TRU faculty will take part in an online nonconfidence vote in the university’s administrators over the next week.
The move is the first obvious sign of fractured campus relations since a faculty vote of 91 percent ratified a mediated contract settlement in February. That was preceded by a year of failed negotiations.
TRU Faculty Association says the circumstances that caused that protracted dispute have not improved since.
The non-confidence vote was initiated by a motion at a February general faculty meeting, at which approximately 95 percent of more than 200 faculty members in attendance directed TRUFA executive to hold such a vote.
“Our members clearly felt that TRU senior administrators had demonstrated a lack of leadership, a lack of respect for faculty opinions, a failure to address key issues at bargaining, and a “management by crisis” attitude toward academic decisions and planning,” said Tom Friedman, TRUFA president.
The vote will ask faculty at Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses whether they have confidence in five named senior administrators: including President Alan Shaver, the three TRU vice-presidents and the associate vice-president, academic (faculty relations).
Friedman said after the February motion, he me with the president, provost and other senior administrators to try to determine whether a state commitment to renewed dialogue was being accompanied by concrete actions and resolutions to chronic problems. In more than eight weeks since that motion, TRU senior administrators have continued to engage in a lack of consultation, failure to follow collective agreement or TRU governance policies, less than transparent decision-making, and budget decisions not in the best interest of programs or students, Friedman said.
“The clear message that I’ve received from TRU faculty is that they would have liked to engage in a respectful, collegial relationship with their administrators. However, TRU faculty have told me repeatedly that TRU administrators must be prepared to accompany their public and private statements with substantive actions that would allow them to earn back the trust of faculty.”
TRUFA represents approximately 800 instructors, librarians, counsellors, and instructional support faculty in Kamloops and Williams Lake.