Here’s what the FAUW Board of Directors talked about at its last meeting.
The Nominating and Elections Committee. This committee is officially up and running! The committee will collect submissions from people interested in representing faculty on UW and joint committees to help the Board and President make selections, with the aim of casting a wider net from now on. The committee will also continue the work of the Elections Committee, overseeing and recruiting members to run in Board elections. If you’d like to join this committee, or get involved in any way, get in touch!
The FAUW Parliamentarian role. The description for this position is now finalized and we are looking for someone to fill it! A Parliamentarian advises meeting chairs, committees, and members on matters of meeting procedure and helps to ensure that meetings are conducted in a manner that abides by the rules of the organization while enabling members to participate equitably in deliberations. The parliamentarian will need to be, or become, familiar with Roberts Rules of Order and the FAUW constitution. You can learn more about this role on the FAUW website, and get instructions for how you can put your name forward or suggest someone you think would make a good parliamentarian!
Policy 33 (Ethical Behaviour). A new draft of this policy went out for consultation a couple of years ago and the Staff and Faculty Relations Committees (SRC and FRC) directed the policy drafting committee to make changes based on the comments received at that time. Since then, it has gone out for further consultation to the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce. FAUW is bringing its final questions and concerns to a special meeting of FRC and SRC on January 31. The Equity Committee chair noted at Thursday’s Board meeting that concerns the committee had in 2019 have not been addressed.
Continue reading “Board meeting report – January 20, 2022￼” →
The University announced on January 21 that most classes will resume in person on February 7. Many of our members have expressed concerns over the last weeks and months about what is required for a safe return to campus, and about the disruption to pedagogy and significant additional workload involved in switching course delivery mode (again), and we have shared these concerns with the administration.
From the very beginning of the pandemic, FAUW has argued that collegial governance norms require that faculty members be consulted about and involved in decisions regarding pandemic issues such as the timing of a return to in-person instruction.
Despite this, neither the Association leadership nor faculty members collectively have been consulted about returning to campus, this time or any previous time. We have been told that consultation with faculty is happening at the “local” level, but as far as we can tell, this is quite rare. The FAUW Board is extremely frustrated with this lack of consultation, and a lack of recognition that we are raising credible issues that affect a large proportion of our membership.
Unfortunately, this is a concern at other universities as well. OCUFA drew attention to this again in a statement issued on January 24:
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, university administrations have developed the bad habit of making decisions about campus health and safety behind closed doors and circumventing existing shared governance bodies that include the voices of campus unions,” said Sue Wurtele, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. “Given the increased danger of campus outbreaks with the Omicron variant, it should be obvious that this cycle can’t continue. It’s time to take the safer path, which requires full transparency about campus health and safety issues and accountable governing bodies that include experts from campus unions.”
What we’re asking for now
In light of the announcement about resuming in-person teaching, we have forwarded the following demands, based on concerns we’ve heard from members, to the administration:
Continue reading “Faculty must be part of safe-return decision making” →
- That an adequate supply of N95 or KN95 respirators be provided for our members and for all members of the UWaterloo community who must be on campus.
- That Rapid Antigen Tests be provided to faculty who are required to be on campus regularly, as soon as they are available.
- That the University conduct an assessment to determine when COVID-19 booster shots should be mandatory.
- That the University provide an update about safety upgrades to campus infrastructure that have taken place since July 2021, including information about air exchange rates and carbon dioxide levels in offices, classrooms, and other spaces, and information about how air quality will continue to be monitored and regularly reported to the campus community.
- That faculty have the autonomy to consult with their students and to decide whether their courses should continue online or in-person.
- That Faculty Councils and Senate have robust discussions of the conditions required for a safe return to campus.
- That faculty be meaningfully consulted on decisions related to a safe return to campus and our pedagogical duties.
- That until such meaningful consultation with faculty takes place, the administration stop claiming it is occurring.
- That the results of the recent survey asking employees how they feel about returning to campus be released to the campus community, along with any parallel survey results for students.
As we announced in December, FAUW’s Executive Manager is on an 18-month secondment in the Office of Research. We are currently hiring a temporary replacement and expect to be working without an Executive Manager for around 6–8 weeks. With another staff member on leave, we’re down to just our Communications Officer and will need to triage FAUW activities for a couple of months.
That said, we’re still trying to keep members informed with updates as often as we can, starting with this catch-up post about topics discussed at the last few Board meetings. Some of this was included in the reports for the Fall General Meeting. If you didn’t receive those reports, make sure you’re a voting member and you’ll get them next time!
Continue reading “Updates from recent Board meetings” →
- Member feedback is now being collected and shared anonymously with the Board routinely, as a report in Board meeting packages. Most recent comments are related to the pandemic, specifically 2021 performance reviews and returning to campus, which we will be discussing at the next meeting on January 20. You can send feedback and suggestions to your Council representative, a Board member, or email@example.com. Note that this pertains to general concerns only; if you have an individual concern, please contact the Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee for support with your specific situation.
- The new Nominating and Elections Committee is close to having its terms of reference finalized and approved, and will soon start its work helping the FAUW leadership and staff find suitable members for committee roles. If you’re interested in helping to represent your colleagues on a University committee, you can reach out to a member of the committee at any time to talk about how you might be able to help. The Nominating and Elections Committee itself will also soon need more members and is a great way to start getting involved with FAUW.