President interferes in collegial process

The Faculty Association has been in a three year battle, investing considerable time and expense fighting an attack on the integrity of the collegial process at our University.

A few years ago, the tenure case of a faculty member received mixed reviews as it went through the collegial process at the departmental, college, and university committee levels. Eventually, the case was heard by the Renewal and Tenure Appeal Committee. After careful review and consideration, which included hearing representations from the candidate and chairs of committees, the final decision went unanimously in favour of recommending tenure for the candidate.

Our Collective Agreement states that the President “transmits” tenure decisions to the Board, which has always respected the role of the collegial process and followed the recommendations of the collegium. Going against 35 years of process and precedent, the President did not transmit the positive recommendation for tenure to the Board.   Surprisingly, in an act that was unilateral and arbitrary, he overturned the positive recommendation for tenure.

A grievance challenging the action of the President was filed immediately.     Following arbitration and judicial review of the arbitration decision, the result is that the tenure case will be transmitted to the Board of Governors in December.   The Association is watching closely and is urging the Board of Governors to uphold and respect the process of collegial decision making as set out in the collective agreement.   The Board of Governors is a body with no experience of collegial peer review. This is further complicated by the President providing his own negative recommendation on the decision. What is a member of the board to do?

These actions go entirely against our strong academic tradition of collegial decision-making and are contrary to the collective agreement. You can let us know what you think of the President’s intervention by simply replying to this e-Letter.   The University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association will continue to fight to uphold the integrity of the collegial process at our University.