REPORT OF THE FACULTY OF ARTS AD HOC COMMITTEE ON GOVERNANCE
July 30, 1998
The Faculty of Arts Council Ad Hoc Committee on Governance was established as a result of a motion passed at a meeting of Council in June, 1997 Ė an unusually late meeting called by the Executive Committee in response to the end of the eight-week faculty strike in the Spring of that year. The Committee was enjoined to recommend to Council "how Council may best establish a more democratic, inclusive, accountable and collegial governance of the Faculty." Council called on the committee to receive submissions and to consult widely, in order to clarify the existing situation and to recommend innovations. In particular, the committee was to "consider the role of Departmental and Divisional Chairs in the governance of the Faculty, the structure and composition of the Council and its committees, and the selection, appointment and evaluation of the Dean and Associate Deans."
The Governance Committee comprised seven members as of the Fall of 1997. Elections for four faculty positions were conducted over the summer of 1997, with Professors David Bakan, Robert Drummond, Georges Monette, and Anne Pilgrim elected. The contract faculty representative, Dr. Lélia Young, and student representatives, Ms. Sonia Kociper and Mr. Ron Greenberg, were not elected until the Fall. Ms. Marla Chodak served as support staff for the Committee. The extent of participation of members over the year in the consideration of the issues before the committee, the formulation of recommendations, and the drafting of this report has varied. The report which follows was drafted and edited primarily by four members of the Committee, Professors Robert Drummond, Georges Monette, and Anne Pilgrim, and Dr. LéliaYoung, though other members have received copies and commented upon them at various stages. The report, then, represents the collective analysis and recommendations of all of the members of the Committee, with the exception of Mr. Greenberg who withdrew from participation very early in our deliberations. Dr. Lélia Young, the representative of contract faculty on the committee, raised, both in our deliberations and in a written report to the Committee, a number of issues relating to contract faculty. Members concluded that some of these concerns Ė though they are of considerable importance-- were not within the purview of this Committee, but that they should be noted in order to provide a sense of the ideas raised. Dr. Youngís written additional document is therefore attached as Appendix A to the report.
Early in the process the Committee issued an invitation for members of the Faculty to give us input either in writing or by meeting with us, and we received some comments, both formally and informally. In the course of our deliberations, we met with President Emeritus Harry Arthurs, Professor Martin Muldoon, Professor Nuri Jazairi, Dr. Richard Wellen, Professor Cynthia Chataway, the Chairs of Arts Departments, and the Dean, Associate Deans and members of the Deanís Office professional and managerial staff. All provided thoughtful and helpful contributions to our deliberations.
It has been suggested by some members of Council that the most significant areas of governance in the University relate to budget appropriations and faculty appointments, and that the Committee should concentrate its attention on these matters. Others have suggested however that the discretion of the Faculty Council, and even the Dean, in these areas is limited by decisions made at other levels of the University's governing structure -- the Senate, the President and Vice-Presidents, and the Board of Governors. One might conclude therefore that there is little we could propose, for the reform of intra-Faculty governance, that would have much influence on these important matters. One member of our Committee indeed proposed that the Committee should, in the light of this conclusion, seek its own dissolution and recommend the creation of a body that could have greater impact on these more powerful decision-makers. To continue, it was suggested, would be to dissipate the energy for reform on matters of trivial importance. While we recognize the significance of budget and appointment decisions, the majority of the Committee's members do not believe that it is a waste of time to seek more democratic procedures in the areas -- also important -- that fall within the jurisdiction of the Faculty Council and the Dean. It may even be the case that a Council more securely empowered in the internal governance of the Faculty will more readily find effective means to address the decisions of other parties. In any event, the mandate given by Council seems clear. When we first reported to Council in February of this year, we conveyed our understanding of that mandate in terms of the topics we proposed to address and encountered no resistance to that interpretation. The topics listed then, and covered in this final report (or our interim report of February 12, 1998 Ė attached as Appendix B), include the following:
We cannot help but observe that we found the procedures and practices of Faculty Council and its committees already very open, democratic, inclusive and collegial. One of the greatest impediments to ideal collegial governance is the apparent indifference of many faculty to the democratic avenues already open to them. From the low voter "turnout" in Faculty elections, the scant attendance at Faculty Council, and the usual difficulty of the Nominating Committee to find willing nominees for Council positions, one might conclude that no new mechanisms for collegial governance should be created until the ones now available are more regularly used. In the most recent round of Faculty elections however, there has been a larger than usual number of volunteers for most positions, so we may hope that faculty indifference to collegial governance is a declining phenomenon. In any case, unless Council is perceived as both democratic and relevant, faculty will not consider it worthy of their time and effort.
The report which follows includes a series of motions (dealing with matters over which we understand Council to have clear jurisdiction) and recommendations (which deal with matters requiring further action by, consultation with, or concurrence of, other bodies; which otherwise fall outside Councilís jurisdiction; or which have broader implications). On other issues we have simply recorded our concerns and/or best advice.
