February 2000 UCCB Faculty Vote 97% in Favour of Strike The Faculty Association of University Teachers at the University College of Cape Breton is poised to go on strike on Friday, February 11, after more than three and a half years of bargaining for a first collective agreement. Skills Panel Calls for Business Ed A federal advisory panel established to determine whether Canada is experiencing a shortage of skills is recommending all levels of the educational system, from elementary to post-secondary, be drastically reshaped to suit the needs of business. Rights Report Knocks U of T for Racism After a lengthy probe, staff at the Ontario Human Rights Commission investigating allegations of racial discrimination at the University of Toronto have recommended a hearing by a board of inquiry. B.C. harassment ruling benefits female students I must respond to Dr. Sam Black's commentary (Bulletin, January) on the sexual harassment decision in British Columbia. Dr. Black suggests the decision will have a negative effect on the ability of professors to provide a rich learning environment for their female students. I reject this thesis based on my experience in both Britain and Canada and my discussions regarding Dr. Black's ideas with my own students and staff. AF&T Committee Investigates Conflict Allegation at Brandon At the invitation of the Brandon University Faculty Association, CAUT's Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee sent a two-person fact-finding team to the university in late January to investigate a charge of conflict of interest and other breaches of due process. Cash Appeal University administrators, like most of us, harbor a wish for world-shaking success in the practice of their calling. But for those at cash-strapped universities, finding the magic remedy that will dispel the financial clouds is a dream that -- in the manner of a famous Goya drawing -- often produces monsters. For one official, it is intellectual property policy which will surely bring the university back from the financial brink. For another, it is multimedia online courses to be sold to distant students that will transform red ink into black. Trent Faculty Fight Board Decision to Close Colleges Three Trent University faculty members have hired one of Canada's most experienced constitutional lawyers to represent them in challenging a board of governor's resolution they claim subverts the power of Trent's academic senate. Student Debtors Battle Bankruptcy Discrimination The federal government's strategy to improve accessibility to post-secondary education has been less than beneficial to students. A Tale Too Light, Too Late Readers of the Bulletin or visitors to the CAUT web site already have a sound grounding on the subject of the neo-liberal agenda and the associated galloping privatization of Canadian universities. Most people could doubtless hold forth at some length on the pressure to commercialize based on their own experience of what H.T. (Tom) Wilson in No Ivory Tower terms "values in practice." Information Breakthrough — The Internet Con Game This book provides welcome relief from the unbridled enthusiasm that accompanies much of what passes for discussion of the Internet. If one were to believe high tech companies, the mainstream media, many government officials and not a few academics, the Internet is bringing about a revolutionary transformation that will change the world for the better. It will make us all richer, create genuinely democratic communities, expand educational opportunities, give everyone access to the world's knowledge and entertainment, and envelop the world in a web of instantaneous communication. Diversity Debate Finds New Ammo at U of T The debate over the most effective minority faculty recruitment methods is one that continues to plague the academic community and equity-seeking groups. Global Campaign Launched for Right to Education Ten years after the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child guaranteed education for all children, the promise is still a distant dream. More than 125 million children, most of them young girls, never see the inside of a classroom. Another 150 million children receive schooling of such low quality and at such high cost that they drop out of school soon after they start. Spend the Surplus, Say Social Groups A call by a broad coalition of labour and community groups for Ottawa to reinvest the growing surplus in the social programs and public services that bore the brunt of deficit reduction was echoed in an "alternative federal budget" released earlier this month. York Project Establishes Historical Atlas of Slavery In 1995, the Government of Canada decreed February "Black History Month." During the month, activities take place to raise awareness of the cultural, social, economic, historical and political contributions of Blacks and to celebrate the 166th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British colonies.