Tenure Track Position in Indigenous Planning & Design

FCS, Urban & Regional Plann.

Posted: February 4, 2020
Deadline to Apply: Posted until filled

The Opportunity

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, 2020, subject to final budgetary approval. The area of specialization is Indigenous Planning and Design.

Ryerson University supports the 94 Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) final report. A number of the Calls to Action were made to post-secondary education institutions. Ryerson University responded by launching a community-wide consultation which led to the summary report Truth and Reconciliation at Ryerson: Building a Foundation for Generations to Come. In the spirit of, and consistent with our intention to follow through on our TRC commitments, SURP invites applications from Indigenous scholars (First Nations, Inuit or Métis or Indigenous scholars of North America) with expertise in Indigenous Planning & Design.

Equity at Ryerson 

At the intersection of mind and action, Ryerson is on a transformative path to become Canada’s leading comprehensive innovation university. Integral to this path is the placement of equity, diversity and inclusion as fundamental to our institutional culture. Our current academic plan outlines each as core values and we work to embed them in all that we do.

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. In addition, to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment in Canada, we encourage applications from members of groups that have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples, Indigenous Peoples of North America, racialized people, people with disabilities, and those who identify as women and/or as 2SLGBTQ+ people. 

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

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.


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 to facilitate junior scholars and diversify the field. 


We welcome an Indigenous colleague whose experience, community leadership and engagement/community orientation, and education will contribute to bringing Indigenous ways of knowing, community building, and planning to our School. We welcome contributions that could include but are not limited to: 

  • Indigenous community planning and design
  • Traditional ecological knowledge, mapping and counter mapping
  • Indigenous sovereignty and resurgence
  • Indigenous regional or community governance and economic development
  • Indigenous land ontologies
  • Indigenous community well-being
  • Indigenous data sovereignty, ownership, access, control and possession
  • Indigenous law and normative systems


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 relevant terminal degree (e.g. M.LA, M.Arch). Candidates who are all-but-dissertation (ABD) in planning or a related field and are progressing towards completion may also be considered. 

Indigenous candidates who have significant lived experience, professional experience, or a registered professional planning degree (undergraduate or graduate level) are also encouraged to reach out to our School Director, Dr. Pamela Robinson or Dr. Lynn Lavallee (Strategic Lead, Indigenous Resurgence, Faculty of Community Services).  

In addition, the successful candidate will demonstrate: 

  • strong research and/or community engaged scholarship;
  • an active commitment to studio-based and/or experiential learning, with particular attention paid to experience in teaching or mentoring studio-based learning, or land-based 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 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 the best ways to build Indigenous ways of knowing and planning into SURP’s curriculum (undergraduate and graduate).


Preference will be given to First Nations, Inuit or Métis scholars, or Indigenous scholars of North America, with lived experiences and a strong commitment to Indigenous knowledges and methodologies, and who have extensive experience in collaborating with Indigenous students, organizations and communities. 

About Ryerson 

Located in downtown Toronto, the largest and most culturally diverse city in Canada, Ryerson University, is known for innovative programs built on the integration of theoretical and practical learning. Our undergraduate and graduate programs are distinguished by a professionally focused curriculum with a strong emphasis on excellence in teaching, scholarly research and creative activities. Ryerson is known for its culture of entrepreneurship and innovation and is recognized as a city builder, as it continues its growth through award-winning architecture and expansion of its campus.

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. To learn more about our work environment, please visit us on Twitter:  @RyersonU, @RyersonHR and @RyersonECI and our LinkedIn company page. We invite you to explore employment at Ryerson

How to Apply

Applicants must submit their application online via the Faculty Recruitment Portal (click on “Start Application Process” to begin) by March 5, 2020. Please note that applications by fax or e-mail will not be accepted. To ensure full consideration, candidates must apply by March 5, 2020; however, late applications may be considered until the position is filled.

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-studio 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.


Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about working at Ryerson University are welcome to contact Monica Mckay, Director, Aboriginal Initiatives, at mmckay@ryerson.ca .

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  Dr. Lynn Lavallee, Strategic Lead, Indigenous Resurgence, at lavallee@ryerson.ca.

Ryerson is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. For any confidential accommodation needs and/or inquiries regarding accessing the Faculty Recruitment Portal, please contact Michelle Gomes, HR Advisor at michelle.gomes@ryerson.ca.

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