Editorial Matters
Academic Matters
by webmaster
3M ago
How can a university become a more equitable place to learn, study, and work? This question has been the driving force behind many new initiatives at Ontario universities in recent years, from curriculum changes to new names. The current landscape of equity work on campuses is dynamic in scope, with more voices at the table calling for big changes to campuses as we know them. And as many Indigenous scholars argue, Indigenization and decolonization are distinct from equity, and must be pursued as such. This issue features the expertise and experiences of faculty and academic administrators who ..read more
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Why Indigenous Resurgence is Needed at Universities
Academic Matters
by webmaster
3M ago
Universities in Ontario and across the country have, on the surface, committed to supporting reconciliation, Indigenization, and decolonization. Are those commitments helping Indigenous faculty, students, and staff navigate the postsecondary system? What should universities do to ensure Indigenous people can thrive on campus? Through her teaching, research, and administrative work, Lynn Lavallee has dedicated her career to advancing Indigenous peoples and Indigenous knowledge in the academy. Her areas of expertise include Indigenous ethics, research methods including Indigenous research metho ..read more
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Reckoning with the Legacy of Universities: Reflections on Congress 2023
Academic Matters
by webmaster
3M ago
As academic convenor of the 2023 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Andrea A. Davis worked with a diverse community to shift the form, content, and vision of the longstanding conference. She asks: where will these interventions take us? I received the invitation to assume the role of Academic Convenor of the 2023 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in the fall of 2021, after having just completed a year as inaugural special advisor on anti-Black racism strategies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University. Both the invitation to conven ..read more
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Admitting women into English Canadian Universities: A short history
Academic Matters
by webmaster
3M ago
As students and faculty, women have been entering into postsecondary education institutions at growing rates for decades. However, women, trans folks, and gender-diverse students and faculty continue to face barriers and challenges at universities. How did we get here, and how can we learn from the past to improve conditions for the future? On International Women’s Day in 2020, the OCUFA Equity and Social Justice Committee issued a statement warning that women, trans folks, and gender-diverse faculty continue to be underrepresented as full-time, tenure-stream faculty, and that this discrepanc ..read more
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Unconscious Bias training: Performativity or pushing the margins?
Academic Matters
by webmaster
3M ago
Faculty play an important role in developing and implementing anti-racism and equity policies and practices at universities. What lessons can be learned from their experiences about how and why to pursue this work? Having just finished three years in a role as Affirmative Action, Equity, and Inclusion (AAEI) Officer at York University, it is a good time to reflect on the work that I and others do to move forward anti-racism and equity work (known commonly as equity, diversity, and inclusion, or EDI) on campuses across Canada. Specifically, I am investigating the questions: what works, what do ..read more
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Universal design for universal access
Academic Matters
by webmaster
3M ago
What does it mean to truly access an academic space? According to disabled activists and disability studies scholars, universities have a long way to go in making their physical, digital, and cultural spaces accessible to students, faculty, and staff—and they have recommendations for how to do so. Disabled people may be welcome in academic spaces, but we are seldom actively welcomed. For this kind of active welcome to take place—whether for students, faculty, or staff—institutions must start to think differently about disability. A dominant deficit model constructs disability as a medical pro ..read more
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Missing curriculum: Why we need to teach postsecondary students about HIV/AIDS resistance
Academic Matters
by webmaster
3M ago
How connected are young activists to the history and current landscape of HIV/AIDS research and lived experiences? How can faculty bridge the knowledge gap? As a doctoral student, Jade Crimson Rose Da Costa received the 2021-2022 OCUFA Henry Mandelbaum Graduate Fellowship for Excellence in Social Sciences, Humanities, or Arts. What’s your first memory of HIV/AIDS? I asked this question while conducting in-depth interviews for my dissertation research, From Racial Hauntings to Wonderous Echoes: Towards a Collective Memory of HIV/AIDS Resistance. The main goal of my dissertation was to help com ..read more
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Campus tensions and the Mideast crisis: Will Ontario and Alberta’s ‘Chicago Principles’ on university free expression stand?
Academic Matters
by ocufa_admin
3M ago
Our tolerance for expression that we value often exceeds our tolerance for expression we find distasteful. Nonetheless, if there’s a place in society where the high ground on free expression should be consistently held, surely it’s on university campuses. While universities are expected to foster robust debate on a range of contentious and controversial issues, finding the right balance between free expression and protection from harm is no easy task. University campuses across Canada and the United States have been consumed by the war between Hamas and Israel, and there have been concerning i ..read more
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What happens if a university goes bust?
Academic Matters
by ocufa_admin
3M ago
fongbeerredhot/Shutterstock Governments face difficult choices when industries fail. They can stand by while private businesses collapse and see the resulting loss of jobs and revenue. Or they can step in and use public money to prop up these firms. The Scottish government intervened in 2019 to rescue Ferguson Marine, the last shipbuilding firm on the river Clyde, but faces ongoing controversy on whether it broke state aid rules in doing so. And, of course, the global financial crisis of 2008 saw the UK government intervening to rescue banks such as RBS that were seen as “too big to fail”. A ..read more
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Talking about science and technology has positive impacts on research and society
Academic Matters
by ocufa_admin
3M ago
It is important to educate the public about scientific research, discoveries and applications. (Shutterstock) Discussions around science and technology can become controversial, such as public conversations around climate science or gene-editing tools. That might leave the impression that such conversations are best avoided. But it is important to have constructive conversations about scientific and technical subjects because of how they impact our lives. Not having these conversations can lead to further division and strained relationships. Avoidance of such conversations could also have s ..read more
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