EDC Community Q+As

Please continue to submit your questions here: EDC Community Conversation – Questions.

(Questions reverse-listed in order that they were received.)

17. Question: What was the reason given for the suspension, and was it valid? (realizing that there may be limitations to information you can provide)

Response: The EDC Executive (and by extension the EDC Community) have not been informed about the specific allegations that triggered the application of Policy 10. We have inquired and have asked for information, but the STLHE Board has cited their confidentiality policy (Policy 12). In their February 22, 2021 email to the STLHE and EDC listservs in response to questions and concerns from the EDC community, the STLHE Board indicated that they “will not air in public the civility concerns.” We have no additional insights about the substance of the civility complaint beyond what has been communicated to us to date by the STLHE Board.

It should also be noted that the suspension is currently being litigated and an initial hearing for Carolyn’s case was heard by the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan on January 19th, 2021. It is our understanding that all associated court documents are a matter of public record (including, presumably, the original civility complaint). The EDC Executive has not sought access to those records to date, but the process for doing so appears to be outlined here.

In addition to a lack of transparency about the substance of the complaint, the EDC Executive has significant concerns about the process that surrounded the suspension of the Chair and the fact that the STLHE Board had no mechanisms in place (and, in fact, actively refused) to communicate the suspension to the EDC and STLHE communities, both of whom were impacted by the action. This lack of transparency was shocking and created months of significant uncertainty, turmoil and additional work for the EDC Executive in what was already a highly unusual and difficult circumstance.

16. Question: Are the two situations related?

Response: The STLHE Board has consistently asserted that the two situations (the EDI Task Force concerns and the suspension of Carolyn Hoessler) are not connected. Because the civility concerns have never been shared beyond the STLHE Board, we have no way of confirming or challenging this assertion. Based on communication timelines, however, we believe that the formal civility complaint was submitted to the STLHE president after the EDC Selection Committee had sent a letter outlining their concerns to the STLHE President and the Chair of the STLHE EDI Task Force.

As was also noted by Brad Wuetherick in his post to the EDC listserv on January 31st, 2021, Policy 10 grants the STLHE President and Executive significant latitude in defining incivility. He wrote “… the (Civility) policy seems to put a huge amount of authority in the President, and Executive Committee/Board, as to defining what amounts to ‘incivility.’ This is especially true given one of the violations includes, ‘For any other reason that the Board in its sole and absolute discretion considers to be reasonable’, and that the Board’s decision is final and binding without any further right of appeal – and without any disclosure to (or review by) the membership about the appropriateness of the decisions made. I could imagine cases (though I would seriously hope that they would not arise) in which this policy might be used to silence what might be legitimate debate and dissent within the Board/Society.”

15. Question: Is there an assumption that the suspension was in some way retaliation for disagreements concerning the EDI situation?

Response: As an Executive, we have made an effort to treat the issue of the suspension as separate from that of the EDI situation because, without access to any information about the substance of the civility concerns, we cannot make assumptions about how these issues are or are not connected. That said, the impacts of both of these situations on the members of the EDC Selection Committee, the EDC Executive, including Chair Carolyn Hoessler, and the EDC Community at large have certainly been experienced as cumulative and compounding.

Read more

A Note from Your EDC Executive

One of the most challenging aspects of the ongoing situation between the EDC and the STLHE Board is that there are actually at least three unique, but interconnected, issues at play with overlapping timelines. While the EDC Executive has tried to be as transparent as possible, there have been a variety of communications and meetings about a series of issues that have converged through the October 2020 to April 2021 period. We try to bring those disparate threads together in the paragraphs that follow.

Chronologically, the first issue that was made public were the concerns expressed by the EDC Selection Committee that was tasked with choosing an EDC representative for the STLHE EDI Task Force. These concerns were initially shared via private letter to the STLHE President and the STLHE EDI Task Force Chair. When STLHE publicly announced the EDI Task Force composition, two days ahead of a scheduled meeting with the EDC Selection Committee and with no forewarning to the EDC Executive or the EDC members who had put their names forward to serve as members of the STLHE EDI Task Force, the EDC Executive released this detailed message to the listserv.

Following the release of that message, the EDC Selection Committee engaged in dialogue with the STLHE President and STLHE EDI Task Force Chair. Denise Stockley and Joy Mighty entered into an Indigenous Circle process, agreeing to pause the work of the STLHE EDI Task Force and continue to keep the Circle members informed of decisions as we worked toward a resolution of the concerns. Unfortunately, STLHE then made another public announcement via their listserv on November 24th without forewarning, that confirmed the EDI Task Force work had continued despite their promises. Their actions broke the Circle and damaged trust. This has had ongoing and exceptionally painful ramifications, particularly for Indigenous members of the EDC Selection Committee and the EDC more broadly, and is later referenced in letters and listserv posts by the Indigenous Knowledges Action Group (March 10, 2021 – a letter which was initially sent quietly to the STLHE Board on January 21, 2021, but received no acknowledgement or response) and Jennifer Ward, Tommy Mayberry and Dale Lackeyram (March 31, 2021) regarding the withdrawal of their chapter in Taking Stock 2.0. On December 14th, 2020, the EDC Executive hosted a special meeting of the EDC community to discuss and vote on the following motion: The Educational Developers Caucus officially declines participation in the STLHE EDI Task force and declares we are not represented by the current STLHE EDI Task force processes. The motion was passed and a notice was distributed to members on December 16th.

