Linking Students’ Learning Conditions to the Working Conditions of Professors and Professional Librarians is Key to Preserving Educational Quality and Improving the Student Experience
In its marketing to potential students, UPEI boasts of small class-sizes, supportive professors, access to world-class researchers, and second-to-none student learning support services. However, the reality of UPEI has changed dramatically from this idyllic picture that’s been advertised over the last
10 years: the University has grown exponentially, adding dozens of new programs and enjoying record-breaking growth in enrolments.
Unfortunately, rather than invest in supporting faculty in their teaching and research, UPEI’s Administration has instead become increasingly dependent on precariously-employed sessional instructors rather than full-time professors, resulting in 53% of faculty being employed by contract and not in permanent
roles. Why is this a problem? In short, lack of investment in full time permanent faculty is endangering the University’s core academic mission of teaching and research through the following avenues:
UPEI’s Board of Governors have justified the shift to relying on contract academic staff in the name of managerial “flexibility” without any concern for the negative effect such changes may have on the quality of educational experience or the core academic mission of the University.
UPEIFA is proposing in collective bargaining that the University introduce a minimum number of full-time faculty in ratio to the number of students enrolled, as well as a path to job security, a living wage, and benefits for contract academic staff. The UPEIFA believes that expanding research capacity, preserving educational quality, and enhancing the student experience are key to keeping UPEI competitive.