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OCUFA REPORT

July 29th, 2019
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Some summer reading courtesy of Academic Matters

There is more to Academic Matters than just the print issue. New articles are being added to the Academic Matters website every week. Here are some recent articles for your summer reading pleasure. And if you haven’t already, now is a great time to catch up on our  latest print issue: Decolonizing the university in an era of Truth and Reconciliation.

 

 

 

Precarious employment in education impacts workers, families and students
By Michael Mindzak, Brock University
“Recent announcements in Ontario about public education have been controversial, with changes including larger classroom sizes, mandatory online courses and curriculum revisions. However, perhaps most significantly, the imposed changes will lead to the loss of teaching positions across the province. With government priorities focused on …”Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls: An epidemic on both sides of the Medicine Line
By Margaret Moss, University of British Columbia
“As an American Indian woman who recently moved to Canada, I’ve been saddened to see that the systemic and insidious racism towards Indigenous women and girls that is happening in the United States is also happening in Canada. My new provincial home, British Columbia …”

Retirement options for Canadians have changed dramatically
By Thomas Klassen, York University
“The plan by the Ontario government to reduce the wages of professors at age 71 illustrates the dramatic changes in the relationship between work, retirement, and pensions. Until recently, the expectation was that most Canadians would stop working between age 60 and 65 and then …”

 

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Zero-hour contracts take a huge mental and physical toll – poor eating habits, lack of sleep and relationship problems
By Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi, University of Hertfordshire and Janet Barlow, University of Hertfordshire
“The number of workers on zero-hours contracts continues to rise in the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that between October and December 2018 there were between 777,000 and 911,000 people working on zero-hours contracts. But the impact of …”Shifting priorities in the new university
By Thomas Klassen, York University
“The image of universities composed of mostly full-time tenured professors is long out-of-date. Half of all undergraduate students in Canada, as in many other countries, are taught by professors hired part-time or on short-term contracts. In the US, about three-quarters …”
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OCUFA Report

May 7th, 2019

 

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In this issue…

OCUFA expresses concerns about “consultations” on public sector compensation

Supporting student sit ins against cuts to education

Last chance for Worldviews 2019 early-bird tickets

 

 

OCUFA expresses concerns about “consultations” on public sector compensation

OCUFA is concerned about the motives behind the Ministry of Finance’s “consultations” on compensation for workers in the broader public sector. It has become increasingly clear that these consultations are not being conducted in good faith and are, instead, part of the Ford government’s political agenda to undermine the rights of workers and unions in Ontario.

At the government’s consultation with postsecondary education stakeholders on May 3, OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips made these concerns clear in her opening statement.

Read the full statement here.

 

 

 

Supporting student sit ins against cuts to education

As part of the ongoing campaign by Ontario high school students to push back against the Ford government’s education cuts, this Wednesday, May 8 at 4:30 pm there will be a wave of sit ins happening across the province. Everyone is invited to join and support the students.

Click here for more information.

 

 

 

Last chance for Worldviews 2019 early-bird tickets

The early-bird registration deadline for Worldviews 2019 has been extended until May 7 at midnight.

Register today for a reduced rate!

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OCUFA Report

April 30th, 2019
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In this issue…

OCUFA’s analysis of the 2019 Ontario Budget

New speakers announced for Worldviews 2019

 

 

OCUFA’s analysis of the 2019 Ontario Budget

On April 11, the 2019 Ontario Budget was tabled. Given the track record of the Ontario government to date, this budget delivered what OCUFA expected: a continued attack on workers’ rights, university autonomy, and public services, including postsecondary education.

The overall postsecondary education and training sector budget is projected to be cut by $700 million, which mainly reflects a deep cut (over $670 million) to the Student Financial Assistance (OSAP) budget. The cut to student financial assistance and the removal of the grace period on provincial loans will leave students with significantly higher debt loads.

