June 1999 CAUT Deplores Final Expert Panel Report A government report is recommending that faculty and student researchers be stripped of ownership of any intellectual property they produce and their discoveries and inventions turned over to the private sector. Top Scientist to Lead Off Conference Professor Ursula Franklin, one of Canada's most distinguished scientists, will be the keynote speaker at the opening of CAUT's conference, "Universities and Colleges in the Public Interest: Stopping the Commercial Takeover of Post-Secondary Education." Conference Examines Academic Freedom in Medical Schools The conference "Academic Values in the Transformation of American Medicine," sponsored by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and held last month in Boston, raised a host of problems affecting medicine practiced in universities and teaching hospitals. A panel discussion on "Corporate Funding and the Implications for Medical Research" was presented by Dr. Nancy Olivieri and CAUT president Bill Graham. The vast majority of the speakers denounced managed care in the United States, arguing that the advance of managed care (both the for-profit and the not-for-profit varieties) was in large measure responsible for driving academic medical centers into financial crises, mergers and bankruptcies. A number of academic medical centers have been sold to private operators and to nonprofit medical chains. Another factor was the effects of the federal Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Promotion Foul Play at UCCB Faculty at the University College of Cape Breton are vowing to take two outstanding grievances to the bargaining table after the administration unexpectedly withdrew agreement for an arbitration to decide the merits of a tenure appeal. Arbitrator's Ruling Finds Discrimination in Parental Leave Case Recently, an Ontario decision found that treating biological and adoptive parents differently is discriminatory and in contravention of the Ontario Human Rights Code. The decision serves notice to both employers and unions to carefully review their collective agreement parental leave provisions. Brown University Protects Company, Fires Researcher Delegates at the "Academic Values in the Transformation of American Medicine" conference sponsored by the American Association of University Professors last month in Boston grappled with the latest developments in the scandal at Brown University and the case of David Kern. Like the Nancy Olivieri case closer to home, Kern is an American casualty in the fight for research integrity. Growing Commercial Pressures Endanger Academic Freedom & University Autonomy A report prepared recently by a committee of the Prime Minister's Advisory Council on Science and Technology is urging the federal government to make universities far more commercial. The recommendations pose serious threats to university autonomy and academic freedom. The Council's Expert Panel on the Commercialization of University Research, which tabled the report on May 4, 1999, suggests a plan that could eventually make the campus an extension of industry. Australian Budget a Cruel Blow to Profs The Australian government tabled what it claimed was an "education budget" in May, but it was quickly given a failing grade by university teachers. Academic Staff in the UK Take Action to Restore Salary Levels The one-day strike by university staff to improve pay levels in the UK last month is only the beginning warns the nation's Association of University Teachers. AUS Opposes NZ's Research Plans New Zealand's Association of University Staff (AUS) is accusing the new Minister for Tertiary Education, Max Bradford, of having a one-dimensional view of post-secondary education. Days of Fiscal Restraint Not Over by a Long Shot Tax cuts and increased spending for health and education were the common themes echoed by provincial finance ministers in budgets tabled this spring. But those who think the days of fiscal restraint are over should think again. The UN's Culture of Peace One of the thematic debates held at the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in Paris in October 1998, was 'Promoting a Culture of Peace.' Link Severed Between Paper Economy & Real Economy Even the most cursory reading of the business pages of any mainstream newspaper would give one the impression that Canada's economy is suffering a split personality. In this bifurcated world, the realm of money and finance has enjoyed unprecedented revenues, profits, and, most importantly, political influence. Stock market records have been shattered, bank profits have ballooned, and the sales of mutual funds and derivatives have reached heights unthinkable just a few years ago. Western Premiers Want Funding Restored Canada's Western premiers and territorial leaders were unanimous in their economic call-to-arms for the restoration of the missing $3.7 billion in federal transfer payments at their annual conference last month. Following close on the heels of Martin's recent largesse which restored $2.5 billion to the health care system the leaders made it evident obtaining federal funds for post-secondary education was now a priority.