Trent professor Sue Wurtele appointed OCUFA President

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TORONTO, July 21, 2021 — The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is pleased to announce the appointment of its 34th president, Sue Wurtele. An Associate Professor of Geography at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Wurtele officially began her two-year term on July 1, 2021.

“OCUFA plays a vital role advocating for high-quality public university education and advancing the rights of Ontario’s faculty and academic librarians,” said Wurtele. “It is an honour to lead OCUFA and continue this important work.”

Wurtele has served as the Vice-President of OCUFA, Chair of OCUFA’s Collective Bargaining Committee, President of the Trent University Faculty Association, and was a driving force in the early development of the creation of the multi-institution University Pension Plan. Wurtele has been a faculty member at Trent since 1994 and has won numerous awards for her teaching. Her research focuses on feminist geography and aging.

OCUFA would also like to extend its sincere gratitude to outgoing President Rahul Sapra, who served the organization with remarkable dedication and passion during a challenging period in Ontario’s history.

“Through the introduction of the Ford government’s reckless performance-based funding framework and the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rahul has been an unwavering principled voice for OCUFA,” said Wurtele. “I am incredibly grateful for his lasting contributions and look forward to building upon the advances made under his leadership.”

Wurtele will be joined on the OCUFA Executive by:

  • Vice-President, Jennifer Sutton, Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair of the School of Behavioural and Social Sciences at Brescia University College in London, Ontario, and Vice-President of the Brescia Faculty Association.
  • Treasurer, Mike Eklund, Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario and President of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association.
  • Board Chair, Gyllian Phillips, Associate Professor of English Studies at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario, former President of OCUFA, and previously the President of the Nipissing University Faculty Association.
  • Officer-at-Large Gautam Das, Professor in the Department of Physics at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and President of the Lakehead University Faculty Association.
  • Officer-at-Large Kimberly Ellis-Hale, Contract Faculty member in the Department of Sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Wilfrid Laurier Faculty Association’s V.P-External and Contract Faculty Liaison.
  • Officer-at-Large Kate Lawson, Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Waterloo, former President of OCUFA, and currently the Vice President of the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo.
  • Past-President Rahul Sapra, Associate Professor of English at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario and former Vice-President (External) of the Ryerson Faculty Association.

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


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