Ask Your Union: Collegiality

October 2014

Tell me about Collegial Management at Langara

According to Federation of Post Secondary Educator’s Collegial Authority Manual:

Collegial Management, or Collegial Authority, is the influence and involvement faculty members have in the decisions and administration of their institution. They influence decisions including hiring and selection of new faculty and administrators; successful completion of probation for new faculty; student appeals and entrance; curriculum development; course offerings; individual and department work assignments; peer reviews; election of coordinators and chairs; and allocation of professional development resources.

The principles of collegial authority flow directly from Socrates and the academy of ancient Greece. Collegial authority is based on a set of principles designed to protect academic freedom and promote the highest scholarly and educational standards.

As academics, as faculty members, you therefore have a duty and a right to meaningful involvement and participation in institutional and academic decision making. These decisions can and do have a significant impact upon our institutions, our students, and the working conditions and careers of our colleagues.

We’ve all heard it - compared to other institutions, Langara is a much better place to work. A big part of that is how the Collegial Management Model is implemented here. Faculty at Langara are not just people who provide excellence in the classroom. We also provide leadership and initiative in departmental committees and meetings, in college-wide strategic planning, and as LFA reps on committees such as Selection/Evaluation and Ed Leave. The success of Collegial Management depends on all of us – whether Temporary or Regular or Continuing – and on our active involvement in the Langara community.

Faculty at Langara have a long history of contributing leadership and initiative to college-wide strategic planning committees. LFA participation on these committees helped to determine the shape of things now, and such committees in future will help to determine the shape of our workplace.

Two areas that illustrate the importance of a strong faculty presence are Field Schools and Baccalaureates. Field schools are faculty driven – faculty develop the concept, do the research, determine the curriculum, deliver the curriculum. Our  Baccalaureate degrees are led in large part by faculty in terms of researching the concept, and developing curriculum, as well as shepherding the programs through internal and external approvals. Faculty don’t just provide input, they lead the process of designing and implementing.

How can you contribute? Get involved and get informed! Talk to your department chair or your division chair. Step up when there is a call to help with a grade appeal or to sit on a selection committee. Help out at job fairs and information nights. Taking an active role in your department activities will keep you involved and informed about college matters, and will give you an opportunity to see how faculty contribute and lead.

No matter how long you’ve been at the College, your department needs your input and insight. Working within a collegial system means more than meeting your classes and holding office hours. We have the right and the ability to provide input and leadership in many aspects of college life. Participate in the collegial model, and we can continue to make Langara the place where we want to work.

If you have any questions about your contract, your working conditions, the Collegial Management System, evaluations, benefits, the Langara Faculty Association, or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact the LFA.