Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

University of Manitoba evamp worries union

'Super faculty' idea means huge changes

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The nursing and human ecology faculties could shift from Fort Garry to the Bannatyne medical campus by the summer of 2014 under a massive reorganization of health sciences schools at the University of Manitoba.

President David Barnard's plan to reduce faculties from 20 to about 13 by 2017 has led to two options for merging as many as five faculties into one giant health sciences faculty based entirely at the downtown medical campus.

What no one has explained publicly so far is where there would be space for nursing and human ecology barely 18 months from now, or what would happen to their current space in Fort Garry -- including the Helen Glass Nursing Building.

"They're very large changes," said Prof. Sharon Alward, president of the U of M Faculty Association.

Nursing is very concerned, Alward said. "They're asking, 'Where will we be housed?' (Their building) is not that old; it's a perfect building for them," she said.

"A lot of members are very stressed because they don't know what their future holds," Alward said. "UMFA's concern is it's a very short timeline."

Vice-president academic Joanne Keselman told the campus there will be consultation through January, after which administrators will form a draft proposal to go back for further consultation through April. Final decisions will be made next September, for implementation July 1, 2014.

John Danakas, U of M director of marketing and communications, said there have been no decisions made yet about physical space.

Keselman noted the undergraduate programs in health sciences and health studies, now part of human ecology, are under-subscribed compared with elsewhere in Canada, because they are not well-known, and would benefit from the move.

Alward said there isn't enough time for staff or students to digest and comment on the proposals.

"It's the end of term, there's exams, we're all marking papers, and then the university shuts down for two weeks," she pointed out.

"They believe that it's inevitable, that it's a done deal," Alward said.

Professors in some faculties fear being part of a super faculty dominated by medicine and finding themselves in a new structure in which the majority of new colleagues don't understand their teaching or their research.

"What about tenure and promotion? Tenure, that's someone's life," the union president said.

Alward said professors are also concerned about what could happen to other faculties as the amalgamations continue during the next five years.

"The message we're hearing is that the business school remains the business school," but everything else is on the table, she said.

Alward said she's hearing her own school of fine arts could become part of the Desautels faculty of music.

"There are discussions among other faculties," but none has progressed anywhere near as far as the health sciences schools, Danakas said.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Two courses of action:

UNDER one option, the faculty of health sciences would unite five existing faculties (dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, human ecology) and two existing schools (dental hygiene, medical rehabilitation).

Dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, along with medical rehabilitation, would be colleges within the new faculty of health sciences.

Departments in the faculty of human ecology (family social sciences, human nutritional sciences, textile sciences) would become part of the college of medicine.

School of dental hygiene would be a school within the college of dentistry.

Faculty of kinesiology and recreation management would not be part of a new faculty of health sciences and would continue to explore potential opportunities and alignments with other clusters.

THE second option would create a new faculty of health sciences by uniting four existing faculties (dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy) and two existing schools (dental hygiene, medical rehabilitation).

-- Dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, along with medical rehabilitation, would be colleges within the new faculty of health sciences.

-- School of dental hygiene would be a school within the college of dentistry.

-- Create a new faculty structured around the concept of healthy living by uniting two existing faculties (kinesiology and recreation management, human ecology) and explore possible alignment of other university units within this new faculty.

 

 

-- source: University of Manitoba presentation supplied by faculty association

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 8, 2012 A15

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