If you do not already know, I am happy to tell you that the Capilano Board of Governors voted Tuesday night to postpone approval of the budget until its June 11 meeting and to instruct the Senate Budget Subcommittee to study the budget and attempt to find a budget solution that does not involve any cuts in this budget year.
As Frank Harris stated in his notes from the Board meeting, President Bulcroft suggested the initial motion of postponement, which was moved by Geri Prior, Vice Chair of the Board. Frank Harris moved (Stephen Williams seconded) the successful amendment which read "that the Senate attempt to balance the 2013-14 budget without cuts to programs and sections in order to allow the next year for consultation."
This was a tremendous victory for everyone. The work is not over, but at the Tuesday Board meeting hundreds of you showed up and dozens spoke and demonstrated the incredible creativity, thoughtfulness, passion, caring (the list of superlatives could go on) and especially solidarity that have long characterized this institution. Judging by the reaction of some of the Board members, I think they now have a much better understanding of the marvelous work we all do and their duty to preserve such a valuable range of programs and people. I think we owe a special thanks to the faculty and students in the Studio Art program who reacted so quickly and imaginatively to the announcement of their program being cut. But everyone has given so much energy to this effort and the CFA thanks all who worked so hard.
The CFA will ask the Senate subcommittee to create an open participatory process for this second look at the budget, and the CFA will create its own ad hoc "No Cuts" cross-university subcommittee to work with the Senate subcommittee. The CFA believes that together we can find a "No-Cuts" solution, but it will take many minds. We have already noted a different level of cooperation from the administration, and we will try to work with them also to realize the "No-Cuts" goal for this budgetary year.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... Dickens Tale of Two Cities
This Dickens quote seems to summarize what has happened over the last few days. Capilano has awakened from its democratic slumber, and we must continue to turn this crisis into the "best of times."
It is not enough for any of us to merely stave off the budget cuts for this year. The University community must now take back the budgetary and planning process. We note that there is a widespread appetite to begin the longer term planning process at this time and not to wait for the fall. We have had great success with a wide variety of more or less independent groups working hard. We don't want to lose that energy, rather we want to focus and coordinate that energy.
At the Wednesday (May 22) CFA meeting, 11 a.m. in CE 148, in addition to the "No-Cuts" subcommittee, the CFA will call for nominees to a CFA strategic planning committee. While we need a focused representative committee to address the immediate budget challenge, we need a much larger committee with a much longer commitment to the on-going strategic planning process.
In addition, we remind you that the five Faculties have considerable authority over courses and programs in their areas and they should seek to re-establish control within their Faculties. The Collective Agreement also gives coordinators and functional areas considerable decision-making powers. There are many immediate opportunities for faculty members to resume control of their professional lives and the direction of Capilano University.
Join your colleagues on Wednesday at the CFA General Meeting to learn of the most recent developments and to participate in the ongoing project of making Capilano a truly collegial and participatory institution.
Dr. Mark Battersby
President, Capilano University Faculty Association
Instructor, Department of Philosophy
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