Statement on the cancellation of classes by individual faculty members

Deans/Principal have requested notification from faculty members about decisions to suspend a class in the context of the current CUPE 3903 strike. This has caused some members to question what they should do.

The decision about whether to suspend classes to preserve the academic integrity of a course rests exclusively with the professional judgment of the individual course director. Should units issue a general announcement declaring the suspension of classes, it is YUFA's position that these statements are legitimate expressions of collective concern about academic integrity in keeping with Senate policy.

It is YUFA's position that a formal declaration by a unit or Faculty that classes will be suspended to preserve academic integrity is sufficient because these bodies represent the collective voice of individual faculty members and reflect their judgment. Nevertheless, if you are concerned that your Dean/Principal will not recognize such a declaration, then you may wish to respond individually to the office of the Dean/Principal, referring to your unit's declaration of suspension.

If your unit has not issued such a declaration, you are expected to notify your Dean/Principal if you decide to suspend classes and activities.

You will also be expected to provide an academic integrity rationale for the decision. We recommend that you supply such a rationale, but that it doesn't have to be long (one sentence should suffice). As established in the CUPE 3903 strike in 2015, the Dean/Principal may not challenge your rationale, since the policy is based on respect for the professional judgment of the individual course director.

It is YUFA’s position that members are not required to alter the nature of course delivery, nor to explain why they have not, or have, done so. In other words, you are not required to offer a class over Zoom in place of an on-campus class.

We encourage YUFA members to follow Senate policy in that their only consideration should be their individual judgment on academic integrity in their classes. YUFA will stand firm in defending your rights, and will vigorously defend any member who has been challenged or questioned by their Dean/Principal regarding their approach to the disruption brought about by the CUPE 3903 strike.