Latest Posts

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

| | Be the first to leave a comment

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.”

OCUFA sends letter in support of striking UNBC faculty

| | Be the first to leave a comment

OCUFA President Rahul Sapra has written a letter to the Board of Governors Chair and President at the University of Northern British Columbia expressing OCUFA’s support for the faculty currently striking at UNBC.


Dear Ms. Ongman,

I am writing today, on behalf of 17,000 university faculty and academic librarians at our 30 member associations, to implore you to return to the table and negotiate a collective agreement in good faith with the UNBC Faculty Association. It is also time for the Board of Governors to exercise some leadership in moving beyond the toxic labour relations environment that has plagued UNBC in recent years.

Faculty at UNBC are consistently faced with an administration that is openly hostile to faculty and regularly misunderstands and insults the role of faculty at a research university. Two strikes in less than five years speaks to a deeply dysfunctional relationship that is undermining the reputation of UNBC. As evidenced by a variety of rankings, UNBC faculty are amongst the most accomplished and dedicated in the country yet their pay consistently ranks amongst the worst in the country. It is simply unacceptable that the administration would continue to attempt to leverage concessions from librarians and precarious contract faculty in exchange for the most modest of wage adjustments. It is also alarming that the administration is asking for concessions on collegial governance in exchange for their wage proposal. Indeed, the core problem at UNBC is a lack of meaningful collegial governance and any step backward on that front must be rejected.

Faculty across Ontario will stand in solidarity with our colleagues at UNBC until they achieve a fair settlement. It is time for the Board of Governors at UNBC to show some leadership and direct the administration bargaining team to return to the table and end this dispute.

Yours Sincerely,

Rahul Sapra
President, OCUFA


Download a PDF of the letter here.

Nominations open for OCUFA’s Status of Women and Equity Award of Distinction

| | Be the first to leave a comment

The Status of Women and Equity Award of Distinction celebrates the outstanding contributions of OCUFA members whose work has contributed meaningfully to the advancement of professors, academic librarians, and/or academic staff who are Indigenous, women, racialized, LGBTQ2S+, living with disabilities, and/or belong to other historically marginalized groups.

Additional information, guidelines, and application portal can be found at https://ocufa.on.ca/awards/status-of-women-award-of-distinction/

The nomination deadline is November 22nd, 2019.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jordyn Perreault-Laird (Jordynpl@ocufa.on.ca).

OCUFA maintains focus on good jobs, university funding, and capacity building at 159th Board Meeting

| | Be the first to leave a comment

On Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20, OCUFA held its first Board of Directors meeting of the 2019-20 academic year. The weekend oriented new board members to OCUFA and allowed members to discuss the implications of the Ford government’s attacks on public postsecondary education in Ontario.

During the meeting, there were special presentations on two of Ford’s reckless schemes: the proposed shift to performance-based funding and the Student Choice Initiative. Taking stock of Ontario’s political landscape, members chose to continue focusing on good jobs, university funding, and capacity building as OCUFA’s priorities for the year.

On Saturday, during a special lunchtime reception, Board members and colleagues celebrated the winners of the 2019 OCUFA Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards, which featured a touching speech by special guest, Robert Fisher.

Priorities

Following a year of attacks on Ontario’s public services, including postsecondary education, the Ford government’s popularity has been dwindling and they have been forced to walk-back several of their ill-considered austerity measures. While it is unlikely Ford will become more reasonable in the year ahead, it has become clear that his government can be pressured to walk back some of their announcements. With that in mind, OCUFA has chosen to maintain its focus on the most high-profile needs at Ontario’s universities: good jobs and increased public funding.

Unfortunately, despite a new Minister of Colleges and Universities, the government continues its refusal to meet with any sector stakeholders other than university administrations. This makes OCUFA’s third priority for the year all the more important: build capacity across Ontario to put pressure on this government to withdraw its damaging policies and proposals.

