New issue of Academic Matters examines the distribution of funding within the academy

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The latest issue of Academic Matters considers the economic and equity impacts of how university funding is allocated. How does this affect students, faculty, and staff at Ontario’s postsecondary institutions? Read the issue for free online.

Editorial Matters: Economics and inequality
By Ben Lewis, Editor-in-Chief
“It is commonly understood that postsecondary education ought to focus on fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, and vigorous debate, with the goal of generating new knowledge and informed citizens. As it happens, cultivating a culture of learning that embraces these values also requires robust public funding …”

Trending towards inequality: Understanding the role of universities in the rise of contract academic work
By Kimberly Ellis-Hale, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Glen Copplestone, King’s University College
“The 1990s are key to understanding how Ontario’s postsecondary institutions have systematically entrenched economic inequality between contract and tenure-stream faculty. Even with the chronic underfunding of postsecondary education, our universities are financially well-positioned to address precarity on campus.”

Healthy research ecosystem—healthy researchers? The researcher as an organism of focus within a research ecosystem
By Michelle L.A. Nelson and Ross Upshur, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto
“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?”

The corporatization of the university budget and its consequences for academic support workers
By Janice Folk-Dawson, Canadian Union of Public Employees
“As governments and administrators increasingly run universities like private corporations, academic support workers find their working conditions deteriorating and their jobs threatened. What are the roots of this ideological shift and how can we ensure that all work on campus is valued?”

How the “Student Choice Initiative” seeks to silence student voices
By Felipe Nagata, Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario
“For decades, students’ unions have been raising concerns about skyrocketing tuition fees. Now, in an obscene twist, the Ford government is using high student fees as an excuse to attack these democratic organizations and their ability to advocate for lower fees and better universities.”

As public postsecondary funding stagnates, the University of Toronto explores “alternative funding sources”
By Mariana Valverde, University of Toronto
“Universities increasingly rely on student fees and other alternative funding sources to make up for falling levels of government support, but perhaps these other funding sources aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.”

Identifying the gaps: Reflecting on a career pursuing understanding and equity in academia
By Donald C. Cole, University of Toronto
“Upon retiring, Professor Donald C. Cole took some time to consider his career at the University of Toronto. In doing so, he asks how faculty might be better supported in understanding their role promoting equity within the academy.”

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