University Profs Declare 2012 “Year of Governance”

Created 9 March 2012 12:03

Citing growing dissatisfaction amongst academic staff and students over the governance of their universities, the organization representing professors and other academic staff at BC’s research and doctoral universities has declared 2012 to be the “Year of Governance.”

“The Year of Governance is about understanding the sources of dissatisfaction with campus governance and developing tools and governance models that can constructively move us forward,” said Dr. David Mirhady, President of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC (CUFA BC).

“There are many challenges facing our universities,” Dr. Mirhady continued. “If we are to deal effectively with these challenges while ensuring that we maintain high educational standards, research integrity and academic freedom, then the whole university community needs to work on improving governance.”

CUFA BC is kicking off the Year of Governance with a conference at the SFU Harbour Centre Campus on March 9th and 10th called Academic Governance 3.0.

“The purpose of the conference is to bring together academic staff, students, administrators, board of governors members, senate members, and governance researchers to discuss much needed reforms to university governance,” said Dr. Rick Kool, CUFA BC’s President-Elect.

“Academic Governance 3.0 needs to be more responsive to changing economic, social and political realities, while at the same time respecting the traditional values of scholarship and high quality that make universities vital to our society,” Dr. Kool said.

Other activities CUFA BC have planned for the Year of Governance include a survey of members of boards of governors and senates in British Columbia, a new website with university governance resources, and facilitating networking amongst board of governors and senate members across Canada.

“University governance is not easy and we’re stepping in to help by providing resources and encouraging board of governors and senate members, from across the country, to talk to one another”, Dr. Mirhady explained. “We have no doubt this will lead to better decisions and better universities.”

CUFA BC represents 4,600 university professors, instructors, academic librarians and other academic staff at SFU (Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey campuses), UBC (Vancouver and Kelowna campuses), UNBC (Prince George, Terrace, Fort St. John and Quesnel campuses), UVic, and Royal Roads University.