April 2006 USFA Challenges Saskatchewan’s Closure of Extension Division The faculty association at the University of Saskatchewan has filed an unfair labour practice charge against the university, accusing the administration of closing the university’s almost century-old extension division so as to be able to hire non-faculty “professional staff” for outreach and continuing education programs, in violation of the collective agreement with the faculty association. Appeals Court Allows Suit against York President The Ontario Court of Appeal has opened the door to York University president Lorna Marsden being sued for misfeasance in public office. Joy of ‘Ageism’ Compulsory retirement at age 65 was one of the best things that ever happened to me during my academic life. I am now financially free (pensioned) to follow the intellectual topics that intrigue me. My publication rate has increased over the past 10 years, based on data collected both before and after retirement. I teach only when I want to and get paid fees (not salary), from which I can deduct the costs of my home office before taxation. I have a university e-mail account, library privileges and access to other campus facilities. Academics Take Action at UK Universities Academic staff in the United Kingdom are leaving coursework unmarked, cancelling lectures and seminars and refusing to supervise exams in a coordinated effort to pressure employers into ending a bitter pay dispute. April 28: National Day of Mourning More than 20 years ago the Canadian Labour Congress declared April 28 a National Day of Mourning for workers injured or killed on the job. Every year since, unions, labour councils, families and community partners gather by the thousands to ‘mourn for the dead.’ What began through the efforts of Canada’s labour movement is now observed in more than 100 countries. Taking Action against Homophobia Every week I read the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Contact newsletter. In early March I was pleasantly surprised to read an article reporting that a colleague at St. Francis Xavier University, Chris Frazer, had organized a rally in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, to protest a recent homophobic attack in the town. I wanted to know more, so I contacted Chris. Apparently this is the third such attack in the last 12 months. We Need Answers on Domestic Spying Canadians making, sending and receiving phone calls, faxes and emails in and out of the country should pay close attention to recent media reports on a mass domestic spying program in the United States. Academic Freedom Ruling Upheld at UBC The B.C. Labour Relations Board has upheld an arbitrator’s ruling that the University of British Columbia cannot require a professor to relinquish copyright ownership in her course material. Binding Arbitration to Settle Ontario College Contract Ontario’s 9,100 striking community college teachers returned to the classroom March 27 after the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and college administrators reached an agreement to have outstanding issues resolved through voluntary binding arbitration. UPEI, Academic Staff Reach Agreement to End Strike A 16-day strike by academic staff at the University of Prince Edward Island is over, with both sides agreeing April 5 to a tentative agreement that was ratified later the same day by a 98 per cent majority. Court Upholds Ruling that UBC President Acted Unreasonably Lance Rucker’s department head and dean thought he should be promoted to full professor. So did the university’s senior appointments committee, a labour arbitrator and the provincial Labour Relations Board. Now, the B.C. Supreme Court agrees as well, leaving university president Martha Piper out in the cold. Provincial Budgets Offer Mixed Bag for Education Four provincial budgets tabled in March served up mixed offerings for post-secondary education. The Eclipse of Academic Freedom: Coalition Fights to Protect Free Speech Free Exchange on Campus, a broad coalition of student, faculty and civil liberty groups in the United States, has launched a campaign to oppose the so-called “Academic Bill of Rights.” CAUT Survey Shows PSE Gender Inequity Widespread Women are still seriously under-represented in the academic workforce, less likely to have tenure, more likely to hold part-time and limited-term appointments, as well as earn less money. SFU Senate Approves Private Prep College Simon Fraser University has approved a controversial deal with Australian-based IBT Education Limited to establish a for-profit preparatory college for international students at its Burnaby campus — the first of its kind in Canada.