I am writing on behalf of the Executive of the Brock University Faculty Association (BUFA) in support of Ontario College faculty and to encourage the Colleges to work with faculty to negotiate a fair contract that will provide a quality education for students, faculty voice in collegial decision-making, and academic freedom.
Post-secondary education is better when students have access to faculty with full-time jobs, job security, and a dependable income. For students to succeed, they need the support of faculty who are given enough time and stability to develop curriculum, teach courses, provide out-of-class support, and use what they learn in one term to improve the course for the next term. The colleges are educating students to get good jobs, but the majority of faculty are contract faculty with the type of low-wage, short-term jobs the students are trying to avoid.
Moreover, as an organization that represents university faculty, we understand the value of collegial decision-making. To make the right decisions, faculty and students need to be involved in the decision-making process. Unfortunately, at Ontario’s colleges, that’s not always the case. Unlike many other post-secondary institutions, Ontario’s colleges centralize both academic and administrative decision-making in the hands of administrators. Faculty and students need to be included in decision-making about what is taught and how it is taught.
We also recognize the importance of academic freedom to protect the academic integrity of the colleges’ programs and services. Students benefit when subject experts have the freedom they need to teach effectively.
It is in the best interest of students that a fair contract for Ontario college faculty is settled quickly and fairly. We stand in solidarity with college faculty as they fight to improve post-secondary education in Ontario.
Michelle Webber, Ph.D.
President, Brock University Faculty Association
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Phone: (905) 688-5550 ext. 4411