Update: August 1, 2012
As most of us are aware, the University has been holding workshops in order to familiarize staff and faculty with the Integrated Planning and Resource Management initiative, an extensive evaluation of the University, its resources and its programs. At the end of these workshops, four teams will be assembled in order to carry out this evaluation. The largest of these teams, the Planning Task Force, will be informed by the work of the other three: the Resource Management team, the Administrative Priorities team, and the Academic Priorities team. Each of the four teams will be composed of a mix of administrators, faculty and staff, depending on the specific team’s focus of evaluation. It will be the Planning Task Force, however, that will ultimately submit the overall recommendations to the Board and to Senate.
Many of us are also aware that, at both the Annual General Meeting in April and at follow-up meetings of our Members in May and June, strong concerns were voiced about the extent to which faculty expertise would be utilized for the IPRM initiative. WLUFA issued a letter reflecting our Members’ concerns on July 5.
In response to WLUFA’s letter, President Max Blouw, Vice-President Academic Deborah MacLatchy, and Vice-President Finance and Administration Jim Butler invited the WLUFA Executive to meet on July 31. At this meeting, WLUFA made clear its belief that all employee groups at WLU should have the opportunity to determine the composition of the IPRM teams through a democratic electoral process, as opposed to the University’s proposed process of having the Administration appoint members to the teams.
While the Administration has repeatedly stated its preference of using a “by appointment” process in order to determine who will sit on the teams, WLUFA strongly supports the rights – and believes in the expertise – of its membership to elect from its own ranks those Members who would thoughtfully represent our concerns in and for the academy throughout the IPRM process. WLUFA sees no reason why all employee groups at our university would not want to have the same consideration offered to them.
President Blouw, VPA MacLatchy, and VPFA Butler have told WLUFA that they will look closely into the process of appointing versus electing team members and will meet with WLUFA in the near future in order to discuss their ideas.
In order to address our Members’ ongoing concerns with both the IPRM initiative and its process, WLUFA will be striking its own committee that will be charged with monitoring this exercise and its relationship to both our Members and our Collective Agreements. The MRPI (Member Response to Planning Initiative) Committee will be struck in the very near future.