EDC Community Q+As

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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.

14. Question: As an EDC member, I would like to continue to support EDC through my membership, but in order to do so, I must be an STLHE member. At the moment, I do not feel comfortable engaging in an STLHE membership given current events. Is there an opportunity for individuals to be EDC members without being STLHE members?

Response: Under current by-laws, paid EDC Members must be STLHE Members, too. While some activities in the EDC are restricted to EDC Members, there are quite a few opportunities for the EDC Community to engage without a paid Membership. Please see: https://edc.stlhe.ca/edc-members/

Please note: A new action group was called during the AGM to explore options; those interested in participating, please contact the EDC Executive (edc_communications@stlhe.ca) – this will be an EDC Member-led Action Group.

13. Question: Are there any processes/bylaws currently in place that enable EDC to separate cleanly from STLHE?

Response: EDC Executive verbally responded to this question during the AGM on Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – please see AGM recording.

12.Question: Are we giving the STLHE Board equal space to make a statement at the AGM?

Response: STLHE has full authority and autonomy to call meetings of its membership; STLHE members also have the ability to call Special Meetings, as per STLHE by-laws. The EDC AGM was 45 minutes in total, which was our time to complete official business, to answer your EDC Community’s questions, and to hear from Carolyn, whom the EDC Executive invited to speak. Please see the AGM recording (to be uploaded) for more discussion on this by EDC Past-Chair, Erika Kustra.

11. Question: Honestly, I’d like to be able to see the questions being posed by my peers.

Response: The EDC Executive have committed to making public and transparent all questions we receive, and we will do so here.

10. Question: Is there something I (we) can do to support you, Carolyn?

Response: Please see Carolyn’s statement in the AGM recording (to be uploaded), and please reach out to Carolyn directly (email@carolynhoessler.ca)

9. Question: Carolyn, how can the community best support you?

Response: Please see Carolyn’s statement in the AGM recording (to be uploaded), and please reach out to Carolyn directly (email@carolynhoessler.ca)

8. Question: Why is Carolyn’s name, picture, title, and EDC representation of us from June 2020-June 2022 still on the STLHE Board of Directors listing and still noting public-facing that “As a member of the STLHE Board, the EDC Chair is an advocate for the Caucus by informing and updating the Board, members of the Society, and others beyond the Society on faculty development activities and special initiatives of the EDC” if the STLHE Board has suspended and has upheld that suspension?

Response: This question was sent to the STLHE Board by EDC Secretary on Friday, February 19th, 2021 at 10:59am Eastern. STLHE’s confirmation of receipt of the questions was shared with the EDC Listserv by EDC Vice-Chair, Communications on Friday, February 19th, 2021 at 2:33pm Eastern.

7. Question: I would like to put a motion forward to separate from STLHE. I can also put this in the chat at the AGM, but not sure if you want this brought forward in this document or if I should do so at the meeting itself.

Response: EDC Past-Chair, Erika Kustra, verbally responded to this question during the AGM on Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – please see AGM recording.

Please note: A new action group was called during the AGM to explore options; those interested in participating, please contact the EDC Executive (edc_communications@stlhe.ca) – this will be an EDC Member-led Action Group.

6. Question: How is STLHE paying for their legal fees? eg. are they using EDC membership fees to pay for legal action against the EDC Chair who EDC members have faith in and have elected through a fair and democratic process following EDC bylaws? If STLHE is using EDC monies, how can we put a stop to this?

Response: This question was sent to the STLHE Board by EDC Secretary on Friday, February 19th, 2021 at 10:59am Eastern. STLHE’s confirmation of receipt of the questions was shared with the EDC Listserv by EDC Vice-Chair, Communications on Friday, February 19th, 2021 at 2:33pm Eastern.

5. Question: Putting aside – but not ignoring what has been happening with STLHE and EDC. It seems that the EDC might need a different space or opportunity to grow and continue to evolve. Will the EDC consider separating from STLHE and becoming a more independent organization that can more astutely and readily represent the evolving field of educational development?

Response: EDC Past-Chair, Erika Kustra, verbally responded to this question during the AGM on Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – please see AGM recording.

Please note: A new action group was called during the AGM to explore options; those interested in participating, please contact the EDC Executive (edc_communications@stlhe.ca) – this will be an EDC Member-led Action Group.

4. Question: No need to write to me individually to answer these questions if they are not addressed during the meeting. My questions are mostly procedural: I think it’s clear to me that STLHE is using a particular bylaw to suspend the EDC chair and the events that led up to that. At this point I want to know 1) what processes, procedures, policies, bylaws, etc. are in place for the EDC executive to dispute this process, if any 2) what process the EDC executive proposes going forward (leaving aside the legal actions–I’m more interested in the short term of how the EDC will continue to function as it has in the past, for instance by offering grants, hosting conferences, etc.) 3) an opportunity for EDC members beyond the executive to discuss any potential plans to use their STLHE membership to effect change (e.g. by challenging bylaws, using existing bylaws to challenge the process/decisions, challenging authority of STLHE executive, etc.)

Response: EDC Executive (1 – Mandy on by-laws; 2 – Jenn on budget; 3 – Natasha on functioning) verbally responded to these questions during the AGM on Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – please see AGM recording.

3. Question: As a relatively new member of EDC and STLHE, I am concerned that there seem to be multiple breakdowns in communication happening between the executive/board of these two groups. I find both organizations helpful and productive to my development within my role and the strain between the two is confusing as an early-career member. Because of the nature of the conflicts, I never feel I have enough information to fully understand the issue/process or to determine what the best way forward might be. That explanatory preamble was very much not a question (I’m sorry!), but my question is: what are some potential productive outcomes pertaining to these issues between EDC and STLHE, keeping members in mind? What is the executive doing to try and mend relationships or move forward? Thank you!

Response: EDC Past-Chair, Erika Kustra, verbally responded to these questions during the AGM on Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – please see AGM recording.

2. Question: Communication regarding the recent friction between EDC and STLHE should have been communicated to EDC members directly and members should have been notified of the suspension of the EDC Chair immediately. Transparency is currently lacking and EDC membership is entitled to more accountability than we have experienced in the past few months. What is the communication plan going forward to change this and to keep members informed of developments?

Response: EDC Vice-Chair, Communications, Tommy Mayberry, verbally responded to this question during the AGM on Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – please see AGM recording.

1. Question: Is it time to consider separating formally from STLHE, and if so, how would that work? What would the implications of that be for the organization and its members?

Response: EDC Past-Chair, Erika Kustra, verbally responded to this question during the AGM on Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – please see AGM recording.

Please note: A new action group was called during the AGM to explore options; those interested in participating, please contact the EDC Executive (edc_communications@stlhe.ca) – this will be an EDC Member-led Action Group.


Earlier, there was a request of the EDC Executive to share more details, and the EDC Vice-Chair, Communications shared the following timelinehttps://edc.stlhe.ca/2021/01/30/more-information-and-timeline-of-events-to-date/