- Canais RSS
Issues, events, & breaking news from ICES & Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor
Actualizado: fai 20 horas 14 min
CAUT, November 20, 2013– Open for Business: On What Terms examines twelve research and program collaboration agreements between universities, corporations, donors and governments to determine if universities have protected their academic integrity.
An agreement between UBC and Pfizer provides a good example of just how much the universities are willing to surrender.
The pharmaceutical industry’s investment in British Columbia is substantial. Pfizer alone has invested approximately $25 million in research and development in the province since 2007. Other drug companies, such as Takeda Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca,5 have donated funding to the Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) specifically. UBC and Vancouver General Hospital operate the VPC as a National Centre of Excellence and a Centre of Excellence for
Commercialization and Research, with numerous other partners, including Genome Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the government of Canada, contributing in various ways. The collaboration with Pfizer is only one small part of the VPC’s work.
The agreement is not a public document. It was obtained for review through an access to information request, and significant portions of the initial research plan were redacted.
The agreement is silent on academic freedom. It may be presumed from this silence that, for UBC academic staff involved in the project, the academic freedom language of the UBC Faculty Association (UBCFA) collective agreement applies.9 However, as the VPC is a separate legal entity from UBC, there is significant ambiguity on this question. Can UBC faculty members whose research falls under the aegis of the VPC expect academic freedom in their work? We believe they can, and as such, the terms of the agreement threaten academic freedom.
The dissemination of research results is tightly controlled by the terms of the agreement.13 While the agreement recognizes “the traditional freedom of all scientists to publish and present promptly the results of their research,”14 it requires that any proposed publications be presented to Pfizer for review at least 45 days before submission to a third party. This period may be extended by an additional 30 days. If Pfizer finds any material in the publication objectionable, the parties “agree to work together to revise the proposed disclosure or remove or alter the Objectionable Material in a manner acceptable to the relevant Parties,”15 although in all cases the objectionable material must be removed.16 If either UBC or BCCA wish to publish research results that contain material that Pfizer finds objectionable, it must wait six months to do so.
Read More: Open for Business: On What Terms
CAUT, November 20, 2013– In their drive to attract new revenues by collaborating with corporations, donors, and governments, Canadian universities are entering into agreements that place unacceptable limits on academic freedom and sacrifice fundamental academic principles, according to a report released today by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).
Open for Business: On What Terms examines twelve research and program collaboration agreements between universities, corporations, donors and governments to determine if universities have protected their academic integrity.
“Our findings should raise alarm bells on campuses across the country,” said CAUT executive director James Turk. “In the majority of the agreements we reviewed, universities have agreed to terms that violate basic academic values.”
According to Turk, seven of the twelve agreements provide no specific protection for academic freedom, and only one requires the disclosure of conflicts of interest. Only five of the agreements give academic staff the unrestricted right to publish their research findings and just half provide that the university maintains control over academic matters affecting staff and students.
“Universities have allowed private donor and corporate partners to take on roles that should be played by academic staff,” stated Turk. “They have signed agreements that side-step traditional university decision-making processes and undermine academic freedom.”
The report concludes by recommending a set of guiding principles for university collaborations to better protect academic integrity and the public interest.
“Collaborations can be beneficial to faculty, students, institutions, and the public, but only if they are set up properly,” Turk added. “Universities owe it to the academic community and to the public to do more to safeguard the independence and integrity of teaching and research.”
The research and program collaborations examined in the report were:
- Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In-Situ Energy (AICISE)
- Centre for Oil Sands Innovation (COSI)
- Consortium for Heavy Oil Research by University Scientists (CHORUS)
- Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ)
- Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability
- Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU)
- Vancouver Prostate Centre
- Balsillie School of International Affairs
- Munk School of Global Affairs
- Partnership: University of Ontario Institute of Technology/Durham College/Ontario Power Generation
- Partnership: University of Toronto/Pierre Lassonde—Goldcorp Inc.
- Partnership: Western University/Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
Copies of the report are available on-line.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers is the national voice of more than 68,000 academic and general staff at over 120 universities and colleges across the country.
- See more at: CAUT
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout, September 10, 2013– Edward Snowden, Russ Tice, Thomas Drake, Jeremy Scahill, and Julian Assange, among others, have recently made clear what it means to embody respect for a public intellectual debate, moral witnessing and intellectual culture. They are not just whistle-blowers or disgruntled ex-employers but individuals who value ideas, think otherwise in order to act otherwise, and use the resources available to them to address important social issues with what might be called a fearsome sense of social responsibility and civic courage. Their anger is not treasonous or self-serving as some critics argue, it is the indispensable sensibility and righteous fury that fuels the meaning over what it means to take a moral and political stand and to continue the struggle to live in a substantive rather than fake democracy.
These are people who work with ideas, but are out of place in a society that only values ideas that serve the interests of the market and the powerful and rich. Their alleged wrongdoings as intellectuals and truth tellers is that they have revealed the illegalities, military abuses, sordid diplomacy and crimes committed by the United States government in the name of security. Moreover, as scholars, scientists, educators, artists and journalists, they represent what C. Wright Mills once called the “organized memory of society” and refuse “to become hired technician[s] of the military machine.”
