Friday, March 23, 2018

Notes from the President's Luncheon on Academic Freedom

—Bryan Tolson, FAUW President

I want to thank everyone who attended the President’s Luncheon on Academic Freedom last week. For those who missed it, there was a summary in the Daily Bulletin last Friday and I’ve highlighted some key takeaways below. It was a compelling discussion with insightful questions from all, so thank you again to all who participated.

It’s clear that academic freedom is important to our members. It’s also clear that it’s a complicated issue, and I look forward to further discussion. Here are a few points from this event that I think are worth highlighting.

FAUW Execs Appeal to MPPs at OCUFA Queen’s Park Lobby Day

FAUW President Bryan Tolson (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Treasurer Dan Brown (Computer Science) lobbied at Queen’s Park on March 20, advocating for investment in the university sector, renewal of faculty ranks, and better working conditions for short-term and contract faculty.

Tolson and Brown were part of a team of 25 faculty members from across Ontario, brought together by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), which represents 17,000 faculty members and academic librarians at 28 universities across Ontario.

Tolson and Brown met with several MPPs from Waterloo Region and neighbouring Wellington County: Hon. Daiene Vernile (Kitchener Centre), Hon. Kathryn McGarry (Cambridge), Michael Harris (Kitchener-Conestoga), and Ted Arnott (Wellington-Halton Hills); they also met with legislative staff for Catherine Fife (Kitchener-Waterloo).

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bragging Rights: FAUW's Contributions to UW's Canada’s Best Diversity Employers Award

We were please by the University's announcement last week that it was named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for its commitment to gender equity.

We were especially excited to see two initiatives started by FAUW volunteers—Waterloo Women's Wednesdays and our Equity & Inclusivity Award—specifically mentioned as contributing factors to the University's selection!

The Equity & Inclusivity Award is a project of our Status of Women & Equity Committee (SWEC). Waterloo Women's Wednesdays (W3) is run by a committee with representation from faculty, staff (including our own), students, and postdocs. It is funded in part by FAUW and the Staff Association.

FAUW is actively working on equity issues of all kinds across campus at the Board level, through representatives on policy drafting and other committees, and via our own Status of Women and Equity Committee.

SWEC has working groups investigating a number of areas, including accessibility and accommodations, healthy workplaces, hiring, and the needs of racial and cultural minorities. There will be a call for new members in May.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

News From Your Board: March 8 Meeting Recap

—Peter Johnson, director for the Faculty of Environment

Collegial, yet occasionally salty, language ensued at our first meeting after reading week.

The Board received an update from Alan Macnaughton on discussions by the Responsible Investing Working Group, specifically on the possibility of divestment from fossil fuels. Alan indicated that conversations focus on integrating environmental, social, and governance factors in investment decisions, and that government regulations pose challenges to the possibility of divestment.

Of great interest was a quick analysis of data on the gender and appointment type of faculty hires from 2012–2017. We’ll be bringing a fuller analysis to Senate this spring, so stay tuned for more details.

The Board continued its discussion of the Policy Review Project, and of how best to ensure that policies that affect members' conditions of employment are drafted with full FAUW participation.

Upcoming events and initiatives from FAUW include a survey of members about the fall break schedule (look for this later this month), a new faculty event at the Grad House on March 21 (2:30-4:30), and the Spring General Meeting on April 5 (QNC 2502 from 11:30 to 1:30). More events are listed on our website.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Teaching Materials and Your Intellectual Property Rights (Policy 73)

As an academic community, one of our moral obligations is to openly and freely share our ideas in the hopes that they may benefit others. Given the nature of our jobs, this same principle logically applies to the sharing of teaching materials. Policy 73 describes how intellectual property rights pertain to teaching materials as well as the University’s expectations with regards to the sharing of these materials.

Your rights (section 8b, “Principles”):

The creation of materials required for course management and administration, such as course outlines, final exams and laboratory manuals, is considered an assigned task, and copyright for such material is vested in the University. This does not apply to more detailed teaching materials, such as course notes, for which the copyright belongs to the creator.

Your responsibilities (same section):

However, any of the latter material which has been printed and distributed or made publicly available should also be available for royalty-free use for teaching and research by other members of the University.

Sharing teaching materials respectfully

One of the principles on which the policy is based is that “all contributors to scholarly works should receive appropriate recognition for their contributions.” We would like to remind members of the University community who benefit from royalty-free teaching materials that it is incumbent upon you to respect your colleagues’ work by retaining the original creator’s name on the materials and/or otherwise recognizing their authorship.

This has been a message from the FAUW Lecturers Committee.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Claiming Your FAUW Dues on Your Income Tax

When preparing to file your income tax this spring, remember that dues paid to the Faculty Association can be claimed, but do not appear on your UWaterloo T4 slip. A letter confirming your association dues can be found in myHRinfo by proceeding to "Payroll and Compensation" and then to "Faculty/Staff Association Slip." 

Dues can be reported on line 212 of your tax return.

More details are available on our website.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

February 28 is OCUFA's Bill 148 Social Media Day of Action

Adapted from a message from Ontario College and University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)

February 28 is OCUFA's annual social media day of action. The day provides an opportunity for faculty, students, staff, and supporters across Ontario to get the issues of precarious work and fairness for contract faculty (sessionals and definite term lecturers, in Waterloo terms) trending on various social media platforms.

This year’s day of action will be use the momentum generated by Bill 148 to build more support for contract faculty in the lead-up to the provincial election in June.

The goal of the day will be to get as many people as possible to tweet and post Facebook messages to their provincial election candidates. The messages will highlight priorities for contract faculty at our institutions, the need to close gaps in Bill 148, how precarity for contract faculty can affect the quality of education, and where we go from here.