On October 10th, the College sent a message to department and program coordinators directing departmental assemblies/programs to discuss and provide answers to a number of questions regarding measures to ensure equity between sections of multi-section courses. This message raises two serious issues:
- In general, it is not the purview of the College to dictate topics for discussion at department/program meetings. The collective agreement makes departmental assemblies and program committees autonomous bodies, which may set their own agendas policies and agendas.
- It is our assessment that this request for information is part of the College’s ongoing response to the Quality Assurance initiative, as requested by the Commission d’évaluation de l’enseignement collègial (CEEC).
As you may be aware, on Dec. 17, 2014 the JACFA General Assembly adopted the following motion:
“Whereas the Quality Assurance process entails bureaucratic and ineffective methods; whereas the Quality Assurance process threatens to erode teachers’ professional autonomy; BIRT all John Abbott teachers, in solidarity with other CÉGEP teachers’ unions, refuse to participate in any manner in the CEEC Quality Assurance process.”,
In light of the boycott and the potential infringement on departmental autonomy, the JACFA Executive recommends that all departments and programs ignore this request, and make JACFA aware of any future requests for information regarding equity between sections.
It is important to recall that our stand against the CEEC’s Quality Assurance program is not a stand against quality, nor against equity. Rather, it is a stand against bureaucratic measures that waste time and resources, and get in the way of real initiatives by teachers and departments to improve our courses and pedagogy. For more background on our stand against Quality Assurance, please see our original article in JACFA News (found here).
The JACFA Executive
CC: Gordon Brown, Teresa Berghello, Roger Haughey, Douglas Brown