There is a long tradition of such intellectuals, especially from academia and the world of the arts, but they are members of a dying breed and their legacy is no longer celebrated as a crucial element of public memory. Whether we are talking about W. E. B. Dubois, Jane Jacobs, Edward Said, James Baldwin, Murray Bookchin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Harrington, C. Wright Mills, Paul Sweezy or Ellen Willis, these were bold intellectuals who wrote with vigor, passion and clarity and refused the role of mere technicians or lapdogs for established power. They embraced ideas critically and engaged them as a fundamental element of individual agency and social action. Such intellectuals addressed the totality of problems faced in the periods in which they lived, made their publications accessible, and spoke to multiple publics while never compromising the rigorous nature of their work. They worked hard to make knowledge, and what Foucault called, dangerous memories available to the public because they believed that the moral and cultural sensibilities that shaped society should be open to interrogation. They paved the way for the so-called whistle-blowers of today along with many current public intellectuals who refuse the seductions of power. Intellectuals of that generation who are still alive are now largely ignored and erased from the public discourse.
Intellectuals of that older generation have become a rare breed who enriched public life. Unfortunately, they are a dying generation, and there are not too many intellectuals left who have followed in their footsteps. The role of such intellectuals has been chronicled brilliantly by both Russell Jacoby and Irving Howe, among others. What has not been commented on with the same detail, theoretical rigor and political precision is the emergence of the new anti-public intellectuals. Intellectuals who act in the service of power are not new, but with the rise of neoliberalism and the huge concentrations of wealth and power that have accompanied it, a new class of intellectuals in the service of casino capitalism has been created. These intellectuals are now housed in various cultural apparatuses constructed by the financial elite and work to engulf the American public in a fog of ignorance and free-market ideology. We can finds hints of this conservative cultural apparatus with its machineries of public pedagogy in the Powell Memo of 1971, with its call for conservatives to create cultural apparatuses that would cancel out dissent, contain the excesses of democracy and undermine the demands of the student free speech, anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s. What has emerged since that time is a neoliberal historical conjuncture that has given rise to a new crop of anti-public intellectuals hatched in conservative think tanks and corporate-driven universities who are deeply wedded to a world more fitted to values and social relations of fictional monsters such as John Galt and Patrick Bateman.
Unlike an older generation of conservative intellectuals such as Edward Shils, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Norman Podhoretz, William Buckley and Allen Bloom, who believed in reasoned arguments, drew upon respected intellectual traditions, affirmed the world of ideas, and engaged in serious debates, the new anti-public intellectuals are ideologues who rant, speak in slogans, and wage a war on reason and the most fundamental institutions of democracy extending from public schools and labor unions to the notion of quality health care for all and the principles of the social contract. We hear and see them on Fox News, the Sunday talk shows, and their writings appear in the country’s most respected op-ed pages.
Their legions are growing, and some of the most popular include Peggy Noonan, Thomas Freidman, Tucker Carlson, Juan Williams, S. E. Cupp and Judith Miller. Their more scurrilous hangers-on and lightweights include: Karl Rove, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. The anti-public intellectuals are rarely off-script, producing tirades against, among others: the less fortunate, who are seen as parasites; immigrants who threaten the identity of white Christian extremists; women who dare to argue for controlling their reproductive rights; and people of color, who are not American enough to deserve any voting rights. They deride science and evidence and embrace ideologies that place them squarely in the camp of the first Gilded Age, when corporations ruled the government, Jim Crow was the norm, women knew their place and education was simply another form of propaganda. Much of what these Gilded Age anti-public intellectuals propose and argue for is not new. As Eric William Martin points out, “Many of the proposals themselves are old; not founding-fathers old, but early-20th-century old. They are the harvest of a century of rich people’s movements.”
What the anti-public intellectuals never include in their screeds are any mention of a government corrupted by the titans of finance, banks and the mega rich, or the scope and extent of the military-industrial-academic-surveillance state and its threat to the most basic principles of democracy. What does arouse their anger to fever pitch are those public intellectuals who dare to question authority, expose the crimes of corrupt politicians, and call into question the carcinogenic nature of a corporate state that has hijacked American democracy. This is most evident in the insults and patriotic gore heaped recently on Manning and Snowden, who are the latest in a group of young people whose only “crime” has been to expose the abusive powers of the national security state. Rather than being held up as exemplary public intellectuals and true patriots of democracy, they are disparaged as traitors, un-American or worse.