It has been proposed in some quarters that no Dean should have his/her term extended or renewed without a full search. Among the advantages suggested for such a rule, promoting frequent turnover, is the greater likelihood that the Deanship in Arts will not continue to be a male preserve. (The Faculty has never had a woman Dean, and only two women have ever been short-listed as candidates for the post.) If a full search were automatic, the sitting Dean could, if he/she wished, be a candidate in a new search without the implication that his/her candidacy was unwanted, simply because a search was required. Of course there will be objections, on the grounds of efficiency and fairness to other candidates, that a full search is unnecessary if there is general agreement that the sitting Dean should be re-appointed. If a full search is not routinely pursued at the end of each Dean's five-year term, there should at least be a regular procedure for soliciting the views of the Faculty Council as to the desirability of extending or renewing the term of a sitting Dean. In the event that a sitting Dean is not favoured for extension or renewal by the Faculty Council, he/she should probably not be a candidate in a subsequent search.
At present, the suggestion that a Dean's term be extended or renewed comes from the President; collegial governance might be better served if the Executive Committee of Faculty Council had the option (or perhaps even the responsibility) of posing the question to Council whether a Dean in the last year of his/her term should be renewed or have his/her term extended. When the term of Dean Tom Traves was extended, the President at the time (H.W. Arthurs) elected not to pursue a full inquiry of Faculty Council, but asked to have representative opinion gathered by the Council Chair from a selection of Council members. At the time, the groups consulted were Faculty Council Committee members, Department Chairs, and Arts Faculty representatives on Senate. Such a process, while efficient, is less than ideally open and democratic. In some more recent cases, the President has sent letters to all members of Faculty Council inviting comment on the proposal that the Dean be reappointed. The absence of comment in such cases may be taken as consent, but we believe that is a questionable assumption, therefore creating a less than ideal process. Such a process also affords the opportunity for a Dean's detractors to organize a campaign of response, while a Dean's supporters may rely on silence to convey their support.
We recommend a more straightforward procedure. When the President (or the Council's Executive) have formally or informally determined a Dean's willingness to be re-appointed, they should arrange for a ballot of Faculty Council asking whether the re-appointment, normally for a specified term, is Ė using the terminology of the ballot for appointment of a Dean Ė highly acceptable, acceptable, or unacceptable. The balloting process should be conducted by the Executive Committee; and the results should be known only to that Committee and the President. The President should be advised that it is Councilís expectation that a Dean who did not enjoy the support (i.e., receive ratings of "acceptable" or better) of a majority of those members of Council casting votes would not be re-appointed.
A Dean who has experienced an "acceptability" ballot in the process of his/her appointment should not reasonably object to a similar ballot's being conducted concerning his/her re-appointment. Realistically Council would have to be aware that a vote to reject the automatic reappointment, and hence to require a full search, is likely to mean that the sitting Dean would not be a candidate in the ensuing selection process.
If removal is not an option, it must at least be clear what it means when a Faculty Council votes its lack of confidence in a Dean. In our view, such a vote should ordinarily begin a process in which (at minimum) the President and Board and/or the Senate (of which Arts Council is formally a committee) conduct an inquiry to determine the causes and validity of the Council's complaint. The President/Board (and/or Senate) would then have to report back to Council on the conclusions of that inquiry. (At present, Senate has no mechanism for such a review, so in the absence of new Senate legislation, the conduct of a review might well fall to the President or his/her designate.) If Council wished simply to indicate displeasure with the actions of the Dean in some particular instance, a motion of censure might be appropriate but it should be distinguishable from a motion of non-confidence. In the case of censure, Council might choose to indicate that the motion was merely advisory and intended to give the Dean an opportunity to improve. No such argument would normally be made in support of a motion of non-confidence. Given the seriousness of a non-confidence vote, there would have to be ample notice and the margin of support might have to be more than 50% + 1. Finally, in our judgment a motion of non-confidence would have to specify the actions or omissions of a Dean that motivated the lack of confidence; an investigation of everything a Dean had done, in response to an unspecific motion, would be a well-nigh impossible task. In any event, no such provision currently exists, and it is possible that it would be resisted by the President and the Board, who currently control the power of appointment and removal. However collegial governance should at least permit Council to express its lack of confidence in the Dean with the expectation that the vote is more than a hollow gesture.
In particular, there is a series of matters for which the York Handbook assigns responsibility to the Dean, but for which faculty members "on the ground" carry out the work that determines success or failure. In these areas, the opportunity for faculty to be fully informed and to have real authority to make decisions, is highly desirable. Among these areas are the standards and integrity of academic programmes; the entrance standards applied to applicants for admission; the processes for recruiting excellent students; the development of curriculum; the staffing and equipping of programmes and courses; the hiring of new faculty; the granting of tenure and promotion; and the fair, consistent and rigorous assessment of students. Other areas within the Dean's responsibility are less often presumed to require the informed and active participation of faculty members, but that presumption is probably in error. Included in that category are: enrolment and financial planning; faculty and staff professional development; and (subject to union contracts) the fair and equitable distribution of workload. The challenge, especially in this latter category, is to find means of ensuring widespread and effective faculty participation.
