Two Questions for Faculty Board (2 October 2012)

As submitted by Mark Jones for the October 12 Agenda of Arts and Science Faculty Board:  

Two Questions for Dean Alistair MacLean

Respectfully submitted by Mark Jones, Dept. of English

1.  The CAUT Report on Queen’s University’s treatment of Dr. Michael Mason (http://www.caut.ca/uploads/CAUT_AHICReport_Mason_QueensU.pdf; see also  http://qufa.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/1638/#more-1638 for links to discussion in the press) traces the problem in part to deficiencies in Queen’s Harassment Policy and Human Rights Policy, in part to administrative confusion about “when these policies are to be followed and which […] is most appropriate to address specific cases” (Report, pp. 11-12). It concludes that “Professor Mason was not accorded several of his rights under [section 20.3.4 of the Collective Agreement]” and that “the principle of procedural fairness was violated” (Report, p. 14).  It also faults the Administration for confusing “the concept of pedagogical ‘safe space’” with one of “public safety” or “personal security” (pp. 20, 23).  What measures is FAS taking with regard to policies and procedures to prevent recurrences–e.g., by reviewing relevant policy documents or by training administrative personnel about relevant concepts, policies, and procedures?

2.  The Toronto Star reported on 26 September that Queen’s has just concluded a credit-transfer agreement for first-year courses with McMaster, Western, Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo, and Guelph (see http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1262277–seven-ontario-universities-launch-sweeping-credit-transfer-initiative).  Under the terms of the agreement, says the Star, “Students will be able to count any first-year arts and science course taken for credit at a participating university for general credit at their home institution.”   I do not recall seeing any notice or discussion of this agreement, either before or after the announcement, in our Faculty Board or Senate records, nor have I seen it announced in the e-Queen’s bulletins.  Can you please tell us:  (1) Where can we find  the text of the agreement?  (2)  Has it been discussed or announced on campus, and if not, who made the decision?  And (3)  How does it relate to the proposals in the MTCU’s discussion paper “Strengthening Ontario’s Centres” to “Make 100 per cent of first- and second-year introductory general education, and core courses fully recognized across institutions”? (SOC p. 16).  In other words, is Queen’s already beginning to implement the proposals made in SOC?

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