Consulting with members a main objective

by Faculty Association | Filed under President's Message, September 2011.

– By Paul Rogers, Faculty Association President –

It gives me great pleasure to bring you my greetings as the new President of the Faculty Association.  I have been a faculty member at the University of Calgary since 1991 and I have served the Association in a variety of capacities during that time, including six years on its Board of Directors, and most recently, one year as its nominee on the University’s Board of Governors.  I have also served on numerous other University committees during my career, some on behalf of the Association, this experience has increased my understanding of how the institution operates, though I’m sure I have more to learn, especially regarding those units on campus with which I am less familiar.

One of my main objectives as President is to consult widely with you and listen to you carefully regarding the issues that are important to you as members of the academic staff. I wish to represent your collective interests faithfully, especially in fundamental areas such as the protection of academic freedom and the pursuit of true collegial governance of the institution.  In order to achieve this goal, I need to have your support and input, so I encourage you to share with me your thoughts on matters of concern to you over the next two years.  The better I understand your views, the better job I’ll be able to do, so I am counting on you to continue my education as President of your Faculty Association!

There are a number of issues the Association will be dealing with over the academic year. These include the conclusion of negotiations with the Board of Governors on placing the tenure and promotion processes into the Collective Agreement, and negotiation of a process for Assessment for inclusion in the Collective Agreement.  Last but not least, the Association is currently negotiating proposed changes for Sessional Instructors to improve these types of appointments.  The Association will be bringing you more information on these negotiations and on any proposals to be ratified over the next year.

As part of the most recent settlement ratified in June 2011, the Association will work as part of a Joint Committee on Workload established to collect and review data regarding academic workloads at this University and others, and clarify a process to follow when implementing Collective Agreement, Article 12: Assignment of Duties. We will be bringing you more information from this Joint Committee as it proceeds with its work.

There have been a number of changes to the Senior Administrative team at the U of C recently, including the appointment of a new Provost, Dr. Dru Marshall.  We are hopeful that Senior Administrators will work in a way that recognizes the critical role that academic staff members play in the collegial governance of the University via its key decision-making bodies.

I am pleased to be President of the Faculty Association because I believe it to be an important and effective organization.  The Board and Executive continue to be composed of committed members of the academic staff, willing to share their experience and wisdom to inform our discussions on the issues of the day.  The Association’s staff is highly professional and competent, devoting tremendous amounts of time to the pursuit of issues that affect you (often without your even knowing).  When an academic staff member contacts the Faculty Association (and this is very important), they will reach a staff member who will treat the call with the utmost confidentiality.  The elected officers of the Association (including me) are not informed of any confidential personal information without the member’s consent.

We all have a busy year ahead of us and I look forward to a fruitful year of dialogue with the campus community and most importantly, you, the members of the Faculty Association.

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