In recent years, Deans have often sought to inform and consult through the department Chairs, rather than primarily through the standing committees of Faculty Council. If Chairs motivate debate within their own departments and convey the results to the Dean (and Council), this process may be more inclusive, and hence more ideally democratic, than the use of traditional committees. There is however a danger that Chairs become well-informed about initiatives and proposals but do not have the time or inclination to solicit opinion in their departments, perhaps trusting that the committee structure of Council will carry out the necessary scrutiny and/or legislation. In that event, it may be that proposals are nowhere thoroughly reviewed, so that they come eventually to an ill-informed Council with decanal support and little faculty scrutiny. The appearance of democracy is served -- proposals are voted upon -- but the ideal of thorough assessment by an active and informed faculty is not realized. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that more matters are brought to Council in a way that encourages that assessment? It cannot be the Dean's task alone.
Motion 1:The Dean shall submit at least annually to Faculty Council a report on matters of academic, financial, and appointments planning.
Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that when the President and/or Faculty Council Executive Committee have determined (formally or informally) the Deanís willingness to be re-appointed, the Executive Committee should arrange for a ballot of Faculty Council to determine the acceptability of re-appointment, where possible for a specified term. This ballot should ask councillors to indicate whether re-appointment is highly acceptable, acceptable, or unacceptable. Balloting should be conducted by the Executive Committee, and the results known only to that Committee and the President. The President should be advised that it is Councilís expectation that a Dean who did not enjoy the support (i.e., receive ratings of acceptable or better) of the majority of members of Council casting ballots would not be re-appointed.
Recommendation 2:The Committee recommends that Council direct the Executive Committee to investigate with the President, the Board of Governors and the Senate, and with others as appropriate, the feasibility of formalizing a clear process for a vote of non-confidence in the Dean (or other officers of the Faculty). Such process, if instituted, should include a) a requirement that a motion for non-confidence be circulated with the agenda for the Faculty Council meeting at which it is to be debated; b) a requirement of specification of actions to be investigated; c) the margin of support required for approval of such a motion; d) the consequences of approval of such a motion.
Recommendation 3:The Committee recommends that Council request that the Executive Committee consider whether deliberations about and provision of advice to the Dean and Council on matters of academic and financial planning such as those noted in sections II C and D above should be added to its own mandate, whether a new Council committee should be established to consider such matters, or whether a committee comprising departmental/divisional chairs should serve as such a committee with a formal requirement to report regularly to Council on its deliberations.
Recommendation 4:It is recommended that, as part of the process for appointment of Associate Deans, the Dean shall invite nominations from members of faculty and shall invite, in confidence, the advice of the Nominating Committee with regard to the proposed candidate(s) for this position prior to her/his appointment.
Section 1 of the Rules and Procedures of the Faculty of Arts Council specifies the rules for membership. It has been suggested that some additional categories of membership should be considered. At the present time, tutorial leaders in Arts courses are not included as members of Council unless they are also course directors of at least one half-course, or are appointed to the Centre for Academic Writing. It may be appropriate to distinguish between CUPE 3903 Unit I Teaching Assistants (who are full-time graduate students) and Unit II Tutors for the purpose of Council membership. We propose the following change in the membership rules for these groups:
(a) CUPE 3903 Unit I Teaching Assistants in Arts courses should be invited to elect representatives to Faculty of Arts Council each year; the number of positions available for such representatives should be a percentage (5%?) of the number of Unit I TA appointments in Arts at the start of the academic year;(b) CUPE Unit II Tutors holding appointments in Arts, but who are not members of Faculty Council by virtue of holding a course director position, should be offered the opportunity to indicate, within the first teaching week of the academic year, their wish to be members of Council for that year.
Elsewhere in this report, we envision the possible creation of two new committees of Council -- one on academic and financial planning; and one on contract faculty affairs. In the former case, we imagine the possibility that the meeting of department Chairs might serve as an alternative. In the latter case, a committee of probationary/tenured faculty and contract faculty, in equal proportion, might perform a useful service in smoothing out relations between the two different groups of teaching faculty. Whether or not such a group is properly constituted as a committee of Arts Council remains to be decided. Also at issue is the danger that such a committee could encroach on the bargaining and representation rights of YUFA and CUPE. Such matters as would come before such a committee might more appropriately be left to a University-wide body created by the two relevant unions.
