Senate Decision and the Academic Integrity of Classes

In a special meeting held on March 19, the Senate voted to resume classes in FES and LAPS as scheduled on Monday, March 23rd. During this meeting, the Senate Executive and the Provost confirmed YUFA’s position that individual faculty members have the right and the responsibility to determine whether the academic integrity of their classes can be ensured if they are held during the strike.

Senate Executive is asking that all full- and part-time faculty in LAPS and FES report whether or not each of their classes will resume and provide a rationale for any classes that in the professional judgment of the faculty member cannot resume until the strike has concluded. We understand that these lists are expected to be compiled by deans’ offices and submitted to the Senate Executive by 4:00 pm on Friday, March 20th in order to provide students with a list of resumed and suspended classes. Members may submit their decisions through their chair or directly to their dean's office. Members in Faculties where classes have already resumed may also suspend their classes by informing their dean and providing a rationale. Neither the Senate Executive nor the deans are permitted to police the rationale or overturn the decision of the faculty member. However, members who fail to provide a rationale or who provide a rationale unrelated to academic integrity may be asked to resubmit their rationale. Should you be approached by your dean or other academic administrator after submitting a rationale, we encourage you to contact YUFA before responding.

YUFA has not been informed how deans’ offices intend to collect this information. Members are likely to receive instructions from the Employer or from unit heads shortly, and deadlines are expected to be tight. Please be advised that if you do not declare your intent and rationale by the deadline, you may still suspend your class. You may also suspend your class if it resumes and you later determine that it cannot continue with academic integrity. Please contact YUFA if you have any questions or concerns.

It has been suggested that chairs may play a role in coordinating submissions to deans’ offices. We maintain that chairs, as members of the bargaining unit, should not be required to track the ways in which other members are carrying out their professional responsibilities. In some cases, however, units may make collegial decisions that the academic integrity of all or some types classes cannot be ensured. It is our understanding that communication by the unit of suspended classes and the rationales used to make the collegial decision will meet the requirements of the Senate Executive.

YUFA remains concerned that holding classes during the strike puts the health and safety of the York community at risk. We remain skeptical of remediation plans that suggest that the work of striking CUPE 3903 members can be replaced by other workers or by student peer evaluation. We strongly advise members not to replace the work of CUPE 3903 members. YUFA believes that the only way to provide students with programs with the academic integrity that they require and deserve and that York is required to deliver is to end the strike. We urge both parties to return to the bargaining table and make a good-faith effort to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement.