Mar 13, 2020

Hi OCADFA members,

I’m writing this quickly as I’d like your thoughts immediately. As OCAD U moves to shut down what are the concerns you have?

It is important that OCADFA be involved in the development, implementation, and monitoring of these plans. While OCADFA will be flexible given the seriousness of the pandemic,  we have asked admin to negotiate protocols with us as our MoA rights may be affected.  Language on intellectual property, health and safety, workload, and performance evaluations are examples of what might be affected.

We are seeking to work out a written agreement with the administration, that all measures taken in response to the pandemic are temporary and solely in response to an extraordinary situation.  We have consulted with our legal counsel, OCUFA and CAUT and  will be ready to work with admin to get through this together.

  There are some immediate thoughts on the transition:

  • The more latitude faculty are given the better. In terms of what the instruction looks like. We may trip on Academic Freedom issues if our members are expected to deliver content that they have.  Unless Senate decides otherwise, it should be left to individual instructors to determine how to handle their course fulfillment.
  • Admin must provide academic staff with appropriate time and training to transition to online instruction.
  • Studio classes will be most challenging. How can faculty deliver pedagogically sound critiques, instruction online?  Are we looking at adjusting deliverables and deadlines?
  • no one should suffer a loss or reduction of pay, be laid-off, or declared redundant because of these temporary measures, esp  contract academic staff whose jobs, by their nature, are vulnerable
  • In cases where it is not feasible or pedagogically sound to provide a course on-line, the course should be postponed without loss of pay or seniority
  • Intellectual property issues may arise, faculty need to know that what they upload is understood to be their IP
  • Integrity of research projects faculty may have that are underway
  • Faculty will need advanced tech support, suggest a hotline be offered for support.
  • consider the special needs of particular staff and students, including those who may have limited access to the internet or face other barriers to delivering or completing their courses on-line 
  • Workload issues will arise from switching mode of delivery mid-course. Need parameters, some acknowledgement of compensation or course release possibilities should faculty end up needing to do excessive labour to deliver alternate content. Or provide additional support for staff, such as assigning teaching assistants

In solidarity,

Min Sook