LOU on Student Evaluations during COVID-19

Dear members,

First, on behalf of the APUO Executive Committee and administrative team, we hope that you and your loved ones are doing well during these difficult times. 
 
Three weeks ago, the Central Administration gave APUO members 48 hours to convert their courses to online and distance education courses, demanding an exceptional effort. In a time of great instability, at a time of year when everyone is carrying the weight of the academic year coming to an end, and when many are now caring for their children full time while homeschooling them, you have lived up to great expectations. The conversion occurred very quickly, and countless efforts were made to ensure the best possible educational experience and to provide guidance and reassurance to our students. Such efforts are not without their impact and consequences on the life, relationships and health of each and every one of us.
 
Under these circumstances, you will not be surprised to know that we have received a particularly high volume of communications from you about the letters of agreement we have proposed to the Central Administration. We thank you very much for this feedback. Your comments, concerns, encouragement, criticism and suggestions are extremely valuable to us. 
 
We are therefore pleased to announce that we have finalized a first letter of agreement with the Central Administration regarding student evaluations of teaching.
 
No A Report will be produced for the 2020 Winter and Spring/Summer semesters. However, the University will produce a personal report for members containing the results of the questions and student comments. Since A Reports will not be produced, student responses to the questions in the 2020 Winter and Spring/Summer surveys cannot be used to make decisions or recommendations regarding a member’s career, except in cases where members decide to add some of the data from their personal report to their promotion and/or tenure file.
 
Finally, please be advised that we are continuing intensive discussions with the Central Administration regarding the remaining letters of understanding. We will inform you as soon as new agreements are reached.
 
The APUO Executive Committee

LOU – Student Evaluations during COVID-19

Dear members,

First, on behalf of the APUO Executive Committee and administrative team, we hope that you and your loved ones are doing well during these difficult times. 
 
Three weeks ago, the Central Administration gave APUO members 48 hours to convert their courses to online and distance education courses, demanding an exceptional effort. In a time of great instability, at a time of year when everyone is carrying the weight of the academic year coming to an end, and when many are now caring for their children full time while homeschooling them, you have lived up to great expectations. The conversion occurred very quickly, and countless efforts were made to ensure the best possible educational experience and to provide guidance and reassurance to our students. Such efforts are not without their impact and consequences on the life, relationships and health of each and every one of us.
 
Under these circumstances, you will not be surprised to know that we have received a particularly high volume of communications from you about the letters of agreement we have proposed to the Central Administration. We thank you very much for this feedback. Your comments, concerns, encouragement, criticism and suggestions are extremely valuable to us. 
 
We are therefore pleased to announce that we have finalized a first letter of agreement with the Central Administration regarding student evaluations of teaching.
 
No A Report will be produced for the 2020 Winter and Spring/Summer semesters. However, the University will produce a personal report for members containing the results of the questions and student comments. Since A Reports will not be produced, student responses to the questions in the 2020 Winter and Spring/Summer surveys cannot be used to make decisions or recommendations regarding a member’s career, except in cases where members decide to add some of the data from their personal report to their promotion and/or tenure file.
 
Finally, please be advised that we are continuing intensive discussions with the Central Administration regarding the remaining letters of understanding. We will inform you as soon as new agreements are reached.
 
The APUO Executive Committee

Results – Executive Elections 2020-2021

Dear APUO Members,

The Nominations and Elections Committee hereby presents the 2020-2021 APUO Executive Committee. Each position received only one nomination. As a result, each candidate has been elected by acclamation. The mandate for Executive Committee positions is for one (1) year, beginning July 1, 2020.

The President’s mandate ends on June 30, 2021, therefore there was no election for the presidency.  In addition, in accordance with Article 6.1.2 of the Constitution and By-lawsthe position of past-president refers to the immediate past president unless that person cannot or will not serve on the Executive Committee, therefore it is not an elected position.