In a drastic shift, the budget proposes tying 60 per cent of university funding to “performance outcomes” by 2024-25. In dollar figures, funding tied to performance will increase from $50 million (the current figure for 2018-19) to an estimated $2.2 billion by 2024-25.

OCUFA has long cautioned against shifting towards allocating university funding based on performance. This shift is counterproductive as it will, by design, create inequities and slowly but certainly undermine the integrity of Ontario’s postsecondary education system. This new funding model will only serve to destabilize the sector, make long-term planning impossible, encourage more bureaucracy, and stifle innovation.

The Ontario budget, including legislation that targets the rights of senior faculty, further signals this government’s intention to undermine unions across the entire public sector. OCUFA is very concerned by this development and views it as a direct attack on collective bargaining and collective agreements. It is worth noting that faculty members are employed by, and negotiate their contracts with universities, not the province. Any attempt by the Ford government to interfere in university collective agreements and bargaining practices would violate university autonomy and the constitutionally protected rights of faculty and staff.

Read OCUFA’s complete budget analysis here.

 

 

New speakers announced for Worldviews 2019

The early-bird registration deadline for Worldviews 2019 is tomorrow. After that, ticket prices will increase. Register today to get a special reduced rate on conference registration.

This June, participants from around the globe will gather in Toronto for the 2019 Worldviews on Media and Higher Education Conference. Titled Democracy at risk? Reflecting on the future of higher education and media in a post-truth world, the three-day conference will focus on democracy and the changing power relations of higher education and the media in the global north and south – specifically examining the concept of expertise in a “post-truth” world and the types of voices amplified by emerging technologies.

The conference will bring together a diverse group of academics, students, higher education leaders, communications professionals, and journalists with a wide range of experiences, insights, and opinions, including:

  • Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
  • Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary
  • Nermeen Shaikh, Co-Host and News Producer at Democracy Now! and author of The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power
  • Maria Ressa, CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler.com and former CNN Bureau Chief in Manilla, Philippines
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and author of Anti-Social Media
  • Sophia Rosenfeld, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Truth and Democracy
  • Tom Nichols, Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College and author of The Death of Expertise
  • Nana aba Duncan, Host of CBC’s Fresh Air and Media Girlfriends podcast
  • Cam Gordon, Head of Communications at Twitter Canada
  • Shree Paradkar, Race and Gender Columnist at the Toronto Star
  • Edward Greenspon, President of the Public Policy Forum and former Editor-in-Chief of The Globe and Mail

Through a series of keynote talks, panel discussions, interviews, and interactive exhibits, conference participants will focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the democratization of higher education and the media, engage in an ongoing and lively exchange of ideas, and explore innovative possibilities for partnerships.

Learn more about the conference and register.

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OCUFA Budget 2019 review-follow up

April 16th, 2019

Sent on behalf of OCUFA Executive Director, Michael Conlon:

 

Dear colleagues,

 

Following our review of the budget document on Friday, we have been further looking into the details of the different provisions and changes in the Ontario budget bill. We have identified a new amendment to the Ministry of Training, Education and Universities Act in the budget bill which proposes the addition of a new and problematic section to the Act, allowing the Minister to make regulations governing the “reduction, limitation and alteration of compensation due to certain individuals” – these individuals being defined as employees older than 65 who are eligible to collect a pension.

 

This is of course in line with what we had heard from the Ministry in February regarding their interest in a policy that would address the matter of individuals working past the age 65 and collecting pension while employed. While the language in the budget document itself is pretty vague on the government’s plan, the budget bill (the extended piece of legislation) includes more detailed language.

 

We have attached the proposed language of the bill to this email for your information (www.ocufa.on.caBudget bill- MTCU act). OCUFA is currently actively working with different partners and seeking legal opinion on how best to respond to this new provision. We will keep you all updated as more information becomes available to us.

