UTFA AGM – April 23, 2014

The Annual General Meeting of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) will take place on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm. The meeting will be held in room 108 of the Koffler House (KP), 569 Spadina Avenue.

This year, we have  speakers are Neil Guppy, Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia, and Sheila Slaughter, Louise McBee Professor of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.

  1. Neil Guppy: The Long Reach of Government in Steering the University

The reach of government into the affairs of the university, and especially into university research, has recently accelerated.  Political intrusions to steer the directions of the academy may have benefitted some fields and hampered others.  The direct and indirect impacts of the Canada Foundation for Innovation on the re-engineering of the university are traced as an illustration of how politics increasingly shapes the careers of academic scholars.

  1. Sheila Slaughter: How US Boards of Trustees Shape Research within US Universities and the Government.

Members of boards of trustees in US private universities (26 private Association of American Universities) are usually CEOs of Fortune 500/1000 corporations, on boards of directors of other corporations, very active in foundations (which, of course, is what US private universities are–501 C-3s), and in government.  In many ways, this is a C. Wright Mills story about the power elite, writ large.  This presentation focuses on the consequences that trustees sitting as CEOs or on boards of directors of large corporations have for research universities: universities’ corporate science fields created through trustee relations, universities’ exchanges with their trustees’ corporations, and universities’ trustees activities in shaping federal research policy.

“The AGM will also feature dedicated time to discuss progress (or lack thereof) and implications of the Special Joint Advisory Committee (SJAC) process that has been at the centre of UTFA’s work for much of the past two years. As you know, the SJAC process involving UTFA and the University Administration provides a unique opportunity to review how UTFA represents you and to negotiate how that form of representation may be modernized. One of the aims of UTFA in the SJAC process is to secure a negotiated policy (not a guideline!) that might finally make explicit what collegiality means in the context of significant academic restructuring initiatives. I am sure you agree, it is high time we had that! The third and critical day of SJAC facilitation is scheduled for April 12 2014. That makes the AGM timely for an update to the membership.” (Scott Prudham, President, UTFA)

We encourage you to attend and to bring colleagues with you. Please RSVP us at faculty@utfa.org or by calling at 416-978-4976416-978-4976.  Reception to follow at the Faculty Club.

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