‘December 2012’

Resources, Workload, Collegial Governance and Engagement

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Resources, Workload, Collegial Governance and Engagement | Filed in December 2012, President's Message

– By Paul Rogers, Faculty Association President –

The main topic of my final Academic Views article of calendar year 2012 is the continuing concern of academic staff in a number of areas of the University regarding the related dimensions of resources and workload.  A subsidiary topic is collegial governance, and I will wrap up with some content on employee engagement, since the other three topics impact this.  I’ll have quite a bit more to write on these concerns later, but I want to begin on a more positive note.

In my October Academic Views article this year I stated that “I am committed to working with senior administration from a perspective of cooperation and mutual respect”, and I commended the University administration for deciding not to enter into a model licence agreement with Access Copyright.  In this December article, I want to add two further commendations for the administration, and for Provost Dru Marshall in particular.  Firstly, I’d like to thank Dr. Marshall for inviting me and Sheila Miller (Executive Director of the Association) to address an evening session of the “Academic Leadership Development Program for Deans” in late November  on the topic of how deans can interact with the Association in an effective and constructive manner.  Eleven of the thirteen Calgary-based deans were able to attend and our presentation was followed by a wide-ranging question and answer period.  Secondly, I’d like to commend Dr. Marshall for hosting two “town hall” meetings at which information on the U of C’s new “budget model” was shared (this was also shared with General Faculties Council at its meeting on 18th October).

However, while the sharing of more information on the University’s budget process was a positive step, there remain many members of the academic staff who are greatly concerned as to what the implications of the 2013-14 budget (and also budgets for years further into the future) will be for the resources available to their Faculties or departments and hence for academic staff workloads.  For some units (e.g. Arts and Education), it has been known for some time that the future number of academic staff will be much less than it was in the recent past, but other units (e.g. Science and Engineering) are seeing plans to reduce academic staff positions or place positions on indefinite hold.  To be more specific:

  • The 2011-2014 Comprehensive Plan for the Faculty of Arts predicts that there will be 341 academic staff in that Faculty in 2013-14 while Office of Institutional Analysis (OIA) data suggest that there were 370 in 2011-12, down from a peak of 406 in 2008.  If the prediction is correct, this will be a drop of 16% in 5 years.
  • According to OIA data, the number of academic staff in the Faculty of Education dropped from 87 in 2007 to 73 in 2011, a decrease of around 16% in 4 years.
  • The Faculty of Science has completed a review that includes a “decision” to reduce the number of academic staff by 39.  According to OIA data, this reduction would mean a decrease of 16% from 2011-12 levels (of 244).
  • Engineering has recently put a number of planned academic staff positions on indefinite hold due to budget concerns.  According to OIA data, the number of academic staff in Engineering has dropped by about 10% between 2007 and 2011.

The recently announced hiring of 50 new assistant professors (the so-called stimulus hires) is certainly a positive development, but this must be weighed against the significant position losses noted above (that have either already taken place, or are planned to occur).  It should also be recognized that only half of the cost of these new positions is being covered by new money provided to the Faculties, the other half having to come from budgets that are already under significant pressure.

Another concern of the Association that I must briefly mention before I get into the final topic of engagement concerns collegial governance and the process for developing or revising university-wide policies or procedures.  Back in February 2012 a formal process for this went through both the General Faculties Council and the Board of Governors.  This process includes both targeted consultation with stakeholders (such as the Association) as well as the opportunity for general public feedback on a good draft of the policy or procedure, elements that contribute to ensuring comprehensive consultation among stakeholders.  The Association is concerned that the administration is reticent to follow this process in all cases, and has asked the administration to either commit to following the February 2012 process or explain its concerns with this process.  I find it troubling that, to date, the administration has not responded adequately to this significant concern.

As anyone who read my March 2012 newsletter article on the results of the U of C’s 2011 engagement survey may recall, the number one concern of academic staff was the funding being provided to support the needs of departments (click here to view Academic Views, March 2012).  Almost two months ago, the Association acquired more detailed information on the results of the engagement survey in the form of results decomposed by administrative unit (e.g. by Faculty).  The Association has prepared a report on this new data (click here for the report Engagement Survey Results – Comparison Across Units) but I want to highlight some interesting aspects of the newly-acquired data here:

  • Comparing Faculties based on their average response to the questions in each category (see the section of the report beginning on p5) the two units with the most significant concerns appear to be Arts and Science, which rank in what I might term the “most gloomy” three (of eleven) units on 12 of the 16 categories.  These two units are followed by Education and Kinesiology, each of which ranks in the bottom three units on 6 question categories.  At the other end of the spectrum are Social Work, Medicine, and Nursing, which each rank in the bottom three at most once.
  • Looking a little closer at two question categories where there is substantial variation across the Faculties we can see the following:
    • For category #8 (faculty/institute/administrative unit, see p14 of the report) the three units with the most significant concerns appear to be Kinesiology, Arts, and Education (in each of these three units, on average, more people respond unfavourably than respond favourably to the four questions in this category).  At the other end of the opinion spectrum, there are four units, Social Work, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, and Nursing, where the favourable responses outnumber the unfavourable by a factor of almost 4 to 1 or higher.
    • For category #13 (resources, see p19 of the report) the two units with the most significant concerns appear to be Arts and Education (in each of these two units, on average, more people respond unfavourably than respond favourably to the ten questions in this category).  At the other end of the opinion spectrum, there are three units, Veterinary Medicine, Social Work, and Medicine, where the favourable responses outnumber the unfavourable by a factor of 3 to 1 or higher.
  • Looking now at two specific questions where the overall level of concern was most significant (see the section of the report beginning on p23) we can see the following:
    • For question #45 (rate the University in terms of providing the funding to support your department’s needs, see p24 of the report), which was the top concern for academic staff, there were four units where the ratio of the percentage responding unfavourably to the percentage responding favourably was larger than 4 to 1.  These faculties are: Arts, Engineering, Science, and Education.  Also, in every unit the unfavourable responses exceeded the favourable.
    • For question #25 (the University supports me in achieving a reasonable balance between my work life and my personal life, see p25 of the report), which was another major concern for academic staff, there were three units, Education, Arts, and Science, where the  ratio of the percentage responding unfavourably to the percentage responding favourably was larger than 1.5 to 1.

If you have any thoughts that you wish to share with me on the above topics, or on any others that you think ought to be concerns of the Faculty Association, please do not hesitate to contact me (I can be reached via email at my Faculty Association address, paul.rogers@tucfa.com).  Finally, on behalf of the Association, I wish you peace and joy for the imminent holiday season and the new year.


>> Potential changes to pension plan

<< Season’s Greetings

Potential changes to pension plan

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Potential changes to pension plan | Filed in December 2012

– By Anne Stalker, Faculty Association Past-President and  UAPP Sponsor Representative –

In the new year, you are going to get the opportunity to vote on potential changes to the UAPP – the Universities Academic Pension Plan. This is the plan that provides you with a pension once you retire, and into which both you and the University of Calgary contribute every month. This plan applies not only to the University of Calgary, but also to the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, Athabasca University and the Banff Centre.

Over the last year and a half, the Sponsors (the Governors from those institutions and their faculty associations) have been working to put together a package of changes that they hope will better balance the benefits that our members get out of the plan. The idea of the package of changes is mostly to more fairly distribute the benefits of the plan, not to reduce contributions or to address any sustainability issues the plan may have. The Sponsors intend to look at those other issues only when this first decision has been made. The main point of the changes that will be proposed in the new year is to reduce the subsidies that are currently going to people who take early retirement, and move most of the savings from that to provide better cost of living coverage for all pensioners. Any changes would apply only from the date of implementation on, so would not affect the pension related to the service you have earned up to that point.

However, most importantly for you, you will have to vote on the changes before they can take effect. Therefore, we are planning to have significant communication about this proposal before you need to vote. The Sponsors are currently working on a common communications package that will explain the changes in as clear a manner as possible. In addition, TUCFA will have opportunities for you to meet with us and hear about the changes, and ask any questions that you have.

If TUCFA votes against the changes, they cannot be implemented. Therefore, our process will be to have the Board of Directors consider whether to send the package of changes out for ratification. Then there will be notification to the membership about the proposal, including the communications package already referred to and the dates of meetings to discuss it. This will include the opportunity to vote on the proposal, with a considerable voting window. In this way, you will have the opportunity to become fully informed about the issues.

Because the UAPP applies to five institutions in Alberta and we have been trying to ensure that there is some support before taking this forward, it has already been under discussion at all of the five institutions and you may have heard about it. Please be aware that no substantive changes that could affect your benefits can be implemented without your having the opportunity to vote on them. And please take the opportunity, when this comes to you next term, to think about your pension and what you want out of it.

Thank you, and you will hear more next term.


