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CAUT Bulletin Archives

February 2006

BC HR Tribunal Dismisses Discrimination Complaint

British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal has entirely dismissed a complaint from a University of British Columbia graduate student who is also suing the university and four of its professors for $18 million alleging she was discriminated against because of her religious beliefs.

Private College Deal Derailed

Simon Fraser University has put the brakes on a controversial deal with an Australian company to establish a private for-profit college on campus for international students.

Equity Does Not Exclude Quality

Professor David Mullan’s letter (“Issue is Quality, Not Feminist Agenda,” Bulletin, January 2006), errs in assuming Loretta Czernis’ concern about the underrepresentation of women is a concern for “feminist quotas.” One might have reservations about a national program that perpetuates the long-standing systemic inequity in Canada’s universities without grounding that concern in a feminist agenda. Of course one might well be a feminist or be sympathetic to a feminist analysis of the demographics of Canada’s professoriate.

NOSM: Union Certified

The faculty association at the new Northern Ontario School of Medicine has been certified by the labour board to represent the school’s full-time academic staff.

Unions Condemn Ballarat’s ‘Work Choices’

Academic unions in Australia are condemning a decision by the University of Ballarat that requires all new staff to accept individual employment contracts in order to take up their appointments.

Who Will Be Your President in 2011?

Who will be the president of your local association in 2011? If you plan well, it may be a faculty member who is junior today, or someone who is not even on the payroll in 2006. It could be a person with a young family who will help the academic staff association co-ordinate daycare on campus to ensure meeting times are covered for youngsters, and that meetings are held during the evenings only in emergencies.

Becoming McUniversities

Back in the nineties, the author of the McDonaldization Thesis noted that soon the university will adopt many of the managerial models and practices associated with the spread of this hamburger chain. According to the American sociologist George Ritzer, new forms of quality control and consumer orientation would be integrated into the existing structure of the university. My initial reaction to Ritzer’s thesis was that although it was a clever idea, the arrival of McUniversity was far off. Today, when virtually every university brochure, mission statement and web-site is indistinguishable from one another, I am not so sure. Of course, we don’t quite do the same thing and we try to pursue our work in accordance with the demands of our discipline. However, the pressure towards homogenisation, standardisation and quantification works towards the constant diminishing of academic judgement.

Bishop’s Governance Commission Formed

In response to a request from the faculty council at Bishop’s University, CAUT has established an independent commission on governance to assist the university community resolve differences about how Bishop’s should be governed.

Part-Time Lecturer Wins Precedent-Setting Victory

A university lecturer has won an important settlement which may ensure that part-time British academic staff are paid a pro-rata equivalent to their full-time colleagues.

Former CAUT Executive Director Receives Milner Award

CAUT’s former executive director Donald Savage received the organization’s Milner Memorial Award in November for distinguished contribution to the cause of academic freedom.

Contract Signed

The University of Sudbury and the union that represents its academic staff reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract Jan. 22, averting a strike planned to begin the next day. The settlement was reached after two days of around-the-clock bargaining between university and union negotiators.

Paths to Union Renewal: Canadian Experiences

This new book focuses on the efforts and progress of union revitalization and organizing, and documents the renewal initiatives undertaken by unions in Canada

Jean Coulthard: A Life in Music

Jean Coulthard demonstrated that a Canadian woman could be a successful professional composer, whose music was, and still is, played extensively in concert halls across Canada and internationally

A Manual for Whistleblowers

Whistleblowing is defined as “raising a concern about wrongdoing within an organization or through an independent structure associated with it.” An employee who is concerned about some wrongdoing can stay silent, blow the whistle internally, blow the whistle externally, or leak the information anonymously. The true whistleblower acts in the interest of society with no possibility of personal gain, and commonly suffers personal harm for revealing the truth.