Hello fellow OCADFA members:

I’m humbled and proud to be writing to you in my capacity as newly-elected President of OCADFA: humbled because, having worked with Sandra Altwerger on the OCADFA board and knowing many of the other people who preceded me in this position, I realize I’ve got some tough acts to follow; proud, because your board combines new voices, historical memory and an emphasis on communication. A lot can be gained from regular information-sharing amongst OCADFA members, and with our numerous friends and allies in other sectors of OCAD University’s community.

To kick off this conversational focus, over the coming months we’ll be sending out wallet-sized bits of information to contextualize some issues that we, together, will address in the near future. Keep these facts with you—we hope to provide them in a convenient format soon—and raise them at meetings (from Senate and Board of Governors all the way down) when they’re germane. And if you have suggestions about other information that you would find useful, please let us know.

Fact Number 1: Why do faculty, staff and students find class sizes overwhelming? Because they are. Data from the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) for 2010/2011show the ratio of undergraduate students to faculty is 17.2:1. For purposes of comparison:


Estimated average class




Emily Carr









When it comes to declining employee morale and declining student satisfaction, the cascade starts here.

Also regarding communication: Maria-Belén Ordóñez has launched an OCADFA Google group to give us an easy way to talk to each other. All OCADFA members are encouraged to join, and only OCADFA members can join. It’s a forum for discussing not only labour-related issues, but also anything where reaching your colleagues could be helpful. If you’ve already joined, help us expand the network by inviting others to join as well. You may have to open a Google account.  For more information, you can reach Maria-Belén at mordonez@faculty.ocadu.ca.

We’ll be in touch with more information soon. And thank you again for the opportunity to serve.