January 2016 Walking through the minefield of academic freedom Hobbled by “civility codes” and eroded by corporatization, academic freedom has had a rough ride these last few years on university and college campuses, and 2015 was no exception. Does this ideal that’s so vital to the profession have a future? Q&A Forum Several universities and colleges have outsourced their IT systems to cloud-based services like Google and Microsoft 365. For staff and students, this means their email, records, and data are moved from a local on-campus server to be processed and stored on a remote server that is often located outside of Canada. Governance nightmares Universities and colleges today face a crisis of bad governance. The proliferation of scandals, secrecy and bureaucratic busywork; replacement of collegial decision making with autocratic top-down managerialism; ludicrously exaggerated administrative salaries at the top, while front-line educators are reduced to starvation wages and precarity — all point to the same conclusion. Data recovery a challenge Scientists and academic researchers from across the country applauded when the new Liberal government announced it would restore the mandatory long-form census. The decision to fix the census was the right thing to do, experts say, but a lot more needs to be done. Science the big winner in federal election Science was the big winner in the 2015 federal election, and a victory for CAUT and Canada’s academic staff associations that mobilized to ensure it was a ballot box question. Working to effect change Experts are telling us to expect more water shortages and extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. As droughts, floods, river flow shortages, ground-water quality issues, and aquifer degradation become more common in Canada, what can we do to manage water use and protect Canada’s watersheds? Profs receive CAUT awards for equity & collective bargaining Two renowned professors were honoured with prestigious awards Nov. 28 during CAUT’s biannual Council meeting. University of Alberta political science professor Malinda Smith received CAUT’s Equity Award and Rolland Gaudet was presented with CAUT’s Donald C. Savage Award.