 

Regards,

 

Michael Conlon, Ph.D

Executive Director

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

17 Isabella Street

Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7

Tel: 416-979-2117 x229

Fax: 416-593-5607

E-mail: mconlon @ocufa.on.ca

Web: www.ocufa.on.ca

www.academicmatters.ca

www.weteachontario.ca

Mina Rajabi Paak

Policy Analyst, Community and Government Relations

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)

Tel: (416) 979 2117 X 223

Direct Tel: (416) 306 6032

Cell:  647 546 2523

Email:   mrajabi @ocufa.on.ca

 

OCUFA Report

April 4th, 2019
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In this issue…

You’re invited to Worldviews 2019: An unconventional convention

First OCUFA Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism awarded to Nicholas Hune-Brown

McMaster University Faculty Association makes significant gains in faculty benefits in latest agreement

New articles from Academic Matters

 

 

You’re invited to Worldviews 2019: An unconventional convention

This June, join participants from around the globe for the 2019 Worldviews on Media and Higher Education Conference in Toronto, Canada.

Register for Worldviews 2019: Democracy at risk? Reflecting on the future of higher education and media in a post-truth world.

Taking place June 12-14, the three-day conference will focus on democracy and the changing power relations of higher education and the media in the global north and south – specifically examining the concept of expertise in a “post-truth” world and the types of voices amplified by emerging technologies.

 

 

Watch the conference teaser video and learn more.

The conference will bring together a diverse group of academics, students, higher education leaders, communications professionals, and journalists with a wide range of experiences, insights, and opinions.

Through a series of keynote talks, panel discussions, interviews, and interactive exhibits, conference participants will focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the democratization of higher education and the media, engage in an ongoing and lively exchange of ideas, and explore innovative possibilities for partnerships.

Register today to qualify for a special early bird rate.

Learn more about the conference sessions and speakers by visiting the Worldviews website or downloading the conference application for your phone and using the code wv2019.

 

 

First OCUFA Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism awarded to Nicholas Hune-Brown

Nicholas Hune-Brown has been awarded the inaugural OCUFA Fellowship in Higher Education Journalism. Hune-Brown is a Toronto-based magazine writer whose work has appeared in Toronto Life, Slate, The Walrus, The Guardian, and other publications. He is the winner of multiple National Magazine Awards and is the features editor of The Local.

The Fellowship was established to help address the shortage of informed investigative reporting on Canadian higher education issues in the Canadian media. Open to full-time, part-time, and freelance journalists, including students, the fellowship is designed to support those wishing to pursue in-depth and innovative journalism on higher education.

A year-long Fellowship, Hune-Brown will spend the next several months engaged in research and is expected to have his work published by early 2020.

 

 

McMaster University Faculty Association makes significant gains in faculty benefits in latest agreement

The McMaster University Faculty Association (MUFA) has ratified a three-year agreement with their university administration. Significant achievements include extensive improvements to benefits in areas such as mental health, hearing aids, and medical device coverage. MUFA also successfully negotiated increases to its professional development allowance and dependant tuition bursary program. Among other improvements, the association achieved across-the-board salary increases comparable to other faculty associations.

 

 

New articles from Academic Matters

There is more to Academic Matters than just the print issue. New articles are being added to the Academic Matters website every week. Here are some recent articles you might find interesting:

Healthy research ecosystem – healthy researchers? The researcher as an organism of focus within a ‘research ecosystem’
By Michelle L.A. Nelson and Ross Upshur
“The academic research environment is changing and researchers report struggling to adapt in order to be successful. Funding shortfalls are perennial, but what systemic shifts should occur to enable researchers at all career stages to be productive and successful?”

Université de l’Ontario français: a 21st-century university
By Marc L. Johnson, Francophone Hub of Knowledge and Innovation
“Ontario’s French community has been asking for a university governed by and for Francophones. Even without the support of the Ontario government, could the modern curriculum proposed for the Université de l’Ontario français provide a way forward?”

