Author Topic: Ontario College Strike - Back to Work Legislation  (Read 286 times)

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Offline Rue

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Re: Ontario College Strike - Back to Work Legislation
« on: November 21, 2017, 02:33:04 pm »
Universities are not colleges. Academic freedom in university is very important when you have a government firing scientists for not doctoring their findings to match the “official” positions. It was also important when the American government was rounding up Marxists. More broadly, academics need the freedom to study controversial topics and come to critical conclusions without fear of losing their livelihood.

I don’t know what academic freedom means at the college level.

Cyber to be fair to you the term "academic freedom" at the college level is used by many people in many different ways within management and academic circles. Its a wide open definition depending on who uses it and in what context.

My best answer to you it could mean just what I said, the ability of instructors to not get fired because they give low marks or fail students. It can also mean the right of instructors to choose which texts to use. It could mean the right for college instructors to state to students when they disagree what something says in a text. It could mean those things. I hear it mostly in those contexts.

I will concede having taught 17 years SALARY is one issue. That's always an issue. I must confess I teach at a private college where I get much less because I like teaching and if I apply to community colleges they will hire someone much younger than me thinking they can pay less since in some professions they have to pay according to how many years you have been in the profession.

I was never under the impression salary for faculty has ever been a tough issue-its always  been seniority. Administration complained faculty set in their ways and bad habits were safe.

That may have been the case in some instances yes. However the administrators by getting in bed with students to make sure enrollment stays high was a serious mistake its made a farse of the non technical programs.

All that said, its hard to fake your competency with plumbing, hands on technical and vocational skills. In reality they all are a pass fail kind of thing. You either learn them or you don't. You can't fake your knowledge as a teacher or student. However and I say this honestly about what I teach, human resources, law, business, there is a sort of artificial teaching in the sense we are not hands on using our hands, we are more theoretical so marking becomes more subjective in assignments or we have to do objective questioning. We can't test someone by asking them to put a gas connection together.

I am sure you get what I say. I am trying to concede faculty are not all perfect, students are pains in the ass unrealistic and also very dedicated and with due respect, after 17 years in college and universities, higher education administration politics is a friggin maze of lies, illusions, territory and empire building and may I say corruption at the top when it comes to bonuses.

I also think and I am sorry to say this, a lack of cohesion between provincial Ministries in charge of colleges and universities and the federal Immigration ministry has created huge loopholes of entry to get work permits using colleges as cover.

All that said, I personally see all these issues not particular to any one political party or ideology. I have lived through NDP, Liberal, PC, Liberal and they all made mistakes provincially.

I would ideally like to see incoming students  being equipped with skills to survive in the years to come and contribute. I hope I am not seeing an unrealistic foundation and recipe for failure and permanent underclass for some with no proper skills.

Some days I see some very good and motivated students, other days I mean my Lord I can only see government dependents coming from such people. I think though its wrong to generalize. Many people who look like they are going to fail surprise people and vice versa. I just try stay positive in the face of students. They have enough pressures. I push them to be on time, dump the cell phone and study but I appreciate some of them are working long hours and have a lot of uncertainty and stress.

If I can just once a day get one student to think they make a difference in life, that is a great day. I sound more cynical then I am. I do have faith in students,  fellow faculty and administrators. They all have good as well as bad people.
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