The University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing operates its Regina campus from this building at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Lewvan Drive. A vote of no confidence in the college’s management team was voted on Friday. (Google Maps – image credit)

A vote of no confidence in the leadership team at the University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing passed on Friday.

An agenda obtained by Radio-Canada shows faculty frustrations with decisions made by team members, with the closing of the college campus in Regina being the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The vote was not unanimous but was supported by a majority of the faculty, with 51 votes of no confidence, 20 votes against the motion and five abstentions.

The vote of no confidence is symbolic, according to Sina Adl, a University of Saskatchewan professor and grievance officer for the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association (USFA), who represented the union as an observer. in the vote of no confidence.

Adl said the vote is nonetheless “meaningful” because it serves as evidence that leadership change is needed.

“The college decided that the training of nurses could no longer be done safely, and we were worried about patient safety,” he said in an interview with Radio-Canada on Sunday.

He said the college was short of at least 31 faculty members to teach the program.

“Just over half of the teachers are missing. They were never replaced,” he said, adding that exhaustion played a big role in some of their departures.

He said current faculty also feel “exhausted from having to handle two and a half times the teaching workload and at least twice the administrative workload”.

Closure of the Regina campus

The U of S announced in late January that it would wind down operations at its Regina campus. According to the college of nursing, 57 students have been accepted to campus for the 2021-22 academic year. No students will be accepted this fall or beyond.

Additionally, nursing spots that have been set aside for Regina students will now be redistributed to rural and northern communities, to give students there easier access to nursing education, according to the college. This includes 18 planned places at a new campus in Lloydminster.

Faculty said decision to close Regina campus and seat redistribution plan will influence future of Saskatchewan College of Nursing and Nursing Education, notice of motion for vote of no confidence says included on the meeting agenda.

“We are and continue to be troubled by the lack of consideration for the consequences of decisions made not only for our colleagues, staff and students in Regina, but for all sites,” the notice reads.

“A crisis point for faculty”

In the notice, faculty also noted a lack of consultation and that no plan was presented to them to accommodate increased student numbers at other clinical sites.

“These recent decisions represent a crisis point for faculty, in a long line of troubling governance failures,” the faculty wrote in the notice.

These failures, according to the notice, include the lack of tenure-track faculty hired over the past four years, an increase in teaching loads and class sizes, reductions in clinical training time, and concerns increasing awareness of patient safety in clinical training.

The quality of students’ education is a “serious concern”, according to the notice.

“Faculty instructors report that students are graduating without adequate preparation for practice,” the notice reads.

It’s time to “start fresh”

The professors said in the notice that they were working directly with U of S Provost Airini (who uses a name) and had been promised new meetings and more instructor support, but none of the promises were not kept.

It’s time to “start from scratch” with a new management team and a new structure, according to the opinion.

“This is an important insight into the concerns that have accumulated and the importance of working together to elevate education led by the USask College of Nursing,” Airini wrote in a statement Saturday.

The statement said Dr. Solina Richter, dean of the College of Nursing, has the “full support” of the university.

“A change like this is difficult,” the statement added. “Concerns spanning more than a decade have been raised by many professors in the College of Nursing.

“In her first six months as Dean, Dr. Solina Richter has been actively engaged in listening to these concerns and initiating several key actions to move the college forward and unify it. This will take time.”

CBC News reached out to members of the management team and Airini for comment, but did not immediately respond.