>> Sessional Travel Grants deadline extended

<< Resources, Workload, Collegial Governance, and Engagement

Sessional Travel Grants deadline extended

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Sessional Travel Grants deadline extended | Filed in December 2012

Application Deadline: January 31, 2013

In recognition of the contributions of sessionals to the academic environment the Association is awarding Sessional Travel Grants. Three grants of up to $1,800 each are available.

These grants serve to support the academic goals of sessional members of the Faculty Association of the University of Calgary by providing funding for a portion of travel costs related to making scholarly presentations and/or attending conferences. The purpose of this grant is to provide these members an opportunity to profile their research, remain current in their fields, and thereby benefit the University with their enhanced expertise and profile.

Sessional applicants must have completed at least three (3) half-course equivalents at the University of Calgary between September 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012. Applicants must also be contracted at the University of Calgary for the Fall 2012 and/or Winter 2013 semesters. Travel must be completed by August 31, 2013.

Grant recipients will be selected by the Faculty Association based on the quality of their application and the relevance of the conference to the research/field of study. Sessionals making scholarly presentations will normally be given first consideration.

Click here for a Travel Grant application form.

For more information please contact the Faculty Association by email at faculty.association@tucfa.com or by phone at (403) 220-5722.


>> (Re-) Introducing the Academic Women’s Association

<< Potential changes to pension plan

(Re-) Introducing the Academic Women’s Association

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on (Re-) Introducing the Academic Women’s Association | Filed in December 2012

– By Rebecca Sullivan, Professor in the Department of English and President of the Academic Women’s Association –

The statistics are overwhelming and too-often frustrating. Academic women are less likely to be promoted, paid less than their male counterparts, and struggle more with work-life balance. Yet, studies show that women are no less committed and ambitious about their careers than their male counterparts. Whether you are a named Research Chair, a dedicated Instructor, or a passionate Sessional, professional development matters. That’s where we come in.

Although an Academic Women’s Association has been in existence at the University of Calgary for decades, in recent years it had become inactive. So in March 2012, we re-launched the Academic Women’s Association with a banquet luncheon featuring our Vice President, Academic, Dr. Dru Marshall, as the keynote speaker. Our mandate is to support all academic women – professors, instructors, sessionals, librarians, archivists, curators, counselors, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students – through advocacy and raising awareness of women’s issues in collaboration with other women-centred organizations on campus. We seek to advance career development from earliest stages to post-career.

To meet our mandate, we offer a series of workshops exclusively for AWA members, as well as co-sponsored ventures with such campus organizations as The Office of the Advisor on the Status of Women, The Stop Racism Now Committee, and The Women’s Resource Centre. In September we hosted a tea party in the TDFL’s Gallery Hall to welcome new academic women to the university. In November, we presented an original workshop on “Teaching Strategies in the Gendered Classroom,” designed exclusively for the AWA by Dr. Leslie Reid, Tamaratt Teaching Professor and Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Science. But that’s not all – we’ve got big plans for next term!

In January, we will host “From Grad Student to Academic Professional,” a workshop to help our student members launch their post-graduate careers. A co-sponsored workshop with Stop Racism Now will be open to the entire university community. Finally, another AWA exclusive, “Getting to the Strategic Yes,” will feature Dr. Gayla Rogers in a leadership workshop to help academic women get the most from their chosen career path. Every month, the Women’s Resource Centre plays host to an AWA brown bag luncheon where we can meet colleagues and enjoy a guided discussion on some of the burning issues facing academic women. Our website lists the dates, times and places of all these events.

The Academic Women’s Association addresses a serious gap in our collegial workplace; that of women and women-identified individuals coming together across disciplines and across career paths to address issues and raise awareness of our unique concerns. We especially encourage sessionals and grad students, as well as those just starting your careers, to consider the benefits of membership. We welcome everyone to join our association and take advantage of the resources and networks we offer to make your chosen field of work more fulfilling. Annual membership is $20 for full-time waged academic professionals, and only $10 for sessionals, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students.

For more information on the Academic Women’s Association, check out our website: http://ucalgary.ca/awa/. Event details are listed under the “Events” tab. Membership can be registered and paid for online through the “Membership” tab. If you have any questions, contact awa@ucalgary.ca.


>> Department Representatives 2012-2013

<< Sessional Travel Grants deadline extended

Financial Statements 2011-2012

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Financial Statements 2011-2012 | Filed in December 2012

The Faculty Association’s audited financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on December 18, 2012. The audit was executed as required by the Association’s by-laws. The auditors found that there was excellent cooperation between management and other personnel, and that the audit numbers support the assurance that the Association is in good financial shape.

