COVID-19 – Academic Work & Shared Governance
This townhall discussed practical steps to help ensure that these principles are upheld, as well as lessons for academic staff about how they might organize to strengthen governance at their institutions. While the seriousness of the current situation demands appropriate flexibility, the approval of any modifications to academic policy should remain the purview of academic governance bodies, consistent with principles of shared governance.
Both co-chairs of CAUT Executive Committee's ad hoc Working Group on Governance stressed that faculty association must keep playing a decisive role in making academic decisions and academic policies of their institutions during the pandemic. “We must defend our members rights and interests and strategize for the future. We must get our members involve in the governance and our associations and not simply represent them. We must involve them,” insisted co-chair Robin Whitaker.
The President of the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) Scott Stewart advised member associations to challenge their administrations and do their own financial analysis. He explained that many institutions will use the crisis to impose austerity measures that might trigger financial exigencies clauses.