Good jobs

Advocating for good jobs has taken on particular urgency under the current government. With the introduction of Bill 124 on June 5, Ford made clear the government’s intent to cap broader public sector compensation increases at one per cent per year. This legislation is an attack on the right to free and fair collective bargaining, a threat to pay equity and benefits for contract faculty and other marginalized workers, and an erosion of the foundations of Ontario’s important public services. Further, because faculty members are employed by and negotiate their contracts with universities, not the provincial government, this legislation would violate university autonomy.

More broadly, OCUFA continues to advocate for a postsecondary education system where every academic job is a good job with fair compensation, reasonable workloads, access to benefits, and job security. Delivering fairness for contract faculty and committing to faculty renewal will create more good jobs on our campuses and ensure that students have access to the quality learning experience they deserve.

University funding

OCUFA has held a long-standing goal of increasing public funding for universities to support high-quality postsecondary education in Ontario. Unfortunately, the Ford government’s April Budget introduced a drastic move towards tying funding to market-based “performance” outcomes. This would mean that, by 2024-25, 60 per cent (an estimated $2.2 billion) of university funding would be based on their ability to meet certain performance targets prescribed by the government.

To put it plainly, the Ford government is not qualified to evaluate postsecondary education, and this is demonstrated by the arbitrary performance metrics they have chosen to use when making decisions about university funding. These metrics were chosen with no consultation and, instead of measuring performance, will likely lead to university budget cuts and greater inequities across the system.

The Ford government’s reckless performance funding model prioritizes politics over sound public policy. By design, performance funding rewards institutions that meet arbitrary targets while penalizing those that do not, denying vital funding to those institutions that need it most to improve their educational outcomes.

This rash and drastic funding shift will create a system of winners and losers by exacerbating inequities between institutions, destabilize Ontario’s postsecondary education system, work against quality improvement, pose a serious threat to equity and diversity at Ontario’s universities, and punish students studying at institutions that have already seen their budgets reduced by the Ford government.

In a presentation on the new funding model, OCUFA Community and Government Relations Policy Analyst Mina Rajabi Paak provided an update on timelines and details for the frameworks implementation, as well as the work OCUFA is doing to push back against this dangerous approach to university funding.

Capacity building

In recent years, OCUFA has put more emphasis on capacity building and political organizing in the service of the priorities identified by Ontario faculty. Ultimately, the power to effect change comes from the capacity of faculty to mobilize their colleagues and other members of the university and broader community.

Through new trainings focused on collective bargaining strategies for the new political reality in Ontario and ongoing mobilization by OCUFA’s Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement Committee, Ontario’s faculty are developing new approaches to strengthening their voices, building solidarity, and exploring new ways to put pressure on decision-makers.

Examining the implications of the Student Choice Initiative

During a special presentation, Felipe Nagata, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario (CFS-Ontario), and Kayla Weiler, National Executive Representative for CFS-Ontario, provided an update on the impacts of the Ford government’s Student Choice Initiative (SCI).

Introduced in January, the SCI requires institutions to provide an opt-out option for “non-essential services,” which include democratically determined student union dues and student newspaper fees. As Nagata and Weiler noted, this represents a direct attack on student rights, student unions, and student press on our campuses.

Student unions have started their academic year with extreme uncertainty about their operating budgets, unsure of whether or not they will be able to provide many of the important services and activities their members have come to rely upon. In the past month, many of these services have been cut or scaled back, and many student staff positions eliminated.

In response to the SCI, CFS-Ontario has partnered with the York Federation of Students to launch a legal challenge seeking to demonstrate that the government lacks the authority to implement and enforce the directive and that the SCI should be withdrawn.

OCUFA continues to support CFS-Ontario’s resistance to the government’s introduction of the SCI as well as the recent and dramatic cuts to OSAP.

Celebrating excellence in teaching

Finally, a special luncheon gala celebrated the recipients of this year’s Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards. Since 1973, these awards have recognized the exceptional contributions made by professors and librarians to the quality of higher education in Ontario.

