Academic Librarians and Academic Governance

New workload policies awarded by Teplitsky in our last round of negotiations with UT Administration is initiating a series of meetings across the three campuses (see earlier blog of dates and locations) beginning this week at UTM and the Provostial Advisory Group on Academic Planning has started to meet. Both workload and academic planning raise important issues concerning UT librarians’ roles at the University of Toronto.

At the core of defining an academic workload policy and participating in academic planning are principles of academic freedom and academic governance. It seems timely to review CAUT’s statements on the role of academic librarianship with respect to these two principles.

Academic governance

As academic staff, librarians have both a right and a duty to participate in collegial governance of the academic institution. They must therefore be eligible to serve as elected or appointed members on all governing councils and committees. Though the chief librarian may serve in an ex-officio capacity, all librarians should be eligible to serve as elected members of the senate, or equivalent body, and its committees. All governance bodies, including but not limited to Councils and departmental and divisional committees, must provide for the effective participation of librarians.

Librarians should be represented on any committee whose mandate includes any aspect of the operation of the academic library system or whose decisions affect access to information resources used in teaching, scholarship and research.

All librarians should be members of a library council. The library council should have the responsibility for the development of policies and procedures for the operation of the library. As with faculty councils, discussion at the library council should include any issue which has an impact on librarians, the library, or the academic institution as a whole. The library council should be empowered to make recommendations on such issues to the relevant body. The library council should be responsible in turn to the institution’s senior academic body or its equivalent. The mandate and structure of the library council should be negotiated and defined in relevant collective agreements.

Where departments or divisions exist within the library or library networks, all librarians should have a role in the development of departmental and divisional policies and procedures.

Librarians have the right to participate as members of search and appointment committees for all administrative and professional positions in the library.

Academic staff associations must negotiate workload provisions in collective agreements or terms of employment that enable librarians to determine and arrange their own workload.

Approved by the CAUT Council, October 1993;Revised April 2002 and May 2004;Editorial revisions September 2010.

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