building immediately, and will not return until a committee review of the incident has been completed.
- Individuals with allergies to or fear/discomfort of dogs may bring their concerns to the attention of the Chair of the Vantage College Wellness Committee or to a member of the Executive. The Chair of the H&W committee will work with all parties concerned to agree on an appropriate mitigation strategy. No medical documentation is required—the process will be guided by trust, respect and reciprocity between colleagues. Parties will be guided by the goals of wellness for all parties involved.
- In situations where students may come into contact with dogs (ie walking past administrative offices for advising meetings), clear notices about where dogs are located that day must be posted (as per points 2 and 4 above). Students citing any discomfort of this will be allowed to ask for a member of staff to walk with them to the meeting room or for the meeting to occur in alternative location
Evaluation and Review
The Vantage College Health and Wellness Committee will review this policy every three years for approval by the Vantage College faculty and staff.
- Allen K, Shykoff B, Izzo J. Pet ownership, but not ACE inhibitor therapy, blunts home blood pressure responses to mental stress. Hypertension. 2001;38:815-820.
- Barker R. Preliminary investigation of employee's dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions. International Journal of Workplace Health Management. 2012;10.1108/17538351211215366
- Schorr M. Pets in the Workplace Reduce Stress. J Occ Health Psychol. 2007;6:81-87.
- Palika L, Fearing J. Considering the Idea. Dogs at Work. 1st ed. Washington, DC: Humane Society Press; 2008:4-14.
The Vantage Wellness Committee would like to thank the UBC School of Population and Public Health, whose website on its own policy helped formulate our own discussion and whose formal policy acted as the template for the Vantage College policy. Their work can be found at Dogs in SPPH Workplace, however, they have not formally consulted on our policy and therefore any amendments and/or oversights are our own
Link to policy document (The text below is copied from the official policy document):
Vantage College is a highly collaborative context. Those who teach in the Vantage One programs do so with a clear understanding that their courses are not stand-‐alone entities, but part of a coherent program. There are multiple forms of collaboration, including among program-‐disciplinary colleagues, between program-‐disciplinary and Academic English colleagues, and among Academic English colleagues across programs. Because of this context, and because Vantage includes colleagues from many different units, it is important that we make efforts to avoid misunderstandings in sharing and using shared teaching materials.
UBC has a general policy (#81) on the “Use of Teaching Materials in UBC Credit Courses.” The most important parts of this policy to remember are:
- If you create teaching materials, you own the intellectual property in these materials.
- If you have received special compensation for creating teaching materials, for instance because you were paid a separate honorarium or you received a course release for this work, UBC has the right to use, revise, and share those materials.
- If you have uploaded teaching materials to a “Departmental Resource,” meaning a repository of teaching materials maintained by Vantage College or your home unit, UBC also has the right to use, revise, and share those materials.
Because the language of the policy leaves some room for interpretation, Vantage recommends the following practices for sharing and using shared teaching materials.
For those who coordinate programs or courses with multiple sections
- If you create a repository of teaching materials (e.g., in WorkSpace or on Canvas), ensure that all who can upload materials to this repository or make use of materials in the repository have a clear understanding (before they are asked to upload materials) of whether this repository serves as a “Departmental Resource” as described in Policy 81.
- If you would like to encourage colleagues to share materials for information purposes only, create a repository that is clearly marked as such, so that people can upload without concern. For example: “Syllabi for Information Only.”
- Encourage colleagues to adopt the practices below.
For those sharing teaching materials
- Upload only those materials to a “Departmental Resource” of which you are comfortable they may be used and/or revised by others.
- If you share materials in another way, for example by uploading them to a repository that does not serve as a Departmental Resource, or via email, please include information about how you would or would not like the materials to be used. You can include this information in the materials themselves (e.g., cover page, title slide, header, footer) or in the email.
- Examples include:
- “Permission to use with attribution.”
- “Draft only – please do not use or distribute without author’s permission.”
- “For information only – please don’t use without checking with me first.”
- “You are welcome to use the structure and core themes of this course but please do not use the examples and exercises without checking with me first.”
- Visit Creative Commons for various types of Creative Commons licenses you may want to use for your work.
