Nova Scotia

Cape Breton University hiring more faculty as it looks to grow enrolment

The school's faculty association says it welcomes the news, but wishes it had been consulted before it was announced.

University adding 58 positions to meet program demands

Cape Breton University is seen in this photo. The school plans to hire 58 new faculty members. (Matthew Moore/CBC)

Cape Breton University plans to add new staff as part of a plan to boost its student population.

University president David Dingwall said 58 faculty members will be hired following an initial review of the school's programs and enrolment. 

"It became clear that immediate investments in faculty hires are required in some program areas to ensure we maintain a quality student experience and meet program demand," Dingwall said Monday in a video posted on the university's website.

CBU is expected to hire for positions leading to tenure, along with work terms lasting at least 12 months.

The university's Shannon School of Business will add 22 positions, while its nursing program will get 10 additional faculty members. The other new positions will be spread over the departments of science, arts, education and health. 

Union says consultation lacking

Calvin Howley, president of the Cape Breton University Faculty Association, said he learned about the new positions while watching Dingwall's end-of-term address online.

Howley said new employees are welcomed, although the union was disappointed in how the news was delivered.

"The faculty association learns about these things after the fact, after they've been decided," Howley said. "And as far as running a university, I feel that's probably not the best way."

CBU president David Dingwall is seen in a file photo. Dingwall announced the new hires during an end-of-term address to the CBU community on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. (Matthew Moore/CBC)

It is unclear when the new positions will be filled. Dingwall declined an interview request by CBC News.

Howley said the union has been trying to discuss hiring practices with CBU administration, but there haven't been any "meaningful engagements with the faculty association on that."

"I'm going under the assumption that the employer is probably planning on discussing, I guess, this topic in the next round of collective bargaining, which will start in the summer," said Howley.

COVID-19 case on campus

During Monday's announcement, Dingwall also said a positive COVID-19 case was identified at the CBU campus on Dec. 7.

Meetings will now be moved online, unless considered absolutely necessary to be held in person.

Previously scheduled CBU events are cancelled, as well as any holiday gatherings on or off campus. The university has also cancelled in-person exams.

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