|Motion 2: The Committee moves that the Faculty Council membership be amended as follows to include: (iii) CUPE Unit II Tutors holding appointments in Arts (but who are not members of Council by virtue of holding a course director position) provided they have indicated in writing to the Secretary of Council, by the end of the first teaching week in any given academic year, their wish to be members of Council that year; (iv) a number of representatives of CUPE Unit I Teaching Assistants appointed to Arts courses, equal to 5% of the total of persons appointed to such positions as of the first day of classes of that academic year, elected by CUPE Unit I Teaching Assistants. [Note: current section (iii) to become section (v).]|
|Recommendation 5: The Committee recommends that the Executive Committee undertake consultations with Senate, YUFA, and the administration with a view to amending the Rules and Procedures of Council in order to permit contract faculty membership on the Faculty Committee on Tenure and Promotion.|
Collegial governance in the Faculty is experienced most directly at the level of the department or division and its officers, council and committees. While we recognize the desirability of preserving local autonomy in matters of local governance, we also believe that fairness in democratic and inclusive governance requires that some standards be met in the procedures of local units.
Some departments have elected to record their procedures in written "constitutions," while others have not. It is our judgment that the negative consequences of conflict in a department can often be minimized if everyone is unambiguously aware of the rules by which conflict is constrained and decisions are made. Some ambiguity is of course inevitable, and we believe departments who seek to cover every possible circumstance in their constitutions are attempting an impossible task. Nevertheless there are some matters all departments can reasonably specify in a document all members of the department can consult, and we recommend that departments who have not done so consider adopting such a document.
In our judgment, a department constitution should at minimum specify the following:
Departments may elect to include other matters within their constitutions, but we believe the above represent a minimum set of provisions that should be included and should in principle be known to all members of department Council.
The Affirmative Action Programme for female faculty requires that each hiring unit (in Arts, departments and divisions) have an Affirmative Action Plan. Since hiring decisions are sometimes contentious, we believe it would be prudent for departments to record in writing all the procedures they follow in faculty hiring. Those procedures, including the Affirmative Action Plan, should be readily available to all department members and should routinely be provided to those directly involved in hiring (e.g., members of a recruitment committee).
While local practice with respect to Council membership and voting rights varies considerably, we believe that departments should ordinarily (i.e., in the absence of compelling reasons to the contrary) follow the same procedures, mutatis mutandis, as the Faculty of Arts Council. That is, all persons directing one course in the department (with the exceptions specified in Faculty Council rules) should have the right to vote in department Council meetings -- whether they are probationary, tenured, retired, YUFA contractually limited, or CUPE 3903 contract faculty. Similarly, all such persons should have the right to serve on departmental committees. There should be provision in department constitutions for student representation on department Council, roughly equivalent to 10% of the Council membership, and provision for student representation on department Council committees.
There are fifteen Chairs of teaching units in the Faculty, who are selected democratically for three-year terms by procedures established within each unit, which conclude with a recommendation to the Dean. In recognition of their work as Chairs they receive release time from teaching, an annual stipend, and their next sabbatical leave at the rate of 100% of salary. The position entails virtually year-round responsibility and for the most part allows for only brief periods of absence. Faculty members who become Chairs remain in YUFA; in those units where teaching is done by members of CUPE the Chair is required to post positions, to hire, and to act as "the Employer" under the terms of the CUPE contract he/she must aid in administering.
The responsibilities of a Chair are spelled out in the written constitutions of those units which have one, as well as in the York Handbook. An incomplete list of those duties would indicate that a Chair is expected to ensure the effective operation of the department in all academic, budgetary and personnel matters; to represent the departmentís interests at the Faculty, Senate and University level; to provide leadership in curriculum development and review; to assign teaching responsibilities and ensure that they are carried out effectively; to allocate properly resources of all kinds and to present the departmentís resource needs to the administration; to ensure optimal results in recruitment of faculty and staff; to assist in the ongoing evaluation of staff and of faculty (especially for tenure and promotion purposes).
Though all Chairs in Arts share these challenges, it has been difficult for them to draw strength from one another, partly because of an unduly rapid turnover of colleagues occupying positions as Chairs or as Acting Chairs. It is in fact often difficult to recruit potential Chairs, and the rarity of women Chairs suggests that there are factors which discourage women faculty from taking on the position, or units from easily countenancing their role. (At present there is only one woman Chair in Arts.) The Dean's Office might consider enriching the incentives for taking on this important task. The sense of isolation experienced by Chairs has been counteracted in the past year by the innovation of a meeting of all Chairs in the week preceding the general Chairs' meeting led by the Dean, and it is our sense that such a gathering should be encouraged and facilitated by whatever means are available. Issues of common concern, particularly but not exclusively about financial planning and appointments, which are discussed in such a caucus of Chairs should also be relayed to Faculty Council through a report at least once each term, as a way of making sure that departmental interests are effectively represented.
Just as some units produce a detailed handbook of procedures and practices for the benefit of new faculty, it should be possible to create a handbook for Chairs, to supplement the general statements in the York Handbook and the information imparted in the orientation meetings for new adminstrators. An ad hoc committee composed of former Chairs, one or two administrative assistants and an Associate Dean might well decide on the categories of "useful and necessary information" to be assembled for Chairs in the Faculty of Arts in only one or two meetings.
