KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) –
As part of its ongoing research into postsecondary education in Nova Scotia, the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers has prepared a report titled Board of Governors Structures at Nova Scotia Universities. “The report aims to inform, empower, and mobilize faculty and student governors to participate more effectively on Boards and also compares structures and procedures of Boards to identify best practices, which could help to effect positive change at Nova Scotia universities,” says Scott Stewart, ANSUT president.
“Collegial governance is the cornerstone of our academic institutions,” says Stewart. “But lately we have seen alarming examples of our bicameral governance system eroding, with emphasis placed on dollars and cents over the mission of the academy at the expense of the educational mandate of our universities. Internal members need to work with external members of Boards of Governors to ensure that does not happen and to ensure that Board members are knowledgeable about the educational mission of the university.”
The ANSUT report affirms the representational nature of Boards, investigates the way representation and process work on Boards, and examines and assesses the way in which a corporate model of governance is influencing Boards. In preparing this report, ANSUT surveyed Faculty Associations, University Acts/Charters, and Board websites across the province to gather information on Board membership, executive structures, by-laws, meetings, training for new members, and communication practices, and also collaborated with the Canadian Federation of Students Nova Scotia (CFS-NS). The completed report, which expands on a recent national report by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), will be shared with the Minister of Advanced Education, University administrators, board chairs, faculty association and student union presidents, and board representatives across the province.
“Nova Scotia is rightly renowned for its universities and the important educational and economic impacts they make in our communities,” says Stewart. “It’s vital that our universities continue to serve their purpose. We hope that the Board of Governors Structures at Nova Scotia Universities report will help achieve that goal.”