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CAUT Bulletin Archives

October 2001

Professors at Trent Want Supreme Court to Decide

The continuing dispute over the closure of Trent University's two downtown colleges is heading to the Supreme Court of Canada. Trent professors Ian McLachlan and Andrew Wernick are seeking leave to appeal a recent split decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal that upheld the university board's power to close Catharine Parr Traill and Peter Robinson colleges despite opposition from the university senate.

Gloomy Forecast for Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries' annual survey paints a depressingly familiar picture of Canadian university libraries.

Strike Vote at Manitoba

Members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association approved a strike ballot by 68

Psychiatrist Sues U of T, CAMH

World renowned clinical psychiatrist Dr. David Healy is suing the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for breach of contract, defamation and denial of academic freedom.

'Human Capital' Means More than More Money

Jim Stanford's commentary "We Don't Need No Education" (Bulletin, September 2001) provides a breath of fresh air to all the cant about the purpose of higher education being for "higher productivity" and "global market competitiveness."

Now's the Time for Rational Response

In recent years there have been an increased number of occurrences wherein academic freedom has been the subject of report and discussion. Veracity of positions of fact taken by academics has been ignored and dismissed, discounted and shunned or even maligned and discredited. Worse still, the right and responsibility of academics to advance highly informed and cogently reasoned critical thought on ideas, processes and works have been brought into question both within and outside of the "academy." The attempt is to constrain and fragment academic freedom in various contextual constructions. Such actions threaten to trivialize and, most unfortunately at this time, weaken the effectiveness of the intrinsic contribution of academics in society at large.

Tales of the American Part-timer Reveal Pain, Sadness & Rage

Ghosts in the Classroom is a collection of readings which details the experiences of a group of instructors variously called adjuncts, part-timers or contract academic staff. These are American experiences though many of the feelings and experiences resonate in Canada.

Virtual Freedom

"I have a message for the congeries of scabby detrimentals down there. Apocalypse Now! The new corporate order has arrived!" So bellows the incoming Chairman of the Board of Governors of Avalon University as he buzzes the campus in his private float plane. When the corporate jaws close on Avalon University, the result is a display of ebullient personality and high-spirited intrigue not seen in the campus novel since David Lodge's Small World. The ideals of knowledge as its own reward and learning as preparation for citizenship are still strong at Avalon in spite of the fact that the Sixties activists who pioneered this intellectual Camelot are retiring. Retired, they are hanging out at the local shopping mall built on university land, where they persist in teaching in their Convocation robes, cap-in-hand, for handouts for their dental plan. The chairman of the board can't get rid of them. Neither can Cameron Galt, his new dean brought in to downsize the university and make it compatible with cyberspace. Rationalizing an oral village should be easy. But what dean Galt doesn't bargain for is the power of a free-spirited community to redefine his marriage and embrace him in its dream of virtual freedom. Shortlisted for the 1999 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, this on-campus cult classic will tickle the funny bones of a much wider audience this fall.

Getting the Web: Understanding the Nature and Meaning of the Internet

The dot-coms have boomed and busted and the cyber-sizzle surrounding the advent of the Internet has come and gone. But the Internet and the Web are still very much with us, slowly and inevitably changing the way in which we communicate and conduct business. Yet the technology of the Internet is complex and its impact is often hard to fathom. What exactly is the World Wide Web? What changes will the people and organizations who use it generate in our businesses and communities? And how can each of us understand this phenomenon enough to take advantage of its opportunities? These are the questions examined in Getting the Web. Author Jeanne Follman describes how the Internet fits into the written tradition, how it turbocharges the power of both word and image, and how digital audio and video can turn each of us into radio and TV broadcasters. She explores how smart clients and smart servers enable the creation of markets, describes broadband (e.g., DSL and cable) and its implications, and demonstrates how open standards provide an elegant, transparent way for people to interact in a cooperative fashion. Written for the general reader yet precise in its technical content, Getting the Web is a great starting point for students, educators, businesses, and individuals who want to "get" the Web.

Global e-University Set to Open

Universitas 21, an international consortium of universities including McGill and British Columbia, is proceeding with controversial plans to develop an online university with Thomson Learning, a division of the Thomson Corporation. Thomson and the consortium have each pledged US $25 million for the project, which will be called U21global and will begin operations in January 2003.

New Collective Agreement at UBC

A new three-year collective agreement between the University of British Columbia and its faculty members was ratified over the summer.

Early Retirement Trend Prevails

The age at which people retire from their jobs has been dropping since the mid 1970s and early retirement is now more common than a decade ago, concludes a new Statistics Canada report.

Marine Biologist Wins J.H. Stewart Reid Award

University of Victoria biology student Jean Elisabeth Marcus is this year's winner of CAUT's J.H. Stewart Reid Memorial Fellowship.

TechBC Will Stick to the Deal

TechBC president Jean Watters stirred up a hornet's nest with his recent remarks that the three-year-old university was going to stay "creative" and "competitive" partly by working without a senate, without unions and without tenure.

Salary Agreement at Lethbridge

The University of Lethbridge Faculty Association and the board of governors signed a memorandum of agreement in June for salary and benefits from July 1, 2001 to June 30, 2002

CAUT Submits Budget Brief

In a recent budget brief submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, CAUT recommended the federal government revise the way it funds post-secondary education and guarantee that continued fiscal surpluses are directed into areas most needed

Skewed Research Chair Allocation

Academics and equity advocates have added their voices to a growing criticism of the Canada Research Chairs Program

Bishop's University Joins NUCAUT

Bishop's University Faculty Association has voted to join the National Union of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (NUCAUT), becoming the twelfth association to do so

Copyright Amendments Could Threaten Academics' Access to Information

The survival of academia's cherished "information commons" is on the line as Parliament gears up for another round of amendments to the Copyright Act. This time the focus is the impact of digital technology on the rights of creators, owners and users of copyright material.

AFN Lobbies Feds to Increase First Nations Education Funding

First Nations people are bearing the brunt of rising tuition fees and stagnant funding for post-secondary education, the Assembly of First Nations is warning.