March 2013 Expert panel to look into the state of libraries & archives in Canada CAUT is applauding the Royal Society of Canada’s decision to establish an expert panel to examine the status and future of Canada’s libraries and archives. The panel will be chaired by Patricia Demers, distinguished professor at the University of Alberta and a past president of the society. McMaster University severs ties with Confucius Institute McMaster University is severing ties with an institute that teaches Chinese language and culture, because of concerns about possible human rights violations and discriminatory hiring practices. Mass protest on University of Manitoba campus The University of Manitoba Faculty Association and five other on-campus unions teamed up in an epic day of protest Feb. 13 to send their message of frustration and dissatisfaction to university administrators. Strike averted at NSCAD University A potential walkout by faculty members and librarians at NSCAD University has been averted after a tentative deal was reached with university administrators March 7. CAUT begins inquiry over Brock’s handling of complaints CAUT has established an ad hoc investigatory committee to examine concerns of five staff at Brock University regarding their right to criticize a program created in relation to a university agreement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Catharines. Alberta rolls out austerity budget Even after slashing post-secondary funding and with harsh cuts to seniors’ programs, the Alberta Conservative government posted its sixth consecutive deficit of $2 billion and tabled a March budget that relies on borrowing money for $4.3 billion in province-wide capital projects. CAUT issues new copyright guidelines CAUT has released revised Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Material, in response to recent amendments to the Copyright Act and victories at Canada’s highest court. CUFA members vote in favour of strike action Concordia University Faculty Association has voted to go on strike for the first time in its history. The union held a general assembly in which a motion for strike action passed with a three-quarters majority. Time to question federal funding priorities The Canada Excellence Research Chairs program will fund 11 new chairs at eight Canadian universities at a cost of about $55 million over five years. The November 2012 announcement comes on the heels of the program’s first competition in 2010 that saw 18 chairs at 13 institutions funded at a cost of about $190 million over seven years. Critics sound alarm over BC budget British Columbia Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s provincial budget has attracted criticism over the plan for post-secondary institutions. Among other things, the budget tabled Feb. 19 calls for $46 million in cuts to the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation, and Technology.