2016 TRUFA Awards

2015-2016 TRUFA Awards

The 2015-2016 TRU Faculty Association Awards were presented during this year’s TRUFA Appreciation Luncheon on April 14th.

TRUFA Service Awards

These awards are presented to TRU faculty who have been active on the TRUFA Executive and/or TRUFA Standing Committees for a continuous period of ten years. This year’s recipients are:

Mike Looney


Mike began his service to TRUFA from his then home base of Burnaby, as a steward representing our small contingent of former Open Learning Association employees who had become TRUFA bargaining unit members. After relocating to Kamloops, Mike continued to serve on the stewards’ committee, being elected as Chief Steward during 2013-2014 through to the 2014-2015 academic year. Mike remains a valuable member of the stewards’ committee and we all hope that his service will continue into the future.

Cindy Ross Friedman


Cindy’s union activism has seen her take on a wide range of roles over the past ten years. She was appointed as an inaugural member of the University Appeals Committee (UAC), which hears tenure/promotion appeals, later serving as UAC chair for four years.   She was elected as the first Tripartite representative to the TRUFA Executive, and also has served with distinction as Treasurer, Tripartite rep to SWCC, Performance Review Coordinator, Vice-President, Equivalent Workload Committee, and was a member of two TRUFA bargaining teams in 2012/2013 and in 2015/2016.

TRUFA Academic Governance Award

This award was inaugurated in 2013 to highlight the importance of collegial governance. It’s purpose is to honour TRU faculty who have distinguished themselves in promoting the principles of academic governance and advocating publicly on TRU governance bodies for faculty voices to be heard and heeded. This year’s recipients are:

Derek Cook


Derek’s long service to the union is well known and has been recognized through previous TRUFA Service Awards. This year, TRUFA wants to honour Derek for his unwavering commitment to promoting academic governance in all TRU governance bodies: department, Faculty Council and Senate. As a faculty senator from Arts, Derek has consistently challenged administration to be transparent and accountable. In particular, his commitment to upholding academic freedom through protection of tenure has been unwavering throughout his career.

Marion Oke

(not in attendance)

Marion has served as a faculty senator from the Faculty of Student Development for the past three years. In addition to being a strong and effective advocate for all TRU faculty at Senate, Marion has been instrumental in promoting the rights of those Instructional Support faculty who do not currently have a voice on Senate. As the representative for all Instructional Faculty on the TRUFA Executive, she took the initiative of consulting with all IS faculty and developing a fully supported, comprehensive proposal to address this serious governance failure.

This year, two new awards were initiated by TRUFA:

TRUFA Chair Leadership Award

This award recognizes department Chairs who distinguish themselves in advocating on behalf of their department members, their programs/disciplines and their students. This year’s winner is:

Jane Steiger


Jane has demonstrated outstanding commitment to “relentless advocacy” on behalf of the English as a Second Language department. In the face of unrelenting pressures from administration on her department in terms of budget cuts, closing of course sections, attempts to unilaterally change workloads, and a failure to give credence to faculty perspectives, Jane has remained steadfast in her willingness to question and to challenge at every opportunity. Even when her Dean tried to prevent her from consulting TRUFA about workload issues, Jane refused to be intimidated and continued to represent the wishes of her department.

TRUFA Distinguished Service Award

This award recognizes the contributions of TRU faculty who have gone above and beyond the expectations of service within a given period of time. This year’s recipients are

Melissa Svendsen

(not in attendance)

As a sessional faculty member on the TRUFA Salary and Working Conditions Committee, appointed to the Williams Lake library, it would have been easy for Melissa not to take a leading role in TRUFA bargaining. However, her dedication to promoting the interests of contract faculty and Williams Lake faculty led her to assume a major role on the TRUFA bargaining team. Skyping or teleconferencing from Williams Lake for nearly every negotiating session and bargaining caucus meeting, Melissa demonstrated a passion for supporting all faculty and promoted the goals of fairness for all.

Gail Morong


Like Melissa, Gail received no release time for TRUFA work from her responsibilities as a Learning Designer during the past year. Despite that, Gail also participated in nearly every negotiating session and bargaining caucus. Representing Instructional Support faculty on SWCC, Gail brought a very important perspective and constantly advocating for those whose workload and working conditions differ—in some cases, significantly—from instructional faculty. Gail was also a strong promoter for the principle of equity. As co-chair of the TRUFA Equity Committee, Gail often acts as the conscience of the Executive, advocating for actions—not just words—that reflect the goals of equity.

CAUT Distinguished Service Awards

Each year the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) receives nominations from Faculty Associations / Academic Staff Unions across Canada and recognizes worthy nominees with the CAUT Distinguished Service Award. For the 2015-2016 year, TRUFA nominated two faculty activists and they each received the CAUT award.

John Turner


John has served as Chair of the TRUFA Salary and Working Conditions Committee—elected by SWCC members—for the past five years. He led the TRUFA bargaining team as Chief Spokesperson through two difficult bargaining rounds—2012/2013 and 2015/2016. John has consistently demonstrated a willingness to listen to the views of all TRUFA faculty. In preparing bargaining packages he met with members in every TRU Faculty and School, and—along with the bargaining team—crafted bargaining packages that included a range of goals that reflected the diversity of our membership and our departments and programs. His articulate advocacy on behalf of faculty is legendary for those of us who have served on bargaining teams he had led. Despite a particularly stressful experience over the past year at the bargaining table and through mediation, John remained committed to improving the working conditions of all members. In addition to his position as VP, Salary and Working Conditions and his many contributions to the TRUFA Table Officers and TRUFA Executive, John has served on the TRUFA Stewards’ Committee, where he combines logic with compassion in defending members’ rights.

Bernie Kirkey

(not in attendance)

Bernie was elected to the TRUFA Stewards’ Committee in 2014 and, due to an unexpected resignation, was asked to take on the Chief Steward’s role. Through his meticulous attention to detail, Bernie distinguished himself immediately by implementing a more professional approach to record-keeping on behalf of TRUFA stewards. He showed endless patience in meeting with faculty members and department Chairs seeking advice about Collective Agreement issues and how to handle relations with administrators. Bernie not only served with distinction on Table Officers and Executive in his Chief Steward role, but was a most valued member of the 2015-2016 bargaining team for which he contributed salary and other cost projections, and sound advice on all matters. Bernie was not only the “go-to” person for analysis of data, but was also the “voice of reason” and patience when bargaining caucus discussions became especially stressful. His suggestions to have TRUFA adopt both an encrypted e-mail system and the FluidSurvey utility for on-line elections will be lasting legacies of his service.


Congratulations to this year’s award winners. Heartfelt thanks to all those who have worked on behalf of faculty with TRUFA this past year.


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