Constructing Clinical Faculty Through the Discourse of Self-Determination: The University of Toronto Policy for Clinical Faculty and Implications for Academic Freedom

Maria Athina Martimianakis


This paper explores the events leading up to the implementation of the new Policy for Clinical Faculty at the University of Toronto, contextualizing this governance issue in larger systemic considerations. A policy analysis of public documents, including task force reports and press releases, was undertaken to contextualize the events and motivations leading up to the implementation of the new policy. Concurrently, a discourse analysis of these documents and the actual policy and guidelines for its implementation was conducted in order to ascertain the underlying assumptions regarding the regulation and delineation of clinical appointments. In creating consensus for the policy using the discourse of self-determination, policymakers held clinical appointments to different regulatory standards than other academic appointments, acknowledging explicitly the tension between academic responsibilities and clinical practice obligations, with implications for the way academic freedom is conceptualized in the clinical setting.


clinical faculty; academic freedom; university governance; academic capitalism

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Higher Education Perspectives. ISSN: 1710-1530