APUO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2020-2021

President (2019-2021): Dimitrios KARMIS (School of Political Studies)
Past-President (2019-2021)Susan SPRONK (School of International Development and Global Studies)
 

 First Vice-President
  JACOB, Jean Daniel Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences
Hiring date : July 1, 2009
Nomination form
 Second Vice-President
  PARÉ, Daniel Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Faculty of Arts
Hiring date : July 1, 2003
Nomination form
 Secretary-Treasurer
  HATHERILL, Jeanette Scholarly Communication Librarian, Library
Hiring date : October 3, 2011
Nomination form
 Mobilization Officer
  GIROUX, Dalie Associate Professor, School of Political Studies,
Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences
Hiring date : July 1, 2003
Nomination form
 Equity Officer
  RAJIVA, Mythili Associate Professor, Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences
Hiring date : July 1, 2012
Nomination form
 Academic Officer
  MONTPETIT, Colin Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science
Hiring date : August 1, 2007
Nomination form
 Officer-at-Large
  BLAIR, Jennifer Associate Professor, Department of English, Faculty of Arts
Hiring date : July 1, 2008
Nomination form

 
The Nominations and Elections Committee

COVID-19: Update and Recommendations, March 23, 2020

Dear members,
 
This bulletin provides an update on the status of the negotiations of letters of understanding with the Central Administration and makes recommendations for the Winter and Spring/Summer semesters.
 
Letters of Understanding
 
Since March 17, the APUO has proposed six letters of understanding[1] to the Central Administration on the following issues:
 

  1. Teaching and learning conditions for the remainder of the 2020 Winter semester.
     
  2. Student course evaluations for the Winter 2020 semester: the APUO demands that the course evaluation data for this semester be destroyed.
     
  3. Academic Leave for the Winter 2020 semester: the APUO demands that members who are on academic leave from January 1 to June 30, 2020, be returned their credit years for that leave.
     
  4. Labour Relations Processes: the APUO asks that the parties demonstrate flexibility with respect to the timelines in the Collective Agreement regarding grievance processes, disciplinary matters, and human rights complaints and investigations.
     
  5. Promotion and tenure processes: the APUO requests a) that the parties meet to clarify how members’ activities during the pandemic period will be evaluated; and b) that all non-tenure members be granted an additional year of pre-tenure.  
     
  6. Computer equipment and support: the APUO requests a) that the Employer provides funding so that members who do not have a laptop or adequate computer equipment at home can make these purchases; and b) that the Employer provides funding to reimburse members for computer-related expenses (supplies, internet access, etc.).

 
With respect to the first letter of understanding, it stated that it is up to APUO members to determine how best to complete their courses and to evaluate their students, including but not limited to deciding whether or not to: (i) deliver all or part of the final portions of their courses via the internet; and, (ii) change the structure of evaluations – including final exams and assigning a Pass/Fail grade for the course. This proposal was rejected by the Central Administration. Instead, they have left it to the executives of each faculty to decide on these matters, making the current situation one of strong asymmetry of teaching and learning conditions across faculties for the remainder of the 2020 Winter term.
 
We want to negotiate with the Central Administration on the remaining five letters of understanding that we have proposed, but four of them have so far gone unanswered. We will keep you informed of developments in the upcoming days.

 
Recommendations for the remainder of the 2020 Winter semester
 
Following the Central Administration’s rejection of our proposal for a letter of understanding on teaching and learning conditions, we reiterate the recommendations made in our March 19 bulletin:
 

  1. Interpret the directives of your respective faculties in light of the Collective Agreement, particularly articles 9 (Academic Freedom) and 22.2.3.1 (Provisions applying specifically to certain types of teaching). If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult us.
     
  2. You are not required to create online and distance learning courses.
     
  3. You are not required to adopt or adhere to a specific or narrow definition of what “distance education” means, nor are you required to report to your Dean or Unit Chair for the decisions you make in this regard.
     
  4. You have full flexibility in the choice of teaching methods, in the adoption or in the amendment of ways to appropriately evaluate students, and in the format in which the teaching is delivered.
     
