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CAUT Bulletin Archives

Turmoil in Turkey

Like mothers throughout history, Turkish academic Elcin Aktoprak’s hopes and fears are many. Aktoprak’s country of birth is a place she no longer understands, or trusts. And she is not alone.

President’s message / The boundary work of Twitter

CAUT President, James Compton, isn't much of a fan of Twitter. But a recent tweet by McGill University did manage to grab his attention. “The views expressed by @JAndrewPotter in the @MacleansMag article do not represent those of #McGill.” In his monthly message, Compton unpacks what this tweet means for universities and academic freedom.

Book review / The death of expertise: The campaign against established knowledge and why it matters

A survey of 7,000 freshmen at colleges and universities around the country found just 6 per cent of them able to name the 13 colonies that founded the United States. Many students thought the first president was Abraham Lincoln, also known for “emaciating the slaves.” U.S. Naval War College professor and adjunct professor at the Harvard Extension School, Tom Nichols, conveys the general drift of his own assessment with the title of his new book, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Know¬ledge and Why It Matters.

Academic advisor

I have assigned ‘A’ grades to a narrow majority of students in a small, upper level class — a class populated with many bright students. The associate dean has approached me informally and suggested I reassess the evaluations to ensure that marks fall across the full spectrum of grades. Am I required to do this?

Interview / Robert Chernomas

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association was on strike for 20 days in November 2016. At the helm of their negotiating team for the seventh time was economics professor Robert Chernomas. Now president of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations, Chernomas talked with the Bulletin about the strike.

Commentary / A tighter, less welcoming Canada under C-51

Today, Canada is held up as a model of toleration, diversity and compassion. We proudly welcome Syrian refugees, and many Canadian universities have made a point of facilitating applications by students from countries on American president Donald Trump’s travel ban. While that is to be celebrated, our recent experience at the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia suggests that academics’ ideas flow less freely in Canada than they used to.

Bordering on danger

Tighter security measures at the border have many Canadian academic researchers concerned. Is the confidentiality of your data at risk?

President’s message / Dark night of the academic soul

The legitimacy of any university — its soul — resides in the autonomy and academic freedom of faculty to teach and do research as they see fit.

Using social media to engage supporters & build solidarity

In the recent strike at the University of Manitoba, social media giants Twitter and Facebook played an important mobilizing role.

Commentary / Why shouting down speakers is absolutely wrong

There are plenty of alternatives to shouting down a speaker. You can hand out information and post it online. You can stand up and turn your backs in disgust. You can ask tough questions. Free speech has a far greater likelihood of changing people’s minds.

Academic advisor

I am a Canadian citizen, heading to the United States for a conference. How can I protect my electronic devices from search and seizure at the border?

Book review / Bibliometrics and research evaluation: Uses and abuses

Bibliometrics and research evaluation: Uses and abuses by Yves Gingras

Interview / Julie Schmid

On Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of the United States. The Bulletin talked with Julie Schmid, executive director of the American Association of University Professors, about what’s at stake.

Governance on the rocks

Do academic staff today have much of a say in university & college governance?

President’s message / Through the looking glass

Corporate administrative logic has become deeply entrenched as common sense within our public universities. Battles are being fought across Canada to reassert faculty participation against top-down hierarchical models.

Commentary / Can collegiality be negotiated?

The crisis in university governance will only be brought to a better state through the active participation of faculty in existing governing structures.

Academic advisor

How does one become a member of the university board of governors?

Book review

Leading the modern university: York University’s presidents on continuity and change, 1974–2014

Interview / Jennifer Dekker

In mid-January, the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa won a court decision allowing for a review of major salary increases to two senior administrators. The APUO believes the pay hikes contravene Ontario’s executive public-sector wage freeze.