The role of the anti-public intellectuals in this instance is part of a much larger practice of self-deceit, self-promotion, and the shutting down of those formative cultures that give rise to intellectuals willing to take risks and fight for matters of freedom, justice, transparency and equality. For too many intellectuals, both liberal and conservative, the flight from responsibility turns into a Faustian pact with a corrupt and commodified culture whose only allegiance is to accumulating capital and consolidating control over all aspects of the lives of the American public. Liberal anti-public intellectuals are more nuanced in their support for the status quo. They do not condemn critical intellectuals as un-American, they simply argue that there is no room for politics in the university and that academics, for instance, should save the world on their own time. Such views disconnect pedagogy from any understanding of politics and in doing so make a false distinction between what Gayatri Spivak calls “the possibility of civic engagement and democratic action and teaching in the classroom.” She argues that “this is a useless distinction because I think what you have to realize is that it is with the mind that one takes democratic action. . . . The Freedom to teach, to expand the imagination as an instrument to think “world” is thus deeply political. It operates at the root of where the ethical imagination and the political mingle.” C.W. Mills goes further and dismisses the attempt to take politics out of the classroom as part of the “cynical contempt of specialists.” He then offers a defense for what public intellectuals do by insisting that:
I do not believe that intellectuals will inevitably ‘save the world,’ although I see nothing at all wrong with ‘trying to save the world’- a phrase which I take here to mean the avoidance of war and the rearrangement of human affairs in accordance with the ideals of human freedom and reason. But even if we think the chances dim, still we must ask: If there are any ways out of the crises of our epoch by means of the intellect, is it not up to intellectuals to state them?
Intellectuals should provide a model for connecting scholarship and public life, address important social and political issues, speak to multiple audiences, help citizens come to a more critical and truthful understanding of their own views and their relations to others and the larger society. But they should do more than simply raise important questions, they should also work to create those public spheres and formative cultures in which matters of dialogue, thoughtfulness and critical exchange are both valued and proliferate. Zygmunt Bauman is right in arguing that it is the moral necessity and obligation of the intellectual to take responsibility for their responsibility – for ourselves, others and the larger world. Part of that responsibility entails becoming a moral witness, expanding the political imagination, and working with social movements in their efforts to advance social and economic justice, promote policies that are just, and make meaningful the promises of a radical democracy.
What might it mean for intellectuals to assume such a role, even if in limited spheres such as public and higher education?…
Some have argued, wrongly in my estimation, that such intellectuals, because they address a broader audience and public issues, betray the scholarly tradition by not being rigorous theoretically. I think this is a massive misreading of much of the work published by such intellectuals, as well as a distortion of what is often published in online journals such as Truthout, CounterPunch, and Truthdig. In fact, Truthout often publishes substantive theoretically rigorous articles under its Public Intellectual Project that are accessible, address important social issues, and at the same time, attract large numbers of readers. I am inclined to believe that at the heart of this misinformed critique is an unadulterated nostalgia for those heady days when one could publish unintelligible articles in small journals and make the claim, generally uncontested, that one was an intellectual because one wrote in the idiom of high theory. Those days are gone, if they ever really existed so as to make a difference about anything that might concern addressing significant public issues.
Read More: Truthout
Catherine Solyom, Montreal Gazette, November 16, 2013– About 130 communities across Canada held simultaneous protests Saturday against the expansion of oilsands production and of pipelines to bring the oil east from Alberta, including a protest in Oka, where Kanesatake residents want to stop the reversal of Enbridge’s Line 9B pipeline.
Three buses left Montreal on Saturday morning to take part in the protest, where members of the Idle No More movement, representatives of Québec solidaire and prominent activist Ellen Gabriel addressed the crowd of a few hundred people.
Kanesatake Mohawks are opposed to the expansion of oilsands production in Alberta to the detriment of First Nations communities there, and to the reversal of the flow of Enbridge’s 9B pipeline through Mohawk territory.
The pipeline carries oil west, from Montreal to Westover, Ont., but Enbridge has applied to the National Energy Board to be allowed to ship oil from Western Canada to Montreal, where it would be processed in east-end refineries.
The NEB held public hearings on the project in Montreal and Toronto last month. A decision from the board is expected by January.
But after a year of demands by several Quebec municipalities, including the city of Montreal, and environmental groups for Quebec to hold its own hearings into the pipeline project, the Quebec government announced this week a parliamentary committee will hold hearings from Nov. 26 to Dec. 5, with a report to be submitted to the National Assembly by Dec. 6.
Opponents of the project, however, including the David Suzuki Foundation, the Association québecoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique and Équiterre, are not satisfied. They said only the government will be able to ask questions of Enbridge, the hearings are to be held only in Quebec City and the issue of greenhouse-gas emissions from oilsands production does not appear to be among issues that will be discussed.
In Oka on Saturday, where banners compared Enbridge to the Montreal & Maine Railway, which had a deadly train crash in Lac Mégantic, Québec solidaire president Andrés Fontecilla told the crowd they want the parliamentary commission to be given a wider mandate to look into all the potential environmental consequences of the project.
“What a paradox to see a minister for the environment set aside questions related to oil spills and greenhouse-gas emissions,” Fontecilla said, adding between 1999 and 2010, Enbridge has been responsible for 804 spills that sent 25.7 million litres of oil into the environment. “These consultations won’t expose the whole truth to the Mohawk community of Kanesatake nor to the whole population. We expect something different from a sovereignist Parti Québécois government than to act as an accomplice to the oil industry and the Harper government.”
