MAFA reaponse to administration on the non-confidence motion

For Immediate Release, April 4, 2014

Statement of MAFA President Loralea Michaelis on the false claims of the administration regarding the Faculty Council motion of non-confidence

On April 3, 2014, members of the Mount Allison Faculty Council passed a motion of non-confidence in the President and Provost of Mount Allison University by a resounding majority of 60 to 1. The motion cited a lack of transparency, a disregard for collegiality and academic principles, and a lack of respect for faculty and librarians. The motion also made specific reference to a failure to provide support to the academic mission of the university by not providing adequate replacements for leaves and departures.

In its public statements on the non-confidence vote at Faculty Council the administration of Mount Allison University has claimed that the motion was “inappropriate” because it touches on matters arising in the dispute over the terms of our new collective agreements, a dispute that will be settled in the upcoming binding arbitration.

The Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) wishes to correct this false claim. MAFA is a certified union responsible for negotiating the terms and conditions of work for its full-time and part-time members. Our proposals on issues like sabbatical replacements and full time faculty complement address the workload problem that our members face at this institution.

Faculty Council is a collegial body responsible for advising the President, Senate, and the Board of Regents on any matters of policy and procedures that are within their competence. It is well within its mandate to raise concerns about the impact that the failure to provide adequate replacements for leaves and departures will have on academic programs and academic standards at Mount Allison, and to question whether decisions about replacements for leaves and departures are being made in a way that satisfies the requirements of transparency and collegiality.

The issues and concerns raised in the non-confidence motion have been under discussion for many years in the various collegial bodies of the university, within academic Departments and Senate Committees and at meetings of Faculty Council and Senate. Faculty and librarians have the right as well as the obligation to participate in these discussions, regardless of the status of collective bargaining.

The binding arbitration process to which MAFA and the administration have agreed in no way constrains the normal operation of collegial processes; neither does it prohibit faculty and librarians from using these collegial processes to raise matters bearing on academic program integrity and academic standards, and to cite these matters in non-confidence motions.

MAFA encourages the administration to consider more carefully the information that it provides to the community, and to be active and respectful members of the collegial governance processes that are the hallmark of any university.

For more information, contact Loralea Michaelis at 506-364-2289, mafa@mta.ca.