  5. Academic freedom and good professional judgement are essential guides when it comes to determining the terms and conditions for the completion of courses while respecting the rights of students and upholding the professional standards in your disciplines.
     
  6. Don’t put your health and wellness at risk, don’t ask yourself the impossible. Neither you, your students, nor the University will be well served if you are burned out. We all want to rise to the exceptional situation we are in, but it also means acknowledging and accepting that the end of the 2020 Winter term is unlikely to be as good as expected.

 
Recommendations for the 2020 Spring/Summer semester
 
In the current situation, it would not be surprising if the Central Administration were to announce that all courses for the 2020 Spring/Summer semester will be online and distance courses. We have learned that some of you have already received a request from your Dean or Unit Chair to convert your 2020 Spring/Summer course(s) to online and distance delivery.
 
Here are our recommendations to those who have a teaching load scheduled for the 2020 Spring/Summer semester:
 

  1. If you are willing to convert your course(s) to online and distance learning, we recommend that you immediately contact your Dean and Unit Director to obtain assurances that (a) the maximum enrolment for your course(s) will not be increased; and (b) you will be entitled to one assistant (contract of 130 hours) per course whose main task will be to assist you with the conversion.
     
  2. If you do not wish to convert your course(s) to online and distance delivery, we recommend that you immediately contact your Dean and Unit Director to inform them that you do not consent to convert your 2020 Spring/Summer course(s) to online and distance delivery (as per Article 22.2.3.1 of the Collective Agreement) and that you request that the course(s) be moved to the 2020 Fall term or the 2021Winter term, whichever you prefer.

 
If you do not have a teaching load in the 2020 Spring/Summer semester but are willing to convert courses to online and distance learning and offer them in that semester, we recommend that you immediately contact your Dean and Unit Director to inform them. We also recommend that you obtain assurances that (a) the maximum enrolment for your course(s) will be reasonable; (b) you will be entitled to one assistant (contract of 130 hours) per course whose main task will be to assist you with the conversion.
 
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need help.
 
The APUO Executive

 
[1] A letter of understanding can be defined as follows: it is an agreement that is outside the scope of the collective agreement and often supersedes or expands articles of the collective agreement. Letters of agreement do not follow the path of a collective agreement and must be renewed by the parties when they expire.

Winter 2020 Semester Amid COVID-19

Dear APUO members, 
 
On March 13, President Jacques Frémont announced that “as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all in-person classes and labs in the current (winter 2020) term will be moved to distance and online learning formats for the rest of the semester.” In light of this decision and the many problems it poses for members of the university community, particularly students and professors, we are informing APUO members that:
 

  1. On March 17, the APUO submitted four letters of understanding to the Employer by which, if signed by both parties, the rights and responsibilities of APUO members in the performance of their duties would be recognized and assured, notwithstanding exceptional circumstances. One of the more urgent letters states that it is up to APUO members to determine how best to complete their courses and to evaluate their students, including but not limited to deciding whether or not to: (i) deliver all or part of the final portions of their courses via the internet; and, (ii) change the structure of evaluations – including final exams and assigning a Pass/Fail grade for the course. On March 19, we are still negotiating with the Employer about the terms of this proposed letter of understanding.

 

  1. Please also be advised that academic freedom and good professional judgement remain our best guides when it comes to determining the terms and conditions for the completion of courses that up to recently were taught in-person, while respecting students’ rights and upholding the professional standards of our various disciplines. It is equally important to note that APUO members are not required to adopt or adhere to a specific or narrow definition of what “distance education” means, nor are they required to report to their respective deans for the decisions they make in this regard.

 

  1. We invite our members to consult the Collective Agreement, in particular, Articles 9 (Academic Freedom) and 22.2.3.1 (Provisions applying specifically to certain types of teaching). 

 
This means: (i) you are not required to create online courses if you think that this is not appropriate for your teaching; and (ii) you have full flexibility in the choice of teaching methods, in the adoption or in the amendment of ways to appropriately evaluate students, and in the format in which the teaching is delivered.
 
