Creative Action Labs!

Tickled by the Yes Men, we are happy to present the Creative Action Labs this fall.

We’ll hear from artists and activists who are changing the world, followed by workshops to delve into creative tactics and strategies.

If you’re interested in hearing stories from inspiring organizers and thinkers – come out on Thursday evenings!  If you are interested in exploring the history of art as direct action and working with others to plan your own interventions – come on Fridays! Workshops will be facilitated by Sean Devlin, starting Sept 18 and running till Oct 23.

Sean Devlin 叶 世民 is a comedian, filmmaker and creative agitator who supports artists and activists in channeling their Trickster spirit. He has been worked as facilitator for communities, academic institutions and non-profits in the Netherlands, Germany, England, Poland, Lithuania, Turkey and Brazil. He currently serves as the Executive Director at ShitHarperDid.com and as an action coordinator and thought stylist at the Yes Men’s Yes Lab (NYU).

For the Friday workshops, we ask that people consider registering together as small working groups (approximately 2 to 6 people a group). Space is limited – please register by emailing creativeactionseries@gmail.com.

Thursday talks are free and open to the public. Here’s the schedule – we kick off the series with Eugene Boulanger on Sept 3:

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Negotiations Update

Dear Faculty Members,

After bargaining sessions on June 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11 and 12, we now have a tentative agreement for you to vote on. A summary and more details were emailed out to you.

We are holding a ratification information meeting at 11 am, June 30, in NB 245. Hope to see you there, and if you’re not available, please feel free to contact us with questions by email or telephone.

Thank you for your attention,

your Negotiations Committee

Rita Wong
Jane Slemon
David MacWilliam
Dennis Burke
Leah Squance


Update from Your Negotiations Team

Following up on our Dec 12, 2014 protocol agreement, we have now confirmed two dates to commence collective bargaining in late February and mid-March.

Thank you to all faculty members who have thoughtfully offered input and insight into what is needed to maintain and improve the quality of education at Emily Carr University.

We recognize that student learning conditions depend on faculty working conditions. As the proportion of public funding for post-secondary education decreases, there are increasingly heavier pressures and stresses on both students and faculty. We will continue to do our best to ensure that faculty and students have the resources and infrastructure needed to sustain a healthy teaching and learning environment.

Respectfully,

Rita Wong
on behalf of the Negotiations Team (David MacWilliam, Dennis Burke, Jane Slemon, Leah Squance)


Open to Learning - a Conference Dedicated to Public Post-Secondary Education

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We would like to acknowledge the support of Berger-Marks Foundation in helping students and faculty work together on protecting the quality of and access to public post-secondary education. Students were able to participate in this conference thanks to the Berger-Marks Foundation.


Welcome to Fall 2014!

We occasionally post news articles on our Facebook page, and encourage you to post links there if you have an article you’d like to share with colleagues. Posts could be about pedagogy, debates and issues in post-secondary education, or events that may be of interest to faculty…

In May 2014, Alex Phillips, Rita Wong, and Peg Campbell participated in the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators’ annual conference. Rita presented on a panel looking at what has happened at special purpose teaching universities  (Capilano University, University of the Fraser Valley, Thompson Rivers University, Vancouver Island University, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Emily Carr University of Art + Design) since we were designated as such in 2008.

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Photo credit: Leah Squance


Representing the New Faculty Majority

ACCUTE offers a reality check into post-secondary education in Canada from the perspectives of contract academic faculty: http://accute.ca/2014/01/30/representing-the-new-faculty-majority/


Big Picture Concerns

This article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Richard Moser, “Overuse and Abuse of Adjunct Faculty Members Threaten Core Academic Values,” gives a good overview of the American context, that is relevant for faculty in Canada to consider.


What is Collegial Governance?

The following handout (building on CAUT’s work) offers some working definitions that may be helpful to consider:

Collegial Governance is defined in terms of the degree of autonomy members of a department or discipline can expect in participating in and determining every aspect and condition of their work: for example, meetings, workload, workload planning, academic planning, and so on.

The term turns on two elements:

“collegiality” which means the participation of faculty in governance structures.

Collegiality does not mean congeniality.

To be collegial, academic governance must:
(a) allow for the expression of a diversity of views and opinions,
(b) protect participants so that no individual is given inappropriate advantage (for example, due to power differentials) with respect to decisions, and
(c) ensure inclusiveness so that all who should be participating are provided the opportunity to do so.

Collegial governance depends on the participants being given, and being able to deliver, their share of the service workload.

“consultation” refers to the process whereby the person(s) consulting a person(s) is obligated to take into consideration the circumstances and interests of the person(s) being consulted, and, also, to ensure that these circumstances and interests are reflected in the determination made at the end of the process.

Consultation also refers to a formal meeting by which the consultation occurs around a specific agenda item(s) and whose procedure and outcome(s) are documented.


Academic Governance 3.0

The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC (CUFA) has released an e-book called Academic Governance 3.0. It is worth a read for any faculty member seeking to think through the ways in which we come to make decisions as communities and learning organizations. When professor Cary Nelson recently spoke at SFU’s Institute for the Humanities, he identified shared governance, tenure and academic freedom as being crucial for the integrity and the future of post-secondary education.


Reconciliation: Challenges and Opportunities

The City of Vancouver, located on unceded Coast Salish territory–the traditional homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil Waututh and Sto:lo people, has declared 2013 – 2014 to be a Year of Reconciliation. As educators, we are part of a larger, historic moment of reckoning, an opportunity to face Canada’s painful history of colonization with honesty and courage. It has been said that South Africa’s apartheid system was based on Canada’s Indian reserve system. Canada’s residential schools, which attempted to destroy Indigenous cultures, are part of a colonial system that continues, as we see more Indigenous children being apprehended from their families today than even at the height of the residential schools.

At the same time that systemic colonial violence continues, many efforts at healing and resilience are growing and deepening. An excellent example of this is the CBC show, Eighth Fire.  As Eighth Fire shows, the arts have a key role to play in healing and reconciliation. The project, From the Heart: Enter into the Journey of Reconciliation, is another great example. In her book, Unsettling the Settler Within, Paulette Regan writes:

Unless we who are non-Indigenous undertake to turn over the rocks in our colonial garden, we will never achieve what we claim to want so badly— to transform and reconcile our relationship with Indigenous people. Rather we will remain benevolent peacemakers, colonizer-perpetrators bearing the false gift of a cheap and meaningless reconciliation that costs us so little and Indigenous people so much. But what if we were to offer the gift of humility as we come to the work of truth telling and reconciliation? Bearing this gift would entail working through our own discomfort and vulnerability, opening ourselves to the kind of experiential learning that engages our whole being— our heads, our hearts, our spirits.

In the spirit of this deep, experiential learning, UBC and Emily Carr are both suspending classes for a day so that students and faculty can participate in the activities organized in conjunction with the arrival of the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Vancouver from Sept 18 to 21. Members of the Emily Carr community will be drumming to welcome the All Nations Canoe Gathering in Senak’w Staulk (False Creek) on Sept 17, and classes will be suspended on Sept 20 so that everyone can participate in reconciliation and resilience activities at Emily Carr. On Sunday, Sept 22, there will be a 4 km walk for reconciliation, starting at 10 am at Queen Elizabeth Plaza (near the central library) downtown. We invite you to come walk with us, or start your own team of walkers.

Rita Wong