We have received some questions about the Responsible Investing Working Group, which is tasked with making recommendations about whether and how to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into decision making for the investment of the university’s endowment and pension funds.
This working group was created in good part in response to approaches by faculty, students, and staff with interests and concerns about how the university invests, in particular calls for the University to divest from fossil fuels. It is a working group of the Board of Governors, since it is the Board that has primary oversight of investments. The FAUW representative is Alan Macnaughton who is also a member of the Pension and Benefits Committee.
The working group has not yet produced its report. Anyone interested in these issues who has not yet provided input to the group should do so as soon as possible. You can send your input to Mike Grivicic in the Secretariat.
FAUW is looking forward to the release of the working group’s report. We will seek input from members and formulate a response at that time. Please make sure you follow our blog and emails if these are issues of interest to you.
—Peter Johnson, director for the Faculty of Environment
As we approach the end of the winter term, the FAUW Board of Directors met to discuss a variety of important issues. We discussed the agenda and process for the upcoming Spring General Meeting (April 5th) and reviewed our draft budget for the coming year, which will be presented to the membership at the General Meeting.
Many Board members attended and/or participated in the President’s Luncheon on Academic Freedom. As a result, we discussed this event and its outcomes in depth (see our blog post on the event for more details). Going forward, FAUW respects the efforts made to host this event and the issues and discussion that it raised, but ultimately there is still much work to be done to clarify how Academic Freedom is exercised on campus. Further events and discussions with administration will be very welcome.
The Board had a lengthy discussion about the issues raised at the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health forum and report. FAUW strongly supports many of the recommendations of this report and is working to provide advice to our members on how to better support student mental health.
We also reviewed several issues raised by individual members. We are always open to addressing specific issues, and receiving direct feedback from the membership, so please get in touch.
Upcoming events include the our annual tenure and promotion workshops, and the Spring General Meeting on April 5 in QNC 2502 from 11:30-1:30pm. Hope to see you there!
—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.
Continue reading “Notes from the President’s Luncheon on Academic Freedom” →
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). Continue reading “FAUW Execs Appeal to MPPs at OCUFA Queen’s Park Lobby Day” →
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.
—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.
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.