SFUFA President’s Message, April 2011

Spring Greetings everyone.

A very brief note from me this month simply to update you on the most recent activities we’ve been engaged in at SFUFA, and to provide a few links for you on some current topics of interest.

We held our AGM and Spring General Meetings on March 28 and April 4. Of note, we had the pleasure of hosting Mariette Pilon, the legal officer from CAUT, who gave a presentation on issues related to custody and control of personal and professional documents, freedom of information, intellectual property and academic freedom. For those who are interested – and Ms. Pilon would suggest that we all should be very interested – you might want to check out the memo CAUT drew up in 2009 summarizing the concerns . There are ongoing and increasing numbers of cases and challenges around these issues, which we’ll continue to keep tabs on as we hear of them.

As we head toward Economic Benefits Negotiations in 2012, we will all, of course, want to be as informed as possible regarding various pertinent concerns and issues. You may be interested in checking out the link to the analysis of university Administrator’s salaries that our Chief Negotiator, Dr. Carl Schwarz, has prepared. We will be sending out a call soon for those who would be interested in serving on the Economic Benefits Bargaining Committee.

And, of course, with a federal election in the offing, you may find it helpful to check the links to two particular items: CAUT’s Questions for Candidates , and an overview of the major political parties’ positions regarding support for post-secondary education, written by SFU’s own, and current President of CUFA-BC, Dr. David Mirhady (a piece entitled, “If I had a billion dollars”), both of which provide some very interesting and insightful perspectives and questions.

On behalf of the membership, we will be attending the CUFA-BC (Confederation of Faculty Associations of BC) meetings next week in Vancouver, and the CAUT National meetings in Ottawa during the first week of May. Our next newsletter will report on the goings-on, and ideas of interest and concern, from settings both near and far.

Finally, a reminder that we are hosting a Spring Social at the DAC tomorrow, Wednesday, April 20, from 3:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon. President Petter, and retired professor, Dr. Tom O’Shea, will speak on ‘what drew them to university life in the first place.’ Come and enjoy a free drink ticket, the delicious appies, and an opportunity to meet or reconnect with your colleagues.

All the best,