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CAUT Bulletin Archives

December 2004

Task Force Report Gives Rx for Clinical Faculty

The independence and integrity of medical education and research in Canada are at risk because too many clinical faculty do not enjoy the same academic freedom and employment rights as their non-clinical colleagues, warns a report issued last month by a task force of medical experts established by CAUT.

Copyright Review 'Lite'

In the November 2004 Bulletin, Michael Geist describes Access Copyright programs using such inflammatory and silly terms as "cash grab" and "unnecessary." He makes no distinction between scientific and scholarly information (for which creators have already been paid, which is owned by large predatory corporations like Elsevier and Kluwer, and which scholars would love to have freely distributed) and creative works (for which creators need to be paid and protected and have not been paid, or only minimally so).

Copyright a Nuisance

In his commentary on copyright (Bulletin, November 2004) Michael Geist suggests "copyright is important to the education community." In my 25 years as an educator I have not seen any evidence of this. In fact, according to numerous recent discussions, both in print and on the Internet, many members of the academic community view copyright as a nuisance. It unduly complicates and often prevents their access to research and educational materials without bringing them any tangible benefit in return.

Michael Geist Replies

While at first blush Professors Waltner-Toews and Berezin appear to be commenting on copyright from opposite perspectives - Waltner-Toews expressing concern that creators of creative works should be suitably compensated while Berezin calling for a phase-out of copyright within the academic community - both are ultimately focusing on the same issue. That issue is how to develop an appropriate copyright balance that serves both the needs of creators and the broader public interest, including the education community.

Asbestos Statistics Inaccurate

In her article on asbestos (Bulletin, November 2004) Loretta Czernis incorrectly stated that asbestos is banned in Canada. She then gave a dramatic illustration of its harmfulness, claiming the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) found that women in the asbestos-mining region of Quebec "have the highest rate of mesothelioma in the world."

Envisioning a Family-Friendly Campus

We need to find ways to make academic work more family friendly.

Evidence Refutes Foes of 'Big Government'

When Canadians went to the polls last June, they chose, in policy terms, new spending by the federal government over shrinking government through more tax cuts.

Report Warns Universities Becoming More Private

Canada's universities and university colleges are increasingly drawing upon private sources of funding to make up for public funding cuts, according to a report compiled by CAUT.

Government Urged to Increase Higher Education Funding

Canadians want the federal government to do more to make education more affordable, a new CAUT survey shows.


The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), which represents staff at Ontario's 24 colleges of applied arts and technology, was welcomed into CAUT membership in November.

U.S. Barring Muslim Scholar Shows Larger Problem

Half the battle in the Middle East is for the hearts and minds of the Islamic world. A longer-term goal for the United States is to build relations of respect not only with nations but with people around the world - especially with students, scholars and intellectuals - the opinion makers of today and tomorrow. (Recently), a symptomatic event occurred - evidence of how the U.S. is putting itself in a position that makes it completely impossible to win that battle. The State Department suddenly revoked the visa already granted to Professor Tariq Ramadan, on the basis of undisclosed information supplied by the Department of Homeland Security. Professor Ramadan is not just one of the many individuals caught up in the machinations of the post-September 11 world. He is one of the most visible, if controversial, Muslim scholars in Europe. His work on Muslim-Christian relations and the role of Muslims in Western nations is at the cutting edge on a set of issues central to contemporary society. He is a professor in Geneva, Switzerland, and was invited by the University of Notre Dame to teach a course on Islamic ethics. He had already arranged for his children to attend schools in Indiana.

Quick Hits for New Faculty: Successful Strategies by Award-Winning Teachers

This is the third and latest book in the "quick hits" tradition of providing sound advice from award-winning college faculty. While the first two volumes of Quick Hits focused on teaching in general, this volume is aimed primarily at helping new faculty members acclimate to life in academe. The articles and strategies range from planning for that first day in the classroom to evaluating student learning to documenting teaching to understanding the politics of teaching and learning in the department and institution. Quick Hits for New Faculty guides new faculty through the start of an important journey that ultimately will take the teacher from novice to accomplished professional.

Student Affairs: Experiencing Higher Education

Who has access to higher education today? At what financial and personal cost? Based on what conditions and criteria? How do students describe and interpret their experiences? And how can institutions facilitate and constrain successful participation and completion? Student Affairs addresses these issues in programs ranging from community college developmental studies to graduate studies. Researchers explore how and why institutional rhetoric of inclusion, engagement, gender and access may or may not be reflected in the reality of students' diverse experiences. The chapters move from theory to application by suggesting realistic strategies for addressing the challenges surrounding the interrelation of students and institutions. This collection is a testament to how much institutional change has occurred in the social organization of post-secondary education, and how much more change is required to meet the challenge of equitable access and inclusion.

The Terror of Neoliberalism: Authoritarianism and the Eclipse of Democracy

Neoliberalism, too commonly regarded as an economic theory, is a complex of values, ideologies and practices that work more broadly as a "cultural field." Giroux argues that its cultural dimensions erode the public participation that is the very foundation of democratic life. Under neoliberal policies, Giroux shows, populations are increasingly denied the symbolic, educational and economic capital necessary for engaged citizenship. He assesses the impact of neoliberalism on the language of democracy, race, education and the media, offering alternatives necessary to restore democratic institutions.

Tenure Justice Worth The Fight

The authors of this "plaintiffs' cumulative biography" claim it is "decidedly not a cautionary tale against litigation." Excuse me? Tenure Denied examines 19 of the more than 60 sex discrimination cases supported by the American Association of University Women's Legal Advocacy Fund since the early 1980s. The female plaintiffs in eight of the 19 cases lost their claims, seven settled, two won and two are in ongoing litigation.

McCarthyism's Canadian Connection

David Price extends our knowledge of how far the House Un-American Activities Committee - a committee (1938-1975) of the U.S. House of Representatives - and the FBI were willing to go to harass American academics in the name of security.

AAA Cancels Meeting in San Francisco

The American Anthropological Association announced last month it was cancelling its annual meeting planned for San Francisco Nov. 17-21 to protest the lockout of unionized employees at a group of the city's hotels - including the Hilton, where 5,000 anthropologists had planned to stay.

National Student Loan Debt Clock Ticking

The Canadian Federation of Students has unveiled a national student loan debt clock to highlight what it says has been an explosion in student loan debt.

Policy Statements Adopted at Council

Five new policy statements were adopted at last month's CAUT Council meeting.

CAUT Starts Asbestos Campaign

CAUT announced the launch in November of a national campaign to highlight the hidden dangers students and staff face from exposure to asbestos at institution across the country.