The “Defend Our Climate” protests, which took place in communities from Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador to Tofino, B.C., were intended to show a wall of opposition from coast to coast against the continuing expansion of the oil industry to the detriment of future generations, said Jean Léger of the Coalition vigilance oléoduc (COVO).
“We, our children and our grandchildren will not sit idly by while the oil industry dictates the level and growth rate of greenhouse-gas emissions in this country,” Léger said.
Read More: Montreal Gazette
Daniel Schwartz, CBC News, November 10, 2013– Idle No More, the indigenous movement that began a year ago today, says it has a database of 254,000 supporters. Some, however, are concerned about the direction its founders want to go.
A Saskatoon teach-in on Nov. 10, 2012 marked the founding — by Jessica Gordon, Sheelah McLean, Sylvia McAdam and Nina Wilson — of Idle No More, which initially focused on opposing a federal omnibus bill, now law, and its perceived threats to land, water and aboriginal rights.
Nevertheless, Idle No More hit a chord and, by also making skillful use of social media, quickly became one of the most significant protest movements Canada has seen in a long time.
“Our biggest strength is that we always left it open,” Pam Palmater, who was a spokeswoman for Idle No More in its early days, told CBC News in a recent interview. ”Idle No More was to individuals whatever they wanted it to be.”
Palmater is the chair of indigenous governance at Ryerson University in Toronto, and was a candidate for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations in 2012.
“The movement became so successful, because there was no leader.”
Now, she and others are critical of some prominent members for trying to control the notably leaderless organization and its name.
“[We] don’t want to get caught up in copyrighting the Idle No More movement or setting up an office or an organization, really going down the road that is what has really killed every other kind of movement,” she said.
“For me, it’s never about the name or who started it or who owns it or any of those things,” Palmater explained. “For me it’s about the spirit of the Idle No More movement.”
Palmater said another group, the Indigenous Nationhood Movement, is headed in the direction she’d like to see Idle No More go.
That group “is talking about action on the ground, real resistance, going out and living on the land and protecting territories and exercising jurisdiction and reclaiming and reoccupying, so it’s not just about protest anymore, it’s changing,” Palmater said. She considers herself part of both movements.
Gerald Taiaiake Alfred of the Indigenous Nationhood Movement wrote earlier this year that “the limits to Idle No More are clear, and many people are beginning to realize that the kind of movement we have been conducting under the banner of Idle No More is not sufficient in itself to decolonize this country or even to make meaningful change in the lives of people.”
Read More: CBC News
UBC Sauder Business admin, still no accountability? #ubc #ubcsauderschool #mba #bcpoli #bced #yteubc
Thus far, President Toope’s Measures fail to effect any form of accountability at the top. For example, the last measure, “[Dean] Helsley announced that the Sauder School of Business will no longer support the CUS FROSH events,” is meaningless, if according to a.nony.mouse in the Ubyssey comments section, “the CUS is its own entity and operates separately from the administration, something that has also been made clear in all investigative documents to date.”
I guess it is plausible that former Dean Muzyka micro-managed the students for over a decade and once he left, the repressed returned and they went wild, so to speak. But I don’t buy this narrative.
Instead, I stand with Nathan in the Ubyssey comments, “there is some fault on the part of the administration.” There may be, as Harbinder says, a “culture of shallowness” and as I say a “culture of entitlement.” For the record, I’ve worked with excellent students and faculty from Sauder, but evidently something (or someone) is failing at the top.
The facts speak: In the fact-finding report, curiously, the words “administration” and “administrator” do not appear while “student/s” appears 46 times. There were no facts to find on administrators or administration?
If it is plausible that of the 11 Assistant and Associate Deans + Dean Helsley, none have responsibilities for “students” in their portfolio, then the President’s Office has failed. That’s a fact of administrative bloat: Between 1999 and 2013, this Faculty’s administrators at that level more than doubled. Yes, Sauder has Dean Muzyka to thank. And increasing tuition and fees have that to factor in. Yet none of these 12 now have any responsibilities for students? I don’t buy that. So is the buck or loonie passed back to the Sauder Dean’s Office?
Similarly, someone or something is failing at the top if of the 12 senior administrators none have curriculum in their portfolio. I find it incomprehensible that it has taken this cheer, a fact-finding report, campus outrage, and nearly 2014 for Sauder to finally get around to, announced on 1 November by Dean Helsley, “Implementing changes in the curriculum to enhance themes of social justice, ethics, gender and cultural sensitivity, and their role in corporate social responsibility and the creation of a civil society”?
A top business school finally getting around to this? In this economy and world? There are 12 senior administrators and none have curriculum and courses in their portfolio? What exactly are they doing? Not all can be running around consulting, like Bob Sutton, teaching CEOs how not to be assholes.
Decolonizing initiatives to accompany police presence at #UBC #yteubc #idlenomore #bced #occupyeducation
Wei Laii, The Ubyssey, November 6, 2013– As a student who had studied at UBC, I am very displeased with the lack of new educational initiatives in response to the six reported cases of sexual assault against young women on the UBC campus.
