Here is the latest series of questions posed by TRUFA to TRU administration. In order to move forward, engage in the kind of collegial dialogue that President Shaver says that he wants, TRU faculty need answers and need adequate responses to these pressing issues.
The reference to Letter of Understanding #2 needs a little bit of background and explanation, which I’ve provided below.
Click on this link for the video.
Letter of Understanding #2
This agreement originates from the late 1990s, before which academic administrators—Deans, Associate Deans, and the Vice President Academic—served unlimited terms (i.e. at the pleasure of the Board), faculty involvement in their hiring was absent or minimal, and there were no evaluation mechanisms guaranteed, particularly those involving faculty input.
The union won two major arbitrations that prevented these administrators—particularly at the Dean level—from performing faculty work. However, both parties saw the value of having Deans and Associate Deans retaining their connection to the classroom or to instructional support work, and the need to better regulate selection, terms and evaluation of these administrators.
LOU #2 had both parties agreeing to the following:
- Academic administrators would serve fixed terms—4 years for Associate Deans; 5 years for Deans (both with the possibility of a renewal of one further term);
- Faculty would constitute a minimum of 50% of the selection committees for their hiring;
- These administrators would face a formative evaluation after their first year, and an administrative (or summative) evaluation in their final year, the purpose of which was to determine renewal eligibility;
- Successful external candidates would be given faculty positions, after the department to which they were assigned had interviewed them and vetted their CVs for suitability;
- Successful internal candidates would have their faculty work replaced by Limited Term Contract faculty, and would return to the faculty bargaining unit after their terms expired or voluntarily ask to return should they not complete their terms.
In many cases, as the video points out, TRU administration has failed to live up to the agreement, and TRUFA has alerted senior administrators to further violations that have just come to light.