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UWOFA concerned about implications of Brescia/Western merger

September 25th, 2023


LONDON, September 25, 2023 – The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) has significant concerns about the announcement, made last week, that Brescia University College will integrate with Western University, beginning in May 2024. 

UWOFA stands in solidarity with staff, faculty and students at Brescia who were blindsided by this news and deserve far better from the University.

“We are appalled that this decision was made without consulting either Brescia’s Faculty Association or UWOFA, despite the clear implications for members of both Unions,” said UWOFA President Rachel Heydon. “We were additionally disappointed not to be informed directly by Western’s administration before a public announcement was made. Further, even now we have not had any member of Western administration get in touch with UWOFA to invite discussion. UWOFA has been left completely out of the loop despite Collective Agreement requirements for collegial governance.” 

There are many significant implications of this proposed integration for Western and Brescia faculty, librarians and archivists, and UWOFA members are troubled by the extremely limited information available at this point. 

“Because our Unions have both the duty and the long-standing practice of looking after people’s livelihood, our Associations and other employee groups at Western and Brescia should have been involved with these talks from the outset and not informed as an afterthought,” said Heydon. “It is we who care for our people — our corporate Employers manifestly do not.” 

UWOFA is investigating answers to a range of questions, including Western’s plans for Brescia’s assets and resources as well as the logistics and implications of its promise to hire Brescia faculty and staff. UWOFA calls on the University to engage meaningfully with UWOFA and the Brescia Faculty Association on any developments related to this potential integration of campuses, in line with collegial governance rules.

“Collegial governance is a prerequisite for academic freedom; UWOFA is a vigorous defender of both,” said Heydon. 

UWOFA represents over 1600 Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty, Academic Librarians and Archivists.

For more information contact: UWOFA Communications Officer, Maram Hijazi, 519-661-3016,