In summary, we encourage you to exercise, in the decisions you make about the completion of courses in the winter session – and possibly in the preparation of courses in the spring and summer semesters if the exceptional circumstances we are experiencing continue – your full rights, guaranteed by the collective agreement.
 
In the difficult exceptional circumstances that we are currently experiencing, we wish to reiterate that we fully trust our members’ professional judgment and want to assure you of our unconditional support. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
 
The APUO Executive

Mental Health at the University of Ottawa

Before we dive into our analysis of the challenges relating to mental health at the University of Ottawa, the APUO wishes to extend its deepest condolences to those who knew one of the five students lost in the last months. We encourage members seeking support in this difficult time to connect with the available resources, including the Employee and Family Assistance Program
 
We also call on members to share any information they may have on the whereabouts of a student, Jonathan Blanchette, who has been missing since Thursday, with the Gatineau Police Service by calling (819) 246-0222.
 
In the last months, the University of Ottawa has lost five students by suicide, shedding light on a major problem on our campus and more broadly in our society. In response to media requests, the Central Administration claimed that it is doing “a lot”[1] to ensure that adequate services are in place to respond to the needs of students in distress. A $91.8 million surplus, a shortage of campus mental health resources, and a distressed student kicked out of residence tell a different story. Students and University personnel testimonies also paint a different picture of the reality on campus.
 
This January marked the 7th edition of the University of Ottawa Wellness Week. Held from January 20 to 24, the Wellness Week offered zootherapy, yoga and meditation classes, and promoted its financial aid program and the Student Academic Success Service (SASS), among other events. While useful, these resources tend to address mental health issues on campus as purely individual issues and to neglect their structural and systemic components, whether it is the pressure associated with the rising cost of tuition fees, the fact that SASS is operating beyond its capacity, poor students-professor and students-librarian ratios, or the increasing workload of professors, librarians, and support staff. Mental health can’t be isolated from its context.[2] In light of the cumulative financial surplus over the last decade, it is clear for the APUO that the Central Administration can and should reconsider its approach to mental health. 
 
During last year’s APUO Listening Tour, members across all faculties have shared that their growing workload has had a negative impact on their mental and physical wellbeing. Along with the challenges associated with a growing workload, members have expressed grave concerns for the welfare of their students, noting a spike in academic accommodation requests, and in the number of students who appear distressed in their (increasingly large) classes. The shortage of on-campus resources and the long waits to see mental health professionals are only aggravated by limited coverage for mental health services in both the student health plan and in the employee benefits package.
 
For several years, students and APUO members have been demanding more resources to meet the mental health needs of our community. Last fall, the APUO reached out to the organisers of the Wellness Week and offered to deliver a series of “Know Your Rights” workshops for members who may need workplace accommodations. Our offer was rejected because “it did not fall under one of the seven Wellness Week pillars,” revealing our institution’s narrow perspective when it comes to dealing with the challenges stemming from Mental Health on campus.  
 
We must also express our concern with the fact that the campus Wellness Week was followed up by a strange week-long Scientology exhibition titled “Psychiatry: an industry of death.” The controversial exhibition caused student outrage and protests. Indeed, students expressed concerns about the pseudo-scientific character of the exhibition, which reinforced stigma towards those diagnosed with particular mental health disorders and requiring therapy or prescription medication. The APUO is concerned that the Central Administration allowed the exhibition to take place – especially in the current context – and urges it to carefully consider the consequences associated with welcoming such exhibition on a university campus. 
 
The uOttawa Gazette of January 28 stated that “President Frémont has asked Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs Jill Scott to […] lead a newly created Advisory Committee on Mental Health. The Provost will also undertake a listening tour of the campus to hear from members of the uOttawa community.” We welcome this initiative and encourage the Provost to take all the time needed for such an important exercise. The APUO Listening Tour organized about thirty meetings in academic units and took almost a year. It is difficult to imagine that a listening tour of all the stakeholders on campus could do less than that.
 
The APUO will be joining the students’ union and other labour unions in the coming weeks to develop a list of demands to be presented to the Central Administration, as well as to discuss our own initiatives about mental health on campus.
 
