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CAUT Bulletin Archives

February 2005

Judgement Against Vancouver College

The B.C. Supreme Court last month ruled that Vancouver Community College violated the College and Institute Act by failing to consult the college's Education Council.

Madame Justice J. Allan's Jan. 19 decision said the college board, by not seeking advice first from the council, "has improperly attempted to circumvent the legislation by developing a policy that removes any input of the Education Council." She went on to term the college's action an "evisceration" of the council's advisory role.

"We took this case to court because it was such a flagrant violation of both the letter and spirit of the act," said VCC faculty association president Lizz Lindsay. "If we allowed this to go unchallenged, our administration would be emboldened to take the same unilateral action on a number of issues where they should be formally and properly consulting.

"Education councils are analogous to university senates," Lindsay added. "Colleges are becoming more and more like universities as they move into granting degrees, and there should be more consultation than the law sets out, not less."

Lindsay said the union hopes "this decision sends a clear message to VCC's administration and board, and perhaps others, to reevaluate the way they have been operating, and become supporters of both the letter and the spirit of the act."

In addition to winning its case, VCCFA was awarded its costs.