On January 31, 2017, the Association filed a grievance against the decision of the employer to use the data obtained using the new online student evaluations to reach decisions and recommendations relating to professor’s careers. On July 19, 2017, arbitrator Michael Bendel agreed with the Association that this decision breached the APUO collective agreement and allowed the grievance.
The decision clearly states that the employer may not use any data or analyses obtained pursuant to the new online student evaluation system in making recommendations or decisions relating to professor’s careers without the union’s prior consent.
It has recently come to our attention that the employer sent APUO members in some faculties incorrect information regarding the submission of grades. The employer’s recent message indicated that professors must “submit … final grades in uoCampus. Final grades submitted by email or paper copy will not be accepted.” (Email dated April 17, 2017).
This message contradicts the Faculty Center Guidein uoCampus. Since APUO has no way of knowing who received this message, the Executive felt that it was in the best interest of all members to be aware that the guide states the following:
There are three ways to submit your final grades:
Enter grades directly into the Grade Roster of your Faculty Center.
Submit an Excel file to your faculty, department or school. This file can originate from the Faculty Center (Class List or Grade Roster) or Blackboard Learn (Grade Center).
Upload a file containing grades for a class to the Grade Roster in your Faculty Center (University of Ottawa, Faculty Center Guide, 19).
Clearly the email message quoted above contradicts the options available to you. Though members may have already submitted grades this semester, for those who still have grades to submit, please be aware that you have the options listed above.
As part of Keeping Education Public week, the APUO is co-sponsoring events on campus from March 6 to March 10, 2017.Seven associations representing students, faculty and staff at the University of Ottawa come together to discuss major issues facing Canadian universities today.Several events will be taking place with a common thread drawing back to the austerity budgeting measures that have been implemented at the University of Ottawa and which are reflective of the current context of postsecondary education across North America.This takes place following threats of massive budget cuts of 4 to 8% at the University of Ottawa, including $2 million in cuts to library acquisitions which were narrowly avoided, and a freeze on university support staff, all of which undermine the quality of education for students, and the working conditions of faculty and staff throughout the university.
Monday March 6th, the APUO will be hosting a roundtable discussion on the commercialization of academic publishing. As an increasing number of academic societies sign publishing agreements with the “Big 5”, these large multinational publishing houses drive industry trends that increase the cost of research and access to publishing, which adversely affects libraries that struggle to maintain their collections due to government defunding and austerity budgeting practices.
Wednesday March 8th, in conjunction with International Women’s Day (IWD), the campus associations will be hosting a game of Cards Against University at Café Nostalgica from 2 to 4pm. The game features content specific to the university community and uOttawa in particular, with a gendered focus on some of the card content for IWD. Food will be served.
Thursday March 9th, at 11:30AM, the Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTPUO) will be screening Starving the Beast, to be shown at Desmarais Hall, room 12102 (55, Laurier street). The documentary examines the last 35 years of systemic defunding of universities and market-driven reform that has been commonplace in the United States, and which parallels with ideologies around higher education in Canada. Pizza and beverages will be serve.
These events are supported by APUO, GSAÉD, CUPE 2626, APTPUO, SFUO, SSUO, SEIU local 2.
THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF ACADEMIC PUBLISHING: OPPORTUNITY OR THREAT?
As part of Keeping Education Public Week, APUO will be hosting a roundtable on Monday March 6th, 2017 from 12-12:50pm at Tabaret 083.
The commercialization of academic research has been the subject of intense debate within scientific communities. In the past few years, an increasing number of academic societies have signed publishing agreements with large publishing houses such as the “Big 5”: Reed-Elsevier, Wiley, Routledge-Taylor and Francis, SAGE and Springer. On the one hand, these companies have a global reach that brings research communities closer together. On the other hand, they have been criticized for their pricing practices and high profit margins, which drive up the price of information and make academic publishing less accessible to students and faculty. As a result of these industry trends, university libraries, such as our uOttawa library, have found it increasingly difficult to maintain their collections. In this roundtable, speakers from the University of Ottawa will share their experiences and debate alternatives.
COME CHAT WITH US!
Where: TBT 083, University of Ottawa
When: Monday, March 6th, 2017 at noon – lunch will be served.
The following was sent by Jennifer Dekker, APUO President on February 9, 2017 to Jacques Frémont, uOttawa President regarding the selection committee for the new Vice-President Academic and Provost.
Dear President Frémont,
Last fall, I raised the issue of the composition of the selection committee for the new Vice- President Academic and Provost with you. The basis of my concern was that there was not a single non-administrative professor on the selection committee, thereby silencing the voices of APUO members in the selection process. In the context of the issues around decision-making and governance that the APUO Executive raised with you last summer, I found this very troubling. You were not able to rectify the composition of the selection committee at that time, but gave your word that you would add APUO professors in the selection process of all senior administrative positions going forward. It is important for APUO members to be represented on such selection committees because we have a very different perspective than administrators. We report to administrators and work under their leadership and direction. We are therefore subject to their decisions, management styles, resource allocation and sometimes their arbitrariness with respect to the above. This, combined with the fact that there are no APUO member professors on the committee should motivate the selection committee to conduct an impeccable assessment of the short listed candidates, taking care to ensure that the person who is selected will be acceptable to APUO members.
While APUO does not have an official voice on the selection committee, our members spoke loudly and clearly last year when we conducted our “Evaluation of Senior Administrators,” one of whom was the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. Although the APUO Executive outlined the issues when you met with us last summer, nothing has been done regarding the disturbing details that professors reported in our survey. In case you were not privy to these, I have attached the summary of the quantitative data and some of the qualitative data that we received to this email. I would strongly encourage you to take this feedback on the Dean’s performance if the selection committee for the V-P Academic and Provost is considering this Dean’s candidacy.
Please accept this letter of concern as a reflection of the anxiety that our members in Health Sciences and other faculties experience when they hear rumours that Dean Perrault is being considered for one of the most important roles in our university. The fact that the Dean has made herself inaccessible to most professors in her Faculty, is alleged to have unfairly deprived some of resources while enriching others, refuses to acknowledge the importance of bilingualism, and is said to have engaged in workplace harassment and bullying – which the administration, contrary to Ontario workplace law, has never investigated – is of grave concern.
Dear members,In light of recent news events, many scholars and institutions in the post-secondary sector have responded to developments affecting our members and the extended university community. Following the Executive order issued by President Donald Trump halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries (currently before the courts), both the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT – see below) and Universities Canada (political statement) have responded. In solidarity, you might be interested to sign the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) petition (see the link below) to keep the pressure on.
Stand Against the Ban
(Ottawa – January 31, 2017) The Canadian Association of University Teachers joins with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in strongly condemning the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States for people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The executive order affects many of our academic staff and students in Canada by restricting their ability to travel to the United States for conferences, and to engage in research partnerships and collaborations with American institutions and scholars. As such, the ban runs contrary to the values of free and open exchange of knowledge and ideas.
We urge American authorities to respect academic freedom and to firmly reject discrimination by immediately rescinding the ban.
We further call upon our members and the entire academic community in Canada to oppose the Trump administration’s discriminatory order by signing the AAUP petition against the ban.
This message was sent to APUO members on February 8, 2017. To see the original message click here.