You can find a critique of the University of Ottawa’s Wellness Week published in the students’ French newspaper, La Rotonde. 
 
For a list of on and off-campus resources to share with students, please consult the following link.

 
[1] Elizabeth Payne for the Ottawa Citizen, After four student suicides, uOttawa group demands better mental health services, December 12, 2019
[2] The report of the Campus Action Group on Mental Health and Wellness released in January is also characterized by a narrow perspective that tends to neglect the structural and systemic components of mental health issues.

CAUT Equity Conference

The APUO is proud to support the participation of its members at the CAUT Equity Conference that will take place on February 21 and 22, 2020 in Ottawa. The APUO will cover the expenses for registration for eight participants. The participants will be expected to participate in the conference in its entirety and to provide receipts for costs incurred.
 
By providing this funding, the APUO hopes to build the capacity of its members to promote equity in the academic community. The APUO will meet with participants after the conference to discuss ways to further build and advance our equity agenda, which aims to increase the representation of women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community at the University of Ottawa.  
 
Please take a look at the CAUT conference webpage for more details. We invite you to express your interest in participating in the conference by sending a 150 to 200-word motivation to apuoco@uottawa.ca no later than January 31, 2020. 

The University of Ottawa record-breaking financial surplus and its impact

On September 30, members received a communication from President Frémont announcing a $91.8 million surplus for 2018-2019. This excess in revenue over expenses is a new record for the University of Ottawa, besting the previous record of $69.8 million from 2017-2018 by $22 million – a 31 percent increase. As APUO members are confronted with a growing workload, and fewer resources to support the educational and research mandates of our institution due to the austerity measures of recent years, we are deeply troubled by this massive surplus. 
 
The impact on our workload
 
In his communication about the University’s financial results, Jacques Frémont mentions “delays in hiring” as a contributing factor to this financial surplus. The APUO is baffled that the delay in hiring university personnel is spun as a positive factor contributing to this surplus. In our view, this tone-deaf statement by the Central Administration highlights the need for APUO members to continue to mobilize around the issue of workload. Despite raising the issue of our growing workload on numerous occasions through petitions, letters, and meetings, President Frémont’s message once again overlooks the necessity of adopting a new budgetary approach that could reverse the deterioration of our working conditions – which are largely our students’ learning conditions. 
 
While an increase in the number of APUO minimum complement would certainly help to alleviate some of the workload pressures felt by our members, filling existing vacancies in APUO and support staff positions would go a long way in improving our working conditions and our students’ learning conditions. As mentioned in a September bargaining update bulletin by the Support Staff of the University of Ottawa (SSUO) “we are telling the University that the number of unfilled, abolished and contract positions has increased dramatically in the last 2 years and this undoubtedly adds to the stress of the current employees which negatively impacts the students experience.” Furthermore, during a Special Assembly on October 17, the SSUO highlighted that the University’s $91.8 million excess in revenue is equivalent to the total salary mass of SSUO members. Needless to say, the Central Administration could afford to fill existing vacancies, which it budgets for every year, and create new support staff and APUO positions to redress the concerns surrounding our growing workload and its consequences on the wellbeing and health of University personnel. Indeed, part of the $91.8 million in excess revenue over expenditure could have been spent to improve the students to professor and librarian ratios and to introduce additional support services for students. 
 
The University budget: a problem of priorities
 
The Central Administration has a serious problem of priorities. While there are delays in the filling of vacant positions and a refusal to prioritise investments in additional APUO and SSUO positions, we can’t help but highlight a growing salary mass of senior and middle management positions. Between 2009 and 2016, the senior and middle management to students ratio has more than doubled from 9.8 per 10,000 students to 21.2 per 10,000 students.[1] If the Central Administration can justify budgeting a growing salary mass of senior and middle management positions, it can afford to allocate greater resources to hire key players that directly enhance the student experience: professors, librarians, and support staff.  
 