The financial statements for the fiscal year 2011-2012 will be available on our website in January. If you have any questions, please contact the office by email, faculty.association@tucfa.com, or by phone, (403) 220-5722.


>> Faculty Association supports local food banks

<< Department Representatives 2012-2013

Faculty Association supports local food banks

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Faculty Association supports local food banks | Filed in December 2012

In lieu of holiday gifts, the Faculty Association has a tradition of donating to local food banks. This year, the Campus Food Bank and the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank were both recipients of a monetary donation in recognition of the valuable support they provide during the holiday season.

(Pictured) Faculty Association President Paul Rogers presents a cheque to Shawnee Belleville, Students’ Union Campus Food Bank Co-coordinator.








>> Board of Directors nominations

<< Financial Statements 2011-2012

Department Representatives 2012-2013

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Department Representatives 2012-2013 | Filed in December 2012

Each department (and in the case of non-departmentalized Faculties, each Faculty) has the opportunity to appoint an individual to be a Faculty Association Department Representative. The role of the Department Representative is as liaison between the Faculty Association Board of Directors and the department or Faculty.

In order to maintain effective communication, both from and to members, the Association has established regular Department Representative meetings. Through these meetings, discussion can take place on the current issues facing the Association, its members, and the University community.

The Association encourages Department Representatives to be diligent in gathering and relaying information in both directions. Department Representatives communicate their academic colleagues’ views to the Association, and reciprocally inform academic staff in their area of the Board of Directors’ priorities, positions and activities. The Department Representatives are encouraged to attend the scheduled meetings whenever possible.

After each meeting, Department Representatives are urged to provide a summary to their colleagues by email. To facilitate this, the Association produces a Bulletin which includes the main points discussed at the meeting. The Bulletins are also posted on the Faculty Association’s website. Department Representatives can of course provide and solicit feedback in whatever form best fits their area.

Academic staff are encouraged to send their comments or feedback to their Department Representative or to forward it directly to the Faculty Association office.  Department Representatives are asked throughout the year to gather input from their colleagues and provide it to the Association.

Department Representatives are often approached by members of their departments or units with questions or problems in relation to academic staff matters and asked for advice. Since answers to many such questions and problems have complexities, ramifications, and implications legal and otherwise of which the Department Representative may not be aware, the Department Representative is asked to always refer such questions, problems and requests for advice to the Faculty Association office.

For similar reasons, if a Department Representative is approached by a colleague for advice and assistance on FPC matters, they should refer the colleague to the Faculty Association office.

The following is a list of Department Representatives, by department, for the 2012-2013 academic year:

  • Anaesthesia – Gary Dobson
  • Anthropology – Sabrina Peric
  • Archaeology – Mary McDonald
  • Art – Clyde McConnell
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – Randal Johnston
  • Biological Sciences – Robert Edwards
  • Cell Biology & Anatomy – Jerome Rattner
  • Chemical & Petroleum Engineering – Michael Foley
  • Chemistry – Masood Parvez
  • Civil Engineering – Angus Chu
  • Clinical Neurosciences – Zelma Kiss
  • Communication & Culture – Lisa Stowe
  • Community Health Sciences – Bonnie Lashewicz
  • Community Rehab Disability Study – Bonnie Lashewicz
  • Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine – Jason Anderson
  • Computer Science – Majid Ghaderi Dehkordi
  • Critical Care Medicine – Brent Winston
  • Dance – Anna Mouat
  • Drama – Valerie Campbell
  • Economics – Mingshan Lu
  • Ecosystem & Public Health – Faizal Abdul Careem
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering – Michel Fattouche
  • English – Jason Wiens
  • Environmental Design – Denis Gadbois
  • Family Medicine – Kevin Hafez
  • French Italian & Spanish – Fresia Sanchez
  • Geography – Gwendolyn Blue
  • Geomatics Engineering – Michael Barry
  • Geoscience – Federico Krause
  • Germanic Slavic East Asian Studies*
  • Greek & Roman Studies – Noreen Humble
  • Haskayne School of Business – Robert Isaac
  • History – John Ferris
  • Kinesiology – Tish Doyle-Baker
  • Law – Jassmine Girgis
  • Libraries and Cultural Resources – Melanie Boyd
  • Linguistics – Karsten Koch
  • Mathematics & Statistics – Wenyuan Liao
  • Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering – David Rival
  • Medicine – Maria Bacchus
  • Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases – Raymond Tellier
  • Music – Kenneth Delong
  • Nursing – Sylvia Loewen
  • Oncology – Jose Eduardo Villarreal-Barajas
  • Paediatrics – Mark Anselmo
  • Philosophy – Reid Buchanan
  • Physiology & Pharmacology – Ebba Kurz
  • Political Science – Joshua Goldstein
  • Psychology – Giuseppe Iaria
  • Radiology – Jeffrey Dunn
  • Religious Studies – Tinu Ruparell
  • Social Work – Margaret Williams
  • Sociology – Amal Madibbo
  • Student & Enrolment Services – Jan Crook
  • Surgery – Gail Thornton
  • Vet Clinical & Diagnostic Science – Gordon Krebs


