September 2004 CAUT Critical of Proposed SSHRC Transformation CAUT has sharply criticized the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's consultation paper "From Granting Council to Knowledge Council." Canada's Libraries Laid Low by Years of Underfunding Research libraries at Canada's universities are still a long way from the top, says the latest report from the Association of Research Libraries. B.C. Accepts Private University Former University of Victoria president David Strong last month received approval from the British Columbia government to call his new institution a university, the first such approval given under the province's controversial Degree Authorization Act. OECD-UNESCO Consortium to Establish Education Delivery Guidelines The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and UNESCO have launched a major initiative to develop global guidelines on quality assurance and accreditation for transnational post-secondary education. World Congress Examines Challenges Facing Academic Communities I was privileged to represent CAUT at an international conference held by Educational International in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in July, accompanied by CAUT executive director James Turk and associate executive director David Robinson. The Perils of Whistle-Blowing In July, doctors Shiv Chopra, Margaret Hayden, and Gerard Lambert were fired. All three government of Canada scientists achieved fame (or notoriety, take your pick) for questioning Health Canada's commitment to drug safety. Healthcare Professionals at Greater Risk for Glutaraldehyde Exposure Exposure to an inexpensive, but highly effective cold sterilant to disinfect and clean heat-sensitive medical equipment is causing multiple adverse reactions among healthcare professionals across Canada. Doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare personnel are quickly becoming sensitized to glutaraldehyde, seen as the "safer" alternative to the previous disinfectant of choice, formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogenic, and its use was suspended in favour of glutaraldehyde. Forced Retirement Unfair to Many Mandatory retirement based on age appears to be equitable and non-discriminatory. It requires all to take leave at age 65; the rule - Rule 65 - applies without variation, and therein lies the rub. The attempt to be equitable and non-discriminatory by enforcing Rule 65 opens the gate for inequitable and discriminatory practices against one or more of our human rights. Foundation Faulted for Tuition Study A report released last month looking at the link between tuition fees and access to post-secondary education is deeply flawed, says the Canadian Federation of Students. York Backtracks on Student Suspension York University president Lorna Marsden responded to pressure in July by ending her suspension against a 22-year-old student, just one day after a Superior Court judge ordered a judicial review of the case. World Educators Meet in Brazil Representatives of CAUT joined 1,500 educators and researchers from nearly 160 countries around the world in Porto Alegre, Brazil in July for the 4th World Congress of Education International. Bankruptcy Case Update The charter challenge to the federal Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act brought by the Canadian Federation of Students was heard in Ontario Superior Court June 16 CAUT Appointments Marie-Josée Bourget Still Counting: Women in Politics Across Canada Still Counting is an account of why scholars and activists continue to count the number of women elected to Canada's legislatures, and demonstrates that, by any measure, women are only halfway to equal. The authors assert that an "electoral glass ceiling" is keeping women at or below the 25 per cent mark, restricting women to less than half of the seats that would be theirs in a democracy committed to balanced, equitable and fair representation. Moreover, little is being done to address this ongoing democratic deficit. Despite drawbacks, such as the "revolving door" for female party leaders and continued sexism in legislatures, the authors also show how women can, and do, make a difference in politics. The Riddle of Human Rights Demands for 'human rights' and resistance to their violation are rarely out of the news Making the Most of a Bad Deal In the decade of the 1960s the world economy grew at the rate of five per cent. In the 1970s the real growth rate dropped to 3.6 per cent. By the 1980s the rate had dropped to 2.8 per cent and continued this decline in the 1990s when it fell to two per cent. In two decades capitalism lost 60 per cent of its macroeconomic momentum. Capitalism stepped out of the "golden age" and into the "great stagnation."