The Hagey Lecture Perspective: 2003

The Hagey lectures are the University of Waterloo’s premier invitational public lecture series. Since 1970, outstanding individuals, who have distinguished themselves internationally in some area of scholarly or creative endeavour have given talks intended to challenge, stimulate and enrich not only the faculty, staff and students of the University of Waterloo, but all members of this community.

These annual lectures are co-sponsored by the Faculty Association and the university.

This is the third post in a series on past Hagey Lectures from a few years ago – we just found the unpublished draft and thought we’d share it with you. Stay tuned for an announcement soon about the next lecture, coming up in March 2017.

Atom Egoyan Hagey Lecture PosterBetween the last flight of the Concorde and a lunar eclipse, the Theatre of the Humanities was graced with the presence of Academy Award nominated director Atom Egoyan, who took the stage to discuss his latest film, Ararat, in a lecture titled Poetic License and the Incarnation of History. The film is about the 1915 slaughter of Turkey’s Armenian minority, an atrocity that is still officially denied by the Turkish government. Seamlessly shifting back and forth through time, Ararat explores how history – both personal and political – can inspire a legacy of uncertainty and insecurity (Canadian Encyclopedia). The film was awarded Best Film on Human Rights by the Political Film Society of Hollywood and the Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review in New York.

With a body of work that has been critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival, the Grand Prix, and the Toronto International Film Festival, Egoyan has also been recognized as a great Canadian storyteller at home, being awarded the Order of Canada in 1999. His most well-known films include Calendar, Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter, and more recently, Chloe. His art installations have gained similar recognition, including works completed for the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, the Venice Biennale and Le Frenoy in France.

During the colloquium held in the Theatre of Arts in the Modern Languages building, Egoyan discussed his work and answered questions from students, including aspiring directors and filmmakers at UW. It was a privilege to host a lecture from such a great Canadian filmmaker, a man whose star is still rising.

Lecturers Survey Report Released

FAUW’s Lecturers Committee has just released its final report on the results of last year’s survey of all lecturers at Waterloo.

The Lecturers Committee advises the FAUW Board on the development and revision of University policies pertaining to Lecturers. In November 2015, the committee sent a survey to the 180 lecturers of UW to capture the diversity of their working conditions. The response rate was impressively high (83%), and the respondents also shared copious comments which are extremely valuable to this portrait of lecturers across campus.

The survey results cover five main topics:

  1. Questions about terms of appointment gathered data on length of employment at Waterloo; the ratio of research, teaching, and service; and the possibility of promotion.
  2. Comparing teaching loads can prove to be challenging given the diversity of disciplines taught at Waterloo. The report highlights that lecturers are being tasked with a wide range of teaching loads.
  3. 70% of lecturers teach in all three terms. Lecturers are entitled to take one out of every six terms as a non-teaching term, yet only one-third of lecturers have ever had a non-teaching term. As for the others, it seems that the possibility, the conditions, and the perception of requesting a non-teaching term are not clear.
  4. There is also a lack of clarity around what is expected of lecturers in terms of service roles. The survey demonstrates great involvement of lecturers in their units, but uncertainty about their eligibility for a number of roles.
  5. The suggested options for new titles to replace the terms “Lecturer” and “Continuing Lecturer.” The preferred set of titles was Assistant Professor / Associate Professor / Professor, Teaching Stream.

The Committee shared some highlights of this report at FAUW’s Fall General Meeting in 2015. This final report synthesizes additional comments from the respondents in these five areas, and also on topics not covered in the survey, such as short-term and “less-a-day” contracts, respect for lecturers among other faculty, and compensation.

The full report is available on the FAUW website.

FAUW is very grateful to the Lecturers Committee for this insightful report.

Sexual Violence Policy Update

Sally Gunz, FAUW President

A number of you will have been following issues relating to the new policy on sexual violence (Policy 42). The province has mandated that all Ontario universities have sexual violence policies in place by January 1, 2017. There is no flexibility in terms of the date. The draft presented at the last Senate meeting was the work of PACE (Provost’s Advisory Committee on Equity) and was headed by the university equity officer, Mahejabeen Ebrahim.

FAUW is supportive of this initiative and very grateful for all PACE’s hard work. Our concerns in no way are a reflection of the effort and contribution of all involved in creating the current draft. Rather, and put quite simply, developing and approving a fully working policy and procedures within the timeline imposed by the government was a near impossible task. The Policy 33 (Ethical Behavior) revision committee has been grappling with closely related issues for a lengthy period and has still not managed to propose a workable process.

The policy itself was approved by the Board of Governors on October 25th and FAUW was supportive. FAUW and others argued for the delay of the accompanying procedures/protocols because the current version had elements with which we could not agree.

FAUW’s concerns

Our most immediate concerns involve aspects that relate to potential disciplinary investigations and measures against faculty members, as these touch directly upon the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). We need to ensure that these are handled in a way that is fully consistent with the principles of natural justice.

From FAUW’s perspective, it is undoubtedly very important (and legally necessary) that the university provide an environment whereby any person who has suffered trauma of any kind receive the quickest and most appropriate support and care.

It is also undoubtedly very important (and legally necessary) that anyone – staff, student, or faculty – who might be implicated as a perpetrator of that trauma has a right to all the protections of a sound disciplinary process. The consequences can be very serious for alleged perpetrators including exclusion from the university and dismissal. It is the responsibility of everyone helping draft these policies and procedures to get this balance right and FAUW is committed to working with others to achieve this.

We also have members with substantial expertise in areas relating to equity and sexual violence who have expressed concern about the proposal to handle sexual harassment in a manner that is distinct from other forms of sexual violence.

Next steps

We were provided with clear assurances by the administration – and these were repeated at Senate and the Board of Governors meeting – and on this basis were prepared to provide support for the policy itself.

The sexual violence response coordinator position created in the policy will be independent of other units of campus, report directly to the provost and be housed in Health Services. Investigations will be conducted by people external to the university.

We are working to get the protocols/procedures ready for approval by the Board of Governors in early December. A complete review of both the policy and procedures will begin January 1, 2017, so that the issues that we (and others) have raised can be addressed. At this time there will be an opportunity to ensure close coordination with the Policy 33 revision committee and likely FAUW will have to consider some changes to existing disciplinary procedures in the MoA. All of these proposals are positive and we look forward to reporting more on them as things progress.