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CAUT Bulletin Archives

January 2007

Finance Committee Calls for Separate PSE Transfer

The Standing Committee on Finance is calling on the Conservative government to boost funding for post-secondary education by creating a new dedicated transfer payment with more accountability over how the money is spent.

Report: Chun Was a Victim of Discrimination

An investigation into a dispute between Dr. Kin-Yip Chun and the University of Toronto by an independent committee of inquiry has found serious violations of academic procedures and evidence of systemic discrimination and harassment.

Learning Council Calls for National Shared Vision for PSE

Canada needs a set of explicit, well-defined national goals and objectives for post-secondary education, according to a first national overview of the sector released in December.

CFS Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Canadian Federation of Students celebrated their 25th anniversary Nov. 25 with a gala hosted at the Museum of Civilization.

New Year’s Resolution: Commit to Better Workplace Health & Safety

The new year is upon us, and once again it is the season for New Year’s resolutions. What will it be this time around? Those of us who are inveterate smokers will probably pledge, most not for the first time, to quit smoking. People who are somewhat over the prescribed weight, considering their height and age, will be prime candidates for committing to watch their weight and do some (or more) exercise. The list goes on. But countless new resolutions fall to the wayside as regular concerns and activities take over our lives again.

I’m a Postdoc — Get Me Out

A week before I started my post-doc, I met an old friend whom I hadn’t seen since my undergraduate days. He had just dropped out of a postdoc — after a year — and was now getting a “real job” instead. I had as short a conversation as possible with him and went on my way. I didn’t want to listen to his negative experience. A few months later, I wished I had listened.

Eurocentric Stand Offensive

Ricardo Duchesne’s letter (“Eurocentric University Defended,” Bulletin, December 2006) is at best puzzling and at worst offensive. I don’t know whether to bemoan the ignorance displayed in this letter or to feel angry at the chauvinism.

Dedicated Service Awards

Twenty-one individuals recently received CAUT’s Dedicated Service Awards. Established in 2003, the award recognizes people for exceptional service to their academic staff associations. Recipients are nominated by their associations and receive certificates of appreciation and CAUT lapel pins. The award winners are listed below.

Student Loans Proposal Criticized as Debt Rises

Tying student loan payments to income might seem like a good idea at first glance, but it is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing, according to a new study released by CAUT.

Tsawalk: A Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview

Western philosophy has long held scientific rationalism in a place of honour. Reason, that particularly exalted human quality, has become steadily distanced from the metaphysical aspects of existence, such as spirit, faith and intuition. In Tsawalk, hereditary chief Umeek introduces us to an alternative indigenous worldview — an ontology drawn from the Nuu-chah-nulth origin stories. Umeek develops a theory of “Tsawalk,” meaning “one,” that views the nature of existence as an integrated and orderly whole and thereby recognizes the intrinsic relationship between the physical and spiritual. By retelling and analyzing the origin stories of Son of Raven and Son of Mucus, Umeek demonstrates how Tsawalk provides a viable theoretical alternative that both complements and expands the view of reality presented by Western science. Tsawalk, he argues, allows both Western and indigenous views to be combined in order to advance our understanding of the universe. In addition, he shows how various fundamental aspects of Nuu-chah-nulth society are based upon Tsawalk, and what implications it has today for both native and non-native peoples.

Higher Education in the Internet Age: Libraries Creating a Strategic Edge

Far too often, presidents, academic vice presidents and other campus leaders fail to take advantage of the contributions their campus libraries can make toward achieving institutional visions and priorities. In this age of information, libraries can and should be one of the primary strategic tools. By highlighting the extensive and successful use some campus leaders have made of library resources and personnel, the authors hope to inspire others to see their libraries strategically. Based on their 1989 book, Information Literacy: Revolution in the Library, this new work from Breivik and Gee addresses the unique challenges of today’s information-overloaded culture while responding to the significant changes that have occurred on campuses during the past 15 years. Chief among these changes are the pervasive use of the Internet, growing community engagement, distance education, the emphasis on more active learning and the assessment of student learning outcomes. The work is enriched by a series of key issue statements about topics that have emerged within today’s wired society and by vignettes highlighting best practices that have been extracted from interviews with leaders in education, business and government.

The Communist Manifesto: A Road Map to History’s Most Important Political Document

Here, at last, is an authoritative introduction to history’s most important political document, with the full text of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. This edition is fully annotated, with clear historical references and explication, additional related texts and a glossary that brings the text to life for students, as well as the general reader. Since it was first written in 1848, The Manifesto has been translated into more languages than any other modern text. It has been banned, censored, burned and declared “dead.” But year after year, the text only grows more influential, remaining required reading in courses on philosophy, politics, sociology, economics and history. The New Yorker recently described Karl Marx as “The Next Thinker” for our era. This book shows readers why.

Confusion Reigns at Planet U

M'gonigle and Starke’s book reads well. It is heavily but intriguingly illustrated, reliably organized on themes and generally well edited. I found a dozen small typographical errors and a few cases of jargon-ridden obscurity, but otherwise I was rarely detained in reading through the work.

Twenty Ways to Stop a Tenure Crisis

The Modern Language Association has released its long-awaited report into how scholarship is being evaluated for tenure and promotion in English and foreign language departments in U.S. higher education.

Two Receive CAUT’s Sarah Shorten Award

Janice Dodd and Patricia Baker were honoured at CAUT’s November Council meeting as recipients of the association’s 2006 Sarah Shorten Awards.

Western Faculty to Vote on University Offer

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association and the university came to terms on a tentative agreement Dec

NOMS, Faculty Ratify Collective Agreement

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine Faculty Association ratified a first collective agreement with the school last month following almost a year of negotiations on a contract.

Saint Mary’s Faculty Union Set to Vote on New Contract

The academic staff union at Saint Mary’s University will vote this month on a tentative agreement reached Dec. 17 with the assistance of mediator Kevin Burkett.