• The case for publicly funded universities

  • It’s time to invest in a faculty renewal strategy for Ontario’s universities

  • What might the 2018 Ontario Budget mean for university faculty?

  • Looking at the big picture: A breakdown of university funding in Ontario through the decades

  • The public value of public funding for research

  • What happened to the issue of postsecondary education?

  • Building Solidarity on Ontario’s university campuses

  • 2018 Worldviews Lecture: The challenges of free speech on campus

  • Humour Matters: It’s time to make meaningless words great again

Featured Articles

For millennials, employment is a public health challenge

Millennials now make up the largest share of the Canadian workforce and many are facing precarious working conditions. As a society, we have previously assumed that if young Canadians invest in formal training and “pay their dues” in poor quality jobs early in their careers, they will work their way into better quality employment. A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) suggests a different reality.

Gender quotas and targets would speed up progress on gender equity in academia

Recently, the University of Adelaide used a special exemption under the Equal Opportunity Act to advertise eight academic positions in the faculty of engineering, computer and mathematical sciences for women only. This raises questions about why a university might take this approach. While Australia has had gender equality legislation for 30 years, there has been very slow progress towards addressing the gender equity issues plaguing the sector. To illustrate, women are still under-represented at senior levels. Only 27% of full professors (the main recruitment pool for top jobs) are women, and only 32% of Vice-Chancellors in public universities.

Mentors play critical role in quality of university and college experience, new poll suggests

In order to have a rewarding college experience, students should build a constellation of mentors. This constellation should be a diverse set of faculty, staff and peers who will get students out of their comfort zones and challenge them to learn more – and more deeply – than they thought they could. Students should begin to build this network during their first year of college.

When losing one’s research partner is like losing a part of oneself

“If you want to see Rich alive, now’s the time.” I sucked in air as I read the text from his wife. I knew this was coming. But, I had been hoping for a miracle. I met my friend Richard Thompson at a mental health grant-writing boot camp at Cornell Medical Center almost 20 years ago. We were both young psychologists hoping to learn how to secure federal funding for our own research. Senior scientists, mainly academic psychiatrists, were presenting seven days’ worth of tips and tutorials on what the National Institutes of Health wanted in a scientifically solid and innovative proposal.

What universities and colleges must do to promote mental health for graduate students

Sara did not expect much to come from her visit to the university’s counseling center, but she was concerned enough about the dark thoughts she’d been having that she decided to go anyway. As she sat in the waiting room after turning in the patient questionnaire, she thought: “It’s probably not a big deal. I’m probably overreacting.” But she wasn’t. After reviewing her screening survey, staff at the counseling center didn’t want her to leave without speaking to a therapist.

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Blog Posts

Editorial Matters: The slow erosion of public university funding

Ontario’s public universities are vital institutions that deliver education to thousands of students, produce thought-provoking and groundbreaking research, and provide good jobs that support many diverse communities. The province’s vibrant and renowned public postsecondary education system has been evolving for over a century. Core to its development has been a foundation of robust public funding […]

Editorial Matters: Alluring figures

There is an appealing simplicity in numbers. A number’s value is never ambiguous, even if its meaning can be. Numbers are specific and easily compared to one another. They allow us to measure the dimensions of an object or to describe the outcomes of a decision. There has long been a desire to use numbers […]

Congress 2017: Challenges to the integrity of academic hiring practices

During Congress 2017, a session on the Challenges to the Integrity of Academic Hiring Practices in the Corporate University encouraged participants to ask themselves some difficult questions about the value of Canadian training in sociology. After a long and intensive discussion, members of the Canadian Sociological Association passed a motion to research hiring trends in […]

Congress 2017: Ask Someone You Don’t Know About Something You Don’t Know

Above the Expo in a hallway, I found an art installation exhibit that, in a quiet and unassuming way, pulled together many of the overarching themes of Congress this year. Held May 27–June 2 in Toronto, Congress 2017 set out to push attendees to think about Canada’s past, while imagining what the next 150 years […]

Editorial Matters: The comforts of common sense

“Keep hold of a few plain truths, and make everything square with them. When I was young … there never was any question about right and wrong … Every respectable Church person had the same opinions. But now, if you speak out of the Prayer-book itself, you are liable to be contradicted.” Those are the […]

Are books ready for the dustbin of history?

Are books a condition of our labour? Do we need libraries with stacks and physical collections? Recent discussions within libraries across the country have highlighted faculty anxiety and displeasure with the fate of university libraries, as cuts are made to purchasing and operating budgets, collections culled, and the very nature of acquisitions transformed by changes […]

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