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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2002

Curbing Free Expression

The curbing of free expression in academia and the media will be the subject of a national conference sponsored by CAUT Nov. 1-3 at the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa. The conference will be cosponsored by Canada's largest union of media workers, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

Poor Pay for Sessionals

I would like to add to Patrick Grassick's excellent article "A Few Thoughts About Sessionals" (Commentary, Bulletin, May 2002).

Cape Breton President Resigns

University College of Cape Breton president Jacquelyn Scott tendered her resignation May 14, informing the board of governors she would be stepping down June 30, to return to faculty.

Immigration Canada Grants Ethiopian Refugee Landed Immigrant Status

Four years after fleeing to Canada and seeking refugee status with CAUT's assistance, former Ethiopian Teachers' Association acting general secretary Mulatu Mekonnen has received his landed immigrant papers.

'Crisis' in Alberta's Post-Secondary Education System

Rising tuition fees and government cuts have compromised the accessibility and quality of post-secondary education, according to participants at a public hearing held in Calgary last month.

Difficult Times Ahead for Many

For the past quarter century Canadians have been mired in a complex process of fundamental change that progressively has eroded, if not erased, long-held assumptions about the nature of the Canadian community, national sovereignty and citizenship rights. In Paradigm Shift, Stephen McBride, of Simon Fraser University, provides a convincing account of how, within less than a generation, the aspirations and institutions of the postwar welfare state have been eclipsed by an uncompromising neo-liberal governing philosophy which both prioritizes markets over politics and denies the possibility or desirability of national economic strategies.

The Creation of the Future: The Role of the American University

Is the university a dinosaur: huge, lumbering, endearing in its own way, yet unsuited to today's world? Is it a thing of the past, unnecessary in an age of the Internet and online learning? In a book likely to provoke people who are loyal to the ideal of the university as well as those who foresee its demise, Frank H.T. Rhodes acknowledges the university is an imperfect institution but argues it plays an essential role in modern society. In the process, he articulates strong opinions on a range of difficult issues. The Creation of the Future is no defense or promotion of the status quo. Focusing on American research universities, Rhodes makes the case that they are an irreplaceable resource, whose value must be preserved through judicious renewal and reform, beginning with a rededication to teaching as a moral vocation. Rhodes discusses where the research university is today and how it got here, as well as where it must go in the future.

Learning to Think: Disciplinary Perspectives

In colleges and universities, there is increasing demand to help students learn how to conceptualize, analyze and reason. Although the intellectual development of post-secondary students is gaining increased attention, relating student development to the process of inquiry in different disciplines is unexplored terrain. This book presents a model of learning that takes into account the different ways learning occurs in different academic disciplines and explores the relationship between knowledge and thinking processes. Janet Donald - a leading researcher in the field of post-secondary teaching and learning - presents a framework for learning that goes beyond the acquisition of knowledge and reveals how educators can improve the teaching and learning process in their classrooms and programs.

Quebec's Bill 84 to Allow Same-Sex Civil Unions

Supporters of Quebec's proposed legislation on same-sex civil unions are celebrating as Bill 84 makes its way through the final stages in the National Assembly.

Dealing with Student Diversity

Teaching at the university level is exciting and can be extremely rewarding. At the same time, the challenges involved in finding appropriate and effective ways to help today's diverse student population learn successfully are significant. The multiplicity of differences among students may include diversity in language, religion, social class, sexuality, age, disability, family background, learning style, intellectual development, culture and more.

Corporate U. Thrives on Alienated Scholars

I was on faculty at Trent University during the recent struggles there. These struggles concerned the dismantling of Trent's college system, and, more significantly, the role of external corporate and political interests in university governance. As members of CAUT no doubt know, after a protracted court battle, Trent's bicameral system of governance was effectively nullified. (See "Trent Appeal Court Dissent Highlights Threat to Autonomy" by Donald Theall, Bulletin, December 2001.)

Toronto Settles Pension Dispute

Four retired professors have scored a precedent-setting victory by obtaining a settlement of their equity claim against the University of Toronto. While terms of the settlement remain confidential, about 60 retired female professors, who were excluded from the university's 1989 faculty salary review process, will receive compensation.

'A Complete Vindication' for David Healy

The University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have agreed to a settlement in the highly-publicized case of Dr. David Healy.

CAUT Updates Procedures for Academic Freedom Cases

In response to the Olivieri committee of inquiry recommendations, CAUT Council revised procedures for handling of academic freedom complaints.

Queen's Faculty Association Ratifies 3-Year Agreement

Queen's University Faculty Association members voted overwhelmingly April 16 to accept a new collective agreement. The three-year agreement includes a scale increase of 2.7 per cent the first year and 2.5 per cent the second year. The scale increase for year three will be negotiated. In addition, the union negotiated a special adjustment for junior faculty members in low paid disciplines, and a new floor for assistant professors with tenure track appointments. Merit and career development amounts and junior increments will increase each year of the agreement by the amount of the scale increase. The anomalies fund continues at $110,000 per year and the total available for tuition support will be $390,000 per year. The child care benefit fund is $220,000 in each of the three years.

Contract Talks Stymied at Sudbury

The University of Sudbury is poised to implement a controversial document of Vatican dictates on the acceptable scope of academic inquiry and Catholic university structure.

United We Stand

By the time you read this column CAUT will have a new president. Over the past two years, the association has encountered and dealt with a wide range of challenges and developments. Our accomplishments have been many.

Palestinian Education in Disarray

With more than half of the 10 million Palestinians worldwide classified as refugees and displaced people, it is understandable why Palestine's history is imbued with the experience of dispersal and exile. Even those who did not become refugees as a result of the 1948 and 1967 wars continue to live under foreign rule of one form or another.

Student Watchdog Sounds Alarm over Privatization Agenda

Post-secondary education is becoming more inaccessible at the same time as the value of a university degree or a college diploma is greater than ever, according to the national chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students.

CAUT Honours Excellence in Education Journalism

Globe and Mail reporter Anne McIlroy has won a CAUT award for excellence in post-secondary education reporting. McIlroy won the CAUT Award for Excellence in Education Journalism for her article "Under Siege in the Ivory Tower" (Globe and Mail, Sept. 18, 2001). Honourable mentions in the professional print and broadcast media were given to Ann Dowsett-Johnston (Maclean's Magazine) and Philip Fine (Times Higher Education Supplement).