I do not need armed officers with a saviour complex to harass me about how I can make their jobs easier and become more grateful by policing myself. I resist slut profiling, racial profiling and all other tactics informed by colonial oppression.
Granted, not all officers have been resistant to practicing anti-oppressive solidarity and responsibility. However, we need to look to recent news and examine our police force as an institution with an organizational culture of colonial oppressive values — including but not limited to gender policing, systemic sexual assault against indigenous women and the colonial construction of their bodies such acts require, and insidious systemic misogyny within the RCMP.
It’s important to acknowledge that we need a lot more than increased arrests, criminalization and demonization of perpetrators of violence. An increased police presence alone does not ensure students’ feelings and realities of safety, physical, emotional and cultural. At best, police presence is a bandage solution that makes some students feel safer, others less safe and retraumatized, and it may deter public acts of physical violence.
In our society, systems of oppression include but are not limited to white settler colonialism, ableism, Eurocentricism, heterosexism, cissexism and hegemonic masculinities.
In the cases of UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, the operation of some of these systems on both campuses have been documented in “Implementing Inclusion,” a report released by UBC in May 2013. The report presents “the substance of concerns voiced to [UBC] during the consultation process that pertain to the lived experiences of students, alumni, staff and faculty at both campuses” and includes concerns about race and ethnicity, gender and transgender and disability. If not to become a place of advocacy in the world, UBC must at least become a place of good mind, by dealing with oppression in its own backyard where students are suffering and ill.
Ubyssey Staff, The Ubyssey, November 6, 2013– Sauder School of Business dean Robert Helsley said at a press conference on Monday that he was still hopeful his students would fund the remaining $200,000 of the $250,000 commitment he coerced from the CUS leadership and told the the media about on Sept. 18 — before anyone had a chance to vote on whether to put the quarter of a million dollars toward unclear goals.
Since students just voted down the funding by a margin of three to one, this seems unlikely. And it’s understandable why they rejected the referendum: it’s a vague commitment to a vague and unnecessary position that was conceived only to placate the local and national media who pounced on Sauder after The Ubyssey broke the CUS FROSH rape cheer story.
This crude public relations stunt has failed. Stop trying to make fetch happen, Robert.
Anything Sauder does in response to the chant and the cultural problems it points to should be a well thought out and meaningful contribution to changing the atmosphere around sexual violence on campus and in the business school. The proposed curriculum changes Helsley has announced will require followup, but they seem like a good start.
Sauder also said they will bridge the gap in funding between what the CUS can pledge over their objection of their members — $50,000 this year, $100,000 over the next two years if they choose — and how much it would cost to hire a new counsellor, or whatever the money was planned to go toward. We’ll see.
“We’re looking for some leadership,” Helsley told the media.
Us too. Perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror, Bob.
Read More: The Ubyssey
The Ubyssey, November 6, 2013All together now: A.D.M.I.N.!
A is for we like Accountability!
D is for it will be Deferred!
M is for the Money that runs the show!
I is always for I point the other way when the heat is on!
All together now!
UBC President Stephen Toope and Sauder School of Business dean Robert Helsley, how accountable is it to let two student executives of the Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) take the fall for the Sauder rape cheer?
At Saint Mary’s University, where a similar cheer took place, Student Union president Jared Perry said, “I tender my resignation.”
At UBC, Enzo Woo and Gillian Ong, president and VP engagement of the CUS respectively, resigned.
All together now: A.D.M.I.N.!
A is for we like Accountability!
D is for it will be Deferred!
A month and a rushed fact-finding report later, the administration at UBC remains entrenched solely in damage control. Curiously, the words “administration” and “administrator” do not appear in the fact-finding report ["student/s" appears 46 times].
Protect the brand! Especially now. Especially for commerce. No resignations, no accountability.
However, amidst the smoking guns and smoking pipes of politics back east, UBC’s rape chant is still making headlines.
On Oct. 31, the CUS rejected a referendum to approve a $200,000 allocation for student counselling and education on sexual abuse and violence.
Still talking but not walking, Helsley issued yet another statement that he was predictably “deeply disappointed.” Why? Maybe because it is time for Helsley to walk and for Toope to walk the talk.
From all optics, it is the students who are taking care of business — resigning, reflecting, self-governing, voting and regrouping. Students have realized that lines were crossed and are dealing with it. Given the rejection of the referendum, are the students simply saying they are dealing with their own behaviour?
Administrators, figure out what your role is for oversight of students in the 21st century. Enough of remaining “deeply disappointed” that students are not assuming your accountability.
There is an apparent culture of entitlement within Commerce. That may be why neither the president’s office nor the Sauder dean’s office have tendered resignations, cut salaries or revoked budget lines. We dare not conclude that atrocious chants originate or thrive within these cultures, yet one may draw conclusions that a culture of entitlement hurts accountability at the top in times like these.
