A big black hole: that’s where heads, directors, and associate deans live in the Collective Agreement with UBC. We have no guidelines in our Agreement to protect the department’s voice in appointing heads. We have no guarantees to equity in how heads’ stipends and leaves are allocated. The right of heads to speak their minds and reflect their colleagues’ views is unclear. The comfort of knowing that heads will not be responsible for handling disciplinary matters with their colleagues is also not part of the agreement. Discipline is a management task, best left in the hands of deans. We want to fix all of that, so that when you’re a department head or associate dean you don’t get sucked into an alternate universe with no protections, no rules, and no confidence that the norms of collegial life will still apply to you.
Almost every university has clearly written language in their agreements to protect and guide Heads and Directors; we think UBC should have the same.
Our Proposal 7 to UBC recommends that appointments to Head, Director and Associate Dean be made collegially. These roles should have clear terms spelled out and associated stipends, course releases, and leaves should be agreed upon in writing. Deans, not Heads and Associate Deans, should be doing the heavy lifting in those rare instances when a colleague may need to be disciplined. We’ve also proposed that everyone has the right to collegial decision making processes in their Faculty, and suggested processes to ensure this happens.