Statement of Principles for External Partnerships
Notes: Approved by Senate: 2013/03/28
Approval Authority: Senate
Signature: "Harriet Lewis"
York University has benefited from numerous collaborative relationships that support its academic mission. The current University Academic Plan calls for the pursuit of “opportunities for York to build upon its leadership in…partnerships for teaching, learning and research”. These shall be “consistent with institutional autonomy and the trust reposed by the public.” York recognizes the benefits conferred by these interactions, and welcomes them as they assist in the fulfillment of its Mission and the expression of its values in a spirit of mutual respect. Given that efforts are likely to foster increasingly diverse external relations and community engagement that promote the full spectrum of academic activities, Senate affirms the following principles:
Academic Freedom: Partnerships shall be consistent with academic freedom, which includes the right to examine, question, teach, learn and disseminate opinions on any questions related to teaching, professional activities and research both inside and outside the classroom without impediment.
Academic Integrity: Partnerships shall be consistent with the creation and dissemination of knowledge, quality teaching, learning and research, and the distinctive aspects of the University’s Mission.
Institutional Autonomy: Partnerships shall operate in accordance with all of the University’s applicable policies, regulations, processes, practices and collective agreements. Agreements establishing external partnerships should contain clear mechanisms and procedures for resolving disputes between the parties.
Conflict of Interest: Partnerships shall be subject to the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy and Guidelines, including the required disclosure of a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest by all persons involved.
University Governance: Partnerships shall be subject to the legislated authority of the Senate and Board of Governors, and the processes that flow from that authority, including the sole responsibility of Senate and its Faculty Councils for the establishment and modification of programs, courses, academic standards, admissions criteria, evaluation of its students, and student academic awards, and the joint responsibilities of the Senate and Board of Governors for the establishment of units and chairs.
Faculty Appointments: Partnerships that involve faculty appointments shall be implemented and governed in accordance with University policies and procedures and provisions of collective agreements for the initial hiring, tenure, promotion, and renewal of meritorious appointees.
Academic Transformation: Partnerships shall be guided by collegiality and timely consultation, particularly when they may have the effect of significantly transforming the academic orientation or make up of a Faculty.
Transparency: All partnership agreements shall be publicly accessible except portions that touch on personal privacy or confidential commercial considerations.
This statement shall be reviewed by Senate Executive in two years to ensure that it remains an effective expression of the academic principles that apply to partnerships.
 Definitions of academic freedom are found in the YUFA and CUPE 3903 collective agreements, and in the current Memorandum of Agreement between the Osgoode Hall Faculty Association and the University. In June 2009 Senate approved a motion proposed by Senator Roxanne Mykitiuk “that the Senate of York University confirm that the principles of academic freedom prevail with regard to all academic activities undertaken under the auspices of the university as also expressed by the President of the University, the Chair and Chair-designate of the Board of Governors.” Senate of York University, Minutes, June 18, 2009.