MRFA Advocacy Goals

APPROVED AT THE MARCH 2018 REGULAR MEETING

  1. Alberta’s PSE funding model ought to provide predictable, stable and sufficient funding, supporting access to affordable, high-quality education. This includes that:
    1. at least two thirds of PSE funding must be accomplished through operating grants;
    2. increases in operating grants are never less than the rate of inflation, with inflationary backfill of the base grant when tuition is frozen, and with “lights on” adjustments accompanying capital projects;
    3. tuition and fee increases are never greater than the rate of inflation, and that market modifiers are not used to circumvent tuition regulation;
    4. PSE funding must be decoupled from unstable revenue sources such as royalties;
    5. a multi-year funding cycle must be implemented; and
    6. public PSE institutions’ financial planning and reporting mechanisms must be more transparent, such that resource allocations are more clearly and demonstrably aligned in support of their core, credit academic functions, and such that stakeholders can more clearly trace the links between categories of institutional revenues and categories of expenses by object and function.

 

  1. Protection and enhancement of the quality education at MRU and of PSE in Alberta
    1. Advocate for the improvement of the ratio[1] of full-time to contract faculty, and oppose the casualization of PSE, through increased funding for more full-time-permanent positions such that the academic work in support of MRU’s core academic function is fulfilled through a well-supported, primarily tenured/tenurable faculty complement.
    2. Protect the autonomy of PSE institutions and the academic freedom of faculty.
    3. Maintain small class sizes and the personalized learning environment at MRU.
    4. Protect the institutional ratio of student FLE to faculty FTE, decoupled from what should be decentralized, collegial decision-making about specific class size targets which may vary by course for pedagogical reasons.

 

  1. Greater awareness about the value of PSE
    1. Develop messages for faculty, government and the public on PSE as a public good and as a priority that matters.
    2. Facilitate stronger engagement among and between faculty, government and the public.

 

  1. Build and strengthen relationships and information sharing with individual faculty associations and their members, and other allies, both provincially and nationally
    1. Share campaigns and initiatives with existing associations and their networks.
    2. More actively engage with information sharing sites such as “Friends of PSE” and others.
    3. Investigate the appetite of fellow faculty associations for the development of a Canadian and/or provincial post-secondary education strategy and/or campaign.
    4. Build internal member capacity for advocacy initiatives.

 

  1. Commence the necessary research for the eventual development of a position paper pertaining to potential changes to the PSLA, including but not limited to the composition of the Board of Governors.

 

  1. Protection and enhancement of the collegial governance model of the University, including with respect to the statutory provisions of Alberta’s Post-Secondary Learning Act. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Strengthening General Faculties Council / Academic Council powers and authority in relation to all matters of academic import; and
    2. Aligning the collegial governance models of Alberta’s undergraduate (BASI) universities with those of the CARI universities, independent of differentiation by institutional mandate.

 

  1. Support at the local level the national advocacy campaigns and federal lobbying initiatives of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, including but not limited to Academic Freedom, Fair Employment, Get Science Right, Fair Copyright, and others.

[1] As measured by proportions of institutional workload undertaken, including by scheduled instructional course hours (SICH) assigned and numbers of registrants taught.