As is the case every year, the Central Administration ended its communication with a prelude to austerity by announcing that it was anticipating an operating fund deficit of $17.4 million. By adopting a budget on a modified cash basis[2] as opposed to a standard accounting basis,[3] the Central Administration is once again planning to withhold resources from faculties, the library, and student services. With more than half a billion dollars in cumulative surpluses since 2007 ($521.26 million precisely), the APUO is confident in the Central Administration’s ability to afford more tenure-track faculty, librarians, and support staff, a proposal widely supported by students and campus workers alike. However, our priorities are not reflected in the 2019-2020 University budget adopted by the Board of Governors, nor in the narrative promoted by the Central Administration.  
 
University of Ottawa surpluses/deficits

Budget
Financial Statements (SAB)
Modified Cash Basis Standard Accounting Basis (SAB)
2016-2017 financial year

$4.9M operating deficit
$16M surplus $48.6M surplus
2017-2018 financial year

$4.6M operating deficit
$15M surplus $69.8M surplus
2018-2019 financial year

Balanced (operating) 
Not published $91.8M surplus
2019-2020 financial year

$17.4M operating deficit
$22.2M surplus To Be Determined

 
These consecutive financial surpluses coupled with our increasingly challenging working conditions underscore the need for a more collegial governance model at our institution. It is our view that the Board of Governors, which is mostly made up of external appointees, is out of touch with the reality faced by students and campus-workers. Students, professors, librarians, and support staff have for years demanded greater resources with the aim of improving our educational and research outcomes, and to improve the overall student experience. However, through our current governance model, the priorities of key University stakeholders are overlooked. 
 
For your information, here are a few references to past communications sent by the Central Administration announcing austerity measures:

  • In May 2015, the Central Administration “adopted a series of measures to reduce spending by $10.4 million, limit expenditure growth and a number of one-time cost reductions.”[4]
  • In May 2016, the Central Administration implemented more structural and one-time cost-cutting measures which included “a permanent 2% decrease in the base budgets of faculties and services.” [5]
  • In October 2016, the Central Administration detailed some past measures that included the “suspension of renovation projects and contributions from faculties and services of 10% of their accumulated surplus.”[6]
  • In December 2016, the Central Administration implemented new cost-cutting measures including “Construction and renovation projects are suspended, unless required by safety or legal obligations; All discretionary expenses, such as travel, will be restricted; A hiring freeze on all contract or honorarium-based administrative and support staff positions, except in rare cases when approved by the vice-president concerned. A freeze on external job postings and on external hiring to fill temporary or permanent administrative or support staff positions; No retroactive salary adjustments when positions are evaluated or reclassified; No position reclassifications until further notice, except for previously approved unit reorganizations.”[7]
  • In May 2017, the Central Administration implemented new cost-cutting measures in order to reduce expenditures by a total of $22M.[8]
  • In September 2019, the Central Administration stated that their surplus was in part attributable to “delays in hiring.”[9]

 


[1] Data pulled from the sunshine list by REGI Consulting, “Notes about uOttawa’s Draft of and Executive Compensation Program,” February 2018.
[2] A modified cash basis accounting model only considers cash in hand without considering accounts receivables or other incoming revenues when establishing a budget.
[3] A standard accounting basis model considers both cash in hand and incoming revenues and accounts receivables when establishing a budget.
[4] May 26, 2015 email from the Vice-President, Resources
[5] https://www.uottawa.ca/financial-resources/financial-planning/sites/www.uottawa.ca.financial-resources.financial-planning/files/note_de_service_budget_2016-2017_en_003_0.pdf
[6] October 11, 2016 email from the Vice-President, Resources 
[7] https://secure.campaigner.com/csb/Public/show/do2an–b42t0-5l2vffx2
[8] https://secure.campaigner.com/csb/Public/show/ez27t–bt2qz-5l2vaz03
[9] https://secure.campaigner.com/csb/Public/show/ch3x-1dust8–mpdba-5l2vffp9

Anti-Black, Profiling, Carding, and Harassment on Campus

Dear members,
 
On September 14, a black student and University employee was carded by a security guard while entering his campus residence. This is the second known carding incident to take place on campus in four months. We condemn in the strongest possible way the carding of Wiliston Mason, and we urge the Central Administration to put an end to this discriminatory practice. Furthermore, we call on the Central Administration to implement the demands outlined in the APUO BIPOC Caucus’ letter of June 16 and to make the agendas and minutes of the President’s Committee for a Discrimination-Free Campus public. 
 
