May 2014 David Robinson chosen as CAUT’s next executive director David Robinson has been selected as the next executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers to succeed James Turk who is stepping down, effective June 30, 2014, following 16 years at the helm of the association. Untie the mavericks Peer review,” according to a reputable apologist, “is the worst form of assessment,” except for all the others. George Bernard makes his case in the latest volume of Adventures with Britannia, the always star-studded occasional papers of the British Studies Seminar at the University of Texas at Austin. CAUT honours John Holmes as distinguished academic John Holmes is the 2014 recipient of CAUT’s Distinguished Academic Award, the highest honour the association can give academic staff in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments as a teacher, in research and scholarly work, and in service to the university and the community. Sharp criticism for Nova Scotia budget Despite an oft-stated assertion lauding the value of post-secondary institutions, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government has brought down a budget “in direct contradiction” of such a position, critics charge. 2014 Ontario budget unveiled; triggers provincial election The decision by Ontario’s opposition parties to reject the minority Liberal government’s budget, tabled in the legislature by Finance Minister Charles Sousa has resulted in the dissolution of Parliament and a general election to take place. Remembering Ronald Bercov Ronald Bercov, CAUT’s president in 1978–1979 and professor emeritus of the University of Alberta passed away on Apr. 4. Political agenda mars UBC event I attended an event at the University of British Columbia March 28 that was meant to be celebratory, but was hijacked into spreading a Conservative political agenda. The event was the announcement of UBC’s successes in the most recent competition for Canada Research Chairs. Administrative bloat part of bigger problem After more than 40 years of teaching, conducting research and serving as an administrator (department chair, school director, and research ethics board chair), reading the summary of the Ontario report on teaching loads (Bulletin, March 2014) was dismaying. uManitoba fee hike blocked by minister A call for massive hikes to graduate student fees at the University of Manitoba has been stalled after Advanced Learning Minister James Allum frowned at the proposal. Funding noticeably absent in PEI budget PEI Finance Minister Wes Sheridan’s April budget announcement held few surprises for Islanders who have been told fiscal restraint is the order of the day. Defending the academic job Our public universities and colleges are indispensable to the greater societal good. They advance our collective social, cultural, political and economic interests through the pursuit of knowledge. They promote a well-educated and independent-thinking citizenry which, in turn, contributes to the formation and preservation of democratic civil societies.