Hello Everyone!

“You’re already a member!” I always open my emails with this greeting because many people, especially in contract positions, don’t know that they belong to OCADFA. So they don’t open emails from OCADFA until they’ve got two or three of them—which means that every OCADFA email I send will be, for at least one member, their first. So I need your help: find that new contract staff in your faculty, and encourage them to read these notes. Let them know that, if they think something’s wrong, it probably is, and they should contact Connie so she can pass along their query. Or talk to an OCADFA board member—if they can’t answer the query, they’ll know who can. Teaching 170 students with no TA? Assigned three classes in one day? Got a medical certificate but can’t get your accommodation? These problems have solutions. But—and this is key—people need to ask in order for us to help. Not that we always have the answer. But no issue is too large or too small to discuss.

Now, on to the issues of the day: the current vice-presidential review; performance reviews; a clarification around Teaching Intensives; and How Are You, OCADU?

Review of Interim Vice-President, Finance and Administration

On November 17, 2014 and January 19, 2015 Sara Diamond circulated an email announcing that, as Alan Simms’s second year as Interim VP is ending, “a decision has been taken to consider Alan Simms for an ongoing appointment for this role,” that representatives from OCADFA will participate in the review, and that OCADFA will act as a conduit for its members’ input.

So, to clarify: the OCADFA board feels that, when it comes to top positions, we need searches, not reviews. Just as the process and outcome of the presidential review prompted widespread dissatisfaction, so, too, this review process, and what is generally taken as its predetermined outcome, has created considerable concern.

Thus, Sara’s announcement that OCADFA will participate in the review jumped the gun. As we told the administration a few days ago, we will not participate, as we have no interest in lending legitimacy to a process that we view as inappropriate and spurious. That said, were the administration to reverse their decision and initiate a search, we would reconsider. And speaking of reviews…..

Performance Review Process

Something important for those doing the reviewing (rather than those being reviewed). The administration assumes that their right to maintain a 1.2 merit increase average trumps any given member’s right to be assessed according to their accomplishments. However, we think that this assumption, and the review process generally, is unfair and due for an overhaul. In light of this, it is crucial that review committees not self-censor. If someone deserves a 1.5, award them that. If someone deserves a 2.0, award them that. And if a dean or associate dean says that you cannot give a 1.5 or a 2.0, please tell us immediately.

Teaching Intensive Stream

Some folks in Teaching Intensive positions have heard that their teaching allotment cannot be increased. So, again, to clarify: people in teaching intensive positions cannot teach on overload, because the TIS positions are exploitative enough without furthering that issue. However, if you are in a TIS position that is less than 100%, and you and your faculty want to increase your load, then you absolutely can negotiate an increase in your teaching allotment (from 50% t0 70%, for example). And this increase could be either temporary (i.e. so you can fill in for someone on leave) or permanent.

How Are You, OCADU

Pam Patterson and a group of collaborators have been assembling peoples’ thoughts about the state of teaching at OCAD University. Some of the results already are on display in 113 McCaul (5th floor) and the Learning Zone, and it will be on display again at OISE this spring. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in having your voice heard, you can respond to their anonymous survey or contact contact Meaghan Barry at: meaghanjbarry@gmail.com to participate in an anonymous video.

Thanks for all you do to keep OCADU grand!