University of California’s break with the biggest academic publisher could shake up scholarly publishing for good
By MacKenzie Smith, University of California, Davis
“The University of California recently made international headlines when it canceled its subscription with scientific journal publisher Elsevier. The twittersphere lit up. And Elsevier’s parent company, RELX, saw its stock drop 7 percent in response to the announcement. A library canceling a subscription seems …”

 

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Citizen science can help solve our data crisis
By Tarun Katapally, University of Regina
“A recent news article in the Globe and Mail highlighted Canada’s data crisis and identified at least 28 critical gaps. These gaps intersect multiple sectors, ranging from health and education to environment, justice and Indigenous issues — a dearth that leaves researchers and policy makers …”

Subsidized privilege: The real scandal of American universities
By Neil McLaughlin, McMaster University
“U.S. federal prosecutors have charged 50 people — 38 of them are parents — for allegedly being involved in fraud schemes to secure spots at Yale, Stanford and other big-name schools. Prosecutors accused some parents of paying millions of dollars in bribes to get their …”

Unrealistic striving for academic excellence has a cost
By Tanya Chichekian, Université de Sherbrooke
“In my past experience as an academic adviser, it was difficult to explain to a disappointed family why their child did not make an admissions cut-off when the student’s overall high school average was over 80 per cent. I also accompanied students who …”

Universities: increasingly stressful environments taking psychological toll – here’s what needs to change
By Luca Morini, Coventry University
“Every year, millions of international students travel to different countries to study at university. This, together with a lack of public funding for universities, has created an increasingly competitive market in which universities work directly against each other to chase students and the money they …”

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OCUFA Report

March 29th, 2019

In this issue…
Ontario’s university faculty troubled by results of Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey
OCUFA faculty associations participate in constituency week advocacy
Watch the 2019 Worldviews Lecture by Tanya Talaga: Truth and reconciliation in higher education and the media
UOITFA reaches collective agreement on behalf of newly consolidated bargaining unit

Ontario’s university faculty troubled by results of Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey
Ontario’s university faculty were troubled to learn the results of the Ontario Government’s Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey released on Tuesday, March 19. It is deeply disturbing that over 63 per cent of university students surveyed disclosed an experience of sexual harassment and that sexual violence remains so pervasive on campus. These results point to the hard work still needed to create campuses and communities free of sexual harassment and violence.
“It’s deeply disturbing to see just how pervasive sexual harassment and violence is for students attending Ontario’s universities,” said Gyllian Phillips, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. “As faculty, and as members of the university community, we are committed to continuing to work with students and universities towards eliminating sexual violence on our campuses.”
University faculty are pleased to see the provincial government focusing on efforts to support universities and students, including increasing funding for the Women’s Campus Safety Grant. However, the money will do little to make up for the hundreds of millions of dollars pulled out of the university system earlier this year. Faculty will be looking for the government to demonstrate a commitment to postsecondary education and the vital support services universities provide by increasing investments in Ontario’s universities in the coming budget.
It is also important to acknowledge that it is campus students’ unions and campus media who have been leaders in pointing out the shortcomings in university, college, and government policy on sexual violence and sexual harassment campus. They have been at the forefront of the work to create better sexual violence prevention policies on campus. It is, therefore, unfortunate that the government made today’s announcement while continuing their attacks on the very student organizations that have been so instrumental in raising awareness and driving progress on these issues.
“The government should stop undermining the ability of students’ unions to support and advocate on behalf of their members through the Student Choice Initiative,” said Phillips. “Instead, this government should support students by investing in postsecondary education and ensuring that universities and students’ unions have the resources to support a campus free from sexual violence.”
Sexual violence is unacceptable. The results of this survey demonstrate the severity of the problem on university and college campuses and the need for substantial resources and strong students’ unions and campus media to effectively address these issues. Faculty are committed to this work and to partnering with students, staff, university administrators, and the provincial government to create safer campuses.