A Chair has heavy personal responsibilities but is expected also to delegate responsibility and to preside over forms of governance within the teaching unit. In most departments the Chair relies on advice from an Executive or Advisory Committee, variously composed and with a wide range of practices as to inclusivity: some include the Graduate Director, as well as students both undergraduate and graduate, while others include only tenured faculty either automatically (the Chairs of standing committees forming the Executive) or by election. The Chair must attempt to ensure that local committees are working well, despite such problems as the reluctance of some colleagues to serve, and be aware of the need to frame an explicit and acceptable policy as to the service expectations for untenured colleagues. The latter may include exemptions, or a willingness to overload a candidate with an eye to the "service" section of a tenure and promotion file. At least one unit has a reduced teaching load for all those in pre-candidacy and candidacy. Variations and possible inequities in these areas tend to come to light when Chairs compare notes.
As an intermediary between departmental colleagues and the Dean, a Chair has a duty to keep members of the unit informed of issues discussed at Chairs meetings with the Dean. In the last few years budget cuts and their implementation have placed strain on all concerned, but especially on Chairs who must convey the nature and the degree of cuts, their necessity, and the possible means of achieving them, to unwilling or skeptical colleagues. In other ways Chairs have borne the brunt of cuts, as they experience the effects of systemic downloading. In recent months, for example, they have had to pass along to colleagues what have seemed like unreasonable and insufficiently explained demands for curricula vitae, personnel information, and (from the Office of the Registrar) fall term grades at an early date. As in so many other areas we can only indicate the need for full and prompt communication from and between those charged with administrative duties.
The Chair is sometimes seen as the Dean's representative in a department, but we believe it is equally valid to see the Chair as the department's representative to the Dean. Accordingly we believe the Chair should ordinarily be selected by members of the department Council and the name submitted to the Dean for confirmation. Given the prudent desire of any Dean and any department to have a Chair with whom the Dean can work collegially, we believe it is desirable for the Dean to be advised and consulted when a short list of candidates for Chair is available. The selection of a Chair should however be fundamentally in the hands of the department. We see no need for the practice, occasionally followed in the past, for the Dean to have a representative on a department's search committee for a Chair.
|Recommendation 6: The Committee recommends that Council endorse the principle that each department/division should adopt a written constitution or other document which includes, at a minimum, specification of the role of the department Chair and Director of the Undergraduate Programme; the membership, quorum, and voting rules of department Council; the membership, quorum and voting rules of department Councilís standing committees; the frequency of regular Council meetings, procedures for calling special meetings, and provision for circulation of agenda; the procedures of Council, especially regarding introduction and appropriate notice of motions. The Committee recommends further that, as part of the constitution, or as a separate document, procedures for faculty hiring (including an Affirmative Action Plan) be set down. All such documents should be readily available to department members and other interested parties.|
Recommendation 7:The Committee recommends that Council endorse the principle that, in general, departments should follow the same procedures as Faculty Council in relation to membership and voting rights in department Councils.
Recommendation 8:The Committee recommends that the caucus of Chairs of departments and divisions in the Faculty submit to Council and the Dean at least once per term a report on common issues and concerns.
Recommendation 9:The Committee recommends that the Deanís Office convene a small advisory group comprising former Chairs, Assistants to Chairs, and an Associate Dean, as a first step towards development of a Handbook for Chairs.
It is common for administrators to value the confidentiality of information and of decision-making processes. Confidentiality reduces apparent conflict and leads to faster decisions.
The true power of a university administration, however, comes not so much from its ability to exercise control over the levers of administration but in its ability to act as a catalyst for the application of scholarly energies of the university community. This power can only be achieved in an atmosphere of collaborative trust. The true power of the administration necessitates openness at all stages and in almost all aspects of decision-making. To be truly efficient a decision-making process must also harness the energies of those who are the ones who will productively implement decisions.
We urge the Faculty administration to consider carefully and consider adopting as policy, to the extent that they are applicable, the CAUT Policy Statement of Openness and Transparency in Postsecondary Education (1995)and the CAUT Policy Statement on University Governance (1994). The CAUT Policy Statement on University Governance may be found at http://www.caut.ca/English/Policy/Info_Serv/govern.htm and that on Openness and Transparency in Postsecondary Education at http://www.caut.ca/English/Policy/Info_Serv/openness.htm. Both documents are quite detailed and cannot be easily summarized here. The statement on governance has substantial sections on the role and membership of Senate and the Board of Governors, academic administrators, and faculty associations, and is applicable to the Faculty of Arts, its Council and Committees only by extension of principles. The statement on openness calls for wide disclosure of most matters, with protection for individual privacy in some instances. Among other things, it proposes that the line budget and expenditure reports of the University "should be open documents and should be tabled in a timely fashion in the senior academic body and in the board of governors." Moreover it proposes that the salaries and perquisites of all senior and middle-level administrative staff, and of all academic staff (including part-time and sessional) should be open.
