Faculty will hold vote on confidence in TRU administration

Tension between faculty and administration lingers after ratification of collective agreement

The Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association says faculty will hold a vote this week over confidence in the university’s senior administration.

The decision to hold the vote was made in a February general meeting of the TRU Faculty Association, a time when the association was in the last stages of negotiating its collective agreement with the university. With 200 faculty members in attendance, 95 per cent voted in favour of holding the non-confidence vote.

Faculty will be asked if they have confidence in five senior administrators:

  • University President Alan Shaver
  • Provost and Vice-President Academic Christine Bovis-Cnossen
  • Vice-President of Advancement Christopher Seguin
  • Vice-President of Finance Matt Milovick
  • Associate Vice-President Academic (Faculty Relations) Donna Petri

“Our members clearly felt that TRU senior administrators had demonstrated a lack of leadership, a lack of respect for faculty opinions, a failure to address key issues at bargaining, and a ‘management by crisis’ attitude toward academic decisions and planning,” said TRUFA President Tom Friedman in a press release issued by the association early Tuesday morning.

The faculty association settled its contract dispute with the university in mid-February earlier this year, following a year-long period without a current contract. That settlement only came after a mediator stepped in and recommended a deal for both sides, however, and many of TRUFA’s complaints went unaddressed and faculty were clearly still frustrated.

Following the ratification of the new agreement, TRU President Alan Shaver talked about a need for administration and faculty to work together

“I’m optimistic that as we sit down and spend more time talking about how we can address the needs of the faculty and the needs of the administration, that we can start to work more closely as a team.” Shaver told The Omega following ratification.

In the list of complaints brought to TRUFA by faculty, Friedman cites “a lack of consultation,” a failure to follow the collective agreement or TRU’s own governance policies, “less than transparent decision-making” and budget decisions that aren’t in the best interest of programs or students.

In his March address to the faculty association, Friedman expressed his concern over what he calls “failures of governance,” including changes to programs made without adhering to governance procedures, which he called “a serious violation.”

TRUFA will hold its annual general meeting on April 26.

No Responses