OCUFA faculty associations participate in constituency week advocacy
During the week of March 11th, OCUFA member associations from across the province participated in a series of advocacy meetings with MPPs in their ridings. These meetings were organized during a “constituency week” – a week when the provincial legislature is not sitting and many MPPs return to their ridings to hold meetings with their constituents.
Constituency week provided an important opportunity for faculty to discuss important postsecondary issues with MPPs, including:
• committing to a faculty renewal strategy that supports full-time hiring at universities while creating pathways to secure jobs for contract faculty;
• moving away from punitive university funding models based on performance metrics and urging greater consultation with faculty about university funding frameworks; and
• improving access to postsecondary education through protecting and expanding funding for postsecondary education in Ontario.
This is the first time that OCUFA faculty associations strategically engaged in a series of coordinated meetings with MPPs in their ridings during constituency week. Faculty association representatives have provided positive feedback on the meetings with their MPPs. It is an important step in building a strong relationship with their local representatives and increasing the awareness of faculty priorities. Moving forward, OCUFA will continue to support faculty associations wishing to participate in constituency week meetings with their MPPs.

Watch the 2019 Worldviews Lecture by Tanya Talaga: Truth and reconciliation in higher education and the media

At the 2019 Worldviews Lecture, Ojibway author and journalist Tanya Talaga addressed the need for better education for Indigenous students in Canada and how higher education can be a part of the solution. After her lecture, Talaga joined a panel discussion about the responsibilities higher education and the media have regarding truth and reconciliation.
Watch the 2019 Worldviews Lecture by Tanya Talaga on truth and reconciliation in higher education and the media.
Talaga’s started her lecture by stating that the history of what has happened in this country needs to be remembered when searching for paths forward. Many of the problems Indigenous students face when trying to access education stem from the generations of oppression that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples have endured. She reminded the audience that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action were particularly meant for non-Indigenous Canadians to embrace as steps toward reconciliation.
Talaga noted that while promoting her book, Seven Fallen Feathers, after every event at least one audience member would come and tell her that they did not know about Canada’s residential school system. She pointed to the omission of this history in Canada’s schools as the cause of this lack of awareness. Talaga recalled that even in her history classes at the University of Toronto, Indigenous peoples were only reference in a couple of paragraphs about the fur trade. This historical ignorance feeds into how and why many Canadians fail to understand the issues preventing Indigenous students from accessing education today.
Talaga explained that there are very few high schools in Indigenous communities, forcing young teenagers to move away from home to receive an education. These students have to leave their family, their culture, and their languages to attend high school in cities hundreds of kilometres away.
Even though education is a fundamental right in this country, the schools Indigenous youth attend are often understaffed and underfunded. Talaga referenced Journalists for Human Rights’ most recent report Emerging Voices, where they reported that a lack of internet and computer access, as well as distance and funding are some of the main barriers that Indigenous students face when trying to access education.
Talaga suggested that, in order to get Indigenous students better access to postsecondary education, universities and colleges need to reach out to nearby Indigenous communities. For example, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School has partnered with Confederation College so high school students can get college credits to help them transition to Lakehead University through a bridge program. Talaga said that if postsecondary institutions want to learn about creating a better relationship with Indigenous communities, they should pick up a phone, make an appointment, and go and talk to members of the community to figure out how they can improve their programs, services, and supports.
To conclude her talk, Talaga urged the audience to use their knowledge and tools to try to make a change. She said that Senator Murray Sinclair, the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, once told her that education got us into this mess, but education will also get us out.
Talaga’s lecture was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Jesse Wente and audience questions.
David Newhouse, a professor of Indigenous Studies in the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies at Trent University, focused on the importance of using Indigenous knowledge at universities and in research. He said that there is now a foundation that can be used to move forward, but universities need to do better. He was critical of universities that create Indigenous programming that only meets some of the needs of Indigenous communities and that, without using Indigenous knowledge, universities are continuing the work of the residential schools. He hopes that by including Indigenous knowledge at universities, Indigenous students can see what they can contribute to the world.
Susan Hill, Director of the Centre for Indigenous Studies at the University of Toronto, spoke about the importance of restitution in order for there to truly be reconciliation. Hill illustrated that there are many uncomfortable conversations that have to happen. In order to achieve reconciliation, Indigenous peoples need fair compensation for the dispossession of their lands and resources. As well, there need to be more educational supports for language revitalization and a recognition of our collective environmental responsibility. She said the reality is that no one is going anywhere, so we need to find a way to make this work.
Hayden King, Executive Director of the Yellowhead Institute and Advisor to the Dean of Arts on Indigenous Education at Ryerson University, echoed Talaga’s frustration with the lack of settler knowledge around Indigenous history in Canada. Even though Indigenous leaders have been speaking out about the atrocities that their peoples have faced for generations, King said it is Canadians’ willful ignorance and colonial amnesia that has allowed this history to go unacknowledged for so long. He argued that Indigenous history is not a story of victimization but of resistance and that in order for reconciliation to happen there needs to be meaningful action.
Jesse Wente, an Ojibwe writer, broadcaster, producer, and Director of the Indigenous Screen Office in Canada, spoke about the fact that Canadians are stuck in the “truth” part of truth and reconciliation. He said that the truth part is easy but it also forces Canadians to confront the fact that they benefit from what has happened, and continues to happen, to Indigenous peoples. Reconciliation is harder and fundamentally challenging for Canada – a country known as a respectful, free, and inclusive nation, but which, in reality, was built through killing, stealing from, and oppressing Indigenous peoples. Wente also pointed out the role that education and media have played in supporting colonialism and hundreds of years of injustice and suffering. He challenged educators and journalists to teach the truth and tell different stories that build understanding and help envision a path forward that recognizes the rights of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples

