Information for prospective MacEwan employees ...

So, you're interested in working at MacEwan, or you already are. Here are some things you should know.


As a college, the instructional assignment was 5:5 (five three-hour-per-week courses per term; ten in an academic year)

As a university, the Faculty Association negotiated the normal instructional assignment to 5:4 (Amazing, aren't they!)
The Dean of each Faculty has a number of workload adjustments to assist those faculty conducting research.
The lowest possible instructional assignment is 3:3.

  • The discretion of who gets a reduced instructional assignment lies completely with your Chair and Dean. Cronyism is common.
  • If more faculty want to do research, they do it on their time.
  • If budgets are tight, fewer faculty get reduced instructional assignments. If budgets are very tight, the number of reductions could approach zero.
  • If you want to start doing research, you will not get a reduced instructional assignment until you have shown yourself productive in research. So expect to be doing research while teaching 5:4 for a few years, or longer.

At other teaching-focused universities, the normal instructional assignment is 3:3, with research adjustments to as low as 1:1.

And you have the amazing MacEwan Faculty Association to thank for this. A Faculty Association that would rather maintain their "positive working relationship" with Administration rather than represent their members, both individually and collectively.

Why? MacEwan was mandated to give faculty the opportunity to engage in research by Campus Alberta Quality Council (CAQC). When I started at MacEwan in 2003, research was a four-letter word. As MacEwan transformed to a university, administration gave lip-service to the CAQC mandate, but as noted above, negotiated control of who conducts research and how much research occurs. To this day, MacEwan Administration is desperate to retain absolute control over everything that occurs at MacEwan — this is not how a university operates. 

Another example. As a college, MacEwan offerred three to five sabbaticals per year (to around 800 eligible faculty). As a university, the Faculty Association negotiated that faculty are entitled to apply for a sabbatical every seven years. Great! However, I (and others ) pleaded with the Faculty Association to negotiate a ramped increase to the sabbatical budget so that at least fifty sabbaticals were available per year. Nope. Now, over 1000 eligible faculty — about 150 per year — compete for the same three to five sabbaticals. Another shining example of how the MacEwan Faculty Association fails its members.


MacEwan Administration operates as a autocracy or dictatorship. Independent thought and dissension are not tolerated. You are expected to do whatever senior administration says, and that could include actions that violate ethics, human rights, policies, and laws. 

A quintessential Old Boy's Club with gang mentality.

If you get caught violating these, you will be publicly defended (a MacEwan Administrator can do no wrong) but ultimately removed from your position in a way that does not appear to be disciplinary. (If it follows the Higgins and Sullivan process, you will even get a full year paid sabbatical!) You are paid equivalent or better than comparable institutions, but for it you give up your freedom and your morals. 

Among senior MacEwan Administrators, there is a near-constant power struggle.