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CAUT Bulletin Archives

September 2003

CAUT Defends Academics Named in Major Lawsuit

University of British Columbia graduate student Cynthia Maughan has filed an $18million lawsuit in B.C.'s Supreme Court against the university and four faculty members, alleging discrimination against her based on her Christian beliefs.

Liberal Caucus Hears Call for Accessibility

"Current tuition levels in Canada would have prevented many of you from getting the post-secondary education you did," CAUT executive director James Turk told members of the federal government's caucus committee on post-secondary education at last month's Liberal summer caucus retreat.

Privatization Boosts Quality

Victor Catano writes (Bulletin, June 2003) that "privatization threatens the quality of education." He's right - it threatens to improve it. Private institutions will compete for students, faculty and staff with subsidized public institutions. Students at successful private institutions will pay substantially higher tuition fees that, at a minimum, reflect the cost of the subsidy.

Academic Bankruptcy

I wish to register my protest against CAUT's support for the AAUP plan to censure the University of South Florida in the case of Sami Al-Arian (Bulletin, June 2003). This is a singularly unwise course of action. It has so little to do with academic freedom that if the implied policy of the AAUP (and so also of CAUT) were to be followed through consistently, it would, in fact, amount to the total discrediting of academic freedom.

AAUP Replies

For the record, on AAUP's position regarding the University of South Florida, I make three points:

Don't Dignify Naked Aggression

Morton Weinfeld (letter, Bulletin, June 2003) seeks to rationalize the U.S.-U.K. invasion and occupation of Iraq in terms of "a new discourse on human rights" that transcends international law. He cites the discovery of mass graves as justification, neglecting to mention the fact that these graves go back a long time, to uprisings after the first Gulf war. They are the graves of rebels whom the U.S. actively encouraged, then did nothing to help.

Defence of War is Defenceless

Morton Weinfeld says he wishes he had Victor Catano's certainty in opposing the attack on Iraq but then states "there was no other option but military force." I am astonished at his casual dismissal of "legality" as "not the ultimate criterion for moral or prudent conduct."

Warped Political Policies Devalue Post-Secondary Education

This past summer the country has been preoccupied with SARS, Mad Cow Disease and power outages. Overlooked in the media is the emerging crisis in higher education. August brought with it the annual Statistics Canada report on tuition fees. Once again, fees have increased dramatically over the past year. Undergraduate tuition fees rose by 7.4 per cent overall, bringing the total increase to 179.4 per cent since 1990-1991. That is an average increase of more than 15 per cent per year for the last 12 years. Increases in auto insurance, which have not reached these levels, have been major political issues in recent provincial elections. This year's increases in tuition fees for professional schools are placing programs in medicine (16.7 per cent), law (19.4 per cent) and dentistry (20.9 per cent) out of the reach of lower- and middle-income families.

Copyright Reform - Why We Should Care

Professors generally place their heads carefully in the clouds when the subject of copyright comes up. We suspect that a lot of what we or our students do may be illegal, and that we don't think it should be, but we don't really want to know. We suspect that copyright policy is screwed up, but it's all so complicated we can't think of anything to do about it.

Chun Wins Full Settlement at U of T

Dr. Kin-Yip Chun has won a full settlement of his long-standing grievances with the University of Toronto's physics department, the day after CAUT announced the distinguished members of an independent committee of inquiry set up to investigate the situation and issue a report.

Acadia Faculty Reject Contract

Faculty members at Acadia University have voted 90 per cent against ratifying an agreement reached two months ago between negotiators for the Acadia University Faculty Association and the university's board of governors.

New Secretary Appointed

CAUT has appointed Jocelyne Fortier to the newly-created position of secretary in the area of health and safety and in the publications department

CAUT Hires Health & Safety Officer

Laura Lozanski has joined CAUT as Occupational Health & Safety Officer.

CAUT Supports 'No Sweat' Campaign

At its June meeting, the CAUT executive committee voted to support the No Sweat campaign against the exploitation of textile workers.

Noble Inquiry Report Released

CAUT has released on its web site the Report of the CAUT Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee into Complaints Raised by Professor David Noble against Simon Fraser University Regarding Alleged Infringements of Academic Freedom.

Why Women Bury Men: The Longevity Gap in Canada

Because they live, on average, six years longer than men, most women will spend the last years of their lives alone

Seen But Not Heard: Aboriginal Women and Women of Colour in the Academy

This book, the proceedings of a symposium, focuses on the experiences of women of colour and Aboriginal women scholars with issues of equity in the academy

Case Studies in Mobilization

The character of academic labour is changing dramatically in the context of capitalist restructuring and new patterns of corporate globalization. This book tracks the ways academic workers have responded to these changes through union mobilization. The major focus of the collection is a series of case studies of campus mobilization, primarily from the United States but including one from Canada. Editors Deborah Herman and Julie Schmid use the introduction to do a useful job of setting the case studies in the context of wider analysis that links these mobilizations to the restructuring of academic work in the context of a changing world.

Koren Reprimanded by Ontario College of Physicians & Surgeons

The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons has formally reprimanded University of Toronto professor of medicine Dr. Gideon Koren. He had written anonymous harassing letters about Dr. Nancy Olivieri and three colleagues during Olivieri's dispute with the Hospital for Sick Children, the University of Toronto and Apotex Inc. He then had lied repeatedly to conceal his responsibility. The college also cited him for additional misconduct, in research.

Students in for a Rough Ride

As they return to classes this fall, university students are facing the biggest increase in tuition fees in four years, reports Statistics Canada.