Champlain Regional College
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For the college in Vermont, see Champlain College.
|Established||April 7, 1971|
|Director||J. Kenneth Robertson|
|Acting Director of Studies||Paul Kaeser|
|463 faculty (Fall 2014, all 3 campuses combined) |
|38 management, 37 professionals, 100 support staff (Fall 2014, at all 3 campuses combined with College Administration) |
|Students||5,026 Regular Day, 249 Continuing Education (Fall 2014 - at all 3 campuses combined) |
|Location||Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada|
|Campus Locations||Lennoxville, Saint-Lambert, Quebec City|
|Affiliations||CICan, CCAA, QSSF|
|Brandmark and crest images © Champlain Regional College|
Champlain Regional College, founded in 1971 and named in honour of Samuel de Champlain (the first governor of New France), is an English-language Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) with campuses located in three distinct administrative regions of Quebec: Lennoxville, Saint-Lambert, and Quebec City. The College offers post-secondary pre-university and technical DEC diploma programs as well as vocational AEC certificate programs.
The college was named after Samuel de Champlain and traces its origins to the merger of several educational institutions which became public in 1967 with the creation of Quebec's CEGEPs and the collegiate system.
Organization and administration
Champlain Regional College is composed of an Administrative Office located in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and three campuses located in different administrative regions of the province: Champlain College Lennoxville, in the Estrie (05); Champlain College Saint-Lambert, in the Montérégie (16); and Champlain College St. Lawrence, in the Capitale-Nationale (03) area of Québec City.
The Director General and Director of Studies are based at the Sherbrooke Administrative offices along with the Director of Financial Services, the Director of Material Resources, Director of Human Resources and Secretary General, Coordinator of Information Technology, and their respective staff teams.
Champlain Regional College, along with all other CEGEPs, operates under the General and Vocational Colleges Act, commonly referred to as the Colleges Act. However, despite the “Regional” in its name, Champlain Regional College is not a regional college as defined by the Act, where it only refers to the "Cégep régional de Lanaudière." Champlain College is much more centralized than de Lanaudière, and is multi-regional rather than regional.
The College is overseen by a Board of Governors composed of senior administrators, government appointed representatives of regional groups, parents, elected teaching and non-teaching personnel, current students, and alumni. Champlain has one more faculty member on the Board than other public colleges, to ensure faculty representation from each campus and account for the campuses' isolation from each other. Many members of the college community complain that their regions are underrepresented on the board, because its membership must be divided between the four locations.
The 16-member Commission of Studies, chaired by the Director of Studies, is also composed of faculty, staff and students from each teaching location plus the Sherbrooke office. 
Each campus is overseen by a Campus Director under the authority of the Director General. Each campus has administrators in charge of local management of human resources, finances, buildings and grounds, information technology, student services, registrar’s office, and continuing education, all under the Campus Director's authority but also answerable to Administrators in Sherbrooke. Occasional issues arise due to this doubling of administrative services between Sherbrooke and the Campuses.
The general college profile
The three campuses of CRC are: Champlain College Saint-Lambert, located in the Montérégie (16); Champlain College Lennoxville, in the Estrie (05); and Champlain College St. Lawrence, in the Capitale-Nationale (03) area of Québec City. As a result of their geographical differences and distinct histories, each Campus has a distinct culture with varied needs and expectations. The administrative offices for the college are located apart from the campuses in the city of Sherbrooke.
College Administrators describe the college's relationship with the Ministère de l’enseignement supérieur, recherche et science (MESRS), the Commission d’évaluation de l’enseignement collégial(CEEC), and the Fédération des cégeps as positive and respectful. A few members of the faculty and management staff actively participate in these institutions' committees, including many specifically dedicated to providing of educational services to the English speaking population.
The regional and cultural differences between the campuses have led to a debate over the value of the multi-regional structure of the college: many members of the college community argue this structure limits campuses' ability to respond as well as they might to their students' and local communities' needs, while others argue that regional diversity creates opportunities for "synergy" across multiple regions of Quebec, even though there is little interaction between the campuses due to the vast distances between them. However, some contact is facilitated by participation in college-wide bodies such as the Commission of Studies, which meets by videoconference, to save money on travel.
The St. Lambert campus is located 148 kilometres from the College's Head Office, on the border between the municipalities of Saint-Lambert and Longueuil on the South Shore of the Island of Montreal. It offers pre-university and technical DEC programs, as well as AEC programs and an extensive range of other continuing education services (including Recognition of Acquired Competencies or RAC) on and off campus. The campus is situated within Administrative Region 16 (Montérégie), which also includes six other public Francophone cégeps.
