On Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10, OCUFA held its second Board of Directors meeting of the 2018-19 academic year. Over the weekend, board members discussed the organization’s current priorities – good jobs, university funding, and capacity building – with a focus on challenges to the postsecondary sector under the current government. During a special lunchtime reception on the Saturday, board members and colleagues celebrated the winner of OCUFA’s Lorimer Award, which recognizes those who have improved the terms and conditions of employment of Ontario university faculty through bargaining, and the winners of the Equity and Social Justice Committee Award of Distinction, which recognizes faculty whose work has improved the lives and working conditions of academics who are Indigenous, women, racialized, LGBTQ2S+, living with disabilities and/or belong to other historically marginalized groups.
Reflecting on Indigenizing Ontario universities
A special talk was presented by David Newhouse, who is Onondaga from the Six Nations of the Grand River community near Brantford, Ontario, was the first Principal of the new Peter Gzowski College at Trent University and Chair of the Department of Indigenous Studies. He is also an Associate Professor in the Business Administration Program. He presented on reconciliation and indigenization in the context of Ontario universities, including on the hiring of indigenous faculty, and his talk was followed by a lively discussion in which board members engaged Newhouse on the substantive topics in his presentation.
Celebrating excellence in teaching and promoting equity
A special luncheon ceremony celebrated the recipients of OCUFA’s awards.
Steven Bednarski, professor at St. Jerome’s University won the 2018 Lorimer Award.
Established in honour of Doug and Joyce Lorimer, who were instrumental in advancing faculty association collective bargaining in Ontario, the Lorimer Award recognizes individuals who have worked to protect and promote the interests of Ontario’s academic staff through collective bargaining.
Over the past ten years, Steven has played a pivotal role as a negotiator or chief negotiator in four rounds of bargaining. With a remarkable sense of solidarity, Steven has fostered a sense of community, both on the team and within the broader association membership. His capacity for research, sharp intellect, meticulous record keeping, and generosity is well known among his colleagues at St. Jerome’s and across.
Susan Hillock, associate professor at Trent University and Lianne Leddy, assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University both won the 2018 Equity and Social Justice Committee Award of Distinction.
The award, sponsored by OCUFA’s Equity and Social Justice Committee, recognizes faculty whose work has improved the lives and working conditions of academics who are Indigenous, women, racialized, LGBTQ2S+, living with disabilities and/or belong to other historically marginalized groups.
Professor Leddy is a mentor to Indigenous students and an ally to other faculty and staff. She is widely respected for her knowledge and expertise and has served as the Indigenous Studies Program Coordinator for three years, was a member of the Indigenous Research Ethics Conference organizing committee, and actively supports other departments and programs in the university with their efforts to incorporate Indigenous curriculum.
Professor Hillock is the founding director of the Department of Social Work at Trent University. In her work, she uses a feminist lens to explore gender, sexuality, and anti-oppression training in social work. She has worked tirelessly to engage Trent staff in discussions of equity in terms of gender and queer equality. In particular, she has focused on recruitment, hiring, and retention of faculty and staff, as well as the recruitment and retention of students
The next OCUFA Board of Directors meeting will be held May 25-26, 2019.