2018 « WLUFA

WLUFA Statement Regarding Recent Lawsuits

June 25th, 2018

Sent on behalf of David Monod, WLUFA President:

The Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) represents full-time and contract faculty and librarians in their employment with Wilfrid Laurier University. Over the last several months two of our members have been subject to discipline imposed by the University Administration as a result of a meeting that took place between the two of them, a University manager, and Ms. Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant in a course for which one of the members was responsible. Ms. Shepherd secretly recorded the meeting, sent the recording to the national media, and it was then distributed via the internet.

In the past week, both Ms. Shepherd and Dr. Jordan Peterson have announced the commencement of legal actions against the University, the two faculty members and the University manager who called the original meeting. The Association is working closely with the two faculty members in their defence of the actions, providing them with support and legal advice as they prepare for the court proceedings.  It has also challenged the University under the terms of the Collective Agreement for its actions and statements regarding our two members.

As the legal rigmarole intensifies, the Association will work to keep attention focused on the following three principles that we believe are important to our community:

  1. The academic freedom of the two faculty members who expressed their views about Ms. Shepherd’s conduct in a tutorial she led;
  2. The fact that a course instructor is responsible for the content of a course, has academic freedom in teaching, and has an obligation to supervise and, if necessary, correct the conduct of teaching assistants hired to assist with their courses;
  3. The responsibility of the University for the actions of its managers and the defence of its own policies.

It is the Association’s responsibility not just to protect the rights of our members under the Collective Agreement, but to ensure that the University community works reasonably, collegially, and in the interests of all of its members.

Please bear with us. Website updates will be coming soon!

June 20th, 2018

Ontario poll: Supporters of all political parties concerned about growing numbers of contract faculty

June 1st, 2018

OCUFA has released some poll results about Ontarian’s opinions of working conditions of Contract Faculty:  

Ontario poll: Supporters of all political parties concerned about growing numbers of contract faculty


The ICLMG among groups fighting for rights of Canadian professor Hassan Diab

May 23rd, 2018

The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) is a national, non-partisan, independent coalition of Canadian organizations (NGOs, unions, professional associations, faith groups, environmental organizations, human rights and civil liberties advocates), including the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) (https://bulletin-archives.caut.ca/bulletin/articles/2003/03/caut-joins-international-civil-liberties-monitoring-group). The ICLMG (http://www.iclmg.ca) fights to defend the civil liberties and human rights laid out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights instruments. They do not accept government funding of any type.

The ICLMG spoke about their work at the CAUT Council Meeting in April in Ottawa. An example of their advocacy includes the case of Canadian sociology professor Dr. Hassan Diab (http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/), who was unjustly incarcerated in Canada, then extradited to France where he was imprisoned in solitary confinement for over three years. Having returned to Canada in January, Dr. Diab could still face extradition. Dr. Diab also spoke at the CAUT Council meeting about his ordeal. CAUT is among other organizations urging the Canadian government to open a public inquiry into the treatment of Hassan Diab (https://www.caut.ca/latest/2018/05/caut-urges-public-inquiry-treatment-hassan-diab).

If you would like to support the ICLMG, go to http://iclmg.ca/donate/.


Congratulations to Judy Bates, winner of the 2018 OCUFA Service Award!

May 14th, 2018

For more information please see the link below.



WLUFA re-emphasizes support for Indigenous peoples

May 9th, 2018

The following message was sent on behalf of the WLUFA Executive Committee.

“As many of you know, and as recently reported in the media, our campus is once again embroiled in controversy over the speaker that has been invited to the University by the group known as the Laurier Society for Open Inquiry (LSOI). The LSOI is not a recognized group at Wilfrid Laurier University but has been booking space through certain faculty partners in order to invite speakers to campus.

“At this time, the WLUFA Executive believes that it is important to re-emphasize our support for the process of reconciliation, and to offer whatever support we can to our Indigenous colleagues, staff, students and their allies.

“In addition, the Executive wishes to express its endorsement of the HAWKstarter campaign in support of the Indigenous Knowledge Fund that has been initiated by the WLUFA Diversity and Equity Committee.  The Indigenous Knowledge Fund (IKF) is an important resource for all faculty interested in enhancing the Indigenous content of their courses.  We encourage members to take a few moments to read over the request for support for the IKF sent out yesterday by the Diversity and Equity Committee. (Here is a link to the HAWKstarter campaign for the IKF http://www.laurieralumni.ca/IKF.)

“The WLUFA Executive recognizes that recent actions by the LSOI are not, in fact, promoting intellectual debate on our University campuses but seem, instead, to be manufacturing a free speech “crisis” at Laurier where none exists. WLUFA will not engage in this game: just as with LSOI’s previous speaker, we will not advocate to have this talk shut down.

