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Diana Skrzydlo explains how she benefits from joining student organizations.
It’s easy to
forget what it’s like to be a student. I’m not talking about late night
assignments, last minute study sessions, and cramped living spaces; I’m talking
about forming communities of common interest, developing lifelong friendships,
and exploring your passions.
In my 12 years as a faculty member, I have been involved in FASS (the Faculty, Alumni, Staff, and Students theatre company), the Chamber and University choirs, and the AcaBellas. They’re not just student groups; they’re university community groups—most clubs are open to any UW community members, including faculty. I’ve been behind the scenes and I’ve performed on stage, and through it all, it has been a delight to share the experience with a variety of other members of the campus community.
Here are some of
the benefits of participating in student organizations:
A draft of Policy 33 (Ethical Behaviour) is out for consultation. Since this is the first policy that’s made its way to Faculty Relations Committee (FRC) for approval in a while, let’s review how this will work:
Policy 33 is an “FS” policy, meaning that it affects both faculty and staff working conditions. FRC (that’s the group of FAUW Board members and admin that meets every two weeks to hash out working conditions, fix problems, and approve policies) and the Staff Relations Committee (SRC) jointly strike drafting committees for and then approve FS policies.
FRC and SRC will send the draft policy out for consultation to other groups. They will review all the feedback and tell the drafting committee what changes to make.
The updated draft policy then goes back to FRC and SRC for approval. Approval at FRC requires a double majority, which means both FAUW and admin have a veto.
After FRC and SRC approve the policy, it goes on to be approved by the Board of Governors.
In the case of Policy 33, faculty and staff members will get a draft of the policy soon. We encourage you to provide feedback through the soon-to-be-announced process set up by the Secretariat. If necessary, we will also collect anonymous input through our FRC reps and Lori Curtis, AF&T Committee chair.
What else is going on right now?
The Holistic Benefits Review is moving along—you’ll get a survey soon, asking for your input about University employee benefits.
As we reported last time, Finance (incorrectly) used a new Consumer Price Index (CPI) source for indexing the 2018-2019 Faculty Professional Expense Reimbursement (FPER) amount, which led to each member getting $8.00 less than you should have last year. We’ve worked collegially with Finance to find a solution: reverting back to the previous CPI source moving forward and also making a one-time addition of $8.00 to your 2019-2020 FPER. This was the Board’s preferred solution. Special thanks to the member who investigated this thoroughly and brought it to our attention!
We gave feedback on draft conflict of interest guidelines that FRC is working on. These apply to faculty hiring, performance review, tenure and promotion, and chair search committees. You can expect to see those later this term.
We had a quick debrief about the New Faculty and Family Dinner that we co-hosted with the University on September 20. (The gist: it was great; everyone had fun; we’re looking forward to next year.)
The Lecturers Committee held its first meeting of the year and is working on setting goals for the next few months. Let them know if you have suggestions.
The Board approved FAUW’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year 2018–19.
Our Board meeting summary posts are back! Tune in every two weeks to find out what the FAUW Board of Directors is doing for you. Subscribe to get the posts right away.
FAUW’s priorities for 2019-2020
These are the key items we’re aiming to get through this year, in addition to preparing for negotiations at the end of 2020 and inevitably weighing in on more proposals from the provincial government.
Policy development: Improvements and clarity around the policy drafting process, better supporting our representatives on policy drafting committees, and getting a few policies into (if not through) the approval process. Candidates are the policies on ethical behaviour (33), parental leave (14), accommodations (57, new), and faculty appointments (76).
Conflict of interest guidelines: See item #3 from the September 12 Board meeting below.
Workload: We want to see clear and consistent definitions (and monitoring) of how teaching and other faculty work is counted across campus.
Representation: We plan to issue position statements on our relationship with research professors and sessional instructors.
September 12 Board of Directors meeting
Here’s what was on the agenda on September 12, the first meeting of the 2019–20 academic year. We welcome your input on any of these topics!
From paper straws to the “Green New Deal” to the arrival of Greta Thunberg in North America, the climate crisis is a regular topic in the national and international media. But you might not know how UWaterloo is responding. Here’s a high-level overview about the status of the University’s responsible investing commitments, a faculty member’s role in the City of Kitchener declaring a climate emergency, and the September 27 global climate strike.
The FAUW Indigenization Reading Circle meets monthly to discuss readings relating to Indigenization and reconciliation in the university context.
During the June
meeting of the Reading Circle, we considered how land acknowledgements make
visible the Indigenous peoples of a region and their histories. The performance
of a land acknowledgment expresses a commitment to a reconciled future that is
prosperous for settlers and Indigenous peoples. But does reconciliation accept
In our July article, “Decolonization is not a metaphor” (Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society Vol.1 No.1 2012 pp.1-40), Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang attempt to show that when educators work to ‘decolonize’ thinking, teaching, and universities, they treat decolonization as a metaphor and jeopardize solidarity with Indigenous struggles against settler colonialism. The authors do not argue for decolonization. They show that respect for that framework requires that we refuse to absorb it into other anti-oppression projects.
FAUW sent a written submission to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) on July 31 regarding proposed MTCU regulations that would reduce the salary of university sector employees who are collecting a pension.
The proposed changes discriminate on the basis of age.
The net savings to either the University or the province are not clearly established.
Many scholars over age 71 provide more funding and jobs through their research programs than would be freed up by their retirement.
Because university faculty start their careers later, they cannot be compared against other sectors on the basis of retirement age.
The regulations would disproportionately disadvantage women and members of other equity-seeking groups whose career advancement is often further delayed.
The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario has a higher percentage of sitting MPPs age 71 or older than the University of Waterloo has of faculty age 71 or older.
Thank you to the many members who provided feedback on this issue and shaped our response, included in full below.