FPSE Statement on Resignation of Selina Robinson

For Immediate Release
February 5, 2024


The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC (FPSE) was pleased to see Premier Eby accept Selina Robinson’s resignation from her position as Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills today. We thank Ms. Robinson for her service to the province and hope she fulfils the commitments she made in her second apology.

Over the past days, it became clear that Ms. Robinson had lost the confidence of the post-‍secondary education sector. We maintain our position that Ms. Robinson’s interference in the employment relationship between a faculty member and her institution damaged that relationship beyond repair and betrayed the trust of our members. We believe the former Minister allowed her personal politics to cloud her judgement and undermine the autonomy of colleges and universities in BC—all in the service of ensuring a faculty member was terminated. We were, therefore, perplexed to hear the Premier repeat his claim that Ms. Robinson was not involved in the termination of our member by Langara College.

On January 25, the former Minister used her X account to call for the termination of our member, who was subsequently fired by Langara College less than 24 hours later. By Ms. Robinson’s own admission, she met with Langara College leadership to raise concerns about our member. We are also aware that the Ministry was in possession of sensitive information from our member’s personnel file, namely the fact that she had been issued a letter of expectation. Furthermore, the Ministry seemed to have advance knowledge of the rationale for the termination the day before it occurred. The details to which the Ministry was privy could have come only from Langara College. We have asked Langara College three separate times, including during the termination meeting, to assure us that no personnel details were shared with the Ministry, but we have yet to receive a response. One of these requests was made directly of Langara College President Dr. Paula Burns via an email explicitly asking for assurance on this matter. Now that Ms. Robinson has stepped down, we will focus our attention on ensuring that Langara College is held accountable for their role in this abuse of power. We will also continue to work with our national partners at the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) to ensure our members’ rights to freedom of expression and academic freedom are respected.

We look forward to working with Minister Brenda Bailey to ensure a vibrant and autonomous college and university sector in BC. While former Minister Robinson’s intrusion into Langara College’s internal affairs was unprecedented, concerns about government intrusion are not new to our sector. We are keen to engage in a much wider dialogue with government on this issue so that we can collectively build and maintain the best possible system of post-‍secondary education for British Columbians.

For more information, please see the following documents:

Media inquiries: 
Michael Conlon, Executive Director, FPSE 
604.873.8988, ext. 109 


About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 19 public and 5 private sector institutions.