This entitlement is apparent when faculty contracts are negotiated, with Sauder’s breakaway faculty association independently bargaining for bigger pieces of the pie for themselves; when the Sauder chief is appointed to oversee the University’s budget; and when its bloated administrative lines are sacred.
Yet to this moment in the throes of the rape chant controversy, not a single Commerce administrator has resigned, and the President has pulled not a single line.
Potentia ad Populum,
Stephen Petrina, professor
Read More: The Ubyssey
CBC News, November 5, 2013– RCMP have released a composite sketch of the suspect in a string of sexual assaults at the University of British Columbia this year.
Sgt. Peter Thiessen says the suspect in question is a Caucasian male, with dark or olive skin, in his late 20s to early 30s. He is slim in build and measures between 5 foot 8 and 6 foot 2.
Thiessen is asking anybody who has information about the suspect to contact the RCMP’s tipline at 778-290-5291 or 1-877-543-4822.
Six sexual assaults have taken place on the UBC campus over the past several months. Police say they were likely committed by the same suspect.
The most recent assault, reported Oct. 27, involved a young woman walking home from Gage Hall on Student Union Boulevard shortly before 1:30 a.m. She noticed a shadow behind her and was grabbed from behind. When she flailed her arms, the suspect ran off, police had said.
The other five reported incidents occurred April 19, May 19, Sept. 28, Oct. 13 and Oct. 19.
We just signed the petition “Bank of Canada: Add women from Canadian history to Canadian bank notes” on Change.org. Will you please sign it too? Here’s the link:
Toope said UBC is doing all they can to keep students safe in the face of the environment of insecurity currently felt on campus.
“I have kids who live on campus and I am every bit as concerned about their safety as any parent. I can reassure parents across the world that we are doing everything in our power to ensure the safety of their children.”
Toope said the university has already increased both lighting and security patrols on campus, but questioned adding security cameras due to privacy concerns.
“That’s going to be a longer term discussion,” he said. “I certainly am reluctant to make a commitment at this point that the entire campus would be subject to surveillance.”
He said a working group has been formed to discuss issues such as the merits of adding cameras and the possibility of adding more lighting on campus.
“What I can tell you is that we are putting [in] the resources that are necessary to keep this campus as safe as we can. Frankly, we are not counting pennies right now.”
Toope also commended students who have banded together in organizations like Safewalk in the wake of the sexual assaults.
“This is a moment for community building. This is a moment to resist fear, to push back at a person who is making our community feel vulnerable,” he said.
Toope emphasized that the new security measures are a temporary response to the recent sexual assaults. He said the working group would look at longer-term security plans.
“This is one of the safest campuses in North America. There is not normally a climate of fear of or insecurity on the campus.”
Read More: The Ubyssey
October 29, 2013
Dear members of UBC’s Vancouver campus community:
Today UBC joined the RCMP for a press conference that revealed new, disturbing information about the spate of sexual assaults on our Vancouver campus.
This is a time of stress for everyone in our community and I, like you, am extremely concerned by these developments. I am grateful to the RCMP who have made this a top priority. Their investigation is critical to restoring the safety of our campus and UBC is working closely with them to solve this crime. If you have information that could help the RCMP in their investigation, I urge you to contact them (1-800-222-TIPS).
We are working with our campus leaders – staff, faculty and students – to continue enhanced campus security and increase support for our campus community. This is now our number one priority, and we are mobilizing all necessary resources to this end.
This latest news will no doubt be frightening to many of you, so if you feel you need to talk, please do not hesitate to make use of the UBC, AMS and RCMP counselling services listed on our new safety web site:http://www.ubc.ca/staysafe.
This new central web site will provide you with the latest information, safety tips and campus resources all in one hub.
In the days to come, until the alleged perpetrator is apprehended, I ask you to be extra vigilant. Make sure you have the information you need to stay safe. The ultimate choice is yours, but the RCMP is advising you not to walk alone after dark. Please look out for each other.
But above all, I believe this is not a time to give in to anxiety. This is a time to rally in support of one another, stand up against violence, and live out our commitment to a dynamic learning community free from fear.
Tell us what we can do better. Voice your concerns and take steps to make others feel safe during your daily activities.
We will get through this, together.
Charles Hamilton, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, October 13, 2013– Supporters of Idle No More say the movement is stronger than ever, even though it has largely disappeared from the media spotlight.
“Idle No More is not dead. It never was,” said Max FineDay, president of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union.
“Just because you don’t see flash mobs in the middle of the street or in malls doesn’t mean the First Nations community isn’t working toward nation building, revitalizing language and culture, and all these things Idle No More stands for.”
FineDay was one of about 200 supporters who showed up Oct. 7 for a round dance on the university campus, which was organized via social media. The Idle No More movement spread to communities across Canada last winter, as aboriginal groups protested the federal government’s omnibus Bill C-45, which they say infringed on their sovereignty and relaxed important environmental protections. It passed, but organizers at the round dance said the movement is bigger than any one bill.
There are still bills going through Parliament that affect indigenous sovereignty and affect the lands and the water and that will affect all of us
“There are still bills going through Parliament that affect indigenous sovereignty and affect the lands and the water and that will affect all of us,” Sylvia McAdam, one of the four women who founded Idle No More, told the crowd after the dance.
