New Faces on the ACIFA Executive Committee
At the 2022 spring conference in Jasper, delegates welcomed its new President, Blair Howes. Outgoing President, Ken Heather, retired from teaching. In a newly created position of Vice President Communications, Leslie Sayer returned to the ACIFA Executive Committee. The role is aiming to increase communication pathways between ACIFA and the faculty association it represents and to bridge a knowledge divide between the business of ACIFA and individual faculty members.
Blair has been a faculty member at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) for just over 20 years teaching primarily in the plumbing and gas program in Apprenticeship Training. In his 18 years with SAIT's faculty association (SAFA), Blair has had multiple roles including being on their bargaining team, a division representative for SAFA, vice president, and for the last 5 years, President.
Blair has attended many Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) conferences including President’s Council, Senior Grievance Officer training, and most recently, Organizing 101. He considers these conferences through CAUT a must-do bucket list for any president of any faculty association.
"As this is my first year as the ACIFA President, I look forward to helping our member associations in their dealings with their own administrations, and as a united front, I look forward to making our working conditions better for ACIFA members."
Leslie has been a science teacher in the Academic Upgrading program at NorQuest College since 2000. He has served on its faculty association in many capacities including Secretary, Vice President Faculty Welfare, President (4 years), and for the last 3 years, Faculty Representative on NorQuest's Board of Governors.
Additionally, Leslie served on the ACIFA Executive in 2018 as its Executive Vice President before concluding his term as its acting President. Now, as Vice President Communications, Leslie has the daunting task of elevating ACIFA's profile to be better positioned to represent its member institutions.
To limit administrative bloat, it was decided to eliminate the under-serviced role of Vice President Negotiations, since ACIFA's LRO, Brian McColloch was effectively leading the Negotiations Advisory Committee.