- Consider different approaches to sharing your materials and pedagogy depending on need and context. Visit https://open.ubc.ca/ for information and examples on Open Educational Resources, Open Pedagogy, and Open Access to help you decide when you do and don’t want to take an open approach to your intellectual property. (This applies to both your teaching materials and your research or SoTL work.)
- Do not share materials that include work for which you do not own the copyright, such as images you have found online (without a Creative Commons license). For more information, click HERE.
For those using shared teaching materials
- Use only those materials that were made available via a Departmental Resource or that were sent to you directly by the author, with permission to use them.
- If you are uncertain about whether you can use and/or revise materials, please contact the author (if known to you) or the coordinator of the program or multi-‐section course for permission. Check how best to attribute materials before using.
- Make appropriate attributions whenever possible. This also models good citation practices to students by acknowledging you are using or building on other people’s work. Examples include:
- “Original materials created by Dr. Example. Used with permission.”
- “Assignment and rubric developed by Dr. Example.”
The purpose is to further outline the detailed policy specific to the Vantage College space in Orchard Commons. Advertising can be useful to student, faculty and staff as a form of communication of events, opportunities and information.
Posters, flyers and pamphlets must be authorized for posting and date-stamped by a Vantage College staff member, currently Laura Campbell. If there is uncertainty or questions, the Principal, Dr. Joanne Fox, may be contacted. Any posters without an authorized stamp will be removed immediately. Contact for poster approval can be in-person or through email email@example.com
Posting must only occur on the bulletin board within the Vantage Commons space.
Only one poster per event is allowed.
All advertisements must be in English, and then any additional languages may be used. Any translations must be a fair and accurate representation of the English wording.
Unauthorized Flyer and Posters:
Flyers and posters may NOT be posted on windows, doors, walls or mirrors, or left lying on floors or tables in lounges, washrooms or stairwells, or on cars in parking lots. Flyers found in these areas will be removed and discarded.
If an organization or individual is found responsible for unauthorized distribution of flyers, UBC Vantage College may deny them future advertising privileges in Orchard Commons.
Door to Door soliciting: Door-to-door soliciting and leaving flyers on or under each classroom or office door is not permitted.
Student Election Campaigns: Students are not permitted to solicit in classrooms or offices. They must follow the same procedure as all other posters and flyers.
Canadian Government Election Campaigns: The only exception to the soliciting rule is during a federal, provincial or civic election campaign, when canvassers may stand in the main atrium area to distribute election material. The group or persons must contact the Vantage College staff through email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to canvassing for approval. When canvassing, persons must be passive and not act aggressive towards people. If the Vantage College staff perceives the canvassers to be aggressive and rude, the canvassers will be asked to leave.
Information Tables and in-person Promotions: Tables and booths are not permitted at Vantage College. Student and community organizations are encouraged to submit a poster for the bulletin board for approval.
Offensive Advertising: Any advertising that is considered offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic, or in any way may contribute to an intimidating, hostile or uncomfortable environment may not be posted. The final decision as to the appropriateness of any advertising in Vantage College rests with the Vantage College Principal.
Award applications for faculty & staff
Vantage College offers the annual Vantage College Teaching Award to a faculty member in any rank and position who has made outstanding contributions to students’ learning and academic experience in one of the Vantage One programs in the past academic year (May 1 – April 30). The award will be presented at the Vantage College Capstone Conference in July. A faculty member can receive this award only once every five years.
To be considered for the award, faculty can be nominated by a colleague or by a student(s), or submit a self-nomination, using the attached form, by end of day June 11, 2021 to email@example.com. The award will be adjudicated by the Professional Development and Awards Committee.
Materials that could be considered for this award:
- student evaluations of teaching;
- peer reviews of teaching (if available);
- up to 3 letter(s) of support from students and/or colleagues;
- teaching materials (1-2 pp.) relevant to the (self)nomination.
Since Vantage faculty teach a wide range of subject matter, there is no single conception of “outstanding teaching.” Depending on what, when, and how many students one teaches, teaching can stand out because, for example:
- it makes notoriously difficult material understandable to students;
- it demonstrates creativity in connecting curriculum to current affairs;
- it succeeds in getting students actively engaged in working with materials;
- it helps students achieve better grades;
- it is inclusive and responsive to different levels of student preparation and ability.
The award will include $200 and a certificate. Award recipients will be listed on the Vantage College website.