The 2018-2019 Teaching Award recipients are:

  • Sue Baptiste, Professor Emerita in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University
  • Daniel Gillis, Associate Professor in the School of Computing Science at the University of Guelph
  • Jennifer Irwin, Professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University
  • Andrew Petersen, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga

The 47th annual awards ceremony featured a keynote address from award-winning journalist Robert Fisher, who provided a touching and humorous account of his journey through postsecondary education and the important role faculty played in shaping his life.

The next OCUFA Board of Directors meeting will be held February 8-9, 2020.

Application deadline extended – Job posting: Director of Collective Bargaining Services

| | Be the first to leave a comment

The Director of Collective Bargaining Services is part of a team of policy staff who work collaboratively to deliver the services required to meet OCUFA’s mandate. As a senior position in the OCUFA office, at policy level B, this position involves team leadership of specific projects.

Areas of Responsibility

  • Working under the supervision of the Executive Director, the successful candidate for the Collective Bargaining Services Coordinator will provide tactical and strategic leadership to OCUFA member associations in collective bargaining, provide leadership in collecting and disseminating bargaining research, and lead bargaining training for OCUFA member associations as needed.
  • Provide tactical and strategic support to member associations throughout the lifecycle of bargaining, including when they are at the table.
  • Providing training in collective bargaining to member associations when requested.
  • Critically analyzing salary, pension, benefit and other terms and conditions data and policies within an advocacy and collective bargaining framework
  • Supporting faculty association contract negotiation requests with required data, analysis, research, language development, and strategy
  • Assisting faculty associations to access and achieve desired outcomes through third party processes
  • Analyzing and advising on legislation and government policy affecting collective bargaining and faculty working conditions
  • Assisting faculty associations in developing effective association structures and processes related to bargaining and member mobilization
  • Writing reports, speeches, letters for the OCUFA president, Executive Director, and Executive members and relevant committees
  • Staff support to OCUFA Board, assigned committees, workshops and conferences
  • Other duties may be assigned from time to time as the needs of OCUFA, or its circumstances, change. Such duties shall be discussed prior to assignment to ensure compatibility with workload and area of expertise

Skills and Experience

  • 10 years experience in collective bargaining and labour relations.
  • A high level of demonstrated research and analytical skills
  • Extensive background in collective bargaining and labour relations in higher education
  • An in-depth understanding of advocacy research, critical policy analysis, and effective collective bargaining negotiation and strategy
  • Demonstrated record of providing strategic advice and research under pressure.
  • Ability to synthesize and filter a large amount of information in a succinct manner and write accessible reports for a wide range of audiences
  • A minimum of a graduate degree and experience in public policy research (or the equivalent combination of education and work experience)
  • Ability to work collegially when leading large projects

This is a regular, full-time position at the Policy B level. The salary range for this position is $102,212 – $127,781 plus a generous benefits plan fully paid for by OCUFA and a generous pension plan. The terms and conditions of employed are governed by the collective agreement between OCUFA and CUPE 1281.

OCUFA is committed to the principle of employment equity, is a unionized and equal opportunity employer, and welcomes diversity in the workplace.

Please submit your application with resume and the names of three references by November 25, 2019 to:

Michael Conlon, Ph.D
Executive Director
OCUFA
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1M7
mconlon@ocufa.on.ca

Contract faculty across Ontario take action during Fair Employment Week

| | Be the first to leave a comment

Every October the Canadian Association of University Teachers organizes a week where faculty across Canada take action on campus and social media to recognize the important contributions contract faculty make to postsecondary education and raise awareness about the challenges they face. Principal among these concerns are that many contract faculty have to reapply for their jobs every term, are hired to teach courses for which they are paid less than their full‐time tenure‐stream colleagues, and lack access to benefits.

This year’s Fair Employment Week was special, as it occurred right in the middle of a hotly contested federal election.

Regional meetings held in Southwestern and Eastern Ontario

As part of Fair Employment Week, OCUFA’s Contract Faculty-Faculty Complement committee held two regional meetings at Queen’s University and Western University, with the goal of connecting the struggles of contract and full-time faculty. The alarming increase of precarious academic work on campuses, and the decline in faculty renewal and increase in full-time faculty workloads are two sides of the same coin.

