At this time last year a significant number of faculty and staff, as well as alumni, retirees, students and community members from the St. Lawrence campus of Champlain Regional College (CRC) attended a Board meeting in Drummondville to demonstrate solidarity and voice concerns during question period about governance and college structure. Since that time, a study was commissioned to examine the current role and responsibilities of the college’s Director of Studies, a position currently designated to a single person in Central Administration in Sherbrooke. While concerns about the centralized CRC structure have been present since the early 1990’s, the fact that three Directors of Studies have left the college in the last six years brought this question to a head. The final report, presented in March at a CRC Board of Governors meeting, recommended a decentralisation of powers in matters concerning the Director of Studies position and the management of pedagogy and academic programs.
“This is just one demonstration of the many problems with the current structure,” says Constance Crossland, pedagogical counselor at St. Lawrence. “Managers need to be on the ground where the action is happening. They need to know the local culture, needs and realities of the students and communities being served. This is how our mission can best be served and the report findings indicate this clearly.”
The College’s plan of action for the Sheehy report is expected at the September 23rd meeting of the Board of Governors. Given that the CRC administration’s plan to centralize academic and pedagogical management even further was voted down by the Board of Governors in the spring, the Board’s next moves are eagerly awaited by the St. Lawrence community
Crucial steps in establishing a new direction for the future
Another delegate of supporters will be travelling from Quebec to Drummondville in eager anticipation of the Board’s follow-up to the Sheehy report.
“A year has passed and we are back again,” says Meagan Daley, psychology professor at St. Lawrence. “We are hoping to hear that Administration will understand and act upon the important messages contained in this independent report. We are also hoping that our presence at this important meeting will help the Board see that decentralization is of interest to everyone concerned with the delivery of high quality and adapted services to our students; the independent production of the report also irrefutably debunks a long-standing myth, generated by Central Administration, that increased campus autonomy is just “a union issue.”
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For further information :
Spokesperson, Campaign for St.Lawrence Autonomy