A new report is highlighting the important research, teaching and service contributions of academic staff in Ontario.
The Faculty at Work report released Sept. 3 by the Council of Ontario Universities offers the first results of a survey drawn from 17 Ontario universities, capturing more than 10,000 full-time faculty.
“This report is the first serious attempt to examine the work of faculty at Ontario universities,” said Kate Lawson, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. “We know professors and academic librarians work hard for students and produce real benefits for our province, and we are pleased to see this fact confirmed by the council’s report.”
The conclusions of the study contrast sharply with the results of a controversial report earlier this year from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario that said many Ontario professors were not “research active” and needed to have their teaching loads doubled.
While Lawson welcomed the report as “an important first step in a broader conversation around the work of professors,” she cautioned it only includes data on full-time professors. The growing numbers of contract academic staff at Ontario universities are paid for their teaching only, with little or no job security, benefits, or access to resources such as research funds.
“We hope the next phase of the project will be a thorough examination of precarious faculty in our universities, and how we can improve their working conditions,” said Lawson. “As this report makes clear, faculty are a valuable resource for Ontarians. It is important we give all of them the support and resources they need to excel.”