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CAUT Bulletin Archives

February 2004

Kwantlen Threatens to Rip Up Faculty Contract

Kwantlen University College administrators have announced they will use provincial legislation to override the faculty contract on class-size limits.

Acadia Facing Faculty Strike

Acadia University and the faculty union are heading into a possible strike as union members voted overwhelmingly Jan. 28 to reject the latest contract offer from the university.

Say No to Eliminating Tuition Fees

Regarding "Eliminating Tuition Fees Would Make Manitoba a National Leader," (Bulletin, Dec. 2003). There is something that has to be thrashed out before the scholarly community in Canada comes to look ridiculously stupid.

Black & Chernomas Reply to McInnis

McInnis asserts that all the economic benefits "accrue to the individuals who receive (university) instruction and to the shareholders of the enterprises which employ them." The policy implication of this view would seem to be that the costs of instruction should be borne entirely by the recipients of university instruction and the shareholders of corporations.

A Second Look at Plagiarism

Richard Nemesvari's response (Bulletin, Jan. 2004) to my comments on essays and plagiarism (Bulletin, Dec. 2003) is a clear indication that this is indeed a serious issue. However, in light of Professor Nemesvari's input to the discussion, I believe further clarification is warranted.

Student Work Deserves Notice, Not Notoriety

CAUT should be commended for its public statements about Students and faculty members share benefit from resisting technological fads.

Rethinking Faculty Employment Options

In several of my previous columns I have mentioned restructuring trends both in Canada and in the U.K. that are working to separate teaching and research functions in universities. The ultimate goal of people at the forefront of these movements is to create a handful of super, elite universities that would concentrate on research while ignoring their teaching and service functions.

CAUT Should Accept Political Reality

Victor Catano (Bulletin, Jan. 2004) reports the opinion of Ivor Crewe that public funding of universities was more acceptable 40 years ago when student numbers were so much lower than they are now. Professor Catano then offers his own perspective on this statement: "In other words, publicly-funded, accessible universities are fine as long as not more than a handful of students, mostly from upper-income families, take advantage."

Egale Decision Deplored

I am surprised at the decision taken by CAUT Council at its November 2003 meeting to join Egale Canada, and that unanimously (Bulletin, Dec. 2003). "Group think" must have become rampant if a question such as the decision to join a controversial lobby is passed with no abstentions and no dissenting voice.

Contract Impasse at Mount Saint Vincent

Faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University have asked for a conciliator to help with contract negotiations. Mount Saint Vincent University Faculty Association says contract talks broke off in December when the university refused to budge on salaries.

CAUT Creates Committee to Investigate McMaster Guidelines

CAUT has established a committee that will investigate recent changes to McMaster University senate guidelines on what academic staff may say to the media.

Martin's Throne Speech Disappoints

CAUT president Victor Catano expressed grave disappointment with the federal government's throne speech delivered earlier this month.

Hit by an Iceberg: Coping with Disability in Mid-Career

Death is a certainty - disability is a random chance which most people try to ignore. Yet your chances of suffering a disability before age 65 are greater than your chances of dying before age 65. Like an iceberg, disability is large and complex, with most of its reality hidden beneath the surface. The impact on individuals, family and friends, is enormous. The adaptations to it are often deep, far-reaching, and life-changing.This book, which is useful for all working Canadians, as well as those with disabilities, and for families, friends, colleagues, financial planners, lawyers and health care professionals shows how to prepare against the hazards of disability, and how to cope if disability strikes. Topics covered include legal aspects of disability from power of attorney to lawsuits and settlements, financial matters from government and private disability insurance plans to housing issues, caregiving options, charitable assistance and tax considerations.

Arresting Images: Crime and Policing in Front of the Television Camera

While most research on television examines its impact on viewers, Arresting Images asks instead how TV influences what is in front of the camera, and how it reshapes other institutions as it broadcasts their activities. Aaron Doyle develops his arguments with four case studies of televised crime and policing: he examines the popular American 'reality TV' series Cops, the televising of surveillance footage and home videos of crime and policing, coverage of Vancouver's Stanley Cup riot, and the broadcast of publicity-grabbing demonstrations of the environment group Greenpeace. The four studies show how televised activities tend to become more institutionally important, tightly managed, dramatic, simplified, and fitted to society's dominant values. Powerful institutions, like the police, often harness television for their own legitimation and surveillance purposes, dictating which situations are televised and producing 'authorized definitions' of the situations, which allow them to control the consequences. While these institutions invoke the notion that 'seeing is believing' to reinforce their positions of dominance, the book argues that many observers and researchers have long overstated and misunderstood the role of TV's visual component in shaping its influences.

Essays Capture Heart & Soul of Academic Women

If you are interested in the experiences and feelings of women in academe across Canada, this book is an excellent collection of essays on the subject. Forty-eight contributors offer 45 stories that are rarely angry, periodically touching, and occasionally humorous. While the wide range of styles results in a somewhat varied work, the individual pieces are so brief the reader has an opportunity to put the book aside frequently and reflect upon the contents of each contribution before reading the next.