Annual Reports

Report of the Chair of the Teaching Stream Committee, 2019-2020

July 2, 2020

This year the Teaching Stream Committee worked to build on the important work of previous committees, in documenting the needs and concerns of teaching stream faculty while advocating for improved working conditions and support for the stream. In recent years, UTFA has made great strides in areas important to teaching stream faculty, such as the professorial title, but our work is not finished.

Prior to the pandemic, the main issues that were the focus of the Committee’s work were:

Report of the Chair of the Librarians Committee, 2019–2020

July 2, 2020

In mid-March 2020 the University of Toronto libraries across our three campuses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Librarians and staff reverted to working from home. We were advised that no students could be hired for the summer and only eBooks could be ordered for collections. This is an exceptional time.

Looking back, it has been an exceptional year. Members of the Librarians Committee have participated in a number of important initiatives:

Report of the Treasurer, 2019–2020

July 2, 2020

The Association remains in strong financial health. UTFA holds approximately $4,200,000 in its investment account (as of June 1, 2020), having substantially recovered from the recent coronavirus-induced market swoon. Until recently, the Association’s investment policy prescribed that half of the account be invested in fixed income instruments and half in equities, and that the latter be invested equally in Canadian, US, and other equities.

Report of the Chair of the Equity Committee, 2019–2020

July 2, 2020

The Equity Committee continues to work with the Grievance, Membership, and University and External Affairs Committees on equity projects such as the Association grievance on salary discrimination and negotiations on the University’s sexual violence policy. It also focuses on other equity issues.

In the fall, I was involved in the following equity-related activities:

Report of the Chair of the Appointments Committee, 2019–2020

July 2, 2020

A central concern for the Appointments Committee is the administrative use of Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs) in reviews for tenure, continuing status, and promotion (in both the tenure and teaching streams) and in the assessment of PTR. Through these processes, student evaluations can have a significant impact on a faculty member’s career, including annual increases in salary. Recent institutional research has demonstrated that students can report on their experience in a course, but that such evaluations do not offer a reliable measure of the quality of instruction.

Report of the Vice-President, University and External Affairs, 2019–2020

July 2, 2020

Among my many roles and activities as Vice-President, University and External Affairs, I represent UTFA on the Board of Directors of both the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). These organizations are dedicated to advancing the interests of faculty and librarians across the province and country, respectively.

Report of the Vice-President, Salary, Benefits and Pensions, 2019–2020

July 2, 2020

Since I last wrote to the membership, the UTFA teams I have led have been very busy in a range of policy-related negotiations with the Administration, and we have made significant progress on several long-term and equity-focused initiatives. New and serious issues have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic—including such as relate to members’ health and safety; needs for accommodation; academic freedom; workload concerns; and, mode of course delivery. As of July 1, 2020, I will be tackling these issues as UTFA’s incoming president.