The following departments have not provided a representative to the Association:

  • Cardiac Science
  • Education
  • Medical Genetics
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Pathology & Laboratory Med
  • Physics & Astronomy
  • Production Animal Health
  • Psychiatry
  • Teaching and Learning Centre


*The role of Department Representative in German, Slavic and East Asian Studies will be shared by individuals in the department for 2012-2013.


>> Financial Statements 2011-2012

<< (Re-) Introducing the Academic Women’s Association

Board of Directors nominations

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Board of Directors nominations | Filed in December 2012, Gazette

The Faculty Association is actively seeking nominees to the Board of Directors.

The term of the President and Chair of the Board of Directors, Paul Rogers, is expiring on June 30, 2013. Rogers is eligible to stand for a one-year extension of his term, and nominations of other candidates are invited.

There are five (5) three-year terms open for election on the Board of Directors. The designated sessional seat, a one-year term, is also open for election. Nominees must be current members of the Association, or have held a sessional position at some point since May 1, 2012.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, February 8, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. Nominations must be received at the Faculty Association office by that time.

Nominations must be received in writing. Also required on the nomination form are the signatures of at least three members of the Association, as well as the written consent of the nominee. Nominations should be accompanied by a statement from the nominee of a maximum 100 words, which will be circulated along with the ballots. No member may nominate more than two candidates.

Potential candidates should be aware that the Board of Directors meetings are regularly scheduled on Tuesday afternoons, approximately once per month from September to June. Additional meetings are scheduled as required. Directors are also regularly appointed to a variety of other Association, University, and external committees as representatives of the Association.

Click here to download a nomination form for President and Chair of the Board of Directors.

Click here to download a nomination form for Board of Directors member.

More information on these positions is available by contacting the Faculty Association by email, faculty.association@tucfa.com, or by phone, (403) 220-5722.


>> CAUT nominations open

<< Faculty Association supports local food banks

CAUT nominations open

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on CAUT nominations open | Filed in December 2012, Gazette

Nominations are being actively sought for election to the CAUT Executive Committee, namely: President, Vice-President, Chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, Chair of the Contract Academic Staff Committee, Co-Chairs (2) of the Equity and Diversity Council, Member at Large (Quebec), Member at Large (Aboriginal), Member at Large (Francophones) and two general Members-at-Large.

The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2013.

Those seeking endorsement for their candidacy by the local Association Board of Directors should file their nomination forms with our office no later than January 18, 2013. For further information on any of the above positions, or for a nomination package, please contact the Faculty Association.

More information on CAUT Executive positions can be found on the CAUT website here.


>> Holiday closure

<< Board of Directors nominations


Holiday closure

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Holiday closure | Filed in December 2012, Gazette

The Faculty Association office will be closed at noon on December 20th for the holiday season and will reopen on January 7th. The Association’s voicemail and email will be checked regularly on days the University is open.

Have a safe and happy holiday!


>> Office move

<< CAUT nominations open

Office move

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Office move | Filed in December 2012, Gazette

The Faculty Association office has now moved to its temporary location in the Math Sciences Building, Room 220. We appreciate your patience during our relocation. The Faculty Association can continue to be reached at 403.220.5722 or by email at faculty.association@tucfa.com. When an academic staff member contacts the Faculty Association office, they will reach a Faculty Association staff member who will treat the call with the utmost confidentiality. Faculty Association staff are not employees of the University of Calgary.


>> Member Snapshot – Appointment Type

<< Holiday closure



Member Snapshot – Appointment Type

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Member Snapshot – Appointment Type | Filed in December 2012, Gazette

Each newsletter we hope to provide you with a snapshot of the Faculty Association membership. Included in this issue is a look at academic staff by appointment type for the winter term 2012. Click on the chart below to enlarge or for a .pdf click here.

>> Season’s Greetings

<< Office move

Season’s Greetings

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on Season’s Greetings | Filed in December 2012

>> Resources, Workload, Collegial Governance and Engagement

<< Member Snapshot – Appointment Type