UOITFA reaches collective agreement on behalf of newly consolidated bargaining unit
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association (UOITFA) has ratified a three-year agreement with their university administration. This is the first agreement UOITFA has achieved with its newly merged unit after they consolidated bargaining units last year. The agreement applies to tenured and tenure-stream faculty and teaching faculty (who previously had separate agreements), as well as limited term faculty, for whom this is their first agreement. The association achieved across-the-board salary increases comparable to other faculty associations. Significant achievements included extensive improvements to benefits in areas such as vision care, paramedical, and hearing aid coverage. The UOITFA also successfully negotiated increases to the contributions for its defined contribution pension plan as part of its effort to enhance the retirement security of its members.

Report of the OCUFA Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching Working Group released

February 7th, 2019

The Report of the OCUFA Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching Working Group has now been released. The report may be accessed directly, or via an OCUFA Report Briefing Note or OCUFA’s press release (also reproduced below).

OCUFA report reveals systemic discrimination and harassment in use of university student questionnaires

TORONTO, February 6, 2019 – A new report published by a working group of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations exposes substantial issues with student questionnaires on courses and teaching (SQCTs), including endemic bias and systemic discrimination. These end-of-term student questionnaires are common practice at universities across Canada.

The report finds that student questionnaire scores fail to accurately reflect teaching quality and that their results are not suitable for determining faculty pay, promotion, tenure, or contract renewal. Student questionnaire results are skewed by many factors outside an instructor’s control, including class size, time, subject, and the professor’s race, gender, or accent. Additionally, the report finds that current SQCT practices facilitate the harassment of faculty, compromise educational quality, and are not an appropriate metric for determining university funding levels.

“Faculty understand that student feedback is vital for improving teaching and course development,” said Gyllian Phillips, President of OCUFA. “But, as this report clearly demonstrates, using student questionnaires to evaluate faculty performance is counterproductive and harmful, and it raises serious equity questions. The goal of student questionnaires should be to inform a better understanding of the teaching and learning experience, not to penalize faculty for their class size, instructional innovations, gender, or skin colour.”

