January 2005 Independent Panel Named to Investigate Memorial CAUT has established an independent committee of inquiry to look into alleged violations of academic freedom and faculty rights in the faculty of medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland and in its affiliated health care institutions. CAUT Announces Distinguished Academic Award CAUT is launching a new national award to recognize exceptional academics. The Distinguished Academic Award will be given to academics who exemplify the best in all facets of the profession by excelling in teaching, in research and in community and university service. The award will be presented annually to an academic chosen by CAUT's Council. GATS Threatens Education Sector Sofian Effendi doesn't easily identify himself as part of the anti-globalization movement. But as Rector of Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia, he is leading a campaign against plans to liberalize the country's education sector in the current round of negotiations taking place within the World Trade Organization. Hopeful Sign of New Political Vision Although it's now widely accepted that an affordable, accessible and high quality post-secondary education is critical to the development of nations, governments in Canada have been slow to make universities and colleges a priority. Instead of a co-ordinated approach between Ottawa and the provinces, we've ended up with a patchwork of different programs and initiatives that have failed to address the real problems faced by students, staff and our institutions. However, there are signs these problems are becoming too conspicuous to ignore any longer. Student Aid Regime Preys on the Poor In September 2004, the majority of Canadian students were protected by a tuition fee freeze for the first time in history. This was thanks to pressure from voters in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. New Collective Bargaining Officer at CAUT Pierre Ouellet joined CAUT in January as Collective Bargaining Officer. A political scientist at Concordia University since 1992, he also has more than a decade of experience in negotiations and labour relations with the Concordia Part-time Faculty Association. Since 1994 Pierre has been the association's grievance officer and since 1997 has served as CUPFA's vice-president external. In addition to his academic credentials, he holds a certificate in industrial relations from Queen's University. He has been a media commentator for CJAD Radio-Montreal and for CBC Radio. Finance Committee Recommends Separate Fund for Higher Education The House of Commons Finance Committee is recommending the federal government create a separate funding envelope for post-secondary education. CAUT Seeks Assistant Executive Directors CAUT has created two additional assistant executive director positions and invited applications for one that will begin on July 1, 2005. The other will be posted in 2006. Intriguing Biography of a Happy Realist Historical statistics show biography is nearly as popular in the early 2000s as it was a century ago. Academics now think the field respectable and the public find it easier to understand biography than they do works in more abstract fields. Besides, biographers no longer moralize quite so much as they did before 1914. We are more sceptical than our Edwardian forebears. We think heroism, intellectual heroism included, is still possible. But we find it is rarer than it once was.