Firing of a professor at the U of S

Dear APUO members,

Yesterday, the University of Saskatchewan fired Robert Buckingham – a tenured professor and Dean – for criticizing the institution’s program prioritization process. Fore more details on the firing, see:
http://www2.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/local/story.html?id=840e20b7-2da1-46f9-836a-1518ec559072

A mere twenty-four hours later, no doubt feeling the pressure coming from many faculty associations and stakeholders throughout Canada, the President of the University has offered Robert Buckingham his tenured position back, but not his leadership role. For further details, see:
http://words.usask.ca/news/2014/05/15/university-of-saskatchewan-reconsiders-part-of-the-decision-regarding-executive-director-of-the-school-of-public-health/

Please find here the letter that was sent by the APUO President (using a template sent by OCUFA) condemning the actions of the administration as an egregious violation of academic freedom.

Sincerely,

Your APUO

Tenure and Promotion – Guidelines in the Faculty of Engineering

Dear Colleagues,

As you will recall from previous communications and meetings, over the last several years the employer has sought to unilaterally change the criteria for tenure and promotion in a variety of ways.  As you know, we have been forcefully challenging this unjustified initiative through relevant grievances.  We are also pursuing these questions through a joint APUO-employer committee on tenure and promotion.

Recently it has come to our attention that the employer seems to have taken even further steps in this direction.  The Executive Committee of the Faculty of Engineering recently adopted what they say are “guidelines…specific to the Faculty of Engineering [that] are intended to provide additional guidance to regular faculty members on matters related to the assessment of their performance”.  The document states that the guidelines are “meant to complement, but not replace or supersede, the relevant provisions of the Collective Agreement”.  In reality, however, the content of this document seeks to redefine the standards for performance evaluation to be used in tenure and promotion decisions (as well as others) in ways that can only be achieved through negotiations and the formal revision of the collective agreement.

This email is to inform you that the APUO considers these guidelines as illegitimate and without any legal basis for a variety of foundational reasons, procedural and content wise, including:

  1. The only legally binding and acceptable elements that can be used to make performance evaluations are to be found in the collective agreement;
  2. This language can only be changed, specified, etc. with the mutual consent of both parties during joint negotiations;
  3. No other ‘guidelines’ or clarification can be achieved unilaterally;
  4. This documents adds in numerous requirements and expectations that are not in the collective agreement).

Consequently, the APUO has filed a policy grievance in regard to this matter.

We will keep you apprised of further developments. In the meantime, members in Engineering should know that the only acceptable elements regarding performance evaluation are found in the collective agreement and that these ‘guidelines’ should have no role in tenure, promotion or other decisions.  As such, members should ignore them entirely.  Outside of the Faculty of Engineering, any member with further questions – or knowledge of similar policies in other faculties – should contact us as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

The APUO Executive Committee

Workshop on Tenure and Promotion

To all APUO members,

You will find here the presentation re: Workshop on Tenure and Promotion that was held 11 March 2014.

Christian Rouillard, Ph.D.
Full Professor
President
Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa
170, Waller, Ottawa ON
Canada K1N 9B9
613-230-3659 (phone)
613-230-4130 (fax)
www.apuo.ca

Rape culture, misogyny and sexism on campus

The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) expresses its support for the decision of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) President, Anne-Marie Roy, to break the silence about the rape culture on our campus. As Ms. Roy notes in her public statement, “The fact that the five men could so casually discuss and joke about me and the position students have elected me to hold in such sexually violent ways points to how normalized rape culture, misogyny and sexism are on our campus and in our society. This kind of behaviour has clear impacts on women; it creates an environment that is intimidating, threatening and toxic. Women on this campus and in our society deserve better.”

The APUO fully agrees with this statement and believes that the vast majority of the University of Ottawa students, support staff and faculty, both female and male, find gender based discrimination, intimidation and sexual harassment to be completely reprehensible and at odds with the most basic values of our community.

While the immediate problem may have been addressed by the decision of the five men to abandon legal retaliation against Ms. Roy, to offer their apology to her, and to resign from their elected positions, the APUO applauds the efforts of Ms. Roy to use this situation as a broader learning opportunity for the entire campus to challenger us to confront everyday misogyny.

In a related incident, although we have not been apprised of any details beyond those reported by the media, the APUO also wants to express its support for the University administration’s decision to suspend the activities of the men’s hockey team, while there is an investigation into the allegation of sexual assault.

While we believe this is an issue so serious that the President of the University, Allan Rock, should directly and publicly address it himself rather than sending the Director of Corporate Communications to speak in his name and place, we support the University administration for taking clear and decisive action. We hope that the University administration takes all the necessary steps to address this situation in the strongest possible way as the details emerge, and encourage the administration to look proactively into the root causes of the problem in order to avoid a repetition of similar events.

We also applaud the actions of professors on this campus who have proactively responded to these incidents by discussing these issues with their students and with the media.

The APUO looks forward to working with the administration and student associations in helping to create a campus that promotes respect for the dignity of every individual and a University community that is free from sexual harassment and discrimination.

Sincerely,
The APUO Executive Committee

WORKSHOP ON TENURE AND PROMOTION

To all APUO members,

You will find here the presentation re: Workshop on Tenure and Promotion that was held 4 December 2013.

Christian Rouillard, Ph.D.
Full Professor
President
Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa
170, Waller, Ottawa ON
Canada K1N 9B9
613-230-3659 (phone)
613-230-4130 (fax)
www.apuo.ca

WORKSHOP ON TENURE AND PROMOTION

To all APUO members,

The APUO Workshop on Tenure and Promotion that was to take place tomorrow is being postponed for a week, because of the expected « historical winter storm » that will be hitting Ottawa tonight and tomorrow. Since the purpose of the workshop is to inform as many members as possible about everything that relates to tenure and promotion, it seems to defeat the purpose to hold it on what will likely be the worst possible day of the semester to come to campus. Therefore, the workshop will be held the following Wednesday, 4 December 2013, from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM, room to be determined. We apologize for this last minute change, and hope to see you in large numbers next week.

Christian Rouillard, Ph.D.
Full Professor
President
Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa
170, Waller, Ottawa ON
Canada K1N 9B9
613-230-3659 (phone)
613-230-4130 (fax)
www.apuo.ca

NEW MEMBERS WELCOME!

(This invitation is directed only to the new members of the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) since January 2013.)

The APUO is rolling out the welcome mat to greet all our newest members.

You are all invited to join us for a “meet & greet” / “wine & cheese” activity between 4:00 and 6:00 pm on Wednesday September 25, 2013 at the APUO office located at 170 Waller St. Come and meet the APUO staff, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee members.

Please RSVP: Please register by calling Manon at 613-230-3659, or by emailing apuo@uottawa.ca.