President Bulcroft’s office shirks responsibility

A message from the CFA executive and bargaining teams re Frontlines post from President Bulcroft:

The end of the University’s fiscal year is approaching. There will be a deficit. This is neither new nor unexpected, yet the University has used all its resources, connections, and so forth to create a climate that accepts this without challenge. What has not been forthcoming from President Bulcroft and her

team is solutions.  The last message to the University community from the President not only warns of deficit but attempts to blame it on the faculty—and its voice, the CFA.

This does not bode well for solutions.

Rather than attacking the CFA, the president might better serve the University and its community by focusing on what is needed. Putting it bluntly, if you are in a position of leadership, well, lead.  Leadership would include having and using the president’s supporters in the governing party, mainly North Shore MLAs, to adequately fund the University.

Despite being in a region of strong government support, Capilano University still has the lowest funding allocation in the province. Faced with similar problems and intransigent governments, presidents of universities in many parts of North America defended their institutions by uniting with the community for fair funding and accessibility and affordability. Get moving, Dr. Bulcroft.

It’s ironic that Dr. Bulcroft would rather attack her own faculty than lead the actions necessary for the real cause of our problems—inadequate funding. She blames faculty for defending benefits when the cost-reporting crisis she faces is made by her administration—the movement to self-risk management for benefits instead of premium-based plans.

The arbitration in August confirmed administration’s disregard of the collective agreement. If the administration had adhered to the collective agreement by consulting and working with the membership where required, we would never have arrived at this situation. Instead, President Bulcroft fails to give credit to  the CFA as  a problem solver, at its own sacrifice, by proposing measures that would reduce the retiree benefit cost from $675,000 to $14,000 per year. How can Dr. Bulcroft justify attacking retirees instead of doing her job? Get moving, Dr. Bulcroft.

And the law suit expense?  The last deficit was paid for by cutting programs and courses—a cost then borne by cutting faculty jobs and student classes. The CFA and the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators believe the University has violated the University Act: after giving time for the University to rectify the situation, the CFA now has no option but a legal challenge as the University has shown no interest in changing its process.

There is a big challenge ahead: preserve the integrity of our University, stop cuts, and secure adequate funding.

Dr. Bulcroft, instead of undermining and disrespecting your faculty, harness the talent and energy that is available to support leadership that works for a better university, a leadership that can unite faculty, staff, students, and the broad community.

We are ready and eager to work with administration to address the funding shortfall, so let's get moving, Dr. Bulcroft.