Modern ways of sharing information, such as intranets and electronic mailing lists, provide new opportunities for broad participation in decision making. We urge the administration to make as much information as possible broadly available and to promote access to and exploit technology to achieve greater openness and transparency.
|Recommendation 10: The Committee recommends that the administration of the Faculty consider adopting as policy, to the extent possible, the CAUT Policy Statement on Openness and Transparency in Postsecondary Education (1995) and the CAUT Policy Statement on University Governance (1994).|
Recommendation 11:The Committee recommends that opportunities presented by new technologies (e.g., intranets, listservs, shared drives) be investigated and utilized in order to make information more broadly available and allow broader participation across the Faculty.
No treatment of governance in the Faculty would be complete without acknowledging the particular circumstances of contract faculty -- i.e., faculty on year-to-year contracts, represented by CUPE 3903, Unit II. York University was one of the first in the province to meet the combination of increased student demand, stable tuition and frozen or declining government grants, by employing large numbers of "part-time" instructors, at rates of pay (per course taught) that were considerably below the salaries of probationary and tenured faculty. Since full-time positions did not expand at the same rate as student enrolment, demand for contract faculty increased. In order to achieve a salary comparable to that of probationary/tenured faculty, many contract faculty took on teaching loads substantially greater than those of "full-time" professors. Such loads made it extremely difficult for some of them to develop a record of scholarship that would allow them to qualify for the scarce probationary positions that were offered. As a consequence, many contract faculty at York have built a career as academics, over a decade or longer, under the most trying, not to say exploitative, of circumstances, with decreasing prospects for conversion or "promotion" into the probationary/tenured ranks. In the 1990's, as government cutbacks have escalated, the Faculty has managed budget cuts largely through reductions in the work available to contract employees. Their courses represented a significant proportion of the "cuttable" budget. Throughout this history, contract faculty have felt themselves to be very much "second-class citizens" in the Faculty. In our judgment, collegial and inclusive governance requires at a minimum that contract faculty be given the opportunity to participate as equals in the academic decision-making bodies of the Faculty. Accordingly we have elsewhere proposed in this report that contract faculty be accorded the same membership and voting rights in department councils as they hold in the Faculty of Arts Council. In addition, we have proposed that their membership in Council be expanded by the inclusion (if requested) of Unit II Tutors who are not course directors. We have also proposed that the existing prohibition of contract faculty to serve on the Faculty's Tenure and Promotion Committee be lifted.
While we recognize that money remains scarce in the Faculty, we observe that service on Faculty committees is an expected part of the job for probationary/tenured faculty but is an unremunerated task for contract faculty. We urge the Council and the Dean to consider whether it might be possible to establish a system of payment for contract faculty who serve on Faculty and departmental committees -- perhaps at the Tutor 3 (Marker/Grader) rate for a specified number of hours.
It has been suggested to us that the Faculty Council might well establish a committee specifically to address contract faculty concerns. Such a committee would bring together contract faculty with probationary/tenured faculty in a body where issues between them could be amicably and efficiently resolved. While there is much to recommend such a committee, we are advised that there already exists a tripartite committee involving representatives of YUFA, CUPE 3903 and the Administration where many issues of resources, salaries and benefits, opportunities and procedures for conversion to probationary status, and conditions of work could be discussed and, ideally, be resolved. Council should consider whether it ought to create its own standing or special committee on the academic implications of our considerable reliance on the services of CUPE 3903 members.
Finally there is a range of matters that have been brought to our attention and on which we have been invited to comment. All of these appear to us to be matters for collective bargaining and not for governance within the Faculty of Arts. They include the greater promotion of the conversion appointments envisioned in Article 23 of the CUPE 3903 Unit II contract; the provision of professional expense allowances; improved benefits and pension coverage; and the availability of leaves comparable to sabbaticals. We acknowledge that the provision of many such benefits would go a long way to making the Faculty more inclusive with respect to its contract faculty, and we are sympathetic to the argument that the current complements policy of the University discourages conversion appointments. Nevertheless we believe these matters lie outside the scope of our committee.
|Recommendation 12: The Committee recommends that the Executive Committee and the Dean give consideration to the possibility of remuneration for contract faculty who engage in service (e.g., committee membership, Council representative to the Senate) to the Faculty and/or their respective departments.|
Recommendation 13:The Committee recommends that Council consider the appropriateness and need for the creation of a Faculty Council standing or special committee on the academic implications of our reliance on the services of contract faculty members; and that Council invite the Senate to consider the establishment of a similar committee at the Senate level.
Recommendation 14:The Committee recommends that departments which have not already done so accord to contract faculty members the right to participate and vote in departmental Councils and committees.
Report Submitted July 30, 1998 by the Members of the Governance Committee: Professor David Bakan
FACULTY OF ARTS COUNCIL
Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Governance
February 12, 1998
The Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Governance asks that Council approve the following motion:
that Council extend the life of the Committee until April 30, 1998. The final report of the Committee shall be submitted to the last meeting of Faculty Council in the Winter 1998 term or, if no meeting is scheduled after April 30, to the first meeting of Faculty Council in the Fall term of 1998.