The report is one of the most exhaustive of its kind in Canada and examines the methodological, research ethics, and human rights implications of student questionnaires. It finds that:

  • Women, racialized, and LGBTQ2S+ faculty, as well as faculty with disabilities, receive lower scores than their white male colleagues. Using SQCTs to determine pay and promotion risks marginalizing these equity seeking groups even further, impacting their career prospects and limiting academic diversity.
  • It is impossible to adjust SQCT scores to account for their bias.
  • Anonymous SQCT comments are regularly used to target faculty members with abusive, harassing, and harmful comments.
  • Students are not adequately informed about how SQCTs are used, or how their information can be shared.
  • Using SQCT scores to evaluate teaching discourages innovation and undermines student learning.

“Given the serious problems with student questionnaires detailed in this report, it is evident that universities must stop using these questionnaires to make decisions about promotion, tenure, or the reappointment of contract faculty,” said Phillips. “Instead, our universities should invest in more effective and accurate, qualitative methods for evaluating teaching, particularly peer evaluation. The government should abandon any idea of using these flawed metrics to determine university funding levels – research has clearly shown that SQCT metrics not only don’t work, they perpetuate inequity.”

The report proposes several recommendations for refocusing student questionnaires so they can be used to improve student learning and education quality. First and foremost, the report recommends limiting the use of student questionnaires to formative purposes to provide instructors with student feedback on how to improve their teaching and course development. The report also recommends using peer evaluation, where trained faculty members audit classes and evaluate instructors.

Putting these principles into practice will require resources and the willingness of both the provincial government and university administrations to support faculty and students and invest in the effective evaluation of teaching as a vital component of the academic mission.

OCUFA thanks the members of the working group for their hard work in putting together this comprehensive report. The full report can be downloaded here: https://ocufa.on.ca/assets/OCUFA-SQCT-Report.pdf

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario.

–30–

To arrange interviews or for more information, please contact:
Ben Lewis, OCUFA Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca
Michael Conlon, OCUFA Executive Director at 416-306-6030 or mconlon@ocufa.on.ca

 

Other inquiries may be directed to me.

 

Russell Janzen, Senior Research Analyst

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

17 Isabella Street

Toronto, ON     M4Y 1M7

 

Tel: 416-306-6037

416-979-2117 ext. 233

Fax: 416-593-5607

Web: www.ocufa.on.ca

 

This message (email and any attachments or linked material) may contain information that is confidential and/or subject to licensing restrictions. It is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). If you have received this message in error, please contact me immediately and delete all copies. Thank you.

 

OCUFA statement on the Ontario government’s cancellation of the French-language university

November 30th, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

 

Please find attached OCUFA’s statement (in English and French) regarding the Ontario government’s recent cancellation of the planned French-language university in the province.

 

Also, at the CAUT Council meeting last weekend, a motion was also passed condemning the Ontario government’s decision and a letter sent from CAUT to the Ontario Premier regarding the motion.

 

Best regards,

Mark

——————————————————–

Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D

Executive Director

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

17 Isabella Street

Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7

Tel: 416-979-2117 x229

Fax: 416-593-5607

E-mail: mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca

Web: www.ocufa.on.ca

www.academicmatters.ca

www.weteachontario.ca

 

Nominations for OCUFA’s 2018 Lorimer Distinguished Service Award for Bargaining – deadline December 08, 2018 – Final Notice

November 9th, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

This is the final notice regarding nominations for OCUFA’s  2018 Lorimer Award. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to improving the terms and conditions of employment of Ontario university faculty through bargaining. It was created by OCUFA in 2009 in honor of Doug and Joyce Lorimer.

Attached to this email, please find promotional flyers in English and French which you can share with your association. Additional information, nomination forms and guidelines can be found at:

http://ocufa.on.ca/awards/lorimer-award-bargaining-award-2/   The nomination deadline is December 7, 2018.

The 2018 Lorimer Award will be presented at the February 9, 2019 awards lunch during the OCUFA Board meeting at the Westin Habour Castle Hotel in Toronto.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,
Mark

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Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Executive Director
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7
Tel: 416-979-2117 x229
Fax: 416-593-5607
E-mail: mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca
Web: www.ocufa.on.ca
www.academicmatters.ca
www.weteachontario.ca
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