September 2006 What is the Corporate Place in Higher Ed? Robert Birgeneau, former president of the University of Toronto and chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and John Evans, founding chairman of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and chairman of the Medical and Related Sciences Discovery District in Toronto and Torstar Corporation, have something in common — they share an unswerving faith in corporations and the need for their partnership with universities. CAUT Study Finds Tuition Costs Hurt Poor Most Increases in university tuition fees are having a devastating effect on low-income families in Canada, says a CAUT report released in June. WTO Talks Suspended Negotiations aimed at liberalizing global trade broke down in July after ministers from Australia, Brazil, the European Union, India, Japan and the United States failed to resolve their differences on tariff and subsidy cuts for agricultural and industrial products. Michael Piva Joins CAUT Michael Piva has joined the staff of CAUT as the association’s third assistant executive director ILO Resolution Targets Asbestos Industry The International Labour Organization has adopted a resolution to pursue a ban on asbestos, a substance the organization says is responsible for an estimated 100,000 fatalities a year. Higher Education Reform Focus of OECD Meeting Education ministers from 35 OECD countries gathered in Athens in June to discuss the future of higher education against a backdrop of protests by Greek students and professors angry over a set of government proposals intended to gut Greece’s public university system. CAUT Launches Asbestos-Related Disease Database With a growing concern about asbestos-related diseases among longtime university and college employees, CAUT has launched its National Asbestos-Related Diseases Database Project. The purpose is to identify the extent of asbestos-related diseases among faculty and staff and to aid in prevention and medical treatment. Arbitrator Backs FNUC Professor in Ruling An arbitration panel has ruled that the First Nations University of Canada’s board chair violated the academic freedom of professor Blair Stonechild. Time for Equality for Contract Staff Last month I had the privilege of participating in the seventh Coalition of Contingent Academic Labour conference in Vancouver. Held every two years, it provides a rare tri-national forum to discuss issues of casualization and the challenges facing contract academic staff. The 200 delegates came from Canada, the United States and Mexico. Focus on Learning In the June Bulletin, Felipe Fernández-Armesto argues in his commentary “Teaching vs. Instruction” that the educational enterprise should focus less on instruction and more on teaching. In sum, his essay questions the use of the term “instructor” or “instruction” in the context of university education. He makes the case that instruction stands for obedience, prescription, regimentation and believing in the authority of the instructor whereas teaching stands for critical, reflective, subversive liberation. Students: A New Indentured Class I am a statistic. I am one of millions on the rolls of student debt. Every month I write a check for $650 to Sallie Mae. I simply abbreviate the entry in my checkbook as S-M. It hurts. CAUT Inquiry at Ottawa U CAUT has created an investigatory committee to look into allegations of mistreatment of a clinical faculty member in the department of family medicine at the University of Ottawa.