The Lennoxville campus is located only seven kilometres from head office, in the borough of Lennoxville, part of the agglomerated municipality of Sherbrooke, where it shares grounds and facilities with Bishop's University. It offers pre-university and technical DEC programs on its main campus as well as AEC programs and other continuing education services at a Sherbrooke location. The campus is situated within Administrative Region 05 (Estrie), which also includes one public Francophone cégep and one private Francophone college.
The St. Lawrence campus is located 227 kilometres from the Sherbrooke office in the borough of Ste-Foy, adjacent to the City of Québec. Originally an independent Classical College affiliated with Université Laval, this campus offers primarily pre-university DEC programs, one technical DEC program, and one AEC program. The campus is situated within Administrative Region 03 (Capitale-Nationale), which also includes three other public Francophone Cégeps and five private Francophone colleges.
Distinct culture and traditions
In part due to the regional disparity of the three campuses and the fact that the Administrative Offices are not located in the same city as any of them, each campus has, over time, developed its own distinct culture and traditions. Contributing to this is also the fact that union contracts apply to each campus rather than to the college as a whole, so that there is a separate teaching, professional and support staff union for each campus. Meetings of college-wide bodies are often held in rented space in the city of Drummondville, which is more or less equidistant from each of the three campuses and the Sherbrooke administrative offices. Communication between the campuses is rare below the management level.
Since early 2014, a movement has re-emerged among the faculty and staff of Champlain College, in favour of creating three colleges from the campuses and eliminating the Sherbrooke administration office, which they consider distant from educational realities on the campuses and detrimental to the campuses' success. This movement first appeared in the 1990s. The more recent version began at the St-Lawrence Campus, which had been an independent institution prior to the formation of CRC. There, all three unions (faculty, support staff and professionals) have been working together since early in 2014 to make their campus an independent college.
In separate General Assemblies in the Fall of 2014, the faculty union of the St-Lambert Campus took a position in favour of St-Lawrence independence, and subsequently voted to support independence for St-Lambert. In December 2014, the Fédération Nationale des Enseignantes et Enseignants du Québec (Quebec Teachers' Federation, or FNEEQ) passed a unanimous motion at its Federal Council supporting the move for campus independence. Support Staff at Champlain St-Lambert also voted to seek independence for their campus in March, 2015. This was followed in March, 2016 by unanimous support from the provincial Fédération des Employées et Employés du Secteur Publique (FEESP: Public Sector Employees Federation), Cégep sector.
In February 2015, a campaign to promote the St-Lawrence Campus' independence was officially launched with support from FNEEQ, a supporting web page, and student-created video. Teachers from St-Lambert campus traveled to Quebec City to attend the launch, stating their hope that this would also lead to independence for their own campus. A formal petition was sponsored at the Québec National Assembly by the Official Opposition Critic for Higher Education, Véronique Hivon (Parti-Québécois). The St-Lambert staff and faculty took a table and presented a petition during the "St-Lambert Days" street festival that summer. In April, the teachers' union at the Lennoxville campus passed a General Assembly motion supporting their colleagues' push for independence at the other two campuses.
College administrators officially oppose this movement, and say they consider it a matter of "deep concern". Nevertheless, after the Director of Studies resigned in November, 2014 to take a position at another college, campus autonomy arose several times at the Board of Governors due to the observed difficultly of fulfilling the role of Director of Studies in a multi-regional structure. During most of the following year, the Board of Governors unsuccessfully explored a variety of ideas for improving the structure of the academic leadership of the College while maintaining the institutional structure, and hired an outside consultant to specifically examine the Director of Studies role. This consultant's report recommended a radical decentralization of pedagogical leadership, with a separate Director of Studies for each campus. However, in a series of votes over several subsequent meetings, the Board opted instead to maintain the status quo.
At its June meeting in 2015, the Board voted 10 to 4  to reaffirm the current multi-regional structure. Notwithstanding this, at the following Board meeting, the Director General and Acting Director of Studies moved and seconded a resolution calling for the Board to request a change to the structural model used by the Cégep Régional de Lanaudière, which is much more decentralized. They then both spoke against their own motion, which was defeated, 7 to 4. The Board then suspended its review of the Director of Studies position and proceeded to work towards finding candidates for the vacant position.
The Campus independence movement continues to assert that the best change would be the elimination of the Central Administration in favour of creating three separate colleges, one per region. In April, 2016, the majority of College employees at St-Lambert and St-Lawrence campuses voted to cease participating at the Board of Governors until the College's institutional problems were resolved. The government has indicated that it is studying the matter.
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- Évaluation institutionelle, Champlain Regional College. Québec: Commission d'évaluation de l'enseignement collégial, 2004. pp 6-7)
- Convention collective, Fédération nationale des enseignantes et enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ-CSN), Annexe I-5
- http://admin.crc-sher.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/Binder-Final-Report-DS-Study-150320.pdf. page 34