The Saskatoon event was one of more than 50 actions that took place across the country and in the United States to mark the 250th anniversary of King George III’s Royal Proclamation, which set out policy for the Crown’s relationship with aboriginal people in North America.
The 1763 proclamation set rules for European settlement in North America, recognized First Nations’ land rights and laid the groundwork for the treaty process. Even though the Royal Proclamation was of special significance for aboriginal peoples living on the land that would become Canada, supporters and organizers say Idle No More now has global reach.
“Over the summer, the movement gained momentum on a global level,” said Alex Wilson, an Idle No More organizer and professor at the University of Saskatchewan.
“I think one of the strengths of the movement is that each community can look at those global issues and can take action in their own way.”
Read More: Saskatoon StarPhoenix
TAKE BACK THE NIGHT
UBC RALLY AND MARCH SPEAK OUT
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 30, 2013
University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Unceded Coast Salish Territories
We will march to specific locations on campus, briefly state how the location relates to persisting rape culture on campus (with reference to its colonial history), and have an ongoing open mic for people to speak about their experiences. We march to heal, resist, and speak out (side note: if you have knowledge about the histories of these locations or would want to speak to them please contact us, we need your help here).
If you are unsure of speaking at the march/rally about your experiences with rape culture at UBC, PLEASE understand that you will be supported and heard. You will not be standing alone at any point, this march/rally is for those of you who are constantly silenced and harmed at this school. Take Back the Night is for you to reclaim voice in spaces that keep trying to suppress it, spaces keeping you unsafe.
If you want to speak at the march/rally, please message us or send us an email email@example.com. This is by no means necessary if you choose to speak at the march, it just helps us a lot for planning and time purposes
This TBTN event places great emphasis on history—both personal and societal. The march/rally will be a highly emotional and potentially triggering event; we will have crisis relief support for those who need it.
*very* rough schedule based on suggested locations (still working on security and accessibility):
5:00 Museum of Anthropology, Opening
5:40 Place Vanier Residence
6:10 Henry Angus Building (Sauder)
6:50 Fraternity Village
7:15 RCMP Campus Headquarters
7:40 Thunderbird Sports Centre
8:25 Allard Hall (Law Building), Closing
8:30 Debriefing Space and Discussion, SUB 212, for female and woman identified people
UBC, CAMPUS SECURITY, AND THE RCMP: STOP BLAMING THE VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT!
The Institute for Critical Education Studies (ICES) is extremely pleased to announce the launch of Workplace Issue #22, “The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students” (Guest Editors Bradley J. Porfilio, Julie A. Gorlewski & Shelley Pineo-Jensen).The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students
- The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students: Introduction to the Special Issue (Brad Porfilio, Julie Gorlewski, Shelley Pineo-Jensen)
- Dismissing Academic Surplus: How Discursive Support for the Neoliberal Self Silences New Faculty (Julie Gorlewski)
- Academia and the American Worker: Right to Work in an Era of Disaster Capitalism? (Paul Thomas)
- Survival Guide Advice and the Spirit of Academic Entrepreneurship: Why Graduate Students Will Never Just Take Your Word for It (Paul Cook)
- Standing Against Future Contingency: Activist Mentoring in Composition Studies (Casie Fedukovich)
- From the New Deal to the Raw Deal: 21st Century Poetics and Academic Labor (Virginia Konchan)
- How to Survive a Graduate Career (Roger Whitson)
- In Every Way I’m Hustlin’: The Post-Graduate School Intersectional Experiences of Activist-Oriented Adjunct and Independent Scholars (Naomi Reed, Amy Brown)
- Ivory Tower Graduates in the Red: The Role of Debt in Higher Education (Nicholas Hartlep, Lucille T. Eckrich)
- Lines of Flight: the New Ph.D. as Migrant (Alvin Cheng-Hin Lim)
The scope and depth of scholarship within this Special Issue has direct and immediate relevance for graduate students and new and senior scholars alike. We encourage you to review the Table of Contents and articles of interest.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Workplace,
Our university has been in the news since Friday September 6th, and for all the wrong reasons. Most of you are rightly concerned not only by the disturbing reports of chants endorsing rape and sexual violence, but you have been waiting for a university response to these reports.
Some facts have now been established and publicly acknowledged. Earlier this month, UBC Sauder School of Business first year students were led in this appalling chant during FROSH events organized by the Commerce Undergraduate Society. The C.U.S. is an independent student organization representing students of the UBC Sauder School of Business, and it has publicly admitted the chant was used during their FROSH events. Four of their leaders have now resigned.
Last week, UBC Sauder School of Business Dean Robert Helsley emphasized that these events are completely inconsistent with the values of the school and of UBC, and announced the faculty was withdrawing any support for C.U.S. FROSH. Dean Helsley went on to acknowledge the steps taken by the C.U.S., including the leadership resignations and their own cancellation of FROSH.
