Primary responsibilities of the portfolio include:
• Strategic involvement in collective bargaining and associated processes, in concert with the Director of Faculty Relations, and in resolving complaints, grievances, and other matters arising from collective agreements or policies; and working collaboratively with leaders in a multi-campus environment;
• Strategic oversight of processes related to, and review of recommendations from Faculties/Schools on files in support of, the recruitment, appointment, promotion and tenure, and all types of leave, for academic staff and instructors; supporting academic units and Faculty Relations in the recruitment, retention and career development of academic staff; and coordinating the formation of search and review committees for Deans and the University Librarian;
• Leadership in establishing and maintaining an academic staff/instructor complement plan for the academic envelope; and
• Leadership in ensuring a comprehensive career and professional development program for all academic staff, instructors, and academic leaders, including Deans, Chairs and Directors.
Mr. Cooper holds a faculty appointment as associate professor in the Environmental Studies Program in the Division of Social Science at Grenfell Campus.
Before being appointed Associate Vice-President (Academic) Faculty Affairs, Mr. Cooper held the position of director of Faculty Relations at Memorial from April 2008. His core responsibilities in that role include leadership in the collective bargaining process for all academic collective agreements; day-to-day administration of all academic collective agreements and maintaining working relationships with union leadership; providing advice to academic administrators on all matters involving the recruitment, appointment, promotion and tenure of faculty members and on university policies as they pertain to faculty members; and managing the operations of the Office of Faculty Relations.
Mr. Cooper has been active in the local community throughout his career and he currently holds a position as executive member of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador (past president), having served eight years as an elected bencher of the Law Society.
Prior to his appointment at Memorial, Mr. Cooper was a partner with McInnes Cooper in the firm’s employment and labour group where he had responsibility for all aspects of employment and labour law, including advocacy before administrative tribunals courts, collective bargaining support and tactical and strategic advice to corporations.
Mr. Cooper has held positions as vice-chair and chair of the Labour Relations Board with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for a combined period of five years.
From 1994-2001, he held the appointment of assistant professor at Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration. Mr. Cooper has also been a per course instructor for Business since 2001.
He holds a bachelor of commerce (honours) from Memorial, a master of industrial relations from the University of Toronto and a bachelor of laws from Dalhousie.