Tenure Track Position in Planning Law and Governance, Ryerson University, Toronto

Tenure Track Position in Planning Law and Governance 

The School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) in the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University in the city of Toronto on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg (Mississaugas of the Credit), Haudenosaunee and Huron Wendat invites applications for a full-time, tenure track position at the rank of Assistant Professor commencing July 1, 2021, subject to final budgetary approval. The area of specialization is Planning Law and Governance, with a particular focus on approaches that centre anti-Black racism, Black urbanism, and human rights in urban and regional planning.

In June 2020, School faculty members released a statement against systemic racism and discrimination: https://www.ryerson.ca/content/dam/surp/documents/SURP_statement_against_systemic_racism_discrimination.pdf. One of our first actions was to form a Anti-Systemic Racism and Discrimination Working Group of faculty, students, and alumni members. This Statement, the Working Group, and this new position are steps in our ongoing efforts to begin to address systemic racism and discrimination within SURP and Ryerson.

Ryerson University welcomes those who have demonstrated a commitment to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion and will assist us to expand our capacity for diversity in the broadest sense. Candidates are encouraged to self-identify as a member of one or more historically disadvantaged and marginalized groups, including the following: those who self-identify as women, members of other visible minorities (racialized groups), First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples, Indigenous peoples of North America, 2SLGBTQ+ and persons with disabilities. Recognizing the underrepresentation of Black faculty, applications from qualified individuals who self-identify as Black peoples of African Descent (for example Africans and African heritage people from the Caribbean, Americas, Europe) are particularly encouraged.

The successful candidate will engage in a combination of teaching, research/creative activity and service duties, maintaining an inclusive, equitable, and collegial work environment across all activities. The candidate will be expected to pursue an innovative and independent research program that is externally funded and produces cutting-edge, high quality research. The candidate will contribute to our undergraduate and graduate programs through teaching, mentoring and supervision of students.

Our new colleague will be someone whose experience, community leadership and engagement/community orientation, and education will contribute to centering anti-Black racism and human rights perspectives in planning law and governance research and practice.

In particular, for this position, we welcome a colleague who can bring expertise related to Black perspectives on policy, planning, and/or legal understandings which could include, but not be limited to:

  • Social inequality and (in)justice,
  • Neighborhood change and housing,
  • Community and economic development,
  • Public engagement working with racialized and equity seeking communities,
  • Environmental racism and environmental justice, and/or
  • Black urbanism.

Interested candidates with different areas of knowledge and experience are welcomed and encouraged to propose other trajectories of contribution to our community.

Candidates will hold a PhD in planning or a related field OR a Juris Doctor or LLB degree as well as either an LL.M. or a Master’s degree in a closely related field. We also welcome interdisciplinary degrees that centre and focus on the areas identified above or similarly impactful fields of practice related to urban and regional planning. Candidates who are all-but-dissertation (ABD) in planning or a related field and are progressing towards completion may also be considered. Candidates who hold an accredited professional planning degree are preferred.

In addition, the successful candidate will demonstrate:

  • strong research and/or community engaged scholarship;
  • an active commitment to professional planning education and/or experiential learning,
  • excellent potential for pedagogical practice;
  • capacity for developing and maintaining partnerships with academic and local communities;
  • commitment to our values of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as it pertains to service, teaching, and scholarly research or creative activities, including a demonstrated ability to make learning accessible and inclusive for a diverse student population;
  • an ability and willingness to contribute to the life of SURP, FCS and the University, and communities at large through collegial service; and
  • an interest in engaging in discussions about ways to build anti-Black and anti-systemic racism approaches into SURP’s curriculum (undergraduate and graduate).

Preference will be given to scholars with a firm grasp of the diversity of lived experiences of Black communities, and strong commitment to anti-Black racism who have extensive experience in collaborating with students, organizations, and communities. To that end, we particularly welcome applications from scholars who identify as Black.

Our committee recognizes that scholars have varying career paths and that career interruptions can be part of an excellent academic record. Candidates are encouraged to provide any relevant information about their experience and/or career interruptions.

This position falls under the jurisdiction of the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) (www.rfanet.ca). The RFA collective agreement can be viewed here and a summary of RFA benefits can be found here.

