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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2017

Turmoil in Turkey

Like mothers throughout history, Turkish academic Elcin Aktoprak’s hopes and fears are many. Aktoprak’s country of birth is a place she no longer understands, or trusts. And she is not alone.

President’s message / The boundary work of Twitter

CAUT President, James Compton, isn't much of a fan of Twitter. But a recent tweet by McGill University did manage to grab his attention. “The views expressed by @JAndrewPotter in the @MacleansMag article do not represent those of #McGill.” In his monthly message, Compton unpacks what this tweet means for universities and academic freedom.

Book review / The death of expertise: The campaign against established knowledge and why it matters

A survey of 7,000 freshmen at colleges and universities around the country found just 6 per cent of them able to name the 13 colonies that founded the United States. Many students thought the first president was Abraham Lincoln, also known for “emaciating the slaves.” U.S. Naval War College professor and adjunct professor at the Harvard Extension School, Tom Nichols, conveys the general drift of his own assessment with the title of his new book, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Know¬ledge and Why It Matters.

Academic advisor

I have assigned ‘A’ grades to a narrow majority of students in a small, upper level class — a class populated with many bright students. The associate dean has approached me informally and suggested I reassess the evaluations to ensure that marks fall across the full spectrum of grades. Am I required to do this?

Interview / Robert Chernomas

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association was on strike for 20 days in November 2016. At the helm of their negotiating team for the seventh time was economics professor Robert Chernomas. Now president of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations, Chernomas talked with the Bulletin about the strike.

Commentary / A tighter, less welcoming Canada under C-51

Today, Canada is held up as a model of toleration, diversity and compassion. We proudly welcome Syrian refugees, and many Canadian universities have made a point of facilitating applications by students from countries on American president Donald Trump’s travel ban. While that is to be celebrated, our recent experience at the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia suggests that academics’ ideas flow less freely in Canada than they used to.