Following the carding incident that took place on June 11, the Central Administration commissioned an external investigation, which found that Jamal Koulmiye-Boyce had been carded as a result of racial profiling, and that protection services’ response was “neither proportional nor reasonable in the circumstance.”[1] The report also underscores the need for Protection Service Officers to receive “nuanced and up-to-date training on issues pertaining to race, including racial discrimination.”[2]  We urge the Central Administration to provide the necessary resources to ensure such training is delivered to all officers providing security services on our campus. 
 
Since the June 11 carding incident, Policy 33 – the policy that authorizes Protection Services Officers to request proof of identity from persons on campus – has been reviewed, and interim directives on its interpretation have been put in place. The interim directives allow for the continued practice of demanding identification from community members under specific circumstances. However, these are still at the discretion and interpretation of Protection Services Officers, and leave room for the practice of racial profiling to continue. The APUO is unsatisfied with the interim directives and urges the Central Administration to put an end to the practice of carding altogether. 
 
Racial profiling, carding, and the harassment of black, Indigenous, and racialized students and community members is unacceptable and has no place at our institution. The Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Superior Court of Ontario have, through numerous rulings, labeled the practice of street carding as unlawful and unconstitutional. The APUO, therefore, fails to see why the practice continues to be permitted on campus.
 
Following the June 11 carding incident, the Office of the President has struck a Committee for a Discrimination-Free Campus. The APUO is concerned with the very opaque manner in which this Committee is conducting its affairs. This Committee, which lacks adequate stake-holder representation, does not hold public meetings or publish agendas and minutes. While this, unfortunately, does fall in line with the general lack of transparency we observe in our Central Administration’s decision-making processes, members of our community who experience racism have the most valuable insight to challenge systemic racism on campus. In fact, several BIPOC members of our community have already taken the time to reflect on racism at our institution and provided the Central Administration with demands that could foster a safer and more inclusive environment for BIPOC students and campus workers. Many of these demands were echoed by the University of Ottawa Student Union (UOSU), the Black Student Leaders Association (BSLA), and several other student groups, demonstrating a general agreement among our BIPOC community on steps that could be undertaken to address systemic racism at our institution. We urge the Central Administration to set up an inclusive and transparent consultation process and to listen to these voices. 

We invite you to read and sign the letter published by several concerned APUO membersin response to Wiliston Mason’s carding incident on September 14. The letter will be sent to President Frémont on Tuesday, October 15 at 3pm.

 
[1] CODJOE, Esi, Investigation Report, University of Ottawa, June 12, 2019 Protection Services Incident, Turnpenney Milne LLP, p.33
[2] CODJOE, Esi, Investigation Report, University of Ottawa, June 12, 2019 Protection Services Incident, Turnpenney Milne LLP, p.36

Government consultation regarding senior members

In the spring, the APUO expressed concerns regarding an addendum to the Budget Bill that gives the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities the power to interfere with collective agreements to impose regulations that would reduce, including to zero, the salaries of members who work while collecting their pension. 

Since then, the government has launched a consultation and claims – falsely according to our analysis – that senior members working and collecting a pension are preventing faculty renewal. The policy proposals outlined in the government’s consultation document fail to consider the fact that professors and librarians often start their careers later than most other workers. Furthermore, this is clearly a case of age-based discrimination, with negative repercussions on gender equity as well. 

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association (OCUFA) and many other faculty associations across the province share our concerns with regards to the potential outcome of this consultation process. Please read the OCUFA’s submission and the APUO’s submission for this consultation.