On Wednesday, March 1, university faculty from across Ontario gathered in Toronto to participate in a day of advocacy at the Ontario Legislature. Twenty-three faculty ambassadors spent the day meeting with over 35 Members of Provincial Parliament who have universities in their region. These included the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Deb Matthews, Progressive Conservative Advanced Education Critic Lorne Coe, and New Democratic Party Advanced Education Critic Peggy Sattler.
In their meetings, faculty focused on four priorities they want the government to take action on, including:
- investing in faculty renewal to replace retiring professors and keep pace with student enrolment;
- improving working conditions for contract academics through recommendations made to the Changing Workplaces Review;
- creating a new, independent agency to collect and disseminate data about the province’s postsecondary education system; and
- addressing the declining state of governance transparency and accountability at Ontario’s universities.
After a long day of engaging meetings, faculty, MPPs, and their staff gathered at a special reception to continue their conversations. The reception showcased large posters detailing the research of several professors who were on-hand to discuss their work’s importance for furthering knowledge and innovation in Ontario.
Many faculty were also active on social media, reporting back on their MPP meetings and the issues discussed. For a twitter review of the day’s meetings, click here.