Dear SFUFA members:

This bulletin provides information on a number of the Faculty Association’s recent activities, and links to reports related to remote teaching and University staffing that raise serious concerns about SFU’s investment in and support for faculty and the teaching and research mission of the University.

In this bulletin:

  • SFUFA Winter Social
  • Audit of University Staffing
  • Dual Mode Teaching Survey Report
  • Pension/ Estate Planning Emails
  • Bargaining Advisory Cmte
  • New AVP Positions
  • Strike at University of Manitoba

First, a reminder of our Winter Social, to be held next Monday. It has been too long since we have had an opportunity to gather together informally as colleagues, and we hope you will join us at:

SFUFA Winter Social

Halpern Centre

Monday, December 6th, 3:30-6:30 pm

To register, please see:

(COVID safety protocols will be in effect)

Audit of University Staffing

At the SFUFA General Meeting on November 23rd, past-President Mike Sjoerdsma provided a presentation on SFU’s staffing investments over the past number of years – SFU’s own data shows a very little change in faculty numbers, drops in research support, TA support, and CUPE staff, and a tremendous growth in management and administrative staff and in excluded and senior positions. Similar concerns have been raised at recent Board and Senate meetings by concerned faculty members, indicating that questions about SFU’s budgeting priorities and investments are arising in a number of places. Mike’s report can be found at:

Dual-Mode Teaching Survey Report

In October, we sent to faculty members a brief survey related to dual mode and hybrid teaching. While SFU had assured us that faculty would not be required to teach both in-person and fully remote students in a single course or section, many members were in fact placed in precisely this situation, often with little or no additional support. A report on the survey results is available at:

Pension/ Estate Planning Emails

Many members have recently received emails from a private investment firm offering advice regarding the transition of our pension plan to the BC College Pension Plan. These messages are not affiliated in any way with SFUFA or SFU. Members are certainly encouraged to seek financial advice regarding the transition, but neither the Association nor the administration recommends any particular advisor, and these emails should be clearly understood to be the result of a third party’s attempt to secure business and nothing more .

Bargaining Advisory Committee

SFUFA is inviting members to participate in its Bargaining Advisory Committee, which assists the Association in conducting a member survey and developing priorities for the next round of negotiations, expected to begin in late Spring. Interested members can write to SFUFA’s Executive Director, Brian Green, at [email protected] to be added to the list.

New AVP Positions

SFU is currently engaged in searches for two Associate VP positions – the AVP Research is a continuing position, and the AVP Knowledge Mobilization and Innovation is a new portfolio. These are both internal searches. Given the importance of faculty engagement and collegial governance, members are encouraged to share their views on the job description and qualities sought as follows (text copied from SFU’s communications).

Associate Vice-President, Knowledge Mobilization and Innovation 

  • Online questionnaire: share your feedback anonymously until December 3, 2021. Take the survey.
  • Written submission: send written submission directly to the committee by December 3, 2021: [email protected]

Associate Vice-President, Research 

  • Online questionnaire: share your feedback anonymously until December 3, 2021. Take the survey.
  • Written submission: send a written submission directly to the committee by December 3, 2021: [email protected]

The open forums were recorded and will be published on the VPRI executive search web page:

Strike at University of Manitoba

Faculty members at the University of Manitoba have been on strike since November 2nd. The issues there are not unfamiliar to us here at SFU, most notably government interference with free and fair collective bargaining, and salaries that fall below inflation, let alone being sufficient for recruitment and retention. SFUFA President Kumari Beck and Membership Services Officer Jennifer Scott visited Manitoba to show our support for the striking faculty. As we prepare to re-enter negotiations, we are mindful that the issues we face are common across the country, and in places faculty have had and continue to have to resort to job action to secure a reasonable collective agreement.