The Committee was created by Faculty Council in the summer of 1997 and instructed to report to Council by December 4, 1997. Since the Committee did not have a full membership until late in September, and since no meeting of Council was scheduled in December, the Committee has been continuing its investigations and deliberations, in the expectation that Council would prefer a full report, rather than the truncated version that would have been possible in December, and in the hope that Council would be agreeable to receiving a report late in the Winter term (or early next Fall).
Since September the Committee has met with the Chairs of Arts departments, former President Harry Arthurs (who responded to our general invitation to the faculty), and the academic and professional members of the Dean's Office staff. We have had requests to meet with two other probationary/tenured faculty members and one contract faculty member, and we will be arranging those meetings if Council agrees to extend our mandate. Our general invitation to members of Council to send us comments and suggestions occasioned two electronic mail messages and the requests for meetings indicated above. We remain open to input from any member of Council.
We have identified the following topics as foci for our attention, and we would welcome from Council an indication whether there are topics that should be added to this list (or topics on the list which should be deleted):
We are presenting to Council an interim report on the first of these items, together with recommendations for changes to the rules and procedures of Council. If approved, we anticipate that some or all of the changes could be implemented for the March Council elections.
Members of the Governance
COUNCIL OF THE FACULTY OF ARTS
Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Governance
February 12, 1998
Nomination and Election of Faculty Members for Arts Committees and Senate Seats
At the present time, the Nominating Committee of the Faculty Council ordinarily meets in the late Winter to develop a list of nominees for March elections to fill the posts of Chair and Vice-Chair of Arts Council, vacancies on Arts Council standing committees (two-year terms) and vacancies in Arts representation on Senate (three-year term). Normally Senate terms end June 30 and Arts Committee terms end August 31. A call for volunteers is sent out to all eligible members of Council well before the Nominating Committee meets. The Committee ordinarily meets again in the Fall (and thereafter as needed) to nominate candidates to fill vacancies that have occurred as a result of unforeseen circumstances; persons elected in the Fall take office immediately upon their election.
The Nominating Committee has generally accepted responsibility for ensuring that a slate of nominees is presented to Council with contests for each available vacancy, and with representation of all ranks, including contract faculty, both sexes, and all disciplines. Knowing the discipline, gender, and rank of those continuing on a committee, the Nominating Committee seeks to present nominees who will diversify the membership with regard to these variables. For example, where continuing members are mainly in the humanities, the Nominating Committee will seek to provide nominees for the vacant positions who come from non-humanities disciplines, and vice versa. Much of the work of the Nominating Committee consists in calling members of faculty and encouraging them to stand for office. The collegial governance of the Faculty requires at a minimum that people be prepared to do the work necessary to maintain Council, its committees, and its representation on Senate; such willingness to serve has not always been evident. There has been particular difficulty in recent years securing nominations for the position of Council Vice-Chair. The result is that the slate of nominations presented to Council does not always satisfy the desiderata listed above -- i.e., contested elections and wide representation. Since volunteers, declaring their interest in particular committees, rarely distribute themselves evenly across the available vacancies, the Nominating Committee sometimes seeks to persuade volunteers to stand for a post different from that for which they have declared an interest. Ordinarily such action will be taken with a view to the representativeness of the slate as described above.
When nominations are presented to Council, further nominations (including self-nominations) are accepted from the floor, provided the nominator can provide assurance that the nominee has agreed to stand. Such assurance can be in writing, or can be given orally by the nominee if he/she is in attendance. When the slate of nominees is approved by Council, an election is held.
In the past, the names entered on the ballot have been identified only by rank and home department(s). In recent years, the large number of retirements and new hires have created a situation in which many members of the Arts faculty are not well known to one another. Obviously efforts to make faculty members more familiar with their colleagues in other units will assist collegiality, and it should be one of the tasks of the Dean and the Faculty Council office to promote such familiarity through the Arts Newsletter, faculty seminars, and other opportunities for meeting. Some efforts have been made in that respect, but they have not been all that successful yet. It has been suggested that candidates for positions on Arts committees or Senate representation be invited to prepare a brief biographical and/or policy statement for circulation with the ballots. Such a practice is common in some professional organizations and might be accomplished with little additional cost, especially if the statements were accessible electronically (on an Arts website) rather than by paper circulation.
