Big Picture Concerns

This article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Richard Moser, “Overuse and Abuse of Adjunct Faculty Members Threaten Core Academic Values,” gives a good overview of the American context, that is relevant for faculty in Canada to consider.


What is Collegial Governance?

The following handout (building on CAUT’s work) offers some working definitions that may be helpful to consider:

Collegial Governance is defined in terms of the degree of autonomy members of a department or discipline can expect in participating in and determining every aspect and condition of their work: for example, meetings, workload, workload planning, academic planning, and so on.

The term turns on two elements:

“collegiality” which means the participation of faculty in governance structures.

Collegiality does not mean congeniality.

To be collegial, academic governance must:
(a) allow for the expression of a diversity of views and opinions,
(b) protect participants so that no individual is given inappropriate advantage (for example, due to power differentials) with respect to decisions, and
(c) ensure inclusiveness so that all who should be participating are provided the opportunity to do so.

Collegial governance depends on the participants being given, and being able to deliver, their share of the service workload.

“consultation” refers to the process whereby the person(s) consulting a person(s) is obligated to take into consideration the circumstances and interests of the person(s) being consulted, and, also, to ensure that these circumstances and interests are reflected in the determination made at the end of the process.

Consultation also refers to a formal meeting by which the consultation occurs around a specific agenda item(s) and whose procedure and outcome(s) are documented.