Message from Charles Reeve, President, OCADFA

Two upcoming events addressing the effects of austerity policies on universities:

1) Next Wednesday, OCAFU presents “Austerity and Ontario’s Universities: Finding a way forward.” This is a joint Town Hall Meeting for University of Toronto, York, Ryerson and OCADU faculty, students and staff.

Wednesday March 27, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. University of Toronto: OISE Auditorium (252 Bloor St. West, Toronto) Facebook:

2) To complement this event, The OCAD Faculty Association and OPSEU Local 576 present a forum on current financial and administrative pressures affecting post-secondary education, to be held Tuesday, April 2, 2013, from 5-7 pm.

Titled “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” (after a famous painting by Paul Gauguin), this forum features talks by Paul Hamel (University of Toronto School of Medicine) and David Robinson (Canadian Association of University Teachers).

Starting with the University of Toronto’s injunction that academic freedoms must include the right to challenge the cherished beliefs “of the university itself,” Paul Hamel’s explorations of the contemporary university show how these fundamental rights are under attack as funders demand short-term return on investment and universities bring such corporate pieties into their administration.

Building on this theme of the corporatization of universities, David Robinson shows how management practices intended to protect the public interest in quality post-secondary education do the reverse: how the growing emphasis on performance indicators, for example, undercuts educational quality by eating up resources, replacing innovative thinking with standardized testing and justifying Draconian funding cuts.

“Politicians and educational administrators of all stripes increasingly assume that the legacy of Margaret Thatcher provides the only way forward,” says Charles Reeve, president of the OCAD Faculty Association. “But it’s far from proven that post-secondary education is a pointless luxury. We must re-examine this Thatcherite return before it causes irreparable harm.”

Or it it too late? Join us for this timely, stimulating look at how these key pressure points in current post-secondary policy and administration affect you.

What: “Where Do We Come From? What Are We?
Where Are We Going?: A Forum on Post-Secondary Education”
Who: Featuring talks by Paul Hamel and David Robinson, and moderated by Charles Reeve (OCAD University Associate Professor and OCADFA President).
When: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, from 5-7 pm.
Where: OCAD University Central Hall, 100 McCaul Street.

This event is free and open to the public. A limited number of on-site child-care spaces are available—RSVP to Claudette Lauzon ( to reserve a spot for your child. Presented with support from the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Charles Reeve