Ballots for elections in the Faculty of Arts are sent to departments which faculty members have indicated as their home units. The ballots are sent to the Administrative Assistant of the department, together with a list of those to whom the ballots are to be distributed. Where a faculty member has an office somewhere other than in his/her home unit (e.g., in one of the Colleges), the Administrative Assistant may undertake to forward the ballot to that office. Individuals complete their ballots, if they wish to vote, and send them back to the Secretary of Council for counting. This system replaced (for cost reasons) an earlier one in which ballots were mailed individually to eligible voters. There has been some concern expressed recently that the present system does not assure the security of ballots. Unsealed ballots left in mailboxes are open to possible removal and use by persons other than those to whom they have been allocated. Since ballots are not numbered, it would in theory be possible for someone to duplicate massive numbers of ballots and send them all in, thereby assuring the election of a particular candidate. The eagerness of persons to be elected to Faculty Committees or Senate has not to date been so extreme that such tactics seem likely, but it must be conceded that the above techniques could be employed to ensure (or prevent) someone's election with little hope of detection in the present circumstances. However in the absence of any evidence that ballot-tampering has in fact occurred, the security issue must be weighed against the probable cost of any more secure alternative.
What more secure alternatives exist? First, we could return to the pre-existing system for ballot distribution, wherein ballots were sent with individual address labels, as is done by Senate Secretariat with the (much smaller number of) ballots for Senate Committees. There would be added costs for labels and the time of someone to apply the labels, and the desirability of ballot secrecy would suggest the need for an extra sheet of paper (or an envelope) which would separate the ballot from the label. It might be desirable to number the ballots to frustrate duplication. With some 900 eligible voters, the added cost is not negligible. A second possibility is to ask that ballots be held by the Administrative Assistant to whom they have been sent and handed out to the eligible voter in person, for completion and deposit in the department or College office. In short, the Administrative Assistant (or designate) would take on the role of returning officer. Preliminary inquiries of the Administrative Assistants suggest this is not a viable alternative. Given the other responsibilities of department office staff, this added task seems like a burden we could not easily place on them. A third possibility is the establishment of a ballot box for some reasonable period in a central location (or set of locations) staffed by the Council Secretary's designate(s), as is commonly done for YFS student elections and for YUFA contract ratification. Such an alternative seems likely to cost more than simple mailing of addressed ballots and is therefore not a preferred alternative. A fourth possibility is the use of computerized voting; if practicable, this alternative has the added advantage of permitting people to vote from remote locations. The challenge to practicality is to obtain or design software that would permit the identification of eligible voters, assure their restriction to one vote each, and preserve the secrecy of their choices. Preliminary inquiries suggest such a system is feasible through the Arts website, but further discussion will be necessary to assess costs and benefits more thoroughly. If such a system were adopted, it might solve many of the convenience, cost, and security issues at one stroke. In that event, there would have to be a back-up system for those few faculty members without computer access, perhaps through a ballot box in the Dean's Office.
In order to protect the neutrality of the Secretary of Council, it has been suggested, and the Committee concurs, that the Chair of the Nominating Committee (or his/her designate) should assist the Secretary in the counting of ballots.
One of the real problems with elections in the Faculty however is the disturbingly low voting "turnout," in which ordinarily elections for committees of a Council with some 900 members are decided by the votes of fewer than 150 electors. This fact is seen in some quarters as a more serious impediment to the democratic and collegial governance of the Faculty than any insecurity of the ballots. Of course there are some who argue that the low turnout reflects the relative unimportance of things that go on at Council, while still
others see the low turnout as a signal that most members of Council trust the colleagues who attend to do the business of Council fairly and effectively.
A final issue on which we have received some comment is the question of whether ballot results should be made public in full, i.e., with the vote totals of the successful and unsuccessful candidates. The argument against doing so in the past has been that it is difficult enough to get people to stand for election to these offices, without the added disincentive that they may be embarrassed by the low level of vote support they receive. Since YUFA routinely announces the results of its elections with full information on candidates' totals, there is at least one precedent for contests in which the potential for humiliation has not deterred participation. We suspect there are very few members of faculty whose self-esteem turns on the level of their vote in an election for Faculty office, and the more open and democratic procedure would be to announce all vote totals (including the overall turnout). We believe it is useful information for members of Council to have and we therefore recommend that Council election results be announced with the vote total for each candidate included.
The Committee therefore submits the following recommendations for the consideration of Council; if approved and feasible, we hope that some or all of the recommendations could begin to be implemented in the spring elections this year:
Recommendation 1: that candidates for elective office be invited to provide a short biographical and or policy statement to be distributed to eligible voters prior to the vote.
Note: This should be done by means which will not substantially increase costs of conducting the elections; e.g., by circulation on Arts listservs or shared drives.
Recommendation 2: that, subject to further assessment of cost and implementation implications, the Faculty seek to establish an electronic voting procedure for Council elections.
Note: A "back-up" system (probably a centrally located ballot box) should be available for those who do not have (or prefer not to use) electronic means.Recommendation 3: that a member of the Nominating Committee assist the Secretary of Council in counting ballots from Council elections.
Note: this may mean confirming the results of electronic balloting, should such a system be adopted.Recommendation 4: that ballot results be announced in full; that is, that each candidate's name be listed with the vote total received, and the candidate(s) elected be identified. Members of the Governance Committee: