Author Topic: Ontario College Strike - Back to Work Legislation  (Read 285 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline cybercoma

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2730
Re: Ontario College Strike - Back to Work Legislation
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2017, 04:52:06 pm »
The problem is that universities are becoming corporatized and it doesn’t work. Knowledge production is like widget production. It also benefits students, especially graduates in a research capacity, to have long-term faculty with major research projects to support the students’ work at that level. At the undergrad level, they’ve replaced tenured profs with precariously employed part timers who make a damned pittance. Undergrads aren’t getting the best education when some of their “professors” only make $6000 per course (max. 6 courses per year, if they can even find that many...they can’t) and have to carry multiple jobs to stay above water. People outside academia think it’s all roses. Those days are nearly gone. The profs making 6 figures have been tenured for decades and are nearing retirement. When they leave, they’re replaced with part timers who are struggling to survive and can’t possibly provide a decent education to students when they have no job stability.
Agree Agree x 1 View List

Offline SirJohn

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5801
Re: Ontario College Strike - Back to Work Legislation
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2017, 06:52:07 pm »
The problem is that universities are becoming corporatized and it doesn’t work. Knowledge production is like widget production. It also benefits students, especially graduates in a research capacity, to have long-term faculty with major research projects to support the students’ work at that level. At the undergrad level, they’ve replaced tenured profs with precariously employed part timers who make a damned pittance. Undergrads aren’t getting the best education when some of their “professors” only make $6000 per course (max. 6 courses per year, if they can even find that many...they can’t) and have to carry multiple jobs to stay above water. People outside academia think it’s all roses. Those days are nearly gone. The profs making 6 figures have been tenured for decades and are nearing retirement. When they leave, they’re replaced with part timers who are struggling to survive and can’t possibly provide a decent education to students when they have no job stability.

And this is one of the aspects of paying too high a salary. Colleges and universities couldn't afford enough professors to go around. That's made worse by university practice of not requiring professors to actually teach more than a few courses. I'm all for universities as places of research, but... for English professors?
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline cybercoma

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2730
Re: Ontario College Strike - Back to Work Legislation
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2017, 06:45:47 am »
And this is one of the aspects of paying too high a salary. Colleges and universities couldn't afford enough professors to go around. That's made worse by university practice of not requiring professors to actually teach more than a few courses. I'm all for universities as places of research, but... for English professors?
So are you just going to decide what the humanities are worth? Should we not pay historians as much either? For the record, English professors are paid less than business and STEM professors for the most part and especially law professors. But the problem that I'm describing is across the board.

Again, you believe these people make too much money, when I can tell you that a pre-tenured professor in an Arts Faculty just starting out makes between $60,000-70,000 per year at many universities in this country. Are you really going to tell me that this is too much money for someone who has three separate degrees, one of which they contributed new knowledge to their discipline through a doctoral dissertation, a teaching portfolio at the university level, as well as several peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations?

You know teaching is only one part of academics' work too, I hope. They're also required to do research, which makes unique contributions to their field of study. On top of this, they're required to do service for the academy, which includes sitting on boards, mentoring graduate students, peer-reviewing research, and communicating not only the results of their research but the most up to date research in their field. Almost every professor I know works from the time they get up, until they go to bed at night with all the responsibilities they have.

Oh but they have sabbaticals, you might say. Professors are required to submit a proposal for research, which often involves securing external research funding (that's part of service too). They're expected to complete their project during their sabbatical. They're also expected to continue to peer-review, present at conferences, and sit on their boards when they're on sabbatical. The sabbatical is from teaching courses only. The private sector pays people handsomely just to do research, which is one third of a professor's responsibility.

I'm really not convinced that the people who complain about professors' salaries really know what goes into getting their jobs and what's expected of them. Hell, the interview process for a professor is literally a two-day affair. They interview with the deans of the faculty, they interview with the department they're going to teach in, they interview with the executives of the university. They're expected to give a presentation of their most current research. Often times they're asked to do a Q&A session with graduate students in the department where they're applying.

So do profs make too much? Probably not.

Offline segnosaur

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 640
Re: Ontario College Strike - Back to Work Legislation
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2017, 10:21:42 am »
So are you just going to decide what the humanities are worth? Should we not pay historians as much either? For the record, English professors are paid less than business and STEM professors for the most part and especially law professors. But the problem that I'm describing is across the board.

Again, you believe these people make too much money, when I can tell you that a pre-tenured professor in an Arts Faculty just starting out makes between $60,000-70,000 per year at many universities in this country. Are you really going to tell me that this is too much money for someone who has three separate degrees, one of which they contributed new knowledge to their discipline through a doctoral dissertation, a teaching portfolio at the university level, as well as several peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations?
It depends....

The average salary in Canada is roughly $50k. And 10 years ago, the average salary with someone with a higher than a bachelors was around $73k in Ottawa (higher than in some of the smaller cities.)If a new college professor in the arts is starting out with a salary of $60-70k, then their starting salary is already near the average salary of people with similar education (and already above the average salary for the rest of us). Furthermore, that college professor will likely have more job security and benefits than others in non-academic careers (even if they don't have tenure, they are still in a more stable position than someone working in business.)

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/labor51b-eng.htm
http://yackler.ca/blog/2016/04/06/much-canadian-jobs-pay-average-salaries-region-industry/

Quote
On top of this, they're required to do service for the academy, which includes sitting on boards, mentoring graduate students, peer-reviewing research, and communicating not only the results of their research but the most up to date research in their field. Almost every professor I know works from the time they get up, until they go to bed at night with all the responsibilities they have.
I taught college for a few years (in the computer field). No research, but I did have to participate in things like sitting on boards, doing student reviews with other professors, etc.

Yes, there were times of the year when there was a lot of pressure (requiring long hours, extra work, etc.; during exams, when first preparing course material) But there were other times of the year when things were a lot easier (and I was basically spending half the time I would have otherwise... first few weeks of teaching a course I had done before and already taught before, between exams, etc.) The thing to say about the work load is that it was inconsistent... sometimes higher than average, sometimes lower. Simply pointing to the highest amount of work (i.e. "look at the overtime they have to put in at exam time") gives just as flawed view of the work as someone who says "look at all the time they have off".

Quote
So do profs make too much? Probably not.
I guess the big question to ask is... how much would that professor be making in other (non-academic) fields? If someone is in computers or engineering, they could probably command a high salary in the private sector. Their pay as a college professor would need to be higher to lure them away from the business world. If someone is a professor in art, or english? Their private sector options are a lot more limited.

I think there's also a tendency to judge the value of professors based on what their area of expertise contributes to society. Someone in engineering/computers/medicine? Well, we all live in buildings that we'd rather not have collapse on us, and take medicine that we hope can cure us. We can easily see how it impacts us on a day to day basis.  Some humanities (like history or economics) may not seem as critical but we can still see some value in it. (i.e. we'd like to prevent the economy from collapsing.) On the other hand something like art or english? Most people just don't see much value in some English or Art professor writing a paper on some archane topic that will never impact anyone's lives.
Agree Agree x 1 View List

Offline Rue

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 835
  • The beast feeds on fear - I feast on the beast.
  • Location: inside a matrix
Re: Ontario College Strike - Back to Work Legislation
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2017, 07:12:33 am »
Seg's last comments were dead on from what I have experienced. I appreciate Cyber's support for prof's in his comment. I would say to the no nonsense Sir John, yes we have to be realistic as prof's and not think we only teach 3 courses a semester. Tell you what. Right now I have 6 classes at 90 students each. I have to use objective tests marked by a scantron. To enter the marks into the system takes about a week. What really is the time consuming mind boggle is that 70 of the students in each class have an excuse why they failed and want their test done over after never having come to class. The problem is they run to the administration who tells you give them as many make up exams as they want. Then there are those caught cheating who demand re-writes and are given them by the admin. Then there are the whiners who tell you they will not settle for anything more than a 90 and they will file a complaint about you. Its a lovely time of year at this point.

You have to maintain an insane perspective of humour some days. Finally I tell you what. I am the first to admit this. I think it is crucial we teach students how to critically analyze and read and write. They are not doing these basics. They are using the computer and cell phone to avoid these skills. We are raising a generation of illiterate people due to Pike's syndrome as they call it, over conditioning people NOT to think or question. During my conspiracy hours late at night I think its being done as part of a mass indoctrination by Satan. Then I wake up and start a new day. Moral of the story-art, music, physical education, English, Humanities, please don't under-estimate their importance but maybe their focus should be in high school. I would never suggest teaching law or psychology as I do is equivalent to say medicine. I do not see what I do as saving lives. I have no ego. I just wonder though, does anyone know what power we have to change the world with just one student who learns anything because they were inspired to create in no matter what the subject was?
You have me mistaken with an eagle. I only come to eat your carcass.

