Apr 192017

University Council and the Board of Governors need to hear from you and from your Council representatives. If new policies and procedures proposed by the College of Medicine are approved, the academic ranks of Assistant, Associate, and full Professor will no longer be awarded only to academic employees of the University of Saskatchewan.

Submitted to University Council and on tomorrow’s agenda (Item 9.1) is a draft Policy for the appointment and promotion of Medical Faculty, with linked Procedures Manual. Input from Council members is being sought.

The College of Medicine is proposing that approximately 1500 clinicians who currently practice medicine in the province of Saskatchewan and who make contributions to the college’s academic mission will no longer have their appointments designated as “Clinical.” The majority will be re-appointed permanently, assigned the rank of assistant professor and provided with the opportunity to promote to associate professor and professor but without the academic rigor currently applied through our collegial processes.

As well, the College of Medicine has submitted for approval by the URC revised Standards for Tenure and Promotion. The proposed Standards blur the distinction between physicians who contribute to but are not employees of the university, and academic faculty who are employees of the university. The proposed standards expand the types of academic appointment to even allow for a “Teacher” to be promoted to full Professor.

The proposed Policy, Procedures, and Standards raise a number of significant concerns, including:

  • disregard for the teacher-scholar model of our University Standards
  • erosion of the academic qualifications and rigor attached to promotion through the ranks
  • diminishment of research expectations for faculty in the College of Medicine: for some “teachers,” “clinician teachers,” and “clinician administrators” in the medical faculty, the requirement for scholarly work or research is quite minimal
  • trampling of the collegial processes set out in our Collective Agreement
  • eventual elimination of the “Clinical” designation for ranks of those who are not employees of the University

What can you do?

  • Contact your Council representative to provide your input
  • Provide your input at tomorrow’s University Council meeting at 2:30pm in Room 241 Arts (Neatby-Timlin Theatre). You do not have to be a member of University Council to attend and participate in discussions at Council meetings.
  • Write to the Board of Governors. Let them know that academic rank is valuable and the College of Medicine Policy and Procedures in their current form should not be approved.
Apr 122017

With pleasure, we announce the 2017 recipients of the Peter T. Millard Award and the Peter C. Dooley Legacy Award.

The 2017 Peter Millard Award goes to Dr. Lee Murray from the College of Nursing.

Through her involvement as the Faculty Association Representative (FAR) in the College of Nursing, Lee Murray has assisted and supported USFA members in her college. She regularly responds to requests from her colleagues for assistance and guidance with matters related to and ranging beyond the Collective Agreement. Lee is a well-known and widely respected mentor in her College who makes use of USFA resources and personnel to ensure her advice to colleagues is as current and cogent as possible. It is in her capacity as FAR that Lee took up the challenge of informing, encouraging and mobilizing her colleagues to push back against the inclusion of prescriptions and “scenarios” for research performance and an apparent undervaluing of clinical practice in her College’s Guidelines for the Assignment of Duties. Lee led a notable effort in her college to bring home the message that the USFA is vigilant and willing to assist its members whenever collegial procedures are threatened or violated.

The 2017 Peter C. Dooley Legacy Award goes to the University of Manitoba Faculty Association.

Through both its cumulative contribution to the promotion of collegial governance and its recent actions to fight back against university administration’s attempts to redefine or subvert collegial governance and the quality of decision-making that form of governance alone enables, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association has been a champion of collegial governance in Canada.

Since its establishment in 1975, UMFA has exercised responsible stewardship of academic values and the public interest. It has maintained a long and distinguished tradition of defending collegial processes and values. Three times UMFA members have taken job action, most recently last fall in response to an intransigent, authoritarian administration and unsympathetic provincial government. When the Pallister government interfered in collective bargaining, UMFA’s portion of a joint response with U of M administration illustrated once again that UMFA is both an expert and articulate defender of collective bargaining and also an able and tenacious advocate for collegial governance, and the academic mission and integrity of their institution. Staying true to its slogan “Our working conditions are your learning conditions,” UMFA built connections from negotiations through teaching and research to collegial governance, and documented the ways in which unilateral actions by administration imperiled both the quality of education and research at the university, and the U of M’s commitment to academic integrity and “excellence” in all its activities. UMFA exposed damage done, and threatened, as a result of arbitrary and substantial workload increases, and the imposition of rigid performance metrics ill-suited to many of the core disciplines and activities on which the academic reputation of U of M continues to rest.

The awards will be presented at a celebration dinner on Wednesday, April 26 at the University Club. Please join us in honoring this year’s recipients. Cocktails will be at 6:00 p.m. with dinner at 7:00 p.m.

As there is limited seating for the dinner, to accommodate all those interested in attending, we would appreciate it if you would RSVP, including whether or not you will be bringing a guest, by replying to Tammy Stieb at tammy.stieb@usask.ca  on or before April 20, 2017.


