Getting the right skills for the job market is a hot topic these days. What skills are employers looking for? Are students prepared for the workforce? These questions are being discussed on university campuses, debated in national newspapers, and considered by policy-makers across jurisdictions. In a challenging labour market, it’s really no surprise that this […]
OCUFA has taken a principled approach to its engagement with Ontario’s review of the university funding formula.
The rationale for reviewing and reforming the way we fund universities.
A new book on the impact of corporatization on Canada’s universities was launched on June 4 in Ottawa by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. In A Penny For Your Thoughts, authors Janice Newson and Claire Polster document how the transformation of postsecondary education over the last 35 years has been driven by corporatization. The […]
There is a pecking order in my department, as I’m sure there is in yours. At the top are those with the biggest research grants and at the bottom are the sessional instructors. Few people on campus will come right out and admit this, and many of the bigwig administrators will deny it, but like […]
When a policy is proposed, the burden of proof lies with the people making the proposal. They need to explain why the new policy is better, and they need to provide evidence to support their claim. This is how sensible policy gets made. The Government of Ontario is interested in performance funding for universities. That […]
Last week, we published an article by Leo Groarke and Beverley Hamilton on program prioritization. For the uninitiated, program prioritization is a process – now much in vogue at Ontario’s universities – for ranking academic and non-academic programs for the purposes of directing resources. Some have called it a “rank n’ yank” process, where programs […]
So-called “program prioritization processes” have been a hot topic at American and Ontario universities. But as Leo Groarke and Beverley Hamilton argue, the cost of PPP is much higher than many administrators realize.
All this talk of innovation, transformation, and inspiration has got me thinking of bus rides. Universities today swim in a sea of overwrought rhetoric. They trumpet their patents, their entrepreneurship, their empowering humanities research; they build transformative community synergies and interdisciplinary partnerships; they link up with business and government to produce ground-breaking research. And it’s […]
Writing in today’s Ottawa Citizen, Lawrence Martin observes that Canada’s academic are “missing in action”. That is, almost totally silent on the critical issues facing the country- everything from the “declining state of our parliamentary democracy” to the tepid response to the Federal Government’s muzzling of federal scientists and starvation of key research institutions (for […]
Over on the Inside Agenda Blog, there is an excellent piece by Emmett Macfarlane, a professor at the University of Waterloo. In it, he explains that there is a need for universities to be innovative, but that the current proposals for change (such as MOOCs or teaching-only institutions) are not the panaceas they are made […]
Writing in the National Post, Ian Clark argues that emulating California’s higher education system will increase the productivity and efficiency of Ontario’s universities. No doubt, this is an idea that will appeal to some, but the rest of us should be cautious in accepting his conclusions. Clark, along with David Trick and Richard Van Loon, […]
The remarkable—a word that can be read in many different ways—2012 student protests in Quebec have stirred memories of the activist campuses of yesteryear. For faculty members introduced to the academy in the era of student activism, anti-Vietnam War protests, and general social unrest, the recent quietude of the Canadian university system has been disturbing. […]
“Looming low and ominous, in twilight premature, thunderheads are rumbling in a distant overture” (Neil Peart, from the RUSH song Jacob’s Ladder). As a 16 year old New Brunswick boy listening to these words I always imagined impending chaos as the power of nature crept slowly upon an earth that refused to change in any […]
It is commonly assumed that junior (pre-tenure) professors work much harder and have lower levels of job satisfaction than their more senior (tenured) peers. A new study of Canadian university faculty, titled ‘Academic Work in Canada: the Perceptions of Early-Career Academics’ and published in Higher Education Quarterly (Jones, Weinrib, Metcalfe, Fisher, Rubens0n & Snee, 2012, […]