January 2004 New Inquiry Launched at Dalhousie-Capital Health CAUT has established an independent committee of inquiry with an expanded mandate to look into alleged violations of academic freedom and faculty rights in the department of medicine at Dalhousie University and the university-affiliated Capital District Health Authority. Higher Education Unites in Call for Federal Transfer In a year-end letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin, six national education organizations have called on the federal government to reinvest in Canada's universities and colleges through a new federal-provincial transfer for post-secondary education. UPEI Union Readies for Strike Negotiations between the University of Prince Edward Island and its faculty union reached a critical stage this month, with the union deciding to move into strike readiness. Reserving Higher Education for the Elite Prior to Christmas, my wife and I spent a week's holiday in London, U.K. We had very little news of Canada, except for a brief one-paragraph in The Times of London about Paul Martin taking over as prime minister. On our flight back to Canada I gladly welcomed the free Globe and Mail, even if it was a day old. In addition to the expected stories on the change in government, I was pleased to see an editorial in the Globe urging the prime minister to address his attention to the dire state of Canadian education. The editorial raised several of the same issues I had voiced in my December column's open letter to Mr. Martin. Council Adopts Asbestos Resolution At its November meeting, CAUT Council voted to press the federal government to stop the export of asbestos, withdraw its funding from the Asbestos Institute and support a worldwide drive to eliminate all use of asbestos. CAUT Adds Voice to Maquila Solidarity Network CAUT has become a member of the Maquila Solidarity Network, a Canadian advocacy group campaigning to end sweatshop abuses in the global garment industry. University of Alberta Librarian Wins CAUT Distinguished Service Award Jeanette Buckingham, a librarian at the University of Alberta, is a winner of the CAUT Academic Librarians' Distinguished Service Award this year. Government Introduces New Compassionate Care Benefits Recent changes to the federal Employment Insurance Act, which came into effect Jan. 4, provide a new type of special EI benefit for employees with severely ill family members. CAUT Inquiry to Probe Tobacco Donation Fallout CAUT has set up an ad hoc investigatory committee to examine the termination of Dr. Laurent Leduc's participation in a continuing education program on corporate social responsibility, which he helped establish at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. The American Empire and the Fourth World The American Empire and the Fourth World argues that the current imperial role of the United States began at its founding. The Royal Proclamation of 1763, which offered a qualified recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights, infuriated many Anglo-American colonists. Their resulting sense of grievance was articulated in the Declaration of Independence which proclaims the "inalienable rights" of "all men" even as it accuses King George III of having "endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages." The United States has never faced, let alone resolved, this fundamental contradiction in its founding document. This failure manifested itself in the lawlessness and militarism that characterized U.S. treatment of Indigenous peoples in the most formative phase of the country's frontier expansionism. The exclusion of "savages" from the republic's founding ideals of human equality came increasingly to permeate U.S. foreign policy, culminating in the ethnic and religious prejudices colouring the so-called "war on terrorism." The American Empire and the Fourth World presents comparative accounts of policies toward Aboriginals that have done much to shape the interconnected histories of the U.S., Canada, Latin America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. The volume introduces a larger literary project entitled The Bowl with One Spoon. From Consent to Coercion: The Assault on Trade Union Freedoms This book is about a coercive assault on trade union rights in Canada by both federal and provincial governments of every political stripe that has spanned two decades. Societies defined as free in the sense of free trade and free enterprise have often been, and often are today, societies in which the freedoms of workers and those who advance the interests of workers are suppressed. Indeed, what confronts Canadians today is the actual meaning of the word free. We need to ask ourselves whether free pertains only to the freedom of those who do business or whether it pertains also to the freedom of the majority of Canadians who do not do business, but rather, work for those who own businesses, or who work for governments, which increasingly act as if they were businesses themselves. This new edition contains two new chapters, one on coercion in the Chrétien era and another which advances a bold new strategy for labour movements to confront the difficult challenges facing working people today. Fresh Insights into Corporate Hijacking of School Curriculum In Schooling as Entertainment, Randle Nelsen documents the relentless advance of "McSchools," where fast food, technology, standardized testing and bureaucratic ineptitude merge with popular culture. Once fused to popular culture, McSchools are precluded from challenging their shared core values of competition, materialism, vacuity and infotainment. In exchange, schools reap the loss of scholarship, reflection, critical thought and community. They become enjoined in maintaining and perpetuating the economic and social arrangements that keep power with the powerful even as the rest of us download assignments while watching "Entertainment Tonight." Council Adopts Policy Statement on Federal Contractors Program At its November meeting, CAUT Council called on the federal government to "amend the Employment Equity Act to ensure that the Federal Contractors Program is capable of being enforced through the employment equity branch of the Canadian Human Rights Commission." The new policy statement on the Federal Contractors Program was recommended to Council by its standing committees. Dalhousie Law Prof Wins Sarah Shorten Award Jennifer Bankier, professor of law at Dalhousie University, is the recipient of the 2003 Sarah Shorten Award. The award, presented by CAUT Council on Nov. 22, recognizes outstanding achievement in promoting the advancement of women in Canadian universities. Essays Required for English I suppose the fact that Alexander Berezin teaches in the engineering physics department at McMaster may explain some of the comments in his letter "Plagiarism Program Panned" (Bulletin, Dec. 2003), and they certainly hint at the two solitudes of the humanities and science in their failure to understand what goes on outside of his discipline. CAUT Signs International Agreements CAUT members can now benefit from new reciprocal membership agreements signed with national academic staff unions in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. CAUT Launches 'War on Terrorism' Watchdog Site CAUT has created a new web site to provide public access to the growing list of "war on terrorism" measures taken by governments in Canada, the United States and Europe.