Back to top

CAUT Bulletin Archives

November 1997

Are Rising Tuition Fees Squeezing Out Students?

The harsh reality of rising tuition fees is taking its toll on post-secondary students as student debt rises and enrolments decline.

Favouring our own citizens is only logical

William Greenberg of Puerto Rico (September Bulletin) notes that Canadian universities give preference to Canadians over non-Canadians in academic hiring, a point about which Professor Irvine is silent in his much-discussed article. So he speculates that it is not affirmative action which Irvine is against, but only affirmative action for women.

Memorial web paper -- fictional account

I read with some interest Dr. Schrank's contribution to the CAUT web site entitled "Memorial University One Year Later." I cannot refute Dr. Schrank's fictional account any more than one can refute any other piece of art.

MUNFA responds to Tuinman

Dr. Schrank's paper is a serious account and reasonable interpretation of what happened during MUNFA's last round of negotiations in 1995 and what has happened at Memorial since then. It is not surprising that Dr. Jaap Tuinman, Vice-President (Academic) and Pro Vice-Chancellor, does not like the interpretation, since the actions of the senior administration of Memorial are seen therein to be misguided and ineffectual.

CAUT Lobbies Over Changes to CPP

In late September, the federal government tabled Bill C-2 to amend the Canada Pension Plan Act. The bill proposes a wide range of changes to the CPP.

The Subtleties of Silence Can Be Deafening

"You are silencing me." This vague rhetoric is infinitely adaptable. It can be used both to challenge oppression and to perpetrate it.

The Goal of a University Not Easily Captured by PIs

Canada's social and economic well-being depends on a broadly accessible system of higher education. Canadians have therefore shown a strong historic commitment to a well-funded system of public higher education. Universities must be accountable for the use of public funds. Accountability, we say, requires that public universities and community colleges, like any public institution, should be able to say what their goals and mission are, and whether or not their funding and staff are adequate to fulfil those goals and that mission. Accountability thus requires judgements -- judgements that no statistic could replace.

If Performance Indicators Are Imposed on You

This checklist gives information useful in discussing, negotiating, and (if need be) fighting against performance indicators (PIs); and advice on actions you can take when discussing, negotiating, and dispensing with PIs.

PIs in University Libraries

Librarians and libraries have concerned themselves with Performance Indicators for many decades. We have not always used this term but we have long been interested in measuring and evaluating what we do. We collect statistics which we have long believed describe both what we do and how well we do it. Until recently, we have not really had to ask ourselves what all these numbers really mean. Do they have any meaning at all?

New Contract Language on PIs at Queen's University

The 1997-1999 collective agreement for faculty at Queen's University is likely the first Canadian university contract to include an article about performance indicators.

CAUT's Policy Statement on Performance Indicators

In November 1996 CAUT Council approved a policy statement on PIs. Excerpts are highlighted below. The complete document is available at

UNB Initiative Guarantees Involvement of Both Parties

The faculty and administration of the University of New Brunswick have taken a positive step towards arriving at performance indicators following the last round of negotiations. Rather than forcing employees to react to the imposition of indicators by an employer, the UNB initiative ensures that both parties are involved on an equal footing, and that any measures of public accountability are customized to the particular mission of the university.

Can Universities Tolerate Religion?

These books may one day be regarded as part of the beginning of a truly profound reassessment of the assumptions on which the modern university, and indeed most current intellectual discourse, are based. The appearance of The Soul of the American University elicited sharply divergent reactions in a wide variety of publications, but all reviewers agreed that the issues raised by Marsden were serious and fundamental. Together with the works of other scholars, such as Yale law professor Stephen Carter, whose The Culture of Disbelief appeared in 1993, these books place squarely on the academic agenda the issue of the role of religious belief in scholarship and public life. Given current debates about inclusivity and diversity in the university they have particular salience.

If Only Fish Could Talk

The article entitled "Battle Over Fisheries Policy" by Matthew Kerby (Bulletin, September) and recent coverage of the issue by the Canadian media, call for a more analytical and objective discussion of this complex subject.

Financial Exigency Averted at Algoma University College

At the time of writing, it appears certain Algoma University College in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario will not declare financial exigency and will not proceed with layoffs of members of the faculty bargaining unit. An investigative committee struck under the collective agreement following the board's declaration of intent to declare financial exigency on Sept. 30 found no bona fide state of financial exigency exists at the college, notwithstanding the considerable challenges posed by a current operating deficit of about five per cent of the total budget. The senate ratified the committee's finding on Oct. 29 and the board met the next day to receive the report and its findings along with the ratification of senate.