“Vanishing Canada: Why we’re all losers in Ottawa’s war on data”

Read a good report on the consequences of recent cutbacks and closure of prominent data sites (which replaced the discontinued print material issued by the government) in http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/vanishing-canada-why-were-all-losers-in-ottawas-war-on-data/

Posted in Academic Librarianship, Censorship, Government, Harper Government, University of Toronto | 1 Comment

Freedom of Expression Issue

In the National Post today, August 28, 2015, (YouTube Presentation) it is reported that a public servant is being investigated due to musical expressions of anti-government activities in the sciences, etc.: http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/public-servant-being-investigated-for-writing-and-performing-anti-tory-harperman-song&pubdate=2015-08-28

Posted in Freedom of speech, Harper Government, scientific research in Canada, Scientists for the Right to Know | 1 Comment

“The New York Public Library Wars”

For an update on the changes at NY Public Library see article in The Chronicle of Higher Education July 2, 2015 http://chronicle.com/article/The-New-York-Public-Library/231127/

Posted in New York Public Library | Leave a comment

Policy on Academic Continuity at UofT – Growing Concerns – Possible Strike Feb. 27 CUPE 3902

Faculty, teaching assistants, sessionals, lab technicians, writing coaches are concerned over the Policy on Academic Continuity which sets unprecedented guidelines in teaching areas which have traditionally been the domain of the teaching faculty.

Media coverage regarding this issue, see article in Toronto Star : http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2015/02/12/u-of-t-non-tenured-staff-poised-for-strike-feb-27.html :

““I hope there’s not a strike at U of T, but if there is, you can’t have the provost telling you what you can and cannot teach, and how to mark, and whether to replace a final essay (which could require teaching assistants to mark) with a multiple-choice evaluation (marked by a computer),” said Prudham [Scott Prudham, President, University of Toronto Faculty Association]” (Toronto Star, “U of T non-tenured staff poised for strike Feb. 27” Feb. 12, 2015)


Posted in Academic freedom, Academic governance, CUPE 3902, Strikes, Teaching, University of Toronto | Leave a comment

Academic Freedom under Threat – St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto

Our colleagues at the University of St. Michael’s College need our support. Please read below a letter from Scott Prudham, President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association outlining some of the issues, one is ‘academic freedom’ – and we know where academic librarians stand on that issue (!!).

Academic freedom is a required, core staple of our research, teaching, learning and all we support and nurture at this institution.

This call for support has also been distributed across the membership of CAUT and UTFA Council members. Let’s affirm our support for them (legal strike position as of February 6):

Dear colleagues,

UTFA is negotiating a second contract for faculty and librarians employed by the University of Saint Michael’s College. We have been in negotiations since early summer 2014. However, the negotiations have stalled over a few remaining issues, including, significantly, job security for faculty with teaching intensive appointments. The USMC Administration actually gave notice in October 2014 to terminate the three faculty in question effective June 2015. Only because of the firm resolve shown by our membership at USMC was that notice subsequently rescinded. Now the employer is refusing to agree to language providing job security provisions sufficient to protect academic freedom for these continuing faculty appointments, thereby threatening to undermine the integrity and quality of undergraduate instruction. We will be in a legal strike position as of February 6. Although we hope to reach an agreement without a work stoppage, we will not agree to casualize continuing academic appointments.

At this time, it would be very helpful if you could send emails and letters to the Administration of the University of Saint Michael’s College calling on the employer to agree to job security language for continuing faculty that is consistent with established principles of academic freedom and with prevailing norms for teaching intensive faculty in the U of T community more generally. You are encouraged to write to:

President of USMC – Prof. Anne Anderson, usmc.presidentsoffice@utoronto.ca
Principal of Saint Michael’s College – Prof. Domenico Pietropaolo, usmc.principal@utoronto.ca
Chair of the USMC Collegium – Fr. Don McLeod, don.mcleod@ualberta.ca .

Feel free to use some or all of the text of my message above in constructing your own.  In addition, messages of support may be sent to me and/or our Unit Chair and Chief Negotiator, Michael Attridge (cc’d here) and we will pass them on to the members of the unit.
In solidarity,   Scott

Scott Prudham
Professor, University of Toronto
President, University of Toronto Faculty Association

Posted in Academic freedom, Academic libraries, Strikes, University of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto Libraries, University of Toronto Scarborough | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What was faculty governance? Can it be rebuilt?

Librarians join us today to listen to Christopher Newfield, Professor of Literature and American Studies and author of Unmaking the Public University, November 11, 2014 at 4:30, Bahen Centre, Room 1190, University of Toronto, St. George campus. Newfield-Poster-Print

Posted in Academic freedom, Academic governance, Academic Librarianship, Academic libraries, Christopher, University of Toronto, UTFA | Leave a comment

SJAC Tentative Agreement between UTFA and the University administration

UTFA and the University Administration have reached a tentative agreement, including a new framework that resets the role of UTFA in representing you, a needed new policy dealing with procedural aspects of significant academic restructuring initiatives, and a lengthening of the tenure “clock” and a process by which UofT librarians will be able to up-date the current 35-year Policy for Librarians. The proposed changes are important and historic.  Read more about them on our website.

Posted in Academic governance, Academic Librarianship, SJAC, SJAC - Special Joint Advisory Committee, University of Toronto, UTFA, UTFA Bargaining | Leave a comment