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CAUT Bulletin Archives

November 2008

U of O: Arbitrator Rules on Access to Faculty Records

Academic staff records and documents are not normally in the custody or control of the university, according to an arbitration decision at the University of Ottawa. At issue was the university’s response to a request filed under Ontario’s freedom of information act.

Discrimination or gender differences?

The September 2008 issue of the Bulletin depicts as “Reminiscent of McCarthyism” the U.S. National Association of Scholars’ plans to identify university programs peddling ideology mas­querading as knowledge. But it is ironic that the same issue of the Bulletin also contains an article justifying NAS concerns.

Numbers refute female inequities

There is an incongruous logic to Penni Stewart’s claim that “female students and academic staff still continue to suffer inequities…” and that these inequities are most apparent in “science, engineering and related disciplines” (President’s Column, Bulletin, September 2008).

Penni Stewart replies

As per Ricardo Duchesne, the growing represen­tation of women in undergraduate studies, is to be celebrated. And we should also be concerned about the scholarly achievement of young men. From secondary school onwards evidence is mounting that in many disciplines young women outperform men.

Idiotica? Perhaps not

Unlike Martin Cohen in his “Idiotica” rant (Commentary, Bulletin, October 2008), there are good experiences with Wikipedia. Mistakes are often corrected quickly by other users or editors.

Einstein’s failure a myth

If one cares to type ‘Einstein failed school’ into Google, one can find several careful accounts that debunk this myth. Einstein actually did well in school, particularly in mathematics and science.

Academics in Danger Need Our Help

While CAUT members face many challenges in their daily work, only rarely do these include violence and intimidation. But this is not the case in many areas of the world. In the midst of political and social crisis, academics are among the first to be attacked, often for their defense of free inquiry.

Some Academics More Equal than Others

Remuneration and access to sup­port for scholarly activity are usually the source of employment disadvantage for academics working on per course or limited-term contracts when compared with perma­nent colleagues.

Algoma U Becomes a Reality

After a 16-year wait, Algoma University College in Northern Ontario has received its charter as a full-fledged university. The legislation creates the new Algoma University and makes it independent from Laurentian University.

Brandon Faculty Ratify Contract

Brandon University Faculty Association ended its strike after union negotiators brokered a deal with university officials. The deal, endorsed by the gen­eral union membership this month, guarantees a pay increase for each member over the life of the three-year agreement.

Slowdown Threatens Education Funding

The newly re-elected Conservative government is weighing a number of possible spending cuts in order to avoid a potential deficit, reports indicate.

Western’s Postdocs Win Union Battle

Postdoctoral associates at the University of Western Ontario will soon be bargaining a collective agreement as the latest in a growing number of postdocs that are unionizing at universities across North America.

18-Day Windsor Strike Settled

The 18-day strike at the University of Windsor ended as the board of governors and faculty union voted to ratify a new col­lective agreement.

Faculty Union Files Grievance over Enrolment Suspensions

The academic staff union at Mount Saint Vincent University has filed a grievance challenging MSVU’s decision to suspend enrolment in two academic programs.

Former CAUT President Chronicles Long Career in Academe & Politics

Roland Penner was elected president of CAUT in 1979. He has now written a very readable account of a long and varied career in academe and in Manitoba politics.

The Academic’s Handbook

This new, revised edition of the popular Academic’s Handbook is an essential guide for those planning or beginning an academic career. Faculty members, administrators and professionals with experience at all levels of higher education offer candid, practical advice to help beginning academics understand issues.

How to Write a Lot

All students and professors need to write, and many struggle to finish their stalled dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, or grant propo­sals. Writing can be dif­ficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule. In this practical, lighthearted and encouraging book, the author explains that writing productively does not require innate skills or special traits but specific tactics and actions.

Making and Moving Knowledge

Whether the challenge is global warming, epide­mic disease, poverty, environmental degradation, or social fragmentation, research efforts are wasted without efficient and understandable processes to create and transfer knowledge to policy makers, interested groups and communities.

Une directive de l’Université d’Ottawa annulée par décision arbitrale

Les documents et les dossiers du personnel universitaire ne se trouvent pas, en règle générale, sous la garde de l’université : telle est la décision arbitrale rendue en octobre dernier dans un litige opposant l’Université d’Ottawa et le syndicat des professeurs.

Des universitaires en danger ont besoin de notre aide

Si les membres de l’ACPPU doivent surmonter divers obstacles au quotidien, il est rare qu’ils aient à faire face à la violence et à l’intimidation. Ce n’est toutefois pas toujours le cas ailleurs dans le monde. Dans un climat de crise po­litique et sociale, les universitaires, tout comme les journalistes, sont parmi les premiers attaqués.