Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA). Brock and the Province have been negotiating a revised SMA, which will shape the development of our University in a number of important ways, including receipt of targeted Provincial funding, resource allocation for new programs and graduate spaces, the nature of ³key performance indicators² that the Province will use to measure Brock¹s success and, as President Lightstone points out, will have considerable impact on our reputation as a post-secondary institution. On January 29th, President Lightstone and Provost and VP Academic McCartney met with Dr. Paul Genest from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, to discuss and perhaps finalize Brock¹s SMA. We expect that the President will report on the outcome of the January 29th meeting at Senate on Wednesday.
Issues raised by the Academic Review Committee (ARC). ARC is special committee of Senate responsible for the coordination, monitoring and implementation of all aspects of the Internal Quality Assurance Process (IQAP), which includes reviews of both ongoing and new programs. In its review work, ARC is in a good position to identify and bring to the attention of Senate general issues that would benefit from wider discussion and consideration. The challenge and complexity of providing support for inter-departmental programs is one such issue identified in ARC¹s February 5th report. Among the difficulties identified were a lack of discussion of Brock¹s direction toward inter-disciplinarily, insufficient mechanisms for supporting and encouraging participation of faculty from outside the program¹s home unit, and inability to account for and track the resources, revenue, and costs associated with such programs. Another concern was that the evaluation of cost-recovery programs might be primarily based on their cost/recovery ratio rather than on their academic quality. The lack of a budget model that would reflect the need to replace outdated and inadequate equipment that might compromise academic quality was also noted. Some further elaboration of these topics, as well as other issues, can be found in Appendix D of the ARC report. We strongly encourage Senate to discuss and address these important academic concerns.
Program Review. The Senate¹s Ad Hoc Committee on Program Review and Prioritization will address the review of academic programs and has now met three times. As directed by Senate, the meetings of this Committee will be open and its minutes will be public. Information about the work of this Committee can be found on the Senate website. A list of Committee meeting dates, times, and places can be found on the BUFA website in the Issues and Campaigns section. The Committee has been discussing objectives, priorities, and measurement strategies, as well as planning for two open houses in the morning of March 12. Dan Malleck is the BUFA observer on this Committee. He has started providing the BUFA Executive with updates and we will be providing this information to the membership as well.
In February, the President¹s Task Force will meet to prepare its recommendations on non-academic program review and prioritization; we hope that these recommendations then will be presented to the Brock Community for discussion and comment. It will be important for all of us to consider and monitor the impact of any recommended changes on our academic programs and working conditions.
Linda Rose-Krasnor, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology
President, Brock University Faculty Association
500 Glenridge Avenue St. Catharines ON Canada L2S 3A1
Phone: 905-688-5550, ext. 3870 | Fax: 905-688-6922