Election May 2017 - Nomination Forms

Nominations are now closed. 

  • MRFA Committee Nominees' Campaign statements are available here.
  • MRFA Executive Board Nominations are now closed - Candidates' Campaign Statements are posted below.

 


 

EXECUTIVE BOARD CANDIDATES' STATEMENTS

 

Vice-President Negotiations

Lee Easton (English, Languages, and Cultures)

Hello!  My name is Lee Easton, and I am asking for your support to continue as MRFA Vice-President, Negotiations, for 2017-2019.  Over the years, I have been privileged to serve as a member of the Negotiations Committee in a variety of capacities, including as the Committee’s Chair and Vice-Chair. In total I have been involved with 7 rounds of collective bargaining, bringing to the team a strong institutional memory that can be useful as we work to refine and improve the Collective Agreement. I have experience in traditional bargaining approaches as well as a strong background in the interest-focused bargaining model which MRU has used since 2005. I am aware of the advantages of both approaches.

In addition to my experience in negotiations, I also bring to the Committee a range of perspectives from the different positions I have taken on over the years. Most recently, I served as the faculty Co-chair of the Academic Plan Steering Committee. I also have a good understanding of bicameral governance and the role of General Faculties Council from my time as Speaker (2011-12), Chair of Academic Standards Committee (2015-16) and a member of the By-laws and Striking Committee (2015-17). Recently I co-chaired the MRFA Faculty Evaluation Committee and helped to craft the proposals that became the part of the Evaluation article added to the most recent Collective Agreement. This year I have had the privilege of working on the MRFA Executive Board and serving on the Grievance Committee, which has provided an opportunity to understand where the Collective Agreement can be usefully improved. I bring experience, commitment and yes, continuing enthusiasm about negotiating enhancements to our Collective Agreement that enhance our workplace at MRU.  I humbly ask for your support. -Lee

 

Faculty Representative on the Board of Governors

David Clemis (Humanities)

Dear Colleagues,

I am again seeking election as the faculty nominee to the University Board of Governors.  The relationship between the faculty and the Board of Governors is a matter of the utmost importance given the University’s current situation. As one of fourteen Board members, the faculty nominee is uniquely positioned to help the Board as it oversees and directs senior administration in the best interests of our students, the wider community, and the fundamental aims and purposes of the University as a social and cultural institution. 

Given the issues that have arisen in recent years and the major challenges currently facing Mount Royal, the Board’s understanding of the condition of the University and the consequences of its actions are of great importance. While the faculty nominee’s statutory responsibility is to the University as a whole, their articulation of faculty concerns is an essential piece of their service to the Board. As the faculty nominee to the Board, I have sought to foster an understanding and acculturate the ten Board public members to the ethos and real conditions of the University. This a challenging task because public members, while serving with great integrity and the most laudable motives, nevertheless are very often unfamiliar with the particular aims and functions of universities and the ways that they operate. This is compounded by Mount Royal’s uncommon tradition of personalized learning, vigorous assertion of academic freedom, and the complex process of its transition from a college to a university.

A key task, then, is to help public Board members better understand Mount Royal and its culture so that they can more fully grasp its challenges and appreciate the qualitative constraints on solutions to those problems. Over the past two years I have sought to do this by frequently speaking at Board meetings, subcommittee meetings, and retreats. I have also met with individual Board members and arranged for the attendance of a Board member at a Dean’s Advisory Group. If elected to a second term as the faculty nominee to the Board of Governors, I will strive to increase and diversify such contacts. 

I am optimistic about the prospects of building a stronger Board understanding of MRU.  Recently, several ongoing public board members have been actively involved in University governance where they have engaged with faculty members. Moreover, since last December, five new public members have been appointed to the Board, and all have expressed and demonstrated a keen desire to learn about the University. As additional new public members join the Board in 2017-18, it will be important to engage them and help them achieve a richer understanding of MRU.

I have sought to influence Board perspectives and decisions through advocacy, information, and argument. Clearly, on some issues, this has been less successful than others; but, I have taken the view that, while I must challenge or dispute prevailing views and actions by the Board when they seem to me to be contrary to interests of the University and its mission, I am also striving to construct amongst Board members a better understanding of, and approaches to, key ongoing issues.  Of particular importance in the past two years, and most certainly going forward, will be such issues as:

    wider, more consultative and devolved decision-making with respect to the budget process;

    degree and programme development;

    University leadership including the appointment and turnover of senior administrative positions;

    the importance of a meaningful conception, implementation, and protection of personalized learning;

    enrolment management that increases access but which does not compromise quality learning;

    the building of more effective bicameral governance by assuring a strong role for GFC; and,

    improved external relations between the University, various levels of Government, and the wider community.

I firmly believe that all Board members must have as full an appreciation of all of these matters as possible if the Board is to succeed in its critical role of governance and administrative oversight.

In all of these matters, the faculty nominee to the Board of Governors must work closely with the MRFA executive and the faculty members on GFC. I will continue to do so.  I would to like to thank various faculty members who, over the past two years, have contacted me with advice or to express concerns over matters before the Board. If again elected as the faculty nominee to the Board, I will welcome such communication from colleagues, and I will strive to keep the MRFA Executive Board and faculty members apprised of the Board’s public activities.

Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.

Respectfully,

David Clemis

 

Advocacy Officer

Michael Truscello (English, Languages, and Cultures)

I have previously served on the MRFA Advocacy Committee, and I would like to bring that experience to the role of Advisor/Chair. When I return from sabbatical in the Fall, I will be entering my eighth year at MRU. I would like to apply that experience to the support of faculty needs and aspirations.

 

Academic Liaison Officer

Allison Mackenzie (Public Relations)

For the past two years, it has been my honour to serve as Chair, Academic Liaison Committee, which is also an Executive Committee appointment. During this time I have worked with ALC committee members to enhance communication of GFC related information related to governance and academic policies with MRFA members. In support of this work I have been a regular, guest attendee at GFC as well as an active member of the MRFA Executive Committee. 

I also have developed an enhanced respect for the importance of bicameral and collegial governance, the importance of General Faculties Council and the importance of Academic Freedom and the Collective Agreement. Based on my observations, both as a former GFC Councillor and as Chair, ALC, rigorous, informed participation in GFC by Faculty is critical to the effective governance of Mount Royal University.

If re-elected to serve a second two-year term, I would build on ALC’s existing success by working to ensure new councilors to GFC are supported more fully in the acquisition of GFC specific understanding, and by working with ALC to ensure the MRFA’s pre-GFC caucus process is widely available and effective.

 

Respectfully submitted

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