The regional meetings included a panel of presenters from both locations, joined through a video link. Kimberly Ellis-Hale, an instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University and Chair of OCUFA’s Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement Committee; Ann Bigelow, a lecturer at Western University and OCUFA Treasurer, John Ciriello, President of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association; and Carolina Cancelliere, a professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The panelists discussed the cuts and problematic policies introduced by the Ford government and their experiences. The panel was followed by local strategy discussions for supporting contract faculty, and building solidarity between full-time tenure-stream and contract faculty on campus.

OCADU professors mount special “The Gleaners” art exhibit

For Fair Employment Week, members of the Ontario College of Art and Design Faculty Association (OCADFA) mounted a special art exhibit to draw attention to the challenges faced by contract faculty at OCADU.

“This installation is a reminder of the struggle that many workers still face at universities and colleges across Canada, including OCADU,” said Surendra Lawoti, Interim President of OCADFA. “It’s time for OCADU to step up and show our contract faculty members the respect they have earned after years and years of hard work and dedication.”

OCADU prides itself on hiring practicing artists, but often fails to foster an employment environment that supports and encourages their art practices to flourish. Created by Ines Scepanovic, “The Gleaners” art installation uses imagery from Francois Millet’s 1857 painting, The Gleaners, which depicts three impoverished farm workers collecting grain left behind after the harvest.

“Most of us are familiar with the iconic figures of The Gleaners,” said Bill Leaming, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at OCADU. “In this installation, these figures represent sessional instructors and the working conditions they must endure to survive. This exhibit shines a spotlight on the callous and hard-hearted economic calculus at work in education today.”

Events across Ontario

Many Ontario faculty associations hosted events on their own campuses to raise awareness about the need for university administrations to create good jobs on campus that provide contract faculty with fair working conditions and opportunities for research.

Many faculty associations set up tables and used the opportunity to build solidarity with fellow faculty members, staff, and students.

Help faculty avert a strike at Nipissing University

| | Be the first to leave a comment

The Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) needs your support to avert a strike. NUFA has been bargaining in good faith with their administration, presenting a modest and responsible package that fights for pension improvements and protects research supports.

Unfortunately, the Nipissing administration is proposing claw backs that will not only jeopardize faculty research and teaching, but will compromise the high quality education Nipissing students value. After months of talks, the administration has failed to engage in genuine negotiations on NUFA’s key issues and is pushing faculty into a strike position.

Together, we can show the Nipissing University Board of Governors that they need to get serious about making a reasonable and fair deal.

Help Nipissing faculty avert a strike by sending an email to Nipissing’s Board of Governors today: https://nufa.ca/take-action-in-support-of-faculty/

Contract faculty meet in Kingston and London to highlight impacts of precarious work at Ontario universities

| |

KINGSTON/LONDON (Oct 10, 2019) – Contract faculty members from across Ontario are meeting at Queen’s University in Kingston and Western University in London to strategize about how to push back against cuts to Ontario universities.

“This is an important week to raise awareness about the challenges faced by contract faculty across Canada and to recognize the important contributions they make at our universities,” said Kimberly Ellis-Hale, Chair of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association’s Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement Committee. “Too many contract faculty have to reapply for their jobs every term, are hired to teach courses for which they are paid less than their full‐time tenure‐stream colleagues, and lack access to benefits.”

Ontario has the lowest per-student university funding in Canada, and the gap continues to grow. As public postsecondary funding erodes, and the Ford government moves to introduce a reckless new performance funding model, universities have refused to invest in better working conditions for contract faculty.

It is estimated that up to 40 per cent of teaching faculty at the province’s universities are employed on short or limited term contacts, often without access to benefits, pensions, or even offices. As the Ford government continues to make announcements that destabilize funding for postsecondary education in Ontario, the future for already precariously employed contract faculty is of increasing concern.

The week of October 7-11 is Fair Employment Week, a national week of awareness that recognizes the important contributions of postsecondary contract faculty members and aims to educate students and other members of the community about the need for good jobs on campus.

