Family First Policy for CBS UoGuelph

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Spousal employment opportunities are imperative to attract and retain excellent faculty—a fact that a number of Canadian Universities including the University of Toronto, McGill University and Queens University all recognize. Spousal accommodation is when an academic institution will make every effort to find employment opportunities for the spouses of faculty members as dictated by the needs of the university and the qualifications of the spouse. This type of policy acts to employ highly qualified academics and allows families and spouses to avoid long commutes or professional sacrifices on the part of one of the partners. In the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Guelph, the lack of such a policy that supports spouses and/or helps to accommodate a professor’s family situation has already cost the department, and may cause us to lose THREE amazing professors in the Integrative Biology Department alone, this year.


Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs’ contract will be ending this year and unless she is moved into a permanent position, she and her family will have to leave the University. All of us who have had Dr. Jacobs or her spouse Dr. Alex Smith as professors know that they are a huge asset to the Integrative Biology department. To lose them both simply due to the department’s inability to make spousal hiring accommodations is an enormous loss to everyone.


Please consider signing this petition to show your support for a Family First policy at the University of Guelph which would allow accommodations to be made for faculty members like Shoshanah and Alex and prevent us from losing any more amazing profs!


For an example of Spousal Accommodation at a Canadian University, please feel free to check out McGill’s policy.

For more information about the pros and cons of spousal hiring, please feel free to read this article written by the former Dean of John Hopkins University.



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