Report of the Chair of the Appointments Committee, 2018–2019

June 9, 2019
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In 2018–19 the Appointments Committee focused on three main areas: part-time appointments, cross-appointments, and age-related issues.The Policy and Procedures on Employment Conditions of Part-time Academic Staff, which was last revised in 1994, is out of date and no longer believed to reflect adequately the terms and conditions that our more than 300 part-time members require. The results of the survey of part-time mem-bers that UTFA conducted in March 2017 and the personal narratives that have been gathered clearly show the hardships experienced by part-time faculty members because of their precarious employment status. This inequity also has adverse effects on the university community in general, including full-time faculty members and students. UTFA is pursuing negotiations with the Administration with the aim of finding a solution to this painful situation. As Chair of the Appoint-ments Committee I am part of the negotiating team.

Aiming to give prominence to these pressing issues, I took the lead in organizing a follow-up to the May 1–2, 2018, “Part-time Appointments at the University of Toronto: Challenges and Strengths” events. “Challenges and Strengths II: Show-casing the Contributions of Part-Timers at the University of Toronto” took place on March 8–9, 2019. On Friday, March 8, the event included a panel of speakers and a reception. The keynote speaker was Professor Karen Foster, who cur-rently holds the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Rural Futures for Atlantic Canada in the department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University. Professor Foster was the lead on the 2017 CAUT national survey on the experiences of contract academic staff and, with Louise Bird-sell Bauer, co-authored the ensuing report, Out of the Shad-ows: Experiences of Contract Academic Staff ( Professor Foster deliv-ered the very convincing talk “Class Struggle: Putting Con-tract Academic Staff in Political Economic Context.” Cynthia Messenger, President of UTFA, presented on “Negotiating Change for Part-Time Appointed Faculty” and Kristin Cavou-kian, Vice-Chair of CUPE 3902, Unit 3, on “Overcoming the Dignity Deficit: Collective Bargaining for Contract Academic Faculty.”

The Saturday, March 9, 2019, conference included four ses-sions: Careers and Publishing, Pedagogy in the Sciences, Ped-agogy in the Humanities, and Community and Curriculum. A total of eleven high quality papers covered a wide variety of fields and topics.At its September, November, and January meetings the Appointments Committee discussed at length the difficulties experienced by cross-appointed faculty and librarians in the areas of workload, PTR, and commuting in particular. UTFA is actively looking for ways to address these problems.In order to direct attention to evolving perceptions about age, I took the initiative to organize a workshop, “Aging Well: Things to Think about, Plan for, and Talk about to Maximize your Quality of Life.” Led by Amy D’Aprix, MSW, PhD, CPCA, the workshop took place on Thursday, January 24, and attracted an audience of approximately 50 UTFA members. Amy D’Aprix comes from an academic background and is an expert in lifestyle issues relating to caregiving, retirement, aging, and family dynamics. In order to contribute to appointments-related matters I con-tinue to serve on other UTFA committees. As Chair, I want to thank the members of the Committee for their support and contributions to our work this year. Claude Evans Chair, Appointments Committee.