A fact-finding panel was appointed last week and submitted its report to our VP Students and to the Dean of the Sauder School of Business today. The university will quickly determine what actions are appropriate, and this will be made public on Wednesday September 18.
Read More: Office of the President
LETTER FROM US section of the Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education
Asking us to support Mexican teachers – send to Mexican officials
We stand in solidarity with the teachers of CNTE in Mexico who are calling upon the government for a genuine dialogue, that their demands be acknowledged and that violent repression not be used against the nationwide movement in defense of public education as it was today in Mexico City. The rights to assemble and express legitimate concerns are rights that are inalienable rights that are part of the civil and democratic freedoms for which humanity has fought and died for during the last two centuries. WHEREVER POSSIBLE, ORGANIZE DEMONSTRATIONS IN FRONT OF MEXICAN CONSULATES AND TAKE PHOTOS TO BE SENT TO THE SAME ADDRESSES AS THE COPIES OF PROTEST LETTERS. Even a photo of 5 people in front of a consulate is a tremendous morale booster for our brothers and sisters fighting against the destruction of teacher unions & public education!
LETTERS TO THE GOVERNMENT CAN BE SENT TO:
LIC. ENRIQUE PEÑA NIETO
Presidente Constitucional de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
LIC. OSORIO CHONG MIGUEL ANGEL
Secretario de Estado
Below is a copy of the letter that the US section of the Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education sent to the protesting teachers in Mexico. Use it as a template and send copies to:
Maestra Graciela Rangel de Michoacán sección XVIII: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Eligio Hernández de Oaxaca XXII: email@example.com
MEXICO D.F., MEXICO September 13, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education-USA extends our support for your valiant and militant struggle to defend not just your rights as teachers and trade unionists, but the Mexican people’s right to a public education that is guaranteed in your federal constitution. We applaud your courageous resistance against implementation of the present changes in the constitution which would use standardized tests for teachers to be hired and to keep their jobs, standardized tests for students that will limit their future opportunities in life as well as reducing federal funding to state and local schools. These changes will have the worst impact on the poorest states and communities, especially those whose population mainly speak languages other than Spanish.
We face similar attacks in the United States of America under the guise of “reform”. Your struggle for educational and union justice is an inspiration to us about how teachers and communities can unite to defend public education. You have clarified for the world that the forces behind these so-called reforms are powerful corporate interest that intend to privatize public education.
YOUR STRUGGLE IS OUR STRUGGLE!
Rosemary Lee, for Trinational Coalition to Defend Public Education-section USA
Kyara Tobias, August 2013– Un-hired Ed: the growing adjunct crisis. How our best and brightest can work tirelessly for 8 years only to receive food stamps, debt, and no career. Click on the image for an extremely eye-opening, informative infographic.
Cost of university education in Canada to rise 13% over next four years: CCPA study #bced #bcpoli #yteubc #education
“Expensive Education” Image from CBC News
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, September 11, 2013– The average cost of tuition and compulsory fees for Canadian undergraduate students will rise by almost 13% over the next four years, from $6,610 this fall to an estimated $7,437 in 2016-17, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The study looks at trends in tuition and compulsory fees in Canada since 1990, projects fees for each province for the next four years, and ranks the provinces on affordability for median- and low-income families using a Cost of Learning Index.
“Average tuition and compulsory fees in Canada have tripled since 1990, even after inflation is taken into account,” says Erika Shaker, co-author of the study and director of the CCPA’s education project. “No wonder there is growing public concern over student debt loads, economic and employment uncertainty, and the long-term ramifications being felt by students and their families.”
According to the study, Ontario is the province with the highest fees and will see its tuition and other fees climb from $8,403 this fall to an estimated $9,517 in 2016-17. Newfoundland and Labrador remains the province with the lowest compulsory fees of $2,872 this fall, rising to an estimated $2,886 in 2016-17.
The study’s Cost of Learning Index clearly demonstrates that provincial governments play a significant role in ensuring university education is more—or less—affordable for median and low-income families, particularly when household debt is at an all-time high and incomes have been stagnant for over two decades.
“Newfoundland and Labrador is the most affordable province for university education for both median- and low-income families, while New Brunswick is the least affordable for median-income families and Alberta is the least affordable for low-income families,” says David Macdonald, CCPA senior economist and co-author of the study.
Some provincial governments are responding to concerns about affordability with piecemeal, targeted, and non-universal directed assistance measures for in-province students such as tax credits, debt caps, and grants or bursaries. While these measures do impact in-province affordability, it creates a situation where the only students who leave the province to pursue a degree are the ones who can afford to.
“The increasing number of exceptions and qualifiers for financial assistance makes the system far more difficult for students and families to navigate, and makes it harder to compare province-to-province,” says Shaker. “If provinces directed their funds to across-the-board fee reductions instead, it would make the system fairer, more predictable, and easier to navigate.”
Degrees of Uncertainty: Navigating the changing terrain of university finance is available on the CCPA website: http://policyalternatives.ca See also analysis at CBC News: University Tuition Rising to Record Levels in Canada