Sharing Information Securely

As administrators we often have to share confidential information regarding faculty members. When we share this information electronically, we have to follow the requirements set out by UBC’s Chief Information Officer in the Information Security Standard on Transmission and Sharing of UBC Electronic Information. Improper sharing of confidential information at UBC frequently results in privacy breaches. It’s really important to follow the proper protocol to avoid a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner, or a legal claim, or both.

Confidential information includes personal information and financial information relating to payment card transactions. We are allowed to use unencrypted emails to share small amounts of low-risk confidential information. However, we cannot use unencrypted emails to send large amounts of confidential information, or any amount of high-risk information*, because this creates an unacceptable risk. For example, it would be acceptable to send an unencrypted email saying “Joe Smith is sick today and won’t be coming to work.” However, it would not be acceptable to use an unencrypted email to send an appointment form or a medical report, because these documents contain a large amount of confidential information.

You have two options to protect this information:

Option 1: Put the information in an encrypted attachment to your email. The CIO has issued instructions for encrypting these Word, Excel or PDF files. You should give the encryption password to the recipient in a secure manner; do not send it by email!

Option 2: Share the information using Workspace, which is a secure file sharing tool similar to Dropbox. In Faculty Relations we prefer that Dean’s Offices share any forms or documents via the Workspace directory that is set up for each faculty.

Thanks for keeping our confidential information secure! If you want more information about privacy and security, I encourage you to go to the Privacy Matters @ UBC webpage.

*High-risk information includes the following types of information:

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Any official government identity card No. (e.g. Passport ID, Drivers’ License No., etc.)
  • Bank account information (e.g. direct deposit details)
  • Personal health information
  • Biometric data
  • Date of Birth

New Member of Faculty Relations

This summer we welcomed Leah Terai to the Faculty Relations team. She is the new Senior Manager in Faculty Relations and her portfolio is comprised of the Faculties of Forestry, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Law. Her most recent experience was as a Vice-Chair at the Labour Relations Board and prior to that she represented unions as legal counsel.

Information for Supervisors Regarding Employee Substance Abuse

UBC Human Resources has compiled information for supervisors with respect to employee substance use as it relates to job performance and workplace safety. Supervisors are encouraged to review this page as it sets out their duties and responsibilities pursuant to British Columbia’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

Please visit the Human Resources website to learn more about this information and review the Employee Substance Use Q & A to help better assess what should be done if you suspect that an employee may be engaging in unauthorized/unapproved substance abuse.

Changes to the SAC Guide

A number of changes have been made to the Senior Appointments Committee (SAC) Guide to Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion. The SAC Guide is updated each year based on input from all faculties at both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, and is available in PDF format on the Faculty Relations’ website at: Tenure, Promotion & Reappointment for Faculty Members. A thank you to those who have provided feedback.

Look to future changes to the guide as we transition from a document based version to a fully online version.

Immigration update – IRCC Portal Guide for Offers of Employment

The How to Complete an Offer of Employment Guide created by Faculty Relations has recently been updated.  Administrators should refer to the updated version of the guide before they complete their next Offer of Employment on the Immigration, Citizenship & Refugees Canada (IRCC) Employer Portal.

In particular we would like to draw your attention to the Academic Exchange exemption for Visiting Faculty.  This exemption is applicable to individuals who hold a faculty appointment at another academic institution and the title provided to them at UBC, and reflected in the IRCC Offer of Employment should match that of their home institution. In some cases, for example that of Senior Lecturer, there is not a one to one match, but in most cases there should be.  Note that the title Visiting Scientist is not recognized by IRCC and does not normally fall under the Visiting Faculty exemption.  If you are inviting a researcher/scientist who does not hold an academic appointment elsewhere please contact Faculty Relations to discuss.

Staffing Changes in Faculty Relations – UBC Vancouver

Colette Hogg has joined the HR Integrated Renewal Project (IRP) as the Subject Matter Expert on all matters related to faculty appointments and Nicole (Nicki) Hogg has taken over Colette’s Assistant Manager role looking after faculty members with last names from A to K.  We welcome Olivia Sperry to the Faculty Relations team.  She has taken over Nicki’s Administrative Assistant position.

CUPA-HR Membership

The University has recently joined the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources [“CUPA-HR”]. CUPA-HR is the association for HR professionals in higher education and CUPA-HR provides leadership on higher education workplace issues by monitoring trends, exploring emerging workforce issues, conducting research and promoting strategic discussions among colleges and universities.

Anyone in the University HR’s community can add themselves to the membership roster at no additional charge. Please visit CUPA-HR’s website to learn more about member benefits, resources and joining.

Preventing Harassment and Discrimination

As part of the University’s desire to provide a healthy, safe and inspiring work environment and the University’s obligation under the Workers Compensation Act, the University is committed to preventing bullying and harassment in the workplace. All University employees (e.g. faculty, staff and students) must complete a 20-30 minute online training course. Individuals who are not University employees do not fall under this requirement. All University personnel must save the electronic certificate for presentation upon request by a WorkSafe BC officer.

A reminder that all employees are expected to comply with this requirement. New employees should complete the course on their first day during the Safety Orientation. For the Vancouver campus. the online course is available on the University’s Bullying and Harassment Prevention website. If you have trouble accessing the course, please contact your local Health & Safety Committee Co-Chair.

For the Okanagan campus, access the course and request the certificate from the Human Resources’ website.

For more information on the University’s Respectful Environment policy, please visit the University’s Bullying and Harassment Prevention webpage. All employees must ensure that all personal conduct reflects our shared values of respect, dignity, integrity, responsibility, trust and inclusivity.

Progress Through The Ranks Increase 2014

The Faculty Association and the University have agreed that the University will immediately start the process of implementing the July 1, 2014, PTR increases. While the University will commence the PTR process as soon as possible, it will take some time for the process to be completed and for the increments to actually be paid.

Progress Through the Ranks Increase 2015

The implementation of the 2015 Merit & PSA must wait until we have a new Collective Agreement, however, the review process needs to begin shortly. Departments should ask their faculty members to submit their annual summary of activity and C.V. for the review year (typically April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015). We recommend that the evaluation process commence as soon as all annual reports have been received. Procedures for merit and PSA are found in the Collective Agreement and on the Faculty Relations website.