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CAUT Bulletin Archives

November 1999

Fall Conference Exposes Commercialism Trend

Ursula Franklin cautioned the 150 participants at CAUT's October conference, "Universities and Colleges in the Public Interest," that commercialization is moving Canada's post-secondary educational system away from a commitment to public usefulness and away from its primary purpose "to equip the young with the knowledge, skills, insights and critical abilities to cope with the future."

Throne Speech Lacks Vision

CAUT has expressed disappointment that last month's throne speech provided so little for post-secondary education. "It presented a surprisingly modest vision for the next century," said CAUT president Bill Graham, "a vision that does not seem to include repairing the damage to Canada's ailing post-secondary education system."

Contract Staff Initiatives

CAUT has made part-time and other contract academic staff an important priority. In addition to creating a new subcommittee on contract academic staff, CAUT is hiring a new professional officer whose job will be to work with local associations in organizing contract academic staff.

Reader challenges 'women only' job advertisement

Jim Turk, executive director of CAUT, assured me on more than one occasion that CAUT would follow its published policies with respect to publishing the discriminatory job ad from the psychology department at Wilfrid Laurier University in the CAUT Bulletin. By publishing this ad, CAUT has violated its own policies which state:

Ad's 'political agenda' draws opposition

Like most job ads, the one placed in the September issue of the Bulletin by the University of Toronto's Institute for Women's Studies and Gender Studies calls for expertise in a number of special fields, including Indigenous Women's Issues. There the similarity ends, for the ad goes on to state the "capacity to teach feminist methods and a record of community involvement would be assets" and "the successful candidate will bring a feminist and anti-racist perspective" to one or more of the specified fields.

Federal Civil Servants Win Pay Equity Battle

Federal civil servants were jubilant last month when Mr. Justice Evans of the Federal Court (Trial Division) ruled against the federal government's attempt to evade pay equity.

Bishop's Faculty Launch Job Action

Faced first with a refusal to negotiate by the administration and then with the lowest of salary offers, the Association of Professors of Bishop's University has approved a policy of non cooperation and job action to take effect immediately.

Higher Education Unions Plan Pro-Active Agenda

Eighty representatives of 24 national higher education or research-specific unions met in Budapest September 23-25, 1999 for the second international conference on higher education and research organized by Educational International. Created in 1993, EI is now the world's largest educators' federation representing 23 million members through its 294 member organizations. CAUT, a newly-chartered member of EI was represented in Budapest by its president, Bill Graham, and staff member Robert Léger.

The Metamorphosis of Marian

CAUT's 1999 Librarians' Conference held in Banff last month provided the more than 60 attendees with the opportunity to discuss challenges facing academic librarians and libraries on the eve of the millennium. The word "challenge" is one which can have both negative and positive connotations: to bring charges against, to call into question, to dispute, to demand, but also something exciting or stimulating.

Too Much Scope Weakens Women in Science Book

In this, her third book on women and science, Pennsylvania State University history of science Professor Londa Schiebinger has taken on an ambitious task, attempting to "evaluate current scholarship on gender and science in the United States, with occasional cross-cultural comparison."(p. 13)

Insightful Analysis Explodes the Education-Job Gap Myth

The relationship between formal education and work has been a subject of increasing public scrutiny throughout the twentieth century and one of the driving forces in recent demands for educational reforms. Individuals face increasing challenges to select from a diverse array of educational endeavours promoted under the guise of lifelong learning in order to keep pace with rapidly changing job markets, revolutionary developments in information technologies and new global linkages.

Trade Talks - Risk to Education

The World Trade Organization's third Ministerial Conference will be held Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 1999, in Seattle, Washington. It will launch the next major world trade negotiations due to start early in 2000. Ministers and other senior officials from more than 150 governments are expected to attend. A major priority will be planning for the renegotiation of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

Committee of Inquiry Appointed in Olivieri Case

Last month CAUT announced the appointment of an independent committee of inquiry to investigate events at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto involving Dr. Nancy Olivieri and Apotex Inc.

UCCB President Drops Disputed Hiring Policy

Faculty at the University College of Cape Breton were delighted to learn last month of college president Dr. Jacquelyn Scott's decision to retire a policy requiring the school's academic deans to sign undated letters of resignation. The policy had been strongly criticized by the Faculty Association of University Teachers at UCCB.

J.H. Stewart Reid Memorial Fellowship Awarded for 1999-2000

The selection committee for the J.H. Stewart Reid Memorial Fellowship is pleased to announce that Colleen Anne Dell has been awarded the Fellowship for 1999-00. Ms. Dell obtained her MA degree at the University of Manitoba and is currently enrolled in the PhD program at Carleton University. Her area of study is on women and the Canadian criminal justice system. An aim of her PhD research is to produce progressive policy direction regarding female offenders.

Working to End Hostility & Violence Against Women

Annually, on or near December 6, people come together in communities and on campuses across Canada to commemorate the Montreal Massacre. We name the victims, light candles, sing and pray and listen to speakers. Then, we go our separate ways, isolated in a social and academic context that is characterised at least as much by hostility to women as by their inclusion. What is the significance of this event for us now?

New Settlement for Faculty at York University

Faculty at York University ratified a new collective agreement on October 14, 1999, with 71.8 per cent voting in favour of the settlement. The two-year settlement is retroactive to May 1, 1999.

Fighting for the Freedom of Inquiry

They are still at it, the apologists for the commercialization of publicly-funded higher education and research. Small teams of government folk are holding consultations in various places concerning the report of the Expert Panel on the Commercialization of University Research. They are telling everyone the report is being well received. They are telling the same thing to the federal government. They are saying it has already been approved by the Prime Minister's Advisory Council on Science and Technology.