Authorization and Approval

Responsibility: Dean, College of Medicine / Vice-Dean Faculty Engagement, College of Medicine 
Authorization: Board of Governors
Approval Date: Jun 20, 2017


The purpose of this policy is to provide institutional recognition and formally define the academic relationship medical faculty have with the university and establish a framework for the governance of medical faculty relations with the university. The Dean, College of Medicine, has or may delegate responsibility for implementing this policy, as well as developing and maintaining its associated procedures.

Scope of this Policy

This policy applies to all medical faculty, regardless of external clinical income source. It does not apply to faculty members in scope of the USFA.


Medical faculty
With a few minor exceptions as outlined in the Procedures Manual for Medical Faculty, medical faculty are defined as licensed Saskatchewan physicians (MD or equivalent), or Clinical PhDs, holding clinical appointments in their respective health regions[1] as well as academic appointments in departments or divisions within the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.

Clinical/academic setting
A clinical/academic setting is defined as a clinical site or academic environment or combined clinical-academic setting in which academic work is undertaken by medical faculty.

Academic Freedom
Academic freedom is defined as the freedom to examine, question, teach and learn, and the right to investigate, speculate and comment without reference to prescribed doctrine, as well as the right to criticize the University and society at large. Academic freedom does not require neutrality on the part of the individual, but makes commitment possible. Academic freedom carries with it the duty to use that freedom in a manner consistent with the scholarly obligation to base teaching and research on an honest search for knowledge.

[1] With provincial health region restructuring, jurisdictional authority for clinical appointments may rest with a provincial health authority or other legislated body


Medical faculty provide important services to their communities and patients in their clinical practices. They also deliver essential academic services to the university through their academic appointments.

While medical faculty are not employees of the university and are distinct from their faculty member colleagues, the academic contributions of medical faculty are as important to the academic mission of the university as those made by any other faculty members.  

Medical faculty are legitimate academic appointees and hold legitimate university academic appointments conferred with the academic rights, freedoms and responsibilities similar to those held by all university faculty members. This policy recognizes that medical faculty, through their academic appointments, are engaged in valued academic work and have accepted the university’s role in academic governance and protection of academic freedom in clinical/academic settings. Normally such settings, if primarily clinical, have university – health region affiliation agreements in place, but this policy does not require the existence of such affiliation agreements. [2]

Notwithstanding their academic appointments, medical faculty do not hold tenurable appointments and are subject to the limitations outlined by The University of Saskatchewan Act with respect to the statutory definition of faculty member. In recognition of their non-employment status, medical faculty are not members of the General Academic Assembly and are not eligible to serve on University Council. 

This policy recognizes and confirms that the academic appointments of medical faculty and payment for their services, whether clinical or academic, are two distinct and separate matters. The specific academic services provided by a medical faculty appointee and the payment for those services are contractually negotiated with the individual medical faculty appointees. The medical faculty appointment and this policy do not address payment of medical faculty, or matters of clinical governance.

This policy confirms that medical faculty appointees in good standing have a right to academic freedom. Without limiting the previous definition, the university’s fundamental role in protecting the academic freedom of medical faculty appointees includes Department Heads acting as advocates on behalf of medical faculty when issues of academic freedom arise in the academic/clinical setting. The Dean or his/her delegate(s), as described in procedures associated with this policy, will promptly investigate all allegations of breach of academic freedom.

This policy affirms the establishment of a College of Medicine administrative and governance committee, the Academic-Clinical Relations Committee (ACRC).

[2] With provincial health region restructuring, historic affiliation agreements with health regions may be replaced by an equivalent agreement with the provincial health authority or other duly authorized organization(s).


The university community recognizes medical faculty appointees as academic colleagues and partners in supporting, advancing, and respecting the university’s academic mission, vision and values. In support of the intent of this policy, university officials and administrators will strive to facilitate meaningful collegial participation of medical faculty through review and revision of university policies, practices and  procedures affecting medical faculty, when appropriate and relevant.

While the university confirms that medical faculty have academic freedom with respect to all academic activities and scholarly pursuits, it is recognized that medical faculty also remain subject to applicable ethical and clinical standards, guidelines, laws, regulations, rules and procedures governing the practice of medicine, whether site-specific, institutional, local, regional, provincial, or national.  In addition, medical faculty have reciprocal obligations and responsibilities to the university and must comply with required academic guidelines as well as all applicable university policies, rules and procedures. 

The Dean, College of Medicine, has or may delegate responsibility for implementing and disseminating this policy and for ensuring the ACRC develops and maintains necessary associated procedures. The ACRC will provide administrative and procedural oversight for the procedures governing the relations between medical faculty and the university. The college is authorized to determine the committee’s membership, roles and responsibilities.


The Procedures Manual for Medical Faculty contains procedures governing the academic relationship medical faculty appointees have with the university and the college. The ACRC is responsible for the maintenance and administration of the procedures, as described in detail in the Procedure Manual, which can be found here: Changes to the Procedures, as these apply to appointments, titles, review processes, and career advancement must be approved by the Provost’s Office and made available to members of council.


If you have questions about this policy please contact:

Contact Person: Vice Dean Faculty Engagement, College of Medicine
Phone: 306-966-1378