In the midst of these situations, the EDC Executive was informed that the STLHE Board had voted to suspend our EDC-member-elected Chair, Carolyn Hoessler for six months (ending April 15, 2021) under Policy 10 (Civility) of the STLHE Bylaws. STLHE refused to alert the EDC community of the suspension and no specific causes for the suspension were shared with the EDC Executive. Carolyn is seeking to overturn this decision, and the case is currently being litigated. The first court appearance took place on January 19th in Saskatchewan. The EDC Executive sent a series of communications via the listserv detailing our knowledge of this process, including notes on Jan 27th and Jan 30th. We also hosted a community conversation during the EDC 2021 Conference and a follow-up public meeting on March 3rd. We aggregated all of the questions asked by members through this period along with responses. On February 26th, a letter signed by approximately 80 EDC members was also sent to the members of the STLHE Board seeking clarity on what further information STLHE would share regarding the suspension of the EDC Chair and how they planned to rebuild trust with the EDC membership.

From the conversations at the Conference and the March 3rd meeting, an EDC Action Group has been formed to consider the future of the EDC and its relationship with STLHE. A call for members of the Action Group was shared via the listserv and the group has now begun its work. We continue to accept names for a “sounding board” group with whom the core Action Group can share their initial ideas to gather input and feedback. We anticipate that the Action Group will update the community on their progress at the EDC General Meeting (GM) typically hosted in conjunction with the STLHE conference in June. We have done our best to collect and consolidate all of the various listserv posts and key documents on the EDC website.

In ongoing solidarity and in continued action,

Educational Developers Caucus Executive

Call for Nominations for the EDC Executive – by April 19th please

Dear EDC colleagues, 

It is election time for the EDC Executive, and five (5) positions are involved:   

  1. Vice-Chair Communications (Tommy Mayberry, our current interim, is willing to stand for this position)
  2. Vice-Chair Professional Development
  3. Vice-Chair Conferences
  4. Vice-Chair Awards & Recognition
  5. Secretary

For each, the term of office is two years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms, beginning at the EDC General Meeting held in June. Regular executive meetings are online.  

The Nominations Committee would like to begin the process with an open call for nominations of individuals.  Any member of the EDC may also self-nominate. To nominate a candidate, we ask that you do the following:  

  • Check that the person is a member-in-good-standing of the EDC; 
  • Verify that person’s willingness to stand; 
  • Ensure that the person is able to attend the EDC Annual General Meeting (at the annual EDC conference, usually in late February) and the EDC General Meeting (at the STLHE conference in June); and 
  • Confirm with the individual that she/he is aware that the time and expenses associated with these meetings is the responsibility of the incumbent and that, if they think it important, they should seek institutional support for this work from their direct supervisor. 

We also note that there is a growing recognition of the financial and other challenges for EDC members to attend both the STLHE and EDC conference each year. Possible ways to alleviate financial burden include the use of technology and a modest annual travel stipend. 

Once you have confirmed that the person is willing and able to make this commitment, please email the Nominations Committee with your nomination before 4:30 pm EDT on Monday, April 19, 2021 (contact information below).  

Each candidate will then be asked to submit a photograph, short biography, and statement indicating their interest in the position (maximum 250 words) in the language(s) of his/her choice. 

Position descriptions from the By-Laws of the EDC revised June 9, 2020 (https://edc.stlhe.ca/your-edc/bylaws_elections/):

7.3.3.Vice-Chair (Communications) whose term of office shall be two years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms, and who shall be responsible for facilitating communication and coordinating a clearinghouse for information concerning educational development

7.3.4.Vice-Chair (Professional Development) whose term of office shall be two years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms, and who shall be responsible for coordinating professional development opportunities, and organizing regular meetings

7.3.5.Vice-­­Chair (Conferences) whose term of office shall be two years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms, and who shall be responsible for coordinating the annual conference process in collaboration with the conference host, the Vice-­­Chair (Professional Development), and the EDC Executive

7.3.6.Vice Chair (Awards and Recognition) whose term of office shall be two years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms, and who shall be responsible for coordinating the EDC Awards, the EDC grant program, the EDC Accreditation program and the EDC bursaries

7.3.7.Secretary whose term of office shall be two years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms, and whose duties will be to record the minutes of meetings and to maintain other records of the Caucus, including the EDC membership list, as directed by the Executive

For more information about the executive positions of the EDC caucus, visit the website at: https://edc.stlhe.ca/your-edc/executive-coordinators-2/ 

Thank you for your interest and contributions to EDC.  We look forward to hearing from you by Monday, April 19, 2021.

The EDC Nominations Committee 

EDC Spring Call Announcement

Call for EDC Grant Proposals

Looking for funding for a project that would make a difference to educational development in Canada?

Educational Developers Caucus grant proposals (between $500 to $3000) are due April 30. For more information, including the eligibility criteria, application form and peer-review rubric, visit https://edc.stlhe.ca/funding/edc-grants/

Call for EDC Grants Reviewers

Available between May 3 – 14? We are glad to have new and experienced reviewers to join us and be recognized in the list of reviewers on our website. To volunteer please email the EDC Grants Coordinator, Kyle Scholz (kwscholz@uwaterloo.ca).

Reminder that the principal investigator needs to be an EDC member. If you have any questions please email Natasha Hannon, EDC Vice-Chair, Awards and Recognition (nhannon@niagaracollege.ca).