Ryerson University

Serving a highly diverse student population of over 45,000, with 100+ undergraduate and graduate programs built on the integration of theoretical and practical learning and distinguished by a professionally focussed curriculum with a strong emphasis on excellence in teaching, research and creative activities, Ryerson is a vibrant, urban university known for its culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, community engagement and city-building through its award-winning architecture.

School of Urban & Regional Planning [SURP]

SURP is a significant contributor to planning education in Canada with our professionally accredited undergraduate and Master’s programs. We are well-known for the quality of our applied approach to planning education, especially studio-based teaching and career-ready focus, and our excellent students. We have 15 tenure-stream faculty members. Our experiential learning approach grounds planning education in working with communities, not for them. At SURP we highly value teaching, learning and research that unfolds in partnership with communities, governments, and private sector firms to deliver positive outcomes for more livable communities. Our School prides itself on the excellence of its research and on the quality of its teaching. We are interested in candidates who will contribute to our existing research and teaching strengths by bringing innovative and diverse perspectives and experiences to the work.

Our professionally accredited planning curriculum includes two core undergraduate planning law classes and one core graduate planning law class. The new position presents an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in inclusive and equitable planning law education that centres anti-Black racism and human rights, both through contributions to evolve our curriculum and through impactful research.

Our curriculum trains future planners to be agile and responsive to complex, emerging professional urban planning practice and includes a studio-based approach. Our current research and creative work address this complexity with efforts that focus on: site planning and development, municipal governance and finance, active and sustainable transportation, brownfields, ethno-culturally diverse place-based planning and design, immigration and settlement, emerging issues in mobility, real estate economics, urban design, planning for aging in place, public finance, affordable housing, planning with Indigenous communities, landscape infrastructure and ecological processes, ecological design, cities and climate change, and smart city planning.

Working at Ryerson

At the intersection of mind and action, Ryerson is on a transformative path to become Canada’s leading comprehensive innovation university. At Ryerson and within our department/school, we firmly believe that equity, diversity and inclusion are integral to this path; our current academic plan outlines each as core values and we work to embed them in all that we do.

Dedicated to a people first culture, Ryerson is proud to have been selected as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers and a Greater Toronto’s Top Employer. We invite you to explore the range of benefits and supports available to faculty and their family, including access to our diverse faculty and staff networks.

Visit us on Twitter:  @RyersonU, @RyersonHR@RyersonVPFA and @RyersonECI and our LinkedIn company page.

Ryerson is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. To find out more about legal and policy obligations please visit the accessibility and Human Rights websites.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit their application online via the Faculty Recruitment Portal (click on “Start Application Process” to begin) by January 25, 2021.

The application must contain the following:

  • a letter of application describing your current program of scholarly research and creative practice, experiences in urban planning and interest in contributing to the core-law and governance teaching needs identified above;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • one example of (scholarly, creative, or professional) work; and
  • the names and contact information of three references (who may be contacted later with the applicant’s knowledge). These references can include people from academic, professional, and community settings.

If applicants are invited to the short-list of the interview process then a teaching dossier may be later requested.

Please note that all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Candidates must therefore indicate in their application if they are a permanent resident or citizen of Canada. 


Any confidential inquiries can be directed to the Department Hiring Committee Chair, Dr. Pamela Robinson MCIP RPP, pamela.robinson@ryerson.ca or Professor Idil Abdillahi, Advisor to the Dean on Anti-Black Racism, iabdilla@ryerson.ca.

Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about working at Ryerson University may contact:

  • Dr. Lynn Lavallee [lavallee@ryerson.ca], Strategic Lead, Indigeous Resurgence and Professor, School of Social Work, Faculty of Community Services.
  • Tracey King [t26king@ryerson.ca],  Indigenous Human Resources Lead.

Black identified candidates who wish to learn more about working at Ryerson University are welcome to contact:

For any confidential accommodation needs in order to participate in the recruitment and selection process and/or inquiries regarding accessing the Faculty Recruitment Portal, please contact Michelle Gomes [michelle.gomes@ryerson.ca], HR Advisor.

You May Also Like