Vantage College offers the annual Vantage College Educational Innovation Award to a group of faculty and/or staff for a collaborative project in one or more of the Vantage One programs in the past academic year (May 1 – April 30). The award will be presented at the Vantage College Capstone Conference in July.
A project can be nominated by members of the collaborative team as well as by others.
Materials that will be considered for this award:
- a description of the collaborative project and its contributors (max. 1 page);
- a description of how the project was educationally innovative and contributed to the enhancement of student learning (max. 2 pages);
- project evaluation (if available);
- (student) evaluations or testimonials (if available).
Materials should be submitted by end of day June 28, 2021 to firstname.lastname@example.org. The award will be adjudicated by the Professional Development and Awards Committee.
Examples of educational innovation include (but are not limited to) innovation in:
- interdisciplinary collaboration;
- the use of learning technology;
- integration of experiential education or service learning;
- internationalization of curriculum and pedagogy;
- assessment practices.
The award will include a certificate for all team members. Award recipients will be listed on the Vantage College website.
Vantage College offers the annual Staff Member of the Year Award to a staff member in Vantage who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in support of student success and well-being and/or of Vantage projects and operations in the past academic year (May 1-April 30). The award will be presented at the Vantage College Capstone Conference in July.
Staff members can be nominated by any faculty member, other staff member or student in Vantage College, or groups thereof. Staff members can also self-nominate. To be eligible, staff members cannot have received this award in any of the last three academic years.
Nominations should include:
- A nomination letter from the nominator outlining the nominee’s contributions to Vantage College and rationale for the nomination (max. 1 page);
- Any supporting documentation (e.g. special project outlines, student testimonials, evidence of noteworthy accomplishments, etc) (max. 1 page).
Materials should be submitted by end of day June 11, 2021 to email@example.com.The award will be adjudicated by the Professional Development and Awards Committee.
The award will include $200 and a certificate, and the recipient will be listed on the Vantage College website.
This TA award is designed to recognize and celebrate outstanding service to Vantage College in reaching its educational goals and innovative pedagogies.
Who is Eligible?
- Any TA who is acting or has acted in the current academic year and/or previous years.
TAship in Vantage College, UBC.
Candidates should be able to demonstrate excellence in any of the following areas:
- Student mentoring
- Marking and evaluation
- Provides effective feedback for students that help further their learning
- For this criteria, TA needs to have demonstrated excellence beyond simple administrative and marking duties.
- Contributions to course development, modification, and/or delivery
- Creative and novel methods of delivering instructional material.
- Developing an effective and positive learning climate
- Ability to respond to diverse student needs
- Successful efforts to promote equity and inclusion in the classroom
What Should be Included
- A nomination letter (max one page) from a faculty member describing why the TA’s work is exemplary. The nomination letter should include evidence supporting at least 2 or more of the selection criteria.
- A short cover letter from the TA describing their teaching experience at Vantage College (no more than 200 words)
Nominations should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day June 11, 2021.
The award will include $200 and a certificate, and the recipient will be listed on the Vantage College website.
We strongly encourage all Vantage faculty and staff to do the online “Privacy Matters” training offered by UBC’s Information Security Office.
Workspace 2.0 is UBC’s secure cloud space that can be used to share program materials or confidential information (e.g., student information). Instructors may download the Desktop Sync Client which allows you to view and manage Workspace folders on your computer just as you would any other folder or file. For instructions on how to download the Desktop Sync Client, click HERE.
The Faculty Service Centre can be used to access to class lists of your students, email your students, and is also used to enter and grades at the end of the course. Click HERE for more details.
Early Alert helps faculty, staff and TAs provide better support for students who are facing difficulties that put their academic success at risk. If you have students who are frequently absent, who are underperforming significantly, are extremely overwhelmed, or exhibit any concerning behaviours, it is generally a good idea to file an early alert though the Early Alert website.
UBC seeks to offer a respectful environment to students, staff, and faculty. We encourage all Vantage staff and faculty to be aware of the expectations laid out in the Respectful Environment Statement, information about the prevention of Bullying and Harassment, and the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office. If you would like to reinforce the message that Vantage College welcomes students, staff, and faculty of all genders and sexualities, you can find resources at the Postive Space Campaign website.