Mar 292017

Saskatoon – The recently announced provincial budget will have substantial negative consequences on post-secondary education in Saskatchewan. The dramatic reduction in operating funds after multiple years of provincial government cut backs and claw backs is jeopardizing the quality, affordability and accessibility of advanced education in Saskatchewan. Our Universities and post-secondary institutions serve the public good, […]

Mar 282017

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. March 29 Room 50.12 Murray Library As part of Open Education Week, USFA member DeDe Dawson, one of the creators of the library’s LibGuide on predatory publishers, is giving a presentation next week on “Publishing and the New Tri-Agency Policy.” This talk will include information about how to find legitimate journals […]

Mar 222017

Representatives of the Saskatchewan Association of University Teachers will be in attendance at the Legislature today to hear firsthand how much financial support from the Provincial Government will be provided to Saskatchewan Universities for 2017-18. Saskatchewan is home to world renowned scholars and high quality degree programs because our universities are more than simply institutions […]

Mar 202017

In light of the government directive to constrain salaries of university employees, it is important to remember that the funding it provides is not only a sound investment in the Saskatchewan economy, but also one that will shape the province’s future for better or worse. We have been building for years to attract the “best […]

Mar 162017

The Faculty Association has filed a grievance against the employer for surreptitiously audio-recording collegial committee meetings and deliberations. The recording was done without the knowledge and/or the consent of the members of the collegial committee, which did not have written procedures in place regarding the recording of deliberations. The surreptitious nature of the recording is […]

Mar 142017

The USFA Scholarship Program is open to students who are immediate family members of USFA members. Immediate family includes spouse/partner, sons, daughters or children whom USFA members have served as legal guardians. The application form for the 2016-2017 USFA Scholarship Fund Program is now available exclusively online at: paws.usask.ca/go/awards. Students can apply online through their […]

Mar 062017

Like all publicly funded institutions in this province, our university faces a directive from the Government of Saskatchewan to constrain the total cost of employee compensation so that it is no greater than what it was in 2016–17. The government suggests that the Board of Governors achieve this goal by entering into negotiations immediately and […]

Mar 022017

Faculty members getting ready for tenure and promotion are under pressure to publish their research and scholarly work. According to the University Standards, candidates for tenure and promotion are required to demonstrate, through publications in reputable, peer reviewed outlets that the results of their research have made a contribution to the field of specialization, sufficient […]

Feb 152017

On March 8 at noon there will be a rally at the Provincial Legislature. We need you to attend. The USFA is willing to help transport members and members of our university community to Regina for the rally. This rally is an opportunity for people from across the province to come together before the budget […]

Feb 092017

Consider nominating someone you know for the USFA’s Dooley Award or Millard Award. The Dooley Award recognizes people or organizations that have been champions of collegial self-governance in Canada. The Millard Award recognizes USFA members who have assisted and/or supported a USFA member or members, or faculty generally, through their involvement with the Association. How […]

Feb 072017

Going into negotiations we have to consider that the largest source of revenue for the university is the operating grant from the Government of Saskatchewan. With this year’s provincial deficit now projected to be $1.2B and growing, and where “everything is on the table,” what  will this mean for our university? Will the U of […]

Feb 032017

Claims for reimbursement for any expenses from any of the benefit plans must be submitted to Sun Life within 90 days of the end of the calendar year in which the expense is incurred. This deadline applies to 2016 claims made under the Dental Plan, Health Plan or Flexible Spending Program (Health Spending Account or […]

Feb 012017

To our Muslim co-workers, to our Muslim students, to our whole community, the USFA joins with Canadians across the country in extending our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured in the attack in Quebec City on Sunday. As scholars, teachers, and citizens we deplore the emboldening of racists and […]

Jan 312017

Our employer has expressed a commitment to spousal hiring to support the recruitment and retention of faculty, but in recent conversations with new members, the university’s support for spousal and partner hiring (whether academic or otherwise) has been flagged as a problem for families relocating to Saskatoon. We invite you to contact the USFA office […]

Jan 262017

Nominations are now open for the Peter C. Dooley Legacy Award and the Peter T. Millard Award. In April we will be presenting these awards at a celebration dinner and we encourage you to submit nominations. Nominations for these Awards can be made by any current USFA member or by any USFA committee. The nomination […]

Jan 182017

The USFA Executive Committee is looking for volunteers to draft a Strike Policy for the membership’s consideration at the spring general meeting on April 21, 2017. The USFA is now a member of the CAUT Strike Defence Fund. In the event of a strike lasting more than 2 days, we will receive daily strike benefits […]

Jan 112017

USFA members are invited to submit an application to the Executive Committee for reimbursement of attendance at a conference/workshop/meeting related to the USFA including, but not limited to, labour relations, academic freedom, employment equity, and workplace health and safety. In the Spring of 2016, the USFA Executive Committee replaced the USFA Policy for Association Spending […]