Offline Rue

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 835
  • The beast feeds on fear - I feast on the beast.
  • Location: inside a matrix
Same issue resurrected again at York University and it doesn't seem like it will end easily.

I have to tell you knowing some of the faculty there, the entire administration and faculty are mired in dysfunction and both are to blame.

On the issue of part-timers it continues at all community and private colleges and universities and is getting worse.

All of them are moving to a model where faculty are part-time and put on contracts where you are paid by the hour only and more faculty are hired then is needed to make
you feel expendable.

Then the politics begins. If we try  fail students for not attending the majority of classes we are told they do not have to come to classes. If we give a zero because an assignment is not given in on time we are told we can not do that and must make the paper no matter how late it is and not discriminate and not ask the students why its late or if they say its because they were sick or had a family problem we must believe them with non proof. Then if they hand us an assignment that is poorly written with grammar and spelling mistakes, incorrect citations and footnotes or just out and out plagiarism we are told to take into consideration that students are not necessarily literate so we must accommodate and still mark them. When we give exams if they fail, we are told to give a remedial exam. When they fail that, we are told to give yet another exam.

Students evaluate us teachers. This means when they do not like our marks or we tell them to turn off their cell phones, take notes, show up on time, and not walk in the class late, do not talk when we are lecturing-they write in their evaluations we are intolerant and bad  teachers and then we are shown such evaluations and told sorry we are not taking you back.

Welcome to 2018 where a degree now means very little given the above politics.

Next, go on Indeed or a job web site. All the community colleges now ask for PH.d's and offer them 45,000 a year. That's normal now. Its also nonsensical for another reason. Ph.d's are for people who have done research so they have not taught or worked in real life. Community colleges were supposed to be taught by instructors with practical experience. Its no longer the case. You get PH.d's out of work desperate for a job now teaching who have zero experience in what they teach but the community colleges want them for appearance.

Take a look. Community colleges were created to provide vocational and practical education to upgrade and develop existing skills or provide hands on technical skills. Not anymore. They have become bloated layers of bureaucracy competing for government funds by recruiting as many students as possible and not failing them because if they fail them, their percentage of funding goes down.
You have me mistaken with an eagle. I only come to eat your carcass.

Offline ?Impact

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2941
Community colleges were created to provide vocational and practical education to upgrade and develop existing skills or provide hands on technical skills. Not anymore. They have become bloated layers of bureaucracy competing for government funds by recruiting as many students as possible and not failing them because if they fail them, their percentage of funding goes down.

So who is addressing community colleges in their platform?

Offline MH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7943
I went to a job interview at YorkU in their IT department.  From the interview I could tell it was a shitshow wherein they thought shit was a great thing.  They were actually bragging about their shit.  I found it hard to sit through the interview.

Offline Rue

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 835
  • The beast feeds on fear - I feast on the beast.
  • Location: inside a matrix
This brings some light into the situation - thanks.  I read your whole post. :)

It also sounds like the academic streams in this province need to be rebuilt from the ground up.  My parents pushed me to university as a path to a middle class lifestyle.  It worked, but it was based on flawed thinking.

There is/was a bias against work that had any manual/labour component whatsoever.  It's ridiculous because being a plumber requires people skills, problem solving and the willingness to make a lot of money.  Of course, I couldn't have done that as I am a theoretical animal through and through.

But education needs to take out the idea that 'smart' means better.  That will actually allow us to put 'smart' kids back in advanced streams where they can be challenged and excel, and put kids that can't do math into something that will develop them also.  I have had bosses who were brilliant at people skills, entrepreneurial whizzes and also drop-outs.

We are just waiting for the systems to collapse, but we should be electing visionaries who can start the process before that happens.

God damn, my soap box...

Lol but you are not verbose.
You have me mistaken with an eagle. I only come to eat your carcass.

Offline Rue

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 835
  • The beast feeds on fear - I feast on the beast.
  • Location: inside a matrix
This thread has added interest now York is on strike. I read it back. Its accurate.
You have me mistaken with an eagle. I only come to eat your carcass.