On May 9, 2015, OCUFA held its 146th Board of Directors meeting. For the thirds and final meeting of the 2014-15 academic year, OCUFA representatives turned their attention to the University Funding Formula Review currently underway in Ontario alongside the organization’s ongoing priorities.
As a special order-of-the-day, Sue Herbert, executive lead of the funding formula review process, made a presentation on her mandate, the structure of the stakeholder consultations, and some initial thoughts on OCUFA’s funding principles. It was an excellent chance for OCUFA’s directors to get a sense of the government’s objectives, while providing an opportunity to ask question and raise some important points for consideration. OCUFA plans to fully engage with the funding formula review, and we will be providing updates and analysis to our members throughout the summer and into the fall.
OCUFA Directors also discussed the latest developments with Ontario Online, the province’s new online learning consortium. Despite letters from OCUFA and faculty associations across Ontario as well as from a number of MPPs, front-line faculty representatives have been excluded to date from Ontario Online’s governing board. At the meeting, it was decided that OCUFA should continue to press for an ex officio seat on the Board, and will be seeking support from student groups and other sector stakeholders to secure this important goal. Online learning remains a key priority for OCUFA, and proper representation at Ontario Online is an important part of this wider focus.
The Board meeting was also an opportunity to recognize some exceptional graduate students and faculty leaders. The Henry Mandelbaum Graduate Fellowship was awarded to Angela Underhill, from the University of Guelph, and Abena Kwatemaa Offeh-Gyimah, from McMaster University. The fellowship is awarded to students who have demonstrated academic excellence, shows exceptional academic promise, and has provided significant community service in their university career. OCUFA also awarded its 2015 Service Award to Wilfrid Laurier’s Bill Salatka and the University of Ottawa’s Micheline Lessard, for their exceptional contributions to OCUFA and its member faculty associations.
Finally, the 146th Board Meeting was a time to welcome new leadership to OCUFA and to say thank you those who are departing. Current OCUFA President, Kate Lawson, will end her term on June 30th. Judy Bates will take over as the new president on July 1, 2015. The OCUFA Board of Directors expressed their gratitude to Kate for her outstanding leadership of the organization during a turbulent time for faculty in Ontario. She will be missed.
The Board also elected members to the 2015-16 Executive Committee. The Executive comprises Judy Bates (Wilfrid Laurier University), President, Gyllie Phillips (Nipissing), Vice-President; Glen Copplestone (Kings), Treasurer; Brian E. Brown (Windsor), Chair of Board; Glenna Knutson (Lakehead), Rob Kristofferson (Wilfrid Laurier) and Mike Attridge (St. Michaels/University of Toronto), Members-at-Large.
Over the summer, OCUFA will be working hard on the funding formula review, Ontario Online, the university pension project, and issues around faculty complement/contract faculty. The next Board of Directors meeting will be held on October 24-25, 2015.