“WLUFA members work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee people.​”

HAWKstarter campaign for the Indigenous Knowledge Fund

May 9th, 2018

The following message was sent to Members on behalf of the WLUFA Diversity and Equity Committee to inform our members of a potential opportunity to assist with ongoing Indigenization efforts at Laurier by considering a contribution to the Indigenous Knowledge Fund (IKF).

“As part of Laurier’s Indigenization efforts, the IKF was created to support students learning directly from Indigenous knowledge holders, both inside and outside of the classroom. This form of experiential and engaged learning about Indigenous topics from Indigenous people directly is an invaluable and important opportunity for Laurier students, faculty, and staff, and helps to build reciprocal relationships between Laurier community members and Indigenous community members.”

 If you are interested in contributing please click here: (http://www.laurieralumni.ca/IKF).


Retirees, Century Club Inductees and CAS Award Winner

April 19th, 2018

This year’s retirees:


Pat Elliot – Sociology

Dr. Pat Elliot initially joined the Department in 1988 a year before graduating from the Social and Political Thought programme at York University.  Three years later, she was hired as an Assistant Professor in what was then the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and was promoted to full professor in 2012.  The Sociology Department has been greatly enriched by Pat’s dedication to improving internal governance and curriculum development with her tireless service as Chair of the Department for three and a half years and her conscientious work on countless committees. She was a generous mentor to new faculty members and supported her colleagues through both good and difficult times. Her kindness and sage advice was much appreciated by many throughout the years.

During her thirty-year tenure at the University, Pat was pivotal to the development, not only to the Department of Sociology, but of the University. She co-founded a women’s caucus to advise the WLUFA executive in the early 1990s at a time when the numbers of female faculty at Laurier were much lower than they are now. She was also a founding member of the Women’s Studies program (in which she taught and served a term as Co-ordinator). In 2007 she was a founding member of the Cultural Analysis and Social Theory MA, a program in which she taught 4 different courses.

Her commitment to the University is matched only by her scholarly accomplishments.  She is author of two highly regarded books: From Mastery to Analysis: Theories of Gender in Psychoanalytic Feminism (Cornell University Press, 1991) and, more recently, Debates in Transgender, Queer, and Feminist Theory: Contested Sites (Ashgate Publishing, 2010).  In addition to these, Pat has published widely in very reputable journals such as Sexualities, Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, and Hypatia and has served on editorial boards, such as Somatechnics.

Of course, Pat’s accomplishments are many and all of them have served to raise the reputations of both the Department of Sociology and the University more generally.  The Department of Sociology will be sad to see Pat leave and she will be greatly missed.


Alma Santosuosso – Music

Alma Santosuosso is well-known and respected for her passion for her research (medieval music) but equally so for her engagement with students.  She was at once a brilliant, detail-oriented scholar and a teacher-mentor who, through her teaching core-curriculum music history, influenced every student that went through our program.  Throughout her career Alma was relentless in insisting that our program maintain the highest of academic and musical standards.  And to that end, if there is a single attribute associated with Dr. Santosuosso it is her commitment to teaching students how to write.  She cared deeply for students, spending an inordinate number of hours in her office assisting students with their term papers.  In some courses, she allowed resubmissions of students’ papers after critiquing their first submission.  Indeed, when alumni return to campus they invariably mention ‘Dr. S’ (as she came to be known) as one of the best teachers they had during their time at Laurier.  Her commitment to teaching was not at the expense of research, as she produced half a dozen books and attracted $140,000 in external funding and over $22,000 in internal funding throughout her 33 years in the Faculty.  She ran workshops on grant-writing and information sessions on applying to grad school, both as evidence of her commitment to students’ lives beyond Laurier.  And her service—to the Faculty and University through committee involvement too numerous to mention and to the community through program notes, presentations, and guest lectures—rounds out an amazing career of productivity, passion, and professionalism.


Rob Milne – Geography

Verbal biography given at Wine & Cheese Social.

Paul Maxim – SBE

Paul came to Laurier in 2006 after a 25 year career at Western University in the Department of Sociology. His leadership roles include 3 years as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Western, 3 years as Director of the Master’s of International Public Policy (MIPP) Program  and 6 years as Associate Vice President Research at Laurier. His most recent research focuses on migration and the socio-economic integration of immigrants into Canadian society. He has also written extensively on the formal labour force experiences of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and is extending that interest to China’s ethnic minorities. He has taught statistics, research methods, labour, and population economics both in the Economics Department and in the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His career has demonstrated an ability to adapt between institutions (Western, Laurier, Balsillie School), disciplines (Economics, Criminology, Sociology) and leadership roles (Associate Dean, Program Director, Associate Vice President). His wry sense of humour and unflappable nature have served him well through each transition. He now migrates to retirement where sources say that his itchy feet will take him to China or British Columbia where he will continue his research.  Paul your life of leadership and purpose have been well and truly appreciated by your colleagues at Laurier. Thank you and Happy Retirement.



