Response from VP of Academics, regarding Academic Structural changes

Communication to Faculty
February 15, 2019

SUBJECT: Faculty Questions – New Academic Structure


In early January, questions from faculty pertaining to the new academic structure were shared with me by the BVCFA. Thank you for taking the time to share your questions and comments. At this point, I’d like to first address some of the questions that are happening at the moment, and respond fully to the questions submitted in a more in-depth format in a couple of weeks.

Why the new Academic Structure?

The new academic structure is being implemented to support the immense growth the College has experienced in the last few years alone. The introduction of the associate dean role and transition to program chair positions facilitate professional development and succession planning within our growing Academic division and institution as a whole. The desired outcome is for deans to focus more on strategic planning while operational initiatives and day to day management of the programs will reside with associate deans and supported by program chairs, resulting in enhanced management level support and business continuity. Innovative program development, maintenance, and evaluation depends on our ability to develop and support our academic leadership, faculty, and staff.

Furthermore, the new structure addresses the conflict of faculty members supervising faculty members and exercising performance management and performance appraisal duties.
We are aligning with academic structures common in post-secondary institutions of our size and programming mix. The structure will also support the College’s Open Doors – Open Minds Strategic Plan and our academic and research priorities in the coming years.

Why is the Associate Dean Competition only open to existing Program Coordinators?

In the first round of associate dean interviewing, only current continuous program coordinators were eligible to apply because I wanted to ensure the existing coordinators who have been leading the programs for numerous years would be given the first opportunity as members of the academic leadership team. The intent of the new academic structure is not to eliminate positions for coordinators. Planning with deans ensured the number of associate dean and program chair roles are no less than the current number of program coordinator positions. In the case of vacant associate dean positions after the first round of recruitment, the posting(s) will be open to all internal BVC employees.

Who will be on the Selection Committee for Associate Deans?

The panels are comprised of at least 5 members. Required members include a dean, program coordinator, faculty (instructor), AUPE staff, and a HR business partner. Additional members of the panel may include a dean from another school/department, additional faculty, additional program coordinator, managers/business leaders, and other staff from the hiring school/department.

What measures will be taken to ensure an equitable application process and selection of the successful candidate?

The selection committees are comprised of a cross-functional panel that include HR business partners, faculty, and AUPE staff. Candidates will be recommended with supporting evidence and documentation before proceeding to a second interview with me.

What are the minimum education requirements for the Associate Dean position?

The posted minimum educational requirement for an associate dean is a master’s degree. However, as we are considering the combined educational and professional experience of current program coordinators, those who do not have a graduate credential will be eligible for the position as we transition to the new academic structure. Going forward, a master’s degree will be required for associate dean roles.

What are the next steps?

We will be finalizing associate dean candidates in the first 2 weeks of March. At that point, if there are vacant associate dean positions, postings will be made to internal Bow Valley College employees. When all associate dean positions have been filled, we will assess the program chair mix and post positions where required. If/when vacant program chair positions are posted, the first round will be open to internal Bow Valley College employees only.

I will be responding to your other questions as well in the upcoming weeks. Thank you for your patience and do email if you have any further questions about the information above.


Misheck Mwaba, PhD., P.Eng. Vice President, Academic

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