Something was also a little off about the FAUW executive officers that day…
But hey, there was candy!
The actual meeting
Reports from visitors
After this bizarre delay, the meeting began with an update from Fatma Gzara on the progress of the the Complementary Teaching Assessment Project Team (CTAPT). CTAPT was tasked with “researching and developing methods of assessing teaching and learning complementary to Student Course Perception surveys.” Fatma told us that CTAPT has hired a researcher to review the literature and how teaching is assessed at other universities, the U15 in particular.
We had two visitors to start this meeting. First, Jasmin Habib provided an update on the Course Evaluation Project Team’s implementation phase (CEPT2), in light of the recent Ryerson decision on the use of student evaluations in tenure and promotion decisions. Given that there is another project team exploring other ways of measuring teaching quality and performance (e.g., peer evaluation), CEPT2’s position, as reported at Senate on September 17, is that Waterloo is ahead of the curve and is already working to ameliorate some of the concerns raised by the decision at Ryerson. The issue of addressing bias remains contentious. The group has nearly completed a prototype and are preparing to test it. FAUW will keep an eye on the test process to ensure it doesn’t disadvantage any vulnerable faculty.
Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach then joined us to give an update from the OCUFA (Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations) Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement Committee. He wants to raise some awareness and support for CAUT’s upcoming Fair Employment Week and OCUFA’s Fairness for Contract Faculty campaign, in light of the growing informalization of teaching and other kinds of professorial work in Canada. So check those links out.
We had a short discussion about the timeline and communication around proposed changes to our dues structure. These changes, if adopted by the membership, will bring FAUW in line with the conventions of other faculty associations, and alleviate some of the existing inequalities in the existing structure. More information about the proposal is available on our website. Voting members will receive an email with the details next week and a link to the online ballot on October 15. Voting will be open from October 15 to 19.
We spent some time reviewing responses from our members to the Faith Goldy event that did not go ahead earlier this year, in light of the Ontario government’s recent mandate that universities issue a free speech policy. Most responses supported our position on the event, which was issued on April 23rd and emphasized the association’s support of immigrant and non-Canadian members.
The Board appointed Mathieu Doucet as the new FAUW representative on the University Advisory Committee on Traffic Violations and Parking. We would like to see the committee expand its mandate to include active transportation and are confident that Mathieu will be a passionate advocate for this.
We ended, as always, with a review of upcoming events, including the campus tour on Thursday, the Council of Representatives meeting on October 17, a workshop on university governance November 9, and a talk by Mary Hardy on November 16 about the joint university pension plan being developed for University of Toronto, University of Guelph, and Queen’s University employees.
The FAUW board gathered on June 21 for a special lunch meeting to acknowledge the service of those members who are finishing their terms and to welcome new representatives before breaking for the summer.
Of special note is that Sally Gunz, long-time board member and past FAUW president, is ending her term and embarking on a well-deserved sabbatical. Sally provided inspired leadership for FAUW over many years and was always ready with a witty anecdote, sage advice, or occasional salty barb. We also noted the departure of three fine board members, Craig Hardiman (Arts), Peter Johnson (Environment and scribe of these summaries though not these particular compliments!) and Heather Mair (AHS). They have all contributed much to FAUW and we hope to retain close links with them. We are very grateful for all their work.
Here’s what went down at the first Board meeting of the spring term.
A member raised a concern about how FAUW dues are calculated at the Spring General Meeting. Currently, our dues are calculated based on the average salary of all members within a given rank. A review of other institutions revealed that we might be unique in this manner: Other universities charge dues based on a member’s actual salary. Our treasurer Dan Brown informed the Board that he is following up on the potential for this dues structure at Waterloo, and is planning to bring a more detailed assessment of the feasibility of this to the Board shortly.
We debriefed the GoFundMe campaign launched by FAUW to demonstrate support for diversity at the University of Waterloo in light of a planned (and then cancelled) event on campus featuring Faith Goldy and Ricardo Duchesne. Though this fundraising has been successful, the Board acknowledged that ongoing efforts are needed to ensure an open and accepting campus community. The Board also heard that, in response to this cancelled event, some faculty members and students were organizing a teach-in, which is now happening on Thursday, May 10.
FAUW’s executive manager Erin Windibank reported on happenings at the CAUT council meeting in April. In particular, CAUT is asking for any faculty who have recently had issues crossing the US border, for example with security or border services asking for access to social media accounts, computer or cellphone passwords, or questions about what one may be reading. If you have experienced these or similar requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board voted to contribute to a fundraiser for Amir Kiumarsi, a faculty member and union steward at Ryerson University who was injured during the recent vehicular assault in Toronto. As contract faculty, Kiumarsi has no benefits or leave time, so his recovery will result in significant financial stress for his family. Ryerson contract faculty have set up a GoFundMe campaign to support Kiumarsi and his family.
Lastly, if you live in the Kitchener-Waterloo riding, or just really love political debates, FAUW is supporting an all-candidates meeting at 10:00 am on May 16 at Lazaridis Hall Auditorium (WLU).
—Peter Johnson, director for the Faculty of Environment