This year’s inductees to the WLUFA Contract Faculty Century Club

Ann Baranowski

Kimberly Ellis-Hale

Peter Lade


This year’s WLUFA CAS Award Winner

Michele Kramer

Back when the Bee Gees were still releasing albums, and Mike Harris was about to be Ontario Premier, the Brantford campus had not yet materialized and the WLU President was receiving a salary of about $224,000.  Meanwhile, Michele Kramer had begun what would be a more than 20-year journey with the Department of English and Film Studies at WLU that continues to this day.

Michele is so deserving of the CAS Award that it could justifiably be renamed the “Michele Kramer Contract Faculty Award”.  Not only has she fought long and hard for improving the working conditions of Contract Faculty, she has also wholeheartedly represented all faculty in various WLUFA roles, most recently as President of the Association since 2015.

Michele has had the interests of faculty at heart for more than 15 years, demonstrated via her membership on numerous Contract Faculty negotiating teams from 2001–2015, overseeing both part-time and full-time negotiations during her presidency since 2015, eloquently informing the membership in newsletters, as Communications Officer (2012–2013), and then while on the Communications Committee (2014–2015), and standing up for individual faculty rights as a Grievance Officer since 2012.  She also worked on behalf of all faculty on the Executive Committee prior to being President.

It is a measure of her credibility and dedication to the needs of all faculty members that Michele became President of the Association three years straight.  This achievement was not only unprecedented in the history of the Association since Michele is a Contract Faculty member, but her presidency was uncontested all three times—a clear sign from the WLUFA membership of their trust in and respect for her.  As usual, she earnestly committed to the challenging opportunity with intellect, wit, and unpretentious, undying professionalism.

Michele also saw the need to create campus coalitions with staff and student associations, given her extended experience with the Administration.  For example, she led the Association in a fight of solidarity with CUPE 926 (WLU’s custodial staff) as the Administration decided that long-serving, dedicated WLU staff should be replaced with a sub-contracted labor force who are not paid a living wage.

While President of the Association, she served on the OCUFA Board of Directors and CAUT Council. From the OCUFA Executive Director, Dr. Mark Rosenfeld:

“Over the years [Michele] was always insightful on issues pertaining to the advocacy work of OCUFA, and in particular, very supportive and encouraging of OCUFA’s initiatives to address precarious academic work, conveying the realities of precarious work to Board and committee members.  Michele was also a regular contributor a number of years ago to the well received blog post on OCUFA’s Academic Matters website titled ‘Postcards from the [L]edge: The working lives of sessionals and postdocs’, where she insightfully explored and explained the realities of precarious academic work for Academic Matters readers.  She has always been regarded at OCUFA as a dedicated, committed, principled advocate for faculty.”

As an additional example of her capacity and merit as seen outside of WLUFA, she was elected by the OCUFA Board of Directors to the hiring committee for OCUFA’s next Executive Director.

Michele has genuinely and persistently served WLUFA, OCUFA, and CAUT with vigor and passion. Through immutable perseverance, she has undoubtedly had a beneficial, tenable influence on the lives of Contract Faculty and thus indirectly, their students, fellow staff and faculty.  With dogged patience and a soupçon of acceptable and understandable frustration, Michele steadfastly played a vital role in the abyss of work required in negotiating numerous collective agreements over the years that saw incremental improvements in the working conditions and rights of Contract Faculty.

Michele Kramer is an exceptional Contract Faculty member.  Her extensive work on behalf of members was possible given her evident ability to see both the difficulty in opportunity and the opportunity in difficulty.  She will likely not want recognition for her countless acts on behalf of Contract Faculty, but Contract Faculty have much to be thankful for due to the tireless efforts, innumerable hours, and endless sweat and tears that Michele has spent on their behalf.


Kimberly Ellis-Hale appointed as chair of OCUFA Contract Faculty/Faculty Complement Committee

April 13th, 2018

Kimberly Ellis-Hale has been appointed as chair on the OCUFA Contract Faculty/Faculty Complement Committee.

Congratulations Kimberly!


Laurier announces 2018 faculty teaching excellence awards

April 5th, 2018

WLUFA would like to congratulate the following recipients:

Michael Ackerman, assistant professor, English (full-time category)

Alex Latta, associate professor, Global Studies and Geography and Environmental Studies

Danielle Law, associate professor, Youth and Children Studies and Psychology

Bina Mehta, instructor, North American Studies and Global Studies (part-time category)

Julie Mueller, associate professor, Education

Edmund Pries, assistant professor, Global Studies, Social Entrepreneurship, Religion and Culture, and Community Engagement

Carrie Sanders, associate professor, Criminology

Stacey Wilson-Forsberg, associate professor, Human Rights and Human Diversity

See the full article here: