Crisis in the College of Nursing (A university lesson on how to bury one’s head in the sand)

On March 4, 2022, the faculty and student representatives in the College of Nursing passed a vote of no-confidence, citing the entire executive team over longstanding governance failures in the Dean’s office. The motion passed with an overwhelming majority of 51 (67.1%) Faculty Council members in favour, 20 (26.3%) against, and 5 abstentions (6.6%) despite deans and directors, voting members from other colleges, who had never before attended a Council meeting being invited to this meeting. This vote is a landmark as no U of S college has previously held a vote of no confidence in its leadership.

This vote was not a whim of privileged faculty or students. Faculty risked their careers and students risked their seats in the college to blow the whistle: patient safety concerns, bloated classrooms and fewer FTE faculty to teach, shorter clinical training with larger student groups and casual instructors, forcing faculty into dangerous student-patient teaching situations, lack of financial resources to support student education, etc., are compromising the quality of nursing education and just represent the tip of the iceberg of faculty concerns.

What was the reaction of senior administrators to this on-going situation? Many faculty present during the College of Nursing Special Meeting relayed to us that the senior administrator’s reaction was that there will be consequences and university administration has many ways to counter a message that would negatively impact the reputation of the University. Beyond that, the faculty of the College of Nursing are still waiting for a requested meeting with the president, Dr. Peter Stoicheff. What was his reasoning behind the approval of the closure of the Regina Campus and the continuously increasing number of seats with inadequate numbers of faculty to teach? When will President Stoicheff meet with these faculty?