Many participants in the meeting will also be hosting events on their own campuses to raise awareness about the need for university administrations to provide contract faculty with fair working conditions and opportunities for research to improve the education for students at Ontario universities.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit www.ocufa.on.ca.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca

OCUFA extends solidarity to education workers at Ontario’s elementary and high schools

| | 10 comments so far

Ontario’s university faculty and academic librarians stand in solidarity with the 55,000 Ontario elementary and high school education workers as they prepare for legal strike action on Monday, October 7th.

Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), these workers provide essential services that support the education of our children and maintain a clean and healthy environment in our schools. They deserve a fair agreement that recognizes and respects the important work they do.

OCUFA urges Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, and the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) to negotiate a fair deal with education workers and commit to making meaningful investments in Ontario’s public education system.

Representing faculty working at every university in the province, OCUFA is deeply alarmed by this government’s disregard for education. Ford’s cuts threaten the quality of education at our schools, colleges, and universities, and will negatively impact students across Ontario.

We need a government that values education, including the teachers and support staff who are so vital to our institutions of learning. We need a government that invests in better education for all students in Ontario.

As Ontario faculty, we will respect education worker picket lines and will not cross them. We encourage others to do the same.

Here are some of the many ways you can show your support for Ontario’s education workers today:

  1. Sign a petition in support of the education workers and send a message to the Premier, Minister, and your Local MPP at: https://cupe.on.ca/supporteducationworkers
  2. Call Minister of Education Stephen Lecce at 416-325-2600 urging him to negotiate a fair deal for Ontario’s education workers.
  3. Contact your Local School Board Trustee and urge them to negotiate a fair deal with education workers.
  4. If there is a strike, join a picket line at a school near you: Ontario education workers will be on the picket lines and need our support.
  5. Share your messages of support on Facebook and Twitter tagging @CUPEOntario and @OSBCUCSCSO.

OCUFA announces recipients of the 2018-2019 Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards

| |

TORONTO – The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its prestigious Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards. Since 1973, these awards have recognized the exceptional contributions made to the quality of higher education in Ontario by faculty.

“Faculty are at the heart of Ontario’s vibrant universities. Through their hard work and boundless energy, they inspire students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Rahul Sapra. “This year’s distinguished award recipients are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

The 2018-2019 Teaching Award recipients are:

  • Sue Baptiste, Professor Emerita in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University
  • Daniel Gillis, Associate Professor in the School of Computing Science at the University of Guelph
  • Jennifer Irwin, Professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University
  • Andrew Petersen, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga

The 47th annual awards ceremony, featuring special guest speaker and award-winning journalist Robert Fisher, will take place at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto on October 19, 2019.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. It is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members towards creating a world-class university system. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.

-30-

For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca

McMaster University’s Sue Baptiste receives prestigious OCUFA teaching award

| |

TORONTO — Sue Baptiste, a Professor Emerita in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). She will receive a 2018-2019 OCUFA Teaching Award at an October 19 ceremony in Toronto, featuring award-winning journalist Robert Fisher.

“For nearly 40 years, Sue Baptiste has worked to foster diversity as a core component of her research – an approach that has also permeated her teaching,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee. “She has demonstrated a commitment to education and mentorship that has impacted the lives of thousands of students and health practitioners.”

The other recipients of a 2018-2019 OCUFA Teaching Award are:

  • Daniel Gillis, Associate Professor in the School of Computing Science at the University of Guelph
  • Jennifer Irwin, Associate Professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University
  • Andrew Petersen, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga

“Faculty are at the heart of Ontario’s vibrant universities. Through their hard work and boundless energy, they inspire students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Rahul Sapra. “This year’s distinguished award recipients are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.

-30-

For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca

University of Guelph’s Daniel Gillis receives prestigious OCUFA teaching award

| |

TORONTO – Daniel Gillis, an Associate Professor in the School of Computing Science at the University of Guelph, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). He will receive a 2018-2019 OCUFA Teaching Award at an October 19 ceremony in Toronto, featuring award-winning journalist Robert Fisher.

