NUFA welcomes the report of the Special Governance Commission and urges implementation of its nine recommendations for improving collegial governance at Nipissing University.
At its regular meeting on November 3rd, the Nipissing University Board of Governors released the report of the Special Governance Commission on improving collegial governance at Nipissing University. The commission was established as part of the renewal collective agreement that ended the faculty strike last year. The erosion of collegial governance was one of the major issues in the dispute between the Faculty Association and Employer in the last round of bargaining that led to the nearly month-long strike.
NUFA President Susan Srigley said: “The Special Governance Commission’s report is an important first step in addressing governance problems at Nipissing University. When implemented, its recommendations will create new mechanisms that ensure faculty voices will be heard on issues relating to the academic mission of the University.”
Highlights of the recommendations in the report call for:
- the creation of a Senate Budget Advisory Committee allowing faculty to consider and make recommendations on the allocation of resources for academic purposes
- modifications to the Board’s process for the hiring of non-academic vice-presidents to include faculty representation
- the creation of a standing joint committee of the Board and Senate on governance that will meet at least annually to review governance structures of the university
“As our members reflect on the anniversary of the first strike in the history of Nipissing University they can take heart that some concrete measures are being taken to address governance problems at the university,” Srigley said.
Membership on the commission included two faculty members elected by the Academic Senate, two members of the Board of Governors, and a representative from the Student Union. It was chaired by the Honourable John C. Murray, a former judge with the Superior Court of Ontario, now a mediator and arbitrator based in Toronto.
We appreciate the hard work of the members of the commission, especially the faculty representatives David Borman and David Tabachnick who feel that "the Commission report represents an important turning point for Nipissing. Better working relations with the administration and the Board will also mean a better university."