OCUFA Submission warns of threat to shared governance in regulations proposed in Northern Ontario School of Medicine University Act

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Ontario faculty are concerned with the government’s proposed provision regarding the power of Senate at the new Northern Ontario School of Medicine University (NOSMU). The wording used in the Senate section of the NOSMU regulations would undermine the fundamental principle of shared bicameral governance at the new University, by subjecting the Senate’s power to “determine and regulate the educational policy of the University” to the Board of Governors’ approval. This language is inconsistent with what exists in the other Ontario public university acts where the Board’s approval is only sought with respect to the expenditure of funds.

Shared collegial governance, carried out through the bicameral system, is a fundamental tenet of Canadian universities. Granting the Board of Governors additional powers, as the current language in the regulations implies, would undermine collegial governance at the newly formed NOSM University from its inception.

OCUFA has made a submission to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities recommending an amendment to the NOSMU regulations in order to protect collegial governance at the institution and to ensure the new university is truly based on a collegial bicameral model of governance. The amendment limits the Board’s approval power over the Senate’s decisions on the educational policy of the institution to matters related to expenditure of funds only.

This important change would ensure that the governance at NOSM remains consistent with all other universities in the province.

Read OCUFA’s full submission here.

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities is accepting submissions regarding this legislation until December 2, 2021. Individuals and organizations interested in making their own submissions in support of the NOSMFSA can download a template here and make their submission to the Ministry here.

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