September 2000 Trent Case Goes to Court An action brought by Trent faculty members against Trent University's Board of Governors goes to court on Sept. 18 in Toronto. The faculty members are asking the court to quash a board decision to consolidate the university on its suburban campus and close its downtown colleges. The board decision was taken in Nov. 1999, just three days after Trent's senate had voted against any sale or closure of its colleges. Government Funding Cuts Hamper Access A Statistics Canada report says that the rapid increase in tuition fees is widening the gap in university participation rates between the rich and poor in Canada. CAUT Launches 'Fund the Future' More than 100,000 postcards urging the federal government to increase its core funding of Canada's universities and colleges are being distributed on campuses across the country this fall. The eye-catching postcard is the latest weapon in CAUT's ongoing campaign to raise awareness about the problems plaguing post-secondary education as a result of government cutbacks. The Buck Stops Here – E-Business Puts Theses Up for Sale A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a student of mine who follows the discussion of the Political Science Graduate Students' list-serve. It appears the National Library of Canada, that venerable institution to which I had made available my PhD dissertation, had, without my knowledge, one of its agents selling my work for profit on the Web. The insult was not purely personal. All of the dissertations produced by my colleagues were there, available at Contentville.com for quite a bit more than cost. None of us had given our permission for our work to be included on this site; in fact, none of us knew of its existence. CAUT Calls on National Library for Alternative to Contentville.com Since the beginning of August CAUT has received a deluge of calls and e-mails from its members expressing their concern over the commercial sale of Canadian theses through Contentville.com. CAUT Protests Arrest of Teacher Leader in Ecuador On July 5, CAUT president Tom Booth wrote to Gustavo Noboa, president of Ecuador, condemning a violent police assault on the national headquarters of the National Union of Educators (UNE) and the arrest and imprisonment of the union president. UNE represents most of the teachers in the schools and universities in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian teachers had been on a full-scale strike since May. CAUT called for the immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned National Union of Educators leaders and a respect for the labour rights of teachers and all other workers in Ecuador. The text of the letter follows. ed. Academic Freedom as Just Another Commodity Approaching our fiftieth year as an organization, we are every bit as much challenged by threats to academic freedom as we were in our early days. Academic freedom is potentially seen by some as a commodity, as if it were part of our compensation as a group of employees (e.g., see the recent Queen's University arbitration). Ownership Rights – The Sale of Online Course Content Who owns Economics 101? The university owns the course title, but the title, "Economics 101," is only a name on an empty shell. It is the content that transforms the title into a course – into something meaningful. CAUT Signs Agreement with U.K. Association CAUT and the Association of University Teachers (AUT) in Great Britain recently signed a reciprocal membership agreement. The two organizations agreed to provide services for members working temporarily in the others' country. John Harp to Study Commercialization John Harp, professor of sociology and anthropology at Carleton University, is joining CAUT as a visiting scholar for the next year to study the impact of the commercialization of university research and the restructuring of post-secondary education in the wake of government cuts. University Tuition Fees Increase Again Undergraduate arts students will pay an average of 3 per cent more in university fees for the 2000/01 academic year to an average of $3,378, according to a recent report by Statistics Canada. The 2000/01 level is more than double the average tuition of about $1,500 at the beginning of the 1990s. Study Finds Job Satisfaction Dropping for Australian Faculty A report commissioned by the Australian Department of Education to identify trends in the work roles and outlooks of academics in Australian universities over the last five years has found that the level of job satisfaction has dropped noticeably since the 1993 national survey. Key attributes are salary and working conditions. CAW Gives $1 Million Endowment to Ryerson The Canadian Auto Workers is providing a $1 million endowment to Ryerson University for the CAW-Sam Gindin Chair for Social Justice and Democracy. It is the first time a labour union in Canada has made such a donation to a post-secondary institution. Alberta Emeriti Host Annual Meeting On May 27, 30 members of the Association of Professors Emeriti of the University of Alberta convened under the rubric of The Canadian Association of Emeriti and Retired Academics (CAERA) provided for in the program of the "Learneds" each year since emeriti started talking about such an organization in 1994.