The BC Supreme Court has confirmed that the CFA was correct in its assessment that Capilano University did not follow the University Act when they cut programs last year. However, the CFA does not see this decision as a victory - we still feel a deep loss from the programs and colleagues eliminated by those unilateral cuts, and we regret this led us into a legal challenge. Justice Savage's decision only underscores what faculty already know: decision making on this campus is seriously flawed. That is nothing to rejoice.
Despite the fact that this ruling is based on precedent, President Bulcroft has suggested appealing Justice Savage's decision. But she then points out that "[e]ngaging in legal disputes is costly, and will have an additional impact on our annual budget." Is "saving face" more important than saving programs, saving the integrity of the university, or saving jobs? Seeking to evade the decision will not conceal what has happened but it would be fiscally irresponsible. We encourage the president instead to work with faculty and the Senate to develop a sound, consultative educational policy - it is required by the legislation, now confirmed by the BC Supreme Court, and it is a much more effective and positive way to move forward and spend our time and resources.
The CFA executive has, in fact, spent considerable effort drafting some initial principles that provide a basis for a strong educational policy that complies with the legislation. This work was presented to the University administration as part of an effort to settle the dispute out of court. The CFA would rather negotiate than go to court. We prefer to work with the administration rather than against them. Unfortunately, our efforts to reach a negotiated settlement were rebuffed without even so much as a counter-proposal. However, we hope this decision will prompt the administration to revisit our settlement proposal as a starting point for drafting the educational policy the court has now ordered.
The CFA will continue to fight for the integrity of the institution, the rights of faculty and students, and, as identified in the court proceedings, fair and equitable governance for our University. Faculty interested in reading the decision can find it here: http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1103244704455-226/CFA+Court+Ruling+April+28+14.pdf