“Daniel Gillis has succeeded in making the essential connection between what he teaches and the real world application of the skills developed by his students,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee. “These transformative experiences empower his graduates to reach their potential and produce a profound social impact through the contributions they make in their communities.”

The other recipients of a 2018-2019 OCUFA Teaching Award are:

  • Sue Baptiste, Professor Emerita in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University
  • Jennifer Irwin, Associate Professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University
  • Andrew Petersen, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga

“Faculty are at the heart of Ontario’s vibrant universities. Through their hard work and boundless energy, they inspire students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Rahul Sapra. “This year’s distinguished award recipients are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.

-30-

For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca

Western University’s Jennifer Irwin receives prestigious OCUFA teaching award

| |

TORONTO – Jennifer Irwin, a Professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). She will receive a 2018-2019 OCUFA Teaching Award at an October 19 ceremony in Toronto, featuring award-winning journalist Robert Fisher.

“Jennifer Irwin is gripped by a passion for health promotion and a belief that kindness and compassion function not only as learning goals, but are vital to the very process of learning,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee. “Through her work, she has elevated this core message of kindness into an effective pedagogical tool for active and engaged learning.”

The other recipients of a 2018-2019 OCUFA Teaching Award are:

  • Sue Baptiste, Professor Emerita in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University
  • Daniel Gillis, Associate Professor in the School of Computing Science at the University of Guelph
  • Andrew Petersen, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga

“Faculty are at the heart of Ontario’s vibrant universities. Through their hard work and boundless energy, they inspire students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Rahul Sapra. “This year’s distinguished award recipients are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.

-30-

For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca

University of Toronto Mississauga’s Andrew Petersen receives prestigious OCUFA teaching award

| |

TORONTO – Andrew Petersen, an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). He will receive a 2018-2019 OCUFA Teaching Award at an October 19 ceremony in Toronto, featuring award-winning journalist Robert Fisher.

“Andrew Petersen is a highly regarded colleague and mentor committed to educating his students and supporting his faculty colleagues,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee. “Through his work, Andrew has done a remarkable job contributing to the advancement of innovation in teaching and learning practices at UTM, and beyond.”

The other recipients of a 2018-2019 OCUFA Teaching Award are:

  • Sue Baptiste, Professor Emerita in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University
  • Daniel Gillis, Associate Professor in the School of Computing Science at the University of Guelph
  • Jennifer Irwin, Associate Professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University

“Faculty are at the heart of Ontario’s vibrant universities. Through their hard work and boundless energy, they inspire students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Rahul Sapra. “This year’s distinguished award recipients are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 30 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.

-30-

For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or blewis@ocufa.on.ca

OCUFA urges Attorney General to reverse cuts to Legal Aid Ontario

| | Be the first to leave a comment

On Wednesday, September 18, OCUFA President Rahul Sapra wrote to Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey to urge him to reverse the cuts to Legal Aid Ontario and to commit to protecting legal aid funding moving forward.

Legal Aid Ontario provides essential services for the most vulnerable in our province, such as injured workers, survivors of domestic violence, persons on social assistance, and other low-income and marginalized Ontarians. Faculty across Ontario are deeply concerned that the government’s decision to drastically cut the Legal Aid Ontario budget by 30 per cent will undermine access to justice, which is a fundamental right and a key tenant of democracy, for these vulnerable citizens. Faculty are particularly concerned about the impact of these cuts on women, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized persons who are disproportionately represented in Ontario’s low income population.

Some of the legal clinics that have received the most drastic cuts are those that have longstanding partnerships with Ontario law schools. Due to the cuts, the future of these partnerships is in doubt. The cuts to Legal Aid Ontario will also negatively impact legal education in the province. Student legal aid clinics are an integral part of Legal Aid Ontario, where law students provide free legal services to marginalized persons as part of their studies and training. The experiential learning law students are exposed to at legal aid clinics is irreplaceable in its value.

Sapra called on the Attorney General to reinstate legal aid funding and refrain from future cuts to Legal Aid Ontario.

Read the full letter here.