President's Newsletter - April 2019
Lethbridge College Faculty Association Newsletter
*Student retention initiative
*Collective agreement article explained
*Off Campus guidelines
* Annual General Meeting
Congratulations to the many members nominated by their students and peers for the LCFA/SA Teaching Excellence Awards. We had 17 nominations! It shows the excellent work Faculty are doing while serving their students. The winners will be recognized at Invigorate May 1st.
The student retention initiative announced recently has caused some concern. As the process was unveiled the FA asked that it not interfere with exams and mark delivery. The understanding was that each instructor would be asked to connect with their students in order to provide a warm contact to encourage the student to return, and to facilitate identifying barriers to that return. The concept of developing a relationship with your students to that extent is not new. It is included in the Instructor Role Description jointly developed in 2016 “discuss with students’ career and employment objectives, in so far as such matters generally relate to the instruction being offered to those students”. The principle of the student retention initiative was to leverage that existing relationship to assist the students in identifying and overcoming barriers to them completing their education. The FA has discussed the implementation with ELT including the registrar, pointing out that the principle is lost if we are asked to approach students with whom we do not have a relationship, or even knowledge of the program of study. All involved recognize this is not ideal, however it is too late to alter the process for this term. Please do what you can under the circumstances and we will keep working to develop a better approach.
There is an opportunity for a faculty member or two to sit on a new committee being formed. The committee will be a subcommittee of the academic council and will provide some input into development of academic policies. Contact Mike or Kevin if you are interested.
There have been many questions in the faculty office around the use of the workload model, you can contact Kevin or Dic Charge concerning entering your workload or how the model represents the work you do. There are some questions at the supervisor level concerning what applies under the other assignable duties portions which include Professional Development and Institution Service. You should be aware that these duties were generally outlined in the Instructor Role Model as part of the process of developing the workload model. This document is available on the HR website as well as the Faculty website LCFA.ca. In cases where this document does not clear up problems with your workload, be aware that Article 11, Professional Standards Committee is there to help. PSC is comprised of 3 faculty members and 3 administrators, the chair and tie-breaking vote will be the VP administration from faculty, currently Ryan Kaupp. We will be looking to fill the other two seats in the upcoming election after which we will have to rewrite the mandate as part of the ongoing bylaw redevelopment. The current mandate includes hearing disputes concerning workload. If you have concerns, contact the FA office and we will try and guide you through the process.
It has been a busy year highlighted by change. Dramatic changes to management structure and administrative personnel have added a lot of stress. Now we head into that very busy time where most of us wrap up classes and look forward to the warm relaxing days of summer. Please remember the guidelines provide concerning time off campus. Although we are professional we are employees of the college and as such have a responsibility to communicate with our supervisors.
How long do I need to be absent from my usual work place before I send formal notice through My Horizons?
Greater than ½ day (>4 hours).
As a courtesy to your students and your colleagues, email your Administrative Support team member with CC to your supervisor prior to your absence if possible, including contact information in case of emergency.
What if I’m occasionally off campus for less than ½ day (<4 hours)?
You need not necessarily submit an online leave request but you must communicate with your supervisor and Administrative Support team member, making sure they have your contact information in case of emergency or in the event you are needed for participation in department activities (meetings, student issues/inquiries, tours, etc).
What about occasionally working from home?
We understand the need sometimes for working off campus (ie. marking, research, or other college-related work). Your supervisor needs to know about it and how to reach you. Time worked from home is still considered working hours and, as such, you need to be available by email and/or phone to handle inquiries, questions, etc.
One last piece of Faculty Association business – the Annual General Meeting. Cheryl will provide a financial update, Kerry will let all of you know how bargaining is going and we will be looking for people to run for various committee’s in the new year. Monday May 6th at 4 pm in the IB Theater, Please attend.
Elections – The following positions will be open for election
5 constituency representatives (including alternates) of Executive Council (who also sit on Academic Council)
3 Members of the by-laws committee
2 members of the Professional Standards Committee
3 Members of the student appeal committee
1 representative to the Respectful campus Committee
3 members of the Occupational Health and Safety committee